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BANGKOK 26 June 2019 00:31
carlf

Issan biking

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If you have a smartphone download Pocket Earth or the Maps.me apps.  They do a great job of picking cycling routes and the maps are downloadable so you don't need the internet.
 
Also, ignore the naysayers.  I've been cycling around Thailand and other SE Asian countries for years now and have never had a problem.



It’s always a risk no matter what but if you’re in really good shape and have very sharp reflexes you’ll probably be okay as long as you’re careful. I know because I used to be an extremely fast long distance runner and I used to run all over the place. I used to trail run through the woods, and in the big cities such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Tokyo, Japan, here in Thailand as well, Seoul, Korea which is also dangerous, and many other places. When I used to run through the cities I didn’t stop for nothing not even traffic I’d do 20K in about an hour I was in top physical shape back then almost at professional athlete level. I’ve almost been ran over many times but back then I had those really sharp cat like reflexes and I could easily run between cars across busy streets and just crazy stuff out there and I’ve never been hit by a vehicle in over 20 years of running that way.

Running through Tokyo was safer because the traffic moves slower there and the drivers in Japan are safer. Around here in Thailand and in Seoul, Korea sometimes it’s like they’re trying to run you over. I loved running through Tokyo when we lived there. And in Seoul, Korea there’s a really long and very good running trail that goes along the Han River nearby the JW Marriott in Seoul. But Thailand was probably the most dangerous for running. If you are confident and in good shape and have very sharp reflexes then do it if you want, but be extremely careful because people have been killed here doing exactly what you are planning on doing. Just be aware of the conditions and the risks. Don’t die out there be extremely careful!


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To be honest, I thought the OP was talking about bicycling (as in pedaling a bicycle) not road touring on a motorcycle. Personally, I wouldn't be caught dead on motorcycle here, for the simple reason that the level of driving proficiency here is so low and you are so vulnerable and unprotected on a bike. Plenty of videos of Thailand motorcycle accidents available on U-tube. I'm not going to screen a bunch of them to find the goriest one just to make my point. OP can make up his own mind about whether he wants to take the risk.

 

 

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To be honest, I thought the OP was talking about bicycling (as in pedaling a bicycle) not road touring on a motorcycle. Personally, I wouldn't be caught dead on motorcycle here, for the simple reason that the level of driving proficiency here is so low and you are so vulnerable and unprotected on a bike. Plenty of videos of Thailand motorcycle accidents available on U-tube. I'm not going to screen a bunch of them to find the goriest one just to make my point. OP can make up his own mind about whether he wants to take the risk.

 

 

 

 

Oh wait so did I wow. I guess I should have read his entire post I also thought that he meant bicycling through Issan. So he’s talking about a motorcycle tour okay that’s not quite as dangerous but still not the safest thing to do in the world. One of my Nieces was tragically killed here in Korat in a motorbike accident and she was the passenger riding on the back. Very very sad she was very very young with two kids unfortunately. I didn’t know that he meant a motorcycle tour either until I read your reply. As long as he knows what he’s doing but just stay safe out there, and have medical insurance!

 

 

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2 hours ago, possum1931 said:

I think you are going a bit too far there, I say that if you are an experienced biker, never go above the speed limit, use genuine common sense at all times, always be aware of what is going on around you.

 

If you can honestly say all that about yourself, then you have a 99% chance of avoiding a serious accident.

 

Your last sentence, what do you expect when you rent a bike, have little or no riding experience, and just jump on and start riding? In amongst Thai motorcyclists, in which the biggest majority of them are morons with very little or no common sense.

Do you think he is riding a motorbike or a push bike?

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2 hours ago, Gecko123 said:

To be honest, I thought the OP was talking about bicycling (as in pedaling a bicycle) not road touring on a motorcycle. Personally, I wouldn't be caught dead on motorcycle here, for the simple reason that the level of driving proficiency here is so low and you are so vulnerable and unprotected on a bike. Plenty of videos of Thailand motorcycle accidents available on U-tube. I'm not going to screen a bunch of them to find the goriest one just to make my point. OP can make up his own mind about whether he wants to take the risk.

 

 

Sorry, I don't recognize the term "OP".  I guess that you're referring to me (!?) as the one who was looking for advice?  Anyway...  assuming that I am indeed the "OP", then Yes, I am talking about bicycling, using a "road bike" (sometimes referred to as a "racing bike" or I think Brits say "Push bike"?).   I am NOT talking or thinking about motorcycles.

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2 hours ago, Gecko123 said:

To be honest, I thought the OP was talking about bicycling (as in pedaling a bicycle) not road touring on a motorcycle. Personally, I wouldn't be caught dead on motorcycle here, for the simple reason that the level of driving proficiency here is so low and you are so vulnerable and unprotected on a bike. Plenty of videos of Thailand motorcycle accidents available on U-tube. I'm not going to screen a bunch of them to find the goriest one just to make my point. OP can make up his own mind about whether he wants to take the risk.

 

 

So did I. 60 k a day is hardly pushing it on a motorbike of any description. Embarrassing actually. Something not quite right here.

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1 minute ago, carlf said:

Sorry, I don't recognize the term "OP".  I guess that you're referring to me (!?) as the one who was looking for advice?  Anyway...  assuming that I am indeed the "OP", then Yes, I am talking about bicycling, using a "road bike" (sometimes referred to as a "racing bike" or I think Brits say "Push bike"?).   I am NOT talking or thinking about motorcycles.

 

1 minute ago, carlf said:

Sorry, I don't recognize the term "OP".  I guess that you're referring to me (!?) as the one who was looking for advice?  Anyway...  assuming that I am indeed the "OP", then Yes, I am talking about bicycling, using a "road bike" (sometimes referred to as a "racing bike" or I think Brits say "Push bike"?).   I am NOT talking or thinking about motorcycles.

Thanks for clearing that up. Good for you planning on 60 k a day.

 I'm reavaling mov

ing the fridge closer to my favourite chair. 60 steps these days is unreasonable.

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Sorry, I don't recognize the term "OP".  I guess that you're referring to me (!?) as the one who was looking for advice?  Anyway...  assuming that I am indeed the "OP", then Yes, I am talking about bicycling, using a "road bike" (sometimes referred to as a "racing bike" or I think Brits say "Push bike"?).   I am NOT talking or thinking about motorcycles.



I hope you’re familiar with Thailand at least be careful out there. People have been killed doing what you’re planning on doing. Select your routes very carefully as well.


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Posted (edited)

I know Thai people who bicycle all over Thailand none have been killed yet. A person can be killed in their home country on a bicycle just as one can be killed here in Thailand, no gurantees anywhere. Get ahold of a regular road map of Thailand or find one for Issaan. I find them more handy planning a trip as you get a bigger over view of the area. Then use your GPS during the trip. I do perfer regular road maps as this gives me a reason to take a break

Edited by moe666
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On 5/10/2019 at 10:50 AM, Gecko123 said:

General comments:

While bicycling around Thailand in areas where you know the roads and traffic patterns can be fun and reasonably safe, in my opinion long distance touring in Thailand is simply too dangerous, even in a group. I think your asking about Hwy 2 reveals extreme naivete about road conditions in Thailand. When you think Hwy 2, think Indy 500 and cars going 100 km/hr using the road shoulder as an extra lane. I have never ever seen a bicycle on Hwy 2. Also, you should know that Isaan has some of the highest driving under the influence rates in Thailand. Every Songkran when provincial tabs on alcohol related accidents are publicized, Isaan is at the top or close to the top of the list. Thai drivers, while many are reasonably considerate, many are flat out inconsiderate -borderline reckless - when it comes to bicycles which oftentimes makes the cycling experience harrowing, stressful, and sometimes deadly.

 

Time of year:

The sugar cane harvest is over which removes all of the huge tractor trailer trucks off the road. These trucks, while very intimidating because of their size, actually in some ways are a bicyclist's friend because they tend to slow traffic down. However, starting in May as the rainy season begins, all manner of farming activity is starting to pick up so rural roads, aside from harvest time, are at their most busiest. Roads truly out in the countryside can be very peaceful and make for enjoyable riding, but the problem is on a long distance tour you will inevitably go through towns with much more congestion, and these areas are typically not very bicycle friendly. Dogs in rural areas can also be a problem.

 

Another thing to keep in mind is that there has been a protracted heat wave. This may have abated in the last few days, but recent overnight temperatures have rarely dipped below 80 degrees F, and that's only for one or two hours. By 10 or 11 it's already 90 degrees and climbing, not my idea of ideal bicycling weather. Rain showers and storms usually come in the late afternoons, which too can potentially narrow the number of hours available for riding. Double up on lights and reflective gear as Thailand does not enforce it's corrective lense / visual acuity standards, and I can tell you for a fact that many drivers with poor eyesight are out on the roads, and if you study accident accounts, poor eyesight is often a contributing cause of the accident. I'm not trying to scare you, but don't let anyone tell you the risks are inconsequential.


My advice would be to scope out a remote area which has a network of roads in every direction which you could take 30-50 km morning day trips (when the weather is coolest) and return to your home base in the afternoons.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Very good advice...I ride a mountain bike every day and I'm sure it is far too dangerous on Thailand roads in general...on country roads truck drivers etc really do not pay attention and an accident is highly likely.

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15 hours ago, Pdavies99 said:

Very good advice...I ride a mountain bike every day and I'm sure it is far too dangerous on Thailand roads in general...on country roads truck drivers etc really do not pay attention and an accident is highly likely.

I disagree. I rode more than 5000 km on country roads in Chiang Mai last year. Are you speaking from experience or your reading of the scary news stories? People die using motor vehicles, too. In my roughly 30,000 km experience on road bikes in rural CM, drivers are careful and courteous. The smaller the road the better.

 

To the OP (original poster): You say you're riding road bikes. How are you planning to haul your gear? You can't fit racks and panniers, and a backpack is gonna get heavy fast. Are you just gonna put a toothbrush and a tube of Colgate in your back pocket? I'm not trying to throw up a roadblock; hoping I might learn from you.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, theboogeyman said:

 

 


Always ride against traffic so you can see what’s coming at you. That’s what I almost always did when I used to run and it made it a lot easier to avoid getting ran over. If I had always ran the same direction as traffic back when I could run I’d probably be dead today and smashed by a truck.


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So your advice of riding against the traffic flow is clearly the exact same principles employed by most Thai motor cyclists.  So lets be done with all the thread comments about stupid Thai motorcyclists riding the wrong way against the traffic flow, and instead let us all praise them for using their intelligence knowing full well that as you state "Always ride against traffic so you can see what’s coming at you".    Amassing Thailand to be sure.

 

However , certainly in Udon Thani, khon Kaen and Nong Khai areas all of the cyclists I see on the main highways must plainly be stupid in your eyes as they are always cycling on the near side of the road in the direction of the traffic flow, as is accepted practice.

Edited by geoffbezoz
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11 minutes ago, theboogeyman said:

 

 


Always ride against traffic so you can see what’s coming at you. That’s what I almost always did when I used to run and it made it a lot easier to avoid getting ran over. If I had always ran the same direction as traffic back when I could run I’d probably be dead today and smashed by a truck.


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so cyclists around the world are doing it all wrong and in thailand the cyclists and motorcyclists riding on the wrong side of the road were right all along! who'd have thunk it!

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1 minute ago, samsensam said:

 

so cyclists around the world are doing it all wrong and in thailand the cyclists and motorcyclists riding on the wrong side of the road were right all along! who'd have thunk it!

Yep you just have to love these crackpots who go out of there way to justify stupidity. Re- my post #28 earlier

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