Ok here goes the other portion of the evaluation:
To Be Improved:
1. Overestimating: Overestimated my strength & stamina, plus also what I needed. Also not training with a full load was a tough mistake I paid for – having push up most of steeper slopes. Climbing without a load is really one thing, having a load behind while climbing makes any slope 5-7xs more challenging I reckon. Overestimating what I needed to bring as well: had quite a few items in my backup stash which was never used throughout trip. But that’s why it’s called backup stash right?! Every extra ounce really adds to the scale of pain of the tour, really. So, gotta relook my load, which I have already worked out I could have done just fine without some 4-5kgs of stuff I was carrying around, unused! Some stuff I overpacked: wet tissues (8 packs extra!!!), full make-up set, extra chain locks, extra snacks (could’ve been purchased easily along the way, wasn’t going into the sticks!!), extra chargers / convertors (though that’s arguable as I depend on electronics to be fully charged during the trip).
2. Rest Planning: Good gauge of my comfort level & effective rest for me. 2 days in a pitstop is good for rest & replenish. Overnighter is really too rushed, especially if I rode in real late.
3. Under-buffering: Yes, on paper, I did buffer in my plans to only cover that distance per day. But mentally, I hadn’t accepted that I could be riding till beyond 4pm. I am grateful for later sunsets during the season I was riding in, but I have not mentally prepared myself to be riding for more than 8 hours. Think that was a massive limit for me, which I felt was a torture. Lol…. So next Diva-tour, I’ll only cover max 6 hours + 2 hours of buffer. Ie. Around 40-45km with full 15kg load, on proper tarmac roads. Ok I’m picky, but hey, I’m entitled to be whiney, cos I’m still a baby at touring! 😜
4. Local Mapping Knowledge: Something I missed in my planning. Really need to get into the details. Stuff like elevation didn’t become so real, until I had to ride up with a full load. Also, types of roads in the country – minor, main, highways, expressways, tunnels, etc. It will give me better understanding of road conditions, actual surfaces of roads & possible current conditions. Given advice to not ride on yellow roads, but later realised it was what I was comfy to ride on & would have been safe enough as well – more vehicular traffic, more human traffic, more eyes. White roads are minor roads, nice scenery, but totally in bad conditions & some off-roads too! Lol….