Day 9 – Sunday – Croatian TT – I’m back

Start 07:00am End 7:30pm – 13hrs ride time including breaks
290k ridden
1000m climbing – Croatia is flat

day 9

So I had a few stern words with the brain over night – and I’m still going. I start at 7am with a breakfast bag from the hotel, and finished at 8:00pm for 290k – a lot better.

The day started off with the left sore knee as usual but by 60 mins in, all was good. It felt a bit battered by the end of each day, swelled a bit overnight but overall it was just coping
The sore right achillies was actually settling down.
My love handles were going down, and I was hollowing out

The days were starting to become routine…. Eat as much breakfast as possible, find the first lidl (or equivalent up the road), buy chocolate milk or orange juice, water, pastries. Ride till lunch. Find a McDonnalds,(2 big macs, 2 LG cokes, chips, mcflurry or chocolate milkshake) or nicer, (steak dinner) or a lidl and make ham and cheese rolls, plus lots to drink and more pastries
Ride until 4, then stop for more liquid, more pastries etc. Top up with haribo and bananas where needed.

At about 4-6 think of the nights accommodation – Hotel or bivvy. Book hotel if possible (with 24 hr desk so I can roll in late)

I have to make sure I eat at night…at the hotel, or 2 pizzas at about 7-8, eat 1 and let the other cool, fold it and bag it and eat it when I stop

So today was like every other day of my life (at the moment)….
Except I fell off today after the first feed. I was busy pissing about with the garmin… I looked up just as my front wheel hit the kerb of a lane divider, (for a garage slip road) I was not hammering it, but it was still a shock. Grazed right leg, sore right shoulder and cut left arm. Washed and plastered now though.

Once I was up, I thought great, now my wheel is fucked – I am out the race. Yay!!
Unfortunately everything was fine..The front wheel must be super tough 😦
So I dusted myself off and kept going, some what sheepishly

Then in the afternoon I swallowed something yellow and black. We fought, I spat it out but not before it stung my bottom lip. This then spent the next 2 hrs swelling up   It hurt, a lot, I got a little concerned but eventually it went down. It just hurts/tingles by the time I get to the hotel

In Croatia, I spent 80k going though the same 1 house deep village, just with new names…) Families are playing being the super European couple, with the vw golf, 2 happy smiling kids, barbie furniture in the garden, and opposite is a line of derelict shot up houses.. Its very sad and depressing

Finally I spent the last hr looking at the weather behind me. (in fact I rode off the road while on the tri bars while looking but somehow stayed upright and back on the road). At about 20k out, I passed by my friendly Belgian who was on his way back out from cp3, with 4 others at some point.  I race a local on a mountain bike – he leaves me for dead as I push hard into Vukovar,  I get stopped by police riding down a one way road (my garmin said its OK) – I said sorry – they waved me on.   As I hit the hotel Lav, the thunder starts, rain comes down and the wind really kicks in. I decided not to push on

Tonight is a nice night to be in the hotel Lav.

2 chicken dinners, ice cream and a beer or 2 with a whole bunch of tcr riders
To the room to sort kit out, wash my shirt, shorts and socks, shower, apply barrier cream to the saddle sores, then start typing this crap and it’s 11:30
Up for a 6am breakfast, 7am start
So.That’s my life.. 260k and I can’t up it

It felt a good day, but unless I carried on going for another 3-4 hrs there is no way I can hit 300-330k I needed to do to get to Istanbul for the party. No problem though, I have resigned myself to being a day or two late, but so what

I was having so much fun

By now, I am riding at a sustainable pace.  The hours tick by all by themselves.  I mark time by food stops.  I can generally keep going as long as I need.  The ride becomes more about logistics, when to start, where to eat (I generally fail at this on the road), when to stop etc

I borrow a laptop from the tcr team, and redownload my routes into my reset garmin.  Back to one and a spare

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