A question of degree

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by Beemerfem, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. Beemerfem

    Beemerfem Member

    As my arrival date nears and my excitement grows, I change my mind on where I want to ride. (hey, it's a chick thing!). My question is very specific.

    On the route north of CM to Doi Angh Khang there is a part of the map that states, "very steep."

    I cut my riding teeth on the hilly streets of San Francisco and wonder if any of you can give me a comparison. Is it as steep as the drop off on Divisadero and Broadway? One reaches the top, sees Alcatraz and quickly begins to wonder and hope there is a road on the down side. It's pretty steep and I ride it with no problem. (and going really fast as you go over the top is almost better than beer).

    I'm mostly a road rider, off road when I am not paying attention or reading maps wrong so let me know guys. I love a good thrill but want to keep the shiny side up. Thanks!
    California, USA
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  3. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    The main difference in the term "very steep" here vs. San Fran is that it is also combined with very sharp curves and switchback. It also continues for a lot longer than you encounter at home. I believe you are referring to the road down from the 1340/1249 checkpoint. I say down because that would be the recommended direction. To answer your question directly; I would say YES you should be able to do it. Just use your lower gears and don't ride, subsequently burning up, your brakes. It is an asphalt road and plenty of places to stop for a short rest if you need it. Also on the map, North of Doi Ang Khan, is a road descending from Nor Lae marked "Extremely Steep". Cross that one off your list now. It is in terrible condition, controlled by military checkpoints at each end, and many a rider has crashed there.

    The recommended route to DAK is north from Chiang Mai past Chiang Dao on the 107 and turn left onto the 1178 to Arunothai. Right in Arunothai on the 1340 to DAK. When leaving DAK double back to your "very steep" descent. You should be able to find many trip reports here if you search a little. Good Luck.

    PICO-PICO Ol'Timer

    After 4 years an absolution. Now I know this road must be very steep indeed and there is no reason to be ashamed that my little 600 cc didn't manage to haul the 500 kg . Don't want to think what might have happened downhill, no low gear for me only smoking brakes.
    So the 1178 1340 are good enough for me too? How long does it take going slow?
  5. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer


    You may remember this post about the "Thumper Ride" http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/threads/33462-Thumperride-16.10.?highlight=thumper+ride
    We left CNX around 8:30AM and we were having lunch at Doi Ang Khang about noon.

    That was riding at a moderate pace. I think you would be able to do this part of the trip without problem as there really aren't many really long steep grades. I believe I would double back the way I came instead of coming down the 1249, which is listed as very steep. I've had the brakes fade on my truck coming down. The ride both ways on the 1340 is worth it. You see a different view and perspective in each direction.
  6. Johpa

    Johpa Ol'Timer

    I remember some short stretches in SF that are as steep as the hills around CNX, but they tend do be wide, straight sections of limited length, usually only one block in length followed by a level cross street and then another slightly less steep block. I don't remember any steep sections with narrow hairpin turns in SF although I do remember that narrow road seen in many movies that is not all that steep but has several hairpin turns. That being said, using common sense, lots of caution, and first gear should get you up or down any paved steep section in the Kingdom. Roads in Thailand that you are unfamiliar with are not good places to seek thrills because staying alive and uninjured is far better than beer. Trust me, you will get plenty of thrills just riding conservatively.

    PICO-PICO Ol'Timer

    Thanks, also helpful to know that I can do it one day. I'm too spoiled to spend a cold night in in cold place.
    Must wait for Joe to get a spare brake, no rear and side car brake at the moment.

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