Lazy Highway Loop

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by bigal, May 24, 2010.

  1. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    One of the results of the curfew in May of 2010 was, for me, a lack of a thick head in the morning and this factor, combined with my other half having to go to a cremation on Saturday gave me the urge to go out for a ride.
    Now my handle may be a little misleading, Bigal, as I am not exaxtly tall, the Big bit I think, refers to my girth which is disproportionatly large :) So, being short and heavy, it is appropriate that I ride a short and heavy bike. I would also admit to being less technically accomplished than many of the members of this forum so for me a nice easy ride taking in the view is much more enjoyable than steep and twisty on / off road tracks. If there was a section for "fat old slow bikers wanting to ride " ( :lol: ) around chiangmai I would certainly have signed up.
    I wanted to acheive a couple of other things too on the ride, firstly, back to the fat bit, I carry quite a bit of it and I do get significant but ache when in the saddle, despite having one of the best and most comfortable seats I know.
    (what I had here was a photo of the bike seat but for some reason photobucket keeps saying it is a video but not a photobucket video, how strange any ideas anyone?)
    So I have invested in one of these "Airhawk" seat cushons to try and minimise the problem. Secondly I have one of these toys made by Garmin.
    [photobucket:hhctmuml] biking363. /photobucket]
    It includes a handy feature that allows you to set the distance you can travel on a full gas tank with a correcponding alert to advise you it is getting time to gas up again. OK the bike has a fuel gauge but the Garmin will also then display the nearest Gas stations which may be handy. (Once again the image seems to have vanished, very strange, sorry all and the bike seat one that says it is a video which it isn't doesn't seem to delete, how interesting)

    So despite getting out of bed at 7am by the time all the home arrangements had been made it was 10.30am by the time I left, turning left from the moobaan and then left again onto the 2nd ringroad then joioning the 11 for the all important filling of the gas tank pulling in to the gas station I got the response "mei mee benzeen" bugger, so off to the next service and thankfully they were still selling real petrol not the diluted stuff. the gasahol only services are increasing in number markedly now and I for one am still not sure about the facts on using the stuff, not performance but such things as seals etc as for benzeen 95, haven't seen it for months.
    Gassed up with the sat nav set it was down the 11 which I don't find that enjoyable until you pass Lamphun, after that the traffic reduces as do the number of people shooting out from the side of the road apparently oblivious to your presence.
    Over the hills I called into the Elephant centre for a bit of a look. I didn't go into the park, that is for later, it was just one of those things that I had passed many times but never turned in so I decided to take a peek.
    [photobucket biking380r. [/photobucket:hhctmuml]
    Straight down to Lampang and take a left and it is back north on the 1. Once you have cleared Lampang the 1 is quite interesting with some roadside stalls and pineapples galore, I really must remember to take a bag to carry some in next time. Even on this route there are some nice hills and things to look at.
    [photobucket] biking358. /photobucket]
    Arrive at Phayao and by the lake there is a restaurant that I like, it has an old riverboat by it.
    [photobucket] biking359. /photobucket]
    the good thing is they have some fresh prawns
    [photobucket] biking362. /photobucket]
    which BBQ rather well
    [photobucket] biking375. /photobucket]
    And I love the view.
    [photobucket] biking365x. /photobucket]
    I arrived just after 1pm and lunch took me until 2pm, as you can see I enjoyed the prowns
    [photobucket] biking379. /photobucket]
    And so to the return leg which involved a short southbound return trip on the 1 for 9km until the junction with the 120. The 120 is one of my favourite roads, I just really enjoy it but I travel it a lot slower than the Secret Soi video riders. South on the 118 where I take the 3rd ring road home.
    Results of the butt ache experiment, a definite improvement but not total elimination, as for the gas warning on the sat nav, much improved.
    All in all a really enjoyable day on a couple of the norths highways. Certainly not punishing and not exactly fast, about 2 and a half hours out and 2 hours back and an hour for lunch so if there are others who enjoy this lazy style :thumbup:
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  3. Idaho Rider

    Idaho Rider Ol'Timer

    Nice pics and report! I like the lazy style of riding as you see more. Just stopping to take photos always breaks up a ride well. Hope to run across you on the roads.
  4. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    Thanks for the post, hope to see you around
  5. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    hi Colin,
    yes the trip was very enjoyable. I feel the Airhawk does provide additional comfort. I am still trying to get the inflation level about right but there is no doubt you can shuffle about and get less pressure points and they are easier to rid with a little adjustment of position. I am probably one of those people that do get discomfort due to pressure easily and whilst my weight is a big factor it isn't all of it. I think for some people it would rid them of just about all of their arse ache and move them into iron butt territory. It wont do that for me but it will help I am sure.
    What I really want to do is give it a fair old work out by doing a multi day trip where you are sat in the saddle for a few days. That will no doubt really find out just how much it helps.
    Is it worth £150? yet to decide!
    How about you? are you here or in the UK? any trips planned?

    all the best

    PS off to Big Todd's bar tonight, he has changed it into a "western" style place. Tonight is his Mrs's birthday
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Nice ride & report.
    Many thanks - please keep 'em coming. I like your perspective - something new & refreshing.
  7. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    cheers Colin, hope we can meet up then.
    Next big trip for me, Big Todd was saying he wants to do the Pattaya trip we postponed, so I will be reading your stuff for hints and tips for en route food etc (I made a right arse of the planning the last time I rode to Pattaya!) :)
  8. Gary D

    Gary D Ol'Timer

    For me the Airhawk is the best thing. I use it on my Suzi Vee Strom that i am bringing to Thai shortly and look forward to meeting up with everyone.

    Gary :)
  9. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    look forward to meeting up when you are over Gary
  10. Jurgen

    Jurgen Moderator

    Hi! No idea what a Airhawk is :) ... but since I changed my (lovely AX1) for an (also charming) ER6n my ass cries "thank you" all the way down a two weeks tour :)! Does Airhawk brings additional help!

    I also appreciate lazy tours (even if they go slightly up and down) and your itinerary has some great sectors like Payao to Mae Kachan. Descriptions of day trips are always helpful for me as, even without curfew, I sometimes get the travelling blues :)

  11. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    hi Jurgen
    looking at your pic you carry a lot less weight than I do so I suspect that an Airhawk cushion may add a lot of comfort, it would certainly insulate you a little from the hear that comes up through the ER6 seat!
  12. Jurgen

    Jurgen Moderator

    Thank you for the link :)! It seems a real good accessory and, in addition, I could use it on my smaller bike, if I decide to drive it on a longer loop.

    As for my weight, I just lost 10 kg after retirement (no more morning and evening buffets, in deluxe hotels, just healthy Thai food). The problem is that the first "pieces of meat" to disappear are the muscles and the cushion on the ass! The useless balloons around the belt are more resistant :)!

    I am going to Europe for two month now and will try to source the "cushion" when I am back.


  13. bigal

    bigal Ol'Timer

    hi Jurgen

    I have just seem my reply must have looked a little strange with the typo saying "hear" from the ER6 seat! I meant heat :? Sorry about that.
    I too have lost weight since retirement but as I have so much to lose no one notices unless you put a couple of pictures next to each other. I am convinced that relativity is bunkum, if you increase mass with speed, how come al the really fast riders and moto gp riders are as slim as hell and the slow lazy ones like me are blobby :think:
  14. Jurgen

    Jurgen Moderator

    :) ... yes, of course, I understood the heat! That's really what comes up from there :)! As for shape, even so I am in what doctors call "the norm" (heigh minus 100 should be lower than weight :) :) ), I am also a very lazy, slow rider. My nose is too often on the lateral sides to be able to cope with speed! See you sometimes on a relaxed trail :)

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