D2: 亭林→干窑 - Oh Hai - CycleBlaze

October 2, 2019

D2: 亭林→干窑

Tonight's hotel room merely forbids gambling, taking drugs, selling drugs, and selling sexual services.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Being as today is the second day of a tour, everything hurts. I'm going to have to come up with some kind of solution (I'm thinking maybe excessive padding on the handlebars? Moving my seat forward?) to fix my posture because the way I'm regularly balancing on the balls of my hands can't possibly be good for me. Although the stem riser has brought things up considerably, putting my hands on the brake hoods is basically the equivalent of where riding in the drops should be and I'm just not in that kind of shape nor do I really want to be riding that low when I've got scenery to look at.

Despite waking up good and early, I'm not feeling especially up for moving. During a phone call with Mike, I am defeated by the concept of putting on socks and would happily take another hour of sleep if only I had a quick snack I could eat first. During the search for the ziploc bag with the socks (they were behind me the whole time), I empty everything from both panniers (one of which didn't even need to come upstairs but the hotel owner insisted) only to discover that every single waterproof bag I packed with the exception of the one bag that had items critically in need of being kept dry had succeeded at being waterproof. Even the merely water resistant random grocery bag that had my dirty laundry in it had kept its contents dry.
But the bag with the not yet waterproofed maps and my laptop? Yeah, no. It leaked.

After two days of drying out (the brighter spots appear to be water still inside the screen)
Heart 1 Comment 0

On the plus side, I found a small hole about a quarter inch from the bottom so it looks like the puddle my laptop was stewing in from a slow leak through the zip could have been even deeper than it was.

Also, although it's still pretty obvious that I'm going to be taking advantage of that Accidental Spills and Drops protection that I paid for, the screen seems to be drying out. There are still all kinds of interesting patterns and bright spots from water trapped inside different layers but a night on it's side in an overheated room has made quite a positive difference.

When I finally figure out the intricacies of my socks (like a USB plug only working after its been reversed and reversed again, they were definitely inside out both the first and the second time I un-inside-outed them) and was dressed, I went downstairs to check out and found a police officer behind the front counter being perplexed by whatever it was he and the hotel owner were doing with checking over my registration from the previous night. He probably was on the verge of succeeding, but, since I was there, decided to take fresh pictures of my passport info pages just in case.

When I ate dinner last night, a certain kind of local specialty that I've found elsewhere in China but never found to be quite as good as around here just across the alley caught my eye. It was pretty good but last night's noodles were both cheaper and better.

A Lion's Head Meatball, a poached egg, some kind of pickle, and noodles in broth for 8 yuan versus the 19.5 I paid this morning for 16 dumplings and a can of Coke.
Heart 0 Comment 0

The majority of today's ride was on the G320 and about as interesting as one can ever hope for when riding a National Road. Lots of roadworks, random changes in pavement type and height, sections of closed off road, and basically no scenery to speak of.

Sometimes, it was lovely. Occasionally, it was interesting. Mostly, it was dull. 

Two lanes are about to become four
Heart 0 Comment 0
If not for the random sharp one inch drops where different layers of asphalt stop, and the weather, this could be great
Heart 0 Comment 0
Pegasus crashed
Heart 0 Comment 0

About 15km into the day, I stopped for lunch in the town of Zhujing [朱泾]. Tried to visit the Donglin Pagoda which showed up on the maps but it was enormous and crowded and, on a holiday week, definitely not going to be the kind of place I could find safe bike parking let alone bike+luggage parking. The truly frustrating thing is that there had been another, much smaller, pagoda off the side of the road that I'd caught a glimpse of but not detoured to see because I wanted to caffeinate and have something in hand to munch on while walking around. Since it wasn't in a town, it probably would have been very visitable.

From Zhujing to Fengjing [枫泾], I managed to take back roads. Kept the GPS narration on though it mostly only turned out to be necessary in the last kilometer or so when the road did all sorts of funniness including a bridge up and over the highway and a narrow traffic light controlled tunnel under a rail line.

The sun was out, the scenery was pleasant, the only really noticeable pain was my crotch getting readjusted to biking.

Heart 0 Comment 0
There were over 20 gravestones along a single short stretch of road. All but 2 of them were on the north side. This is an example of a micro-culture at it's finest.
Heart 1 Comment 0
In a few places near that stretch, the gravestones were also on the west side's of streams and canals. I'm guessing there's a fengshui related reason.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Light controlled tunnel under the railroad
Heart 0 Comment 0

An ancient town that's officially recognized as an ancient town is an absolutely terrible place to be during a national holiday. I stopped long enough to look at maps and to tilt my handlebars up as far off from flat as the cables would let them go. This helped a lot with the too low issue when I'm on the brake hoods but does nothing for the flat of the bar and introduces some weird uncomfortableness from the angle.

Crowds in Fengjing Water Town
Heart 0 Comment 0
If you look at the bottom part of the drops you can see how extremely I've tilted the bars upwards
Heart 1 Comment 2
Paul KriegHave you considered flipping the bars so the "drops" are up? I suspect cable length would be the same and the bar tape would have to be re-wrapped, but it would give you more "height". The locals might be scandalized by the reversed bars, but you would be more comfortable.
Reply to this comment
9 months ago
Marian RosenbergTo Paul KriegNo, I hadn't, but that's kind of brilliant. My brake hoods would still be on the low side of where they should be but the flats of the drops would now be the flats of the antidrops.
Reply to this comment
9 months ago

More time back on the G320 just grinding away at the miles until I got to Jiashan [嘉善] and decided that I was miserable and a break for dinner and fluid was in order. I kept trying to convince myself that I should just stop in Jiashan but I'd not even had 50km yet and, although short days are an inevitability, I like there to be a good excuse when I have one.

Was turning more or less at random when I suddenly recognized where I was and had to stop in at a bike shop that had done something for me when I was on tour two years ago. They (or at least the person who was there) had no clue who I was and all they could do for me was let me know that the amazeballs place they'd recommended I go for breakfast when they were working on my bike two years ago is now closed.

Having dug up the memory of breakfast in Jiashan, I thought maybe I'd spent the night in Jiashan but a quick search of the available resources I had with international internet not working on my phone only let me know that I'd stayed 6km north in the town of Ganyao at a place which was notable in that it had a one star ranking and an official public security bureau issued paper logbook in 2017. Of course, the photo wasn't clear enough to see the name though.

After a dinner of Muslim noodles and the first time (this trip) being mistaken for a Xinjiangren (in fairness, I was eating at a Muslim noodle restaurant), I made the decision to head the Ganyao and immediately fell in love with my dynamo powered headlight (though I think I want to replace it with one that is brighter and which has an on/off switch).

The hotel I picked for the evening turns out to be a block away from the hotel I stayed in two years ago but I didn't figure out exactly where I'd stayed until after I was checked in and naked; and, since there was ultimately nothing extra special about that place, I decided not to make a point of stopping by and saying "hi".

Today's ride: 52 km (32 miles)
Total: 208 km (129 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 4
Comment on this entry Comment 0