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September 6th 2016
Published: September 6th 2016
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LAKE CAMP to SEMNAN 3 September, 2016. Stage 90
75 Kms SubT. Kms 1780kms. Road Condition: Good Weather: All seasons. brutal head and cross winds remainder of day, BLUE SKY HOT 33 max. Time in Saddle: Av Speed: av. kph. Av Cadence. RpmElevation: 1650m up; m downCalories burned : > 5500.

Last night the winds blew hard. All night the tent flapped despite everything being zipped. Then it rained. On the sharp rocky desert floors where we are camping my tent has developed a small hole, fingernail size. It let in the water despite sitting on a ground sheet. My bedroll then became wet. A joy. Woke with a bad headache!

Departed at 6.00, arrived at lunch at 11.30, totally depleted. So stopped and rode the truck from lunch to a hotel, surprise surprise. Wasn't hungry last night or this morning. My downfall I suspect. Brutal headwinds all morning. When I stopped I had climbed over 1000m, with head wind all the way. However I was the only one that stopped. TOUGH group!

The scenery was appealing. High mountains, valleys, very scenic. In the truck the comment was that it was one of the more scenic days on the tour.

After lunch it stormed and hailed with 5 riders caught in it. Tough people kept on going! Another 600 metres of climbing, with slightly moderated winds. I am pleased with my decision.
The shower was great, after two hot sweaty days.

SEMNAN to RIVERSIDE CAMP 4 September, 2016. Stage 91
93 Kms SubT. Kms 1780kms. Road Condition: Good Weather: head and cross winds. BLUE SKY HOT 33 max. Time in Saddle: Av Speed: av. kph. Av Cadence. RpmElevation: 1950 m up; m 1750 m downCalories burned : > 5000

The road was supposedly more scenic today, however looked to me much like other days, high mountain ranges, scrubby thorn bushes, no real trees. Typical desert scenery. I have now seen enough. The living conditions look harsh and I have been wondering whether that contributes to the harsher elements of Islam. The people are weathered, tough, and look dried out. This area in winter is equally harsh with cold and snow, hard to believe at the moment. 5 riders leave in Tehran, 2 are 19 year old males from England, returning to London to start Uni courses. Both remarkably mature and characters. They have ridden from Beijing, raising £20,000 for a school in Ghana, Africa. Another 2 are the largest owners of hotel rooms in Banff, 1500 rooms!!

The camp spot is treed and on the banks of a fast flowing stream. The remainder is dirt,stone and dust! Had to change a flat tyre today, which was distressing as I haven't had a flat tyre on the last 2 rides. Have determined that the Gold Coast is still one of the best places I have seen.

RIVERSIDE CAMP to TEHRAN. 5 September, 2016. Stage 92.
67 Kms SubT. Kms 1847 kms . Road Condition: Good Weather: BLUE SKY HOT 34 max. Time in Saddle: 2:58:13 Av Speed: av. 22.5 kph. Av Cadence. 75 RpmElevation: 1100 m up; m downCalories burned : > 5000

Today we entered Tehran. We all rode to lunch and were then bused into the city. Just as well as the ride looked perilous. Tehran is situated in the desert, surrounded on all sides by dusty, rocky, mountainous terrain. Scenery inhospitable. The city has supposedly 15 million residents, mainly housed in hundreds of tall, seemingly half finished towers which start about 40 kms from the centre. They look like hell on earth as one rider described. Not a blade of grass to be seen.

The hotel is centrally located. We know we are in the city as prices for goods are much higher than we have been paying. Laundry in the hotel was to cost USD 70-, so I found a dry cleaner nearby who will wash for USD 35-, probably more than what it is worth. Mind you the thought of washing it myself after 5 days was off putting, so probably worth the spend. Found a pleasant park where all ages and sexes were playing backgammon, drafts and chess, a very communal feeling, makes me wonder why we don't do this in Oz.

People seem friendly and obliging. Not found a lot of english spoken but still get by. Certainly not the 'axis of evil' trumpeted by the Americans. In fact the fellow in the dry cleaners was a cyclist who last year cycled across Europe and the USA on a mission of peace and goodwill from the Iranian people, he showed me his video clip taken by CNN.

We are here for two rest days.

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