Category Archives: Personal stuff

Missing Strava ride appears; now I can write more about Cambodia!

Angkor Wat from the back side
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.

First bike ride in Cambodia a bit tougher than mileage would indicate

At the end of the bike part, we had a boat ride along the Angkor Wat moat.
Well first of all, I didn’t start Strava until maybe half a mile into the ride, so it really should have been 14-something! But generally tougher because an awful lot of it was on either narrow trails or dirt goat paths as we wound our way out towards Angkor Wat. The temperature, in the 90s, could have had something to do with it too. And finally maybe the fact that I took two Advil PMs by mistake prior to the ride, which contain Benadryl and tend to make you a bit drowsy.

Still, it was a lot of fun negotiating the traffic with a tour guide who knows his way around the place. Tomorrow is the “real” temple ride though, with the bikes being more a means of transportation than a way to see the road less traveled. It will also be a fair amount longer, so hopefully Becky will hold up. She hung in there well today, so a good start. The easy day will be Monday; that’s when we do the around-the-town “food” tour, where maybe we get to eat fried bugs!