Biking fever grips Samui with over a 1000 bikers heading to the island to take part in this, the fourth annual event of it’s kind.
The long winter months always leave me hankering for a good series to get stuck into and with the introduction to The Sons Of Anarchy, I became a total SOA addict! The lives of this close-knit outlaw motorcycle club in Charming Town, with bad boy bikes and riveting story lines, turned me into a lounge room lizard, where winter evenings were spent immersed in the crazy lives of Jax, Sam Crow and the Chapter.
As a total contrast to the winter huddle, I recently visited the gorgeous holiday island, Koh Samui. The girls and I had planned a well deserved get-away to our favourite island, encompassing pampering, shopping and chilling. The sight of the stunning sea lapping the beaches with cloudless blue skies and palm trees swaying in their tropical island welcome dance, was just as we had remembered it, picture perfect! As we headed to our villa retreat my attention was drawn to a billboard advertisement ‘Samui International Bike Week.’ I was intrigued, no more than that, excited at the prospect of checking out the real deal that weekend, and the timing couldn’t have been better.
A motorcycle. A philosophy. A way of life.
Taking a leisurely stroll from the beach towards Chaweng Lake where the show was taking place, I could feel a real buzz in the air. It was then that I heard it, a hum so loud and intense I can only describe it as engulfing me and anyone else who happened to be on the street. It filled the air until we were all entrenched in a sensory overload. There they were, in all their glory, at least 1000 beautiful bikes making their awe inspiring presence felt, cruising altogether, having just done a lap of the island, to mark the beginning of the event. Tourists and locals were stunned, gripped in a mechanical moment as this impressive display of remarkable bikes passed us by for the opening ceremony.
A rolling testament to staying true
The Samui International Bike Week is the fourth annual event of its kind to take place on the island. Each year in May, Samui becomes a bikers’ paradise with Biker clubs, big bike brands – including the iconic Harley-Davidson, and motoring enthusiasts arriving from across Thailand, flocking to the island for this well celebrated festival. The road and event area becomes a sea of striking bikes and the opportunity to walk around checking out these magnificent beasts and meeting some of their biker owners is a truly interesting and memorable experience.
Stood admiring a gorgeous Yamaha Drag Star, I took a sneaky touch of the too tempting for words handle bars, only to be met with a very loud American “Hey!” I turned round slowly, like a small child caught with her hand in the biscuit jar and came face to face with a man dressed in full biker gear with a big badge across his chest ‘PRESIDENT.’ This huge smile cracked across his face, ‘That’s Sally!’ And that was it, my first meeting with a real President. Jimmy stood for ages chatting about the bike show, his Chapter, One Down, and the freedom of biking. He explained how this event and the bikers involved had a social responsibility to encourage peaceful and collaborative riding, regardless of where people are from and what they ride. Combined with this ethos of riding to show spirit and unity, Jimmy explained, was also ‘The Riding for Peace and Environment’ project, where a donation of money raised from the festival is donated to The Green Island Project for sustainable conveniences and to promote a greener Samui.
Freedom On Wheels
With a host of sponsors including The Tourism Authority and Tourism Association of Thailand, and of course the obligatory Jack Daniels, Bike Week catered for all, with a great feeling of togetherness amongst the bikers, tourists and locals. Kids had a brilliant time looking at the bikes and the festival featured a selection of smaller souped-up bikes that the children were able to vote for their favourite, posing by their dream bikes for photo opportunities. The stalls sold a vast array of biking products and accessories and the mini biker jackets with bandanas were a huge hit amongst the kids. Live bands pumped out music, adults and children danced, drinks flowed, local food delicacies were offered; it was an enjoyable festival for people of all ages and walks of life.
Samui offers a breathtaking route around the island, with stunning views of mountains, jungle, islands and sea. Whether by Scooter, Harley, ATV or bicycle, it’s a fantastic days outing. Great pit stops are peppered throughout the journey, be it seafood beach side dining, the golden pagoda, deserted beaches or a rum distillery. Discover the island and perhaps a little piece of secret off road paradise for yourself!
- OHM Cycles Samui, with an extensive selection of Harley’s, Choppers and Sports bikes, it’s the perfect one stop shop for one of these bad boys.
- Samui ATV Adventure offers a unique quad biking tour. You take an ATV pretty much anywhere on the island so really explore and let loose.
- Thailand & Koh Samui Mountain Bike with Red Bicycle. An organization that creates trails through Samui and actively supports clean transportation with mountain bikes for hire.