Winter weather in north Thailand is as close to perfect as one can hope for. Think of a perfect summers day in the UK and you’ve got it, warm days and cool evening that may, or may not, require a light jacket over a tee-shirt - oh, and it’s 95% certain to be dry each and every day.
And for the cyclist, it just gets better with a wonderful web of secluded byways weaving through the rice fields, across mountains and along the wide fertile valleys of the region. And as if all of this is not enough, if you happen to have a bit of a passion for gravel bikes the unsealed roads tracks and trails that spread like groping tentacles through the hills and valleys that are home to the north’s hill tribe people are a gravel bike utopia.
With our Chinese tour partners, Lee and Cathy visiting, Lee and I have been making the most of things and having a blast, shredding out in them there hills.
Gravel roads abound in Northern Thailand...
and unsealed jeep tracks...
a few river crossing
this image fails to tell the full story, this hill is just shy of 30% gradient.
and tea plantations.
The bike Lee was riding in the photos is my old Salsa Vaya with a twist, a 27.5" x 2.1 wheel and tyre combo I happened to have kicking around on an old bike - Lee's verdict? Fantastic. More of this later.