The Lone Ranger

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by Kiwi Cruiser, May 29, 2010.

  1. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ol'Timer

    The Plan: Go to Fang on Thursday

    The Team:
    Kiwi Cruiser - Vulcan 900
    David FL - Africa Twin 750
    Moto-Rex - KLX 250

    Wednesday night received confirmation via SMS from FL: "Fang on Thursday"

    No definite meeting point, every man for himself which is fine as we're coming from different directions etc. At Thursday mid day I attempted call to FL, no response so I assumed he'd had breakfast and was rolling already. Fired up the beast, deciding on the spur of the moment to take the long way to Fang via 118 to Wiang Pa Pao, 1150 to Phrao, 1346 to Chai Prakarn etc.

    A brief coffee stop at Charin Garden and the obligatory pineapple cheesecake... and SMS to FL enquiring as to his whereabouts, and informing him of my progress and intentions.

    A glorious day for a fast blast down 118, despite two near-death experiences between Mae Suai and Wiang Po Pao. The first time was a delivery truck getting along at a good clip... came through some corners sitting 50 metres behind him - as a right curve straightened out and gave me a clear view ahead, I started the move right and accelerated to overtake him. As I did that, HE put his brakes and indicator on and swing right towards some shops!!! (Expletives deleted)

    I locked up both wheels, and the rear end swung right, pointing me back toward the left side of the road. A quick blip on the throttle to straighten, locked both wheels again and the rear swung left. That little zigzag gave me just enough room to clear the back of the truck, and not go into the gravel on the left side of the road... In 40+ years of riding, that was the closest shave I've ever had - the nearest I've ever been to a high-speed collision on a bike... It still baffles me how I got from the right-side of him, and made it back around the left... These things happen SO fast, its only split-second, instinctive reactions that save you... There's no time to think or plan, and a moment of inattention to whats happening in front of you - and you're dead before you know it!

    Not far out of Wiang Pa Pao, some clown overtakes 2 vans into my lane, despite me being in it with my headlights on. I flash them to full beam. I can see he's going to make it back into line just before we meet. But then - another car makes a move to follow him, ignoring my flashing headlight... AND a pickup truck swings out as well. Scum - its one of those times you'd gladly swap a testicle for a RPG... I'm pretty sure the angry gesticulations and the very narrow margin by which we passed left them in absolutely NO doubt of my opinion!

    With a sense of relief, I reach the turn to Phrao and head off on 1150 - a lovely ride across the hills.
    [​IMG]

    I get SMS's from FL and MotoRex at this point...

    As many of you may realise, there are huge cultural differences between Australia and New Zealand. Aside from Aussies inability to play rugby, they've got different concepts regarding the day's of the week. Apparently, if its Wednesday, and they confirm that we are going out for a ride on Thursday, that would only be true if Thursday was going to be "the day AFTER tomorrow!" :wtf:

    So, at this point, I've now established that BOTH of them are blissfully unaware that TODAY is Thursday... they are packing their bags for tomorrow, which is actually Friday... Good grief... AIS may have played some part in this - on Thursday, date/time on Ann's and my phones (both on the AIS network) reverted to Wednesday 26th somewhere between breakfast and lunchtime. Gives them an excuse... :)

    1150 is in good shape, long sections of quite new blacktop, and its almost 12 months since I ridden through here. The road flows better coming the other way, but still manage to touch the boot-heels a couple of times. A quick stop at the Seven/11 for orange juice, and off out 1346 which is a little rough - lots of grit, somewhat overgrown in sections but still delightful.

    Chai Prakarn to Fang is an awful section of road. Its always frenetically busy, with mixed-speed traffic and at 4pm its loaded with school buses, kids on scooters, song thiews and old lady's going to market. Foolishly, I forgot to take the bypass, and Fang is traffic mayhem due to the mass exodus from schools in town.

    The run out through Thaton toward Mae Chan is nice with the sun behind me, high-lighting the orange groves. Back home in CEI by 6pm, a most enjoyable 350km afternoon loop.
     
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  3. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Love Your Writing Style and Choice of Words Mate!!! You would have been Good Competition for Dick Johnson during His Racing Days! Classic One Liners. Glad You made it back safe! Your Bike is Looking Great also I might Say!
     
  4. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ol'Timer

    Ian, you may indeed say that :)

    To say that I am happy with the bike would be a gross understatement! :) The Kawasaki OEM windshield, sissy-bar, sculpted luggage rack and saddlebag rails (from the USA) have made it a lot more suited to multi-day rides. The bare bike was desperately short of anchor points to tie anything down to, and I hate wearing a backpack!

    Just received a new Stebel Nautilus Air Horn and wiring kit today, and THAT should ensure future near-misses are accompanied by 139 decibel outpourings of irritation! :take-that:

    Ann and I are heading for Trat / Koh Chang tomorrow morning on the bikes... Will drop by in approx 2 weeks as I'll probably come down to CNX and see if Joe can help me get the air horn fitted. Will swing by the X-Centre for a visit afterward.
     
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Yes indeed funny how it goes, but both Moto-Rex & I were under the impression that it was only Tuesday when the original SMS "rejigged the masterplan, depart Thursday" went out. In our defence we can confess to being under the influence of both San Miguel & the approaching full moon. Moto-Rex did leave on time, albeit a day late on Friday according to the Kiwi calendar & I've caught a nasty bait that has kept me bedridden for a few days (& something of a record too.) However I should be in Chiang Khong tomorrow night to rendezvous with M-R prior to his slipperey Laos expedition.
     
  6. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    Interesting write up. Glad the aforementioned vehicles missed you/you missed them! Not funny at all. Stupid & dangerous but it does seem standard practice over here. I am looking forward to experiencing the sound of your new air horn! All this riding sounds like great fun - especially to one who is currently laid up with a nearly metal less leg! Enjoy your trip! :cry:
     
  7. ChiangMaiDiver

    ChiangMaiDiver Ol'Timer

    I have to say I did the quick glance down and saw only one pic on the report and thought, "hmmmm, only one pic???". Then I read the post and realized that the story tells much more then a bunch of pics..... Glad you weren't taken out by the truck and great read.
     

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