On The Road

Day 124 – Arriving in the flats of Chiang Mai

Leaving the hills, today we cycled 95km the longest we’ve done for awhile. Mostly because it was a solid downhill and in the flats. We’ve only have one real ‘lump’ to make it over before it’s plan sailing.

People have told me we will miss the hills, I know I’ll miss some of them, but not all of it. We didn’t plan to come all the way to Chiang Mai but we did, it wasn’t that hard. I think the excitement of the fine 1,200kms has arrived.

I did the maths today looks like the trip will make 8,700kms and not the 9,000kms I had guess way before we started. I’m excited about completing the ride and really find out how far we traveled.

We did not use the GPS for many short trip and rides around town, these all add up, but on our days off, well may of them we didn’t record anything. I mean it was just usually around the Amphur Mueang.

Chiang Mai is a busy city with lots of traffic, I think we’re going to have to readjust to the traffic again. We visited the bicycle shop and they tweaked the gears, as it was overshifting. And we purchased an oversized/strong (I hope) chain breaker, since our last one died on it’s first use.

One of the cyclists at the shop asked Natt if her name was Natt, he’s seen our facebook page and had read about our story. Seamed like nice chap.

The best part of today is we met Oil, a single male cyclists on holidays riding up from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son. We was on his second day and rode a basic MTB with a nice set of Ortlieb panniers.

He was full of evergy and exitement, was great to see him, we’ve not seen a fellow bicycle tourer since Shoot way back in Petchaburi. He worked for Thai PBS TV station and had also heard about our trip, so it was nice to exchange details about the roads ahead and see him ride off to where we where just leaving.

I hope we see him in November on our final day ride, he tell me he cycles to work everyday so our little 20km ride should be easy, I hope he has the time. I like the new Ortlieb Roller City panniers, they thinner and the clipping system looks like it would keep out more water in super heavy rain (we’ve had a little get in but nothing too worry about).

We’re staying at Lanna Discovery Guest House ust behind the Chaitawat Bike Shop (GPS – N 18 47.063, E 98 59.427) it’s set back 50-75 metres down the soi which runs along next to the shop. This Soi is used as the bicycle mechanic workshop so you cannot miss it.

Anyway, the manager Jimmy and their team are very friendly and gave us a great deal 300B per night for an aircon room the bicycle will have to be locked up downstairs agains the metal poll and the close the gate at night, so I feel that we’ll be fine.

Jimmy told us he had anyothe cyclist recently who came from China thru Laos in Thailand and stayed for a month. It’s that kind of place, all the guest have been super friendly also. Anyway, I would say it’s worth finding if you looking for somewhere decent anda decent price, and they seam to love cyclists so that’s not going to hurt.

(PS If you wanted a fan room you could say downstairs and put your bicycle in your room, but Natt loves Aircon so we’re upstairs).

So we went out for the 10km ride in the evening with old work friend of mine Chang, he was graphic designer and is not a book publisher. It was great to catch up with him. We discussed the book idea for this trip that Natt and I have been put together.

Looks like it would be very possible to make it happen, and the pricing and structure could be very reasonable. Several things need to come together to make it happen, but hopefully with a little persuasion and effort it can.

Today we’ll be taking it easy and taking in the ambian ce of Chiang Mai before tomorrow where we cycle out of town to and towards the last real hill we will have to climb before the reach the central plains of Thailand.

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