October 4 and 5, 2003 Fang-Doi Ang Khang-Jock Scott Loop “Meeting at the Kafe 10.00 am for brekky Saturday morning, then on the road "soon after. From Chiang Mai, route 118 to Charin Resort, then back track a little to Mae Suai & take 109 across to 107 & Fang. Party in Fang for the night, then head home via Doi Ang Khang. From Fang, routes 108 - 1249 - 1340 - 1178 - 107.” After almost a year of lurking on this board, except for a few minor posts, and procrastinating about doing a group ride, I saw the above post of Dave’s. I had yet to meet Dave and took a chance on dashing into town on Friday and seeing if I could find the infamous Africa Twin. Sure enough, there it was parked in front of the Kafe. I went in and found Dave reading a paper and introduced myself. Although at first he did not seem too happy about being interrupted, I asked if I could join the ride. I got a smile and a friendly “No worries mate”. I quickly rented a Trans Alp 600 from Lek, fueled up, and did a quick shake down cruise half way up Doi Suthep and back. I’m ready! Saturday morning I met up with Dave, Frank Butler (who I had met previously at Mad Dog), Philippe and Steve. We got away fairly prompt and headed up 118. This started looking like a “kanom (snack)” tour when we first stopped at the hot springs, then Cabbages and Condoms and finally Charin Resort. We back tracked and headed across 109 which was being freshly surfaced as we rode. Fortunately all the fresh gooey stuff was being put on the eastbound side as we headed west. We thought maybe Dave, using his influence, ordered this road freshly paved for our trip and they were a little behind schedule, but he denies any involvement. I won’t give a step by step account of this ride as Dave has previously covered it in his Doi Ang Khan-Fang Loop post. I can say it is definitely one of the most scenic rides in the North. I have done it previously by 4x4, but it takes on a whole different feel on 2 wheels. I am not a “newbie” to 2 wheel touring but I felt like a real novice when it came to this group. Frank is on a Round-the-World in 1,000 days trip on his BMW, www.mrbeem.com, out of PNG. Philippe started out from Belgium many years ago and has traveled on almost every continent. Steve isn’t laying claim to any current home country but speaks fluent Cambodian and seems to jump back and forth between there and Thailand after also spending many years 2 wheeling and trekking the globe. We know about Dave. I am not impressed easily, but listening to this group’s tales and opinions over a couple bottles of Jock Scott was a highlight of the trip. These guys have done it, not just dreamed it or made up a bunch of bull””! Ahh…. what is Jock Scott you ask? Another lesson from my trip was the proper selection of brew to get maw on. I foolishly volunteered to accompany Dave on a quest for the best bottle in Fang. After hitting almost every liquor outlet in Fang I learned 1st, you must check every bottle to make sure it is 43 percent alcohol not just a measly 40 percent. 2nd one has to check the box and the bottle inside. Make sure it is a 750ml bottle not a stinking little 700ml bottle. Then after negotiating the Thai-Chinese owner for the best deal, “Jock Scott Scotch Whiskey” 380 baht, you clean out his stock and run. You’ll have to ask one of us in person what you do while touring Fang and depleting this alcohol supply. But, I will say the nightlife is incredibly good for a town this size. A five person group massage is quite an event, we will have to return to Cheers and finally decide on the gender of the Red Head Singer, Frank’s head injury should leave only a small scar, and at least one person on the trip could actually ride his motorcycle and find the hotel even though he could not find the exit from the bar. Sunday evening we killed the last of poor old “Jock Scott” at the Bier Stube in Chiang Mai. No rain, no grief, and a great ride. If you get a chance to ride with any of this group, take it. You won’t soon forget it. Dave Early Ever notice that "What the Hell!" is usually the right answer?