Sunday, October 31, 2010

Elevation Profiles

We stayed out all last night drinking beer and playing pool with Kiwis, so our brains are much too stupid for work and our legs are much too weak for cycling. It's Sunday, so we can't go and see our teacher Sompop to learn Thai, and drinking more beer now would just lead to a repeat of this problem tomorrow, so there's nothing much to do.

I've spent this sunny Sunday mapping and worrying. Erin and I are going to go on our big cycling tour in a little more than a week, and I've been mapping out our route, planning how long our days are going to be, and reviewing the elevation profiles of each day.

It's frightening. For example, look at the elevation profile for the second day of the ride, from Makfa to Pai:

That's a total of 1500 meters of climbing. Big bang only knows how steep the Thai engineers built those roads, too. I mean, I can guess -- that hill that begins around kilometre 25, for example, climbs about 480 meters in about 7 kilometres for an average grade of about 7%. That's not so bad if every part of that hill is equally steep, but I'm guessing it won't be. I don't trust these guys as road builders anymore.

Not scary enough for you? Check out the profile for day 7, Mae Sariang to Hot:

That's 1805 meters of climbing in one day! We have to make it, too, because there are no hotels along the way.

We're in for a lot of climbing. Our tour will involve 9 days of cycling over a distance of 702 km with a total ascent of 10,424 meters. Mount Everest is only 8844 meters tall. It's hilly country out there.

On the bright side, we'll also get to descend 10,424 meters. Whee!

1 comment: