Biking

Biking across Thailand – Bridge over the river kwai

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After our brief encounter with wild cats concluded, we headed to River Kwai bridge. River Kwai bridge was constructed under Japanese command during world war 2, to enable Japanese troops to cross across Thailand to Burma and eventually India. Thousands of PoW (Prisoners of wars) were deployed for construction work, without adequate food, rest or medical care. This resulted in deaths in thousands and being alive for one more day was a luxury at that time. Our generation isn’t really exposed to such life and death hardships and all we complain about is traffic, high fuel prices and slow internet. But life back then was very different. A visit to the museum and war memorial will remind us of harsh realities of life in the times of war. River Kwai bridge stands as a testimony to the fact that thousands had to die to satisfy greed of few emperors. The movie by its name, which was pictured in Srilanka has made this bridge immortal.

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Ghumakkar Insights – Biking Guide from a Biker

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I have always considered biking to be a natural instinct for me. It is like my reflex action to any elongated duration of professional boredom. Until now, when I was asked to provide my insights on biking, I could never realize that there are a lot many things that I do to ensure that I, and sometimes my group, have a safe and exciting riding experience during our rides. So here my chance to earn some good karma.

We have covered quite a few places in the hilly parts of Uttaranchal & Himachal and have had the privilege of riding to Ladakh twice. We have also covered the entire Spiti Valley circuit along with other long distant places like Harsil, Chopta, Chittorgarh etc.

Having established my reputation as a biker, I am confident that the rest of the prose will get your undivided attention.

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Biking across Northern Thailand- Part 1

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What was supposed to be a 400km ride turned out to be a late night biking expedition covering 530kms, as we rode 60+kms in wrong direction. All was well till noon, when we stopped for lunch at Mae Sariang. Post lunch, we should have taken Route 105, instead we continued on Route 108. A few display said this road heads to Chiang Mai and that didn’t ring a bell to any of us. Only later, our pilot Sumon pulled over, cross checked his map, consulted our support team (who had take right turn) and decided that we need to go back. Without a whim we rode back all the way to  the city where we had lunch. We should have added another 200 curves to our count by then,  because of this extra ride.

It was evening by now and we still had another 230kms to cover. We fuelled up and began riding, this time in the right direction.
Soon it became darker and suddenly, we found ourselves on dirt track. This feels like India- we told ourselves. Our speed dropped to single digit and we negotiated the bad road slowly, maintaining gap between bikes to let the dust settle. We were very close to Burma border, with our road running parallel to it. There were hardly any vehicles other than hours and there were no lights or shops or anything else. Pitch dark, deep forest and 100 more kms to go.

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