Yesterday morning when we broke down our camp we already felt the water getting through our rain clothes. Too late we had decided that it would be smarter to make ourselves rainproof for it won’t stop raining. And so our shoes, our fleece and our bags were kind of wet when we sat on our bikes and tried pedaling our cold muscles warm. I’ve never had such bad weather for cycling before. It was foggy and so cars and other vehicles shooting around corners couldn’t see us early enough. To avoid collisions we had to listen very carefully to the noises that came through the thick fog. Temperatures were also complicated. It was not very cold but still not warm enough to go without rain clothes. The consequence was that we got wet from rain on the outside and from sweat at the inner side. It was just this temperature and humidity that it is impossible to stay dry in. Since we had to climb several passes that day we faced another problem. Going uphill we started sweating and got completely wet, as soon as we reached the top and started our descend, our sweat, the rain an the cold wind let us freeze and made the joy-downhill to a horror-ride.
I hated the rain and its millions of drops. It didn’t matter where we drove. If searching for shelter under the trees at the side of the road, thick drops came falling down and through the ventilation gaps of our helmets. When fleeing to the center of the road, to avoid getting hit by these little water bombs, we got wet from fine spray-like rain that somehow manages to get into every opening and zipper on our clothes.
I really hated every single drop of these day, but there was one drop I hated the most.
On front of my helmet I have mounted part of a cap to avoid getting rain into my eyes. This does in deed perfectly work. But, the textile slowly got completely wet and so, on its lower edge, a drop of water gathered, again and again, rolling from one side to the other with every pedal kick I did, right in front of my eyes like a pendulum that was supposed to hypnotize me. From time to time, but always unpredictable, it dropped down, as fat as a drop can be. And nearly every time it made its way through the air to one of my body-parts. My legs, my arms, my shoes, sometimes my nose or my chin. Well, it didn’t hypnotize me, it made me mad. Every time it had fallen I immediately could see another one forming and watch its development from small to big and huge. I tried squeezing water out of the cap, tried a wire to distract the drop, tried tape to avoid water from getting through, nothing helped. In addition to that small stress-factor we didn’t know how high the pass, we were busy with, would take us. After every curve I hoped to be at its top, but I was disappointed many times. It is funny, how the wish to be at the top can make up reasons that this tree- or that rock-formation shows why it can’t be far any more. I was mistaking many times and so, at a certain moment — Paul didn’t know anything about the drop yet– I exploded. I ripped my helmet of my head and squeezed the cap so hard that it must have looked to Paul as if I want to kill it. I had to take a deep breath an convince myself that even this day will be over once. I sat on my bike again, put my helmet back on and decided to see the drop as a little amount of water again, not as a mean little thing trying to annoy me. And comparing the amount of water I would have had running down my chin without the cap, I was glad to just have to worry about one drop instead of millions. We reached the pass and the valley thereafter and due to our frozen bones decided that we need a warm soup.
I wouldn’t have thought that finding a restaurant in China could be that difficult, but since the public holiday things had changed a little. Many stores were still closed and restaurants were we asked answered us with a “miu”, which means “no”.
All we could find were garages full with people gambling, playing card games and a sort of chess. Hardly any one was working. Again my mood went down to the bottom. At that very moment I hated our trip, I hated the Chinese people for being so relaxed and still making hollidays a week after the official holidays were over, and I hated myself for not being able to adjust to this relaxed life. Why not sit down with them, gamble a little and stop cycling for the day. Why? Since I couldn’t find an answer but that we want to be in shanghai soon, I decided together with Paul that 60 km for that day were enough. We would look for a hotel and take the next best one. Today was an overdose of weather, an huge amount of patience asked from us and not enough reason to go on.
Right at that moment the world changed again, we found a restaurant with delicious and cheap food, right next to it a cheap hotel for about 7 dollar a night. We ate and as my stomach was filled with warm tea and “chao mien”( Chinese pasta dish), even the news that my front tire was flat for the second time in two days, couldn’t get me upset anymore.
A warm shower, a warm blanket, that’s all I needed.
I started making a ring from a piece of wire that I had found that day, but couldn’t finish and fell a sleep early, tired from a shitty day. In my dreams I hoped that the weather would be better the next day, and so it was.
Still foggy, still humid, but no rain. after a quick breakfast in our room I was ready for liftoff at about 9:30.
We had a quite successful day, sprinted up and down little passes and managed to get our daily kilometers done early in the afternoon. We passed water reservoirs in which streets vanished under water, saw mountains peaking into the sky like witch hats, crossed bridges over more than hundred meter deep valleys and finally, as we decided that it was time to look for a place to sleep, we didn’t find one. The only place in about 20 kilometers quest was a little cave. But as we came closer, a beggar- man came out of the cave and so we had to accept that our choice had been chosen earlier and had to go on. Again we had to check into a cheap hotel. Here I built a new horn for my bike. I have bough a used horn from a car today and wired it so I can plug it into my solar panel. The trigger is mounted on top of my steering- bar. All I have to do now to make the busses see me is move my thumb a few millimeters. No yelling and waving any more, the horn is so loud that even a deaf Bus-driver would hear it(110dB). I am looking forward to testing it tomorrow༄
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