January 15, 2013

thung chang (i can't feel my arms) 10-dec-2010

first ride i've recorded this far north. this was pretty much a pure climbing ride, just 6km out of nan city & you're already climbing mountains.

originally wanted to ride nan-chiang muan (route 1091) but was told that road had some construction on it. so i took the "easy" way out & headed north to thung chang (plain of elephants i guess) on route 1080 instead. turned out it wasn't so easy. the route ran alongside the nan river valley & is heavily dissected by streams running off the mountain into the river. this meant the route ran through a set of short (100-300m) but sharp (alpine grade) climbs--hundreds of them. net result was the battering kind of snuck up on me.

the road from pua to thung chang was pretty rough & the speeds coming down the mountain meant my arms took quite a violent shaking, so much so i couldn't feel my arms by the time i got to thung chang. even worse on the way back down to pua.

all in all, though, an excellent ride. it was through decently forested mountains, mostly good surfaced road (with the exception of the pua-thung chang leg) and little traffic. do it again in a heart-beat.

May 13, 2009

murrah farm (175km): 9-may-2009

even though i left > 1 hr late (another stupid alarm clock failure), excellent ride to murrah farm. routes 3121-3010 were very nice riding terrain--rolling terrain with plenty of curves & not too much traffic. some bad road surface patches along the way (even trucks had a hard time w/a few spots) but nothing catastrophic. farm owner said she'd heard that TAT was looking at this route for some kind of bike tourism. i'd agree 100% if they fixed the road ;-)

the farm itself was quite interesting though you'll need to hoof it for 50 or so meters as the road down to the farm is dirt. owner was friendly & informative. had the best fresh mozzarella i have ever eaten. definitely worth the trip, for sure will do another ride there.

View Larger Map

From bike rides

May 7, 2009

khao ito, part deux (132 km): 25-apr-2009

after the last trip to khao ito, decided caution was the better part of valor & hopped a train up to prachinburi instead of riding there. the train ride probably made little difference as there were no seats, so i had to stand for 2.5 hours and i ended up saving only about 1 hour off the time if i rode up there instead. trip up the mountain was still tough (that "so & so" is one steep ride). came down the mountain so fast my ears popped & couldn't touch my rims they were so hot from braking (hit >60km/hr, still not 100% sure about the road to really let it rip & used the brakes a bit too much).

View Larger Map

From bike rides

khao ito (220km): 18-apr-2009

khao ito was deceptively steep, in fact it was so steep that the GPS went into auto-pause mode so often it messed up the track up the mountain. had to ice up my knees after the ride. despite that it was a beautiful ride up the mountain, very good road, plenty of trees, almost no traffic.

found a decent coffee shop (even though it was robusta) on the way into prachinburi (about 3km west of the city), "khao tha lu" which i guess is named after a coffee growing mountain down south in chumporn. nice pick me up before tackling the mountain.

needless to say the ride back to bangkok was plenty brutal.

View Larger Map

From bike rides

pattaya (168 km): 2-may-2009

a first for my saturday rides, down south east to the "notorious" beach resort of pattaya. the ride was actually pretty decent. the only bad parts were the last bits of 304 into chachoengsao (of course) & the last 5 km or so of 3138 into 331 (lots of hills w/bad road surface, felt like cobblestones, shook the blood out of my arms, actually split open one of my gloves). route 3240 into pattaya was a very nice surprise, though just a bit too much traffic for such a narrow road. probably do this ride again.

pattaya itself is still the suck though.

didn't take many pictures, i guess the highlight was the busted water main near the beginning of the ride along route 304

View Larger Map

From bike rides

March 15, 2009

khao i si lum (217km): 7-mar-2009

on the road (3222) to khaeng khoi, the khao i si lum (don't you just love the way that name just rolls off your tongue) loop was through quite a nice area, very little traffic. while it was a bit too short to really let the dogs loose, the very beginning of the loop was a nice, quasi-steep climb. there are some unusually designed homes at the beginning of the loop (supposedly one belongs to an "old school" actor here who's name i forgot) but it was too steep to comfortably stop to get any decent pictures (not that i'm capable of taking decent snapshots). the road runs northwest down through a pleasant valley, pretty much all rolling agricultural land. worth a little detour.

ran into about 30 odd "red shirt" protesters in ban na on the way up. noisy but they were fairly well behaved. felt sorry for the cops who were out in the heat directing traffic around the protest--it was another scorcher. i wonder who they ticked off to get such a plum assignment?

i also ran into some folks looking for jed khote, hope my directions didn't make them any more lost ;-) after they drove away i realized i had the turn off location marked in the GPS. oops.

View Larger Map
From bike rides

February 26, 2009

dong lakorn (198 km): 7-feb-2009

route from lum sai (#3312-#4009-#2008) to bang sang. the tricky bit is the hair pin turn you need to make after the railroad bridge (thanks to pa somkate & khun tee from the nongchok bike club for the info). then up #3076 past sri chula (road's not so hot and a bit too much traffic for my liking).

this time went into the ancient city site (but ran out of batteries for my camera so only got a few pictures). nothing really outstanding but once you ride around you can feel how big the site actually was. the old city walls were kind of massive kind. worth the trip. GPS ate 1st 40km.

View Larger Map

From bike rides