Today has gone extraordinarily well. I woke up at 6am and was farewelling my host family at 7am. On my way out of Sultanpur, I stopped to buy some bread and some bananas. The bread (six small rolls) cost me 12r (AU$0.25) and I got six bananas for free, thanks to the generosity of a cart owner. Then all I had to do was ride 140+km to reach Lucknow. During my first 10km I kept an eye out for a place to eat breakfast, but after failing to come across any good options, I began to feel ill from a lack of food, so I stopped to eat three bananas and bread rolls. This kept me going for a surprisingly fast 40km, after which I stopped for a couple of samosas.

My next rest came at 70km (about halfway into the day) when a guy on a scooter invited me to his shop, which was an internet/word-processing/money-transfer business that he started after completing university in Lucknow. I finished my bread and bananas while we chatted; then he took me out for a couple of samosas and tea. Riding on, I stopped after another 35km at a fruit stand, where I bought 4 bananas, 3 apples, 3 oranges and a bunch of grapes for 110r (AU$2.15). I ate an apple, orange and half the grapes at the roadside, then got back on the bike for the final push to town.

At the 125km mark I got chatting to a guy on a motorbike. His name is Sharad and we got on really well. We rode and chatted side by side for ages. Eventually, he invited me to stay at his place. I followed him for about 15km around the edge of Lucknow, past a new stadium being built and into a nice neighbourhood on the outskirts of the city. We stopped in at his family’s house, where I met his mother and sister; then we rode the 1km to his home, which he shares with his cousin. We continued to chat and I really enjoyed listening to his perspective on life. He has a great outlook and based on his stories it sounds like he has had a great teacher in his father. He is 28 years old and works as a mathematics teacher (just like my dad). His parents have arranged a marriage for him, which will take place in March. He doesn’t know the girl he is marrying but has faith in his parents’ choice.

My host Sharad and his cousin

Accommodation Home of a friendly local
Distance ridden today 142.84km
Average cycling speed 18.4kph
Total distance ridden 17,265km