By Henrik Friis
Christmas arrived Thailand early morning around 8.00 hrs on the 20th November in Lumlukka, at least some people thought that when they had a look at the Viking Wheelers and friends that gathered on a corner at a small road in Lumlukka. They soon realized it was only a well rounded president of Viking Wheelers with his newly acquired beard who tried to assemble bicycles together with 10 other Viking and friends before they headed on the 71 km ride arranged by Matthew Person and his son Zak.
Matthew had managed to arouse the interest of some of the old Vikings, Zak Person, Simon Friis, Finn Soerensen, Jan Peter Jensen and Rasmus Ellefsen and a few potential Vikings showed up, namely a real Danish Viking Alex Petersen, a English Gentleman Peter Friar, and Matthews friends Terry and Yuri and the president aka Santa Claus on wheels. None of the other Claus’s in Viking Wheelers participated as Claus “Speedy Gonzales” Bergenfelt was speed racing in Pattaya, Claus ‘software” Birk was in USA and Claus “carbo-Bike” Boman canceled the day before with the excuse that work came in the way, this have not been verified as the hotel he is suppose to build have not opened yet. It has to be stressed that there is absolutely no family relationship in between any of the Claus’s.
At exactly 8.30 am, the captain of the day Matthew Pearsson assembled the whole crew, gave directions and send the Vikings out on the first 18 km. It seemed to be a slow start but soon the faster riders let them self loose and a headed off in front, although they soon discovered that they were lost as none of them had a GPS and they realized that if they had to reach the first pit stop, they had to stick with the slower Captain who had the directions on his GPS.
The group arrived at first Pit Stop in time to see a group on racer bikes speed by with a police escort. The ever alert President spotted a Viking shirt among the racers and promised a special prize to the Viking who could catch up with racers and either identify the racer or reclaim the shirt. None of the Vikings took the challenge and the president never found out if it was because the team was busy with eating and drinking or because the promised price was a free 10 km extra ride in Lumlukka.
From 1st pit stop the riders set out on another 18 km which went along some quite long roads and beautiful scenery. The fast riders got tempted by the long roads and forgot all about directions which resulted in a they could add another 2-3 km to the route as they overshot a right turn. They were saved by the President watchful eye as he managed to spot the wheelers and send of the support van to get them. All riders was found and everyone arrived safely at 2nd pit stop. Peter Friar decided to return home from 2nd pit stop as he had already reached 50 km as he had bicycled from his home to the meeting point 36 km earlier, and would properly reach a total 100 km before he reached home.
At the 2nd pit stop the Vikings was instructed to restock on the calories before heading out on the next 22 km flat roads across the rice fields, the Vikings was still quite fresh and they happily jumped on the bikes when Captain Matthew instructed them to do so. They soon realized why they had to sock on calories, the 22 km seemed like 40 km in the hot midday sun and at arrival at the last pit stop everyone was dehydrated, and needed extra time to refresh at the local 7/11 before heading out on the remaining 13 km.
After a few turns from the last pit stop, the fast bikers took the opportunity to test their speed on the reaming 12 km as it was straight out, the President was not able to determine who came first in as he came last within the excuse that Simon was tired, but there is still some rumors that Simons front brake was tampered with by the same president. The case will be investigated by Santa Claus when he returns from summer holiday in Phuket.
The participating Vikings would like to thank Matthew for a very nice trip in beautiful and peaceful surrounding, where there was space for every biker fast and slow and we hope that he will arrange a similar trip next year.
The next trip will be in Sakhon Nakhon on 5th December on their annual trip which will be on +500 km and end up in Ubonthani on 11td December. They will keep an update at http://www.vikingwheelers.com or send your inquiry to [email protected].