As I haven’t posted on here for quite some time I thought a headline like that might get your attention. I’ve been out and about on daytrips and occassional overnighters but nothing much as the low season means Pikey’s disposable income is somewhat limited. Still, high season is just around the corner, the weather is turning drier and cooler so, time to ride! I used my Dog’s Night Out email list to throw a loose itinery out for a 3 day ride last week with a start time of 10am last Tuesday at the X-Centre. I was somewhat amazed to find 16 riders turned up! Now, the reason for the attention grabbing headline. Amidst the motley crew of usual suspects plus occasional DNO attendees, were Andrea whom I know from my shop, and who was riding a superbly maintained old warhorse CB400 and “Well” – better half of Gary who together run Euro Diner bar/resto on Ratchvithi Rd just up from Soi 2 (plug – great food and realistically priced beer!). Well rides a Ninja 650. So, after me making it clear that I was just the “suggestor” and in no way the organiser of this trip (I like dodging responsibility ), a quick briefing and we were off up the 107 to Chiang Dao where we regrouped at the PTT/7-11. Weather was fine and mid 80s. Through Chiang Dao and up to the traffic lights to take the 1178 to Arunothai. This is a road in good generally good condition with nice views of typical rural northern Thai countryside. A regroup at the Lin Luang checkpoint just before Arunothai then a right at the T junction and into the town proper before making a right on the 1340 to Doi Ang Khang. This is a minor road and is somewhat narrower, steeper and more potholed than the roads we had ridden so far, add to that low cloud cover making the road wet, loose vegetation on the road mixed with cow shit and it was definitely a time to be on the ball. Lunch was had just by the barrier into D.A.K Royal Project and was decent quality & cheap. A tip: If you like nuts such as pistachios and almonds, go round to the soi at the back of the restaurant where there are several shops selling them at decent prices plus loads of other consumables. We left the lunch spot and took the same road out as we came in on – the cloud had lowered and left us driving in conditions which reminded me of many a winter morning commute back in Blighty – at least the temps were up! At the checkpoint, we hooked left and descended down the mountain and into the sunshine on rte 1249 and then slung a left on the 107 for a quick blast into Fang where we spent the night at the Phu Manee Hotel (recommended elsewhere on this site and with a group discount to 350b/night because of the group size – yep, they were happy to see us). A quick splash in the shower, a change to casuals and out for eats & drinks. It got a bit blurry from there and that was not the only time. Next morning we assembled for a group photo at the moderately reasonable hour of 9:30am – no horrendous early getups for this group. Breakfast was taken at Uncle Jacks Hideaway then we made a quick stop at Tesco Lotus. The reason was that we decided to visit the orphanage in Doi Laem which I'd visited with Ian Bungy and a bunch of Thai riders on a charity run a couple of years ago. As it was on the route and thought it would be a nice gesture to drop off some exercise books and pencils for the kids. After a laugh and a joke with the kids and teachers, it was time to crack on. The 1314 from the 107 to Doi Laem and onwards hugging the Burmese border is one of my favourite little roads and always a pleasure to ride – it’s not the best surfaced, not the nicest cambered but just has a really good “feel” about it and with views over the Fang plains that are gobsmacking. Coming down into Tha Ton we stopped at the recently completed Chedi which overlooks the town. After a bit of messing around in Tha Ton it was onward to Doi Mae Salong on the 1089 which is another cracking road, turning off onto the 1234 for a stop in DMS at Sweet Mae Salong coffee shop for a regroup and a bite to eat. After that, it was a relatively straightforward ride following the 1234 to Mae Chan and then a blat down highway 1 to our second overnight in Chiang Rai. Here the group split up into various guesthouses and hotels, regrouped for pre-dinner drinks then kind of split up again when it was time to eat. The following morning, I don’t really know what happened as I was in my pit nursing a monster-sized tequila induced hangover and therefore missed the breakfast meet. I believe some of the group returned to CNX via Phayao whilst some went direct down the 118. All in all, a great trip, some new faces, no personality clashes, brilliant roads and weather with no rain, only mist from the low cloud in D.A.K. As always, the Bonnie, whilst it and it's rider are never the fastest, always performs faultlessly Thanks for reading and a couple of photo credits to Gary & Well Shack as I blagged them off their Facebook when I couldn’t reach Well by phone. If anyone else who was on the trip has more words & pics, it’s be good to see them. Cheers, Pikey.