We’re high above the city, staying in Kola’s delightful apartment, finding our pedalling feet and acclimatising to much warmer weather. I’ve discovered that WordPress is blocked in Vietnam which is surprising as people posting about the country would be good for tourism. I’ve been directed to a way around this but guess, inevitably, that I may struggle to post regularly whilst we’re here.
We met Kola’s assistant Tien who introduced us to Mr Hung, a member of a local cycling club, who was able to advise us about routes, distances and terrain to the north of here. He is an incredibly fit man and had just completed a half marathon in the morning before cycling 60km back to Hanoi. He told us the club meets every morning for an early ride at 5.30am and they average about 30km/hr for a 40-50km spin. We politely declined as he and they are in a different league to our steady 20-22km/hr but were impressed by both his generosity in sparing some time to talk to us and modesty about his riding experience.
Yasmin is listening to an online class for Vietnamese pronouciation which poses further challenges as did our attempts at ordering lunch which inevitably involved lots of pointing at pictures and other peoples food. Her bike is being serviced at The Hanoi Bicycle Collective, which we cycled to next to West Lake which is in the distance of the above photograph. It needs new compact chain rings, and a chain and rear cassette block as they are very worn. Another 3 months on the road might mean her ‘drive’ slipping on climbs so it is time to get this sorted. We’ve swapped around the front and rear tyres to ensure they wear evenly and hopefully we’ll be ready to head northward towards Sa Pa at the end of the week after exploring the city.