Sunday, February 6, 2011

TdA Stage 18. Reality TV

87km. Bush Camp to Dinder Bush Camp.

Washboarded dirt roads! My legs were on fire today and my new thudbuster seatpost was a really good call. Unfortunately my schwalbe Racing Ralphs were not. Sure, the tread was nice to have and the extra width helped in the soft sandy bits, but these were not built to withstand Sudanese thorns.


Small ones like tacks. Big ones like nails. The thorns were everywhere. I felt like I would just look at my tire and it would go flat.

Psssssssssssssssttt. Jesus.

After my tenth puncture, I stopped taking my wheel off and just nursed the slow leaks. Psychologically, I just couldn't take it. Somehow getting off of my bike every kilometre or two in order to restore some air was less defeating.

The afternoon kicked up to the high 40's again; a type of heat that I'm not sure that I will ever adjust to (and, to imagine, it's winter here!). Keeping up with hydration is so hard when it is like this. I was so thirsty and wasted that I stopped and drank from the filler spout on my camel back because I thought the hose was busted (turns out it was just 'locked'). By the time that I finished, there were no fewer than 40 locals in a circle around me. Misery does not love spectators. But, it was so funny that it made me laugh. And then they laughed, too.

The day was actually supposed to be 100km, but it was shortened to 87km for some reason. Thank god for that. I was out of tubes and out of patches. And also out of the patches that another rider had given to me when I had run out earlier.

Bush camp is on some arid dirt in the middle of nowhere. There is a rural village called beside us. It has no shops to speak of. Just a lot of curious people. We were basically reality tv for the rural village of Dinder. There are no shops to be found here. Just mud huts. And a lot of curious people. Somehow there was actually a television crew, too. I was interviewed again. The guy who spoke after me said something about how surprised he was that women could do this. I think that it was a compliment, though part of me feels rather offended by the remark. I think that I would have really struggled if I had been born before women were recognized as 'people' in the western world.

I've started simplifying my daily routine (lowered expectations?). I've stopped bothering with a sleeping mat. I've stopped using a fly over my tent. I've replaced my blow up pillow with a bag of my clothes. I wonder what will go next...
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network


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