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Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We arrived to the Yeti hotel, which again looks like a disaster on the outside , but it is lovely inside.

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    We contacted Wolfgang in Germany who had purchased and shipped the shock to us. He contacted the distributor, who contacted YSS and explained the situation, and Tomas at Twowheel got back to us with the Bangkok head office contact within an hour. This is Friday afternoon of course. We contacted YSS and they got back to us within 3 hours that they would send us an express post new shock ANYWHERE and ASAP. Wow amazing service. The issue for us is we need to sort out whether we can have this shipped to China (not likely or long delay with duty involved) or more likely to northern Laos.
    marior97, powderzone and dwj - Donnie like this.
  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Gyantse is noted for its restored fort and the tiered “stupah” of the Palcho Monastery. We walked to a local place for some rice noodle soup and then about a km to the Palcho Monastery.

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  3. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    It is a bit unique as it houses three different sects of Buddhism together. It was founded in the 1400’s. It boasts the largest Stupah in Tibet.



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    The fortress was nicely lit up at night.


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    And at sunrise!


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    LittlePosum, marior97, MaNDan and 4 others like this.
  4. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Well we are at a new low for theta today! Trevor is unable to even get out of bed this morning with the spasms and pain in his back. He is in agony. We really have no choice but to get him moving or we will have to make up the km tomorrow. We loaded him up with Advil and Flexeril and after 2 hours he could walk to the van. The guides spent that 2 hours trying to find a truck for his bike with no luck. Mr Tang has agreed to ride it the 310 km to Shannan (Lhoka) he even fits into all of Trevor’s gear.


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    Mr Tang did buy his own helmet in Lhasa after the Orvar experience. This means we left the hotel at 1030 instead of 830 and we still had an additional 30 min just to get gas.


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  5. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Well WE THOUGHT we had hit rock bottom as a team 3 hours ago, but that was until 10 km from town when the weld let go on the 650! Sara pulled over immediately when she felt the clunk. To be honest she is totally demoralized right now and actually burst into heart broken tears. WTF do we do now. Stuck on the side of the road with an un-drivable bike and 10 days from the Chinese border with Laos. We had already tried unsuccessfully to hire a truck for Trevor. The guides think it will be impossible here in Tibet for any amount of money. The truck drivers simply don’t want to do it.

    Dan has an idea! Mr Tang to the rescue as he agreed if we measured the bike we could try to put it in the van. No issue with the windscreen off and the bars dropped. We siphoned off the fuel we had just put in and lifted Lulu into the van, settled her on the side stand and packed all the other gear to support her.


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    marior97, Aces 6, Saso and 2 others like this.
  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    That means 2 up for the WWR. The views today are stunning. The first pass is up to 4600 M and past the dam and reservoir. We are trying to put on a brave face, but with Trevor in agony and Lulu a disaster it is pretty hard right now for all of us. We are on the edge anyway as we are mentally and physically exhausted after the last 6 months.

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    marior97, roadcapDen, Saso and 3 others like this.
  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We headed further up and past a glacier hanging on the mountainside.

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    Just around the corner there was a commercial view point. Once the guide van showed up where some guy walked up and wanted 10$per bike each for parking….we said ahh no. We had already taken our pics anyway!


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    marior97, Aces 6, Saso and 2 others like this.
  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    It was down down from here to the valley. We rode along the lake with spectacular views.


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    The next pass was switchback up and down the mountain. On the downside we stoped for some fried rice at about 3.


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    marior97, thwak, Saso and 2 others like this.
  9. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The last 70 km were hell with the truck traffic. We had 4 police checks today and we made it thru with the bike as cargo. It is illegal to have cargo and passengers in the same vehicle in China. The guides told the police that Trevor was too sick to ride and appealed to their sympathy. It worked for day 1. We arrived to Shannan and finally found THE gas station for bikes. With all the “issues” of China/Tibet with government control and insane rules this was 1 hour to get gas for 3 bikes. Finally to the hotel at 715. This is a common design feature in the bathrooms of China…. Not so good for Orvar and Trevor! The shower in the toilet/sink space is not ever a good idea!





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    We walked to a local place for dinner and the whole kitchen staff came out to check us out. We had tea leaves deep-fried with pork and chilies, cauliflower with bacon in a hot pot, shrimps and vegetable, and glutenous rice with pork.


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    Now what to do with Lulu? Our options for the next 5 days in Tibet and to keep her in the van and hope the police will let us go. This means Sara must ride in the van a play sick at the checks. This means we could be fined 40-400$ if the police refuse to let us thru. The other option is to try and find a truck in Tibet, which will prove very difficult and very expensive. We will take our chances. From Shangri-La in China we could have ride China pre-arrange a truck to transport Lulu from there the 5 days to the Chinese/Laos border. This still leaves us with a broken bike there, but there is “not a no mans land there” and we would only have to "push the bike 200 m” to get to Laos according to Toni. We should be able to get a truck easily there as well according to MotoLaos. We also need to have the shock shipped asap from Thailand.
  10. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,918
    Location:
    north vancouver bc
    yikes. best of luck to you folks.
    it's black as can be here. pouring rain every day, in Vancouver. hopefully that'll cheer you up, a bit!
    Saralou likes this.
  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    I feel your pain. November in Vancouver is brutal worst month of the year! But December is coming and nothing better than a crisp sunny Vancouver winter day. Sara
  12. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
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    Location:
    UK
    Wow, Tibetan mastiffs, lovely looking beasts.
    #1Fan, powderzone and Saralou like this.
  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today we thought we would have 451 km to Nyingchi (Nyinzhi).


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    I had consulted the Ride China itinerary and it was clear to me that a portion of the day was unpaved or pavement in poor repair. I thought for Trevor’s back this would be an issue and so I consulted our “guide” Toni. He assured me the road was entirely paved and “exactly like today’s road”. It will become obvious later that he had no idea what the road is like and just blew me off with what he thought I wanted to hear. Trevor is well enough to ride today and we set out just after 830. We had gone 50 km and thru 2 police checks to find the road closed for construction and we were sent on a detour to the next road over and this rejoins our original route. Then another 10 km later we are at another police check and It is clear to me from the arm waving of the police to other drivers that there is an issue ahead. I bring this up with the guides and they again blew me off. We went another 25 km up the mountainside on switchbacks to a 4 th police check with a gate blocking the road. They say the road ahead is very bad and too rough for the van. So back track 40 km to the more major road and finally head east. It is slow going in the van with the speed camera and the point to point speed checks.



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    I lost count of the number of check point we went thru today. One even had dogs sniffing the van inside and out. None of the police seemed to care there was a motorcycle in the van. We stopped for lunch at 3 and we still have 234 km to go. There was gas here and that took 20 min for the 3 bikes of course. After lunch there were very few checkpoints and at most we were just waved thru.

    We were still 88 km from the city at 645 and it will be dark at 730. The guys were ahead and as there were no real check points they ended up 12 km from town on the secondary road (motos not allowed on the express way) when they called us. We had just spent 5 min sitting on the side of the road to make the minimum time for the point to point speed cameras and we are 50 km from town. The driver decides we must have gas with 50 Km to go! We pull into the gas station where there are 3 cars in line. They gate off the stations here that have 6-8 pumps, but only let one vehicle in at a time and only after registering with the police. We pulled in and the driver got out to register for gas and when he got back he pulled in behind the third car. After 10 min 2 cars had moved and another policeman came to tell him that he must have cut in and go to the back of the line which now has 10 cars in it. (Much yelling and arguing in Chinese followed) and we left.


    It is now 745 dark and raining. I had told the guide that the guys were on the secondary road at a gas station 12 km from town with no-one in line. Despite that they flew by the turn off and onto the expressway. AGH! Lucky I could call the guys back and they went to town to the first exit of the expressway. We had 50 km to go and the tank supposedly on fumes. We did meet them luckily since the guides idea was to send them the name of the hotel in Chinese and told them to ask for directions. I informed him that would not help much as they were highly unlikely to understand the Chinese directions. 2 km from the hotel the driver again decides he should get gas at a station with 8 cars in line! Its 9 pm and raining and the guys have been on their bikes for 12 hours except the 20 min for lunch. I though Dan would loose it. Luckily the pair of them changed their minds and went directly to the hotel instead. That said we are all pissed off and shattered when we arrived to the hotel at 9 pm showered, and went straight to bed without dinner.
    marior97 and dwj - Donnie like this.
  14. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Dan and Sara had a team meeting at breakfast to discuss our concerns with how it went yesterday (total disaster). We stated that we know it is not the Chinese way to confront issues like this directly, but that it is the western way and we need to deal with the problem before we can go on. We said that the guides inability to admit he did not know the road, caused us not to have enough information to make a different decision, and eventually caused the riders personal safety to be jeopardized. If we were on our own we would not have just blindly gone with an injured rider. We vented and said our safety depends on them and we need to be able to trust them. We decided to put it in the past and move on. We also again expressed how grateful we are to Mr. Tang for transporting the bike and of course we do not expect him to do this for free.

    Today at Mr Tang’s suggestion we cut the itinerary short to just 231 km to Bome (Pome), so that we could have a shorter day and also stay in a bit larger town with more hotel options than the one we originally planned and is farther down the road.


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    The road is curvy most of the day and we had a few sprinkles of rain until the last 10 km when it was heavier. Sara was in the van today for the first 100 km and until the first traffic police stop. Unlike the checkpoints who could care less about the bike in the van the traffic police were very concerned. They were actually more upset that a foreigner was IN the van as our permits here are only for “riding on a motorcycle” and not riding in a car/van. They decided to let us thru with a warning, but as soon as we caught up to the guys she suited up and rode with Dan.

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    marior97, MaNDan, NaMi and 9 others like this.
  15. MCP

    MCP Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    642
    Location:
    Nanaimo, B.C.
    Great ride reports, thanks for sharing.

    Why all the check points?

    And, are you writing this in real time or are you catching up.

    Ride safe - cheers
    Saralou likes this.
  16. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.

    I am behind from a combination of long days, fatigue, and poor internet. We left China Oct 15. We are currently in Thailand.

    The check points are so the government can control the movement of the locals. They know where the citizens are at all times. That is also the reason for the gas controls as they only sell the people a limited amount of gas. It is said that the check points and police road blocks are to catch the criminal elements and prevent crime. They try to convince the people it is for their own good, but it is about intimidation and control. The same can be said for the huge military convoys and the groups of heavily armed soldiers marching thru Lhasa. Let me tell you it got old very fast. SP
    #1Fan, dwj - Donnie and SavannahCapt like this.
  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We passed thru Lulang Linhai Guanjingtai Town, which is an expensive new tourist development with a Disney feel, but it is picturesque.



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  18. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    There were only 2 other minor stops the rest of the day and they were not concerned with the bike in the van PHEW! The other nice thing today was there was very little traffic and almost no heavy trucks. The views are mostly from the valley floor along the river except for first thing when we ascended one pass to 3000 m . We saw a lot of bicycle riders on their way to Lhasa and quite a few pilgrims as well.


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    We arrived to Bome just after 4 and managed to get gas in less than 30 min. We of course had 1.5 l too much and they freaked out when we suggested the jerry can and so we gave it to the girl on the scooter behind us in line and she was thrilled!

    The hotel is across the river in the new/Chinese part of town, but very nice. It started to pour just after we got here and it is pretty chilly. They have electric heating pads on the bed (which is still hard and like sleeping on plywood) We are getting closer to Sichuan and Yunnan and the food is spicier here for sure.


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    We have heard from YSS Suspension and they will ship us the shock to Luang Prabang ASAP!! We have also been in contact with the riding community and have had advise and offers of help from Gt-Riders, Ride Asia, and Moto Laos! Thanks to you all for assisting us!
    marior97 and MaNDan like this.
  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today we have a whopping 410 km to Zogang and 2 passes with the first just over 4600 and the second at 5000m. This will be a slow day of switchbacks especially with the rainy weather predicted. The van is the limiting factor mostly because of the point to point speed cameras. It poured rain all night and it was still light rain at 715 am when we loaded up in the underground parking. It was light just before 730 and we set out. Sara opted for the van with the 5 degrees and rain, but it actually cleared up pretty quickly.


    The road is very good and there is really very little traffic. There was only one real military check point today and they did not care about the bike. The rest of the day there were 3-4 police checkpoints, but none of them even looked at us when we slowly rode by. We made it just over 100 km and over the first pass to have breakfast about 945. It was still raining on and off until about 20 min later and Sara was able to finally get out of the van and pillion again.


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    “Pillion’s view”

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  20. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The views are stunning as we ride along the river canyon.


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    marior97, MaNDan, #1Fan and 8 others like this.