When I booked a riding tour in Thailand, I wasn’t picturing rain and cold weather. But that’s what we got this morning! A cold front had moved into the area from China, bringing temperatures of about 8C (46F), which felt even colder once we factored in the wind chill when riding a bike around 80kph.
I had seven layers of clothing on my upper body: T-shirt, long-sleeved base layer shirt, body armour, long-sleeved T-shirt, long-sleeved motocross shirt, long-sleeved fleece and rain jacket. They worked well at keeping my body warm.
I thought that my riding pants were waterproof. Most of the fabric is – but I discovered today that there is a 1 inch strip of elasticated material that runs up the inner thigh on both legs, up to the crotch level. I made this discovery a couple of minutes after starting today’s ride, as that’s when cold rain found its way into my crotch! Riding with cold nuts is not much fun, I can tell you! And whilst I have a nice pair of leather Alpinestars GP-Plus bike gloves, once they got wet, my fingers got VERY cold. I was a very uncomfortable biker this morning.
At the first rest stop of the day (a coffee shop), there was a unanimous agreement that we would forego the planned sightseeing and shorten the day’s riding so that we took a direct route to the hotel. Riding in this weather was not going to be fun for anyone.
After about 140km, we stopped for lunch. The pork noodle soup (with duck on the side) was just what I needed to warm up again.
After lunch, we only had another 17km to drive to get to our hotel, arriving about 2.20pm. We are staying at the Sibsan Resort & Spa Maeteang. We were all relieved to be out of the weather at a five-star resort. That said, the rooms don’t have any heating in them – it isn’t usually a requirement. The news is calling the weather in Asia ‘the Big Freeze’ with reports of up to 85 people dead across the region due to the cold weather.
I took advantage of the free time in the afternoon to visit the hotel’s spa for a two-hour massage and facial package.
We have a non-riding day tomorrow which is fortunate, as the cold rainy weather is forecast to continue tomorrow. However, we are scheduled to do an elephant ride in the morning, so I’m hoping that is at least dry for that.