affinity cycles

Bueng Phra (Mueang Phitsanulok District)

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While staying in Phitsanulok, Thailand with my wife's family I loosely put together a plan to climb some mountains. For the most part Phitsanulok is pretty flat but 20 or so miles outside of the main city there are incredible mountainscapes just begging to be explored by cycle. For the most part these mountainous regions of Phitsanulok have gone unexplored by bike so the idea of pedaling the unknown was pretty exciting. I had a loose set of plans to pedal towards the Wang Thong District where I could climb some mountains.

It rained through out the night leaving many of the streets slick and a thick white line took me out. I slid into the road and was pretty lucky there was no traffic behind me.  I had not been on the road for more than 10 minutes and I had already crashed out.

Despite some swelling in my hip I decided to press forward and pedal through the pain.

I quickly found myself alone in the middle of nowhere. Endless farmscapes as far as the eye could see.

Paved roads turned into dirt roads. Dirt roads turned into unknown roads.

Infinite

Finally the mountains came into view and the excitement of the unknown started to kick in.

At this point I begun to realize that I was in the middle of nowhere. Chances were that anyone I'd encounter would not speak english and I would have to rely on myself to navigate home.

I navigated my way to the mountains where the real adventure begun. The roads quickly pointed upwards. Upwards to the unknown.

The gradients got real steep real quick.

I am not going to lie. I had to get off at this point and take a break. Gradients were in the mid to high 20s and they just kept coming.

And it keeps going and going and going.

The top was within my sights

The road took me through a small village called Ban Rak Thai which is in a subdistrict of Phitsanulok called Chomphu. It is safe to say that I am probably the first road cyclist to pedal through these roads.

After a quick descent down a dirt road I found myself by this lake where I devoured an energy bar and tried to figure out how the hell I was going to get back home.

This place was seriously beautiful.

I am not sure what was more difficult. Climbing up or going down? Descending was definitely dangerous!

Yes this gradient is 20+!!!

This ride was truly an epic and will definitely go down as one of the most adventurous and dangerous rides I've ever been on.

Tougher Than You Part 4

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And so comes the end of Winter. My last winter. My last winter in NYC that is. I am definitely proud of how much I rode this winter. Through blizzards, through snow, rain and the bitter cold. Smell you later NYC! [portfolio_slideshow id=1543]

Tougher Than You : Part 1

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In the Northern Hemisphere our Winter begins December 21st and ends on March 19th. Growing up in Richmond California meant Winters for me were no worse than a warm fall day here on the East Coast. This has been my fourth Winter in NYC and this has been by far the worst. I am not alone in this statement. This years Winter has been relentless and we're all eagerly awaiting the arrival of Spring. I made a goal for myself this year to ride as much as I could during these three months. I knew it would be tough but with the right gear it was totally possible.

The following series Tougher Than You will take you through my journey of suffering throughout New Yorks harshest Winter.

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A Broken Winter.

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[portfolio_slideshow id=1197] Technically it's not winter yet but it sure does feel like it here on the East Coast. My past couple rides have been filled with a mix of low temps, rain and snow. This will be my last winter on the East Coast so I am actually looking forward to it!

Cheers.