Cycling Vietnam: Day One

Caitlin Adventure, Asia, Cycle Vietnam, Cycling, Exploration, Places, Vietnam 2 Comments

Well, it’s begun.

I woke up around 6am this morning, and (finally) ventured out of the city on my bike!

I’m now blogging (also known as wasting time watching movies) away the hours in Hải Dương, the halfway(ish) point between Hanoi and Halong Bay, where I’m venturing off to tomorrow.

Which means – I MADE IT!

My first day of cycling Vietnam is complete!!

Things were a bit touch-and-go for a while there. Here’s some of the stuff that happened:

  • I didn’t receive my bike shorts or bike computer before leaving Australia, and had to wait three weeks to finally get them in Vietnam.
  • When I finally discovered my parcel had been sitting at the Hanoi post facility for nearly two weeks, I spent hours finding the place and then suffered through a 440k VND tax (a win though: I got it down from 1.7m VND).
  • After a week in Sapa, I went to ride my bike only to find it wouldn’t move as someone had decided to take it for a spin and managed to lower the rack onto the wheel (another win: the bike shop didn’t charge me for the repairs).
  • Then there was that time a bus nearly hit me as I rode my bike around the Old Quarter…
  • And that other time where a different bus tried to break my hand with a premature closing of the doors… With my hand stuck in the middle!

Needless to say, I’ve been feeling like Vietnam is quietly trying to tell me this whole cycling thing is a bad idea. And so, making it through today feels like a big achievement!

So here’s what I go up to on Day One:

Distance: 61.83km
Riding Time: 3 hours, 41 minutes
Average Speed: 16.74 km/h
Average Temperature: 28.8°C

Day One Elevation Profile

Riding out of Hanoi was it’s usual terrifying business, although less so as I was on the road before 7am and the traffic hadn’t picked up too much at that point. It was a simple ride out, as I headed across Cầu Long Biên (Long Biên Bridge) and then on to Nguyễn Văn Linh Highway which took me all the way into Hải Dương (my destination).

The road was well maintained. The trucks and cars moving past terrifying. The heat (reaching 37 degrees by my arrival) exhausting – thank goodness the whole road was relatively flat!

Tomorrow I’m heading on to Cat Ba Island where I plan to stick around for a few days… I’ll need it to recover from the sunburn…

Read about the full journey of cycling Vietnam here.

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