2018 Gtr Mae Hong Son Memorial Ride # 10

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #1 DavidFL, Nov 8, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
    The 10th Annual GTR Mae Hong Son Memorial Ride.

    Some history
    What started out 10 years ago as a fun ride in memory of two good riding mates has now developed into a respected memorial ride with a soul that culminates in a moving ceremony at the GTR Chedi atop Wat Doi Kong Mu in Mae Hong Son.

    Google Maps

    The first ride started here
    The Tj John Hamilton - Simon Siinthai Grant Memorial Ride

    The first ride was for TJ Tropical John Hamilton and Simon Grant, two best mates from Phuket, who came to North Thailand regularly, for motorbike rides and befriended the GTR Community in Chiang Mai, such that we were all good buddies.

    John TJ Hamilton, 7 April 1951 - 10 November 2008. TJ was the most loveable, happy character you could imagine. The best mate of Simon Grant, TJ sucumbed to cancer in 2008 after a short 6 month illness.
    One year after TJ died, Simon proposed a ride to MHS in memory of TJ & to have a few beers to remember the good times we all had together. A date was agreed for the ride, then 2 weeks beforehand Simon was killed in a hit and run accident in Phuket. We were all stunned.
    Simon Duncan Grant, 3 May 1964 - 22 Oct 2009.
    We swore then, never to forget TJ or Simon & to always honour them with an annual ride to MHS, and so the GTR MHS Memorial Ride began.

    At the start however there was no Chedi, and we started with plaques & 100-year old rose bushes planted at Wat Chong Klang by the lake in Mae Hong Son.

    The original Ride then, was called The TJ John Hamilton - Simon Siinthai Grant Mae Hong Son Memorial Ride
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    and was a heart warming celebration of the lives of TJ & Simon. We well and truly rocked MHS that first ride & night in their honour. Closing down the Chalet Pub & Disco in MHS.

    Every year thereafter there is a ride.

    In 2012 another mate, Dan White, photographer & travel writer died in Bangkok and we had a ride for Dan, putting his ashes in the ground next to TJ & Simon at Wat Chong Klang.

    Dan White Rip

    In 2016 with the passing of Tom Forde

    Rip Tom Forde

    the location at Wat Chong Klang by the lake became unsatisfactory, we needed more space & the idea of an official GTR Chedi was born.

    An approach to the abbot of Wat Doi Kong Mu, who is also the head of the Buddhist clergy for MHS province, was successful & so the GTR Chedi was inaugurated in 2016.

    GTR - IMG_7953.JPG

    The Gt Rider Memorial Chedi

    The ride then became the annual GTR MHS Memorial Ride, but each year the main photos on the banner are still TJ & Simon, for it was they who got the ride going.
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    And so the ride has grown over the years
    In 2010 it was 12 riders
    In 2011 it was 12 riders
    In 2012 it was 14 riders with a hook up with the guys from Bangkok who came via Mae Sot.
    In 2013 it was 15 riders with the guys from Bangkok.
    In 2014 it was 11 riders
    In 2015 it was 19 riders
    In 2016 it was 33 riders when we inaugurated the GTR Chedi.
    In 2017 it was 34 riders
    In 2018 it was a magnificent 56 riders.
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    With the advent of the Chedi we have been able to honour a few other riding mates, who have lived here, who we have ridden with and /or who have contributed to the biking community.

    Crazy John Olsen who used to hang out at the X-Centre & ride with many of us. John was tragically killed in an accident with a truck just a few kms north of MHS.
    GTR - IMG_7971.JPG

    Tom Wignall - had the first big bike rental shop in Chang Moi Gao road, & then worked with Joe from Joes Big Bike Team when they had the shop in Chang Moi. Tom passed away in Tha Ton where he had retired to.
    gtr-20-20img_0942-.

    John Scottenheimer had a condo in Chiang Mai. I've known him for 25+ years. He used to be based in Singapore, a senior pilot for Singapore airlines, then an instructor for Korean Airlines. He often rode from Singapore to Chiang Mai & return on his days off for fun. David Lek, Hubert & I rode with him often. John had been on GTR MHS Memorial Rides, the last one in 2017. In 2018 he passed away in the US after a struggle with the Big C.

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    more to come..the 2018 10th anniversary ride photos.
     
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  2. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

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    Brilliant Write up David! Fantastic Explanation and information. Wow how the time has flown past. We look so Fresh and Young on the first one Ha Ha!
     
  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Some images from the 10th Anniversary Ride in Mae Hong Son

    The View from the air


    The rendezvous at the PTT in MHS
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    In 2018 two Buddhist ceremonies were conducted. One at the sala next to the Wat and one at the Chedi

    The first sala ceremony - a Seub Chata.

    The Seub Chata ceremony is a very powerful ceremony usually conducted in villages for Songkran Thai New Year and often for other important occasions.
    Conducted by the monks, the first part is to cleanse our minds and bodies - it forgives us for sins committed and also forgives those who have committed sins against us.

    The second part then blesses the body, aligns all the forces & energy in the body & mind so that you are in full harmony for the future. You are fresh strong & stable.

    If it were a bike I guess it would be like a complete strip down, rebuild & tune up with the best synthetic fluids so you can go another 100,000,000 kms.
    In the Seub Chata ceremony one person sits in the star, and everyone including the monks are connected together by string to receive the cleansing & blessing together.

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    The master of ceremonies - shaman is 87 years of age & the most respected one in Mae Hong Son province; and indeed he is a wonderful kind man.
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    more to come...
     
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  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    After the first ceremony was finished the group walked up the hill to the GTR Chedi for the second ceremony.
    GTR-45416252_10157099067363755_675968727870603264_n.

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    The second ceremony at the Chedi was for the deceased and their souls. This ceremony is an old Shan ceremony
    GTR-45583891_248509185827892_6271028839187480576_n.

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    The ceremony is for us to contact the soul of the deceased, check on their well being, make sure they have everything they need and let them know that should they be in trouble or get lost, there is a home for them to return to at the GTR Chedi, should need be.

    Offerings are made at the Chedi for them.
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    Ceremony over.... it's time to get a lucky sin on your wrist from the monks
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    Ceremony over time for a fabulous group photo with the monks, the GTR Chedi & the crew.
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    a bit more to come....thanks & acknowledgements..
     
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #5 DavidFL, Nov 10, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
    The first edited vdo in from MHS.

    Relive the event - a full one hr clip from the PTT in MHS to the morning departure.

     
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  6. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

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    Well done David - tremendous effort- but also to all those who made the effort to go & honour fallen mates. you mention 3 & I remember so well crazy John, crazy sure but what a gifted rider he was at extreme speeds & under extreme pressure.
    Nice to see so many faces none looking the worse for wear.
    Best regards to all,
    R
     
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  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Rod please come on the ride next year. It's time to come back for a few days & a ride.
     
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #8 DavidFL, Nov 10, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
    Retreat from the temple

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    check into the gh & then a party night at the Sunflower by the lake.

    We packed the Sunflower out
    IMG_0059.JPG

    Johnadda & his band did an excellent job on the night. Thanks guys for being part of the event.
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    A big thanks to Stu Lloyd who helped out with MC duties on the night, plus Jurgen for his fantastic photos in this report.
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    Thanks to the off duty tourist police & government officials who came along for the night to renew acquaintances.
    GTR-IMG_0318.JPG

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    Thank you George at the Sunflower for your tireless work to organize the MHS end of the event.
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    Thanks to Khun Kay @ Big Bike Tours for their sponsorship
    BBT.

    We also had numerous lucky draw prizes on the night
    Ducati Chiang Mai
    Tony Big Bike Tours
    The X-Centre
    Piston Shop
    thank you for helping out and supporting GTR with the event.

    Thank you Robet Hoghead for providing the pick up for the back up service. I'm sure Eric was most happy to see it appear alongside when he had buckled the rims on his bike & got a flat tyre.

    The morning meet up & departure from the Sunflower.
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    Donations
    In 2018 we actively sought donations to help cover the costs of the event and for the first time ever we had a small surplus.
    These funds were given to the wat in appreciation of their generosity in allowing GTR to build the Chedi at Wat Doi Kong Mu.
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    A BIG THANK YOU everyone who came, rode and participated.
    _monk_praying_md_clr.
    Let's make 2019 an even bigger ride.
     
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  9. Jawnee

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    David, a very good job again this year. Cheers to George at the Sunflower for his work in making it a good event. I am sorry that I missed this year due to things that I had no control over. I will be there next year.
     
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  10. Kate Bren

    Kate Bren New Member

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    Fantastic event - it was mine and Andy's first time attending, and we hope it won't be the last! Well done David, and nice meeting so many new people! It was great to see such a strong sense of community among bikers here in the north...
     
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  11. scotty007

    scotty007 Ol'Timer

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    Great write up for another great memorial ride, thanks to all who helped make it a great day, especially Lung David!

    It was great to make new friends and renew old acquaintances and of course show respect to our departed friends,

    Power on all!
     
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  12. pensionist

    pensionist Ol'Timer

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    My bike event of the year. Weldone David!
    Looking forward to 2019
     
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  13. Hoghead

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    Thanks to all for organizing this event, and a great time was had by all
    See you all again next year
     
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  14. GTR-Admin

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    Thanks to all participants who helped make this event the best ever and of course to David for his tireless efforts in getting it all organised. I'm surwe that the kind comments that others have made make it all worthwhile.

    On that cheerful note, everyone is most welcome to attend the monthly Wednesday rendevous at some "off the tourist path" location...

    GT-Rider Up Country Dinner - Wednesday 28th November:

    This month, we are offering a "Rider's Choice" of three options:
    - Monthly GT Rider Up-Country Dinner Rendezvous Rides
     
  15. jimboy

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    #15 jimboy, Nov 12, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
    After years of being out of the country when the Memorial Ride was held, my schedule coincided with the event. It was such a pleasure to attend. The roads to and from Mae Hong Son are outstanding. The site of the GT Rider chedi is exquisite. It was great to see old mates and make new friends. The Buddhist ceremony was interesting and moving. And the GT Rider dinner and live band at the Sunflower restaurant beside the lake made for a very good evening.

    With steep, twisty mountain roads of Route 1095 to the north and the flowing corners of Route 108 to the south, Mae Hong Son is surely the finest final resting place for any biker.

    MHS_MemorialRide_2018_Rest_Stop_edit.

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    A lot of work had gone in beforehand to recce the route to MHS, organise the restaurant (thanks, George!) and to prepare for the ceremony and event at the temple.

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    An avenue of motorcycles flanked the road to the chedi.

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    After the blessing and purification in the ceremonial hall, we made our way up the hill to the chedi. It felt a little unnatural to walk up such a steep incline after spending the morning on the bike.

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    The temple at the top of the hill, Wat Phra That, Doi Kong Mu.


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    The Golden Triangle Rider chedi, Mae Hong Son

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    The Sunflower restaurant, opposite Chong Kham lake.

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    Wat Chong Kham, Mae Hong Son

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    Early morning mist hangs in the valleys.

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    A view from one of the many viewpoints on the way around the Mae Hong Son loop. It's hard to know which one to stop at, the views are all wonderful.

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    Huge thanks to David and everyone who helped organise the event. You could see how much it was appreciated by everyone there.
     

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  16. George Schynol

    George Schynol New Member

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    Thanks to David and George for all you did. Well organised trip! Thanks to all monks at temple and to local police also! I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 days and made many new friends too! Ive travelled to Maehongson numerous times and each time as special as the next! The videos taken are very well presented! Good work to the camera men. I look forward to next years ride! Maehongson is truly an amazing place filled with many amazing people! May all those who have passed before us R.I.P!
     
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