It was still raining when we woke up and we both knew that sooner or later we would have to get up and put on yesterday’s wet clothes. I made coffee and porridge and we slowly packed up, hoping the rain might stop. It did eventually and we were able to pack up in dryish conditions although not for long. By the time we were ready to leave, the rain clouds were poised, ready for action.
Before we left Chris took it upon himself to check my brake pads, dunno why, but we both saw that they were very worn and needed replacing, we agreed to do it that night rather than stop now to do it.
So we set off and knew that we had a climb ahead of us, about 7km, the top of the hill was covered in low cloud and mist. As we cycled, two herdsmen came passed us with a group of horses, they came over to see us and we stopped briefly to chat. They were friendly and clearly thought we were mad. They rode up the hill keeping the horses in line as they went and we followed, more slowly on our bikes. We finally reached the top an hour later and had a short rest.
It was raining more heavily and we both had on waterproofs. As we came down the hill we realised that there was another big one to go up in the distance. The mist and rain was hiding most of the landscape and had we been able to see, we would have realised that what lay before us was simply rows and rows of mountains, with hills to go up and down!
We continued and were pretty pleased with ourselves, after the last few days of rubbish slow cycling on our part, we were doing well today despite the rain and hills (or maybe because of them?). We climbed one last huge hill and came down the other side looking to camp. We hadn’t seen anywhere to get water, so we filled up from a small pool of water near the road.
Finally as the low sun peeked out from behind the clouds, we pulled off to camp in a grassy, lush spot, full of colourful grasshoppers. It was quite a nice evening now that the rain had stopped and it was nice to see the sun once again. Both damp, and with lots of soggy wet kit to get dry, we set about hanging everything to dry on our bikes.
Chris was going to give the bikes a once over and change my brake pads, while I cooked dinner. As I sat down I heard ‘oh f*#%!’ and I went over to see what was wrong. While cleaning his back wheel, Chris had discovered that the rim had a huge split in it. He’d been whizzing down those hills at speed today, he could have easily come off if it had given way. Thank goodness he’d found it now.
Unfortunately it meant we couldn’t ride on, Chris tried to see if he could swap the extra wheel for the back wheel, but they are too different to be interchanged, so that plan was abandoned. Looks like we will have to get a ride to Kharkhorin or Tsetserleg and try to buy a new rim there. Shame as we just got our mojo back today and were keen to keep going.