By Hans Henrik Melchior
When you visit the Viking Wheelers website it states in red and in Danish that the team-motto is “Real Vikings don’t cycle when it rains”. The team certainly violated its motto on Saturday 18 October for its ride in Hua Hin that day. It was raining heavily early in the morning, but cleared up at 9 am, half an hour after the scheduled start of the ride, so the daring Vikings took off, heading south towards Khao Takhiab.
7.5 minutes after the start, however, and before the group had reached the idyllic village of Khao Takhiap, it started drizzling again and all riders were soaked by the time they reached the first pit-stop after about 15 kms ride. Well under roof at the pit-stop the team watched the drizzle develop into a major downpour, and everybody considered themselves lucky they had reached the pit-stop in time.
After about 25 minutes Claus Boman proudly pronounced that “in 5 minutes we start cycling again” and that did the trick. 4.5 minutes later the rain had reduced into a slight drizzle and the team went on towards Pranburi beach, on quiet, scenic roads across a beautiful river, with a group of colourful fishing boats anchored near a small fishing village.
But, having tricked the brave Vikings back onto the roads, the rain took on again almost immediately and the first half of this leg of the day’s ride was very wet. Then the shower stopped, and the sun was shining by the time the Vikings reached the beach for the next pit stop and inspection of a group of new beach villas under construction.
The ride then continued inland, and up-hill, back towards HW 4, again on good, scenic roads to the next pit-stop at about 47 km. The charming owner of that idyllic little shop-house could remember the team from last time the Viking Wheelers visited her establishment and was delighted to see the handsome Danes again.
Then back to HW 4 for the remaining 20 kms ride to Hua Hin – in another heavy drizzle. So it was a group of tired, very wet and extremely dirty Vikings, which finally arrived at the Wannara Hotel at 1 pm. for a well-deserved shower, followed by a delicious team lunch at Admirals.
After dinner that evening the team viewed part two of the hilarious Linie 3 ten years anniversary show, putting everybody in the right mood for the subsequent visit to the other attractions in Hua Hin.
Sunday morning it was the plan that the Viking Wheelers should have cycled along the beach north of Cha-am. It was, however, raining heavily again that morning, so the team decided to cancel the ride that day and instead return to Bangkok and study pit-stop strategy during the Formula One race.
The next special Viking Wheelers event is the Annual weeklong tour from December 5 to 12. This year the team will ride in the area north of the Khao Yai National Park.
For more details about this event visit the team website www.hhmcycling.dk