Big Buddha

Bike Ride - last half of 2017 and all of 2018, some 2019

 
Cycling in Kathu, Phuket is somewhat different from my experience in the US. In the US I've mostly ridden in Maryland and DC with considerable time in Missouri. That's my frame of reference. DC traffic challenges any other in the world for chaotic intersections, angry drivers, pedestrians, one way streets, etc. Phuket, Thailand is an island with a few major roads that carry a lot of traffic. Some of the major intersections have underground underpasses to keep north south traffic moving expeditiously. There is a huge volume of motorbikes and a high volume of huge buses on the roads as well. There are pedestrians, motorbikes with sidecars, people with pushcarts and of course cars. As I understand it Thailand has backed loans for people to buy cars and trucks rather than having so many motorbikes. This has caused bad congestion. Traveling around the island you can expect travel times to be equal to traveling by bicycle. While there are huge mountain/hill features in the landscape most of the islands roads are very flat. My main bike ride crosses one of these huge steep hills between Kathu and the British International school.
 
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  I went for a nice bike ride. It was 81 when I started and 85˚ when I got back. I'm recovering from a couple very minor injuries that kept me from riding much for 5-6 months. Age is a factor in both the capacity to function after the injury and my body's ability to recover strength and stamina. It took some mental work to allow for this recovery time. As a younger person I would bounce back, without a thot, to full capacity. Now I have to really mentally and physically wrangle with what I can handle. Here in the tropics heat is a huge factor although temps are moderated by the ocean air within 3 miles. It varies between 75-85 all year. The heat wouldn't be as big a factor if it wasn't for the searing sun. I grew up where humidity was high and heat occasionally went to 100 in the summer without the humidity index. Here near the equator we experience that sun more as it's almost directly overhead. I am nearly recovered to my full capacity now. I ride up a steep mountain so that tests my strength. I ride for exercise and enjoyment. After the mountain portion of my ride I circle the reservoir which has lots of shade, it's level and the scenery is gorgeous.
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  This is a view from the top of one of the hills on the island. From the top of the hill I could see the water miles away. From the top I could roll down with such acceleration that I could pass a couple of cars without pedaling. The steepest point is 11% slope. From the steep slope there there is a sharp curve at the bottom of about 45 degrees. Then it winds down to the British International school. From that point it flattens out a few miles to the busy highway. In that flat area is a little park with a big lake.  
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