Jul 2008

Khao Yai North, 26/27 Jul 2008

Ride report

Ride No:- 296/297.  Date: 26/27 July 2008.Venue: Eco Valley Lodge, KhaoYai (north)Hares: Jean-Marc & Emmanuelle / Henri & Stephanie.Scribe:- Crash Test DummyTo sum up the July 2008 Hash in one word, “tres bien”! The Hares (Jean-Marc, Emmanuelle, Henri and Stephanie) did an outstanding job securing comfortable accommodations at the Eco Valley Resort north of Khao Yai and provided a carnivore’s dream of a buffet dinner. The GM blew his whistle and the Hares provided a brief description of the ride: one water stop at 23 km, 6 checks, 2 or 3 false trails, no short cut after the water stop for a total of 47 km. They also advised that towards the end of the ride there would be two options, a difficult route and a “not difficult” route. Armed with this information the riders set off with a flurry of whistles.After about 10 meters my rear wheel locked up, providing me a nice opportunity to test the integrity of my helmet as I flew over my handlebars and sprawled onto the ground in front of the entire bike hash group! As the herd headed off down the trail I walked back to enlist the aid of the able LPR staff. One quick look and he exclaimed “mai dai” which I was hoping meant the bike was broken and I would have to lay around the pool drinking a Mai Tai. I wasn’t so lucky-he managed to piece the bike together enough to allow me to get back on the trail.Since I was now at the tail end, riding alone, I kept a close watch for paper so I wouldn’t miss any turns. Merd, alors! Much to my dismay there was precious little paper so I was frequently doubling back to locate the trail to avoid getting lost. Sacre Bleu! After a while I came upon one little, two little, three little Indians riding along, all searching for the elusive paper. I finally came upon Maverick fixing a flat tire and Jerry Arceneaux fulfilling his National Geographic photographer fantasy. As our trio rode along, I couldn’t help but think that riding at the rear of the hash offers a kinder gentler kind of ride than the chaos that generally ensues at the front. Fantastique!Enough philosophizing. Enough French. The rest of the ride gave us a scenic trail of shale pits, durian, custard apple, and banana orchards, ponds, and farmland with the smell of freshly mown hay. We had ample opportunities to observe the locals toiling in the fields and quarries. They were very helpful pointing the direction of the other hashers including one old lady who pointed in the air and made an authentic coyote call. It didn’t help me find the trail, but she was dead on with her imitation. Despite the pesky barbed wire fences, fields surrounded by high walls, tricky checks, and false trails up steep hills (and the aforementioned lack of paper), all riders managed to make it home alive.New members seem to be cropping up in alarmingly high numbers from Australia, although in true Olympic spirit, newbies hailed from Korea, USA, UK, Germany and France (curses). In a BHHB first, a non-member, Jintana, hotel manager, was called into the circle for several offenses including erroneous maps and the hair-raising, “electrifying” shower Struan experienced. The Midol boys, Dike Diver’s sucking chain, Maverick the Snitch, Carpet Burn, and Special Ed from South Africa atoned for their sins, and appropriate down downs were consumed. Dumbo received her name (come to think of it, water buffalos DO look a lot like elephants!) After circle was dismissed, those in the know, took their showers and got right back to dinner quickly scarfing up a sumptuous supply of grilled meats and Freedom fries. Those who dawdled, ate salad or the vegetarian fare. Moral? You snooze, you lose.Sunday’s ride began with a fast trail out of the resort and onto the road, giving the riders their first taste of false confidence. The hares put us in our place when we experienced the usual chaos and confusion at the first check. Back on the trail, we wandered around the sugar cane field for what seemed like hours, but eventually found some bumpy single track that took us to the stables. Most people lingered there to observe the many mares and tiny colts. Nice nature moment, hares! After the waterstop, there was a back check along a rice paddy and some utter confusion by the waterwheel. Tantalizer checked the far side of the river, and in another first, kept his shirt on. The family guy with daughter in backpack and mother-in-law in tow made it over the barbed wire fence. We did not appreciate the head winds at this point and wish the hares had planned better. We rode past villages of giggling kids, and through a temple, and the ride ended back at the resort.Fortunately Osama (the UNDP guy, not the Presidential candidate) brought along his personal physician. Sticky Trousers learned that what is said at the BHHB dinner, never stays at the table. None of us will ever look at Tony the same. The same can be said for Special Member.Second time’s a charm, and better late than never, your humble BHHB scribe, Jerry “Crash Test Dummy” Smith


45.2 km, N/A m
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27.58 km, 302.0 m
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