A tough 119 km today. I was on the bike at first light, about 6:15 am. I cycled south through the Nan Basin under a low overcast that turned to fog as the morning aged. Brown, harvested rice paddies loomed through the mist. A smooth road coupled with the flat basin enabled a fast get away.
At the South end of the basin I turned right towards Phrae and the ride took a turn for the unpleasant. Apparently this was the year to make the entire route through the mountains between Nan and Phrae into a four lane road. Next year this will be a fun, smooth ride. Uneven, rough pavement, bulldozers and graders, flag men, and dust, oh the dust! made me want to forget this crossing. On the plus side, the climb was only a couple of hundred meters vertical, and given my early start, I was at the pass, and half way to Phrae by 10:00 am. After another hour or so of winding through the hills with more construction detours, I arrived in the Phrae Basin and had a very smooth and fast run into the town of Phrae, a bustling provincial capital. I was checked into my hotel by early afternoon.
I did have one troubling mechanical problem today….unfortunately my bicycle is just fine, but my left knee isn’t so fine. Strangely enough, it started yesterday afternoon after lying about resting all day. It was sore for about half the ride today, but by the end of the ride it was feeling sort of ok. I’m icing the hell out of it and hopefully it won’t slow me down. Just two more days!
Tomorrow may be the toughest day yet. In order to get to my next stop, Lampang, another provincial capital, I have to climb over two passes, and cycle between 104 and 113 km, depending on the route I choose. I hope I choose the one free of construction. Talk to you tomorrow from Lampang.