In Chiang Mai, my Mum came to visit. She was last here 40 years ago!!! We all enjoyed her visit and company and we raced about and did lots of cool stuff together. Our adult:child ratio also grew, and it gave us a rare opportunity to sneak off by ourselves and have some fun. Here are three stories of our adventures alone:
I feel a bit bad that it was on the ONE day I had away from the family, that I had a really fantastic time. But it was really fantastic!! Many words scrolled through my head while riding a mountain bike down single track jungle trails from above Doi Suthep toward Chiang Mai, but the word I specifically remember was ‘privileged’. It may sound a bit lofty, but I caught myself thinking it was a privilege to be there, a privilege to have a spare 1500 baht to join a mountain bike tour and a privilege to be fit enough to ride.
I teamed up with a fit American cyclist and a Swiss guy who rode the length of the Americas in 2010, so I knew we was in for a challenging ride. Our guide rode 7 days a week and it showed; he was full of energy, muscle and smile – and very keen to watch us scramble down some scary tracks. Once I’d awakened my single track riding skills with a coffee and some near falls, I started to appreciate the beauty and enjoyed directing the bike between trees and through streams. I recalled Newton’s laws of motion as I tried to minimise the forces that large rocks and roots apply to an ill-directed front wheel. But alas, I failed and cracked my front rim.
Our guide swapped bikes with me and took great pride in leading us the rest of the way with a cracked front rim. Did you know most countries have bicycle brakes configured in reverse to Australia? He kindly swapped the brake cables over so I wouldn’t go head over turkey the first time I squeezed the lever!!
We ended our ride at the beautiful lake Huay Teung Thao; a great sight when my body cried out that it had been pushed to its limit. You know that feeling when you’ve challenged yourself to the limit and come out alright? You probably even come out with new and bigger limits. While it may be a long time ’til I challenge my new mountain bike riding limits, I am enjoying pushing my other limits, physical and emotional, as I continue to travel with my family.
1500 baht ($45 AUD) got us transport to the top of the mountain, bike, helmet and all crash gear, cycle shirt and pack hire, insurance, coffee and a beautiful Thai lunch in a bamboo hut on the lakeside. The guides were excellent. A great day.
The the wind-in-my-hair freedom was a real treat and I just loved it.