I have been an avid cyclist for a while now and even though I owned a cross country bike I never really took it offroad that often. In fact by the time I sold the bike on I had removed the front suspension and turned it into a bile more suitable for the road. In mybtravels I have been seriously missing time on a bike and today I decided to correct that. In Chaing Mai you have the opportunity to take a bike down the mountain Doi Sutep, there are several ways you can get down but I decided to challenge myself a bit and take on the Old Smugglers route for the grand sum of about £30.
Having not done much cross coutry biking most of what I knew was theory, of course theory in this kind of sport means almost nothing, you can have the greatest understanding of physics but all in all you need to have the guts to just commit to the mountain. I know very well that the less you break then the less likely you are to come off, the momentum propelling you from one object to another in general. I have a great amount of respect for anyone who does this professionally. They must not have what I have and that is a huge fear of falling off and severely hurting myself. The general rule of braking on a bike applies (back then front, don’t overpull) but so much more when your throwing the bike downhill. The ride today took in some fantastic scenary, once again I failed to take any pictures and most of the time my adrenaline was trying to consume me and I have begun to wonder why I put myself into these situations.
I have no doubt in my mind anymore that my future bike antics will (at most) take on minor dirt tracks. I whole heartedly prefer tarmac to off road. I still get the fear on tarmac, especially downhill when the roads are wet but it’s generaally a much less stressfull. It was a fantastic experience to try and do this and once again push myself to a limit but I come away from it knowing I will never do it again. I just can’t handle that much fear and adrenaline all in one go, although saying this I would still like to try hang gliding and sky diving.