2 February 2012
49, 42, 42, 44, 43. These are the rolling times in minutes of all of today's 20 kilometre blocks. This is what happens when the wind is on your side and the surface is golden.
In Siem Reap, I got my front rim drilled so that it can fit my Schrader valve tubes, and put a new tube on it. At 82km, this tube flatted. The recurring problem I'm having is that my tubes don't properly fit my tyres. The tubes I left Kunming with were on the narrow side, so they were straining until failure. These new tubes, although supposedly the exact size I need, are a bit on the large side. When they go into the tyre, they concertina. It's on the folds that they fail.
When I put tubes in at the shop in Phnom Penh, at the shop in Siem Reap and outside Ta Phrom at Angkor, I didn't have access to powder. A little shopping trip last night, and I scored a dollar's worth of talcum powder (with added titanium dioxide - it's sunblocking!) This will hopefully help the tube slip as it inflates, meaning no concertina effect. I do know that if I keep getting flats at this rate, I'll run out of patches. Next decent bike shop is probably in Bangkok, several days ride away.
Other than the flat, today's ride is flat (umm, I'm not trying to be punny) and uneventful. The road's probably the best I've seen in Cambodia, and I just ride it out, with some helpful wind assistance.
The surrounding farmland stretches to the horizon, skinny cows browse to nibble tatty dry vegetation, and pretty much everyone is on transport, just passing through.
111km, 26.1km/h, 4hr14min, 5279km