14.03.2008 - 17.03.2008 10 °C
Stay healthy! This is one of the many good wishes I received from the truly unbelievable 9C kids in Kulosaari.
So, here I am again. An overview over the last four days:
On Friday start in rain, which didn't stop the whole day. Just riding 300 metres up and down perhaps six or seven times to get from one headland to the next on our slow progression on the Black Sea coast.
Just take a look at the GPS track: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=25438
Flat roads close to zero, wearing muscles, joints and brake pads - in combination with road dirt brakes behave like sandpaper. Nightstay in an empty ship-building hall that was cold, but at least dry.
Landforms and weather little better on Saturday, but now I realize I caught a cold as a result of the two rain days! In return for the sufferings an even longer day (close to 100 km) on Sunday, this time at leat in sunshine (even though rather chilly) with an almost constant view of the sea from high up for the whole day. With aching knees, sore throat and running nose plus itchy eyes - from the hazelnut pollen that cause the same symptoms as do the birch pollen in Finland - I decided to take a day off from cycling today and instead take a seat in the van together with our two drivers Adam and Marcin.
Well then, honored readers of my blog (there are about fifty of you every day - ten times more than I had expected), it is time to share with you some of my second thoughts about BalticCycle 2008 Olympia-Beijing. Ever since Istanbul the ride has been an incredible rush from sleeping place to sleeping place with practically no information provided by the organizers about road conditions and height profile. No museum or other sight entered and even lunch taken only in a hurry - to be sure to get to the destination before sunset (or the fourth of the five daily Muezzin prayer calls). So I have recently become a little unsure whether a want to subject myself to such a harsh rythm for the next four and a half months or whether I should settle with a more modest personal goal (Kashgar or Baku), which would still make it the longest bike tour of my life.
For the time being I try to be optimistic, waiting for better spring weather, longer days, the beautiful vinyards of Georgia and mentally divide the remaining more than 10.000 km into more easily digestible portions. Goes like this: in six days from now I have done one third of what I would need in order to get by bicycle to China...