On This Day 20th-October-2012

This week’s on this day post comes from the 20th-October-2012. And I’m on my world tour in China. I’d had a long day the day before and couldn’t find any accommodation, so I had to take shelter in a storm drain.

Saturday 20th October 2012 –  From a storm drain on some mountain to Hami. 110 miles.

What a cold, bleak night I had last night. I only just about managed to stay warm enough. The wind was howling through the storm drain. I was glad when the sun started to come up, along with the wind dropping. I didn’t hang around. I quickly had some noodles, packed up and got back on the road. So I could continue cycling up the mountain.

After about half a mile of cycling, I came across a nasty accident. An articulated lorry was at the side of the road, with the top half of its cab completely obliterated. Looking at the carnage, I assumed the truck had gone into the back of a car transporter. Their top deck extends out a long way past the bottom. For the past few days, I’ve thought driving into the back of one wouldn’t be good. And here was the proof: nothing was left of the lorry’s top half. And sadly, I would have been amazed if the driver had survived. I heard the accident happen last night just as I climbed into the storm drain, although I never gave it too much thought then.

As I cycled past, I glanced at the accident but didn’t want to look too closely. Just in case there was a decapitated body in there! But thankfully, there wasn’t. Later on in the day, I saw the truck on the back of a tow truck.

Things Get Scary

As I climbed higher up this mountain, the temperature dropped, and it got extremely cold. And even with all my layers on, I wasn’t exactly boiling. It had been snowing, which had half melted but then frozen. The road was now just a sheet of ice! There were loads of minor accidents all around me. It was scary stuff, what with trying to stay upright and simultaneously making sure that there wasn’t a lorry about to skid into me. It took me nearly five hours to cycle 20 miles.

Road trucks ice
The frozen road

I was feeling pretty tired by the end of the day. The last 40 kilometres seemed to take forever. I eventually found a hotel and finished at about eight o’clock, another long, tiring day.

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