Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
I awaken slightly hungover. Not from drinking, but from yesterday's torrid pace riding down from Chiang Mai. That kind of cycling has a frantic, scatter-brained energy to it similar to the feeling I get when I drink too much espresso. What's on tap for today? The hair of the dog that bit me.
At breakfast downstairs in the hotel I meet the owners of those touring bikes my Giant shared the conference room with last night: two Dutch guys in their 60's cycling to Burma. We talk cycling while I choke down my disappointing breakfast of runny eggs, stale toast, and instant coffee. I could have done much, much better elsewhere with my 100 baht. As they are leaving one of the Dutch guys says "kop kuhn ka" to the waitress. This is "thank you", but ending in "ka" it is the form that a female would normally use in speaking. I've heard some Thai men that are gay use "ka" instead of "khrap". The Dutch men are obviously gay... I'm left wondering if he said it that way on purpose or if he just doesn't speak enough Thai to know the difference.
Straight out the door I'm on route 1, a four-lane divided highway. I've got a long stretch of this before I can get off without making a significant detour. A wide shoulder keeps me away from the lumbering trucks, the heat is turned up to 9 again today, and the wind out of the northeast is more helpful than not.
The highway crosses over to the east side of the river at a city called Tak. When I get to the junction it's only early afternoon and I've already got close to 100 kilometers on the odometer. Things are looking good for another big day distance-wise. Instead of following the highway I keep heading south on a smaller road that stays to the west of the river. This tree-lined blue highway with little traffic is a much more enjoyable ride. It's good for 30 kilometers, then I have to take a bridge over to the west bank and pick up the main highway again.
At a highway rest stop I book a place for the night in Kamphaeng Phet. It's far enough away to guarantee me over 160 kilometers for the day (I find booking by internet to be a good source of motivation when I would otherwise give up early).
I roll into Kamphaeng Phet as the sun is setting. I'm dead tired but happy at stringing two centuries together. The place I booked is nice and once again ridiculously cheap.
I order a room-service dinner. The woman who brings the food on a tray looks quizzically around my room, I know she's thinking: this guy ordered two dinners, where's the other person? Just one of us ma'am, I'm a starving cyclist.
366 meters of climbing according to Strava.