Ride:- 192Date:- 28/29 February 2004Location:- Pung Waan, KanchanaburiHares:- Peter Laverick and Lem MorganScribe:- Annie MinisclouxEt voila, there we were, sitting on the house landing by 8 Am, a bit sleep-deprived but bikes all dialed in, van packed up, driver briefed, all ready to hit the road bright and early, except for Chris who rode in 45 minutes late! A bit cheesed up, we assigned him the co-pilot seat with the mis-directions while all comfortably lounging in the back seats we started watching “Elizabeth” on a VCD. Just as Elizabeth was about to loose her virginity we snuck up a quick look at the highway and noticed a large green Rachaburi sign! Merde alors! Not only that, we were stuck in endless traffic lights! We quickly reworked a back road crisscross to our destination. We watched “Elizabeth” regain her virginity while peeping outside intermittently to check the road.We arrived at Pung Wan Resort just in time to mingle with a mob of cyclist already “warmed up” for the ride. Quelle chaleur!! Ron maaaaak! We were already melting and sucking hard on our Camel pack hoses in the parking lot while “Maverick” and “No Good Boyo” les lapins announced that the one and only drink stop was 25kms away!On, on, first heading towards the Kwai Noi we crossed a rickety swinging bridge with many missing planks. Was this a relic of POW’s hard labor? Some of us avoided looking right, left or down; jammed on the pedals and rode straight across, some of us got shilly-shally and walked the whole length of the bridge--enjoying the adrenaline rush a little longer.On on along the Kwai Noi river I noticed Neil stopped to take photos at the very top of every hill. Was this a pretext to catch up his breath or did he need exciting visuals to illustrate his upcoming Memoirs of a Bangkok Bike Hasher? I wondered…We had a few tea parties looking for paper! Mais ou est le papier?? We even got the biscuits out …And that’s what we needed really; tricky back checks so we could hang out in the shade, chit chat about dees and zat (this and that), let sweat pour out and hopefully catch a breeze of fresh air cooling our overheated bodies. Weren’t we all “Hash Fools,” to ride in heat of the day?!On on…the trail led us right through tall limestone mountains and we had plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful scenery while looking for paper again. A nasty-steep dirt road looked like the only way out. Some of the strong riders tried to ride the stretch in the granny gear but even they had to give up halfway … Once almost all of us had made it up the hill we discovered we had to ride back down—someone less lemming-like had found paper a little further down the main dirt road…it’s often a mistake to follow those fast riders. They’re too busy trying not to fall off their bikes to look for paper!We reached a chalk sign saying “H2O” and thought we’d find salvation right around the corner. But instead we had to climb an endlessly steep dirt road. Our tongues were dragging in the dust--and two people turned red as French beets. But “Maverick” and “No Good Boyo” were there with a large coolers full of ice cubes, cold bottled water and electrolight powder. Leigh dunked his head right in the biggest cooler, but this seemed to effect his petite cervelle--later on he was caught riding away forgetting helmet and sunglasses--at least he remembered his bicycle!!! Walter tucked ice cubes through the holes of Tania’s helmet and most many of us crunched on delicious cooling ice cubes or massaged them on our heads and shoulders.While we lingered on the innumerable usage of ice cubes Neil, Linda, Tim and Ken decided to push along a bit further and go for a dip in a lake…they claim they absotively- posilutely swam in refreshing clear and cool water! But was this a hidden paradise or a pool of nuclear wastewater?We got back on our steeds for an exhilarating final descent back to the resort…yeeehooo! So fast that we forgot to look for paper and missed a couple of turns!Back at the resort, whacked and covered with red dust, we found to our surprise a few smiling riders already showered and drinking beer!!! Eight of them it seems had gotten lost at one of the back check…Off course we never believed their story and undeniably knew they’d rushed back to quench their thirst and go for a much needed deep in the hotel pool!!