Sunday, October 6, 2013

Winter Mountain Bike Destinations

As fall rolls moves in on us in the Pacific Northwest many start thinking about the snow in the mountains and the upcoming ski and board season.  There are also those that love to ride year round and are preparing for the colder, wet weather.  There is a lot of fun to be had on muddy trails but as much as I love the Pacific Northwest riding in the winter.  I have a destination that offers great single track and warm weather.  Not only is the weather warm but the destination offers the perfect exotic travel that adds up to be a wonderful vacation.

So what where am I talking about?  Thailand. Yep it is a long way from the US and you might even have to take a bit of vacation tie from work.  But it is more than worth the effort to ride amazing single track.  We have created a better way of getting you on the trails.  It is not always easy landing on the other side of the world and get on the best single track mountain biking in the area.  That is where we come in.  Discovery Adventure Tours has all the connection you will need.  Working with local riders we have set up the ability to offer various packages to get you on the trail.  Our basic package is for 5 days of riding and includes your lodging.  We recognize this may not work for everyone and are open to setting up custom variations of time and lodging to find what fits your needs best.

So who is Discovery Adventure Tours or DAT for short?  Yep we are new on the block of offering bike tours, but we are not new to the adventure travel and  tour business.  We have been around for years as Discovery Sea Kayaks or DSK for short.  DSK has been recognized as one of the Best Outfitters on Earth by National Geographic.  So rest assured we have the experience to offer you a tour that will measure up to your standards.  The new name, Discovery Adventure Tours, was created to have a more sensible name for offering adventures other than kayaking.  The two guides that will be in Thailand will be myself, Jason and Colin.  Both Colin and I have years of experience guiding tours and riding bikes.  Colin's riding style is aggressive and fast.  Colin has been riding steep terrain in the Pacific Northwest for years and has developed all the skills needed for fast and rugged riding.  My riding style is a bit more cautious and not as fast paced. Though I have been riding mountain bikes for some time now.  Riding dual crown DH style bikes is newer to me and I like to choose what obstacles I attack. Between the two of us we can accommodate a range of skill levels on the trail.

How does this all come together?  Colin has been traveling and riding in Southeast Asia for years.  I am a recent convert to the trails in Thailand.  In our time traveling in the region we have developed relationships with local riders that we work with to offer well rounded experience.  Our local contacts will work with us to facilitate all our shuttle needs on the mountain plus provide a local guide for all rides.  The riding community in Chiang Mai is amazing and you will enjoy the opportunity to ride with the local shredders.

Should you bring your bike?  Realistically we do recommend bringing your bike.  For the type of trails we are riding it is best to be on a bike you know and feel comfortable on.  We also recommend a freeride to DH style mountain bike.  Suspension is key on the rough terrain we will be riding.  Some can get away with an all mountain style 6 inch travel bike but we feel to get the most out of the trails a bike with 8 inches of travel is best.  There are many ways to pack your bike for travel.  There are services that will box your bike and ship it for you.  If you are comfortable breaking your bike down. You can actually packing in your checked luggage.  We have had good luck using the Dakine Split Roller (100L).


We used the Dakine bag for the frame and most of the parts plus clothing.  We used a wheel box we picked up from a local bike shop from the wheels and miscellaneous tools.  The rest we carried on in our riding packs.  Yea it is a bit of work but if you watch your pack weight you can get around any extra charges.  
The last option for packing your bike is to check out a bike specific bag.  We are fans of the EVOC travel bag.
It is not the cheapest bag but if you plan on doing more travel with your bike it is a worth while investment. 

Traveling from the US we usually book air travel with Korean Air.  There are various airlines servicing Thailand but with Korean Air we are able to fly into Chiang Mai and the luggage allowance seems to be one of the better options.  It is a pretty long travel and I would recommend if you are coming over to try and plan on spending some time in the region. Make the long flight worth its while.    

If you have any questions about the guided service, travel or custom options.  Please email, info@discoveryadventuretours.com