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Racing Bikes in Tibet: Day 5

Posted on May 09 2016

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Race day finally came. We started the day off with our usual congee, preserved vegetables, peanuts and boiled eggs. Larry and Jacob were kind enough to bring the coffee supply for the trip, so at least we could get our caffeine fix in before the race. By this time, we had all gotten a bit tired of the breakfast offerings and were zombie crushing carbs for the hours ahead. Expressionless faces stuffing steam buns and bland congee into our mouths. There are only so many different ways to liven up, essentially, boiled rice. We went through pre-race inspections and mounted the tags on our bikes. After an impromptu session of “Eye of The Tiger”, led out by RatRadRob (pictured below) we got into our randomly assigned starting positions and the race began with the fire of the gun.

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The course led us 4km up a paved hill with a bit of dirt for the last bit along the lake. The 9km’s after that were single track with only a few passing points. There were often points of congestion and this part of the race definitely became the focal point of a lot of people’s frustrations for the day. A rider ahead of you has to acknowledge and give you permission to pass. This led to many pile ups on the uphill sections and if you were faster on descents, then you often had to waste momentum and feather the brakes, so as to not crash into the person ahead. The final 20km were on open dirt road, quite muddy and rocky from the previous days of rain. The race ended in the the next local town from Basongtso and was a slight uphill section. It was definitely a sloppy day, but we all finished in high spirits.

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Our friend David, of 17Teeth (race shots done also by David), had organized a home cooked meal at the house he was staying at. So we quickly jumped on the opportunity to try some local home cooked dishes. Needless to say, the food was amazing. We ended the meal on a sweet note with some sugary yak butter tea and started our post meal stroll back into the main part of town. 

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The lookout point in town had been refinished in the past year, so we got up to a gazebo type structure and watched the sunset. We actually couldn’t see the sun going past the mountains, but at the very end there were orange hues reflected on the snow capped mountains ahead. 

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The next day would cover double the distance we had gone today, so we got some ice cream and headed off to bed.

Check out the Instagram tag #tibetandchill for more photos of the trip.

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