We started the day with an attempt at a warm up lead by Ramon Puig. We had to walk a way to collect our bikes and found ourselves in line, in height order, lunging along the riverbank. The locals must have thought we had all lost the plot.
Today saw a 90km cycle from Hoi An to Quang Ngai through villages along the coast. We knew we had a long day ahead so the group was keen to get going. At the back, Guy Bolam kept the cyclists in good spirit playing Rick Astley and the soundtrack from Lala Land; jazz hands included. I actually think he felt threatened by his new-found competition with El Hayward at the front so decided to bring up the rear. Any old excuse!
At the 38km rest stop we took the opportunity to refuel and have a water fight with the local school children finishing their morning classes. It all started with our take on the ice bucket challenge when Ramon dunked his face head first into the freezing cold water. Apparently, it seemed a good idea as the rest of the group followed suit. Unfortunately for Columb Convery, it was the end of the trip for his sunglasses when he walked head first into the corrugated iron roof. This wasn’t the only accident of the day, as Lorna Saunders had a wobble to avoid the bark of a small Vietnamese dog!
At the last stop before the end everyone was feeling tired and sore. But not half as sore as Bill Colson’s wallet after we gave him a lesson in mobile data and data roaming. He’s already racked up a phone bill of £600, declaring the children’s inheritance had been lost. Meanwhile Di Wilson came speeding into the stop, casually taking out three bikes at the side of the road. Lesson learned, steering, breaking and unclipping cleats is a tough skill to master but fortunately she came away unscathed.
As we made our way to the end of the route, the roads turned to a comfortable tarmac. We were all tired and looking forward to reaching the last stop, but nobody quite as much as Toby Cobb. He unknowingly stopped 100 metres before the finish and knocked on the door of a Vietnamese house asking to use their facilities. After some questionable gesturing, they obliged and sent him on his way.
The day finished with a chilling visit to a museum in Son My in memory of the victims of the My Lie massacre on 16 March 1968.
As the newbies we just want to thank you for making us feel so welcome. For putting up with the tears, my moaning and also, to see if anyone wants to buy my bike when we are back in the UK!
Katie Wakeling & Eleanor Hayward