In Bangkok, sometimes just the thought of battling through relentless heat and traffic from one place to another is enough to sap the spirit of adventure. And it’s not just regular visitors and residents who find that our conception of this massive metropolis has become formed by a few frequented pinpricks on a map, and that the Bangkok we discuss as an entire entity actually amounts to a few sois around our offices, homes and hotels. First-timers can fall just as easily into a notion of what the city is and is not, based on a mixture of hearsay, legend, social media advice and the must-see lists of innumerable websites.
For these and many other reasons, the typical reaction to the idea of cycling around this city for a day ranges from confusion to horror to outright astonishment. Surely only the most fervently ideological Mamil would roll his carbon-fibre chassis out into Taowarat or Sukhumvit, running red lights and admonishing SUVs as he goes.
It takes approximately five minutes on a Smiling Albino bicycle tour of old Bangkok to rinse these ideas out of your head.