Friday, April 15, 2011

Riding in Chiang Mai

Today started very hard for me. We probably shouldn't have been up until two in the morning drinking and looking for a massage, and when the cockerel crowed at five it was earlier than I really needed. I dragged myself to breakfast, and then faffed about trying to get my bike ready for today.

Whenever I go riding, the first run is always abysmal: I haven't warmed up, my head is in the wrong place, and so on. Unfortunately, the first run was a 13km downhill that took a couple of hours, leaving me in utter misery. It was all good stuff, but rather beyond my ability and I was close to being a shivering wreck. So we had lunch, and I let half the air out of my shock so that the suspension actually moved when I hit things, rather than battering me more.

As a result, the afternoon was much more enjoyable, although I'm not sure I went much faster. At least I wasn't going ohshitohshitohshit constantly, and once or twice I even let go of the brakes. The second trail was much less technical, so I coped a bit better.

Riding in Chiang Mai isn't like much else I've done, apart from some of the off-piste stuff in Morzine. It's just very very long, and while we haven't encountered any big jumps yet, there's a huge variety of rocky, rooty and rutted tracks to crash through. The rocky stuff is like the Lake District, the rooty stuff is like a steep version of Les Gets, the rutted stuff is just terrifyingly horrible. Oh, and there's some leaf strewn trails to remind me of Croydon.

Once I was awake and cheery, things were better. I'm still a busted flush at the end of the day's riding, and now there's the evening to come: it's the end of the Songkran festival so we're going to wander through town, getting buckets of water thrown over us. This seems a little pointless as I've sweat so much my cycling gear is completely saturated. Which is lovely, and will make the room smell lovely when we get back from the restaurant. And then I'll fall into bed and wait for a chicken to wake me up again tomorrow.


Unknown said...

Bah, You're obviously not closing your eyes through the scary bits enough! Also wind your rebound damping off all the way so your bike goes *boing boing boing* when you drop it, faster rebound -> faster riding!

Oh and jetwash all the nasty, heavy grease out your headset to go faster, too!


Mr Cushtie said...

Curses! I'd forgotten about the old jetwash trick. Will try to rectify that before I go riding again.

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