On November 4th Fred the bike is embarking on a six month journey across Southeast Asia. Starting in Singapore, Fred plans to make his way up the west coast of Malaysia, across Thailand, Cambodia, up through Vietnam and into Laos. After that... who knows? Fred invites you to follow him through his adventure. Any advice from fellow travelers is always welcome.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kampong Thom-Phnom Penh

Total Distance:158.78
Total Time:7h24m12s
Average Speed:21.4km/h
Maximum Sped:30.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:2648.53km

Hurray for Phnom Penh and it's geographical location which lays to the south. Finally, a day with the wind not directly in my face. It's so nice to resume a regular pace. Have I mentioned how much I hate the wind? I hate the wind. Except, of course when it's at my back. It may not have been directly at my back, but beggars can't be choosy.
While I have thoroughly enjoyed the persona of the lone cyclist, I embraced the chance at cycling with some company for the day. Antony and i left for our 160km excursion early in the morning. this was my first time cycling with a companion and, overall, it was quite enjoyable. Antony, being a former competitive race, kept me on my toes. Or, rather, the balls of my feet. I maintained a pace with him, without too much effort, for the first 110km. However, after lunch I lost him. I guess he was just a little too fast for me. The ride today was nice. the newly paved roads are beautiful. Although the scenery stills leaves something to be desired and the landscape remains flat as a ten year old boy. Today was not without it's problems though. I had a head on collision with a moped, my front rack fell off not once, not twice, but three times, and i broke a spoke. Before you all start freaking out about the collision, both Fred and I are without the least bit of injury. Although I do believe my front rack falling off was a result of the crash. There isn't much to tell regarding it. Some kid on a moped wasn't paying attention and pulled out in front of me. Luckily, I have the reflexes of either a very slow cat or a very fast turtle, and was able to lay on the brakes just enough to avoid a serious accident. The racks falling off was a bummer. It happened about 30km before Phnom Penh. The must have come loose when i hit the moped. When the fell off they knock into my wheel, busting one of my spokes. I have never experienced a broken spoke before. I guess there's a first time for everything. Luckily Carol came across me while I was fiddling with the racks and offered me a helping hand. Camaraderie among cyclists, you gotta love it.
Finding a replacement spoke in Phnom Penh proved rather painless. While there are no specialty bike shops here, there are various road-side shops which deal with old clunky one-speeds, and one of the was able to fix the spokes and reinforce my racks. So, Fred's all set for the ride down to the beach. I'm looking forward to the beach. It's been a while since I've seen water, and the dusty dry air in northern Cambodia is getting to me. I still have a while before I have to be in Vietnam, so we'll see what exploring I can do in the south.

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