Chiang Mai to Pai

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by julianbowyer, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. julianbowyer

    julianbowyer New Member

    January 30th John David, and myself took off from the Kafe Chiang Mai David’s stomping ground. We left late about 1.00pm David had some packing to do, just as well as I had a problem with high pressure fuel pump. I was at a garage filling up with thinking that was the problem but it did not quit like it usually does when running out of fuel. Sure enough I had a task on my hands and only a few minutes to do in before I was going to be late meeting up with the guys. Half way through messing with the fuel pump David calls me to let me know that things are running late. I thought he might be calling me to tell me I’m late. Good, that gives me time to fix this pump. It turns out that the pump decided to jam up. With a few raps with a hammer and all was well again. The engine started and I was off to the Kafe.
    David and John were there but David had to fly off again. That gave me time to get my spare fuel pump. Dodging the Saturday traffic slowed me down but when I got back David was still not there we waited and waited until John decided to call him. Just as he was dialling David turns up. A couple of minutes to pay for the coffee bill and we were on our way to Pai. It was my first time riding with David and John so did not know the skill level of either rider. It turns out both are good riders.
    Battling through Chiang Mai traffic on a Saturday is like any major city in the world at least it flows not like Bangkok waiting 30 minutes for traffic to move. It is the worst city I have ever ridden through. Anyway back with the ride to Pai. I had lost the boys through the traffic and just hoped they had not turned off. After a few traffic lights I could see them both ahead but the traffic was thick and hard for me to get up close to the two riders. I could see a chance a slight gap for me to get through and stay with boys. In no time I was up with David who was leading. I think I took both bike riders by surprise. I passed John who was on a 400cc at speed. From that point on I was able to keep up with both riders. The trike “The Yellow Mantis” so called because of the headlights and features of the design of trike, can keep up with motorcycles it is only the traffic and the steep hills that slow the beast down. I had not pushed the trike this hard before I had no need I am more of a cruiser rider but sometimes I like to let my hair down and thundering down a road. I have recently put new tyres all round and hoped I would do better around the corners. The rubber is too hard and I had problems getting away a few times but the trike came out the other end without too much of a problem. It is not one of Thai’s best-kept roads but it is a beautiful ride. There are plenty of things to keep your mind on the boil, small craters of missing tarmac on the bends making an interesting hopping and skipping around the bends. It was quite a challenge keeping up with John and David. At least I kept the “Yellow Mantis” on the road and up turned as I once was in Chile 2 years ago. That’s another story. I had to stop and tighten up the bolt claps holding the mudguard in place. I discovered some days later that the headlight bracket nuts and bolts had completely left the trike. It cost a few minutes getting the tools out of the trike and an interested motorist stopped on the side of the road to have a nattier about the trike.
    With the tools back on board I quickly got back into the rhythm of humming down the road at speed. I usually cruse at around 90-100km/h we had been riding much faster than that. David and John were already sat down and David had ordered food from the stall across the road from the bikes. I also ordered food. We stopped for about 20 minutes and then it was back on the road again running at top speed around the devilish bends.
    We got into Pai 4.30pm just in time for happy hour. We settled into a nice guesthouse with cable and a hot shower. After settling into the cabin at 300baht a night we rode into town riding through the busy market street of the town. We sat and had a beer at David’s favourite café and had a beer. Later we turned up at the Golden Triangle Café David knew the lady running the place. After the Golden Triangle café David John, and myself rode to one of David’s old friends birthday party at his restaurant. After the shy start to eating the food it did not take long before the punch ended up on our table Sangria. The food was great and the host was a gentleman everyone had a good time. After the birthday party it was off to Be-Bop bar where they have live music. David also knows the people at Be-Bop who run the place. John left before David and myself. I don’t remember the time we left but it was close to closing time.
    In the morning we saddled up to the first café we came the day before to have coffee and breakfast. We sat around making plans for the rest of the day. David was riding on further down the road John needed to get back to Chiang Mai and I decided to stay in the hippy village. David took me to a place he knew but it was full. We parted company at this point and I went in search of bamboo hut. It was a great run glad I came along.
    Trike Trek Trip
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