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Old 05-15-2012, 12:50 AM   #1
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Richard KTM
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Guizhou China 10 Days on a tight budget

First a quick intro and a bit of back ground .
At the time of this bike trip (2009) I lived in a beautiful part of China called Yangshuo teaching English. Its very friendly town, famous throughout China for the tall limestone kascts, rock climbing and stunning rivers and scenery.

Here are some students

Life was good after a year as a dive master in Vietnam and I was keen to do a bike trip with the many friends I had made there.

As the time got near, as is always the case other thing come up, people and bikes are broke and after booking the second week in June off work, the group was down to just two people, my mate Tom and me. Thats me on the yellow bike and Tom's in the grey wife beater.
About two weeks before the trip in a moment of madness I had gone to a nearby town, called Lipu, on the promise of cheap and plentiful second hand bikes. I jumped on the local bus with my latest pay packet burning a hole in my pocket and set off on a sunny afternoon to buy a bike for the trip. When we got there it was a typical small Chinese town but with lots of new and second hand bike shops dotted about.

Most of the bikes in china are very old fashioned looking, with three basic types, one is like a Honda cg125 these are very popular with the farmers for simplicity and cost, around 400 usd new!!
Second is a bit more modern looking 80’s styled bike with a front disk and a small handlebar fairing, all are red and usually cost around 6000 to 8000rmb used as taxis, or mounted with racks for carrying gas bottles, 20liter water bottles and always ridden by men in yellow hard hats.

Heres a pic of Dan who I met in Yangshou, we helped him buy a bike and gave him some riding lessons. He’s a great guy and went on to do an epic ride from China to Pakistan. His RR and pics are an amazing insight in to China.

His ride report.

The last type of bike is a cruiser, ranging from a mild cruiser like a Suzuki GN125 to the full blown, Harley lookalikes complete with huge forks and wheels, eagles everywhere, footplates, forward controls and huge chrome rear racks and panniers, which cost around 1000 usd new.

I spotted a big cruiser across the road, parked outside a shop where a group of men were playing cards and generally having an easy afternoon of it, we strolled over to have a better look as the yellow colour was a bit rare in China, for bikes.

A casual walk around revealed it had seen better days and was in pretty grubby condition all-round, but the guys were keen to talk to us as we were probably the only westerners in town so we asked if it was for sale and were told it was for sale at 1600rmb £160. We said we’d be back later after a look around.
After trawling around several smaller shops with about 10 bikes in each we decided that we should go back and have a better look at the yellow cruiser, but when we got back to the card game the bike was gone. We headed for a Yamaha dealer and the yellow cruiser rode past, we pulled the guy over and had a better look at it.
I took it for a test ride and it rode awful, bad brakes, crap tyres, steering head bearings shot, huge ape hanger handlebars and a huge chrome rack complete with panniers and rear foot plates. I wasn’t too bothered if he wanted to sell it or not so we agreed on 1300rmb.
We headed out of town and called at the gas station on the way out of town, “how’s it ride” shouted my mate after only 5 mins of town riding, “like a f**king dog” I shouted back the thing was a nightmare to keep in a straight line with the head bearings and I was having serious concerns about the frame being bent. By the time we were half way home I had come up with a list a mile long of modifications to the bike, the first been some new bars and a strip down, the seat or my arse would need some more padding too as it was numb.
After the strip down the rear of the bike looked to be sitting quite high and I looked at ways to lower the rear end some. Next I removed the front mudguard so I could get rid of the plastic eagle on the front and the chrome cattle fender on the front end. A trip up to the bike shop got me some front brake pads 15rmb, new chain and sprockets 50rmb, head bearings 40rmb, some copy renthal motocross bars 80rmb, some smaller grips, a spare tube, some sorter rear shocks and some tiny indicators. The huge plastic headlight and twin spot light were replaced by a single round chrome light and fitted with a HID light set up complete with some sort of solenoid/generator control box that emits a cool high pitched whistle and popping sounds when you turn it on and off, this turned out to be a god send later in the trip for night riding.

I rode the bike around for a week or so to sort out any small problems and everything seemed to be ok, and it was rock solid in a straight line, good on the rough stuff and had a bit of a presence compared to the smaller bikes and scooters, I talked to my mate tom about the different way of loading and carrying luggage and decided that less was best for me, an old rucksack, a copy North face jacket, a pair of jeans, hiking boots and a few t-shirts and boxers were stuffed into the bag and secured with a couple of bungees and a cargo net, I bought a rainproof over jacket and a borrowed a pair of fox motocross gloves from a another mate who had brought them from Australia.
Our route would take us north from Yangzhou on the main highway to a city called Guilin; this road is famous for being very dangerous and had claimed the life of a student’s fiancée just a month earlier as he was on his way to Guilin.
As I was on a pretty tight budget I had to go with just an oil change and new clutch, the tyres on the bike where shot.

At the end of this trip I had spent less than 200 usd!! Including hotels food and fuel, the people we met were very generous with their time and helped us in many ways.

My theory was to change the tyres on route if I got a puncture, the back was nearly bald and the front nearly new but was badly scrubbed on the centre line due to the head bearings, it had about 30 flat spots on the centre line which caused a few hairy moments when braking hard and vibrated something rotten at 60klms/hr.

I had all the small tools and some spares in a heavy duty canvas bag strapped on to the handle bars and tom had the big tyre levers an adjustable and a hammer in his kit, his setup was a pair of old canvas saddle bags thrown over the back and a sports bag bungeed on top.

The last piece of kit was a pair of short wave radios with earpieces clipped in to the helmets and stuffed into a pocket, these proved very useful on many occasions but the earpieces broke after a few days.

Next post will be the RR more pics and less text as it happened a while ago. I have three RR from China which I will post, all are done on a budget with small Chinese bikes and little gear.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:21 PM   #2
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I already knew the back story and I'm still interested! Already waiting for the update
"I will own you. You will be like my dog, horse or falcon. Only I will love you more, and trust you less."
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:10 AM   #3
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The big day arrived sunny and bright and I felt good to be leaving for a while and spirits were high, a few last minute repairs and bodge were carried out and we rolled out of town with a couple of small maps, a compass and a general idea of where we wanted to go and how far we would get, in our minds.

leaving the petrol station and getting under way we passed the time on the boring main highway by buzzing along over taking slower traffic, one round the outside and one on the hard shoulder and meeting up again with a grin at the front of the farm truck or sightseeing bus. The things to watch out for are the huge 8 wheel rigid trucks and long distance coaches which are driven at break neck speeds with little regard for the smaller things on the road like animals, bicycles and foreigners on motorbikes, these things usually steam past 30 or 40 klms/hr faster than you and a wary eye has to be kept in your rear view mirrors.

Onwards to Guilin ther first big city, everything was going well the bikes were running great, but the short travel rear shocks on my bike where killing my arse after on two hours, so time for a re-think. We cruised around the city trying to find a bedding shop or somewhere that would sell cushions. I was looking for something cool like a black cushion but I could only find Micky Mouse, Donald Duck or some cartoon sheep which are very popular in china, and I had to buy a full sized pillow as well, they didn’t even know who The Simpsons are!!

Onwards and the roads started to ease up a bit as we headed towards Longshan rice terraces, we stopped and checked the bikes over a few times and I just caught toms number plate as it was hanging on one bolt, it got thrown in the bottom of his bag for the rest of the ride.

We climbed up some impressive mountain passes and the air got a bit cooler,as we climbed the long drags up the mountains it was apparent that Tom's bike had a little bit more grunt especially accelerating up through the gears, my old cruiser was a fair bit heavier but with the extra 25cc I could keep up if I rode hard and kept my corner speed up. As we crested the top of the pass we stopped for a breather and looked down the valley at a twisting ribbon of road stretching of into the distance and I looked forward to the ride down to the first few towns, it was about 4 o’clock and we decided to look for somewhere to stay after an hour or so.

We set of down the hill and the tables were turned, my old dog had the advantage of been rock solid, having decent brakes and weighing a metric tonne, I could just keep the throttle pinned as I charged down the road, even on the bad tyres it still felt secure and a bit of late braking and reckless scraping of the footplates had me grinning inside my helmet as we charged on.
The roads were pretty rough and the back end was wallowing a fair bit and I began dreaming of the ideal bike to do this on, this ideal changed many times throughout the trip and we would exchange dream bikes as we discussed it over noodles during the day, some days it would be an old cbr600 or big trail bike, an xr400, a supermoto, a street fighter, an all-out dirt bike or a bigger cruiser for the boring toll road sections when we needed to make up some time.
the great thing about china is that a big bike is rarely needed and riding small light and easy to fix bikes always outweigh the disadvantages in my eyes, every in the smallest villages and towns you can get a 125 completely rebuilt or mobile again for 20 or 30 usd.
We cruised in to a small hill town and pulled into a bike repair shop to give to bikes a once over, another great thing is its perfectly acceptable to use any tools and a bit of old engine oil to give to bikes a once over, tom had developed a small oil leak on the oil cooler return pipe that he had fitted before the trip, we had nipped it up with our adjustable earlier in the day and wanted to check it. The mechanic had a horrible old fzr250 in front of the shop that had caught our attention and we looked it over whilst he changed the chain and sprockets on toms bike, his bike had started having problems changing gear and I suggested that the offending parts probably weren’t helping.

His wife came and had a chat and offered to cut the pillow I had on my seat in half and sew it up for me while we waited, tom entertained the locals by stuffing the off cut pillows down his wife beater and camping it up.. Ha-ha everyone was in stitches whilst we had a couple of cold beers and a look at the map.

The woman told us that at the other end of town was a street with lots of guesthouses and after paying (4beers for $2 and chain and sprockets $5) we set off to look.
The town was a typical Chinese hill town with a huge river running through the middle and lots of construction going on everywhere, we found a room for 25rmb($3) parked the bikes in reception and set off for a wander round town.
We found a bbq place on a steep hill and ordered a kings feast of oysters, river fish, and lamb and chicken kebabs and fired a hand full of beers down as we went over the day’s events and our plans for tomorrow.

The next day we were up not so bright but early and had noodle soup with hard boiled eggs for breakfast and wheeled the bikes out in to the sun for the off, 5 minutes later and after trying all the possible choke and throttle positions that usually work I pulled out the plug, it was sooted up and wet with petrol, I cleaned it up and dried it out and it reluctantly started after a bit of cranking. I was wondering about lack of compression and the bit of smoke that was appearing after a bit of hard riding at this point but decided a new plug and pressing on was the best option. The local bike shop and they put in a new plug and we set off for the day.
The tricky bit of leaving a town is the main roads are sometimes little more than small tracks or rutted side streets until you are well out of town, we asked a few locals and they said No!! Don’t go in that direction he roads are all under construction and are in a terrible state. We ignored them and pressed on as this was becoming the standard answer whoever you asked. The first couple of hour where fine and we made good time, the road was huge and wide but not surfaced so it was rough going on us and the bikes, I noticed that my tool bag was bouncing about and had to strap it down to stop the tools from rattling around over the graded surface. We also had to keep an eye out for random piles of sand or pebbles that just get dumped anywhere in the road.

I had developed a fast and loose riding style by midday and apart from the dust was enjoying the feeling of long fast sections between towns and then slowing down for the huge ruts and potholes as we went through a towns. At this point I had two options either hang way back out of the dust cloud and cruise along or ride side by side on the wrong and usually rougher side of the road. The trouble with this side by side technique was that tom would gradually up the pace thinking I wanted to race, we were fast approaching a bridge at the bottom of a long fast decent, the bridge was a large flat concrete pad over a small stream and the dirt road was worn away with wagon wheels crawling up it, creating two kicker jumps that wouldn’t have been out of place in the x games, I expected tom to slow right down and take the jump at slow speed like he had the previous two or three bridges but he rode into the centre section which was a lot smoother as I approached at speed, I locked up the brakes and slide towards the rear of his bike narrowly avoiding a shunt and decided to hang back from now on!

An hour or so later and tom had pulled over minus a bag with some tools and water proofs, the big adjustable and tyre levers were gone and we both decided to cool it for the rest of the day as the weather was really hot and we were both beat from the rough roads.

A bit later and the road had turned into one of the best roads I had been on, the tarmac was so fresh I could still smell the tar and it snaked along for miles at the side of a big powerful river in the bottom of a beautiful valley with traditional villages and spectacular rice terraces that clung to the hillsides.

The ideal bike right now would have been a small street fighter with some sticky tyres as the road was far too good for our underpowered little chicken chasers.

Paradise couldn’t last forever though and soon we were back to the dust and unmade surfaces of the morning, we cruised into a town and decided to call it a night.

Tom ducked into a hotel and secured a room for the night as I watched the bikes, a couple of western girls walked past and I said hello, they were French and not very forth coming. They were the first and last foreigners I saw on the whole trip. we spent the rest of the day drinking beers down by the river and wandering around town, the highlight of the night was a small stall with air rifles and a huge board with dozens of balloons pushed in to shelves like a shooting gallery, we sat drinking beers and waiting for the asthmatic woman to blow up fifty or sixty balloons before we popped the lot having shooting competitions.
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:23 AM   #4
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Hey mate, nice RR.
Makes me willing to add a road crap. Summer halt for enduro riding is driving me crazy.....
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:04 AM   #5
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]Hey mate, nice RR.
Makes me willing to add a road crap. Summer halt for enduro riding is driving me crazy.....[/QUOTE]

Me too, i went for a couple of days last week with Tom and it rained for two days.. I'm going for 3 days this week and the weather looks good, super motard round a lake with 70klms of twisties and no cars
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:27 AM   #6
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Ok Andrea here's some offroading to satify your enduro hunger, not quite Romainiacs but it was an ordeal.

Guizhou is a province in the middle of China and is regarded as one of the poorest regions. The people there work hard and get on with life, the mountains make it difficult and a huge new road infastucture is being built to improve life and reduce travelling times.
Many times we would look up at a huge impossibly high new bridge being built, arcing across a huge canyon which was in the direction we wanted to go. We would take the old road and have a 20klm detour snaking down to the valley floor and then back up.. perfect

The next day we had a look around some construction equipment shops for a new bolt for the banjo fitting and some dowty washers to cure Toms oil cooler leak.

We did a little detour to a minority village passing lots of cool water wheels used for irrigation and covered bridges. Today was red hot maybe in the high 30’s even riding forwards didn’t have any cooling effect.
I noticed Tom’s back wheel was loose in this village, but the hotel name kept us in good spirits

We stopped for a bottle of water and decided to give the toilet a miss.

I’ve always had an interest in plant and equipment and we rode for about an hour counting a new 360 excavator or shovel loader about every kilometer, I literally saw hundreds working on this trip. Lots of Caterpiller, Komatsu and Kato.. which always makes me think of Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther. “NOT NOW KATO”
We came round a corner and a machine was doing some clearing and causing a big rock slide, we waited in the rain blissfully unaware of what was in store for us for the rest of the day.

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Old 05-20-2012, 10:38 PM   #7
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Good shit Rich, thanks for proving to everyone how cheap it can be to ride around china when you don't care what you're on. Also good to remember every now and then that in the end the bike is just a tool and you don't need a GS1200 to see the world. Goon on you, looking forward to the rest.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:21 AM   #8
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Ok I just got back from a 3 day trip around Guangdong in search of twisty mountain roads, good food and cold beers, heres a pic of some happy back tyres.

Ok back to Guizhuo, but here’s where my memory is stuggling abit. The last post said that the rest of the day was a nightmare but that’s in a couple of days.

We rode on through the construction sites and gravel roads without too much issue apart from my bike had developed a misfire.

We finally got to a rich mining town after riding through showers all afternoon and looked for something to eat. Across the road was a very busy restaurant where every table was full and people were sitting in the road eating. Must be good we thought, as all the other places in town were empty. I walked in and the staff started shouting No No No!! and waving there hands. But I just want some noodle I said. Not today they said. Hmmm must not like foreigners, I thought and turned to leave. Damm it looked great and everybody was so happy.
An old man stood up and invited us to sit at his table, it turned out it was his daughters wedding and he let us join the feast it all made sense now. Gambei!! (drink up)

We found a cheap hotel and parked the bikes, the owner kept bringing us extra towels and checking on us, I think she fancied Tom.

I set about stripping the carb and checking the electrics outside the hotel. No real problems, but the spark was a bit weak. After putting it back together, I couldn’t get it running so the next morning we towed it to a bike shop, the boss had a look and told a young kid to change the coil, now we had a good spark but still not running, he asked if we had done anything else and we pointed at the carb, he whipped it off and put the float in the right way round!! I felt a right idiot.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:34 AM   #9
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Big trouble in little China

The next day we were off bright and early and found some great roads to race up and down, we were riding at the absolute limit for hours on end and the bikes were taking a beating with the huge uphill sections, Toms riding was improving every day and we would be within ten metres of each other at the end of each section.
At one point I was chasing down a little Honda hatch who had passed me cruising on a long flat straight, it was been driven quite well for Chinese guy but I caught him on some switchback. We crested the hill and the road opened up a bit and he pulled away, I was tucked in with both needles off the dials trying to catch him but he was gone.
Later in the day my bike had had enough and decided she needed a bit of TLC. It was really down on power and hard to start when hot. Time for a strip down and have a look see. We asked the owner of the guest house we found and she told us to go to the big Honda bike shop a few streets down.
This is the worst hotel I have ever stayed in but we had eaten noodles at her shop and then asked about any cheap hotels in town, she said “I have rooms upstairs” it was dark and we needed to fix the bike so we said ok. The next morning revealed its true state. Yuk!

We arrived at the bike shop about 7pm, knowing we would probably be here most of the following day as well. I set about taking of the tank and exhausts making sure all the bolts went into a container and taking my time as I usually do. The boss of the shop also owned the Yamaha and Suzuki shops on the same street and he took Tom off for a look around the showrooms.

One of the mechanics came over and offered me a cigarette, he started to give me a hand and pretty soon the air gun was out and things were flying off my bike at an incredible rate, then another came over and offered another cigarette and he gave a hand, then a third guy started to help. Hmmm pretty soon I couldn’t get near my bike.

Tom returned with beers for everybody and the owner gave us some rather smart Honda t shirts, I had a look at the offending parts and we all agreed that a new barrel, piston, small end bearings and valves and seals were needed. I insisted on new gaskets and genuine Lifan parts and agreeded the bill with the owner, it was about 20 usd.
The thing was back together with new oil before 10pm and the owner wouldn’t take a penny off us after a couple more beers, what a great group of guys they really helped us out and stayed an hour or so later to finish off the job. We wanted to take them for some bbq food and more beers but they declined and went home to their families.
Thanks guys.

We picked the bike up the next morning and one of the guys escorted us out of town.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:05 AM   #10
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mechanics in china are really the salt of the earth
and show the true spirit of chinese people
great story richard
the journey is the thing

zhu screwed with this post 05-25-2012 at 06:22 PM Reason: lose the photo
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:57 PM   #11
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Dog day afternoon

Thanks for the comments guys, Felix I will defiantly have to come and see you for a few beers and a ride around Xian before I leave China. Congrats on the engagement to Panda. Whats your website for the sidecar tours?

Today our goal was to haul ass across to western Guizhou and check out a large waterfall that everybody had told us about. We mapped out a route on our small map. we hadn’t been able to find an English map to take so we had a couple of pages out of a road atlas, skilfully laminated with wide clear tape and we carried a list of all the town and city names translated from Chinese charicters into pingyin English so we could point at the map and say the name.

The next day arrived not too bright and raining, we rode along most of the morning on the old G and X roads but progress was slow, not too many pics as we only had an old 4mp camera with us and it was in toms pocket. Tom likes to ride and stopping for pics is not on his agenda, so we tend to stop for food or petrol and then take some pics.

Wet boots are better than wet muddy boots is my thinking here.

Here is some more info about Guizhou and a pic of the water fall and the very high bridge I mentioned earlier.

After lunch we decided to try to get on to the big express highway that was taunting us all morning. The small roads were appalling and largely unsurfaced and we crossed under or over the express road many times as we bumped along in the mud.
Our plan was to ride up to the toll booths behind a big wagon that was belching black diesel smoke out and just cruise through the barrier, guess what it worked and we steamed along for 3 or 4 hours with no great issues apart from a few strange looks at the motorway service stations when we stopped for fuel.
The waterfall was the usual mixture of people in cars trying to get as close as possible to the attraction before they have to unload granny and the kids and all the kids crap then carry it all to the attraction whilst being hassled by touts all the way to buy more crap.
We had a quick look and got the hell out of there, we rode on through some small towns many of which had restaurants with pictures of beautiful golden retreviers and lassie lookalikes outside. It seemed we had also stumbled upon the dog eating capital of china.
We pulled up a small bike shop and found a hotel for the night. I was checking the bikes over and a huge crowd of people gathered round at one point I counted about 60 people. Some well heeled locals pulled up in brand new large Peugeot saloon car and started talking to us. They had some American pit bull dogs and wanted to take our pictures with the dogs as they said it would increase the resale value. They were friendly enough and offered to take us for dinner so we agreed.
The dogs arrived and were a bit frisky, they gave it a piece of wood to chew on and it tore it to shreds within minutes. Crikey and you want me to stand near that. Gulp.

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Old 05-25-2012, 08:11 PM   #12
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dog day evening

Ok photos done and they took us to play basketball on the local courts thinking all foreigners are good at basketball right? Toms an ex rugby player and I just like thing that go fast. We were shocking but they insisted that I could do a slam dunk like Micheal Jordan.

We went back to the hotel for a freshen up and got a small 3 wheeled taxi bike back to the meeting point, I was sure the guy had it on two wheels at one point!

Guess what his wife owned the best dog hot pot place in town, and they had invited some of the local police to join us. We went with the flow and had a great night singing Bon Jovi at ktv later.

Universal drinking games

Local police girl
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:43 AM   #13
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Don't pay the ferryman.

The next day we woke up worst for wear with a couple of nasty hangovers and a lot of miles to cover. We got on the road and tried to make up some time heading east across Guizhou. We made the mistake of not heading south to find better roads in the more developed province of Guanxi.
We passed through some nice canyons and mountain roads but whilst the riding was good kept pushing on.

Next up was a huge lake marked on the map, the top was impassable due to mountains but it looked like a track ran south and around. We figured it would take us about half of the day to get round and set off. The track finished in a huge new concrete holiday town built on the lake shore, it was just the building shells with some locals living in the ground floor units and catering for the builders, I suppose. The town had a strange feel to it and we rode around it for a while looking for a track leading out, we tried asking directions but the people spoke a local dialect and couldn’t understand us, showing them the map was no better as they couldn’t read the Chinese characters for the nearby towns.
We decided to back track to a fork in the road which didn’t look very promising, but when we got there it was a ferry across the lake for the tipper trucks, we watched a couple of trucks slid about in the mud, reversing up the hill a bit then hitting the mud at speed and trying to keep in a straight line and board the small ferry boat.
The ferry captain was a jolly chap and said he would take us across for free on his next trip. We watched the locals tend their fish farms and took it easy for 30 mins.

The road on the other side was a new dirt road and graded to perfection, we were able make good time through a big forest section.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:41 AM   #14
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Slippery when wet.

Ok Last post and this trip is put to bed, I never realised how much effort goes in to writing one of these RR. Hats off to anyone documenting a round the world trip whilst on the road, you guys deserve a medal.

So after the ferry crossing we were ahead of schedule, we were in a great mood and making good time.
Remember that back tyre I had set off with, here’s a reminder.

We came to a section of road that was under construction, much like half the riding we had done so far, no big deal we thought. The few cars and trucks stuck in the mud didn’t even put us off.

A few klms in and I had to remove the front mudguard because the wheel kept clogging with mud.

This mud was so sticky that when you put your foot down you would get an inch stuck to the bottom. Take another step gave you a two inch lift, then three!! Great for short arses

The forward controls on my bike were killing me, having to lift a kilo of mud stuck to each foot every time I had to put a foot down. At this point we were making about one klm per hour, having to help one another up the slightest gradient.

The red clay soil was incredible slick and smooth and we slipped and hit the deck, both on and off the bikes for about 3 hours in red hot temps when the sun was out.
Eventually the sun started to dry the tracks out and we left the new road behind.After spending some time with a couple of bamboo sticks poking all the mud out of the bikes nooks and crannies we set of on more rideable roads.

A few klms later and two locals came flying past me on a 125cc farmer bike, the skinny tyres finding better grip in the drying conditions as we splashed through puddles. The red mist descended and I gave chase pushing on after the two teenagers who were probably both sending txt messages to their girlfriends whilst riding.
I couldn’t catch them but was getting more confident doing long drifts around the slick corners and having a great time grinning ear to ear.
After riding for a while I came to a small resturant with a few people outside, the camber was all wrong and the tail came round on me and spat me off in a graceful lowside.

When I checked on the bike the whole foot plate assembly had snapped off and was held on by the gear linkage.. bugger! How the hell are we going to fix this in the middle of nowhere.. hmm?
The workmen opened the door to their workshop and wheeled out their pride and joy, by far the best welder I had seen in China so far.

They got on with welding the offending item back on while a rubbed my knee and took some pics. I tried to give them some money but once again the generous people in this part of China wouldn’t have any of it and waved us on our way.

We rode through a huge gorge with a small town at the end and found somewhere to wash the bikes and have a couple of well deserved beers and dinner. What a day!!

The next day we got up at the crack of dawn, determined to get back to Yangshou for friday night. We rode for 14 hours only stopping for bowls of noodles and fuel and arrived back in town with a few tales to tell and celebrated our safe return with gin and tonics.

Cheers for watching.


Next RR Guangdong, Guanxi, Yunan China and Loas on 125cc bikes
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:24 PM   #15
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Reno, Nevada & Guangdong China
Oddometer: 357
Good report Rich , have heard a few stories, but it's nice to see it all wrapped up in a ride report. Love all those wooden structures in Guizhou and much nicer than the cookie cutter concrete throughout much of China. Can't wait to see your other reports.

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