The Ride - 2019 Gtr Mhs Memorial Ride

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. DavidFL

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    #1 DavidFL, Nov 5, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
    The Ride - the 2019 #11th GTR Mae Hong Son Memorial Ride

    From: 2019 Gtr Mae Hong Son Memorial Ride # 11

    They keep getting better & running smoother - thanks to everyone who came, participated & rode.

    GTR - IMG_7414.JPG

    more to come..
     
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  2. DavidFL

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    #2 DavidFL, Nov 6, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
    The scheduled rendezvous time for the PTT Nam Phrae was 7.30am & I aimed to be there "first" at 7am. Sadly I was beaten by a few other keen riders, so big kudos to them & everyone else who rocked up on time.
    The first batch of slower riders got away on time at 8.15AM & it was playing catch for until the lunch spot @ Mae La Noi.
    My getaway time was 8.40 am & the arrival time in Mae La Noi was 11.15 am, exactly on time, just by luck.
    upload_2019-11-1_0-30-58.
    Spot on for a happy chatty lunch.

    Surprisingly, the lunch stop worked well, despite the uncertainty of the vendor I'd persuaded to have a go. She was most nervous & unconvinced that I'd get 50 motorbikes & riders there for her fried noodles & fried rice. But in the end I got my deposit back, against the group not turning up. 55

    Riders then set off for MHS & I got happy snaps of most of them leaving.
    upload_2019-11-6_17-32-11.

    The full photo collection is here: The 2019 GTR MHS Memorial Ride Collection

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    After lunch the race was on then, through the road works around Mae La Luang to rock up in MHS at the PTT on time.
    upload_2019-11-6_17-53-13.

    A regroup at the PTT on schedule & then off to the wat, escorted by the MHS police.

    more to come..
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    The master plan & highlight for the event is the two ceremonies at the temple.
    These are done out of respect for our departed riding mates, the wat, & for the group.
    Some people decline to join in ceremonies for whatever personal reasons, but for me they are important and essential.
    The abbot graciously permitted GTR to build a chedi for the ashes of our friends. No money was asked for, and it is nice to show our appreciation by conducting the old ceremonies we do.

    The main ceremony, the Cheub Chata was conducted by Khun Darunee, Mae Hong Son's most senior & respected "master of ceremonies." He is a super cool guy @ 88 years of age I believe it is, and this year he was super happy to get a GTR MHS Memorial Ride T-shirt to wear for the event.
    upload_2019-11-6_23-4-39.

    The ceremony is basically a cleansing ceremony - previous sins are forgiven, the body cleansed & bad luck removed, then good luck & harmony is put back in the body & soul, so you are fresh to go again. The group is tied together with strings and blessed as a whole.
    You could compare it to a 100,000 kms bike service. engine strip down, rebuild with new oils & a top tune up.

    Some of Jurgen's great images
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    It was very pleasing to be able to get Robert Hoghead to sit in the star this year
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    He's finally starting to adapt to real Thai life and culture. Thanks Robert for accepting.
    Each year we try to get a different "senior" GTR member to sit in the star, plus light the candles to start the ceremony.
    Thanks to Scotty 007 for kicking it of this year by lighting the candles.

    upload_2019-11-6_23-11-55.

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    More to come...
     
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  4. DavidFL

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    A VDO of the start & MHS, plus riding Khun Yuam to MHS
     
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  5. DavidFL

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    #5 DavidFL, Nov 9, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    The main ceremony complete it is time to saunter on up the hill & pay final respects to our departed mates at the chedi.

    This is a very short ceremony with the monks contacting the spirits of the departed.

    Images from Jurgen Chopard
    upload_2019-11-8_23-56-24.

    This ceremony is to contact the departed, check on their well being & to remind them they are not forgotten & should they need any help we are not far away.

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    Two group chedi photos after the event
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    upload_2019-11-9_0-2-33.

    to be continued
     
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  6. DavidFL

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    Ceremonies over I was absolutely chuffed to get a photo with my son Jason, who came on the ride for the first time.
    Jason has disabilities & it was an absolute joy to be able to have him along riding, on a bike trip together.
    Let's hope they are many more together too.
    upload_2019-11-9_20-39-54.
    Whilst it was a joy for him too, he also saw where he has put his Dad one day - in the chedi.

    upload_2019-11-10_0-43-51.

    On the Sunday morning I was also privileged to pay respect to the spirit of Dan White with Joe Cummings.
    upload_2019-11-10_0-47-5.

    Dan White Rip

    Joe & I both knew Dan well, especially Joe, who had worked on a couple of books with Dan. Coffee table books on the temples of Thailand and one on tattoos. Dan was the photographer & Joe the author. They were a brilliant team together.





    My most enjoyable memory of Dan was a week in VIentiane researching the night life of Vientiane for a Rough Guide book update that Dan was doing.

    And so Joe & I cracked a bottle of Teelings Irish whisky & had a wee tipple for Dan.
    upload_2019-11-10_0-53-26.

    to be continued....
     
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  7. Eoin Christie

    Eoin Christie Ol'Timer

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    Good to see Jason made it for the ride, David, and the opportunity for you and Joe to pay your respects to Dan.
     
  8. DavidFL

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    #8 DavidFL, Nov 10, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    The party night @ the Goodview, ex Sunflower, was a beauty.

    Johnadda & Tony P provided the music, plus Joe with a nice jam.
    Stu Lloyd did a magnificent job as MC, off the cuff, no script & it is easy to he is a pro & enjoys it. Many thanks from me Stu, because if you didn't do it I don't dare to think who else might be lumbered with the job. I do however, have an interesting idea for a joint MC team next year.

    With a very recent change of ownership at the ex Sunflower, the new guys - Gai / Pla / Mu - did an excellent job in a week, preparing what they could. The new big bar in the centre was a nice bonus, as was an improved sound system.
    Food & catering at the ex Sunflower has always been something of a challenge with a big group, but with the new Goodview team I think we got a satisfactory arrangement with a BBQ pig & salads - keep it simple.
    upload_2019-11-10_18-14-4.

    What is impressive for me at the party night is how everyone is so relaxed, & enjoying themselves together, with people they've only just met & ridden together for the first time.
    It is a total joy for me to see this, as that's the Memorial Ride is about - a celebration of life, the good times, good rides, good mates & missed friends. It should be a reminder how lucky we are to live here, ride our motorbikes & enjoy the life that we can & do with good friends without the harassment of "nanny state laws" that we so often see in the West nowadays. Having the right positive attitude helps.

    Some pics from the night

    DSC_0363.JPG
    the famous Mike Gagne indulging in a compulsory shot of Jamesons that he has to do everytime he hooks up with GTR.

    DSC_0368.JPG
    Joe Cummings & Thomas.
    Thomas had a slight mishap going home from the Crossroads Pub in the wee hours.
    His first time in MHS, he stopped at the sala in the lake to admire the view one more time; where he slipped & fell over on his hip, breaking a bone.
    Somewhat over the limit & with a flat phone battery he laid there until sunrise, when he was found & taken to the hospital around the corner.
    A very lucky man, as he could have fallen in the lake & drowned perhaps.

    The rest
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    Last but not least Moto Bistro & Big Bike Tours
    DSC_0392.JPG

    One of the issues organizing an event like this, is that money has to be paid up front for people involved at the temple - items for the ceremonies, plus even lunch this year.
    Moto Bistro & Big Bike Tours support therefore is greatly appreciated. These two wonderful guys / companies helped get the event underway with 10,000 baht sponsorship each.
    Their donations are very much appreciated, because without them, costs would not be covered & we'd have to ask for more donations from everyone. Last year was the first year there was a surplus & the first year we were able to make a donation to the temple, but every other year previously I've had to dip into my pocket.
    Even at the Mae La Noi lunch stop, a deposit was required to ensure that 50 motorbikes did turn up & the lady vendor could buy supplies in the market the @ Mae Sarieng the day before.
    So this year we are all good...and

    The morning after it was up to the temple to see the good abbot & give him another donation from GTR & everyone who came & supported the event.

    Present were Joe Cummings, Tim Stanley & Vero.
    upload_2019-11-10_19-27-41.

    And the amount this year was
    upload_2019-11-10_19-28-15.

    14,000 baht was given to the Wat in appreciation of their generous approval of the GTR chedi.
    We will continue to run this memorial ride every year & donate whatever funds we have left over to Wat Phrathat Doi Kong Mu.

    upload_2019-11-10_19-33-0.

    A big thank you to all participants & donors.
    Some gave more than others, but it all came from the heart.
    Long may the happy memories of our departed riding mates live on.

    upload_2019-11-10_19-33-22.

    How many went in 2019?
    There were various counts & numbers.
    I had 52 once, someone else had a 72.. I make it 44 in the photo.....

    Let's do it again next year, with more riders.

    Thank you one & all.

    Thank you Robert Hoghead & Korn for the back up service vehicle.
     
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