Sunday, October 19, 2008
October 2008 - Tam Pra Toon
First trail i hit in this comeback is the good ole' lovable Tam Pratoon. Better start with something familiar to shake off my rusty legs.
By coincidence, its been exactly a year from the last time i rode in this trail. You may reference the very first write-up i made to compare the changes ... August 2006 writeup
The trail is still there alright. But it looks slightly different from a year ago.
I would say its more rugged and has a mean streak to it now. It does not seem to be as well-maintained as in the past.
Recent rains during the past few months have made the trail lush and weedy. Heavy undergrowth thrive on both sides of the trail making the trail very narrow.
Aside from the narrow trail, the rains have left deep gashes and rain ruts over 70% of the trail. Due to my long lay-off, i chickened on every rain rut i see causing me to stop and drag my bike. My buddy, FullOption, nearly rear-ended me on a couple of occasions. I am sure for advanced riders, the rain ruts would make the trail more interesting, instead of exasperating.
There were a number of fallen logs - there must have been 5 or 6 points in which the trail was blocked.
Also, the trail signs tacked to trees had been removed. For those unfamiliar with the trail, it is very very easy to get lost.
We were joined by a group from Sriracha who decided to draft us. They got lost a couple of times due to the lack of signs and the numerous forks in the trail.
On the third ascent, this is always the point where i get off my bike, swear a few times and then push the bike uphill - added technical challenge to the uphill climb -- deep ruts are on both sides of the incline. Not only must you grind it out, but you have to watch where you're going as well.
It is still a mean trail offering ample technical challenges, good distance and many opportunities to commune with nature. I know i did. I stopped so many times to drink water and catch my breath that i had many chances to look at the scenery, peacefully commune with nature and ask the question many bikers find themselves asking on occasions, "What the hell am I doing here?".
As I was driving away from the place, I kept on thinking ... "I can't wait to go back ...".
Posted by Bruised Knee at 13:19