D21: 鹿寨→四排 - China Blues - CycleBlaze

September 12, 2020

D21: 鹿寨→四排

Out in the "real world" I'm a night owl. In the "I'm on Tour" world, however, depending on how much stuff I'm doing with electricity in the evening, my days tend to start a lot earlier. On the 2012 Tour, for example, I was frequently asleep by 9pm. On the 2018 Tour, even though I couldn't do anything because it was too damn cold, I kept waking up at 6am. As my more recent tours have turned to heavily mixing the ability to work from the road with active journal updates, that whole "waking up in the morning" thing that I'm not a huge fan of anyways has moved back to a more reasonable hour. 

The special circumstances of this year's tour (not only the previously mentioned ones but also how much additional rest I need because I got very fat and slow during lockdown and post-lockdown and I'm extra tired and I hurt more) also help lead to late mornings.

I was out of the room and over to the Post Office to pick up my coffee before noon, that much I know because I was at the bike shop making coffee and complaining about the previous night's police at noon. Their particular excuse for why I ought to go somewhere else is one of the ones that absolutely enrages me and which ought to enrage anyone: "For my safety and security." Because I'm a foreigner. And they say this without the slightest recognition or acknowledgement that they are not only saying they care about me, but that they are also saying they don't care about their own people. 

(Other than not being shiny and new, there was nothing wrong with the hotel I picked. Back in the 90s, when the old train station was the only train station, it would have been the first "Nice Hotel" after leaving the station.)

Lunch at the canteen next door to the bike shop and on the road by 1pm. The whole of today will be spent on the national road which means that I get better grading of hills and banking of curves but I also get actual traffic and trucks and dust. I'm not exactly what you'd call "thrilled" by any of this but it's the route I intentionally picked so I can't really complain too much. And, especially given my interest in old things, there is actually some interesting stuff to see on the main roads that have been important for a good long while as economic development tends to come in waves and things which were bad enough to be considered worth replacing 20 years ago might not yet be bad enough to be worth replacing now.

Other than a farmhouse turned storeroom with a Mao badge over the door, however, there really isn't much of anything interesting during today's ride. I take a video for TikTok of me getting excited over a Family Planning Mosaic that I identify as early 2000s (and what some of my respondents identify as potentially being as early as 1995) because I honestly am finding it all kinds of fun to be given the chance to exercise the mental muscles that try to identify dates and themes and Deeper Meanings in public art. This, in turn, led to a local fan realizing that he knew where that mosaic was and that if I'd posted that an hour ago, he probably knew where I was, so he went and got a big bottle of spring water (liter and a half) and got on a motorcycle with a friend, and found me, and delivered the bottle of water.

This is the first time that someone has specifically sought me out and found me on the basis of what I've posted. Coming after probably close to a hundred people have warned me not to give out too much information about where I'll be "because someone bad might take the opportunity to try to rob you" I'm glad that this was how it went and I'm hopeful that any future incidences of people coming looking for me will go as smoothly.

Dinner in Sipai was theoretically going to be followed by continuing to bike the last 10 kilometers to Toupai but even with lights I didn't like the traffic level of the road and there was a single hotel in Sipai that was happy to let me stay without any kind of hassle so I did just that.

Today's ride: 52 km (32 miles)
Total: 1,042 km (647 miles)

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