I have just ridden further in last two days than I have ever done so in any other two days of my life. I reached a grand total of 316km. Astonishingly, I didn’t make this distance because the riding was particularly easy – today I battled both long climbs and a strong afternoon headwind – but because I pushed my body right to the edge. Somehow I rode faster today than I did yesterday, averaging 21.3kph across 7.25 hours of pedalling. I am well and truly in need of at least one day off now. My Achilles is near breaking point – it is super swollen and I can feel its fibres grinding against each other. My right knee is also strained, with the surface of the knee cap hurting. My leg muscles feel bruised, but that is only a minor concern.

The riding got exciting after about 68km, when I commenced a 22km downhill that wound past forest in a beautiful state of decay, with a thousand different colours between yellow and red on display. Despite enjoying such a downhill run, a strong wind meant that I had to pedal to maintain speed, so it didn’t really provide a rest. It was from here on that I faced an unceasing headwind that had me wondering if something was wrong with my bike. I just didn’t feel like I was going as fast as my energy output should have allowed. This is because I wasn’t, I was simply being pushed back. Still, I gritted my teeth and pushed on. My steepest climbs were waiting for me when I arrived in the centre of Bursa, a very hilly city. I used the last of my energy checking out the price of four different hotels. Between Eskesehir and here, the price of hotels has doubled. I chose the one I felt most comfortable with, checked in and had a soothing shower. I ended up walking further than I would have liked to find dinner, mostly because of indecision about what I wanted. I ate at two places, enjoying two massive meals that have left me feeling pleasantly fat. I will be returning to the second place for more meals over the next day or two. I have tentatively reserved my room for three nights.

Bursa

Accommodation $ Hotel
Distance ridden today 154.74km
Average cycling speed 21.3kph
Total distance ridden 26,309km