2023 GTR MHS Memorial Ride # 15

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The current Piya room allocation status for the 2023 ride.
  1. David Unk​
  2. Tim Stanley​
  3. Dave DKT​
  4. RGS​
  5. David Lek​
  6. Scotty McKenzie​
  7. Grahame Edwards​
  8. Russ McDermid​
  9. Oddvar​
  10. Liam​
  11. Andy Fillingham​
  12. Steve Askham​
  13. Jurgen​
  14. John Blackie​
  15. Paul Black​
  16. Bungy​
  17. Chris Maple.​
 
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DavidFL

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The GTR Chedi & Riders Memorial 26 April 2023, courtesy of Ashley Austen in a GTR 1148 shirt.
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TQ for the pic & update Ashley.
 

DavidFL

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In 2009 it was 15 (?) riders
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.
In 2019 it was 52 riders
In 2020 it was 57 riders
In 2021 it was 37 riders.
In 2022 it was 34 riders.

What are we going to get in 2023.
All riders are welcome to join in, pay their respects & celebrate life as a rider in North Thailand.

See also
a work in progress.
 

DavidFL

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Previous Rides

The first ride in 2009: The Tj John Hamilton - Simon Siinthai Grant Memorial Ride

2010: The Tj John Hamilton - Simon Siinthai Grant Memorial Ride

2011: The Tj John Hamilton - Simon Siinthai Grant Memorial Ride

2012: The Tj John Hamilton - Simon Siinthai Grant Memorial Ride

2013: The Tj John Hamilton - Simon Siinthai Grant Memorial Ride

2014: The Tj John Hamilton - Simon Siinthai Grant Memorial Ride

2015: The Tj John Hamilton – Simon Siinthai Grant Memorial Ride # 7

In 2016 saw the inauguration of the GTR chedi: The Gt Rider Memorial Chedi

2016: The 2016 8th Annual Tj John Hamilton-simon Siinthai Grant Mhs Memorial Ride

2017: The Ride: 2017 9th Annual Gtr Mhs Memorial Ride

2018: The Ride - 2018 Gtr Mae Hong Son Memorial Ride # 10

2019: The Ride - 2019 Gtr Mhs Memorial Ride

2020: The Ride & Event - 2020 12th Annual Gtr Mhs Memorial Ride

2021: The Ride - 2021 GTR MHS Memorial Ride # 13

2022: The event - 2022 GTR MHS Memorial Ride # 14

The ride has grown every year to become a special event & a bonding time among riders to honour departed riding mates who have lived and ridden in North Thailand.

The ceremonies we do at the temple are very traditional respectful ceremonies that the abbot of Wat Doi Kong Mou deeply appreciates seeing farang perform them. It's unique & a moving experience to be involved in this ride and event. A small donation will be requested from riders to cover the cost of the ceremonies at the Wat. All surplus money is given to the temple to thank the Wat for their generosity in allowing us to build the chedi on the temple grounds
 
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THE GTR MHS Memorial Ride Background

The GTR Rider MHS Memorial Ride started out to celebrate the life of two riding buddies Tropical John Hamilton & Simon Grant.
These two guys were actually yachties & lived in Phuket, who rode up to Chiang Mai every year & did a motorcycle tour of the North.
Inevitably they hooked up with the GT Rider gang hanging out at the Kafe & the Xcentre, and we all became good mates who enjoyed each others company & trips together.
TJ unexpectedly died from a tumour in 2008 & a year later it was time for the annual ride north for Simon, but yjere was no TJ. One of the best times ever in his life had been riding to MHS with TJ & now Simon didn’t feel like doing it alone. It just wouldn’t be the same without his best mate TJ; so he invited the GTR rider guys to join him in a ride to MHS to celebrate the good times he had with TJ.

A date was pencilled in a couple of months ahead; & Simon flew up to Chiang Rai to buy an Africa Twin to ride a big bike with the GTR guys on his trip. He safely rode the AT from Mae Sai back to Phuket in 2 days, but a week later we got a message from Phuket – Simon had been killed on his bike, a hit & run!
We were all stunned, but vowed then that we would have a GTR Ride together to MHS in honour of both TJ & Simon.

14 guys made the original ride which we called The TJ John Hamilton - Simon Siinthai Grant Mae Hong Son Memorial Ride, and over the years the ride grew in numbers to bond us together more. Every annual ride saw our camaraderie grow, remembering all the rides & roads we had ridden together, such that the ride itself really got to mean something.

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

7 years later a couple more riding buddies had passed on & it was no longer practical to continue with the tiny plot at Wat Chong Klang. The idea of a GTR chedi was born.

An approach was made to the abbot of Wat Phrathat Doi Kong Mu, for permission to build a small chedi in in honour of our departed mates and any future friends who may pass on.
The abbot graciously agreed & the GTR Chedi was born & inaugurated in November 2016.

Construction of the Chedi started after the untimely passing of riding brother Tom Forde after his family very generously allowed us to sell off his personal effects and donated the proceeds to start building. GTR will forever be in their debt.

In 2016 then there were plaques for
  • TJ John Hamilton.​
  • Simon Grant.​
  • Dan White.​
  • Tom Forde.​
TJ & Simon had plaques only, but Dan & Tom had ashes interred in the chedi.

From 2016 the event was renamed the GTR MHS Memorial Ride, but out of respect we always display a banner of the two original guys TJ & Simon.

In 2021 GTR had a separate Rider's Memorial built for other riders who may not have been so closely involved with GTR over the years, but for whom other bikers may wish to honour & be able to pay their respects to.

In 2023 the ride has been going for 14 years, more people have been added to the chedi & we keep riding to pay homage to them. It is a time to reminisce about the good times shared with departed friends, plus a time to celebrate life, how lucky we have been to live and ride here in this fabulous country. After more a decade and a half, the event has a soul, it’s not just a group of bikers going for a booze up, and is regarded highly by all those participating.

At the temple there are two Buddhist ceremonies that we conduct with the monks.
These are (1) to make merit, to show appreciation to the abbot for granting permission for the GTR Chedi and (2) to pay respect to our departed friends in the Chedi.
The ceremonies are both held at the GTR Chedi, are crucial to the event and all riders are requested to attend them, to maintain the respect for the occasion.

In both maintaining the Chedi & Rider's Memorial, and organising the Buddhist ceremonies there are costs involved. We invite riders who may wish to show their appreciation to make a small donation to help. All donations big or small are welcome.
To clarify these costs include:
(1) The Chedi & Riders Memorial is painted each year, plus the grass cut prior to the event.
(2) The Buddhist ceremonies, costs include offerings, robes, Master of Ceremonies, chairs, water & assistants.
All surplus funds received are donated to the abbot after the event.

For 2023 we would like to know who is going to prepare catering & drinks at the Piya Gh.

Indicated 2023 attendees
  1. David Unk
  2. Tim Stanley
  3. Dave DKT
  4. Liam
  5. Robert Straghan
  6. David Lek
  7. Jurgen
  8. Grahame Edwards
  9. Youngie
  10. Russ McDermid
  11. Bungy
  12. Chris Maple
  13. Oddvar
  14. Bob Kagan
  15. Toe Nee
  16. Steve Askham
  17. Scottie
  18. John Blackie
  19. Paul Black
  20. Charles Winter
  21. Simon
  22. Simon's Dad
  23. Simon's mate
  24. Harry the Finn
  25. Jason Unk
  26. Matt, ToeNee mate
  27. Mathias
  28. Peter Duffy
  29. Tuen Bungy's mate.
  30. Jack Higgs
  31. Mon Higgs
  32. Lolli
  33. Per Amundsen.
  34. Sammy Jay.
  35. Con.
  36. Joe.
  37. Ricky
  38. Steve X.
  39. Jozef.
+ Pillions
  1. Nettie
  2. Ning
  3. Jan
  4. Nom
  5. Partner Per Amundsen.
 
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DavidFL

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Can you give me a time plan on saturday, when we come we will arrive around 12 am

Mathias

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Hi Mathias
Welcome & great to know you plan to attend.
The designated meeting point is the PTT gas station in MHS
Please be there by 3PM.
We will take a group photo outside the gas station & proceed to the wat at 3.30PM.
The GTR chedi is here
The Buddhist ceremonies start at 4PM, which we like everyone to attend for merit making & paying respect to the riders in the chedi & memorial.
There will be a buffet dinner at the Piya guesthouse from Nang @ the Salween restaurant.
You are welcome to attend but we need you to confirm how many people in your group, so that we can prepare for the catering. Can you please advise asap.

Some details are below.

Saturday 4th November 2023 15th Annual GTR MHS Memorial Ride

1. No organised ride, make your own way to MHS.
2. Be at the PTT gas station in MHS at by 3pm at the latest.
3. Group photo outside the PTT gas station.
4. Proceed to the chedi at 3.30PM
5. George to deliver an explanation of the ceremonies.
6. 4pm start the Buddhist ceremonies. All riders are requested to attend.
7. Please be respectful while the monks are conducting the ceremonies - Wai & refrain from talking loudly.
8. Group photo with the monks at the chedi.
9. Private GTR function at Piya guesthouse, for those who have attended the ceremonies at the chedi.
10. Dinner & drinks available from 6.30PM. Dinner 350 baht. Drinks pay as you go.
11. Breakfast 250 baht.
12. Morning group photo by the lake in MHS 9.00am?
13. Dinner & breakfast will be supplied by Nang @ the Salween. The final menu & price will be confirmed shortly.
 
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DavidFL

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The Dinner & breakfast menus have been finalized.

Dinner Buffet Menu

1. Burmese green tea salad. (Vegan)
2. Stir fried mixed vegetable
3. Potato and eggplant curry ( Vegan)
4. Burmese potati cake. (Vegan)
5. Shan Chicken cassrole
(no skin, no bone)
6. Beef Curry with Pineapple
7. White rice
8. Green warm in coconut milk
350 baht per person.

Breakfast Buffet Menu
1 Whole wheat Toast
(Butter and Jam)
2. Bacons
3. Scrambled eggs
4. Real coffee
5 Fresh OJ
6.Fruit muesli and yoghurt
(250) baht per person

Food is provided by Nang @ the Salween Restaurant.


The list of attendees has been updated, currently 29 riders + 4 pax.
 
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DavidFL

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The updated participants list above # 8, is now 42 people.
Anyone else going?
Please advise asap.

Saturday 4th November 2023 15th Annual GTR MHS Memorial Ride
1. No organised ride, make your own way to MHS.
2. Be at the PTT gas station in MHS at by 3pm at the latest.
3. Group photo outside the PTT gas station.
4. Proceed to the chedi at 3.30PM
5. George to deliver an explanation of the ceremonies.
6. 4pm start the Buddhist ceremonies. All riders are requested to attend.
7. Please be respectful while the monks are conducting the ceremonies - Wai & refrain from talking loudly.
8. Group photo with the monks at the chedi.
9. Private GTR function at Piya guesthouse, for those who have attended the ceremonies at the chedi.
10. Dinner & drinks available from 6.30PM. Dinner 350 baht. Drinks pay as you go.
11. Breakfast 250 baht.
12. Morning group photo by the lake in MHS 9.00am?
13. Dinner & breakfast is supplied by Nang @ the Salween.
 
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blackb15

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A very successful event thanks very much to all the organisers, George and all the staff at hotel helping with the food and drinks.
well done
 

DavidFL

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Before the monks arrive for the ceremony, we try to give an explanation of the ceremonies for people to understand & the reason behind it, to show our appreciation to the wat for granting us permission to build the GTR Chedi.
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We also ask riders to speak on what the chedi means to them & on the mates we miss.
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The monks arrive & the ceremony begins
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We were very fortunate in 2023 to have the abbot of the temple (& the Buddhist clergy for MHS province) to lead the ceremony.
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The day before it was the abbot's birthday & those who attended will know that we wished him a happy birthday prior to the ceremony starting.
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We managed to bring a lovely smile to his face & I reckon it's been a while since a group of farang wished him happy birthday.
Cutting one of his many birthday cakes the day before.
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During the ceremonies we encourage newbies to participate & be part of the event, plus to learn a bit about Buddhism & what to do at these events. For we may see them many times, but are not sure what is going on & what to do. It is all part of the learning process of living in Thailand, a Buddhist country.

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Sometimes we get confused & the monks delight in advising us the right way to do things.
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It is all part of the learning process.

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The final part of the ceremony is a chedi blessing.
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The group photo for the 2023 GTR MHS Memorial Ride Shirt
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TQ Everyone who came to pay their respects, to reminisce on the good life & times we share riding in Thailand.
Long may they continue.
 
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