Ben Around the World Diary – Day 170 – 11th February 2020

Ben Around the World Diary – Day 170 – 11th February 2020

– 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.


Hi, my names Ben and I’m traveling around the world with my bike, my paraglider and my laptop. Along the way I’m sharing the highs and lows of the life on the road. And my picks of the best places to bikepack, enjoy freeflight and work as a digital nomad. Each week I share a new video update, city guide or live streams with other adventurers I’ve met along the way.
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