– ODO- 17969-18068km
– Location- Triang An
– Weather- 22-29 tailwind
For the second time on the trip I have a visitor. I’ve been mates with George since we met aroubd the Ignite accelerator program in Newcastle and since he’s been the creative force behind all the branding of all my companies and projects, from Chew then to SendMusic today and even the Ben Around the World logo on benbowler.com.
We met in Hanoi and spent just a day and a half getting ready for the road. The plan, to buy a bike for £100 or less to take him along for the next 1000km down to Da Nang. After working together there on an upcoming SendMusic project we will hop over to Halong Bay to run the marathon before parting ways as I return to power on towards Bangkok.
Our first morning together in Hanoi we sat in a Joma bakery, laptop out, and planned the route. George can drop a 35km trail run at 4 minutes per km but on a cheap city bike we wanted to take things steady to start. The route averages out at 100km per day and is mostly flat with some awesome diversions to tourists spots along the way. Including the beautiful Truang An where I sit surrounded by green cliffs and bird calls to write.
On the way to breakfast we spotted a street of bike shops and after breakfast, planning complete, we doubled back and started working our way down the road. The mountain bikes were plentiful and cheap. The road bikes well over budget. George settled on the Asama city bike. A low slung silver bike with a super sturdy rack. Then we headed to Decathlon, a company that’s simultaneous killing independent sport stores and opening up sports to the masses. After trying to ollie a skateboard, doing some pull ups on a rock climbing hang board and playing some badminton we picked up some gloves, a new pump and some surf board straps and headed for dinner. Exhausted we fell asleep without checking if the kit would work.
Before sunset we rolled out of bed, strapped George’s rucksack to the back with the straps and hit the road. The traffic wound around us and crushed in on all sides as we hit roadworks. Sooner than later we had picked our way out of the center and powered south on the smooth flat highway. The feeling of progress electric as the kilometres rolled below the brand new tires.
It took just 5 uneventful hours to rest Trueng An, a lush green tourist spot split by brown flowing lakes and pool with sheer cliffs shading from the harsh winter sun. Now it’s time for a shower and some touristing.