On The Road

Day 96 – Mueang Uttaradit

We had a day off in Sukhothai, so we can take some photos and enjoy the historical town. It was a nice day, but it was raining in the morning. We hoped that the next day wouldn’t be the same, but it was.

We left at 9:30am because of the heavy rain. We held off as long as possible to avoid it, and in the end it was time to leave. We grabbed some overpriced Chicken with Rice and rode on.

The rain got lighter as we rode, it didn’t take long, maybe an hour or so because it was just cloud cover, which is always nice. It was cool, it was cloudy, so everything was fine. We cycled for 36km and had a coffee. We cycled another 25km and had some lunch.

During the morning I heard a massive crunch above my head, it was loud. We kept riding and a few moments later a large tree branch fell to the ground just behind us, across the road with a smash.

I locked up the brakes because I wanted to see how close it was. It had sounded VERY close. It was approximately 15 paces behind us, on the road where we had just ridden. A whole lot of rotten tree came falling from the sky. It certainly would have done some damage to us. It definitely would have caused us a serious problem if it had fallen only a few seconds earlier.

This is the second time we’ve had nature drop stuff around us, obviously mother earth is trying to send us a message and we’re not getting it. Anyway, we counted our blessings and rode on.

After 101kms we pulled up at the 4km marker into Uttaradit for our obligatory photo. We grabbed the shot and looked forward to cold showers and more food. As we pulled away we immediately noticed that our front tire was dead flat.

‘Dead Flat’ from totally fine only a couple of minutes before. We rolled the bike to some shade and took out the front wheel. The stand we have makes working on the front wheel very easy. I opened up the tire to check for what had caused the puncture. Nothing. I don’t understand. Natt then checked the tube, and found that the puncture was on the inside edge, strange. Punctures like this don’t come from inside the rim. Away… we changed out the tube and rolled on.

This is the 4th flat tire on the front and I think the 4th flat tire on the back. That’s more than 1 flat per 1,000kms… sounds like a lot to me. 🙁

We’ve been having problems with the rear gears for the past few days. Tomorrow we’ll be heading into the hills, so they need to be fixed. I had a look at the bar end shifter, something was a little wonky. We took it to a workshop and had a play, it’s nearly fixed now, but I need to do a little more this afternoon.

I think the cable has been stretched and after a phone call to John Graham with some instructions, I’m hoping we’ll be ready for the hills tomorrow.

So far we’ve done 19,693m of elevation gain and a total of 6,467kms. I’m wondering if the next 1,200kms will double our gain, as we have a lot of hills still to go. This is just for record keeping and I will let you know how much we’ve done when we reach Tak. So you know how much climbing is involved in this part of the world.

Our story will be in some media this month… we’re looking forward to seeing it:
(a) “Why? Thailand” TV show on True “Thailand Travel Channel” #73
(b) A Day Magazine – 80 Baht from your local magazine shop (August 15th-ish)

Also the TAT office in Phrae has been in contact with us, they plan to have some local media meet with us, which will be great. TAT Phrae office seems very helpful, we’ve had great support from the mostly ‘green’ TAT offices.

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