Sunday, October 27, 2013

ToST II - Part 3

Sichon, here we come...

We set our alarm for 05:00am for the ride to Sichon, some 40km away from Nakhon.
At 04:30am, we woke up, packed our gear into our panniers and loaded up the bikes.
During this time of the year, the weather was not that forgiving. Up North, the far-flung provinces of Thailand was flooded.
Even in the wee hours of the morning, it rained.
Things came to a drizzle when we rode out towards the road to Sichon.
The night before, Roger had suggested a shortcut through a military installation.
We rode past this place without a hitch.
If we had taken the normal route, it would have been a few kilometers off-course.
When we exited the army camp, there was a small town and we had breakfast at a local coffee shop serving coffee and dim sum.

The bikes, ready to roll

Michelle, setting up her ride
Entering a small town outside Nakhon

The dim sum shop

Sin and a local cyclist
After a good fill, we did cover some extra kilometers.
Then, it started to rain and we found a petrol station to take cover just in time.
Barely minutes after rolling out from the station, Michelle experience a puncture on her rear tire.
I took about 35-minutes to fix the tire with a new inner tube.
The cause was a sharp pebble.
As the Sun came up, we slowly made our way towards Sichon...

On the move.. 

Tha Sala junction 

One for the album.. 
The mothership.. 

I was cranking my bike and gained an average speed of 18km/h.
Out of nowhere, a white guy and his partner whizzed by with a "Sawadee-Krab" greeting.
I was stunned and my initial response was "Hello!"
It struck me that a "mothership" just passed by and there as a guy riding in upright position while his partner was seated in a reclining position.
A bit of research showed that it was a Hase Pino touring bike. The combination of two person driving a bike gave it the speed that none of us on a folding bike could match.
Sin and Roger rode alongside with the couple and had a chat with them.
Seems that they were riding towards Surat Thani and were covering as much grounds as they could to get there.

My view of the Hase bike..
Sin's view of the bike

Direct shot of the couple on their Hase Pino touring bike

How the bike looks like
The couple was towing a small trailer with all the bells and whistles and they have been on the road since May last year. Now, that is some serious globe-trotting!
We watched as the mothership slowly melted into the horizon.
As we were progressing towards Sichon, the day got hotter.

A second puncture!

Michelle had some problem with her bike again.
This time, a second puncture.
She realized this when we reached a beach area in Sichon.
We were not too far away from town and took some time out fixing the damaged inner tube.
This time round, it was another cut by a road debris on the rear tire.
The 2011 Dahon Speed TR has a SRAM Dual Drive II system.
No skewers and the wheel has to be removed by taking out the 15mm nut that holds it together.
But first, you must remove the Dual Drive's click box.
Access through the nut that holds it together is through the box. And to the untrained person, this might be a serious problem.
We fixed the punctured tire and moved on. 
But this was just temporary as air was escaping through the patched inner tube.

Riding the inner road to Sichon's beach
We made our way towards the beach area and found a resort.
It wasn't that ideal so we moved on.
And just down the road from the resort was a hill.
Michelle slowed down her bike as air was escaping from the rear wheel.
To remedy this, we used the seatpost pump to get in as much as as possible.
The search for a place to stay ended up at the Prasansuk Villa Resort.
We paid 850 baht for a chalet which was on offer during off-peak season.
After a long day with two punctures, I'd give this place a go! 
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