Day 105: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

‘Smoking Kills’. But, I might add a caveat. “However, if you have the choice of cycling on a motorway in Bangkok, with fumes so dense you could cut them with a knife, then take a nice light filter cigarette in preference. At least you will not run the risk of being squashed between a large truck loaded with steel tubing, being driven by an eighty year old chap, blind from too much cheap Thai Whiskey, with a driving license he had printed up in a local market whilst having a few beers with his noodles.

I was thinking about the afterlife today on my ride. The traffic was truly amazing. Not amazing in a ‘wow look at that Aston Martin’ kind of way, more of a wow, I wonder how many people ‘check out’ daily on these roads. I imagined a scene with one of the locals turning up at the ‘Pearly Gates’.

Angel with clipboard: –“Name please?”

Soul: Chongbung Ratmanothanburi

Angel with clipboard: Cause of Death?

Soul: – Motorcycle crash.

Angel with clipboard – Describe nature of crash please.

Soul: – I was killed riding with four friends on a motorcycle, whilst carrying a few neon bulbs, some bricks, a small television and some bamboo, and some dried garlic.

Angel with clipboard – Exactly how did you crash?

Soul: – My friend was driving the motorcycle and he tried to send an SMS message to his mother. We drove into a really big truck carrying butane gas canisters, it was coming the other way on the highway.

Angel with clipboard – The truck was driving the wrong way on the highway?

Soul: – No, it was us driving the wrong way on the highway, but we were only driving slowly the other way, so it is ok, no?”

This happens. Today on our ride along the highway, we saw plenty of vehicles driving the wrong way down the motorway, albeit slowly. Bending the rules no? This is Thailand.

Back to this mornings ride. It was ‘interesting’. Interesting in that we avoided becoming a statistic and we managed to find our way back to the hotel. Oh sure, there were a few missed turns and a quick dash across the motorway to get onto the opposite carriageway. We also had a few close encounters with large pot holes so deep you could go caving in them, or fill them with water and rent out jet-skies. But it was ‘interesting’ and hey, it gave me a lot to think about.

Would I ride the same route again? Not even if I were being chased by the four horseman of the apocalypse. Nope. No way. Oh and for anyone that reads the Garmin GPS Link and thinks hey cool I’ll try that route. Please do not. No really I am serious.

Tomorrow is another day. In fact tomorrow is stage one of the Thailand Tour of Friendship. I am looking forward to it – a prologue of 6.8KM. I just hope I do not meet Chongbung Ratmanothanburi on his motorcycle with his buddies coming the other way.

Not lost. Just a bit off course.


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