It’s all downhill from here!

published : 13 Nov 2020 at 04:00

newspaper section:
Life

For most gravity mountain bikers — especially those who are not serious racers and did not take part in the national championship series which ended in August — it was as if all they could do was watch 2020 glide by. However, just the other day, there was great news from Prachin Buri.

The “Meeting Party Downhill & Enduro Thailand #1” was announced by former national team rider and this year’s national DH champ in the male 40-up category, Sitichai Kaetkewmanee. The upcoming race, which will be more like a social gathering for gravity riders and anybody interested in the sport, will take place at Khao E-to, Prachin Buri’s famous mountain bike playground. The dates are Dec 26-27, the last weekend of the year.

Khao E-to is home to some of Thailand’s oldest but best-maintained MTB trails, which are frequented by mountain bikers of all disciplines from cross country to downhill and enduro. One of the DH tracks here begins with a chest-high drop off regarded by many as a big test for new downhillers. During competitions, it is also one of the best spots for spectators seeking thrilling action.

For the December event, the first day is set for a buffet-style party which will begin in the evening. The organiser promised to make sure there are some goodies for everyone to enjoy regardless of their religious beliefs.

The actual races, to be overseen by officers from the Thai Cycling Association, will be held the next day. Racing categories have not yet been revealed but each of the top five riders in each group will be awarded a trophy. However, every registered participant, whether he/she joins the competition or not, will receive a race plate with an assigned number plus a T-shirt.

News of the get-together-cum-race is adding life to the mountain biking community. Over the next few weeks, gravity riders across the Kingdom who have been forced to be inactive by the pandemic will be working hard to get back in shape. Khao E-to itself will see more mountain bikers visit in order to practise and refresh their knowledge about the condition and features of the trail at present.

DH and enduro riders or any bike lovers wishing for more information, as well as potential sponsors with ideas to make the event even more fun, can contact Sitichai via Facebook.

Khao E-to in Prachin Buri is home to some of the best mountain bike trails within two hours drive from Bangkok. (Photos: Pongpet Mekloy)


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