Monday, September 18, 2006

Trip Report: WatKhaoPu MOD 1

Location: Bangphra, Sriracha, Chonburi
Trip Distance: 20kms
Start/Finish: BangPhra Reservoir Parking Lot

Jumpoff Point: This loop starts and ends at the BangPhra Reservoir parking lot. Reasons why I usually recommend this place for starting/finishing a loop around this area are that it's guarded, nice breeze from reservoir/lake nearby, and excellent broiled chicken and thai kebabs across the street. Yum! Again, my map shows this start/finish point at the Reservoir instead of my house.

Fresh Marks. One thing about making plans is that they can always change, unexpectedly, in the last minute. Our group ride was cancelled so I decided to do a time trial on the trail I found last week.

A couple of minutes into the track, I noticed tire marks on the ground. It rained the day before so the tires made a clear impression. It didn't occur to me how fresh they were but something tells me that I was going to find soon.

Past the first clearing I saw them - two bikers one hundred meters ahead of me. One of them was wearing a yellow jersey which stood out against the thick green grass which lined the sides of the trail. I did not want to catch up with them so I decided to stop and give two minutes distance between us. After that I moved on and just to make sure that I won't catch up, I checked out the side trails I noticed last week.

These side trails made for some interesting mini-loops of slow uphill and fast, winding downhills to keep things interesting with two spotting places for small jumps.

Slow Down. Back on the main trail, I spotted the same group of bikers I saw earlier. It turned out that there were six of them. I thought they stopped to rest. As I got closer, I noticed that the one who was on a Giant XTC FS was having a mechanical. The rest of the guys were on HTs.

I said Hello! and they almost jumped when they saw me coming. I would have gone past them when the guy on the FS said "Hey slow down and join us!" I was a bit hesitant at first because I don't want to play catch-up with these guys who look like seasoned riders. But one of them had a problem with his bike so that should slow him down a bit, right? SO I figured, what the hell and said OK.

KungFu MOD1. Another minute or so, we were back on the trail. The previous night's rain made for some deep puddles and loose, slippery ground. I was riding at the back, murmuring (to my bike and myself) "Don't crash, don't crash, don't crash". The sixth man occasionally looked back to see where I was only to see me 4-5 feet behind. I looked at my computer and saw that we were running close to 20kph, splashing through mud and puddles.

Approaching DETAIL A, instead of going straight, the group made a sharp turn to the right, to a steep uphill along the bamboo line. Lots of rocks on this moderate climb.

And it's all downhill from there, go to warp speed if you can. Please don't forget that this is still a graveyard so respect it and resist the urge to huck it over the mounds!


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