Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Winter training: mountain biking in Chiang Mai, Thailand

This year, for the third straight year, I spent Christmas and New Year's in Chiang Mai, mountain biking.

Doi Suthep National Park in the background

Why mountain bike in Chiang Mai?

1. It's in the north of Thailand so the climate is nice
2. There's a big mountain just west of the city, Dui Suthep, with its national park
3. Several lovely mountain bike tracks outside of town

The totals:

- 16 days of riding
- 1198.7 kilometers
- 15206 meters total climbed
- 65 hours total rolling time, so on averge 4 hours each day

Where to ride

Doi Suthep

The mountain that's west of Chiang Mai is called Doi Suthep. It's 1676 meters tall. There are plenty of gravel roads to take up the mountain, most of them really steep. And then, going back down the mountain, there are many downhill tracks of varying degree of difficulty. Lots of fun!

Doi Suthep National Park west of Chiang Mai
Doi Suthep as seen from Chiang Mai
Top of Doi Suthep

Huang Tung Tao Lake

Huang Tung Tao is a lake just north-west of Chiang Mai. You get there by going past the 700-year stadium. Almost at once, after passing the stadium, you get to some great single track. The tracks go through the jungle all around the lake. Lovely quick single track, mostly quite flat, but with some short uphills and downhills.The tracks are marked with plastic bands and signs. You can also visit the lovely Sala Caffé if you go on this ride. On the map it's the furthest north on this ride.

Mae Jo Ranch Race Track

There's a race track north of Chiang Mai called Mae Jo Race Track. It's marked with signs and arrows. There are two tracks: Red and blue. It's quick cross-country racing with lots of technical difficulties. Super fun!

Hang Dong Race Track

If you go almost straight south from Chiang Mai you can test the jungle tracks in the Hang Dong area. Also, there's a race track there that's marked out.

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