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Life-span of at least 10,000 kilometers


12 days after the crack in shaft, a brand-new, heavy-duty Weber drawbar reached us. Happily, I picked up the packet at the reception counter and opened it right away. “Awesome!”, I exclaimed, lifting the massive-looking part and holding it up in the air, like a trophy. From our room on fifth floor, I hurried downstairs, where our bikes were kept on the ground floor, to install it into Tanja’s trailer. “It fits perfectly”, I rejoiced, as Tanja came to me and asked if everything was okay. “We can get moving again tomorrow”, she cheered.

With a new drawbar installed and being in top physical condition, we let our bikes glide downward from the height of more than 1.5 kilometers. We’d earned quite a lot of elevation gain on our climb to Da Lat, and now we can cheerfully spend each meter of it through the long descent, in perfect weather. “Don’t ride so fast!”, Tanja warns me oh-so-often. “Of course!”, I shout back. It’s a fantastic feeling to be sitting on our robust bicycles and to observe the heavenly landscape without a hint of worry throughout the ride into the valley. Every now and then, I must apply brakes on account of stray water-buffaloes trotting down the middle of the road. Everything else is going smoothly. Owing to the unplanned stay of one-and-a-half weeks in Da Lat, not too many unforeseen things should take place during the next 700 kilometers. However, we still have three whole weeks to reach the border of Cambodia. ‘Everything’s okay’, the soothing thought passes through my mind, as I perceive a little squiggle on the rear wheel. ‘Must be because of the uneven surface of the road’, I think and let my bike roll on. But the vague feeling only goes on to grow stronger during the next few meters. I apply brakes and come to a standstill. One glance at the rear wheel, and I discover a flat tyre. “What’s wrong?”, asks Tanja, as she comes to halt behind me. “Flat tyre”, I answer dryly. “Oh no!” “Well, what the hell! That tyre has been on the wheel since the Mongolian border. It must’ve been approx. 10,000 kilometers. I would never have thought that these things would last so long.” “Its tread still looks good. Do you want to replace it?”, asks Tanja. “I thinks so. We still have 6 brand-new spare tyres, and we have 4000 kilometers to go until the end of this journey. It doesn’t make sense to carry on with the same tyre”, I answer, while we unload our luggage. After 20 minutes, I find the ‘prick’. Once again, it’s a piece of carcass-wire of a truck tyre. The same, evil things that had turned out to be a major headache for us in Mongolia more than a year ago. The same, evil things that had forced us into installing a different kind of tyres, which were better suited to such roads.

After an hour, the tyre has been replaced. A new tube has been filled with Doc Blue (tyre sealant), inserted into the tyre, and inflated. And the bike has been loaded again. We reach the flatlands. All of a sudden, it’s boiling hot. The pleasant temperatures of Da Lat are history now. We pass by green coffee plantaions. After 112 kilometers on the day, we reach a small, simple motel on the outskirts of the city of Bảo Lộc, at which a double room costs 2,00,000 Dongs (8,18 Euros)…

The live reporting has been facilitated by the firms Gesat Ltd. (www.gesat.com) and Roda Computer Ltd. (http://roda-computer.com/). The satellite phone ‘Explorer 300’ of Gesat and the rugged notebook ‘Pegasus RP9’ of Roda are the pillars supporting the transmission.


Day: 618


Lâm Đồng

Bảo Lộc

Latitude N:

Longitude E:

Daily kilometer:
112 km

Total kilometer:
22.599 km

The crow kilometer:
80 km

Average speed:
24.4 km

Maximum speed:
51.9 km/h

Driving time:
4:34 h.

Ground quality:

Maximum height:
1.500 m

Complete height meter since tour start:
68.335 m

Height meter of the day:
806 m

05:59 a.m.

17:59 p.m.

Temperature Tag max:

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