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I am moving to Thailand early next year to teach and live closer to my girl. I am an avid mountain biker who raced for many years. Do any of you know where the big hills are in Thailand, or more particularly is there a good mountain bike scene anywhere?
 

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hi

a couple of English-language cycling sites for you

Bike Thailand

Bicycle Thailand - this one has links to a list of Thailand cycling blogs incl this one Getting out onto the trails of southern Thailand

Big hills - Chiang Mai!

but . . . you're really limiting options with English-only sites, have a Thai do some searches for your area. Or when you get there, head for the cycle shops. For me locally, two shops have regular social road rides plus longer full-day and weekend rides, best way to meet new people despite my poor Thai language skills.

One of mine (road): Riding On The Chantaburi Coast
 

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Recent Bangkok Post article about air traveling with your bike in Thailand; there is a bicycle feature every Thursday writen by "Pongpet Mekloy - the Bangkok Post's travel editor and a mountain bike freak"

When bikes fly
18 October 2012



Mountain bikes can fly. Too bad, no matter how good the rider's skill, it will never allow you to travel in the air for more than a hundred metres. For a long distance flight, you and your pedal-powered two-wheeler need to use the service of airlines.

But not every carrier permits bicycles on board unless it is neatly packed in a box or a proper bike travel case. For domestic flights, only Nok Air and Thai Airways let you load your bike whole, no need to remove the wheels and the pedals or realign the handle bar.

more
 

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From the Air Asia site

your bicycle:
Must be properly packed in recognised bicycle bag or in a protective box or bag or in plastic wrap. Otherwise, we will refuse carriage.
Should be of the general and standard dimensions
Must adhere to the handling procedure stated below.


HANDLING PROCEDURE OF BICYCLES FOR TRAVEL

One bicycle is accepted as one sport equipment in the following manner:

Handle Bars: The handle bars must be turned in so that they are in alignment with the frame
Pedals: The pedal should either be removed or checked-in this to prevent them causing damage to other bicycles or checked baggage
Gears: The gears should be wrapped to protect them from damage
Tyres: Must be deflated
Mudguards: These can either be removed or again should be protected from damage
Loose items: Any loose items e.g. pump, lights, water bottle and etc. must be securely fastened to the bicycle or removed and checked-in.
I've taken a bike with me on Thai Air, wheels and pedals off, handlebars turned, wheels each side of frame then all bubble wrapped, worked out well and they didn't even charge as it and my backpack came under their 20kg weight limit per passenger. Also sent it ahead of me within the country wrapped the same way using Thai Post Office, more risky but got there undamaged and on time.
 

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New mtb track in Bangkok

A 'beast' for Bangkok bikers

Bangkok's mountain bike enthusiasts who've been sitting behind the wheel for hours every weekend driving up to Khao Yai and back to indulge in their hobby, can now spend more time on the track and less on the road.

All they need do is head to the Club 11 Bike Club at the 11th Infantry Regiment in Bang Khen, which offers a mountain bike track with mounds, berms and slopes, even a fallen log or two.



Zeudthavee Kanchanapakapong of cable TV's "Bikefinder", uses the track to work out a few times a month.

"I like the difficulty level and excitement of this track. I've not come across any man-made track with as many mounds as Club 11. In essence, it consists of two tracks. The first is about using basic skills. When you reach the second track, technique comes into play. You need to know how to balance and brake because it's quite a dangerous zone with lots of mounds and a steep slope," says Zeudthavee.

"It is a course for the trail bike, a sort of mountain bike which has a good balance between efficiency and control. It's made for on-road and recreational off-road riding," says Attapon "Kate" Mokmon, who's in charge of the club. A former motocross enthusiast, he switched to a mountain bike four years ago. "But I couldn't find any mountain biking courses in Bangkok," he explains

The 3.4-kilometre bike trail at Club 11 was originally created for ATV (all-terrain vehicle) and off-roading events including motocross but failed to draw the anticipated crowds. Attapon spent two days surveying the overgrown zone before deciding it had the potential for a bike track. He cut some trees, mowed the grass and dug out the area. It is, he stresses, a semi-enduro course, not cross-country (XC).

The cost is reasonable, with an annual fee of Bt300 for membership and a trail cost of Bt50 for members and Bt100 for non-members. Club 11 currently has between 300 and 400 members ranging from teenagers to retirees.

The 11th Infantry Regiment is on Phaholyothin Road, between the Lak Si roundabout and Klong Bang Bua. Parking is available.
 

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If you're feeling adventurous in chiang Mai, there are plenty of places offering retal bikes and guided tours for mountainbiking, here's a sample track (suggest good medical/accident inurance)

Mountain biking in Chiang Mai



Chom View Downhill trail
Trail condition: Rough, fast, pure downhill 1.8km. The lookout point from where the track begins is located about 4km from the Chiang Mai Zoo at the foothill on the mountain road that leads to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.

For the record, the gold medal of the recent National Games' competition went to Thanapol Jarupeng from Chainat. He finished the Chom View trail in just 3min 33sec.

source
 

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Taking touring bike to Thailand with me - pros and cons...

I am a 65 y.o. retiree who is moving from Seattle to Thailand in November. I plan to explore a bit, but will most likely retire in the Krabi/Phuket area, or Ko Samui. I plan to do extensive cycle touring. I have a bike I am very happy with, that is perfect for my intended uses. I am wondering if I should take it with me, or sell it and look for a new (used) one after I get settled in. Any help would be much appreciated.
 

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Hi

I brought a bike with me - a Specialized triathlon bike. Like you, one I was happy with. Had poor resale value in New Zealand, and I kept it another 2yrs here before trading-in on a new one. The cost of a new one here was cheaper than in NZ, but as I already owned it, and for less than a year, off we went together.

Check with your airline on how they want it packaged. I contacted Thai Air and they were very helpful with options - either in an enclosed bicycle bag/box or else bubble-wrapped. I took the bubble-wrap option - removed pedals, removed wheels and taped them each side of frame, turn handlebars parallel to bike, lower the seat, and wrap.

As I brought it back on a second trip back to NZ and traveling with a just backpack - they flew it free Auckland-Bangkok-Phuket as I was under the 22kg baggage weight limit.

I was asked by customs/immigration on arrival if it was new - a simple 'no' and on my way.

Also packaged it the same way and sent it ahead of me within Thailand by Thai Post - again no problem and arrived on time and undamaged.

Bicycle Thailand is a useful resource for touring routes, tourists' trip reports, and general information - recently they've had stories on Taking your Bicycle on the MRT Subway (Bangkok), and How to Transport Your Bicycle on Thailand Trains, also one for you Bicycles on Airplanes in Thailand - note this is for domestic not international.

If you have decided which airline you will fly with, check their website or email them for details as airlines have different sets of rules - and costs.

A note on Phuket - OK if you get off the island onto the mainland, but after our year there I'd say it's not the best place for cyclists.

Good luck with your travels.
 

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Thanks so much for your response - I think the resources you cited will be very helpful when I arrive in country. Best wishes in all your future travels!
 

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cheers
there are lots of links on that site to peoples trip reports, I think I've read all the ones in/around Chanthaburi and have done some of those routes (see here), people often take their bikes to Trat or Chanthaburi by bus then ride up the coast to Rayong, there is a 'coast highway' being developed and eventually that whole route will have marked red cycle lanes (as shown in pic below), so far about 150km completed, complete with many shade/rest areas as they continue to promote cycle touring in the region.

 

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Bicycle Thailand is a great site for all things cycling, and they have a an extensive listing of tour companies, incl a review of one of the Spice roads tours in 2012

I've used Grasshopper 5x now from Phnom Penh, no complaints (I keep going back), 3x tours and twice hired a bike for solo rides.

Their one-day 'Bangkok Countryside' may be one for you/daughter

Happy riding
 

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New mountain bike track in Rayong province



The brand new bike trail is called "Fly Navy" because it is located within the naval air base on the west side of U-tapao airport. Yes, it's a military area. But thanks to mountain biking and tourism, it is accessible to riders from outside as well. All you have to do to enter the airbase is leave your ID card with the officers at the entrance and they will give you two passes, one for yourself and and the other, a larger one, for your car. Foreign bikers are allowed in too on the condition that they are accompanied by a Thai and ride strictly in the designated area.
Bangkok Post
 

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A friend of mine runs a business in Phuket and around Phuket for mountain bike tours, amazingbiketours.asia. He's a very nice English guy, his name is James and he's around 35y old, he loves mountain biking and triathlon as well. Just contact him through his website for some tips and recommendation, maybe join a tour with him saying you are a pro.
 
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