mountain biking in Saraburi

Mountain Biking in Saraburi with the BHHB

The Bangkok Bike Hash (BHHB) recently ventured to Saraburi for the latest monthly cycling trip and having never gone mountain biking in Saraburi, I thought it was long overdue that I joined them. I left Bangkok at 5.30am wanting to avoid the notorious traffic on the Bangkok to Nakon Nayok road, ready for what was scheduled to be an arduous 50km journey. I arrived at the resort by 8.30am and had plenty of time to relax before the ride. The resort was just outside Saraburi city center at a nice resort surrounded by picturesque countryside. There was even a pool so we squeezed in a quick swim after breakfast and started to gear up.

After a briefing around midday we left the resort in convoy and headed off road through scrub land and farms before heading into some hills for the first of many climbs. The day started with glorious sunshine but the weather very quickly changed and within 20 minutes it was pouring down. The ground was wet from storms on the previous day but it didn’t take long before the trails resembled a quagmire with deep pools of muddy water…great stuff!

As we headed up the hill, the trails turned to small streams and we were soon navigating difficult terrain with loose rocks, roots and torrents of water gushing down the trail. It made for a nice challenge trying to maintain balance and some of the downhill sections were pretty nerve wracking. After 15km we reached the first of two water stops, located at the bottom of a huge granite hill with a temple clinging onto the peak. The first section was a nice warm up and I was feeling pretty good but there is nothing like an ice cold coconut to give you a boost after exercise so I refueled before section 2, which was 19km in length. The next step led into Samlan national park, often overlooked as people tend to head past it to Khao Yai but beautiful nevertheless. The road into the park was surrounded by dense vegetation and once inside the park we quickly headed up the mountain and through the park. I was hoping to stop to see some of the waterfalls but with 35km still to cover before it got dark I thought best to plow on. The trail was very slippery in places so we had to take it quite slowly, but there was a fun downhill which came out at the Southern end of the park. From here we followed the edge of the forest and and headed back into the interior up what was the steepest section of the route. By this point I was starting to feel tiredness creep in and I had to push part of the hill. Amazingly, hash regulars had few issues pedaling to the top of the hill making me feel like a bit of a wimp!

The summit turned into a nice winding downhill which lasted for a couple of kilometers on a relatively track – the highlight of the route and this time emerged in the Nothern side of the park where after a few kilometers of flat farm trails and paved road we reached the final pit stop before the final 15km stretch. Again I took advantage of some very affordable fresh coconuts and had a 10 minute break before setting off for what was perhaps the least interesting section, mainly following quiet roads and farm trails before re-joining the first set of hills and scrub that we started on and onto the resort. At this point I was pretty exhausted and so seeing the resort come into view was quite a relief but overall it was a great first experience with the BHHB and the organization was amazing. Credit to the hares too, who had spent months mapping the trail, maintaining it and laying shredded paper to ensure the hashers could follow the trail without getting lost. Mountain biking in Saraburi was also a good experience, having been to most of the trails within a 3 hour radius of Bangkok, it was a nice change. The worst part of the trip was discovering I forgot a change of clothes and having to drive back to Bangkok in my soaking wet cycling gear! I look forward to joining the BHHB again.