Downhill cycling banned in Doi Inthanon National Park

PHOTO: Downhill cycling is banned in Doi Inthanon National Park over safety concerns. (via Freepik)

Fearing a string of preventable injuries and deaths, authorities have banned all downhill cycling in the mountainous Doi Inthanon National Park. The park, located in the Chom Thong district of Chiang Mai province, is popular for its scenic nature and picturesque mountains. But slippery roads and dangerous driving conditions have the potential for deadly accidents for those riding their bicycles down the sometimes steep hills.

The chief of the park is taking no risks with the lives and safety of cyclists who visit Doi Inthanon this winter season. Not only did they ban downhill cycling for fear of slippery roads, but he announced on Friday that any cyclist who intends to ride their bicycle through the park must not do it alone. A support car must follow all riders for the entirety of their cycling trip to ensure safety.

He warned that anyone who does not follow the safety requirements may face penalties, though the exact punishment was not specified.

Doi Inthanon has a unique climate that can make cycling there more dangerous than in other places. The mountainous terrain brings with it high humidity. So roads crossing the peaks are already steep and winding, but the moisture in the air makes them extra slippery and extra dangerous.

Even an experienced cyclist can lose control and crash in these treacherous conditions. Car drivers often face the same problems and struggle to avoid crashes.

The new rule specifies three main roads where downhill cycling is strictly prohibited. From Doi Inthanon to Mae Chaem and Chiang Mai on Road 1192, as well as from Chom Thong to Doi Inthanon on Road 1009, no bicycles will be allowed to travel downhill. The same applies to road 4016 which connects Khun Klang to Khun Wang.

Doi Inthanon National Park is an extremely popular getaway where tourists flock to enjoy nature and often participate in outdoor activities like hiking or cycling. Since October, over 200,000 tourists have visited the park in about 50,000 cars.

Chiang Mai NewsTourism News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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