HCMC Dining Guide

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

H2H Day 11: Relaxation awaits

Before beginning H2H this year we all agreed to buy a Hawaiian shirt to wear the day we rode into Hue, and everyone followed through. After stretching we began the 87km ride out of Cam Lo all decked out in shirts that were a wide range of hideous. 
morning stretches
first group shot of the trip
The day after this leg would be the first of our two rest days, so everyone was looking forward to getting to Hue, which is a pretty developed city that has a supermarket, KFC, and Western restaurants. We all powered through it, mostly on truck-heavy Highway 1, essentially without stopping; though I did take a two-minute break at one point because my ass was starting to feel like I was being prison raped. There's only one thing worth mentioning from my ride: About halfway through I was riding on the hard shoulder, trying to stay out of the way of the buses, when I saw two woman with their backs to me walking on the edge of the shoulder. There was space to pass on the left, so I started to at a pretty high speed. Right as I was about to go past the women, the one on the left suddenly stuck her left arm out, smacking me in the shoulder as I blew by. She obviously had no idea I was coming, and I probably scared the shit out of her. It didn't hurt me, so hopefully her hand was alright.

We had decided to stop at a major intersection just outside of Hue to regroup, since going through the city to our hotel would be a little tricky. I pulled up to a drink stand a little after Phong, who had arrived first, and got a green tea and a Huda beer while we waited for the rest of the riders to show up. Of course, all of the locals were staring; it's not every day that 18 Westerners in colorful shirts appear out of nowhere on road bikes.

After hanging out for a bit and gathering up everyone we rolled into Hue's historic Citadel in "amoeba formation" and then made our way across the Perfume River to the city's backpacker area, where we would be staying. The sun was shining for the first time on the entire ride, and we were in good spirits.

taking over Hue
While we all wanted to immediately shower and eat, the first order of business was actually finding a bike shop and asking the mechanic to work on some of our most serious mechanical issues. A worker from our hotel said he knew where to go and hopped on a crappy single-speed bicycle to lead us there. After riding at a pace that could best be called "lollygagging" for a few minutes we pitched up to a run-down shop with a man welding a chair together out front. Unimpressed, we asked to be taken somewhere else.

We were then led back into the Imperial City to an actual bike shop, where we left our bikes to be serviced. By this point everyone was dirty, starving, hot and tired of being on the road, but we were finally able to hop into taxis and go check into our hotel.
I showered and immediately had a massive Indian meal, which was exactly what the doctor ordered, and then took a nap. Day eleven was over, as far as cycling was concerned, and we now had about 40 hours of free time.

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