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We run unique road cycling tours that let you discover the real Asia. Our blog contains news, photos and videos from us and the people who have come along and taken part in our cycling holidays. To learn more about our bike tours and to see itineraries and dates, visit our website by clicking the image below...

Chiang Mai - Flat rides too!

Chiang Mai is fast earning itself a reputation amongst cyclists in the know, as home to some of the toughest and most spectacular cycling climbs anywhere in the world. With approximately 69% of the province comprising mountains and jungle, this reputation is undoubtedly well deserved but there is a lot more to Chiang Mai cycling than just riding uphill. The City is, after all, situated in a valley carved by the Ping River and it is perfectly possible to ride for many miles without ever encountering anything resembling a gradient.
Today’s ride is a perfect example. Roughly following the course of the Ping River, we head north out of the city, soon finding ourselves on quiet suburban roads. The road and the Ping meander their separate ways, occasionally meeting and providing us with spectacular views of the river.

We then find ourselves riding alongside the Mae Faek irrigation canal. This quiet stretch of road is a joy to ride. To our right, running along the base of a modest mountain is the canal with fishermen, waist deep in the waters casting their nets, cattle grazing the banks, egrets scavenging for insects the cattle have disturbed. To our left, workers cultivate paddy fields, work the fish farms or harvest one of a countless variety of crops. And in the distance, yet more mountains.

The bird-life is a delight too. We’re no ornithologists but, as well as the more common species, we spot brightly coloured kingfishers, bee-eaters, Indian rollers, pond heron and stork on this ride.
Further on we ride past the immaculately manicured grounds of the Royal Chiang Mai Golf Resort which is overlooked by a giant white Buddha and temple. We have the option to ride up and view these at close hand as well as enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside but that would entail a short but stiff climb and as today we are sticking to the flat, we shall satisfy ourselves with admiring them from afar.

Now we turn to the west and ride through the rural village of Mae Faek, the otherwise simplicity of which is in stark contrast to the two opulent and gaudy temples it contains. This is the real Thailand. Other than fellow cyclists we have never seen another westerner here.
Leaving the village we start to head once more into open countryside. We’ve left the canal behind and there are some very slight undulations in the road but we barely notice as we pedal on the beautifully surfaced road enjoying the lush scenery before turning south and heading back to Chiang Mai. Checking our GPS at the end of the ride we see that we have ridden approximately 80kms with a total elevation  gain of 176 metres. That has got to be a flat ride in anyone’s book.

For information on Tours around Chiang Mai check our website.



Chiang Mai's cycling scene

Chiang Mai’s cycling scene has exploded over the last few years. When I first came to Thailand in 2007 the locals stared and waved at alien looking foreigners dressed in Lycra and riding bikes that weighed not much more than just a few kilos. Today, several large groups of cyclists set out each morning and evening to train or just enjoy their passion, on roads and though countryside that, in our opinion, offers some of the best cycling in the world. The locals no longer stare but accept the growth in cycling as a welcome addition to tourism and welcome all with the famous Thai smile and warm hospitality.
People think of Thailand as a beach destination, with an exotic culture and delicious cuisine, but word is getting around, among the world’s enthusiastic cycling community, that Chiang Mai has a growing and thriving cycling culture and that it is fast competing with cycling hot spots such as Mallorca, Lanzarote, Girona. 
Chiang Mai, a bustling town at the heart of ancient Thai culture, with its warm hospitality and exotic way of life is fast becoming The Number ONE hotspot on any cyclists wish list.
Read local Chiang Mai resident Steve Thomas’ recent article “Cycling culture in Chiang Mai (and beyond) to see what the Pro cyclist Orica-GreenEDGE ‘s Christian Meier has to say about cycling here and find out why Asian professional and continental teams are using Chiang Mai as a serious training base.
Crouching Tiger Cycling Tours offer serious training opportunities, challenging and exhilarating cycle tours for lovers of cycling.
Here's another race report from our mate Jon Malnick.

Tour of Eastern Lanna, Stages 5 & 6.

The flat 80km stage 5 from Phayao to Chiang Rai was covered at a businesslike 45 km/h and heralded no surprises. With the well-drilled Royal Thai Air Force team marshalling the front of the peloton, any escapes were always going to be short-lived.

The final city centre circuit race saw plenty of attacking riding but ultimately no changes in the overall. Chiang Mai riders were as usual well represented on the podiums with the biggest cheer going to Wisut Kasiyaphat's trademark "superman" solo across the finish line for the stage win.

Somewhat less flamboyantly, we managed to protect Team Cuore's 3rd & 5th positions in the 40+ GC in a tight tactical battle with the Bianchi team which unfortunately bored most of the spectators to tears.

A fun race, great scenery and thanks again to Crouching Tiger for the pre-race bike service.

Photo credit: ภัธนา มูลมณี

Tour of Eastern Lanna

A good mate and fellow cyclist Jon Malnick is currently racing in the Tour of Eastern Lanna, in Northern Thailand.
I asked him if he could give us an account of his experience at the race. Jon is racing with Team Cuore and is supported by Crouching Tiger Cycles, Chiang Mai. Here is his first race report for us.

Jon Malnick
Tour of Eastern Lanna, Stage 4, Nan > Phayao, 75 km.

With 1300m of climbing squeezed into a 40km section of devilishly-contoured tarmac, this scenic corner of north Thailand was always going to provide the backdrop for the Tour's killer stage. 

As late August marks the middle of Thailand's rainy season, grey clouds were massing on the nearby peaks as the 130 riders rolled away from the start line. Drizzle turned to rain and crashes in the jittery peloton soon followed. But the sun was poking through as we hit the first of the lung-searing 15%+ inclines.

The indomitable Peter Pouly, just returned from a string of victories in the French Alps, took the stage win - and then apparently rode another two hours to the team hotel to ensure a decent workout for the day.

Chiang Mai riders continued to show strongly in the closely-fought masters categories, with Nic Magnan holding onto yellow in the 30+, just ahead of Junya Juisakul. In the 40+, Henrik Tolstrup stole the lead from local hero Wisut Kasiyaphat, while your weary correspondent hangs onto 3rd place with three stages to go.

Cycling around Chiang Mai with Croching Tiger Cycling Tours through the eyes of Di and Bernie McGoldrick.

Bern & I have just done a fantastic 4 day bike ride around the Chiang Mai area of Northern Thailand and thought we'd let all the Bandidos back in chilly Melbourne know what great riding is to be had in this area. 
Chiang Dao in the clouds
We organised the ride (a 60th birthday present for Bern from the family) through Marcus Maguire (ex Melbourne - now International Bandido) and his Crouching Tiger Tour company and can't speak highly enough of the organistaion, support and best of all the choice of rides Marcus  mapped out for us.
As it was low season, Bern & I were the only riders with Marcus as our  personal guide and a well stocked a/c support van trailing behind.

Marcus specialiss in 'road bike tours' so has a small kitty of Trek bikes to hire. As we travelled straight from the boat, we hired ours from Marcus but apparently most customers bring their own bikes,which is a good option if you love your bike so much and want to take it on an exotic holiday!

Chiang Mai itself is a relatively flat city, situated in a valley bound by mountain ranges either side. So the choice of rides is vast. Most of the riding we did was out of town on well-sealed roads in surprisingly, excellent condition. As it was just the two of us the rides were customised to suit us but  involved a mixture of flat, undulating and a couple of challenging climbs. We averaged 100kms each day starting out at 7.30 each morning and with stops for cool drinks and fresh or dried fruit mid-morning and finishing by early afternoon for lunch. This was good timing, as by midday it really starts to warm up. And for hill climbers there is so much on offer around this area. Marcus is as fit as a mountain goat and keen on hills! The scenery is beautiful- green and lush with rice paddies in abundance and dense jungle growth through the mountains and eye-catching temples everywhere!

As it was a 'package tour' accommodation, all meals, transport etc was inclusive and of an excellent standard and well chosen. So for a cycling holiday doing what you love most in a warm climate check out www.crouchingtigertours.com

 P.S.I've just re-read what I've written and I know I sound like a tourist brochure, but the description is how it really is!!!

Many thanks to Di and Bernie McGoldrick for this account of their tour with us last month. Come again soon guys!