Flying to Vietnam today

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by easyrider11, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. Sideoff

    Sideoff Been here awhile

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    That photo though That’s one of the only pics I have from that chapter and it’s only because I got paid like $60 and a free hotel room to wear those clothes. It got printed in a Levi’s catalog in the UK ~1990 and I still have a copy. The models were all Bay Area street kids, some were friends of mine.

    Sitting around Oudomxay working on logistics. Planning to go to Chiang Mai and meetup with a friend there, get the leg looked at and maybe casted, rest up for a day or two, then fly back to Vietnam and do something - who knows what - on crutches. Ash found this cheapo backpack in town so I can carry my clothes and stuff around while using crutches in the airports to Thailand and back.

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    Big shoutout to the guys at Tigit Motorbikes in Vietnam. One of their staff is taking a 20 hour all night bus ride to arrive here tomorrow and ride the bike all the way back to Hanoi. For only $250, which is nuts. I would rent from those guys again in a heartbeat. I can see why people rave about them online. The XR150s have performed flawlessly. It’s the perfect bike for bouncing around SE Asia, way better than a Win or Minsk. Here’s their website if you’re interested. https://www.tigitmotorbikes.com. I have no affiliation, we booked online based on the reviews. I met the owner on the phone today while working out the logistics of getting the bike back. He’s from the UK, seems like a really cool guy.

    Ash is headed out on her own from here. We’ll meet somewhere near Saigon toward the end of the month. She’s going to chime in soon with an update of her own. I’m bummed to drop off the trip, but super excited to follow her solo journey.
    #81
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  2. 95Monster

    95Monster Long timer

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    Cool to read that Tigit is coming to the rescue, for their bike any way. I’ve had great dealings with them thus far.
    #82
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  3. easyrider11

    easyrider11 Adventurer

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    HI! I’M BACK!

    (:

    We’re in Oudomxai still, I ran around town today doing errands and gathering supplies. I found a backpack for Pete, got the bikes washed and prepped, oh.. and I had a ‘traditional massage’ (30K kip) by a blind dude. His wife was also blind and giving a massage to a local beside me.

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    Lil’ helper I found in the market today, a new friend who would help me find a backpack for Pete. Thanks friend!

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    So fresh and so clean, clean.

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    SO...

    My fever broke!
    Also, Pete’s fibula. That broke too.

    But I’m telling you things you already know.

    BTW, important sidebar: I am dying laughing as I catch up on the rr and see pics of my hair Pete has posted :lol: I feel the need to make a brief statement about it.

    **This is the consequence of shaving my head last summer. I have VERY straight hair, thus... the porcupine.

    Ok, moving on. Holllllly shit. Things have taken a turn for the crazy here in Laos. I can’t believe I’m about to head out on my first solo journey. I’ve done several intl. moto trips over the years - in Africa, Asia and beyond. But never solo.

    I can’t wait to share all my feelings on hitting the road solo, but first here are some pics from earlier in the trip.

    **I’ve been shooting with my new Sony a6600 and I brought two lenses. I’ve been shooting most everything with my 24mm ZEISS prime lens by Sony. https://www.sony.co.th/en/electronics/camera-lenses/sel24f18z

    It’s incredible. With a large 1.8 max aperture it’s a great all around carry. Super impressed with this glass.

    Here I am with my new toy (: not obsessed at all.

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    I also brought a 70-350mm super telephoto lens, which I’ve pulled out a few times. It’s pretty baller, but not quite as inconspicuous as the shorty.

    Trip Pics, Feb 1 - Present...

    First pic I took in Hanoi.

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    My ride or die dude, in the rainy dark North of Vietnam. Still smiling, of course.

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    The entire street was lined with VN flags, every, single, house. Man, the colors were so beautiful and the dark skies added to the whole vibe. Although, I remember something heavy about the North. I thought about the war a lot in my helmet. I’m curious if I’ll have more of that when I cross back over to Vietnam, probably so.

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    Kumquat! Fun fact: when I was in high school I was part of a nationally ranked speech and debate team. During my Jr. year I titled my oratory piece ‘Miss Kumquat’. More on that later for anyone interested :lol:

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    More flags. These, more colorful!

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    @Sideoff probably updating the rr (:

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    The smiliest of them all!

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    Audio tour in da caves.

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    Chapter 22: Bikes on Boats, a Montage

    But first, the boat in all it’s majesty.

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    Aaaaaand, a shameless glory shot of my noble SE Asian steed.

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    Thanks captain, what an awesome boat ride to Muang Khua. I’ll never forget it.

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    First oil change on the bikes. I spent two days wandering around Phongsaly, when I felt good enough to do so - while Pete was laid up with the injury. I had a little epiphany during those two days.

    If I stay anywhere long enough, it feels like home. I just have to bust through the clunky awkwardness of being ‘new’, oh and smile! Yes, smiling helps a lot (:

    I totally fell in love with this little town. I’ll definitely be back sometime in my lifetime. Next time @Sideoff can see more than just the hotel room walls.

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    Having my new Upshift Online patch ironed onto my backpack. If you don’t know what Upshift is, well, you should!

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    Sunset over Phongsaly.

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    Phongsaly at sunset from Phoufa Mtn. Loved this spot.

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    Poor babe, I drug him up Phoufa with his bummed leg and even insisted on a little photo shoot of a new product for work.

    What a trooper. Love ya @Sideoff thx for putting up with me always.

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    Okay, it’s almost 11 PM here so I’m going to scoot off to sleep. But, I’ll be back in the morning. I want to give you my account of the crash and a few thoughts on the solo adventure before I kick that kickstand up.

    Full of zest I’m signing off, happy v-day inmates.

    Okay, okay one more thing. Holy shit I’m so excited.

    OBVIOUSLY bummed about my dude’s ankle and having to bow out of the trip, but oh my god my brain is going a million miles a minute.

    It’s like a whole new trip.

    A trip within a trip! Ha!

    What a trip...

    -a
    #83
  4. Kanatako

    Kanatako n00b

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    All those tin cans and flags are from Lunar New Year
    They even have string light, similar to Christmas type all over the street, quite a sight when the night come :clap
    #84
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  5. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO Supporter

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    Ash...
    Glad you're over the crud!

    Great images with the Sony/24. Are those RAW images you posted? If so, the Sony is capturing vivd light! Nice!

    Looking forward to more prose and pics from the solo adventurer!
    #85
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  6. easyrider11

    easyrider11 Adventurer

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    Bill! Hi yes happy to be up and over it.

    Those are not raw images, I’ve run them through post. However, the raw images are not too far from what you’re seeing. I’m so impressed with this new Sony equipment. Give Lynn a big hug for me.
    #86
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  7. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO Supporter

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    Will do!
    She sends a hug back at you and her favorite saying for today.... "Happy VD Day". (Of course it is still Valentine's Day here).

    Post images look great so you're working with some great RAW images!
    Very nice! Looking forward to more!
    #87
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  8. Champe

    Champe Been here awhile

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    Rah ! for the photos. Raw or otherwise.

    Thanks for posting. This trip looks to be a real adventure.
    #88
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  9. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Being a solo traveler opens more doors.
    I'm curious how you pack your camera gears.
    #89
  10. SDR82

    SDR82 Adventurer

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    Great to hear the sun is shining again on your plans! Making the best out of whatever gets thrown at you is the best approach, you two practice it well :thumbup
    Stoked for your ride Ash, enjoy and ride safe, we'll be following virtually

    now I really can't wait to start my ride from Tigit next month.:smile6
    #90
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  11. jowul

    jowul Been here awhile

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    Great photography @Easyrider. I use the same A6600 camera with the same 24/1.8 Zeiss lens and it is indeed a fantastic lens. for travel I complemented it with the 10-18/4 zoom and the 18-135 zoom which makes for a great travel combo.. I have the 70-300 for wildlife and BIF but I don't take it on my MC trips. Looking forward to your solo trip RR and more of your photography. I wish you and Pete safe travels.
    #91
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  12. Sideoff

    Sideoff Been here awhile

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    Rarely have I seen Ash as excited as she is right now. Last night she was bouncing off the walls It’s pretty cool. Go Ash!!
    #92
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  13. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    Lemonade from the lemons one is dealt, rock on!
    #93
  14. markinthailand

    markinthailand Long timer

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    GREAT photos Ash! Have an awesome trip. We'll keep Pete out of trouble in Chiang Mai...
    #94
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  15. easyrider11

    easyrider11 Adventurer

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    Oh man. It’s happening.

    Almost 10AM here and I’ve got allllll the feels.

    I’m packing up my own bike, then Pete’s. The guys from Tigit sent someone to snag the XR, which is so awesome of them, and Pete is flying to Chang Mai at 1PM.

    As promised, here is my recounting of the crash.

    5 days ago Pete and I were on a twisty, beautiful mountain road in the morning when he hit a slick patch and slid out mid-corner.

    We were already aware of the sketch factor, the road was visibly shiny and slightly wet from an overnight drizzle. Actually, just about 15 minutes prior we had been talking on our sena intercoms when Pete announced he was going to switch over to his audio book, there was only silence on the other end of the line. He asked if I was okay and with a big gulp and a bit of hesitation, I said yes. I was extremely freaked out at the amount of diesel on the roads, and I don’t really get ‘freaked out’ by much if that tells you anything.

    I watched the whole thing happen. Seeing an accident unfold is a pretty scary and helpless thing, it was the first time I’d witnessed anything like it. He hit the ground, gently sliding with his upper body and helmet along the pavement, then was abruptly spun around with the bike by his left leg (which had been under the bike the whole time). The slide was about 30 ft. It could have been a lot worse, but damn. Neither of us will ever forget it.

    Here is some footage from the accident.

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    I’m also working on a video with some additional insights, more on that later.

    Now, it’s time to quit pecking on my phone and head out into the great unknown! Ha, cheesy? Yes. But, it’s how I feel; truly! This is big.

    I’ve been preparing for this, for years and years. All of those moments I pushed through my walls, changed flats in the dust and blazing sun, stared at maps and GPX tracks until they made sense to me, navigated my way around foreign cities where I don’t speak the language... alllll of those little victories, have lead me to the NOW.

    I keep hearing my friend Josh’s voice saying ‘you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of training’. Feels appropriate for this moment.

    Hooooly fuck. So many emotions. I just shouted ‘I am Ash hear me roaaaaaaar!’ In our hotel room. Clearly, a sign I’m ready.

    Off I go!!

    I’ll check back in tonight. I do expect you all to keep me company now that I’ll be solo don’t let me down!

    I’m headed to Xieng Thong, Laos today. I thought that an achievable destination for my first leg. Apparently there are some boat led night safaris there - not sure if I’ll partake but definitely worth sniffing out.

    Au revoir, deuces amigos!
    #95
  16. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    Thanks for the recap on the "off". Looks like there was nothing to be done to prevent it. His gear looks like it did what it was paid to do. As his ankle was where the major damage was done, and as boots are always a trade off of comfort vs. protection, any feedback on a different pair of boots possibly helping. I don't recognize the boots you were wearing from the pics.

    Best of luck Ash! Your posts will certainly be brightening my day. Given your attitude, this seems to be a totally unnecessary statement, but - HAVE A BLAST!
    #96
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  17. third eye

    third eye back road loon Supporter

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    sorry to see your broken leg, looks like you have enough help to let Ash carry on.......so cool you're continuing on, have a great trip! Oh. great pictures by the way. Looking forward to more
    #97
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  18. Sideoff

    Sideoff Been here awhile

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    Happy Valentine’s Day babe! Ride all the tracks, see all the sights, do all the things, feel all the feels. See you in Saigon at the end of the month.

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    #98
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  19. markinthailand

    markinthailand Long timer

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    Go for it Ash!!!!!

    If any of you are in Chiang Mai, we're hosting Pete for a talk at at Rx Cafe Chiang Mai on Tuesday night at 7 PM. Pete will talk about crowd sourcing a business, adventure riding, and more. Free, and there will be beer.

    Link to our FB event here: How to start a business and travel the world

    Rx Cafe Chiang Mai is on Google Maps, right next to CrossFit Chiang Mai. We're off of Chotana Road, just north of the Khuang Singh intersection, on the same soi as B2 and just before the 3 way intersection where you turn left towards the canal road.
    #99
  20. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO Supporter

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    Mark, Pete...
    Stoked to read you are making good things happen from an unfortunate situation.

    What an excellent reason to visit Chiang Mai again...free beer!!!!! And to hear Pete talk (always informative)! If there were only flights from ATL!
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