after spending a torturous week in chiang mai spend gossiping at mad dogs and leering at spotlight whilst the heavy rains pounded down upon us. patience in the muppets camp was running low, tempers were rising and moodswings were commonplace, not good for morale. even the beauty and charm of " chicken" at mad dog could not bring us round. we decided something had to be done and quickly crossed off riding around chiang mai due to clay-ey conditions, this left us with the sandy-er texture of the earth around phayao to go and ride. so a truck was rented and off we went. riders: honda honky- CRF450R bignsmall- YZ250F a.k.a the "wild wheelyer from the west" route- to follow the enduro tracks that i had raced in a few months earlier. distance- not much around 150km total in 2 days. time spent riding - about 4 hours time spent dithering, eating, gossiping, recovering - at least quadruple the riding time. fun factor high ,serious factor pretty low. we dont take ourselves to seriously over at camp muppet, we leave the competition for the massage parlours and fighting over the last bit of pad prik gaeng moo. we got away early from phayao city after brekkie next to the hotel. kao tom not reccommended as bignsmall found out no.1 no.2 oh dear the poor fella. van was parked here breakfast, lunch and dinner was purcahsed from 7-eleven that morning in tribute the slasher! we took of following the arrows, each of keen to try our new toys, justin had a new automatic " fanny " clutch fitted to his bike along with a rear brake lever mounted where the clutch had been. it seems like a joke but it actually worked in that it allows justin to ride faster for longer as he is less affected by arm pump as he isnt fanning the clutch all the time on his under-powered yamaha. we still stopped after about 5mins of riding though to take stock, it was my first ride on the 450 off-road and i was a little knackered to say the least! justin enjoying his new " fanny clutch" the phayao tracks rock and we really enjoy the way there is a mix of wide open stuff, single track, mud, sand, it is a pretty good mix and when combined with pretty decent scenery its no wonder they call phayao muang haeng rot wii-baak. the city of off-roading. great stuff from the T.A.T! enjoy. a different section here i let justin ride a proper bike it proved to much for him taking a break some of the tighter sections of the trail are really overgrown, along with the recent rains making 2 foot deep puddles staying upright was a real challenge, 50% of our team managed to do so these are the signs we follow we managed to complete the tracks and returned to our truck immensely satisfied with having a fully dry day on banging trails. great stuff we both agreed it beat the hell out of wilting away in cnx. these tracks are not at all difficult, we have the gps tracks. anyone who wants a few nights away form the missus and on the trails it makes a great break away. jeff??? our gear for 2 days away. are the muppets actually shopping addicted, pampered up emotionally unstable women masquerading as dirt-riders are here you ask........ we retired into phayao that evening on a frantic search for some decent grub, for all my time in thailand i still havent found a dish of food that i actually like or fills my up. KFC fitted the bill nicely for our dinner and so we waltzed into the local tesco lotus for grub. check out the massage parlour on the road opposite next to some thai country pub, the old birds gave great massages at 100 naht an hour, just dont forget to bring your snickers bars. oh dear. the evening ended up with some walks down the phayao main strip and a fair amount of time recovering in front of 7 -eleven. dude you owe me a pepsi. muppets retired early in preparation for more of the same tommorow. we decided to ride the same tracks again as the other alternative of riding around trying to find tracks isnt very appealing as we spent most of late last year doing the same thing, success rate isnt high and with us both gagging to ride we kept it safe and rode trails we already knew existed. some farmer guy had come a little unstuckin this muddy section, i tryed to ride past him as i was timing my ride but the little git managed to block the trail enough so i couldnt get by. i reluctantly dismounted and agreed to help him out of his predicament. we got him out in the end, he was well and truly stuck! hats off to him although if you look at his line coming down that hill what was doing in the left hand side when clearly the right hand lane was the lane he needed to be in. the rains had held off all day again and it must have encouraged some of the local fauna out, this "little" fella was seen at the side of the trail. anyone know the species???? seeing wildlife like this is awesome and could fast be becoming a guarantee of the muppets after our "monkey" spotting along the muang khong trail. we our building up quite a collection. some more gorgeous singletrack sections of the trail... riding was the name of the day and we didnt stop for many photographs but when the trail snaked around this lake i had to take a few snaps justin was very quick through this section and i listened intently as he explained just how he did it. we stopped at another awesome sandy corner and took some videos, im not sure if theyll work lets try..... great 2 days on what are great trails. its the sandy areas that provide great riding in conditions like this and the next stop will be phrae which seems to be of the same consistency. hope you enjoyed the report honda honky.