Lampang: It wasn't that far, and it certainly wasn't that easy - Taking my life for a ride - CycleBlaze

August 14, 2015

Lampang: It wasn't that far, and it certainly wasn't that easy

Leaving Wang Chin was easy. It's a small town and you just cross the river heading north to leave town. I did notice several 24 hour Motels on the north side of town, so there is a bit of choice. My hotel was right on the river as you enter town from the south, but I had some strange night fowl screeching outside my window all night long. It wasn't that far to Lampang, so I wasn't too worried. But there is this hill you see...

That's my first real hill of this ride. I didn't count how many km it is, but I did inspect every inch of the concrete barrier that abuts the shoulderless slow lane. It's about 1 metre high and has a worrying number of scrapes and gouges along its entire length. This I know because I pushed my bike up the whole thing, give or take a couple of short stretches where I could cycle it. My guess is it's about 5 km of uphill, mostly at about +9%. And then there is the downhill on the other side. That was a hoot, especially with only one brake. The downhill was capped off with about 2 km of roadworks - resurfacing the road with a mix of hot tar and sand. A bit of impromptu rustproofing for my panniers... and legs.

It went on like this for the entire uphill; me pushing slowly and praying that I wouldn't get smeared against that wall. Maybe someday I'll have the ability to ride effortlessly up hills like this, but not today.
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Seemed to take forever for this much anticipated road sign to show up. The ride down was exhilarating, but I was still completely trashed by the time I got to the bottom and past the roadworks tar and sanding.
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I was so trashed and sweat soaked (like I had been hot dipped in a soup of sweat and road grime) by the time I finished the hill that it took me several hours rest and refueling at one of the roadside restaurants before I felt fit enough to continue on to Lampang.

Lampang is a nice town. It's not a tourist town, which is a plus as far as I'm concerned. The small riverside hotel, restaurant and entertainment strip was populated mostly (98%) by locals. The hotels & guesthouses are reasonably priced and the whole town has a nice ambiance about it. I spent the weekend there, instead of moving on to Chiang Mai, which I knew would be crowded. And the bike shops would be closed on the week end, and I needed a good bike shop...

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