Lost Rider

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by DavidFL, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    As I caught up to the 2nd rider he signalled that he was turning back to take a photo of the bamboo suspension bridge we had just passed 200 metres back.
    I acknowledged him & continued on.
    700 metres later we pulled over for lunch.
    Less than 5 minutes later the photographer flashed past, head down in pursuit of the other riders.
    Must have serious tunnel vison we thought as he did not see the 42 kg 1.4 metre Thai girl, one of our pillion crew, standing beside the road & waving frantically at him to pull in.
    We let out a chuckle & said my pen rai, he'll be back soon, once he realises that we are not ahead.
    20 minutes are gone & lunch is also gone. We are back on the road & the hunt is on........no trouble we thought, two 750 Africa Twins & a KTM 950 to chase down an under powered 250 Baja.
    Not quite!
    60 kms later we are at our destination Vang Vieng & still no sign of the missing rider.
    One rider volunteers to ride a further 10 kms & turns back.
    2 other riders search Vang Vieng but no luck.
    We check into out superb bungalows over looking the glorious Nam Soong river.
    I head back out to the super highway & leave my Africa Twin parked beside the road with note on it for the errant rider & return to the resort.
    Sunset approaches & we commence wonderful happy hour, by the Nam Soong.
    An hour or two later happy hour is over & still no sign of the missing rider.
    We suspect that there might be one slightly stressed out unhappy GT Rider out there somewhere.
    He's either run out of fuel or ended up in Vientiane 130 kms further on!
    So, Marcus if you're reading this we are in Vang Vieng, comfortably ensconced at the Xayoh Riverside Bungalows; if you're in Vientiane we are booked into the Lao Paris hotel Tel 213440, from tomorrow Tues March 1st.
    See ya soon mate.
    Hard to believe this could happened after yesterday's event, when one of the GT Riders ended up in the Mekong!

    Keep the power on
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  3. mja34

    mja34 Ol'Timer

    lost rider. so it was head down to catch them up,chin stuck on tank and trying to get this xr250 to shift pass 120kph with this lardy pom in the sadle,being the deyslexic that i am totally forgot to pack a map or remember where david said we would kip the night,so stopped in a village fueled up and just went straight on!,ended up in vientiane,booked into a nice clean and tidy guesthouse,the dragon lodge,311-313 samsenthai rd at 12 dolars a night.so folks will find you later at the lao paris! ta ta. marcus

    marcus ackerman
  4. pirip

    pirip Active Member

    Marcus mate, you have made my day!
    Today i slipped on the floor, ended up arse over and made a real tit of myself, but now it seems iam not the only plonka out there!

    I should have brought my baja over with you and evened the odds, with those overweighted (thats the bikes) speed freaks flying ahead! we could have gone more leisurely and NOT MISSED VANG-VIENG! ( kind of funny name thats sticks in your head?)

    Goood luck with the rest of the trip, see you in mandalay for a trip report!

    ............who rode into the mekong? love too know!
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Lost Rider # 2
    Not sure which one, but one of two.....
    Departing, no so early (my regular mid-morning time), for Tha Khek & southern Laos Silverhawk & I found Mr KTM alone on the steps of the Lao Paris hotel waiting for his riding partner to come back from the Shell gas station for the run south to Pakxe & Cambodia.
    Not sure what went wrong there, but maybe even both riders were lost & there's no doubt of a serious mis communication stuff up.
    Anyway Mr KTM followed Silverhawk & I to Tha Bok, where Dave & I had a leisurely lunch by the Khong & Mr KTM raced off to run down his riding mate heading south to Cambodia & most likely about 1 - 1 1/2 hrs ahead of him.
    Joe & Mr KTM we hoped you guys caught up to each other & successfully rode into Cambodia the back way via Stung Treng on your bikes.
    Pls let us know how you went with a report....

    Keep the power on
  6. john

    john Ol'Timer

    HI David and all, Yes we have had some communication problems this trip. On the way out of Vientiane it was my fault. We did hook up fine in Pakxe. Robert was in first even though he left last from Vientiane. He has a GPS and I like to do a bit of backtracking on my trips alone. Probably did the last hour of the ride in the dark. Not to bad on the Lao roads as the traffic is light. Pakxe is a nice little town with friendly people. There is an internet Cafe right across the one way bridge as you enter the town from the North. Several guest houses near by. The road to the Cambodia border is very good tarmac. Like a race track. As you near the border it becomes a sort of no mans land and then the tarmac road just ends and you continue on a broken one lane track thru the forest. The immigration building for both Laos and Cambodia are old wood buildings that remind me of what I would have expected 50 years ago. They are about 500 meters apart. More later. Presently in Phnom Pehn and headed to Snookyville tommarow.
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Lost Rider # 3
    (Thurs 10th march)
    I stopped outside the Xayoh Pub in Vang Vieng & waited for Inthy to arrive for the run up to Luang Prabang. He soon appeared on his 250 Baja, already kitted up ready to go. I asked if he needed fuel & he replied no, his tank was already full.
    Ok, lets go I thought. As I put my head down to pull on my balaclava, Inthy moved off. By the time I got my helmet & gloves on he was gone - well & truly. No trouble I thought, the Africa Twin will run down the 250 Baja in a flash. A few kms north of Vang Vieng I stopped to GPS a couple of waypoints, then powered on. 30 kms later there was still no sight of Inthy & I thought shyte, here we go again. Is he ahead or behind me now? I knew that of all people he could not get lost & decided to back off & just cruise along at a regular pace. He was not at the agreed fuel stop in Kasi, so I just kept plodding along. As I passed the lunch stop Motorbike Marcus had missed on the way down I chuckled to myself, looked up at the restaurant & there was Inthy with a huge grin on his face, standing by his bike!

    What a trip this has been & it aint over yet!

    I had 2 flat tyres between Pakxan & Vientiane, arriving very weary in Vientiane at 10.30 pm, then promptly fell off the Africa Twin on the steps outide the hotel! The first time the AT has been down.

    Then last night in Luang Prabang sitting beside the Mekong having a quiet whisky with Inthy he gets a phone call from Vang Vieng- his new resort is on fire! Unbelievable, I had stayed there just the night before. I cant believe how cool Inthy is either. This guy is just incredible, he says his manager is crying & is not coping well with the situation. I'm not surprised as I reckon that all they can do to put out a fire is have a bucket brigade pulling water from the Nam Soong river. Hardly satisfactory. Inthy stays on the phone continually with various staff, but does not batters an eyelid the entire time.
    1 1/2 hrs later the fire is out, & he has lost the office/ reception / staff quarters plus 4 bungalows, & 1 charred truck. Incredibly the truck is still usable & today will be back on the road. That has to be worth a pic or two, a blackened Widlside truck picking up happy backpackers from their kayaking trip.
    Joe & Mr KTM, the bungalows you slept in at the Baan Sabai are no longer, just ash!

    All being well I'll be home in 4 more days....

    Keep the power on
  8. phuah

    phuah Active Member

    I had 2 flat tyres between Pakxan & Vientiane

    Hi David:
    I remember you said that all along, your AT do not have any flat tyres before on trips.
    And I have been telling peoples about that when they talk about bike with tube tyres going for trips.

    then promptly fell off the Africa Twin on the steps outide the hotel!

    So are you trying to get your bike into the lobby of Lao Paris hotel??

    Take care...Phuah
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah that's right, I said I never got flat tyres in Laos - until this last trip. And the final count was THREE! Yep, I got a third one on the last day, about 35 kms before the Thai border, coming out on that terrible boring stony gravel road from Sayabouri to the new border crossing into Loei province, Thailand.

    All 3 flats were in the rear tyre, which makes you think that we never found what was in the tyre to cause original the flat. And after the second flat we had the tyre right off to look inside to see if we could any sharp object that was causing the flat, but could not see or feel anything.
    The distance between the 1st & 2nd flats was just a few kilometres!
    The distance between the 2nd & 3rd flat tyres was about 750 kms.
    So I don’t really know, believe me.
    A new tube went in for the 1st flat, then it was patched for the 2nd flat & for the 3rd flat the patched 1st tube went back in.
    And all of this happened with a brand new meaty Michelin T66 rear tyre.
    I was half-expecting trouble with the front tyre, which was over 60% down when I left (& I never recommend riding in Laos on worn tyres) but totally shot when I got back to Chiang Mai.
    I've got new tyres & tubes on order from Bkk & will re examine the inner rear tyre when they arrive.

    At this stage I can say that the rear tyre does look as if its been somewhat hacked at with scores if not hundreds of sharp nicks / cuts in the tyre.
    You’d think that someone got at the tyre with a wire brush or your were running on broken glass all the time.
    My theory is that whatever object(s) worked their way into the tyre, are going to continue to work their way through the tyre & into the tube.
    So my plan is to insert a sleeve in the tyre to help protect the tube. But if this does not work & I get a 4th flat, then I am going to throw away the tyre!

    Re falling off the Africa twin,
    Yes I was originally going to ride my bike into the hotel lobby, which I have done heaps of times. There are 4 or 5 x 18 cms high steps to ride up on & I put the front wheel up on the first step, then changed my mind as I was too tired & thought I’d just ride the 100 meters across the street to park in the underground parking of the Lao Plaza hotel. I got the wheel back down ok, & started to ride off the footpath, when the front wheel dropped down on the road a little uncomfortably & I went to have a dab with my foot to control the bike, but the rear wheel was still high up on the pavement, so over I went - all in full sight of the hotel staff holding the plate glass door open for me!

    Keep the power on
  10. john

    john Ol'Timer

    Hi David, You may want to consult with Mr. KTM on flat repair. He had a similar experience in Cambodia. Joe
  11. turkish

    turkish Active Member

    You mean this guy?

  12. rhiekel

    rhiekel Ol'Timer

    Yes that would be the guy. And just to prove that I am fully capable of punching holes in tires of different types of bikes, here is one of my flats in north eastern Cambodia. Thought I was in the middle of nowhere until ten amazed people showed up to spectate and help. We were laughing the whole time, and everyone let out a cheer when I finally got it done and headed out.....

  13. turkish

    turkish Active Member

    Well, if you need any parts for that nine fiddy, let me know. I'll be showing up in your end of the world next month.

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