The Tj John Hamilton – Simon Siinthai Grant Memorial Ride # 7

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. #1 DavidFL, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
    Continuing from

    The TJ - John Hamilton Memorial Ride - The Mae Hong Son Loop

    in the long GTR tradition to honour departed riding mates who have ridden North Thailand & been part of the GTR community.

    The 7th annual GTR MHS Loop Memorial Ride

    7-8th November 2015.


    19 riders started from the Kafe
    [list type=decimal]
    [*]David Unk
    [*]Ian Bungy
    [*]Russ Mc Dermaid
    [*]Scotty MackEnzie
    [*]Robert Hoghead
    [*]Tess Carter
    [*]Adrian Carter
    [*]Les Destination Thailand TV
    [*]Brian Moto Mania
    [*]Colin Captain Wally
    [*]Irish Liam
    [*]Tom Forde
    [*]Richard Na Ched Yot
    [*]John Schotts
    [*]John Young
    [/list type=decimal]
    The biggest group of guys yet & a wonderful group of guys & gals. There was one female rider Tess from Bkk + 2 female pillions this time, so that was a new friendly welcome dimension to the team.

    The route as is tradition started from the Kafe, surprisingly on time considering the presence of the Capital TV / Destination Thailand TV guys filming & interviewing for the ride.

    First stop was as planned the PTT at the Chomthong/ Doi Inthanon turn off.

    Then it was a begrudging 300 baht a head payment for the farang to ride to the top of Doi Inthanon.

    Gathered at the top in some nice cool air for a couple of pics



    Then down on the magnificent exciting R1192 into Mae Chaem


    Lunch stop in Mae Chaem at the MC "food court" by the Thai farmers bank


    then the real ride begins for an exhilarating twisting roller coaster ride across to Khun Yuam.

    The convenient "mid point" pit stop is in the Hmong village of Pang Kia



    After this splash & dash its onto MHS to finish up the ride of Day 1

    Regroup at the PTT going into MHS & then up to the "Wat on The Hill" Doi Kong Mou for a ceremonial pic of MHS with the guys


    Then down to the lake & Wat Chong Klang where the GTR plaques are


    Due to the intrusion of a certain sign


    we are exploring the option of an official GTR chedi for future departed riders + the original 3 - TJ, Simon & Dan - at Wat Chong Klang; so that they / we may never be forgotten. Stay tuned....

    Bevvies & food at the Sunflower 2015


    Closing the Crossroads Pub & MHS in 2015


    The next day riders split up. The off-road guys two ways (1) returning via R1095 - all under reconstruction & via (2) Pai - Wat Chan - Samoeng. The big road bike guys returning via R108 MHs - Mae Sarieng - Chiang Mai.

    I had a blast with some really cool people & would like to thank all those guys who came - old & new - to keep the tradition going.

    For those who don't know - the Memorial Ride History

    The original departed riders
    [list type=decimal]
    [*]TJ Hamilton
    [*]Simon Grant
    [*]Dan White
    [/list type=decimal]

      • John TJ Hamilton, 7 April 1951 – 10 November 2008. Died of cancer 4 months after the original diagnosis; best mate of Simon.
      • Simon Duncan Grant, 3 May 1964 – 22 Oct 2009. Originator of the first GTR MHS Memorial ride; tragically killed before the event! It was Simon's idea & proposal for the 1st Memorial ride in honour of TJ, 10 months after TJ's death. However before the event took place Simon was killed in a hit & run accident in Phuket just a couple of weeks beforehand. This was even more reason for ride to go ahead & so it has!
      • Dan White, 26 April 1965 – 20 September 2012. Photographer, travel writer & GTR contributor – fan who wrote many articles about motorcycle travel in the GT for the TAT plus travel magazines
    Dan White RIP

    TJ - Tropical John - was a prolific contributor to GTR, despite being a yachtie in Phuket. His best ride ever was the MHS Loop with his mates Simon & Noel Akers. All 3 of these guys were yachties in Phuket, but all loved to come & ride in the North. & the MHS loop was their favourite trip. GT Rider was got them back into motorcycle riding & touring. They also loved to hang out in the Kafe in Chiang Mai, especially TJ.

    Dan White was a good personal mate of mine. He loved to hang out in the Kafe in Chiang Mai. One of my best times ever in Laos was in Vientiane with Dan, researching for a guide book update & struggling to find any night life in Vientiane, until I showed him the town. Dan thereafter got in most nights way after me even. He made numerous GTR recommendations in the guide books & travel magazines he wrote for.

    Some Earlier Rides
    Over the years now there have been some extremely fun & memorable rides. A few images






    The 2015 ride was for me the coolest ride so far + the biggest group of guys participating to keep the tradition going. Thanks to everyone who came along – see you all again in early November 2016.

    2015 GTR MHS Loop Memorial Riders

    Attached Files:

  2. Wow Fantastic Thread David. Absolute Ripper Write Up, Information, Comments and Photos New and Old! Thanks for Organising another Wonderful and Very Special Event. Looking forward to the Official GT-Rider Chedi in MHS. Keep Us informed and also Looking forward to the Next one!

    This Years Memorial Ride was one of the Best! Mixed Group of Fun Guys and Gals. No Dramas besides Richard getting a Flat Tyre, Thanks Rex for coming to the Rescue! The Road from MHS Via Pai and back to Chiang Mai should be pretty much done I am Guessing so the Roads will be Epic! Yeah. Thanks Mate Credit Due. Post this to Face Book I am sure a few People will Share that!
  3. Fantastic GT-Rider yearly event, celebrating and remembering fallen mates, my second time, a sizable group of motorcyclists, all great people, made some new friends and renewed some old acquaintances.

    Superb motorcycling to MHS as usual, and a slightly changed return route through Mae Sariang due to the ongoing road repairs on the 1095.

    Good on ya GT-R and all the participants in this great event!
  4. Was a great trip away. Got to combine it with a Thursday/Friday trip out to Phu Chia Fa/ Doi Pa Tong / Chiang Khong and then the MHS loop with a really fantastic bunch of people.

    Whilst it wasn't a full loop via Pai, I really liked the run back through Mae Sariang and Hod. Tessa and I will most definitely be doing some more exploring in that area as well as be back for next year! Whilst we didn't know the riders we were there to commemorate, it still had some meaning for the both of us as last week we lost a very good friend of ours from the biking community back in Australia - so it seemed entirely fitting to be spending it with some others who were there to recollect fallen riders.

    Some nice pictures there too David.

    Thanks to all for being so gracious with the newbies in the group :)
  5. I was lucky enough to be asked to join the ride and although struggling with my riding due to still recovering from broken hip I had a fantastic time . Everyone was really friendly and helpful I had medical assistance from Jean and a lift on the back of Davids bike to the Sunflower .

    MHS was beautiful and really interesting and the words re departed friends v moving thanks very much for Russ and David for all their help.I hope to be here long enough to ride it again as my leg improves.

    safe riding

  6. Always enjoy meeting up with Dave and the GT-Rider team. A friendly  diverse group with many tales to tell. I would say that Mae Hong Son is my favorite destination in Thailand. You feel as though you have arrived in a special place. An ideal place  for the Memorial Ride. Look forward to seeing the TV report that my team shot on
  7. An excellent ride again and great to see the good turn out.

    Best yet..

    Great company and a pretty well matched pace for all the riders.

    Cheers and if I don't see you before... See you at the next Memorial ride

  8. David. do you have exact date yet for next memorial ride?
  9. I think we should aim for the first weekend in November again
    5-6 November 2016
    the 8th Annual GTR Mae Hong Son Loop memorial ride.
    I will confirm in a few days.
    If not the first weekend, then it has to be the 3rd weekend 19-20 November, but this is a few days after Loy Krathong & the traffic will be busy.
    • Like Like x 4
  10. The Khon Kaen Bike Week is on the 5th November. Just for Your information. Some People maybe there instead?
  11. And Phuket to Chiang Mai BMW Wunderlich Iron Man 24hr race on 12-13th November too ;)
  12. ok we are locked in for the 1st Weekend of November for the 8th GTR Mae Hong Son Loop memorial ride for departed riders.
    The date = 5-6 November 2016.
    Depart Chiang Mai Saturday 5th November 2016.
    Return Sunday 6th November 2016.

    More info coming soon.
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