With the fear of wind waking me at 4.20am, I checked the weather forecast. It was not good. The wind mirrored my direction of travel exactly. So I had a pot noodle and a cup of coffee, slapped on my sun cream and Graham cream, packed my bags and left in some dense, wind free mist.
With Mrs Google Maps interrupting podcasts to tell me what to do in a voice midway between a self-help audiobook and a half-hearted dominatrix, I went on a very disappointing detour through a building site on a road not yet built. No wonder Google is blocked here if they're going to go around knowing the future.
Out on an actual road I had a glorious day. Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia, was my final destination; of its many appealing attributes, being 300m lower than Ulanqab was a particular favourite.
I have learned to treat myself like a little donkey. Once an hour I stop for five minutes to rest, consume one item of food, a swig of water; then it's back to plodding on down the dusty road.
On my second stop today, a man with a dialect I couldn't understood at all, resorted to writing in characters (which I also couldn't understand) in the dirt. I told him I was stupid and so couldn't understand. Something that was more than believable given my special 'nobody told me it would be below zero' outfit. At my first stop, it was very difficult to find my penis following the aggressive wind chill's effect on both the organ in question and my decision to where fingerless gloves. I had taken drastic action and was now dressed with wind proof shorts over a pair of Uniqlo chinos. The man found my stupid argument convincing, but it was good to have a penis again.
After the first set of hills I stopped for noodles in Zhuozi, a town that had an end of the world feel as a big dark mountain loomed in front. Fortunately the G110, the road I've been on for 95% of this trip goes around, not through the mountain like the new G6 motorway. I had great fun, all but one lorry driver was courteous enough to pass me with a full lane sized gap and I flew into the very edge of Hohhot's future urban sprawl in great time.
I've found it is important to make hay whilst the sun shines (though I'm sure you need rain to make hay). The more progress you make the more positive you are, the closer to a big city you get, the easier it will be to solve any problems. Conserving energy is for racers, not idiots.
To prove this point I caught the beginning of a blizzard for my final 5km instead of my final 30km because I had got into top gear on the downhills, as any good idiot would do.
I also had guests, in the shape of Holly and Matt (my saviours from Tuesday), who were great company until they started to beat my nodding-headed shell at cards around midnight.
April 11: Ulanqab to hohhot - 151km
Start Time: 05.30
Finish Time: 19.00
Hours Cycling: 12
Hours Pushing: 1
Chocolate Bars Consumed: 3
Near Death Experiences: Me: 0
Number of Dead Dogs: 3
Number of Bottles of Lorry Driver Piss (viewed): 27
PHOTO EVERY HOUR - TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT: The view
PHOTO OF THE DAY - BMW Toilet Flush
This is where I update on my progress. Expect lots of fabricated statistics and dated music references.