01 Nov 2011; I was ready to roll out of the Viang at 06:30 but my “trusty Triumph” was being untrusty….. Pull in clutch, kick over engine in neutral to free clutch plates. Fuel tap on, tickle the tickler on the carburettor till fuel drips out, ignition on and a good kick. Nothing….. kick, kick kick…. Doesn’t want to play…. A bit like the wife most mornings… Gloves off, jacket off, helmet off, shades off, bike on centre stand again. Some sweet talk, some more tickling and a few good hearty kicks and she bursts into life…. Just like the wife again… if I’m lucky. It’s all down to the correct amount of tickling….. in both cases…. I was heading to meet Gary and Nong somewhere near Pai….. They were coming from Chiang Dao, me from Chiang Saen. The widening of the 1016 from Chiang Saen to Mae Chan is continuing. Contractors are due to complete the 27 klm stretch of road by July next year and on a penalty for late completion. More than half is completed, with just a few klms at the Mae Chan end and the difficult part nearer to Chiang Saen from Pasak Noi, where the Kham river runs alongside the road. The 1089 out Mae Chan is much nicer. The road up to the checkpoint at Ban Lorcha and then coming down off the mountain through the twisties on the west side is a great section, down to the Lao Ta coffee shop and petrol station. There was a market going on there that was threating to block the street. This place has become a regular stop. Coffee beans for sale at 350 Baht a kilo. This old Chevy Monte Carlo outside had seen better days. Carried on through Thathon, Mae Ai, Fang and down to Chai Prakarn. Lovely hospital entrance....... Then starts the next section of good roads and dramatic limestone karst scenery, through Chiang Dao and down to Mae Taeng. Lunch stop in Chiang Dao. We then turned right up the 1178 towards Pai. More scenery and hairpin bends, potholed and repaired tarmac and quite a bit of traffic going from CM to Pai. Stopped at the Pankled Coffee shop for coffee and snacks. We saw evidence of landslides on many of the roads, but nothing blocking our passage. Then continued into Pai, had a quick look around and then headed back out to go down the 1265 to Wat Chan. The 1265 was potholed and covered in cowshit to start with, then a good long nice section, with the last bit holed or washed out. There’s not a lot in Wat Chan and apparently no completed tarmac roads out in any direction, yet, but underway. Finally met up with Gary at the Royal Project there, lovely spot, private bungalow. Distance today; 267 miles (430 klms). A respectable distance on the old girl.