When did you first start cycling?
I hadn’t ridden a bike for about 30 years until I retired, prescription just over 12 months ago. I started with a few short rides and found I was enjoying the exercise. My brother got me more interested and started to do much longer rides. It has been a great way for me to get fitter and to spend more time outside. I bought a road bike just last September, surgeon and since then I have been riding most days in Bangkok, where I live.
What do you most enjoy about cycle touring?
The best part for me has been meeting fellow riders with a common interest of touring and exploring new areas of Thailand. Bicycle touring is the best way to discover a country, at a pace where you can experience what is going on. You will meet the locals and learn about their culture, customs and now they live. It is a wonderful education.
The SpiceRoads way suits me very well; there are regular breaks to explore, we stay mostly off the main roads and visit lots of interesting tourist spots en route. There are stops at historic sites, temples, farms, maybe an elephant refuge and also some country schools where we spent a bit of time with the kids.
The different restaurants for lunches and dinners are all excellent and the SpiceRoads guides and drivers will go out of their way to make sure that we all have a wonderful time.
What training do you normally do before a tour?
I don’t take it too seriously. I like to get out most days and do about 25 km. About twice a week I will ride around 50 to 70 km and mix it up with a swim or a run a few times a week too.
How many cycle tours have you been on with SpiceRoads and which has been your favourite?
I did my first tour in December, which was Chiang Mai to Bangkok. I arrived back in Bangkok a couple of days before Christmas and then took off again early in January for the Bangkok to Phuket tour. They were both wonderful and I couldn’t say which one was my favourite. The best part about riding the length of the country was seeing the differences in the cultures and traditions, the history, the food and the people.
Both tours were different in that the Chiang Mai ride was very rural while the Phuket trip was quite coastal.
Where would you like to cycle next?
I would like to see more of Thailand but also the surrounding countries. Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia have some wonderful trips and the best way to see those places will be on a bicycle.
Do you have any advice for someone who is about to embark on their first SpiceRoads tour?
I think the best thing is to find a tour that interests you and just sign up and enjoy.