Chiang Mai

Mountain Biking II – Training In The Mountain

Enough about the lecture, time to hit the road!

Heading To The Mountain

Trucks, drivers and guides were waiting for us outside of the office. All our bikes were already tied up on the top of the trucks. We were arranged to sit with an Australian guy and two Mexicans in the same truck. The guy from Australia is an obvious biker, who later we learned, has been biking in different countries for 4 years. He shared some of his interesting biking experience which made winding mountain road easy to pass. As we went into the mountain, the temperature started going down.

Heading into the mountain.

 The Camping Space Where We Learned More

About 45 minutes later, 3 trucks pulled over at an open space in the mountain, where locals come to camping often. After we jumped off the trucks, some of the staff immediately began to take the bikes down and get them ready.

The staff was unloading our bikes from the top of the truck.

Daniel, one of the guides, had us stand in a circle and he started demonstrating how to correctly ride the bike by adjusting gears properly again by using his good enough English. But this time, the lecture was given with an actual bike. I noticed another guide with curly hair was quietly watching us while the training was being given. He was on a small bike and playing with it. As soon as the training was done, the bikes were appointed to us one by one by the guides. The curly hair came straight up to me and handed me the bike he was playing with, said, ‘Here, this is your bike.’ It was clearly the smallest bike and I was clearly the tiniest adult in the group. Of course this was my bike. I thanked him and introduced myself. His name is Sam. Interestingly, that’s the second Sam we met during our Chiang Mai trip. The first one was our well-behaved elephant from Baanchang Elephant Park. Anyways, we like Sams.

A practical training given by Daniel.

Han with Sam (on the left)

At this point, attendees could pick the routes they wanted to go for. The biker from Australia came up to us and comforted us, ‘You guys have nothing to worry about, the route is very easy. Enjoy your day!’ before he took off with his guide to start his advanced route. He was the only one from the group who picked the hardest route. Shortly after we wished him good luck, he got on his bike and quickly disappeared in the mountain with his guide. There were two Italian guys who picked one of the medium level routes. They took off too. The two Mexicans on the same truck with us, a family with one boy and one girl from Jew and us combined as the rest of the group which would be led by Daniel and Sam to experience the easiest route.

For beginners, Daniel had more practice for us to do. We stayed at the same place watching Daniel set up the obstacle with a small rock and a few tree branches in the middle of a small slope. We were asked to -

  1. Go through the obstacle by accelerating and standing on the bike;
  2.  As soon as we pass the rock, use brake properly and change gear to be ready to go uphill;
  3. Go uphill and return to where we start.

Getting ready for the practice.

OK, sounds not bad at all. Let’s get started! 8 of us stood in line on our bikes facing the rock, the Jewish little girl was the first one to try. She was doing okay with passing the obstacle but was using her front brake a little too much afterwards, as a result, she fell down. Sam immediately went over to check on her. I think she was embarrassed so she started to shout at Sam about how she hated her bike with tears rolling down from her cheek. She refused to do it again. Everybody else tried a few times until we were familiar with our bikes.

Such a cinch. We got this! haha…We’ll see…

Ready to roll in deep into the mountain? Let’s GO!

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