I rode my first century today 100+ miles or 160+ km. as you might expect I am exhausted. Not the muscle are tired kind of exhaustion more in the "I need sleep" kind. I started my day on the eastern slope of Purple Mountain in Nanjing. Weekend hikers started walking by my tent around 6:30 am. Specifically I woke up to someone walking by with a radio in hand. I hadn't slept very well due to cold feet and general discomfort in the tent. No one bothered me or my bike while I was still in the tent but I couldn't get any extra sleep while I knew people were about. I was packed and ready to go by 8am.
I had a big breakfast which may be why I rode so much today. I ate another Xinjiang bread, oranges, and a large can of zhou, which is essentially bean soup. I had the carbs to keep a good pace for a few hours without stopping. Then I snacked on some apples whenever I felt hungry.
I stopped in Danyang for a quick lunch at a mom and pop place. It was cheap and fast so I was back on the bike in about 30 min.
I rode through 4 cities before finishing my ride in Wuxi. I thought at first that I'd stop at Changzhou. But I got there around 3pm and decided to keep on going. I also met another cycling tourist in Changzhao so he provided me motivation to keep going as well. He spoke about his travels in Tibet, of which I understood about half. One thing I did pick up is to wait until 2014 when the road construction finishes and it may be more enjoyable.
Seeing road signs with kilometers to Shanghai is what really motivates me the most. Knowing I'm only one day away from my own bed makes me feel much better. Regardless tomorrow I'm going to take a slow ride over to Suzhou along the lake Taihu. Then stay with a friend in Suzhou for a day or two. I plan to be back in Shanghai for Thanksgiving, which should be easy now that I'm so close to the city.
I'm sleeping in a nice Jinjiang hotel tonight for one of the more expensive nights of the trip at 200 RMB a night. I went to many other hotels but they wouldn't serve foreigners, so I was stuck with this expensive hotel.