1992 Route 109 Fang - Mae Suai

DavidFL

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1992 & R109 Fang - Mae Suai was under reconstruction.

Anyone remember this guy?

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A wonderful funny guy, who ran a "pub" that had the best ever Happy Hour in Chiang Mai: a free hot dog with every beer or spirits drinks 2 for 1. The Happy Hour inevitably ended up being hours long & many a night I seem to recall "being recalled" home often.
Joe from Joe's Bike Team started renting out bikes from here & the joint used to be the number # 1 biker's hang out in Cnx in those days. I think Walter from Siam Enduro tours was also a partner with Joe at the time, renting & fixing motorbikes.

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It was nigh impossible for the publican to get a leave pass to go riding, but this was his 1st overnighter - The Fang / Mae Suai Loop with a night in Fang.

109 in those days was still "raw country" with heaps of hill tribe villages beside the road.
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Or off-road
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R109 was being upgraded to a real road with asphalt, but first they had to widen & cut the road through the mountains.

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It took them a few years to get it right.
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But it ended up a beautiful smooth flowing biker’s road!
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While it was dirt it was a road you would not want to get caught on in the wet.
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It took them several years to complete the job & multiple riders got caught out in the mud sometimes.

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In mid 92 a couple of mates on MTX 125s left Fang at 3PM to slip across 109 for a night in Chiang Rai. They hit torrential rain in the middle mountain section & the road turned to mud. Even on MTXs they could not get up the muddy slopes & literally had to drag & lift / carry their bikes up & over the mountain in the dark! It took them 6 hours & they eventually arrived in CEI around 11PM. Quite an adventure.

Now back to the guy in the picture – Hard Rock Louie. His pub was called the Hard Rock Café & he was the first legally registered Hard Rock in Chiang Mai.

Hard Rock was not impressed & I think he eventually had to change the name to Rock Hard.

Louie started the HRC in 1988 and had a 3 year lease....Roxanne Brown bought in as half owner in early 1992 and by mid 1992 Louie had left Chiang Mai.

But who was Roxanna Brown?

Roxanna was a SE Asian ceramics expert & adventurer in the 70s covering the Vietnam War as a young journalist.
She recently tragically died in a police cell in the USA while under police investigation for fraud involving ceramics.
The Nation (Bkk Post?) Newspaper is currently running a 3-part story on her life & times in Thailand / Asia, watch out for it.

The Roxanna Brown story

Roxanna Brown: How Can This Happen in America? | HuffPost

Why Did the FBI Let Roxanna M. Brown Die? - Salem-News.Com

Was Roxanna Brown an Art-World Fraud?
 
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Mar 26, 2007
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Yea good old Hard Rock Louie,

definitely one of the "Golden Oldies" of the mid 90ies.

Unfortunately haven't got pics from this time but will check again.

Cheers,
Walter
 

scotty007

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Yes, I renember the MA LAWNS at The Hard Rock well, many a beer and G&T and Louie of course.
 

ianyonok

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Great old photos..... thank you.

I was on the road a month ago and there were roadworks halfway along due to a big rockfall.