Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket’s pedaling pioneer

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Martin Brot, the owner of Siam Bike Tours, is an extraordinary man. He is undoubtedly one of the pioneers of long-distance recreational cycling in Thailand, and his company has built an international reputation which lures hundreds of cyclists to Thailand and Phuket, every year.

Meeting Martin is a joy in itself… he’s a vital, energetic ball of wiry fitness and enthusiasm. He’s a living, breathing advertisement for the physical and mental benefits of a healthy, outdoor, cycling-based lifestyle. He’s also a man who has turned his lifelong passion into a successful business where his hands-on involvement brings happiness and healthfulness to hundreds of his clients. That, to my mind, is as close to a perfect definition of “success” as you will find!

Martin is an example of that famous adage about not judging books by their covers. He stands about 170 centimeters tall and weighs just 63 kilograms soaking wet – a weight that he’s maintained since he was a slip of a lad of twenty summers. But hidden within his sinewy frame are a heart and engine of extraordinary power and strength. He has incredible lung capacity, aerobic power and leg strength, which, coupled with his intense mental resilience, make him the incredible distance cyclist that he is.

How did this come about? As is the case with most first-class athletes, it is the result of genetic predisposition and training.

Martin was born in Davos Platz in the Swiss mountains surrounded by greenery and well-oxygenated air. He was also fortunate to discover his passion for cycling at a young age. He was given his first bike at 14 and immediately fell in love with cycling. He was already a keen hockey player and had developed great aerobic power and leg-strength as a result, and so a year later he started cycle racing.

He was naturally good at it, but soon realized he didn’t want the full-time commitment and single-mindedness that competitive cycling dictates.

While Martin is an excellent amateur cycle racer with many prizes in his trophy cabinet, he says, “Following a sort of Buddhist ‘middle way’ is my ideal for cycling. While I love racing and relish the competitiveness and challenge, I also enjoy a drink and even the occasional small cigar. For me, it’s more important to lead a balanced and happy life than to win races.”

image

Thirty years ago, when he was 26, Martin and his vivacious wife Rosita started coming on holiday to Thailand. They discovered Phuket and immediately fell in love with the laid-back charm the island had in abundance in those seemingly far off times. They spent many happy hours cycling around Thailand on road bikes and then, 11 years ago, decided to ‘test market’ leading an international group of riders on a week-long Bangkok to Phuket adventure. The idea caught on like “blazing saddles”, and so they launched their Siam Bike Tours company.

“Our Bangkok to Phuket cycle ride was a wonderful way of engaging with, and intimately experience, the real Thailand. The locals we met were unspoiled and a group of Western cyclists in bright Day-Glo attire on road bikes was a huge novelty. The 810-kilometer-ride spread over eight days was designed to give participants a memorable biking adventure on beautiful, well-paved routes through diverse tropical landscapes in pleasant temperatures,” recalls Martin.

“I believe that experiencing the culture, seeing the sights, meeting locals, savoring Thai cuisine, making friends, enjoying traditional Thai massages and simply having fun while exercising in the Thai outdoors is a formula that’s hard to beat.”

Certainly, over the past 11 years, hundreds of happy participants would agree and the fact that more than fifty percent of Martin’s current clients are ‘returners’ is the best possible endorsement for Siam Bike Tours.

Following on from his Bangkok to Phuket rides, Martin expanded road-bike touring to all corners of the Kingdom. He now rides the fearsome loop northwest of Chiang Mai through Pai, Mae Hong Son, Mae Sariang and finally, to ‘the summit of Thailand’, the peak of Doi Inthanon at 2,565 meters – a tour of tremendous climbs and stunning mountain vistas which is certainly not for the faint hearted.

He leads tours through Thailand’s eastern national parks, then onwards to Cambodia and Koh Chang in the Gulf of Thailand; through Isarn from Udon Thani to Ubon Ratchathani along the Mekong River; and from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. He has even started specialized triathlon training rides working with legendary Ironman Jurgen Zack of Thanyapura and building on running and swimming sessions after the day’s rides!

Amazingly, Martin has led every single tour his company has conducted over the past eight years, clocking up some 22,000km last year alone. Now, at the age of 56, Martin is also approaching one hundred road tours of eight to 12 days’ duration.

Martin is both a pioneer and an inspiration. So much so, in fact, that Bicycling Baz has signed up with him to ride from Bangkok to Phuket starting on December 6, which will be further discussed in a future Blazing Saddles column.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’d better start training!

— Baz Daniel

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)55 seconds ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

Thailand4 hours ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Drugs4 hours ago

1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine and heroin seized near Malaysian border

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Pattaya bars plead for government help

Thailand4 hours ago

Colour-coded zoning revised, restrictions to ease nationwide

Transport5 hours ago

Department of Land Transport will reopen, issue licenses

Best of5 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai

Tourism6 hours ago

Krabi schedules 82 flights per week from late October

Best of6 hours ago

Top 6 Online Forums in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand6 hours ago

Worker falls off roof in Chon Buri, sustains multiple injuries

Phuket6 hours ago

Talad Kaset market in Phuket reopens

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

PM Prayut tests negative after parliament maid has Covid-19

World7 hours ago

Myanmar: American journalist’s detention extended 2 more weeks

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending