I'm proud to say that I've never paid to read the Bangkok Post, I don't agree with their editorial stance. I do however, look at it online once in a while and have followed the TH on 2 Wheels column in the Horizons section. The latest column is here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/260106_Horizons/26Jan2006_hori06.php .
I don't know the writer but after reading a few of his columns I wouldn't consider him a "biking writer" but rather a "writer who has ridden a bike". He says the ride from Doi Tung to Mae Sai is "a torturous ride". I've done that route several times and I love it every time.
Maybe a column for people who are "bike riders" won't play well in the Post, I don't know. I think people who truely love riding are a small percentage of the population here in Thailand.
Me? I'd rather read about riding instead of the challenges of finding ice for my brandy.
That's my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions. Opinions are like A**holes, everybody has one and they all stink.
If I wasn't doing this, I'd be doing something else...
I don't want to pass much comment on two wheel's writing or bike riding - the one's I have read (not many) seemed good enough to me. As a writer, I know that every time you get printed and paid, you win. So well done two wheels... keep spinning 'em out and best o British to yer
I guess I have been reading most of his articles, basically just to see if there EVER would be some information about an interesting place that I don't know yet. Time after time, however, I remain totally unimpressed by solo rider, be it as a biker or as an explorer. However, Thailand being the tourism destination it is, I presume that there are lots of first timers out there (such as solo rider?) who do indeed want to read these articles and find them informative....
Hi GT Riders, I hav'nt read any of solo riders articles, but if he wrote that he found the MHS loop tedious,mabe he's a owner operater, an managers his own hardware on a tooooo regular basis.
That ride as an intro to riding in the north was a hoot!!!
Pai is a way cool town to rest a weary but in, But hey, mabee his groove is all oral, like sex some guys just talk it up
Scott....Land of OZ..selling my DRZ look'n 4 a big v twin.
While he might not to much of a rider...and his writing skills/style may or may not be to the liking of some... he did a Great article on Bamboo Bungalow here in Chiang Khong that came out in the Bangkok Post just a couple of days ago. And while having dinner with the owners last night, they certainly appreciated the free advert - and he spelled their names correctly too[8D] And of course he hasn't been in town in about a year, so his info might be a bit out of date; note the new (and only) stop light installed last month, and the 7-11 that just opened last week, But the food and service at Bamboo remains; as he noted, excellent.
Maybe some day a GT Rider will invite him to come and do a ride with some of us and see what he has been missing. And while no certain way to improve his sense of riding skills and thrills on a loope that he missed last time around, possbily we could impart a bit of moto into his thought process.
I cant wait for next week's edition, as they always me me feel good about motorcycling in North Thai / Laos......unbelievably I still actually enjoy life & riding my bike around the place. Do any of you other guys still enjoy it (riding / touring) as much as I do, even if it aint the first time?
Some of you must have some comments on the venerable Solo Rider's column, so let's keepthe ball roling. There's gotta be a few more of you riders out actually reading the life & times of Hot Fudge, not just the "motley crew" so far.........
I have read a couple of his stories but I think he should buy your book David (the Mae Hong Son loop), as I did the loop on the ex-Scotty TT500 back in '94 and had a ball. I think the guy who described this writer as a backpacker who can ride a bit may have hit the nail on the head. Buy yuh a beer in Laos. The Digger.
I recently read this guys stuff in the Bangkok Post and wanted to make a comment or two about it and writing in general.
The Bangkok Post is a newspaper read by a large audience, most of whom won't own motorcycles. The writer has to pitch the story with that in mind. To go into detail about the technicalalties of the bike or other specialised stuff wouldn't get past editorial. It's easy to say "he's not a real biker" - if you are a "real" biker and think you can do better, then do so. Undoubtedly, what this guy is writing will allow a much wider audience to understand what it's like to ride in Thailand and might draw more people into doing it.
From what i've read it's quite a good idea though opening an article with a par about signposting is hardly rivetting. In my humble opinion, he's not the greatest writer - if he was any good he wouldn't be writing for the BP, that's for certain!
However, I think the simple fact that the BP are running anything at all about motorcycling is astonishing - it is a very conservative and quite dull newspaper. So the guy must be applauded. Also, if he doesn't mention all the out of the way spots, so what? Who wants them crowded out? Remember - if you don't want somewhere to change, don't go there.
Agreed that it was bloody fantastic that the Solo Rider pulled this one off & got a weekly column in the Bangkok Post Travel Section for a full 12 months.
I’m sure that three cheers went up from motorcyclists all around the country about that – a golden opportunity for a one year column to write (hopefully positive) publicity about the joys & thrills of motorcycling in the Kingdom. And Thailand, especially North Thailand, really is a motorcycle paradise! But so far I think that "everyone's" (Thailand’s motorcyclists) have been pretty much disappointed.
Lloyd has been on just about all the really great roads so far, yet he's hardly ever gotten enthusiastic about anything. Route 1148, which everyone agrees is top dog in North Thailand, did not even rate on the Richter scale. Mae Hong Son - Pang Mapha- Pai was described as tedious if not boring, yet has almost acquired legendary status in S E Asia. There are heaps of others that don’t even crack a mention from a motorcycling aspect, yet the column is called Thailand On Two Wheels. It’s to do with motorcycling, no?
Agreed too that any technicalities of the bike and specialized stuff is not that important for the wider audience, but there's been almost no joy or satisfaction in any of the riding / touring he's done so far.
There is a very real active motorcycle touring community – Thai / Farang / Expat / Tourist - out there enjoying Thailand on Two Wheels, but you never get that impression from the Solo Rider and his version of Thailand On Two Wheels.
The Bangkok Post needs applauding for running the series "Thailand On Two Wheels" but it would be nice if the Solo Rider wrote about the Two Wheeled aspect. The way I see it so far, he aint doing anyone any favours and is putting people off Thailand on Two Wheels; & that would be a terrible waste, as it is so much fun & immensely rewarding.
Come on Lloyd liven up a bit, have some fun, enjoy the riding & touring & Regency (with or without ice.)
I first rode Chiang Mai-Pai-Mae Hong Son (not the loop) in 1989. Back then Khun Sa's boys were regular interlopers into that part of Thailand and many of the road signs were riddled with bullet holes. On my first attempt I had a very nasty spill and got plucked out of the bush by a friendly passing German biker who took me for a calming drink, dusted me down, helped me repair my bike and sent me on my way. He was like a guardian angel, I kid you not. I had no bad injuries, just lots of cuts and bruises and it took about 2hours before I stopped shaking and 2months before I stopped limping.
I've travelled that road many times since but have not had the chance again to ride what is one of the most impressive and inspiring roads in northern Thailand. Not only is the route itself challenging and demanding in terms of road riding skill, the views are jaw dropping, the roadside population diverse and entrancing, but there's also any number of cool places to stop, eat, grab coffee and sleep. Perfect.
Mate, I reckon its an audience perspective thing, my son just got back from Alaska,(age 32). He left university 8 years ago and has travelled the world trying to save the planet, and all types of endangered species.In other words he is not a biker.
Now what I am getting at, I wrote a book on my motorcycle travels through S.E. Asia, and I enthusiastically asked my son to proof read it for me, after a week he came back with the manuscript and after asking him what he thought, he answered in a boring fashion "its ok, but it was all about bikes and roads and things, you didn't describe the places you stopped at in depth."
Thats the difference Dave, he is writing it for a broader audience. Bikers care about the journey, not necessarily the destination.
"I used to spend all of my money on fast cars, women and booze, now I just squander it." George Best 1946-2005 RIP