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Riding In Phuket


warfie

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I'm sitting at a red light, the last lights before the hills between Phuket Town and the beachside tourist district of Patong, my valiant metal steed thumping that mellow V-twin drum between my knees.

I'm surrounded by a variety of 80 - 125 cc bikes in various states of (dis)repair. Each one unique in some way, this one has a fast food store bolted to the side of it, another has a cart with a fully grown pig inside, drawn by the rider sitting on the handle, another is just a skeleton, no lights, no bodywork, only what it needs to run, over to the right is a very young man/boy, his mount looks like a million Baht, fake carbon-fibre, coloured anodised aluminium everywhere, "sponsorship" stickers, stainless steel expansion chamber with carbon fibre muffler and through a hole neatly cut in the plastic pokes the end of a bright blue anodised aluminium induction horn...

A lot of the traffic lights in Thailand have a digital timer display, 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1.. green and we're off! The locals either dawdle away in a lazy fashion (after weaving past 50 cars at the lights, which now have to try to get around them again), or they claw their way frantically to whatever top speed their particular machine will reach.

I ease the clutch out and I'm presently tooling along at a speed which I judge to be appropriate, it's often necessary to guess an appropriate speed in Thailand as there are few signs to provide guidance, soon passing some of the bikes which screamed off ahead of me at the lights and soon being passed by shiny new turbo diesel 4WDs, the drivers of which seem hel_l-bent on self-destruction, and uncaring of who they may take with them.

Soon the gradient lifts and I'm past the diminutive Mike Doohans whose 110 four-stroke automatics can't cope with a head wind, much less an incline. Into the first turn, and I turn-in under the first of the dark skinned Dick Johnson's Toyota turbo, roll on the throttle, the drums get louder and the front lifts, past the coach that left town as I was donning my salad bowl (er... helmet, ah... the plastic cap the police want the rider to wear, presumably for sun protection, it would be no protection from anything else...)

Tipping into another turn around the outside of the 125cc MotoGP step-through as he goes around the outside of a clapped-out Songteow (a pick-up with bench seats in the back and a tin roof, a Thai taxi/bus) crammed full of school children and monks, this thing is doing a whole 20kph but the driver still seems to feel he has to take a "racing line" through the corners, it's just the way it's done here... finally some clear road, and time for a bit of fun! Sweeping through the bends getting a good line here, another through there, rushing from apex to apex, into a tight right-hander, scrape the pegs and wind on the throttle the rear starts to drift and the front starts to lift, mid corner, GOD what an awesome feeling!

Ease off gently to get everything in shape again, brake hard and tip in to the next bend, oh! Series of bends... beautiful!

music.gifSwing low sweet chariotmusic.gif left, right, left, right, this is great! dam_n! Have to dodge a car from the other direction on my side of the road and I fluff the next bend...

S#it! What's everyone blasting their horn for? Oh, a statue of someone important... dutifully toot my horn 3 times to show respect and the bend tightens, goes downhill and becomes off-camber, took me by surprise, if it was wet I'm sure I'd have lost it... hauling the bike over further and further while trying to feather the brakes to wash off speed but not wanting to skid, whew, made it! Pulse racing as the bend opens up I wind on the throttle more gently this time.

Looking down the hill the good part's over. Just a straight downhill run to the first traffic lights of Patong. I've caught-up with more cars, bikes, buses and trucks all trying to overtake each other, on whatever side of the road, in whatever direction... time to play safe again... oh! I forgot about my pillion, I wonder how she feels about my behaviour?

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Very good warfie, great description of a ride that seems to match many ive taken over that same mountain.

You don't have any similar style 'stories' about blasts along the great ocean road, do you?

ooooo..... stories of the Great Ocean Road.... I haven't written any yet but have several lurking in the rear of the cranium... plus a few of various race tracks around Victoria... I'll attempt to pen some soon...

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I have done that same trip on a Honda Wave.

Being familiar with neither the road nor bikes in general I approached what is almost a hairpin turn going downhill too fast. Somehow I managed to keep control and stay on the bike, and the bike on the road.

More daring people may have got a rush at the thrill of it all, I however, broke out into a shaking sweat and had to pull over as soon as I could to calm my nerves.

From then on I got a tuk-tuk.

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^^^ hmmm... such stories would not be in any way related to Thailand... I'll publish them on my own website (wich is Thai related) and post the link here...

Please Do, luv ur style. ps: I will be disappointed if you are ridiing a honda wave in the story.

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^^^ hmmm... such stories would not be in any way related to Thailand... I'll publish them on my own website (which is Thai related) and post the link here...

Please Do, luv ur style. ps: I will be disappointed if you are ridiing a honda wave in the story.

Not a Honda Wave (or Dream II, my current mount :o ) but close, I'm afraid... hope you enjoy this hurried effort anyway...

http://www.roseofsuthep.com/articles_humou...ocean-road.html

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Good on ya Warfie,

Another Great Story......nothing wrong with the chook chaser, seems to me you kept the boys honest anyway! :o

You seem to be good with the pen & not bad on the bike either. That is a great ride along the G.O. Rd, theres actually also a few fun stretches of road around the various parts of phuket island.

Apparently I am a poor man & can only afford to ride a 'little bike', thats what I have been told anyway BUT I say, any ride is better than no ride....so keep clickin away the miles on ur Dream II - I will keep a look out for one with sparks coming from its pegs, that way I will know its you :D

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Good on ya Warfie,

Another Great Story......nothing wrong with the chook chaser, seems to me you kept the boys honest anyway! :o

You seem to be good with the pen & not bad on the bike either. That is a great ride along the G.O. Rd, theres actually also a few fun stretches of road around the various parts of phuket island.

Apparently I am a poor man & can only afford to ride a 'little bike', thats what I have been told anyway BUT I say, any ride is better than no ride....so keep clickin away the miles on ur Dream II - I will keep a look out for one with sparks coming from its pegs, that way I will know its you :D

cheers! now if only I could find that one I wrote about the the first time I rode the Broadford raceway... I've been told that was quite a good read... TRX-850 was as nasty as she could be that day... shamed many a bigger bike...

How would I embed a home movie of "commin down the mountain" (doi Intanthon) in the Peugeot 405?

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I had a mate that had a TRX-850 & he never ceased to amaze me with how he road that bike. He actually tracked it too....it was lovely thru the twisties & pulled strong out into the straights. Yamaha has certainly turned out a couple of interesting bikes in their day....the TRX, seemed to sit between classes a bit, a great alround bike. Much cheaper than a duke too :o .

The GO Rd is great, have you ever ridden the Oxley Hwy between Port Maquarie & Bendemere? Its absolutely ace...in my opinion a better road to ride than the GO Rd. Its great along there on an early morning run (very early to beat the BIB) & if its open theres a great place to have a hot chocolate/coffee & swap stories half way along at Gingers Creek. Ahhhh, if only Thailand had a road like that.....it would leave me with only 1 dilema & thats to get a real bike :D

Anyway, how bout a Thailand related Honda Dream II wheelie story or something?

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