Bike tour stage 1: Northwards to Aus?

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December 28th 2012
Published: December 28th 2012
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The Bikes Fully Loaded!!!The Bikes Fully Loaded!!!The Bikes Fully Loaded!!!

The bikes fully loaded weigh about 80Kg in total.... phew!!!!
Chiang Rai (Thailand) to Luang Prabang (Laos): 20 Dec - 27th Dec

Our vision (as many of you know) was to cycle from Bhutan (where we were), to Australia (where Mel's bro Martin is).

But there were a few problems...

1. It seemed like an awfully long way.

2. Crossing into Burma by land is not possible (legally).

3. Avoiding Burma, we'd have had to go over mountain passes into Tibet, in the middle of winter, which would be closed because of the weather (brrrrr).

So... we made a new and improved vision. This new vision cuts out the tricky bits above, and has seen us set off from Northern Thailand. With this vision in mind, to head South on our Southerly bike ride, we spent the first 4 days cycling Northwards. In brief:

Thailand: A pleasant warm-up to tough cycling to come. Route took us between towns whose names we don't know (because we can't read Thai), to other towns whose names we don't know (because we can't read Thai.)

Laos: THE MOST AMAZING CYCLING (if rather hilly)! Andy has had many near accidents because he's been oooing and aaaring the scenery. Mel has had many near accidents because the road through rural Laos villages is over-populated by babies, piglets, chicks and puppies. Each sighting requires a "Andy, Andy, Andy... look at the reeeeeaaally sweet little..."

Key Stats:

Distance covered in this stage: 520.77km

Distance covered so far (since 20 Dec): 520.77km

Biggest one-day distance during this stage: 116.59km

Maximum speed: 62.7 km/hr

Hours in saddle in this stage: 30 hours 28 minutes

Total Hours in saddle (since 20 Dec) : 30 hours 28 minutes

n.b. You should all definitely definitely make a trip to Laos, and especially Luang Prabang, for a family holiday! We see lots of young families here with their kids, everyone is super friendly, there is heaps to do, and food is exquisite - an easy-going intro to Asia!

Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


Rural RestRural Rest
Rural Rest

Subtly taking a water and stretch break. Do you think anyone noticed!
Mel on Top of the CloudsMel on Top of the Clouds
Mel on Top of the Clouds

After 2 hours of climbing you are sometimes rewarded with views like this one!!!! This was the first hill of three that day - Yikes!!
Subsistence Farming for All AgesSubsistence Farming for All Ages
Subsistence Farming for All Ages

For every farm worker there's a basket that's just the right size!
Oudom Xai Buddha at SunsetOudom Xai Buddha at Sunset
Oudom Xai Buddha at Sunset

This view was how we spent Christmas day evening...... Yes Nan - we did miss the 'Only Fools and Horses' Christmas Special!
Boxing day AdventuresBoxing day Adventures
Boxing day Adventures

Mel is over the moon with her Christmas Present (a new water bottle cage) and Andy is equally delighted with his (a new pucture repair kit)!!

28th December 2012

Great to get update - please can you also include stats on heart rate, power output (watts) etc
2nd January 2013

South by North East
Amazing, keep the blog updates coming! I would also like to know total miles travelled vs total miles travelled in right direction. Andrew, your message at Ed & Sophie's went down a storm. x/high five

Tot: 0.469s; Tpl: 0.036s; cc: 13; qc: 32; dbt: 0.0261s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb