Chasing Hedonia - Sydney to Paris with no schedule, no plan

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BHedonia, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,122
    Location:
    On the cut
    Ride, report, photos, philosophy, and attitude all awesome!

    Stay well, and look forward to reading more when freaking CV19 has gone.
    #21
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  2. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,460
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    Ancient Chinese curse.....
    May you live in interesting times

    Loving your RR. Did Java many years ago, love Indonesa
    #22
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  3. BHedonia

    BHedonia BikeHedonia

    Joined:
    May 16, 2016
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Somewhere in South-East Asia
    PreCovid 19 stories.

    So I'd never been mountain biking in my life. (Seems to be missing the engine?) Hadn't ridden a bicycle in years. Well, not since I lived in Paris 10 years ago and used to cycle to university across the Seine, past Notre Dame, in my knee length red leather coat and heels. A different vibe. Somehow, I didn't think that experience has much transferable value to mountain biking down a f*king massive volcano in Indonesia, so when my friends suggested we do just that, I obviously said yes. Little did I know that mountain biking in Indonesia sometimes INCLUDES MOTORBIKES TOO. Count me in.

    * * *

    So I ride around Sulawesi for ages because I like it, and then I get up to Manado and my friends say hey, you want to go mountain biking? Two wheels but no motor? Apparently that's the idea, and as much as I Iove motorbikes I need some exercise, so let's give it a go.

    So we rock up to the base of a volcano with mountain bikes - and wait, there is a God! - there are motorbikes here too! What's going on, I ask? So it turns out that the only way to get up the volcano is straight up the single track.... and the dirt bikes are here to tow us up.

    _IMG-20180621-WA0014.jpg

    So they chuck a strap around the front of the mountain bike and suddenly I'm being dragged up an active volcano by a bored-out CRF150, up the bermed single track, and it's fucking wild. I go arse over tit a couple of times and then I get the hang of it.

    These blokes were our uphill towing service:

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    Up the top, they ask if I want to go for a burn around on the CRF, and of course I say YES YES YES.

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    However I didn't know that there was going to be motorbiking glory up here, I'm dressed in shorts for this whole mountain biking thing, and of course that comes back to bite me on the arse. Well, on the calf. I'm fanging along the single track when the guy who owns the bike jumps out from some bushes to take a photo, he's wearing fluoro yellow and blue and of course I look straight at him and miss the corner, drop the bike, slide slightly down the mountain. No big deal but my calf is stuck to the header pipe. Oops.

    Nevermind, I can't feel a thing. We ride on and prance around the top the volcano. You can see the yellow sulphur down below in the active crater.

    _IMG-20180621-WA0021.jpg

    There's a camp just below the summit of the volcano, we have deep-fried banana and sweet coffee, I can see the beer cans on the ground here from good times before.

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    Then we mountain bike down again, and I'm absolutely terrified, what the hell is this whole downhill single track thing without engine braking?? Actually it's pretty cool and I don't die but it was a close run thing there a few times.

    Anyway, life is amazing. We have a bonfire on top of the mountains in Tomohon, where we're up so high that it's actually cold, the water chilly enough to make you squeal like a girl as you bucket it over your head. We sit around the bonfire and they're drinking local whiskey, tuak, it explodes in blue flame when it touches the fire.

    20180614_183805.jpg

    Addendum: This bloke, Stevry (link), is the guy who owns the motorbikes and makes a business out of towing mountain bikers up volcanoes around Manado, feeding them fried banana and making sure they have a good time. If this sounds like fun to you, maybe look him up and think about a visit to northern Sulawesi when all this coronavirus stuff is under control - as with all tourism operators everywhere, in Manado they are hurting.

    Attached Files:

    #23
  4. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    831
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    That sounds like a blast!
    #24
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  5. BHedonia

    BHedonia BikeHedonia

    Joined:
    May 16, 2016
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Somewhere in South-East Asia
    Still locked down in Chiang Mai province, on the other side of closed borders from my KTM. Missing the freedom of the road, missing riding, missing the consolation of always being able to leave town. As a homeless wanderer you occupy the edges of other people's lives: you appear for a moment here, a moment there, and it's easy for everyone because for better or worse, I'm always leaving.

    Suddenly, I can't leave. I am lucky to have a roof over my head and food to eat, but I am uneasy.

    It's pure relief when someone lends me a crf250, and we go ride in the jungle for a day. Ah, I think, I remember feeling good.

    smile in chiang mai province.jpg

    Since the provincial borders are still closed as part of the covid19 containment measures here in Thailand, it was a day for exploring the trails right on the city's doorstep.

    Cave entrance.jpg

    The kids are still sassy, still full of energy. Up the Hmong villages, life goes on pretty much as it always has.

    kids.jpg

    We ride the recently burnt forests. The first rains of the season have started to fall, and it's pleasantly cool for a moment.

    fred.jpg

    It's a good day.

    iced coffee break.jpg
    #25
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  6. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,460
    Location:
    Niagara, Canada
    You go girl!
    #26
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