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Final Thoughts

I feel like I ought to say something conclusive about the trip, given how much I've said about specific pieces.

Training was hard in ways I didn't expect, but physically rewarding and necessary to the challenge of the trip. It was often fun when I was actually riding, and since I was lucky enough to live near other riders, I got to know some great people I hadn't spent much or any time with before.

The trip itself was fantastic. It was athletically brutal at times, but as I said earlier, the most special moments were all between the big destinations, and the only way to experience that is to get from one place to the next the hard way. If we'd just driven ourselves from town to town and done little demonstrations, we'd have missed riding by most of the people. All we'd have seen would have been a gathered crowd. Instead we saw broom makers, farmers, kids on their way to and from school, people washing up, or just on their way from one place to another. Touching them while they were out there, doing whatever they do, in the midst of their ongoing lives, was much more satisfying and interesting for me. I hope it was also special to them, to have a bit of wonder inserted into their routine.

I'm glad I did it, but I'm not sure if I'd do another one. The trip only took a few weeks, but the training took months and there are so many other things I could do instead, most of which I haven't done yet. But I'll see what happens. I'll be better prepared at the outset for the next one, so training and equipment preparation should be easier. One question is whether I'll find myself riding for fun, without the looming specter of a tour. Time will tell.


I used a variety of vehicles on my trip, and I thought it'd be fun to list them all, sorted roughly by distance traveled.

  1. airplane (six planes, three airlines)
  2. unicycle
  3. boat (slow boat down Mekong, many river crossings, water taxi in Bangkok)
  4. train (inter-city Thai, intra-Bangkok elevated, Caltrain)
  5. bus (charter & public inter-city)
  6. tuk-tuk (3-wheel and 4-wheel of various sizes)
  7. pickup truck (both in the cab & in the back)
  8. sangthew (our support truck)
  9. van
  10. taxi (Bangkok, Vientiane, Sunnyvale)
  11. bicycle (Bangkok & Ayuthaya)
  12. elephant
  13. various intra-airport nonsense
  14. elevators and escalators


If you aren't already overwhelmed, also check out the official tour site and other people's trip photos (Nathan, Mike).

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't leak some pagerank over to Jason at Grasshopper Adventures.