OK, everyone knows this, if it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen. And Saturday’s all-day ride to see the temples of Angkor Wat, carefully recorded on my iPhone, carefully saved at the end… well something happened and it didn’t show up. All those miles on dirt goat paths (actually sorta-cow and scooter paths, not too many goats ’round these parts), bad pavement and once in a while decent pavement, vanished. I couldn’t write about them but I couldn’t prove they actually happened.
Until now. No idea why but suddenly the ride materialized! All 27.52 miles, ridden with my daughter Becky, out in the very very very hot sun on a very very humid day in Cambodia.
Like a few other days here, it started out early, getting to the tour company (Grasshopper Tours) by 7:15am. Lucky for us, the company is literally on the next block from the hotel we’re staying, a very very fortunate circumstance. And luck or unlucky, depending upon your take on such things, with the 15 hour time difference from home, you really don’t have much sense of what day or time or state of mind you’re in anyway, so it doesn’t seem all that early.
I think there were 6 of us total in the group, three from the US and another from England. Still not sure about the UK or England thing, but he specifically said he was from England, near Liverpool, and yes, this was not just hot for him but there was also this very bright shiny thing in the sky he wasn’t used to seeing. Of course, to the rest of us this weather is just fine. Umm…. no. It actually might not be so bad for me if I was moving fast, but this was a tour group with people attracted to a description that said “If you can ride a bike, then you will love this bike tour. The distance is approximately 30 km on mainly flat tracks and small roads. We will stop often for photos, temple exploration on foot and refreshments.” The truth is, those bumpy narrow goat paths, those off-the-beaten-track unpaved dirt roads with sand traps and undulating surface beat you to death after a while, especially at slower speeds. Thankfully the bikes were moderate-level front suspension mountain bikes, but I think the addition of a suspension seatpost would have been greatly appreciated by many.
It did, however, make you feel like you’d earned your place at the Temples. And by the end of the ride, it felt like we’d earned a nice dinner and definitely ice cream!
While 27 miles isn’t much for me, keep in mind it’s more than Becky’s ridden in, well, probably a couple years. And this followed the prior day in which she rode about 13.5 miles on even-worse roads & trails. She did really well.