Chiang Mai

Mountain Biking III – Rock and Roll

The training and practicing were officially over. Time to get rolling!

The Coffee Shop Where We Started Rolling

Daniel took the lead to the coffee shop where the real route of the day started. Sam was riding at the end of the team not only to protect the little girl but to warn us with cars and motobikes by shouting out loud. We were told to slow down and go left every time we heard him calling ‘cars’ or ‘motobikes’. It took us quite a while to get used to the different traffic rules in Thailand since we were used to stay on the right side of the road in our own countries. That’s something really important which needs to be remembered. It took us about 15 minutes from the start point to get to the coffee shop. I practiced with my bike gears on the way and had no problem to control everything. I was confident that I got it! Too early to make the assumption. It was actually harder than I thought…

Let’s take a look at the coffee shop. If you expect it to be one of those with bunch of coffee machines, staff in uniforms and menu on the board, then you are wrong. The coffee shop wasn’t a real coffee shop per se. It was a thatched hut with nice view for bikers to stop by, chill and get ready.

Got to the coffee shop.

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of the coffee shop.

There was this one old lady making home-made style Thailand coffee in the hut. The coffee was served with 3 pieces of cracker for 30 baht (USD1.00). It was so good and strong! Exactly something I needed for the hardcoreness! Oh by the way, I think I want to mention this – the hot water was poured from an old-school thermos. Yeah, that’s right. Well, I guess you could call it a coffee shop. :-P

The coffee making lady.

My 1 dollar coffee with 3 cookies.

I rushed drinking up my coffee as like I was having a coffee shot when Daniel was chasing everybody to gear up and leave. Leaving from the thatched hut without taking care of business in the bathroom could not be a smart move! Their bathroom was actually pretty decent considering it’s up in the mountain. Maybe I set the bar a little low but compare to those thatched bathrooms in Tibet, OMG! Don’t get me started. This was so much better –  at least it’s a real squatter! You know what I mean?

This path leads you to the bathroom.

Rolling Deep Into The Mountain

The 18 km uphill and downhill with rocks, mud, tree branches as well as some breathtakingly beautiful views officially started! Excitement was growing inside of me! Let me bike you through it.

What’s it like on the way?

If you don’t want to have a hardcore massage on your ass, which I believe you won’t enjoy it, make sure you don’t get in the middle on the rocks.

Pretty hardcore looking, huh?

October is still in the rainy season in Thailand. It usually rains for only a couple of hours a day but that’s enough to get the route all wet and muddy. The wet leaves on top of route makes it extra slippery. Getting into the gap like this with your bike will definitely make you fall. But no fall, no fun! :-P

Yup! That’s exactly what it was like!

Daniel thoughtfully arranged breaks often on the way considering most of us didn’t really have a lot experience biking in this specific environment. We didn’t mind. It gave us more time to enjoy the gorgeous mountain views and chat with our team mates!

These breaks allowed us to get to know our teammates better.

However, if you are brave enough or all up to more challenges, there are at least 5 downhill single trails for you to try. They are shortcuts from 50 meters to 80 meters long but very challenging to beginners like me. When Daniel told us about the single trails, 3 boys and 1 girl (That’s me! How brave I was!!!) quickly decided to separate from the group accepting the challenge without a slight hesitation. I somehow managed to complete the first two. Felt really good about the success and then failed miserably on the third one. I wounded up walking down from half of the trail. OK! No more single trails for me. Be a good girl and get back on the regular route…

Getting off one of the single trails. A big relief!!!

OK, I think it’s about time to show you some nice views from the mountain so that you wouldn’t be scared away, hopefully! Or maybe this is exactly your cup of tea!? :-P

Beautiful, isn’t it? Hey, there is the lake, our destination! It looks pretty far from here but you will get there before you even realize it.

Even though he rest of the route contains both uphills and downhills, it felt pretty easy to handle especially after we experienced scary single trails…. Soon we hit the concrete again.

 Arrived at the lake!

 Yay, we made it! PEACE!!! See you at lunch!

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