Chiang Rai Bikers Day Ride, Jan. 10, a Thursday

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by crsaddlebags, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    Hello all.

    The Jan. 10 Chiang Rai Bikers Day Ride is a go. Lacking input from any volunteer route planners for this month, I have called the Fang, Thaton, Doi Mae Salong route for this month. This is a route that we rode previously but we will be running this one in a clock-wise direction instead of the previous counter-clock-wise. Lunch will be at Thaton at one of the riverfront restaurants. No morning coffee stop has been planned at this time but we will find some places that suit us for a break as we go.

    If anyone has suggestions for coffee stops, morning or afternoon, let me know. If anyone has a lunch suggestion prior to Thaton, let me know.

    Further details, including a route map, will follow when suggestions and input from others has been received.

    This is a nice route with lots of good scenery. Cars, trucks, etc are welcome to come along, as always. It is a good day out and a fine opportunity to get familiar with some of the countryside west of Chiang Rai. There is quite a bit of mountain riding on paved roads, lots of twists and turns and some really nice overlooks along this route.

    Meeting time is 08:30, starting time is 09:00 and start point is the PTT where we usually meet. Full details on the starting point will follow, for those who don’t know where it is.

    Basic route numbers are-
    From Chiang Rai,
    118 south to
    109 west to
    107 north to
    1089 north and east to
    1234 east to
    1130 east to
    1 south to Chiang Rai

    Basic idea of the route is visible on the map below.

  2. Loading...

  3. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    Hi all.
    Looks like we will have a fair sized group for this ride. Start point and time info is below.

    Leaving Chiang Rai. Some have expressed interest in riding down highway 1 to catch the 118 and others have said they will cross town to catch the 1211, which intersects with the 118 quite a ways south of town. Either way is fine and is up to the rider's choice. I will cross town to the 1211 and head south.

    Coffee stops in the morning will be as we find them, whatever suits us. During a previous ride we found that there isn't a restaurant in Thaton that can feed us all in a timely manner, so we will be filling several cafes for lunch time.

    After Thaton, we head east on the 1089 until we get to the 1234 and go north to Doi Mae Salong. Some folks, short on time, will continue on the 1089 for the shorter trip back to highway 1 and and then south back to Chiang Rai. Again, personal choice for all.

    The start and meeting point for the ride is the PTT and Amazon Coffee Café on the Super Highway (Highway 1) near the old bus station in Chiang Rai, just south of the Kawasaki dealer The PTT can be found at the green arrow marker on this map-
    Grid coordinates are 19.90317 and 99.84100
    Google Street View of that PTT can be found here-
    Meeting time: 08:30
    Departure time: 09:00
    Coffee, petrol, tire inflation, snacks and restrooms are available at the PTT and Amazon.

    See you all Thursday morning.
  4. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    Thank you to all who shared the January ride with us. It was a pleasure to meet the new folks and a pleasure to see current acquaintances.

    The January 10 ride was a nice one. Had a good turnout and great weather. We also had some folks from fairly far way joining us, including a wanderer from Homer Alaska, riders Greg and Gerald from Tak and Sean and Tony from Nan. Sean is a former CR resident that many of you know already (The Kangaroo Bar) and of course, Tony is the dude from Tony’s Place in Nan, where we kind of based ourselves out of on the Nan ride last month. Tony decided he would come to Chiang Rai and join us for this ride. I’m glad he did and I hope he makes time for more rides in the future. It was good to see him again and it was nice to see Sean again as well.

    We lost folks several times on this ride but some of them rejoined us at different stops. Some of those who took wrong turns still ended up enjoying their day out, discovering other roads and lunch stops. And that is okay, so long as they have a good day in the north of Thailand.

    The meeting time at PTT found approximately 20 bikes attending, five of those being “two-ups”. No cars or trucks joined us for this one. We had a couple of PCX’s which stayed up with everyone just fine and we had some Harley’s, the largest being around 1,800 cc. We had a variety of bike sizes in between those two, and those ranged from sports bikes, smaller cruiser, small dirt bikes and larger dirt bikes.

    Leaving the PTT at 09:00, most of us headed across town to the west to pick up the 1211 and then headed south to the 118. Shortly after entering the 118, we arrived at Charin resort. I almost always stop at that place when I am in that area and this day, I stopped because it was time to pee. Arriving at the café, we met up with those who had taken route 1 directly south and several of the guys decided to have a pie and coffee. After a short break, we headed south again to connect with the 109. The 109 takes us through some low mountains and is a pleasure to spend time on. It is a decent road, a few rough spots but not much traffic, and has some good views at the higher elevations. For those who know the road, the previous landslides (last year) that blocked one lane have finally been cleared and the section high on the mountain that was under construction for so long has been finished. However, rains have washed quite a bit of sand off of that newly cut mountain onto the new roadway surface in a few spots.

    The trip west, over the mountains was quick and we found ourselves regrouping just south of Fang. A few of the guys knew a favorite lunch stop in Fang and headed there for an early lunch. The rest of us headed for Thaton and lunch on the riverbank. Somehow, we lost a rider or two on that stretch so we were a few short at lunch time. Lunch was a two hour break, I believe, as folks met new people and exchanged pleasantries and info. I always say this and I’ll say it again- It is really cool to see these guys and gals meeting new people and adding new riding acquaintances to their social circle. If our day rides are nothing else, they are a good opportunity to meet new riding buddies and share info about routes, riding experiences and sites that are worth visiting.

    On the south side of the river at Thaton, near the bridge, is a little row of storefronts and food and coffee shops. Most of the crowd opted for the obvious diner, which offers a variety of Thai food. Myself and several others ended up in the coffee shop next door. The coffee shop looks and advertises as if it is a coffee shop only but it you ask for the menu, they have a very good range of western style dishes in addition to the usual Thai fare. I ordered two tuna sandwiches, ( I thought they would be small) and it was all I could do to finish them. They are stuffed with plenty of tuna, tomato and lettuce. Good stuff.

    After lunch the group occupied the riverbank for some more rest and chatter as we waited for a couple of guys who had made a wrong turn. We eventually headed east on the 1089 and at the police check point south of Doi Mae Salong, the group split, with some opting for the short way to CR and others going on up into Mae Salong for a cup of coffee and a sweet cake. The place we stopped at is the shop that Ian has mentioned before and advised that they are the best in the north. Several of us agreed with him. Woraphat had the cheesecake and I sampled a bit of that. Super. If you get the chance, this is THE shop you need to hit when in that area.

    After an extended break (these guys really like the part of the ride where they get to sit and chat and meet new folks), we split up the group again, with some heading back south to the police checkpoint and then east to Highway 1 and some of us heading straight east to highway 1. After a great descent filled with turns and lovely views on that route, we turned onto highway 1 and had a leisurely ride home from here. It was a great ride, a great day out and it makes me look forward to the next one. Hope to see you all again on February 10, a Sunday.

    Pics from the January ride can be found here-
    If anyone wants to borrow those to put on this forum, they are welcome to do that.
  5. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    Hi brake034. Nobody has called a route for Feb. yet. Maybe it is you?
  6. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    Hi brake034. Sorry, I missed this post earlier. Thanks for the e-mail. Yes, feel free to plan the route if you choose to. If you think you're too short on time to do this one, then feel free to call a future month as yours. As of this date nobody has called the Feb. ride but I am guessing someone will step up if you don't take this one. I have sent you an e-mail reply with some details for planning.

    As for meeting for a CM dinner on the 10th after the ride, I couldn't commit to that not knowing what our route will be. I can tell you, I generally head straight home after the day ride and start trying to recover. However, some of the others may want to head to a dinner after the ride.
  7. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    The Feb. ride saw 16 bikes leaving at the start point, several of those were two-up, along with one pick-up truck and then one bike joining us at the Phu Sang Waterfall. Really a great group of guys and gals, as always. I met some new folks on this one. Not sure but I think we had maybe four first timers. I hope they will join us again.

    Our first rest stop was less than an hour from the start point. I suspect it was a re-group/smoke break combination that saw the group re-assemble by the side of the road. We happened to be in front of a couple of little shops and one of the shop ladies there decided we needed water so she brought cold water and glasses and set it up next to our bikes. What a nice thing to do. I, for one, was ready for a cold drink and a smoke.

    Moving on down the 1020 road, several folks turned north too early and three of us turned north too late. A phone call from the early birds re-assured me that they would meet us for lunch via a slightly different route and some good navigation by the famous Captain Slash assured me that I was back on track via a by-way in just a few minutes. Soon we were parking at Phu Sang Waterfall Park for a cup and a break. That is a nice park and if you haven’t been there yet, you need to find it on the map and go have a look. Peaceful, relaxing setting. Someone told me that the water coming over the falls is hot water but I didn’t check it out. I posted some pics of the place but I am a lousy photographer and my pics don’t do it justice. We took a fairly long break there because we ALWAYS take fairly long scheduled breaks. There’s always a lot of catching up to do when we get together and after meeting the new participants, there is even more to talk about.

    Leaving the falls, we headed north on the 1093. Wow. Lots of turns on that one and I found it to be some work. Woraphat missed this ride so I found myself going a bit faster than normal and enjoying the curves with good surfaces but really paying attention on the bad ones. The road had lots of curves with loose gravel and bits of asphalt missing and that is what made extra work out of it. I found myself having to really get on the brakes at the last seconds as the loose gravel or broken surfaces came into view.

    There was a lot of smoke that day so there weren’t too many good, distant views. There was a lot to see, but just not far away. I’ll have to ride that again in the rainy season and see what all I missed. As I looked around, I kept wishing for some clear shots for the camera but by afternoon, I had given up. So, you will notice that I didn’t post any scenic shots from this trip. Pics of the group can be found on Chiang Rai Ties.

    Near Phu Chi Fa, we stopped in at a café that a couple of our riders knew from previous trips. The place had good food and did a great job of getting the lunches out to everyone without too much of a wait. That break turned into a pretty long one as well. As the time for moving on arrived, our sole Thai couple told me that they were going to spend the rest of the day there, explore that specific area and spend the night. I was a bit tuckered by then and wished that I could have had an extra day. But back on the road and north to the 1155. Again, lots of turns with lots of gravel. Really glad nobody went down that day. But these guys aren’t out for a race and everyone did fine.

    By the time I reached the 1155, the group was really strung out. Some folks made the wrong turn there by mistake, some folks made the wrong turn because they wanted to see what was further north and some folks made the planned turn south. A few others had actually turned around and went back on the 1093 a kilometer or so to top up with fuel. Eventually, all had passed that checkpoint and some of us were heading south on the 1155 to the 4018. We made the right onto the 4018 and climbed one of the steepest highways I know. That one is always fun and a guy has to pay attention. On some of those hairpin, steep turns, if you get stopped for any reason, I think your safest bet is to just lay the bike down. I know that would be MY best option. If I got stopped on one of those steep turns, there just isn’t any way I could keep the bike from sliding down the road. So, the game is, keep moving, slow and steady, no matter what. I don’t worry about it but I do pay attention. Klaus, on his chopped Steed, made it look easy. I always worry a bit about the bigger bikes but these guys have experience and make my worrying null and void. A short, exhilarated stop at the top and down the other side we went. The downhill side demands just as much respect as the uphill side and received it and then we were on the flat, straight 1020, headed south.

    At the 1152 intersection, I waited to make sure all made the turn westward and then caught up with Klaus. The rest of the gang moved on ahead and Klaus and I made a leisurely ride of the short distance back to CR with one water, fuel and smoke break. I was glad to arrive home, relax, stretch and chill out. Several of the riders were waiting in our coffee area when I arrived and a few more turned up the next day for a recap conversation. Another day ride in the books and a few more really nice folks to know. Looking forward to March 10. I hope you all can join us.

Share This Page