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Riding A Bicycle


Scott

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I usually go shopping early in the morning to avoid the traffic, on my way home, I was listening to the 7:00 English Language news on the radio. I didn't get the whole story, but the Thai commentator was talking about the dangers of riding a bicycle and how some people had recently been killed while being robbed. He also mentioned that motorcycle gangs have attacked riders and stolen their bikes. Also, that motorcyclists sometimes drive by and just push them off the bike. He suggested that people not ride alone--he suggested bring 9 or 11 mm's along! It was an attempt at humor (I hope). He added that he was advising foreigners about the situation because it isn't widely reported in the English language papers.

Is it really that dangerous? Anybody have any knowledge or experience on this? He cited incidents in Bangkok and CM.

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In certain parts of Bangkok, it would be dangerous.

Outside Bangkok even more. When I take our most expensive car(Range Rover) to another town at night my wife always checks to see if I have the gun hidden under the dashboard in case I break down somewhere.

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The danger in riding a bicycle here is getting smashed in a horrible auto accident. I wouldn't worry about being robbed. I do see some bike riders, but mostly at night and mostly in groups. I often see groups of about 10 riding together at night. Easier for a group to not get smashed by cars.

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The danger in riding a bicycle here is getting smashed in a horrible auto accident. I wouldn't worry about being robbed. I do see some bike riders, but mostly at night and mostly in groups. I often see groups of about 10 riding together at night. Easier for a group to not get smashed by cars.

I quit cycling on the main roads about six months ago. It really is just too dangerous.

These days I only ever cycle around my village. Three or four circuits take about 30 minutes and I always feel good afterwards.

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Never heard this regarding bicycles, but for sure scooters. Happens quite frequently around here. They kick you off the scooter and steal it, along with whatever else they can get.

This was an interesting one. They used a slingshot...happened about 2KM from where I live!

http://www.pattayaone.net/pattaya-news/34673/austrian-resident-caught-up-in-%E2%80%9Cslingshot%E2%80%9D-robbery-in-jomtien/

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One of the things the commentator said was that a lot of the bikes are quite expensive and I think they aren't as easy to trace as a motorcycle. I would guess that a pillion rider you could hold it while on a motorcycle as well.

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I heard of this happening to scooter riders, but not push bikes, I know it sound a bit crazy, but when in Chiangmai I always keep an eye open for these Muppets, I would actually like them to try and knock me off, having rode motocross and raced off-road Enduro for a fair few years I would have loved some young boneheads try and knock me off a scooter. They would be the ones eating tarmac.....See how there fancy hair doo's would stand up to a splash-down.

Unfortunately these Thai kids are not complete boneheads, they watch and look for farang on holiday or expats who obviously don't ride, (it's not hard to spot…..is it) they would be so ease to knock off!

As for pushbikes….I would think the same rule of thumb would apply……Doesn't apply to me anyway I ride mainly off-road, I only have to worry about; snakes, angry water buffalo, the 'One-eater's' on mechanical cows (Single toothed farmers on scooters) the hounds from hell and in this wet weather the ground just collapsing under your wheels ………………….Bring on them maggot muggers!

Edited by Tonto21
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One of the things the commentator said was that a lot of the bikes are quite expensive and I think they aren't as easy to trace as a motorcycle. I would guess that a pillion rider you could hold it while on a motorcycle as well.

He must be correct...

But, is there any market for -second hand- expensive bicycle?

Here, where I am living, I am riding a ten years old Cannondale... Times ago one of my neighbors asked me how much i paid for it...

When I told him, he laughed into tears: "so much money for a bicycle"?!?

These times, the neighbor in question, was driving a Cayenne... and nowadays a 350 CLS

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I am sure there is a market for some of the more expensive ones. It would be status. It would be quick cash and difficult to trace--unlike a motorcycle or a car. No complicated network of chop shops. The ones doing this also rob the victim.

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I think I'm a pretty careful driver, but I'd say yes, more dangerous than 'back home.' (for me, Austin... basically cyclist heaven... I left my Cannondale there locked/hanging upside down in my condo as part of the decor for my tenants)

In order of priority, when I drive myself I'm on the lookout for buses, 6-10 wheeled trucks, motorcycles, and pedestrians... last on the check down list would be cyclists (point wise they are equal to pedestrians but they are less common so they come in last). Not that I don't value human life, but I have to value mine and those of my family members first and there's plenty to be scanning for in terms of heavy or fast moving vehicles that might injure you before you can worry about people and bikes.

:)

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I ride my bike everyday in Chiang Mai usually up into and around the moat area. Never had a problem . Im sure there is always a first time but so far its all been very enjoyable ... Even rides into the country side never seem anything but smiles .... I ll keep riding !!!! As far as riding a scooter same thing just have to watch out for everything around you . I see tourists riding rented scooters everyday and wonder if they ever make it back home . Its a challenge to drive here for sure ......... I just keep telling myself Im retired now and not in any big hurry to get anywhere .........

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My respect to all of you who ride a bike here. I come from a country where there are supposodly more bikes then people. I used to ride loads of bikes but i would not try it here.

The main problems are that you can't keep up with the speed of traffic + the fact id sweat myself to death.

I ride a scooter and a CBR250R and Honda Jazz. I feel safe in all 3 of those because i can keep up with other traffic. When i first started riding a motorbike i went slow and as a result got cut of many times. I can only imagine how bad it will be on a bike.

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OP - never heard of it, or considered it a risk; don't own a lock for my bike and even survived a year on that notorious criminal island of Phuket, leaving the bike while I went swimming, snorkeling, kayaking - my 'security' involved leaving it near the lifeguards (have to trust someone!); no lifeguards where we are now, so in the care of a tree (and its associated spirits) is the best I can do.

With my previous bike - racing/tri bike set up for 187cm rider, 23mm rims etc, never considered it a theft risk due to what it was - not the kind of bike anyone could sell to the average Thai. Current mtb may be more appealing - but still too tall for most to jump on and ride away.

Wait for my forthcoming thread: My bicycle was stolen!

Basic safety/survival for me, I take a longer route to the beach on weekends rather then the 'open road' direct journey, a quiet road where I can hear vehicles approaching from behind. And I have a bar mirror on my new bike - should have got one years ago, ideal for spotting those sneaky quiet vehicles.

Safe riding everyone!

Edited by Atmos
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I was a big rider of my Cannondale back in the US. But to be honest, just as I don't run in the streets here, I wouldn't ride a bike. I was not aware of the bike-snatching. My concern is safety. I drive my car everywhere, and I feel quite safe. But I would not feel so safe riding a bike on the road shoulder.

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After driving to work from Thonburi to Asoke everyday for 3 years - I told myself I did not deserve the aggravation. Sold the car, bought a bicycle to commute Thonburi to Asoke. Lo and behold, my travel time was cut in half. I felt really good overtaking buses, luxury cars and taxis, although I did have to use a mask to protect myself from the fumes. Did this for the next three years until I had a chance to leave Bangkok forever. Was it dangerous? I would say no more dangerous than driving a car. Was it Liberating? TOTALLY! Would I do it again? Without a doubt!

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Last week there was an adult male on a very small, bright pink, girl's bike, riding in the traffic lane in front of me, frenzied legs peddling the single gear toy at 10kph, while talking on a cell phone.

I must confess, I felt a strong urge to push him off and take it away from him. So maybe there is some truth to the report.

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must say we're lucky where we live . . . perhaps coastal Chanthaburi is the most bicycle-friendly part of the country?

Now about 70km of roads marked with red asphalt cycle lanes each side, and more to come.

Sure they still get used at times by slower motorbikes, but the coloured lanes, the signposting - and how about that 'bicycle parking' is a big step up from anywhere else I've been riding. Cycle-friendly.

There's plenty of cyclists here, lots of active 'mature' Thais out on bikes, a mix of road/race bikes and big frame mtbs with road tyres, also groups from C'buri Burapha university, mix of male/female, also a uni mtb group we've seen heading into the hills.

Good shops in C'buri incl a Probike store, another for road/tri bikes, and more . . . spoilt for choice, and some quality bikes, Colnago, Bianchi and so on.

Great place to take a break - on the coast halfway between Koh Samet and Koh Chang, have been at the bus station an seen people coming/going with their bikes on the bus, nice weekend away for low-key touring.

Edited by Atmos
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OK, Atmos, I'll move the topic.

By the way, I think the main purpose by the commentator was about people being robbed and mugged. The actual stealing of the bicycle was secondary (that's from listening between the lines).

For thieves on a motorcycle, bicyclists are a pretty easy target. They are both on the road and if they are alone, not much they can do.

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One of the things the commentator said was that a lot of the bikes are quite expensive and I think they aren't as easy to trace as a motorcycle. I would guess that a pillion rider you could hold it while on a motorcycle as well.

He must be correct...

But, is there any market for -second hand- expensive bicycle?

Here, where I am living, I am riding a ten years old Cannondale... Times ago one of my neighbors asked me how much i paid for it...

When I told him, he laughed into tears: "so much money for a bicycle"?!?

These times, the neighbor in question, was driving a Cayenne... and nowadays a 350 CLS

Check out these two threads from the Cycling forum which spread a bit more light on the subject.

Stolen Bike

Which Bike

The latter of the two refers to a large market in Surin that supposedly is a big 'unloading' point for stolen bikes.

The prices being charged for some of the high end full. susp. and full carbon MTB's and some of the full carbon road race bikes in the 150-200k THB plus price range makes this a good business for someone who knows the value.

My tactic; ride off road and don't wash your bike - looks like a POS not worth stealing :huh:

Edited by yotspeed
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I tried riding a bicycle once in CM. No more. You would be way down on the pecking order.

I rode 13000 miles in and around Chiang Mai last year. Safer than English roads and no problems. If you can handle a bike and are traffic/kwai/idiot aware its like everywhere else. No problem.

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must say we're lucky where we live . . . perhaps coastal Chanthaburi is the most bicycle-friendly part of the country?

Now about 70km of roads marked with red asphalt cycle lanes each side, and more to come.

Sure they still get used at times by slower motorbikes, but the coloured lanes, the signposting - and how about that 'bicycle parking' is a big step up from anywhere else I've been riding. Cycle-friendly.

There's plenty of cyclists here, lots of active 'mature' Thais out on bikes, a mix of road/race bikes and big frame mtbs with road tyres, also groups from C'buri Burapha university, mix of male/female, also a uni mtb group we've seen heading into the hills.

Good shops in C'buri incl a Probike store, another for road/tri bikes, and more . . . spoilt for choice, and some quality bikes, Colnago, Bianchi and so on.

Great place to take a break - on the coast halfway between Koh Samet and Koh Chang, have been at the bus station an seen people coming/going with their bikes on the bus, nice weekend away for low-key touring.

Great pics. I wish the Bangkok area had the same.

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