Chiang Rai Bikers Day Ride, Oct. 10, a Wednesday

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by crsaddlebags, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    This mailing goes out to all on our Chiang Rai Bikers Day Ride mailing list. If you would like to receive this mail, just let me know. If you know of someone else who would like to receive this information, please forward this to them and/or have them contact me to be added to the list. Please feel free to post this to any blogs, bulletin boards or websites that you know of where the information may be useful. The Chiang Rai Bikers Day Ride is typically held on the 10th of each month, allowing some folks a weekend to ride and others a weekday to ride throughout the year. We can’t make every ride convenient for all bikers but we try to make sure all bikers can join us for some of the rides each year.

    Welcome all to the Chiang Rai Bikers Day Ride. The next monthly ride will be 10 October, a Wednesday.
    Map, start point and all- http://goo.gl/maps/Q2GuV

    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
    Meeting time: 08:30
    Departure time: 09:00
    Coffee, petrol, tire inflation, snacks and restrooms are available at the PTT and Amazon.

    The route proposed by the latest volunteer route planner is approximately 250 km. Distance from point to point in the descriptions below were done with a scale on a map and are not exact and do not account for elevation changes. Because of this, the distance listed will not add up to total kilometers for the ride. If someone wants to route this on better mapping software and share it, I will disseminate that info.

    A rough description of the route and itinerary is as follows-

    Leave the PTT and Amazon Coffee meeting spot and head north for approximately 11 or 12 k, turn right at the traffic lights just past Nang Lae onto 1209

    Proceed approximately 18 K and take the obvious highway right.

    Proceed a total of 9 k after making this turn. However, after two kilometers you will cross the river bridge. This is your verification that you are on the correct road.

    At Dong Maha Wan, you will go left on the unmarked highway and head north-east for approx. 14 K to the intersection with route 1098, near Doi Luang.

    Right onto 1098 and proceed approx. 24 k to route 1174.

    Right onto 1174 and proceed approximately 4k. You are at San Wiang. Here, you head east again. This one is tricky. As you go around San Wiang, highway 1174 makes a sharp right but there is a straight shot in front of you that will take you across the valley. Stay on that route, heading east.

    After travelling approx.18 k, you come to Bun Rueang and here you go right onto the 1120.

    Proceed approx.. 12 k and be looking for a left hand turn. Over the entryway onto this turn is a large sign proclaiming the gateway to Pu Chi Fa. This road will take you up and over the mountain, dumping you onto the 1155. Up and over the mountain to 1155 is approx. 8 k.
    Note-This is a paved road but it is very steep. Going down the other side is steep as well with very sharp turns. Low gear, slow, don’t get hurt. At the top of the mountain is a large paved turn-out for taking in the views. There are no refreshments up there that I saw but it is worth the stop for the gander and picture taking.

    Take the 1155 right/south approx. 23 k to the 1020.

    Right/east on the 1020 to Thoeng, approx. 5 k

    As you enter Thoeng, you will come upon road construction and the divided highway begins. At that point, where the divided highway begins, make a left to go to the lunch stop. It is approx. 3 k south and on your right. It is a large restaurant area, lots of parking, several style of seating and covered areas.

    From the lunch stop, head back to Thoeng and the 1020. Left onto the 1020 and take it back to Chiang Rai.

    We scouted this ride a few days ago. Total kilometers on my odometer was around 240. There is nothing for decent coffee stop until we get onto the 1155 and then there are a few. We stopped in different little villages and had cokes for our rest breaks. If anyone knows of a good place about midway in the morning, let us know.
    For a look at the route on the Google map, click this link- http://goo.gl/maps/Q2GuV

    Folks, anyone can plan a ride. If you think you have a good route for us to run in the future, let us know. If you need help sussing it out, I and others are always happy to scout it all out with you and nail it down prior to the ride date. And if you have a route that doesn’t need any scouting or help, let us know that and what month you would like to call it. Woraphat and I will do our best to disseminate the info to all in English and Thai and get the best participation we can for your ride. And by the way, just because this info is in English and Thai doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of participants from non-English speaking countries. We have folks from all over. The English thing means only that I can’t speak or write another language. Feel free to translate this and pass it on.

    The Chiang Rai Bikers Day Ride is not a club event, a sponsored event or a closed event. It is open to all who wish to attend and have a way to travel or can hitch a ride. All sizes and styles of bikes are welcome, as are cars, trucks, vans and so on. We always have bikes from around 100 cc’s up to at 1,800 cc’s. Bikers of all skill levels and riding styles are welcome. While we typically leave the start point together, we soon find ourselves riding in small groups of riders who share our riding style and speed. Faster riders arrive at coffee and lunch stops sooner than the slower riders but we all take the time at those stops to meet and enjoy the company of old friends and new acquaintances. This is as much a social gathering as it is a sightseeing outing and to date, it has proven to be an exceptionally friendly gathering where people make new friends, Thai and expat alike, find new riding buddies and share route info, technical tips and all other manner of relevant information. If you do decide to join us, I believe you will find this meeting the highlight of your biking and social month.

    While we do generally have planned stops, each rider is free to stop where and when he/she pleases. There is no pressure to stay with the group. Smoke breaks, rest breaks, pee breaks, photo opportunities and even the lunch stop are entirely up to you. You can run ahead, fall behind and even check in a guest house for an overnight stay along the route if you see a place where you think you need to spend some time. It is all about discovering the area, meeting folks and coming away with a more informed view of the land we live in and the people we come in contact with. Bring your camera. There are great photo opportunities.

    No egos, no racing and no competitive personalities means this meeting finds all to be on their best and friendliest behavior. Join us to see the best of northern Thailand each month. You won’t find a nicer group of people discovering or re-discovering the scenic routes of Lanna country. We ride all year round and while some find reasons to stay home to avoid environmental discomforts, some of us find that living or visiting in Thailand offers year round riding weather. Again, welcome to join us. Make that leap and be glad you did. You won’t feel out of place at the Chiang Rai Bikers Day Ride. Coming from far away? Contact us for guest house and hotel info prior to arriving. We will try to suggest some lodging that fits your budget and lifestyle.
     
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  3. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    Below are a few pics. The pics show the orange colored diamond shaped markers that will notify you of turns on the route until you get to Doi Luang and Route 1098. There are no markers after that point, which is where we enter major highway again after being on small country highways for a bit. I put the markers out this afternoon. Hopefully, they will still be there tomorrow. I tried to put them far enough ahead of turns to give you warning to slow for the turn. In one case, the marker is right at the turn but you will be in a village and going slow anyway. At that particular turn, the next marker is almost directly in front of you, slightly to the right, which is the way you will turn. After the turns, I have put another marker to let you know you are on the right road.

    There is also a pic of the first big turn off of highway one, just north of CR.

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  4. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    Hello all.

    Thanks to all who participated in the Oct. 10 ride. I didn’t count but I think we had nearly thirty, all told, but I think we didn’t get pics of everyone together at the same time.

    Pictures. Looks like I am going to have to hire someone to chase us and take pics. We are always too busy “going” to get any pics of people “going”. We do end up with lots of pics of the group meeting, greeting and eating. But we do more than that, don’t we?

    The weather cooperated, as usual. Somebody likes us. While there was some cloud cover, there was also quite a bit of sunshine on that day. Klaus, of Denmark, had a nice, red face at the end of the ride and my arms had some red to them. The temps. were great, as well.

    We had more Thai citizen participants than ever before. Our ride is gaining popularity as more and more people give it a try. Many other countries were represented as well. And we had some first-timers with us from Chiang Mai. Thanks for making the effort, guys. One other thing that always pleases me is to see other Thailand biker-related website owners showing up to join us. This time, we had John from the Lone Rider website keeping company with us and he brought along his good friend Werner. Thanks for coming, guys. John maintains one of the most complete listings of motorcycle related events for Thailand- http://lonerider.12see.de/

    The ride started on time, as usual and we headed into the rolling farmlands north and east of Chiang Rai. Everyone made the first turn fine and we only lost one on the second turn. That one took another route and joined up with us about 40 minute later at another junction. For the most part, we stayed together as a group on the first half of this ride, which is unusual for us. On most rides, the faster guys and bikes are long gone and waiting for the rest of us at coffee and lunch stops. We did have a few breakdowns which were resolved in short order and those guys were able to catch the group again at our lunch stop. At the forth turn and an impromptu refreshment stop, one rider received a phone call with news that caused him to have to return home. Another rider decided that the day was going to be longer than expected and he headed for home to take care of other things.

    After arriving at our northernmost point, we turned south and paralleled the eastern mountain range for a bit and then cut east across that fertile agricultural valley to the mountain range further east. Following that range southwards for just a few kilometers, we then headed east and up the mountain. Steep and twisty, that route was a first for some of the riders and it makes a person wonder how long it can go on. But as with most fun roads, not long enough. At the top, Ian was waiting to direct everyone down the little side road to the right and into a scenic view area, complete with sala.

    Here’s a note for anyone else that is going that way: The best views are in your rear-view mirrors as you climb that mountain, heading east. So, as you get near the top, start looking for the little motorbike trails that turn off of the road. Stop at a few of those and you will find the best places to get some good shots westward, northwest and southwest. The views of the valley to the west are very impressive but none of the built up stops offer the best views of that.

    Some pics, some chatting, a smoke and a few guys watering the trees and we were off again to just a few hundred meters down the other side and to a stop at the eastern viewpoint. That site has less obstruction of the view below and in the distance but isn’t as impressive as the western side. High humidity and low clouds obstructed the eastern view to some degree that day, as well. You can, however, see the Laos mountains from there, as well of some of the twisting and turning road far below. As you continue down the mountain, you will soon find yourself on that road.

    Leaving that last viewpoint, some of the guys more familiar with the road down made short work of the steep downward grades and hair-pin turns. Some of us went down just about as slow as we could go. With the wife riding pillion on my bike, I was in no hurry and enjoyed every meter. South on the 1155 to the 1020 was almost uneventful. Lovely road. I wonder if anyone reading this has not ridden the 1155. I hope you all have, at least once. It was on this road that we encountered our last bike malfunction, as one of the Steeds dropped a cylinder and those of us at the rear spent the rest of the ride to Thoeng taking it very easy as the rider nursed the bike towards a repair. Luckily, our steepest upwards grades were behind us. But a dropped cylinder on a two-cylinder bike doesn’t kill the ride; a new spark plug at Thoeng and the bike was strong as ever.

    Of note on this subject, as we looked for a shop and mechanic that could bring the cylinder back on line, we ran across the owner of one of the most unique bikes I have seen in Thailand. It was a real ratter that he had built himself. He turned out to be the mechanic that would fix the limping bike and after sending a friend to retrieve a new spark-plug, he installed it and all was well. And as usual in our adventures, he didn’t want any money for his help. Man, we meet some great folks in this country, don’t we?

    Lunch was at big prawn farm and restaurant setup just south of Thoeng. There were actually several different restaurants at that location. Someone wisely chose the one with the biggest seating area. The place did okay on providing our meals, considering how many of us hit them at the same time. And Woraphat was spectacular, as usual, dashing around translating between riders and waitress and making sure the orders were turned in properly and then served to the correct person. Thanks to Ray for suggesting this place as a lunch stop. It was a first for several of us and several will return in the future now that we know where and what it is.

    Now, at lunch, we didn’t all get together at the same time. Over the course of nearly an hour, bikers kept showing up. Some had made wrong turns, some had gone on to check out other business prior to lunch, three came in with a bike that had quit early in the ride and had gotten very far behind, one guy just didn’t make it at all and two came in on a diversion from the called route. I believe the guy that didn’t make it to lunch couldn’t find the place and I didn’t get a call asking for directions. Richard, I am sorry we lost you and I don’t know how that happened. We did get several calls from others who had missed the turn or otherwise lost the way and we were able to direct them into the place.

    Folks, we love to sit and chat on these rides, don’t we? After a nearly two hour lunch stop, we began departing for Chiang Rai and other finishing points. And oddly enough, we didn’t all leave at the same time, with a few guys leaving every few minutes for the next forty minutes or so. I was almost the last to leave and two of us made our way leisurely back into Chiang Rai. I believe we made it back by about 5:30 p.m. Some of the guys were here waiting for us. It was beer time.

    Next ride is Nov. 10 and the route has been called by Ian. We will be going north and west of Chiang Rai, to include Doi Tung. As we get more info, we will post it.

    They aren’t up yet but pics from the Oct 10 ride can be seen here in the near future.
     
  5. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Here's a few pics from the ride, which was a great success as usual. We lost a few along the way and gained some, but overall about 30 people joined in, with all sorts of styles of bikes of all sizes. The route was very good, Thanks to Bob, Marty and Brian for organising and Thanks to everyone who joined the ride. Windy country roads NE of Chiang Rai, then the wonderful 4018 over Phiya Phitak, a bit of the classic 1155 and down to Thoeng for lunch in a restaurant next to a prawn farm. I picked up 2 kgs of fresh prawns (for the hotel) in a cooler and rode home 3 hours with them tied on the back of the bike with string and back up the 1155 (lucky me). Lovely indeed they were, being so fresh.

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    Another memorial to the 150 men who died building the 1155.

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    At Phiya Phitak Sala

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    At the Prawn Farm Restaurant in Thoeng.

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  6. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    Thanks for posting the pics, Ian. Nice ones, too.

    Below are some from us. Sorry to be so late with the pics. Juts have too much going on these days. Here are some and more can be seen here- http://chiangraities.com/index.php?topic=621.15

    The meet and greet-

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  7. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    First stop and then on the mountain:

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  8. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    Lunch and the rat bike. We took more than 160 photos that day and still didn't get pics of all the riders.

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    Woraphat needed a pic of her with that bike-

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    Woraphat and Klaus need a sit-down break at the last rest stop of the day-

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  9. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

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