This event involving around 60 police and soldiers students and bike club members rode from the Three Kings to Pa Daet and then to Tessaban Mae Kha. I rode as far as Pa Daet without my camera but these pics from Google Earth show some of what we saw or missed. As well there were brief views of the canal as the route crossed bridges in the down town area. When the Mae Ka campaign opened 5 years ago with a fanfare opposite Denchai trading we were promised paths along the stream for cycling and walking. A broken promise like another that ends this story.
We rode along the concrete road to the right. Note across the canal a line of trees and iron fence and a disused walkway. Access cut off to the north by a new gas station where the municipality cuts of the tree tops, and to the south where a bamboo ramp is too rotten to use.
At Chang Klan about 2 km south of the previous view. Here again is the only other place where one can ride beside the Mae Kha with a quiet path bikes can use, built by Thaksin Shinawatra with complete trees and a sala, all destroyed by the municipal government with its destructive insistence on using a huge dredge beside the canal. This has no benefit by somebody is getting paid? The cycle route avoided the path and took the road parrallel to the west with no view of Mae Kha.
The entrance to Thaksin Way beside the canal. A few trees from the 50 community plantings 4 years ago remain, the rest all destroyed.
Close up of the next photo. The Mae Kha approaching Mahidol Rd, the southern leg of Ching Mai’s Super Hwy ring road. An unmade bumpy road follows the canal here and luckily for us no rain so no mud. There is no view of the canal as squatter housing lines the bank. The state of the track indicates the contempt Town Hall has for the people here. Just as well the mayor didn’t join the ride. In January the Deputy Governor said that alternative sanitary housing would be provided for squatters along Mae Kha. This month he retires without action to match his words. Meanwhile millions are being spent on lavish road works and concreting the Mae Ping.
Google Earth Street view does not follow the route we took and so hides this ugliness in our rich city.
Trees along the Mae Kha protect the squatter housing. There is ample land in the area where the squatters could be resettled, the bank cleared of shacks and a lovely path built for touring. Instead we have endless meetings and talk and no a bike ride to what end?