I have been seriously into bicycling as a hobby/sport for nearly 2 years. Mostly I just ride about the country roads on my own...I ride 5 or 6 days each week...my rides are usually in the range of 45-100km...it is a pleasant, generally low-impact way to explore the countryside and to maintain fitness.
However, I have slowly realised that bicycling is becoming a popular past-time in Thailand, even in Surin Province in the remote NE of the country where we live. In the past 3 months I have participated in several group bicycling events, including races...in November I rode in my first Audax event, a 200km ride organised by Surin Cycling Club.
Audax is a worldwide "club" with a focus on the Audacity of long-distance bicycling, with rides of 200-1000km. There are 2 kinds of participatory styles...the first is a group ride, in which all participants ride together from start to finish...the second is a free-style [known as randonneuring] ride, in which all participants start together but can then elect to ride alone or in small groups and only need to reach the end prior to the cut-off time and with their Trip Passport fully stamped to show they passed through all checkpoints.
Here is a short series of images relating to my first experience of Audax Randonneuring. The pictures were made by the official photographer of the Surin Cycling Club, and he seemed a little fixated on me, probably because I was the only non-Thai participant and also the oldest rider, and his inclination to get me in the frame presented me with a unique opportunityto focus on one of my hobbies/passions in this short series. There were about 250 riders in this event.
Start time is 0500, so here we are at the start at about 0455 in the dark...I am with the group of riders from the Prasat casual cycling club, with whom I have previously done a couple of social rides, and the plan is I will ride the course with them as I am a newby [and all the course directions are written in Thai].
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