Arrived! My cycling computer tells me I have travelled 212km in 7.5 hours of cycling.
The last 70km were challenging, for a few reasons:
* I was riding on my own, on unfamiliar roads, as I had outpaced my group and was also a bit embarrassed by the awful screaming sound my bike was making.
* I couldn't find the second last checkpoint so spent at least 20 minutes riding in circles in Si Khoraphum village while looking for it.
* I was tired, as this was the longest ride I have ever undertaken, and my body was therefore operating in unfamiliar conditions.
* About 20km from the finish I was stuck by a motorcycle that came barrelling out of trees at the side of the road, and the driver was clearly not bothering to see if he had a clear ride...I was knocked off, hitting the blacktop quite hard with my right shoulder, and head [fortunately well protected by the helmet I was wearing]...my left knee took a direct hit and was painful...my right shoulder joint was separated, and extremely painful...my bike was bent up a bit but still, barely, ridable.
I completed the ride...even finished in the first 10% of participants...but was not in great shape. The last picture in this post might reveal to you that I was in a lot of pain at the finish, so struggled to give the photographer a dazzling smile.
Nevertheless...after 24 hours of recuperation, I was able to tell people that the ride was fun, and I would definitely be doing more Audax rides. [In fact, I am nearly at the point of registering for a 300km ride in February 2018]. The ride was well organised...the participants were sociable and good fun. I felt challenged and, ultimately, satisfied with my performance.
Let's see if I can get off this thing without falling over...
Get my Passport stamped for the last time...
Summons my best cheesy grin for the nice photographer...
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