The Tj John Hamilton - Simon Siinthai Grant Memorial Ride

DavidFL

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

Wow! What a wonderful rewarding, very enjoyable & satisfying trip.

A BIG THANK YOU to all the guys who turned up & rode.

DATE: Thursday 26 - Friday 27th November 2009.
Distance: 558 kms.

I'll start it off with a few photos & captions. Comments will follow later on when I get a bit more time.

The riders at the Kafe start
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Lunch for some in Mae Chaem
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Lunch for the other some, across the street in Mae Chaem
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A chicken kow pat,
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but the chicken was in short supply. Ho. Ho. Ho.

The Ambassador Bungy going native with aharn Thai.
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A drink stop on R1263 at Pang Kha
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The road R1263
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It was cold in Mae Hong Son
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staff at the Sunflower Restaurant by the lake in MHS.

TJ & Simon watching over the lads in the Crossroads Pub, Mae Hong Son
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More to come...,but other riders please join. You guys were all great.
 

DavidFL

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A ceremonial closing of the Chalet nightclub in MHs with the hotel owner, police & head of the MHS guides association.
They were all impressed with the ride & our group.

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The morning after breakfast at the Sunflower
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Brekky done it was time for a tree planting exercise
?????
Yep.
That's right there are now two small 1,000 year rose bush trees (ex Doi Inthanon) planted at Wat Chong Klang temple beside the lake in Mae Hong Son, with Simon & John's names on them.

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TJ &Simon would love this as the MHS Loop was one of their favourite rides ever.

If you are ever in MHS please drop into Wat Chong Klang temple & pay your respects to the GT Rider trees planted in honour of TJ John Hamilton & Simon Siinthai Grant. (A small donation of 100 baht to the temple would also be appropriate to support them for looking after the trees, & for allowing us to plant the trees.)

Last but not least
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A tip of the hat to Peter "Dad" Warburton who dropped his bike on a bumpy sandy corner, 80+ kms out of Mae Hong Son, but continued to ride into MHS under somewhat pain. An x-ray at the hospital in MHS revealed 4 cracked ribs!
Peter you're an amazing man & rider pulling that one off. Well done, I'm highly impressed. There's no doubt you have a high pain tolerance level.

Thank you to all the guys who turned up & made the ride.
 

daewoo

Ol'Timer
Dec 6, 2005
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I had a petty good mate who lived in Phuket, John Hamilton, John was a great guy who I email chatted with a lot, and who I did about 5 days riding with on a previous trip to Thailand. He had a beautiful wife Miss Elle as well, who was always willing to gang up with me against John,

John died about 12 months ago from a brain tumor… A good friend of his in Phuket, Simon Grant tried to organise a memorial ride on the Mae Hong Son loop in johns honor, but it always seemed to fail at the last minute… Simon as killed in a motorcycle accident a month ago, so the idea of the memorial ride was given new importance and was now in both their names…

Fortunately for me, the guys up here delayed the ride until I could come along and I was lucky enough to say a few words about John at one of the stops…

John, Elle and I on the Mae Hong Son loop in Nov 07.

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For the ride, I rented an ER6N from Mr Beer for ($37) 1100 Baht a day, plus 100 Baht ($3.3) a day insurance. For the insurance, if the bike is stolen, I have to pay half the value, and if it is damaged I have to pay 20,000 Baht ($665) Excess. The bike had 8,300km on it, and they are 240,000 Baht ($8,000) new.

Because of the limited availability of ‘Big Bikes’ (anything over 200cc) in Thailand, these are a very popular bike…

I had a real hard time with this bike on the ride, one part of the ride, from Doi Inthanon road across to the Mae Chaem road was a real goat track… I loved this road when I did it previously on an XR250 on knobbies, so much so I did another lap :), yet this time, I was actually quite worried the whole time… because of the very firm suspension, and steering angle, every single bump throws the bike around on the road… and I couldn’t hold a line through any corners, always running wide even when riding in 1st gear…

The problem is even worse on the bigger roads where speeds are a lot higher, and traffic even worse…

Also, in a country where speed limits are not relevant, the buffeting at high speeds is pretty bad, apparently :) , someone told me that at 160, the helmet is pushed right back on your head and you lips touch the padding… so he told me ï
 

daewoo

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Dec 6, 2005
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We all met up for breakfast at 9am, and then we were able to plant a couple of trees for John and Simon in the local temple (Wat)… of course this was all organised through one of the local Thais, so the signs are typically Thai made, the started to fall apart being hammered into the ground, and when we went to wash the mud off, the paint came off with it…

Sorry about your necks, I’ll rotate them when I have a proper Internet Connection.

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All of this was done with the typical reverence, of making jokes about how one sign was a bit bent, like John, etc…

From here we continued on fuel up and head for a coffee stop in Sopong, and lunch in Pai… the owner of the fuel station wanted a photo of the 20 Big Bikes together and gave us a big bunch of stickers advertising his workshop…

One of the guys has a Triumph Tiger, very expensive here, and it is immaculate… he is known as the NZ Ambassador, on account of his delicate way with others, and doesn’t have any ‘Poofter Stickers’ on his bike, from here on, it was a competition the hide stickers all over his bike, or hint that you had so he would have to go searching for them ï
 

Noel Akers

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Aug 27, 2007
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Well back again in Phuket after an excellent trip up North on this Memorial Ride.
Had a really great time and would like to thank all the guys there for their participation and friendship.
Good to meet some of the guys who where previously just " names on the GTR site" and share some open road time. TJ and Simon would have loved it......I actually found I was often pre occupied with them not being there and had to pull my concentration back......I noticed that some sections of this ride demanded it ???!!! The 3 of us did most of this run together about 18 months ago. Little did I know what the short term future held and how that chapter would end.

I hired an ER6N from Mr Mechanic in CNX for the 2 day ride , and it behaved faultlessly ( also own one) They are a great little bike with a very willing engine but I find the suspension a bit firm after riding mostly offroad bikes for the last 40 odd years. With an upgrade in tyres and a few additions for carrying luggage it could be transformed into a very good mid capacity sport tourer for Thailand.

Bad luck for Peter and Nong on the big Suzuki when they hit the deck on a sandy corner just in front of me . Peter is one tough old bugger after riding all the way on to Mae Hong Son with 4 broken ribs....you're a legend Pete. Luckily Nong was not injured. She is a gutsy little chick.

Won't add any pics as I don't have any that are much different from David or Daewoo.

Thanks to David Unk who organised everything and the large banner of TJ and Siinthai , which accompanied us , and also the planting of the 2 trees in MHS. Excellent stuff.

I think we all did our departed mates proud....thanks guys.
 

johngooding

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Sep 4, 2007
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I would also like to thank David for organising the event, and to all those who took part in such a positive way. Some great riding and companionship.
I only met John a couple of times and only spoke to Simon on the phone, but John's short illness and untimely passing did make me think and has led to me focussing more on just enjoying today, and not worrying too much about tommorrow. So if an opportunity arises just go for it.
Will definately be back to give a bit of water to those trees now and then.
Take care guys and see you out out and about.
 

Ian Bungy

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Sep 19, 2006
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Well I waited a bit but as No One else is going to Post their Pictures I will Add some. It was a Brilliant Trip and one of the Best I have had with such a Large Group. Extremely Moving moment at the Highest Point when a few Words were had about TJ and Simon. I was maybe a bit Closer to these Guys that some people realise and I was Immensely affected and was Fighting back a Flood of Tears. :cry: I couldn't have spoken even if asked!!! Thanks to all who took Part! Here are the Photos:

Simon & TJ watching over the arrivals at the Kafe.
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Guys at the Kafe
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Waiting at the Turnoff to Doi Inthanon for other Riders.
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Doi Inthanon Checkpoint. David did some Good Organising here to save Time and Paid for the Entire Group at Thai Prices, Well Done!!!
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Group Shot at the Highest Point in Thailand, Doi Inthanon.
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We Pasted Simon & TJ's Sticker on the Sign so if You are up there take a Look and have a Word for them!
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After Lunch in Mae Chaem we were off for a fast ride to Khun Yuam and split up into various groups stopping here and there for a look.
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We stopped to Re-Grouped before we got to Khun Yuam.
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It was here we found out about Peters off and His Rib Injuries!!! His Bike wasn't that Bad.
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Off again to Mae Hong Son. Some went with Peter to the Hospital while the rest checked into Rooms then Meet up for a Few Deserved Beers and a few Toasts to Simon & TJ!!!
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Evening into the Cross Roads where Noel & David had a Toast to the Guys!!!
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It was a pretty Big Night for some of the Guys and in the Morning We all meet at the Sunflower Cafe for Breakfast.
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After this we were off to the Temple for Our little Ceremony!!!
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Some of the Guys at the Ceremony.
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The Simon & TJ Name Plates.
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After this We visited Peter in Hospital then Off again for a Quick Blast to Soppong, Stopped at the Look out, Beautiful Weather and a Fantastic View!!!
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On to Pai for Lunch then a nice Ride back to the X-Centre in Mae Rim.
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We are an Armless Bunch :shock:
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Even David Lek ( The Legendary Snail ) Joined Us for the Entire Trip and a few Drinks on a quick stop over before returning to Australia and Work!!!
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A Truly Great Event and Fitting Tribute to Two Great Guys I was Privileged to have known Them as well as I did!!!
 

Noel Akers

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Aug 27, 2007
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Another great slice of the big picture...some nice shots there Ian. Yep, it sure was a bit of a spin out up on top of Inthanon. Great that David and Daewoo could pay the tribute verbally....I couldn't do it either.
Hey I loved the ride so much , Tina and I will be back up in 2 weeks to do the loop again...two up on the same ER6n. See you soon .
 

DavidFL

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Some photos obtained from Scotty007....

1. At the top & tribute spot to TJ & Siinthai
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Look for the TJ-Siinthai sticker when you go to the top of Thailand
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2. Descending past the landslip
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Above: we almost got everyone.

On R1192 Doi Inthanon - Mae Chaem
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Reverence
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Franz

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Jun 28, 2007
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Guys what a splendid Group and I'm sure you enjoyed the company of so many riders, just sorry I couldn't manage to get away from work for this one ! Cheers, Franz
 

Pikey

www.tbbtours.com
No pics from me as I hardly took any. But ripper of a ride and I think we did "the boys" proud. Yes it was a very poignant moment at Doi Inthanon and everytime I do any section of the MHS loop, I'll be thinking about the fun we had in their memory.

Cheers,

Pikey.
 

tonykiwi

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Jun 1, 2008
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Hi Guys

Congratulatins on a well organised and memorable ride. Even to the observer from afar, the tradition and feelings of the purpose and significance of the ride are clear, and enjoyable to those not able to join you in person.

There is a true bond involved. Thanks for taking the time to post and share the experience

T
 

Snail

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Nov 2, 2005
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I was pretty pleased to have arrive back just at the right time for this ride. It was totally unplanned visit, just decided on the way back to Oz after having done a few weeks work in Trinidad. It was such a great ride and I was grinning to myself from time to time at the memory of following Simon on the 1252 and watching him run wide on a damp corner and gracefully disappear into the foliage!
Sad that it was a ride in memory of these two gents, but no doubt they would be smiling whether they were there or watching from above.
No pics, as none are different from whats been posted already
 

swellsrides

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Aug 18, 2008
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I am extremely sorry was out of the country when this was planned and executed. I would have done anything to have gone on this ride for such a cause.

Unfortunately, I never had a chance to meet John, but have heard many stories and feel like I knew him a bit. Simon was one of the first people I met when I arrived here in Phuket, and we became close friends quickly. I bought a bike off him, and we rode together as often as possible.

I can't believe he is gone, and I am very sad that I missed doing the ride with Simon, but also missed the memorial ride. I will need to try and get up there soon, and do the loop. I was suppose to ride back from the North with him, when he picked up the Africa Twin, but was unable to get up there due to the train derailment. I really regret not being able to make that trip with him.

Thanks for everyone who has shared their experience, and photos of the ride. It looks like an event that would have been exactly the way they would have wanted it.

Thanks everyone and I hope to be able to ride with you guys soon.
Steve
 

Snail

Ol'Timer
Nov 2, 2005
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After much thought, and usually being at a loss to put things into words I have the following to say...

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention
of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW--What a
Ride!"

Live by it and hope to be remembered for it as Tj and Simon are!
 
Dec 14, 2009
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Tropical Johno aka John Hamilton or TJ was my brother and I have registered with your forum so I can say a big thank you to all of you who organised and took part in the recent memorial ride which included the planting of a tree. I am sure that there are also many of you who would have liked to take part in the ride but were unable to be there in person so thanks to you as well.

I visited John when he was in hospital in Phuket last year and I met some of John's many friends of whom Simon was one and I was saddened to hear of his sudden death which happened so close to the first anniversary of John's death. Many of you were able to say goodbye to John (including myself) and it must be so hard that Simon's sudden death prevented you from saying goodbye to him. For you to experience 2 deaths within a year of each other is very hard and cruel and I feel sorry for those of you who have lost 2 great friends -I especially feel for Noel andTina who were such a support to me during John's illness.

I hope that John and Simon are together and will look out for all you bikers during 2010.

Wishing you all a happy Christmas and a healthy and safe 2010.

Jean
 

Noel Akers

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Aug 27, 2007
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Jean,

The 2 boys would have been right chuffed with the ride.....it was excellent.
I imagine they are probably chatting away now....well TJ talking and Simon listening........John did love a good chat !!!!!!!!! To anyone.

His friendship knew no bounds and always willing to share info.

Tina and I are going back up to CNX tomorrow and will visit the Wat and say g'day to them and water the trees.

We miss them both lots. N & T
 

dad

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Jan 21, 2008
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GREAT TO BE PART OF THE RIDE. FOR ME THE FIRST GROUP RIDE IN A FEW YEARS, FADED MEMORIES CERTINALY CAME RUSHING BACK OF OTHER RIDES & WHAT M/C IS ALL ABOUT. THE BUZZ IN THE GROUP AT DOI INTERNATIONAL WAS MUCH DIFFERENT TO THE STARTING POINT AT THE KAFE. AMAZING TONIC R.P.M.

SO MUCH ORGANIZING ON THE PART OF DAVID & HELPERS. BANNER,STICKERS,TREES,ACCOMMODATION & MUCH MORE INCLUDING A LITTLE BIT OF NAGGING TO MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN. A BIG THANK YOU. I AM SHURE THE DEPATED WOULD HAVE EXPERIANCED A RUSH OF BLOOD.

TJ & SIMON ARE GOING TO BE MISSED FOR MANY YEARS AS BOTH EXEPTIONAL PEOPLE.. I AM POSITIVE THEY WERE BOTH THERE..

I AM DISIPOINTED WITH MY OFF. I WAS JUST SLACK & THAUGHT I HAD ADVOIDED THE SAND. THE FINAL TALLY IS FIVE FRACTURED LH RIBS THREE CAME APART & DAMAGED THE LUNG, ONE RH RIB. IN HOSPITAL 26.11.09-09.12.09..

MY LESSON OUT OF THIS IS CARRY NOTHING BIGGER THAN A FART IN POCKETS...

THANK YOU ALL FOR SUPPORT,HELP & MANY OFFERS OF HELP + THE PAIN KILLERS WITHOUT THE GETTING TO MAE HON SON WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. TOWARDS THE END THE AIR BECAME COLD OUT OF SUNLIGHT & MY RESOLVE ALMOST LOST OUT..

A SPECIAL THANKS TO THE TWO RIDERS WHO STAYED BACK & DAVID
FOR COMING BACK & GUIDING ME AS MY VISION WAS BECOMING BLURRED & THE ROUGH ROAD WAS NOT HELPING.

THE HOSPITAL STAFF ARE NUMBER ONE & I AM VERY GRATEFULL TO THEM.

FOR YOUR IMFORMATION THE REGISTERATION ON M/C COVERS HOSPITAL COSTS TO TB15.000. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED.
GREEN BOOK. INSSURANCE POLICY DETAILS. PASSPORT & LICENCE OR COPIES..+ POLICE REPORT. THE POLICE WERE VERY HELPFULL... THE HOSPITAL DEALS DIRECTLY WITH THE INSURER.

THE BIKE ARRIVED BACK 20.12.09 WITH THAILAND POST. UNDAMAGED. 220KPH ON WAY HOME (OH WHAT A FEELING)

P.S.

TJ INTRDUCED MYSELF & MANY OTHERS TO GT-RIDER.COM

DAD
 

Marco

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Oct 15, 2006
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hi Daddy

nice ot hear that you are ok and finally out from Hospital,,, take it easy now for some time and let Rips heal,,before "Blasting" all out,,,

It ws nice ot see and talk to you in my short visit
 

DavidFL

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I have a couple of copper plaques supposedly coming this Friday for TJ & Simon to replace the wooden ones at the temple in Mae Hong Son.

I'd like to ride out to MHS on Saturday 30th (Full Moon!) to deliver & implant them in front of the rose bushes at the temple.

It would be 2 nights in MHS for me, then back to Chiang Mai.

Would anyone else like to go?

The plaques read

Planted in honour of
JOHN “TJ” HAMILTON
www.GT RIDER.com

Planted in honour of
SIMON “SIINTHAI” GRANT
www.GT RIDER.com

and will replace these
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swellsrides

Active Member
Aug 18, 2008
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David,
Noel told me this may be happening this weekend!

I would love to be a part of this trip! My flight arrives at 12:30 PM on Saturday Jan 30th. With getting my wife settled in a hotel and picking up a bike, I don't think it gives me time to ride up on Sat.

Anyway we could start the ride up on Sunday AM instead? If so I would love to be a part of delivering and erecting the plaques, and do a multi day ride. I am in Chang Mai until Thursday afternoon.

Thanks for putting this together, and I hope I can be a part of this!

Cheers!
Steve