Today I cycled the short trip from De’an to Jiujiang. At present I’m averaging about 100km per day which was what I originally planned. I don’t feel as though I’m behind schedule or even on schedule. I ride for as long as I want to each day and then simply stop, some days it just happens to be more than others.
I wasn’t sure how today was going to pan out especially as I’d woken to loud thunderstorms and heavy rain this morning. Thankfully it had cleared up by the time I set off as I really didn’t fancy the prospect of spending a day in my rather dingy room watching movies on my laptop.
I was in quite a chipper mood as I set off. I often find the beginning of the day is the best for riding. Not only is there less traffic but as you’d expect I feel fresher in the morning. However today that early morning optimism quickly turned sour as I hit the 105 National road again and was once again faced with the prospect of negotiating my way through the puddles and pot holes.
Having pushed the bike for a while I decided enough was enough and I mounted up to try and quicken things up a little. It wasn’t long before the rear wheel had gone flat and I was once again faced with the prospect of repair a puncture on the side of the road. I don’t tend to get angry when I get a flat these days, I just try to accept it as I suppose one could say an occupational hazard.
My tires are Panracer Pasela which are recommended for touring. I’ve been a little disappointed I suppose with the number of punctures I’ve had but as yet I’ve really not had any issues with them on what I would describe as ‘normal’ roads where they roll really nicely. However it’s been on these country dirt tracks sections where we’ve naturally encountered problems. I’ve also heard that you get more punctures in wet weather which I suppose makes sense.
When the road finally leveled out again all I had to deal with was a rather nasty head wind and a few small hills but at least it wasn’t raining and for once and there was no need to don the poncho. I wonder in a few months when it will no doubt be unbearably hot will I be complaining that there is no rain to cool things down a little bit? I doubt it.
I arrived in Jiujiang nice and early and immediately found a nice hotel to stay in. I had no idea that Jiujiang was going to be quite as big as it was but I suppose anything seems big when you come from Forest Row. For the most part I’m staying in some fairly decent standard places. I’ve budgeted for this trip and to be honest I don’t mind paying a little bit extra for a little bit extra comfort. I’m sure there are many people out there who are prepared to ‘rough it’ a little more and perhaps ten or even five years ago I’d have thought the same. Whether it’s because I’m a little older now or perhaps that I’m just used to a little more comfort in my life I'm not sure but if you can afford it then why not? I know that once the summer comes and things start to heat up a little I’ll have no problem pitching the tent some place out in the middle of nowhere.
I have Wuhan on my mind but I’m still some 260km away so it will certainly have to wait until another day. Tomorrow I’m off to Qichun which looks like it will be a good places to rest up before heading onto Wuhan.