Since we started working on the pool, our backroad shortcut has been the only good way to get to Nongyasai. But it’s been under reconstruction for six weeks!
When the dozers first arrived, we tried to navigate the torn-up surface on our sturdy Trek bikes. We quickly discoverd loads of “haam” (thorns) that make mincemeat out of rubber tires. All of the highway department equipment must’ve broken apart the devils’s-head plants and strewn their thorns through the gravel.
When we arrived in Nong Pho, we installed kevlar liners in our tires to protect us from just such a threat, but in the new gravelly surface the thorns came in the sidewalls. After double-flats happened two times, we were stuck only with biking the main highway.
The main highway is not friendly to cyclists. It’s narrow, truck traffic is heavy, and everything moves fast. The shoulder is dodgy. You’re just as likely to have some truck fling a piece of sugar cane (as thick and solid as a femur) at you as you are to be caught by the business end of a mango-hargesting pole (think scythe-on-a-stick) hanging off a pickup or motorcycle. So, for six weeks, biking the main highway was nerve-wracking.
Welcome back, shortcut! Here’s a 25-second video showing the shortcut that usually takes us 25 minutes to ride: