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My first 600km Audax – Bhumibol Dam, Thailand

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As I write this I’m still blown away that I pedalled 24,000 crank revolutions and covered over 384 miles in one 37 hour ride!! Will I ever get over it?

This was my 39th Audax including 24 consecutive months of 200km+ each month and a thrice of 300km but for me, it would be my first REAL Audax that is cycling all day and all through the night and what better place to do it than in Thailand where the night temperature doesn’t go below 20 degrees thus taking away, for me, the pain of freezing in the night.

125 of us met by the temple in the dark at 8 pm the usual eclectic mix of  friendly nutters, notable was the young lady doing it for a second year on ‘a fattie’ the other oldie who had done LEL in 2017 plus guys on fold-up bikes etc etc.  As the book says Its not about the bike!

  • To Lat Yao Civic Centre
Distance rode Km Stage End Stage Km Total Ride Time Stage Time Stage kph Stage Miles Stage mph
57 CP1 57 1 55 01:55 29.74 36 18.59

A fine pace soon got underway on the smoothest road ever I felt totally in the zone & totally effortless to the first checkpoint, in fact, I was in the first group checking in averaging over 29 kph. Yes, I know totally stupid but oh what joyous fun 🙂 making it only a quick stop to fill the bottle and have a pee but I still lost the guys I was with 🙂

  • – `To 7-Eleven Khlong Nam Lai
Distance rode Km Stage End Stage Km Total Ride Time +20 for clock time Stage Time Stage kph Stage Miles Stage mph
141.7 CP2 84.7 5 32 03:37 23.42 53 14.64

The next stage was a bit slower at just under 15mph but settling in nicely I just got very thirsty whereupon at CP2 a 7-Eleven I gulped down 1.5 litres of milk 🙁 🙁 when will I leave the trough. The new technique for the wild dogs worked a treat, stop pedalling look at them (why always from the left?) and YELL they look astonished at me then padded away!

  • Nong Dan food van
Distance rode Km Stage End Stage Km Total Ride Time +20 for clock time Stage Time Stage kph Stage Miles Stage mph
194.8 CP3 53.1 8 50 03:18 16.09 33 10.06

My speed went well down due to the idiocy of drinking 1.5litres of milk 🙁  plus I had started wandering across the road so had to stop and close my eyes a couple of times.  Interesting to note that this would be a very good time for a 200km Audax so well pleased with myself plus my stomach biome was making a good job of digesting all that milk!

  • To Rak Phak Tawan House Restaurant
Distance rode Km Stage End Stage Km Total Ride Time +20 for clock time Stage Time Stage kph Stage Miles Stage mph
253.5 CP4 58.7 12 10 03:20 17.61 37 11.01

– Very hilly section but what we would call rolling on pleasant roads the final section on the 12 was sheer bliss reaching well over 20mph on a beautiful road. Checking in the guy s said I was 51st so I was well chuffed 🙂 Time for a change of kit Night yellow to Day orange for me and to try and charge my devices up plus get some real food – I tried to sleep but was way too hyper 🙂

  • Bhumibol Dam Crest
Distance rode Km Stage End Stage Km Total Ride Time +20 for clock time Stage Time Stage kph Stage Miles Stage mph
316.1 CP5 62.6 16 15 04:05 15.33 39 9.58

–  Started off very pleasant along the river but In my mind, I had this as just a short hop to the dam I’d never checked that in fact, it was nearly 40 miles  🙁 Sam Ngao was having a carnival so diversions were in place then it was a 500 foot climb to the crest of the dam for the control selfie photo. Panic! the wretched iPhone screen wouldn’t come on 🙁 so no selfie, with some cajoling I managed to convince another rider to take my selfie on his phone and explain to the organisers below!

  • To -Bhumibol Dam Tent Point
Distance rode Km Stage End Stage Km Total Ride Time +20 for clock time Stage Time Stage kph Stage Miles Stage mph
323.4 CP6 7.3 17 59 01:44 4.21 5 2.63

– An unfortunate by-product of the duff phone screen meant that I couldn’t see where this CP was on ridewithgps so I went to about the right distance on the Wahoo, unfortunately, the tent point was a late addition so it wasn’t where I thought  🙁 I met another couple still on their way who showed me the error of my ways so about turn to find the tent! Meanwhile, I noticed a faint glow on the screen so with difficulty I found the screen brightness control! Why does Apple think it’s smart to allow the screen intensity to go to zero? Turns out the tent place had food and sleeping on the grass I availed myself of the food but not the sleep – a mistake with hindsight.  Thankfully the selfie guy had shown them me at the top so I cleared the control. well over 90 minutes wasted 🙁

  • To 7-Eleven Chom Phon Market
Distance rode Km Stage End Stage Km Total Ride Time +20 for clock time Stage Time Stage kph Stage Miles Stage mph
377.7 CP7 54.3 21 9 03:10 17.15 34 10.72

– Back to the never-ending road stretch which seemed a lot hillier than a couple of hours ago 🙁 The footbridge to the town was closed as they were having a full blown festival with rammed city streets I refuelled in the shop but with sunset happening I desperately needed some sleep. I found a bench near the river and zonked out but soon woke up again, I couldn’t see any other cyclists so I followed the route eventually getting on the correct 104 dead straight and deadly dull with not a cyclist in sight 🙁  Eventually another cyclist on his Pinarello caught me up and gave me something to focus on although I had to keep stopping to close my eyes to stop me wandering all over the place including the opposite verge 🙁

  • To 7-Eleven Kamphaeng Polytechnic
Distance rode Km Stage End Stage Km Total Ride Time +20 for clock time Stage Time Stage kph Stage Miles Stage mph
442.9 CP8 65.2 25 24 04:15 15.34 41 9.59

– When I eventually arrived after a total nightmare of a ride hardly knowing what I was doing the shop was like a scene from a disaster movie with sleeping bodies strewn all over the place 🙁 I was wrecked and yes it is only a 200km Audax left but not really that helpful to know that. I started biking and found another bench waking to think I was OK then cycling a bit then collapsing on another bench etc as soon as I saw a group come by I would try and hang on but very soon  having to lay down and sleep again – worst time ever 🙁 I eventually found a place and must have slept for a fair while because when I awoke.

  • To Wang Khaem Offices
Distance rode Km Stage End Stage Km Total Ride Time +20 for clock time Stage Time Stage kph Stage Miles Stage mph
499.6 CP9 56.7 30 27 05:03 11.23 35 7.02

 I started going the wrong way for a few yards (memories of wasting a day in Taiwan!) but quickly turned back only to discover where I had been sleeping was right outside the offices! where they had beds & food. So I had mysteriously covered then 35 miles in my sleep 🙁 I was overjoyed suddenly realising that I had almost finished the ride!

To 7-Eleven Kao Liao

rode Km Stage End Stage Km Total Ride Time +20 for clock time Stage Time Stage kph Stage Miles Stage mph
552.9 CP10 53.3 33 30 03:03 17.48 33 10.92

I felt refreshed however and a couple of guys were leaving so I decided to tag along with them as it really is much easier to focus on someone else’s lights than the pitch black. I still wasn’t totally with it so kept stopping to rub my eyes only at one point to discover I had a front puncture! the other guys turned back to hold my torch and help me out the culprit was found to be like a broken tip of a hypodermic totally wedged in the inner tube. We carried on each km seeming to me to be at least a mile. We eventually made to the 7-Eleven which was pretty full of cyclists getting ready for the final leg

  • To The Finish
Distance rode Km Stage End Stage Km Total Ride Time +20 for clock time Stage Time Stage kph Stage Miles Stage mph
615.6 Finish 62.7 37 0 03:30 17.91 39 11.20

I write this with disbelief that I could be so stupid! I kept stopping thinking the front wheel or tyre wasn’t incorrect as the bike had developed a severe list to the right with my knee catching the top tube and my hands trying to keep it upright.  I spent the whole time as part of a bike disaster movie coupled with the never-ending hill and suddenly vast amounts of traffic made me think I had gone totally wrong! the others had pushed on of cause smelling victory! I eventually made it with 3 hours to spare. The cause of all my angst? the saddle had rotated slightly around to the right! totally unbelievable 🙁 What tiredness does 🙁

A great event and very enjoyable especially the personalised T-shirt which was delivered to my hotel room!

If you recognise yourself in this please let me have your names 🙂

At the finish of my 600

More photos in this previous post

Bhumibol Dam 600km Audax

Starting Temple for the Bhumibol Dam 600km Audax

Some folks may be wondering why I have landed up at Uthai Thani in Thailand the answer lies in an urge I’ve had to do a 600km Audax and also to keep warm without burning £20 notes. So when Wit Pimkanchanapong pasted this up I was intrigued: Here is a list of the 125 participants in this year’s event plus 10 write-ups (use Google Translate)  from previous years so a popular event! The route and Control Points can be found here

It starts on Friday at 8 pm (1 pm UK time) and I have 40 hours until midday on Sunday to complete it. Since the furthest, I’ve ever ridden are several 300km events it’s going to be interesting, to say the least. One positive is the night time temperature is at 23°C  one huge minus is the day temp is 32°C and humidity at 80% 🙁 although I’ve been here a week and survived so far.

Now for some sleep before the start.

 

Three days riding north from Bangkok

A very hot three days riding the 150+ miles from Bangkok to Uthai Thani due North from Bangkok and roughly following the Chao Phraya River. I had overnight stops in Ayutthaya and Sing Buri.  Ayutthaya is the old capital city before its wanton destruction in 1767. Interesting that stumps of the various massive buildings are all that’s left a bit like all the abbeys in the UK after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. My b&b reminded me a bit of the fussy UK places too. Sing Buri, on the other hand, was in an uber-modern garden room.

Uthai Thani is well of the tourist circuit so virtually no English is spoken but it seems to have a good selection of coffee shops etc although it’s a challenge ordering vegetarian food.

With all my switching of hotels, I seemed to have misplaced my tool kit 🙁 So here’s hoping to no breakdowns.

Still struggling like crazy to get my photos from the iPhone onto WordPress 🙁 Apple seems to dislike making them public and poor old Flickr doesn’t seem able to read the “Photos Library.photoslibrary” database, oh how I long for good old Picasa.

 

 

 

Three nights in Bangkok

Three different hotels too – it appears whenever I book into a hotel it instantly fills up for subsequent nights I never realised how famous I am 🙂 However, The Windsor Suites Hotel on my first night was hosting a Latino dance festival and the Coco@20 filled up with weekend punters.

On Saturday I decided to do the Bike Historic Bangkok Tour offered by Grasshopper Adventures from their new base in Bangkok imagine my surprise when I arrived that it was being led by Seen who I had met whilst cycling from Kuiburi to Baan Grood in 2014. It was an excellent tour of 11 miles (although I added an extra 5 miles from my hotel), culminating, for me, in a visit to the Steam locomotiveloco sheds to see the steam engine that featured in The Bridge over the River Kwai. Whilst doing the tour the German couple pointed out their hotel on the canal front a quick call by Bettina and The Lamphu Tree House was booked for Saturday night also Seen mentioned the original Capital was at Ayutthaya which is 80km upstream so that’s tomorrow’s ride sorted!

The evening was disappointing as I missed the hustle & bustle of the new city especially the decent massage places the one near the Lamphu hotel looked decidedly dodgy.

Other pictures

New  premises for Grasshopper Adventures
New premises for Grasshopper Adventures