You have heard about the Mae Hong Song loop, if not, read this blog.  There were several other rides that Ray was hell bent on doing this year, but not one of those goals were achieved …

  1. A double Doi Intannon … this 7,500-foot climb is considered Asia’s most difficult.  Ray never got the chance to go to Doi Intannon to attempt the double.  The day he went there was a thunderstorm, and he rode up anyway on the Roubauix non-stop for a single ascent.  The climb “features” grades up to 26%.  On a wet road that is one tough grade … it was a great and difficult ride
  2. Phu Chi Far (pronounced “Phu Chi Far”) This beast of a climb is up near Myanmar.  Ray wanted to ride up PCF non-stop, but he never made it to PCF this year.  Last year near the top he broke a chain and descended chainless …
  3. Doi Ang Khan (pronounced “Doi Ang Khan”) Ray wanted to ride up Doi Ang Khan on his road bike non-stop.  The day he went to Doi Ang Khan there was a thunderstorm.  After tackling some extremely steep grades, the road got too steep to climb while wet.  Ray got off his bike, and a pickup truck that passed him had its rear wheels spinning on the grade Ray could not go up.  Last year Ray did a double Doi Ang Khan on his mountain bike.  The climb is 6,000 feet and has grades at least as steep as Doi Intannon, that is, ridiculously steep.
  4. Triple Samoeng (you know how to pronounce it) The Samoeng loop goes around the 1,780 meter Doi Pui.  The loop is 100km or about 62 miles from Ray’s condo.  The loop has about 6,500 feet of climb with one 1.5 mile long climb that averages 17%.  Ray did the double Samoeng, but never had the chance to try the triple … One loop takes about 4 hours.  Locals would never consider a double or triple Samoeng loop.
  5. Mae Hong Song loop.  Talked about earlier and attempted unsuccessfully numerous times.

So what rides did Ray do.  Well, there was the Chiang Mai – Phuket – Chiang Mai ride … 2,000 miles in just over 10 days.  There was Issarn I and Issarn II … 1,300 miles and 1,400 miles, respectively.  These were two epic rides to the northeast of Thailand from Chiang Mai.   The most difficult riding was near Nan province near the border with Laos.  Ray rode over 100 miles in the mountains on a gravel road on the Roubaiux.  How was his headset after this?  Well, one figures the Roubaiux is able to handle cobbles, so it certainly should be able to handle gravel.  But not, the headset got messed up.  Ray was rather nervous finishing the last 800 miles or so of that ride with malfunctioning steering.  Why not get it fixed?  You would not ask this question if you had ever been in this exceptionally remote area …  One night Ray did have to sleep in a Police Station.  No, he was not under arrest.  There was no place else to crash.  And by the way, that night Ray was eating fried fish corn-on-the-cob style because he was so hungry, and he ate the cob too.  Don’t ask where the fish came from …

Advertisements