The chat: The day started positively. Nick’s bike reconstructed, the route agreed and chamois cream applied, we prepared ourselves for the big send off by the hotel staff. It was then that we noticed 4 of Rudy’s rear wheel spokes were missing. While Andrew tried his best to replace and then re-true the wheel, Nick tested out his bike and realised that the new chain was not happy with the old chainring. It was clear that it was going to take most of the day to sort these problems out and so we swallowed our pride, explained to the hotel staff that this was just a trial run for the real start tomorrow and booked another night. After carefully replacing the barely used chamois cream in the tube, we headed for the only bike shop in the city that was likely to be of any use for our needs – BokBok Bikes. This miniature establishment is a bike tourer’s dream (full of Somas, Bridgestones, Surlys and other niche brands) and soon the owner, Mak, was sourcing a new chainring while his colleague, Cop, began the intricate job of rebuilding the rear wheel.
We left them to work and wandered through the endless and bustling Chinatown then Little Indian markets (both well worth a couple of hours of your time), ending up in a gorgeous little riverside bar called Amorosa for our second Mojito in as many days. After visiting the night flower market and eating excellent thali at the Royal India, we returned to BokBok at 11pm (!!) to find a small gathering of Bangkok bike enthusiasts chatting about the latest gear and Cop putting the final tweeks to the wheel. Definitely a contender for ‘best bike shop in the world’.