Got 3 starters so far for a Saturday ride
3. Dr G
After the ride suggest
1. Happy Hour drinks at the Jai Yen
2. Free BBQ at Toi's Angelina's Restaurant & Bar in Moon Muang Soi 8. Starting time 7.00 pm. Toi's got a nice Chrissy Eve party on. If you've got a big bike, turn up at Toi's & be most welcome, (but if you haven’t ridden with the boys that day, expect to get a bit of a wind up)!
Sorry you wont be riding. I still need to check your bike & yourself out as we've yet to meet in the flesh. So why not swing by Angelinas after for the “barbie.” Bring your arriving Aussie mate as I'll need back up against the yanks & the poms!
Well the Christmas Eve Day ride’s been gone & it was a bit of a ripper with a “full crew” of riders & the biggest group I’ve ridden with for a few years.
Thanks to those guys who did a bit of a ring round the day before to rope in a few more reluctant riders.
9 bikes made up the group
1. Silverhawk & Fon
2. Bobs & North
3. Dave & Helen
4. David & Mai
5. Dr G
6. Barry & G/f
7. John & Mac
9. David Unk
(This is as big a group as I’ve ridden with for many years, so now you know I only like small groups = no more than 5 riders max normally!)
The pace up to Phrao was on the leisurely side, & what you’d expect for riding together the first time.
A lengthy drink stop was taken in Phrao, with the appropriate amount of good natured bike gossip.
One interesting local hill tribe character joined the group here & seemed totally at ease, as if we were all old friends. He was certainly entertaining & brought a chuckle or two.
After the drink ‘n gossip stop it was “whistle” stop at the PTT to use the horng-nam relieve the shrunken bladders from the cool weather.
R1346 then was a magic little ride – tight, steep undulating, twisting, narrow asphalt, often covered with gravel washed on the road from the wet season, just to keep you on your toes & not too cocky!
Pic above: a faster flowing bit of R1346
We regrouped on R107 & headed south, & then the pace got a bit more interesting with the boys used to each other’s riding.
John never ceases to amaze me how he can keep up no matter what bike he rides. With wife Mac riding pillion, he had the ol Honda Shadow scrapping the foot boards in just about all the corners but every time I thought Id lost him in some tighter stuff when I looked in the rear view mirror, there he was right up my arse, with a grin as wide as Dr G’s Tenere panniers!
The planned lunch stop at the Chiang Dao hill Farm did not eventuate on account of the fact that the cook had been sacked & there was no food. So it was another short thrash for the 15 kms into Chiang Dao, where a lengthy lunch break was taken.
After then it really did get considerably more serious for a fast ride all the way into Chiang Mai.
Once on the 4-lane at Mae Rim Colin took over on his F650 & showed us how to carve up the traffic even a bit more than usual.
Quick happy hour drinks were taken at the Jai Yen, then we regrouped at 7.00 pm at Angelinas
for an extremely pleasant no stress or agro evening, talking bikes, roads & touring..
Well done all you guys & thanks for coming – I enjoyed it much more than I anticipated. The whole day was extremely relaxed and very sociable, capped off by that exhilarating ride home on R107!
Actually the day did not have such a glorious ending. Around 1.15 am I staggered out of Angelinas to go home. I got on the bike to head home, but did not get far. Less than 1 1/2 kms in fact, when still on board it spluttered to a halt. Yep, you guessed it - ran out of fuel!
Now I can tell you that when you’re somewhat inebriated the Africa Twin is a big heavy bike to push home the last few kms at 1.30 in morning. It was a relief to get the side stand down in the driveway. All was not over though, as I still had stumble up 2 flights of stairs, collapse into bed fully clothed, & then wait 30 mins before I could get my breath back & finally fall asleep. What an ending to the day!