The multi-colored patriotic line is my route.
From Shouguang to Anqiu to Chentuanzhen, Shandong, China.
I left at 8:20 am and arrived at 3:30 pm.
Today's Total Distance: Day 1: 90 km, Day 2:104 km
Trip Total Distance: 1,440 km
The heat is on. The temperature is up to 80 degrees (30 Celsius) the past couple of days, and with heat on China’s east coast also comes humidity. The humidity hasn’t been too bad thank god. Overall it’s great riding weather and it hasn’t made me sluggish at all. I can go through about 4 liters of water while riding, and drink probably another 1.5 later in the evening at the hotel. There’s this never ending thirst.
And if you don’t know, I’m a sweater. I can go 100 km with one bathroom break, and the rest finds its way out through my pours. The wind dries the salty sweat on my body and face, making it feel like I just came out of the ocean. The dried up salt burns my eyes as a sweat drop rolls into my eye.
The camera I’m using only has a 10 second self-timer, so after pressing shoot I barely have enough time to rush back and hop on the bike for a pose. I admit, I don't look like much of a cyclist with with clothes I have on, but then I wouldn't feel like me wearing what a cyclist wears. One day when I feel comfortable enough, I'll probably break down and break out the spandex and bright colored cycling jersey.
Two days ago I got my very first flat while riding. My destination was about an hour away and I was considering riding there with the flat. You’ve never seen someone so indecisive with a flat tire. I decided change it. The next decision was whether to change the flat with the bike standing or to take my bags off the bike and flip the bike upside down. I flipped it, and was done in about 20 minutes. Not too bad for my first time on the road. I’m not patching the tube on the road, but rather replacing the tube with another one. Later at the hotel I can take the flat tube and look for the puncture and then patch it. It’s must faster on the road this way. I’m just thankful I didn’t get the flat on a busy road with hundreds of onlookers. After 6 years in china I still can’t put up with the staring.
That very same day, I got lost, or rather just missed my turn. I always have a pretty good idea where I am, so I cannot truly say ‘lost.’ It’s frustrating, but getting back to my main route the next day proved to be a very relaxing country back-road with almost no traffic and the nicest dirt roads to date.
Today was a rainy day, so it is a natural day off. As of now, I’m approximately 600 kilometers out of Shanghai, which should put me at 1 more week exactly if I keep up my 100 km a day pace, including one rest day.