195km, 12:35 hours, 500 alt gain, headwind
Today was not one of those crazy madcap adventure days filled with calamity and daring – it was just a good old fashioned grind into a headwind in the heat on straight roads for hours on end. It is what it is, and I tried to make the best of it but a late start of 8:30, plenty ‘touring stops’, and the road and wind conditions resulted in a disappointing mileage for the day of just below 200km. This adds pressure on the CP 3 cut off but I am not going to let that stress me now. Just keep managing my body and keeping up spirits and when needed can go long.
Belgrade was beautiful when leaving this morning and really enjoyed using the extensive cycle lanes to get out of town. Then the hard slog into winds and kicking out at finding a proper burger bar diner with a car was across the road, just before Croatia border. So nice burger and a clean bike. Winner.
The border crossing into Croatia was uneventful and instantly the surrounding and road surfaced changed. Trees, shade, smooth tar – i have been looking forward to this country and so far our first date has gone very well 😘. I am now just outside Osijek on the Danube, and the city was full of bike commuters and families enjoying the many parks and amenities in the setting evening sun. Much to admire about these cities and their approach to social interaction outside of consumerism – they doing it right! Ps. My hotel looks flash but is only 30 Euro odd, great (palatial) value 😉
Steven Sloat asked a great question on a FB post of mine today – how do I manage my nutrition during the TCR given I am Celiac and can have zero gluten (which is in all the good stuff)? Well first is I have worked out what actually fuels my body but may be different for other GF folk – I need a solid hearty lunch meal of either chicken (roasted) or burger (ditch the bun and load with bacon cheese and any other toppings they have) and chips. This gives me the protein and carbs that others are getting in quick snack grabs like 7 day croissants etc. So I work extra hard to find spots that offer this – and will purposefully go into main centres adding time to find a restaurant. Same routine for suppers. Monotonous but gets the job done. For in between snacks I look for cheese, Doritos, yoghurt, peanuts, and chocolate bars. My issue is if I have too much sweet food then I go into cramp unless I have had the stodgy meal earlier. It’s a challenge but if kept front of mind it can be handled ok.
Hope that helped Steve – my current favourite treat is this dairy bottle of joy 😜
Another quick mention of the group of riders as a whole. Isn’t this pic just incredible. I am busting my gut and managing to hold 3/4 status – blows my mind how deep so many are going, incredible athletes!
Tomorrow I get cracking earlier and see where my next date with Croatia gets me, first base 🤞