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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jason9364, Oct 20, 2017.
Love your work
Out of China and meet the Laos guide with a pickup. We manhandle the stricken bike in and tie it down tighter than an epileptic tiger.
Then down to the border to sweat it out. I've been through here a few times and it just gets longer and longer every time. I think they must all be out polishing that bloody gold paint.
Two hours and a couple of pints sweat later and we're released onto the jungle mountain road. It's definitely worth the wait.
To spend the night deep in the forest at a facility where they test rainbows...
I mark them a 10/10 on everything.
Leave the gates and navigate the huge new brown elephant shit roundabout that appeared overnight, then get out onto the red mud to clamp my arse shut for the day.
Laos is such a beautiful country and I'd love to spend longer here but we had to move some dates about to avoid some border closures in Kyrgyzstan so we're just passing through quickly this year. That and the fact that it's costing upwards of $200 a day per rider for all the permits and shit. It's such a shame. Blame the Chinese...
I stop for lunch next to a hairdresser. What did I stop for? I can't remember... I'm not hungry any more ... I need a haircut ... and a shave
Get on the road out to towards the border and initially it's not very promising but it soon turns into an amazing deserted curvefest, the likes of which I've rarely seen. The Bitch is not stopping for anything.. including photos. Go there yourself. Fuck what a road.
Up to the border and yet another beautiful hotel looking out at Thailand across the Mekong river.
The injured rider is still with us. Getting the bike into Thailand without him could be a real bastard and he's really helping by smiling through the pain. The bloke is made of steel or something. I'm sure he cries into his sheets and bites down on towels all night though.... according to the additional cleaning bill anyway...
Get to the Thai border and transfer the bike to another pickup.
And get our permits stamped by a women that looks like something out the X Files.
Those stupid contact lenses just spook me out every time!
Get to Chiang Mai and we all go out to say goodbye to our broken mate. It's really sad to see him go, and it signals the end of the trip is getting horribly close.
We're only in Thailand for 6 days and our mission is to cram as many corners as possible into the shorted possible distance. Enter the Mae Hong Son Loop. 1864 corners in 400 miles. Jesus H Christ.
Ever since I was a kid, when ever I eat my dinner, or sweets, or ... well .. anything really .. I always leave the best till last.
This is the last. This is the best. This is total tarmac insanity.
I have a theory about the design of this road. I think they dipped a randy dog's tail in paint and stood him in front of a big piece of paper. Then they got a running machine and placed it right in front of him, put the doggy winner of 'on heat rear of the year' on it and turned the dial to 'wiggle'. The trace he painted with his tail was dropped directly onto the Mae Hong Song loop.
In places the road is like a tarmac spiral staircase and it's so steep that I can't work out how the fuck they even tarmac'd it in the first place. I think they just held hot strips of tarmac under helicopters then dropped then on the mountains. I can't see how else they could do it. The corners can get so tight and steep that it's first gear even for the Bitch, and there isn't a truck on the whole road as it's simply not traversable for them.
I'm following a couple of the others and you can see their crash helmets bulging with their massive smiles. This is absolutely ridiculous. It's just non stop. 1864 corners. 1864! The only downside is my forks. My forks are now for decorative purposes only. They've got to the 'tits on a trampoline' stage. The slightest touch of the front brakes has the front wheel shoved up between my balls and the headlight pointing at the ground so I'm trying not to use it. That's fine going up... Going down is a problem:) I'm dragging the back which is fine right up until the moment it boils, fails, and trys to wipe me like leather spread down the side of a jagged cliff.
Ever since my mate twatted his Transalp in China on the same jagged road I did, his bike has been dragging it's arse like a dog with an itch. As I follow him I watch sparks fly off his panniers in the corners. But when we stop for a moment just to breath in and blink we notice it's not his panniers that hitting the ground, it's his aluminium fuel can full of petrol.. Ummmmmmm ...
We all get to Mae Hong Song with our tyres rubbed raw and our throttle wrists aching like single adolescents, then hole up for the night in huts on stilts and listen to the rain pound down around us.
After breakfast we take a quick diversion to a beautiful bamboo bridge across a sea of glistening green to a Monastery.
Unfortunately I only counted about 700 bends yesterday... WTF are the rest? Oh... OK... here they are... phew...
And I even found a Ktm bush...
Get back to Chaing Mai amid a huge thunder storm and take the bike for a well deserved scrub down. That's not going to be a 5 minute job...
I'm just wandering about and I come across the secret of why the Thais are so attractive...
All good things come to an end... and some things come to a good end.. down to the outskirts of Bangkok.
And time to reflect on an amazing journey halfway around the planet....
This is it... we adopt the swarm formation and buzz into the hornets nest that is Bangkok rush hour traffic..
What a laugh that is.. oh how we laughed... FUUUUUUUCKKKKKKKKKKKKK. Eventually we find our way to the freighters and turn off the bikes. They all just sit there ticking to themselves. Congratulating each other on a job well done. Comparing scars and swapping stories.... or is that us...
We put the beasts in the container.. shut the door.. walk away...
Now the sad part starts .... until the next time:)
Wonderful ride, and great report!!
Thanks for sharing, loved every bit of the report, great photo's too.
Bucket List stuff!! Thanks
Reading this, it’s like I am visiting Laos and Thailand again. Thank you
Man oh man....you are a gifted writer (the dog waggin his tail to make a map, brilliant)....best I have red on here thru the years......thanks for takin us along....pics are great also.... FUCK ya-----
Amazing RR and really great photos . Thank you.
Like everyone else,a really brilliant R.R. and great story,looking forward to the next adventure!
Thank you for posting your wonderful trip!
Thank you for sharing so well!!!!!
Outstanding!! You kept my ADD in check for several hours
Looking forward to your next adventure - and hoping that your friend has mended and can join you.
Thanks for taking us along. It was a fantastic trip.
THANKS for Sharing!
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KTM should without hesitation put those Everest pics into their 2018 Calendar.
Jason, RTWDoug, Colebatch and Metaljockey, thank you so much for ruining me!
I won't be able to keep up with you but I'm doing my best.
But a penny spent on the back of a motorcycle, or for that a shave in some foreign land.
And dying poor for having spent the loot on travelling is ok.
One of the best ride reports on ADV. Nice photos and perspectives too. Quite enjoyable. What a epic ride....
Great Report! Fantastic photos & writing. Thanks for sharing.