Last lap – first flat. Suicidal ride into Yangon

Yan shortly expressed his opinion of the road conditions and the current weather before he sped off down the mountain, when I realized there is something weird about my bike. Of course, a flat. In pouring rainy season rain. No way to fix that outside.

I pushed my bike to the next pool-hall, frustrated on missing out on the down-hill. While pushing my bike in, I smilingly played a sharade in favor of the head of the house so she knows whats going on. My tools slowly travelled to the bottom of my pannier so I unpacked on a table and made myself comfortable on the dry, stomped-earth floor.

The pinch had to be huge – there was no way I could get air into the tire. At least it would be easy to find. But… no. I circled with my hands and imitated pouring something, the international expression for

“I am sorry. I seem not to be able to find the pinch in my tire by the methods I have used so far. Therefore, could you possibly do me the favor of handing me a bowl of water, so I can use that to check? Thank you very much. That is very kind of you!”

Long before I had the water, I was sourrounded by three young men who were starting to take over. Finally the tiny pinch was discovered – right next to the valve! So, it was pitched! Great! And the rain had stopped! I praised everyone for helping me, had a picture taken and off I went.

Rain started soon – and the eerie feeling returned as well…  So, again – pushing. I stopped at a garage – in the hope of a spare tube. But they were only for motorbikes. The patch had started to leak and soon – I had three young men taking everything out of my hands. Even though their methods irritated me I let them do. Too annoyed and tired by all this.

I don’t have to mention that all this took like – forever? Even patching the tyres of a student I met on the road in China didn’t take that long. And he had like 7 holes as he was riding with the flat tire for a while – they didn’t know how to fix it and it took a while to communicate that I had the tools as well as the skills.

Yan started to wonder and later to worry so he came to look for me. Lucky, we didn’t miss each other. The road was two lanes each way, with a median strip and I had been “indoors” for a while…

Yangons traffic is heavy and chaotic. I don’t have to mention it was dark by the time we arrived? And raining? And the road conditions? It felt a bit suicidal playing a part in that on a bicycle specially since it was pretty h<rd to judge the wet road in the dark. Going the small streets wasn’t nice either due to the even poorer condition of these roads

We were so exhausted, that we limited talking to “8 more km”, “down this road, then left.” and then “It should be here.” But… it wasn’t. It? the Bike World Explores Myanmar Inn, where we planned to stay and hoped to be able store the bikes for the time of our trip to Mandalay – by bus due to lack of time.

We were tired. Exhausted. Hungry. Wet for hours. There was another address of the place on MapsMe.

About 30 minutes later, we were checked in, showered, asked for bike-storage and were waiting for pizza.

Author: Neela

Love to discover the world, love to cycle and love to do my own thing - so here I am, writing how I do all this three things at once when cycling around the world, or so far, mostly Asia.

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