I have always been enamoured by N Thailand ever since I drove this 600km loop 10 years ago. If memory serves me well, I have done this twice on scooters and twice on bicycles. Yet, I'm preparing to fly there again as I write to do my 3rd ride this time on my Bike Friday Expedition. Previously, I used a Dahon Speed Pro and last year, the Marin Four Corners. It has been serviced by the ever thorough and skillful Lewis of Unique Custom Cycles and it is ready as can be. The real question is whether the twin piston engine of yours truly is up for the challenge of long, long inclines and fun, speedy descents.
Our team consists of 17yo Wayne, who did it last year and that changed his life literally. He is hooked on cycling ever since and is keen to flatten them hills with his new 7kg carbon road bike. 3 other MHS newbies are joining us. Gary and Siew Wan, who are like me, the slow and steady bicycle tourists (note - not tourers) who like to enjoy the ride more than the pain. They too will be flying the Bike Friday Flag, namely the NWT and the Crusoe. Also, a well known long distance champion cyclist who I respectfully call Nuclear Heng. He enjoys pain and has taken part in numerous Audax and ultra long distance riding. He will be on his Dahon Speed Pro - a true classic foldy that is fast!
Last but not least, I am so glad my trusty LTF buddy, Ying Chang is coming along to pilot the Mothership. He did this with me last year and it is a joy to be able to have him on the team again for this most important role. I forsee spending a lot of time with him in the cockpit - judging from my very ill-prepared physical condition.
So why am I going back again and again and again? Words are hard to express and capture the sheer beauty, the majesty, the people, the food, the experiences and of course the sheer satisfaction of conquering crazy mountains on the humble bicycle.
Stay tune on LTF and find out!