November 21, 2017 -Northern Thailand Cycling Tour – Heading Home – Nan to Phrae

A tough 119 km today. I was on the bike at first light, about 6:15 am. I cycled south through the Nan Basin under a low overcast that turned to fog as the morning aged. Brown, harvested rice paddies loomed through the mist. A smooth road coupled with the flat basin enabled a fast get away.

The early morning fog cast an eerie light on the harvested rice paddies north of Nan.

At the South end of the basin I turned right towards Phrae and the ride took a turn for the unpleasant. Apparently this was the year to make the entire route through the mountains between Nan and Phrae into a four lane road. Next year this will be a fun, smooth ride. Uneven, rough pavement, bulldozers and graders, flag men, and dust, oh the dust! made me want to forget this crossing. On the plus side, the climb was only a couple of hundred meters vertical, and given my early start, I was at the pass, and half way to Phrae by 10:00 am. After another hour or so of winding through the hills with more construction detours, I arrived in the Phrae Basin and had a very smooth and fast run into the town of Phrae, a bustling provincial capital. I was checked into my hotel by early afternoon.

I have no idea why, but Phrae is the capital of broom-making in Thailand.  Roadside stands like these selling the famous Phrae brooms and other similar products line the road north of Phrae.

I did have one troubling mechanical problem today….unfortunately my bicycle is just fine, but my left knee isn’t so fine. Strangely enough, it started yesterday afternoon after lying about resting all day. It was sore for about half the ride today, but by the end of the ride it was feeling sort of ok. I’m icing the hell out of it and hopefully it won’t slow me down. Just two more days!

Slight mechanical problem today, hopefully some ice and NSAIDs will see me through.

Tomorrow may be the toughest day yet. In order to get to my next stop, Lampang, another provincial capital, I have to climb over two passes, and cycle between 104 and 113 km, depending on the route I choose. I hope I choose the one free of construction. Talk to you tomorrow from Lampang.

Great view from my 6th floor hotel room, overlooking the town of Phrae and the mountains to the east of the Phrae Basin.
At 6pm I was the first customer at this restaurant/bar near my hotel.  Hour later, I was still the only customer.  But the food was good and the beer was cold!

5 thoughts on “November 21, 2017 -Northern Thailand Cycling Tour – Heading Home – Nan to Phrae

  1. The Omil November 21, 2017 / 3:53 pm

    Deliberate mistake spotted and I claim the prize: dodgy right knee but left knee being iced.
    Hope neither knee continued to be a problem – I’m enjoying the blog, so thank you.


    • baldbrady November 21, 2017 / 7:02 pm

      Good catch. I’ll blame it on late-onset dyslexia…

      Sent from my iPhone



  2. the3cyclists November 21, 2017 / 3:57 pm

    Just found your blog. Brilliant, so envious. Excellent photos and commentary. Do you live in Thailand?


    • baldbrady November 21, 2017 / 7:04 pm

      Thanks! Yes, I live in Chiang Mai.


      Sent from my iPhone



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