Slow way to ride Bikingman Laos

LUANG PRABANG, 15 February 2019: Bikepackers can enjoy a luxury not shared with BikingMan Laos entrants; who will be hell-bent on completing a gruelling race head down and pedalling like crazy.

They can ride the identical route at their own leisurely pace.

Avid cyclists have been given an opportunity to ride the BikingMan Laos race circuit with the help of the event’s publicity partner, WeAreLao, that provides tips and hints on how to make a ride of a lifetime happen.

The world’s top ultra cyclers will start the race at Sanctuary Luang Prabang Hotel, 20 May.

Elite riders aim to spin their way over rolling hills with a few mountain climbs to reach Pakbeng possibly within 24 to 48 hours, but the trip can be achieved at a more leisurely pace by holidaying bikepackers following the race route and taking as much time as needed.

A ride that follows the race route “Destination Pakbeng: A Mekong Oasis” has caught the attention of tour advisors and travel content suppliers. It offers the framework for a fascinating 600-plus km, cycle tour itinerary.

Stage 1: Luang Prabang to Nong Kiew (140 km)

You follow the Mekong on Route 13 North with a diversion to Pak Ou Caves and a stop at Sang Ha (Whiskey Village) where herbal remedies offer “pedal power”.    

There’s a stop at Indigo Farms where cyclers can learn about organic farming, ecology, the local environment, and the importance of natural resources. 

From there the road hugs the Nam Ou River and follows the course of the smaller Nga River. At the 110-km mark on the BikingMan Laos route it’s time for a ‘carb’ powered meal.

Stage 2: Pak Mong to Muang Xai (83 km) with a mountain climb.

Back on the BikingMan Laos circuit, get ready for the first big climb. Just past Pak Mong, Route 13 ascends more than 700 metres in a span of 21 km. The steep descent lands you in Nam Nga town with shops and small restaurants, before the final climb. Then it’s mostly a winding downhill run to Muang Xay,

Stage 3: Muang Xay to Pakbeng (140 km)

The BikingMan Laos route turns south at Muang Xay and on to Route 2W. After a short hump, it’s downhill between mountains to Pakbeng, the races first checkpoint.

Halfway house, Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge, will be a hive of activity during the race. For bikepackers, it offers a relaxing Mekong Riverside base to explore the Mekong Elephant Park sits across the Mekong from the Lodge.

Stage 4: Pakbeng to Sayabouly Town (170 km)

For BikingMan Laos competitors, this run over the foothills is just a prelude to the daunting “Kasi mountain climb” to Checkpoint 2. For time-happy  bikepackers there are loads of hidden tourism gems to explore in northern Sayabouly.

Stage 5: Sayabouly to Luang Prabang (80 km)

The BikingMan Laos follows Route 4 north to Tha Deua Pier on the Mekong. Bikepackers take the same route, which involves a ferry crossing and an easy 10-km ride.

At one point on this stage BikingMan Laos turns for the tortuous Kasi Climb, and Checkpoint 2, while bikepackers have two other choices for the ride to Luang Prabang.

They can take the low road on Route 1 following the Mekong or the high road on Route 4 into the mountains.

BikingMan Laos entrants may have time to enjoy Luang Prabang’s tourism gems at the close of the race or they may return for a holiday to see what they missed.

In the meantime, bikepackers can follow the circuit at their own pace and if they need help to point the way, tour operators are offering BikingMan Laos itineraries, either by cycle, motorbike, or van.

For full the report with route details photos and maps visit”

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