Today’s distance / ???????: 75.3 miles / 121km
Average speed / ????: 9.5mph / 15.4km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 7h 53m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 5834mi plus 377mi (?) / 9390km plus 606km (?)
Ascent / ??: 380m
Descent / ??: 605m
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N36° 02′ 15.30″, E103° 50′ 58.60″
The longest distance for one day to date for me – a cool 121km. It was hard earned too; almost eight hours on the board!
As a result, there were alarmingly few photos taken today. The first five hours were skated in a groggy, tired daze, despite the good sleep last night, and the last three hours were skated through air that could be likened to the atmospheric equivalent of treacle.
My mum emailed me recently and informed me that according to New Zealand media reports, Olympic athletes are experiencing issues with the smog in Beijing. I am 2,000km away from Beijing, and it is still the worst pollution I have seen so far in China. Beijing must be horrid at the moment.
It was mostly downhill and smooth roads today, with a slight headwind. I pushed on and on, and found myself on the outskirts of Lanzhou before I had a chance to stop for the night. The original plan was to split the Minhe to Lanzhou leg into two days.
Marija Kozin had warned me that this stretch from Xining to Lanzhou would be a mess of industry. It wasn’t as bad as I had envisioned, but the pollution was terrible. Over the last few days I have developed a persistent cough, so I will be getting something to wear over my mouth for the onward 2,000km to Shanghai.
The trailer, despite the large crack in the base, survived all the way to central Lanzhou, in part helped by massive smooth cycle lanes leading into the city.
I pushed on to an inn I had stayed at a few weeks ago on my way to Hong Kong, near the train station. I had been impressed by the friendly couple running the inn, and it was new and clean, and did not smell of cigarette ash. The older places can reek of it…over the years the smoke seeps into the walls themselves…
My feet at the end of the day bore testiment to the dark dusty route today.