D45: 雷山→凯莉 - China Blues - CycleBlaze

October 13, 2020

D45: 雷山→凯莉

In theory, today is a flat day. This theory requires an understanding of flatness that is brought about from roads which do not run north to south or east to west but which run up to down. Ultimately, the actual elevation gained over the course of the whole day is in the realm of 100 or 150 meters. However, the cumulative elevation gain—even accounting for a few places with some very obvious GPS dither—is very close to 2,000 meters. 

Today's road is National Road the whole way and, separate from the whole issue where they are currently resurfacing it, ought to either be a lot wider and flatter or ought to have a lot less vehicles on it. I say this because there's an abandoned (for the past two or three years now according to the local bike shop) construction project that's already done most of the heavy lifting in terms of hill cuts and bridge building and which is just waiting for the road to be built.

Had this construction project been finished, I likely wouldn't even be riding on the old road (which would be intact enough and would still go through enough places that it would still exist as a Provincial or a County Route) but would be on the amazing purpose built for bicycles Greenway. Except that they didn't finish that either.

The really expensive part where they put bridge pylons in the river at about 8 meters above the high water mark for something like 35 kilometers, that's done. And about 75% of the decking is in place too. But the parts where the Greenway isn't on a viaduct, those parts haven't even started construction. And there's no road surface (not even the piddling level of 'road' needed for a Greenway) on most of the decking. And sometimes the decking isn't there.

Nothing more frustrating than slowly creeping my way up a 12% grade and feeling the hill in my arms as much as I am in my legs (cause, of course, I'm walking) only to pop over the ridge and see, far down below me, that unfinished Greenway mocking me with its perfect flatness.

The amount of traffic that's been siphoned off this route by the expressway that parallels it some 5km to the east in combination with the traffic that wisely decided not to go this way because of road resurfacing means that many of the restaurants that look like they actually were open just last week or last month are not at all open today. Luckily, I've still got hard boiled duck eggs left to me. I've started tossing the ones that smell anything less than "this makes me feel hungry" but even so, I've got a lot of duck eggs.

That having been said, when I get into Kaili proper and start dealing with the same kind of steep hills only now with traffic, I've hit that point in being worn out and hungry where I pass multiple clearly open for business places because they don't "look right" and then continue bitching to myself about being worn out and hungry.

An ice cream helps with this though I still haven't stopped for dinner by the time I find the bike shop and then I feel a bit guilty for how hungry I am when they invite me to join them for dinner.

Once I've found the bike shop (and not the places which sell bicycle shaped objects which have opened up next door to them to capitalize on customers who aren't paying attention or aren't actually as in need of something good) the Merida in Kaili is as good of a bike shop as I remember them being in 2012 when the owner decided to check if my headset had enough grease inside it and ended up replacing some of the ball bearings at the same time.

Today's ride: 49 km (30 miles)
Total: 2,282 km (1,417 miles)

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