DATE; Friday 16th Feb 2007 Dropped the Africa Twin whilst riding it! It's only taken 180,000 kms. Result lots of pain – a broken arm, plus a broken mirror & turn signal on the bike. Not much eh. What happened – riding down a steep descent & hit a rock in bulldust, which tucked the front wheel straight under & instantaneously down I went, shoulder first into the dirt. Sort of like a stab in the back it was all so sudden & without any gradual loss of control. The spill happened between Hongsa & Nam Ngeune / Huay Kon border crossing, checking out the road & border crossing prior to our scheduled departure on the 19th. Within 15 minutes I was on my way back to Hongsa in a pick up. Now let me tell you that bouncing around in the tray of a beat up old pick for 20 kms on a bad dusty corrugated road has been the most excruciating pain I’ve ever felt in all my bike spills so far. AND. this was preceded by the tail gate of the pick up collapsing as I was sitting on it & trying to edge my way onto the tray. The fall onto the ground was as sudden as the spill off the bike! The Hongsa hospital (more like an outdoors field clinic) is better than the one in Muang Sing as it was made of cement & not wood. But Hongsa has no X-Ray facilities, not that we needed them, as it was pretty obvious it was broken. The Lao recommended I be trucked to Xayaboury – 4 hrs & 96 kms away on a very bad road, where I could be x-rayed & then moved to Luang Prabang, all in the wrong direction for me as Chiang Mai & home was to the west-north-west. So the ol GT Rider put his battered thinking cap on & decided that the best way was straight home, with the bike if possible & direct to his fave doctor, & GT Riders' hero Dr Sudhee the orthopedic surgeon. Amazingly the Nokia phone of Som, Armin’s female companion for the Hongsa elephant trip had a strong Thai GSM signal, whereas the other 3 phones a PDA, Siemens & another Nokia had zilch & we arranged for The Snail, alias David Lek to cruise over the border at Huay Kon & pick me & the bike up. The next step was to be transported to the Lao / Thai border. This was a slight problem, because the 2 official hospital pick ups were being used for ferrying Lao govt officials around for the Elephant Festival & they did not want to let them go for medical business. Eventually we found a pick up belonging to a Dr from Xayaboury who offered to transport us to the border. So after a night in the Hongsa hospital it was off to the border & get picked up by The Snail & transported back to Chiang Mai with the broken arm, tucked up inside my t-shirt & wrapped with the one small bandage (it was better than nothing Sudhee said) the Hongsa hospital had. 6 hrs later I was in Cnx at 9.30 pm, showered & tucked in bed hoping to last out the night, testing out my pain limit, with a planned visit to Dr Sudhee, at his Sunday clinic. Well I did not quite last the night & at 11pm had to slip down to Ram 1 hospital for a jab of Tramadol & the compulsory X-ray (No X-ray = no jab). Surprise, surprise indeed my left humerus was broken right at the very top – but in 4 places making it almost shattered. I resisted the greedy Drs request for an immediate op to pin it & returned home to bed with my doting teerak, now the not so happy go lucky g/f singer. Today after a visit to the good Dr, who says hello to all the GT Riders who have used him, the news is not so great, as it is probably going to be too difficult to operate on to insert a pin or a plate, due the presence of a main artery running through the joint, and it will be a long wait, hopefully & a successful natural healing process. So it looks like the GT Rider himself is going to be off the road for quite few months, and the only thing that will make me happy & jealous at the same time is lots of road & trip reports coming in good folks…... Ah yes the photos inserted were taken by my good self, before Silverhawk & Armin could take theirs. So despite being somewhat battered I still beat them to the draw, as well as legally crossed the closed Lao (Nam Ngeune) / Thai border at Huay Kon first. Next clinic appointment is Tues after which I hope to be up & about in the Kafe sometime. More funky hospital photos will come from Silverhawk…….so you can all have a laugh at my expense, while you can mates.