– Tell us about your earliest experiences as a cyclist…
I have ridden a bicycle since I was a child however I discovered the pleasure of road cycling in 2011. I bought my first road bike and joined my first SpiceRoads Bangkok to Phuket Tour 3 months later. Though I realized I had much to learn about cycling, capsule I met experienced cyclists on that tour and learned a great deal about Thailand in those 10 days. In short, I was hooked on cycling after my first SpiceRoads Tour.
– Tell us what you most enjoy about cycle touring and why you like to see the world by bicycle?
Cycle touring brings people from all around the world together with at least one thing in common, the love of road cycling. I have met many fine cyclists and have made some of my best friendships on SpiceRoads tours. It is also common to find very strong riders older than myself and that has given me hope for aging gracefully also. Lastly, the guides and drivers are key to feeling integrated into the Thai community as we move from town to town across Thailand.
– How many cycle tours have you been on with SpiceRoads and which has been your favourite?
I have cycled 8 tours with SpiceRoads. One trip from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and 7 tours of Bangkok to Phuket (Yes, 7 times so that must be my favourite). I enjoy the small beach towns on the Gulf of Thailand and spectacular scenery of the Andaman Sea coast. The dinners offer a wide variety of dishes and the Thai massage is perfect complement to a day of exercise on the bike. Even though the tour travels the same route, I see and learn new things that I missed on previous tours. Every group of SpiceRoads cyclists is unique.
– Where would you like to cycle next?
I would like to explore the Northern Thailand hills of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai and the Isaan/Lao area with SpiceRoads in the future. The local Thai cycling culture is extremely vibrant and Thai drivers are respectful of the cyclist. I feel safe and welcome with my bicycle in Thailand and it truly is the land of smiles.
– In your opinion, what is the benefit of travelling by bicycle?
The health benefits from cycling would have to top the list. Personally I have lost weight, lowered my blood pressure, increased muscle mass and found an outlet to the mental stress of modern life. I have recently retired and visit Thailand a couple of months a year. I always bring my road bike as my main means of transportation and a tour with SpiceRoads brings together old and new friends.