Text and Photo by www.vikingwheelers.com
Nong Yai Challenge Ride was held on Sunday 3rd of April. It was a challenge already before it was started as dates was moved and it was even a challenge for the participants to find out it was a Saturday or Sunday, although that cannot be blamed on the organizer but only the president. Quite many Vikings signed up for the trip, but already before the ride some of them realized that it was too much of a challenge, using varies excuses about getting lost in the dates, problem with the GPS, new job etc, and their even their light weight carbo Claus webmaster also cancelled, the official reason was that his doctor gave him some medicine which made him dizzy, but the general believe is that it was waking up 5.00 Am in the morning to go on a 80 km ride far away from Bangkok which caused the morning dizziness.
Sunday morning came, and despite late cancelation a group 9 fresh and innocent Vikings showed up at coffee shop, the participants was Terri, Yuri, Finn, Alex, Willy, Simon, Martin, Henrik and of course the organiser Claus Bergenfelt. It took at little time to get control of the Vikings but slightly pass eight in the morning the group headed out on the ride with Finn in the front and Clause Bergenfelt trying to control on troops. Henrik was also up in the front as he had enlisted his son Martin on his trailer bike to push daddy ahead, on the first stretch the group stayed together as everybody had to share the latest news among Vikings and relatives but soon the faster bikers started to pick up speed and leave especially the Friis family behind. The Friis family seemed to have some problems getting along in the back, Claus tried to push the group but apparently Simon had got the wrong bicycle leg out off bed and insisted being the last and Henrik had problems to get Martin to transfer his energy from the mouth down to legs, the team captain therefore decided to take the crew temporarily of the road and into the car in order to catch up with the front runners, the organisers spotted this app. 4 km before the first pit stop and he stopped car and chased Henrik back on the road with promises of a smooth ride ahead to first Pit Stop.
First Pit stop was used for getting refilled the energy and the President to excuse himself for the bad riding. Claus signalled off for departure and informed that there would be a few hills ahead and it was decided to keep the 2 junior Friis’s in the car so Henrik didn’t have an excuse, first 4 km was quite nice but somehow the organiser had managed to get the biggest hill in the area placed on the route. The speedy guys Finn, Terri and Claus forced the hills with a slight sweat on the forehead, Willy and Alex had their problems with low gear and Henrik decided to be a gentleman and escort the only lady Viking up the hill by foot, after surviving the hills it was all smooth ride down for a while, but apparently the hill had taken all the energy out of Henrik as he soon started to fall behind when the road was back to normal, and when Claus didn’t notice he jumped in the car with the excuse of having to take of his kids up to 2nd Pit Stop.
Claus managed to get everyone, together at 2nd Pit Stop and as a motivation he informed that between 2nd and 3rd Pit Stop the roads would be more or less flat, it is still argued if he said there would be more of the less flat roads, but anyhow everyone got on the bikes, also the Friis team and again they made quite a effort to keep up with the others, but not long as they still had transmission problems on the trailer bike, so the team leader gave up took the team permanently off the road, incl. himself so he could talk strategy with team for the up-coming April ride. The remainder of the group kept quite a good speed up to pit stop 3 which was also last pit stop before goal and lunch.
During the break at Pit Stop 3, Claus made a briefing about the road ahead and everyone was informed that there could be a few steep hills ahead, so when Claus made the signal for takeoff the group got a little slow out, especially Alex develop a interest in Toyota and he decided it was good opportunity to study how the presidents car looked from the inside, and the president being a hospitable person ensured a personal introduction and joined him in the car, also to repeat the strategy for his team mates for up-coming April ride. The other riders picked up speed and everyone seemed to mange quite well, although it was quite hot (outside the car), and the hills was taken without much effort. The organisers was apparently not happy with Alex and President in the car so he somehow managed to convince Yuri to look tired on the way up one of the hills, the 2 gentlemen was easy tricked and both offered their seat in the car order to show how much gentlemen they were and also believing there was only 4-5 km back they looked quite they seemed quite confident when jumping on the bikes until they realised it was actually 12 ++, Claus was supportive and did a great job to keep the gentlemen on the bikes and also help them to catch up with Willy. With Finn and Terri long gone, the group of 4 tried to stay together but suddenly Willy was seen coming from behind with quite a speed, the 2 young riders Alex and Henrik quite surprised until they found out that it was actually the other Veteran rider Claus who pushed Willy as Willy legs had gone into a dead lock on the pedals but Claus being the locomotive everyone arrived safely back at the Coffee shop for a well deserved shower and Lunch together with some Heineken Green carbohydrates, and Claus also informed that if somobne was tired it was properly because the ride was 88 km instead of the announced 80 km.
The next challenge is the Bang Phra on Saturday 23rd April, and there are 2 different options a 25 km president route and a 50 km normal route, and if anyone would like a 3rd option it is free to take 2 rounds.