– ODO- 21460-21615km
– Location- Padang Besar, Malaysia
– Weather- 22-31 strong showers across the day
My final day in Thailand was a disaster. I started early but with zero energy after a night of deep yet interrupted sleep. The big expanses of palms died off as the sun set so all I was left with was a small copse of trees just passed a set of lights. That lead to hours of diesel trucks screaming passed at high rpm getting back up to highway speeds.
The sky was as moody as I was. Dark but not stormy. Bands of black stratus hung across every passing ridge line, dumping short bursts of rain lasting just minutes. The quality of the rain was like a bucket dropped from a stepladder. By the time I’d stopped and put on my jacket I was soaked and by the time I was zipped up and had my bags closed the worst had passed.
Over the last few days I’d settled into a comfortable pace of 130/140km. With lots of places to camp I wasn’t stressed out if I didn’t reach my goal. My first flaw was to set an unrealistic deadline. I decided not only to ride 150km, but to cross and international border too. I picked a home stay in Padang Besar and set to riding.
Sometimes when I’m driving a car I’m suddenly overwhelmed by a felling that I must have a flat tyre despite any evidence apart from road noise that I have. Late in the morning I got that feeling on the bike. But soon I got the telltale wallowing feeling, my first puncture since I changed my tires 4000km ago in Laos. Along the day I got puncture after puncture. Because I was in a hurry I got stuck into the cycle, get a puncture, fix it quickly to get back on the road, bad repair fails because vulcaniser isn’t dry.
In the end I rode across the border an hour after dark. Luckily they barely looked at my passport on both sides. My final puncture came just 400m from the hotel and in despair I pushed the bike the remaining distance in pitch dark. It turned out that rather than wire from a truck causing the puncture it was wire from the tube itself. As I sat and ate noodles in my hotel I adhered a patch to the inside of the tyre and fixed up both my tubes. Tomorrow Malaysia awaits.