May 2002

Khao Yai North, 25/26 May 2002

Hares

Adam P

Will T


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Ride report

Ride no:- 154Location:- Corporate House, Khao YaiDate:- 25 May 2002Hares:- Will and AdamScribe:- Lem 'No good boyo' MorganOnly James Pichon and yours truly will probably remember that we had a similarly sodden ride in Khao Yai at the same time of year, 8 years ago, when the BHHB was on its 25th ride. Nice of James to wear his commemorative T-shirt, which was of course almost unrecognizable by the end of the day.. Slipping on my own very same T-shirt at the end of the ride, all ‘Omo’ white we looked like the old UK advert for the very same soap powder. The one on the left was washed in x and the one on the right with ‘Omo’. Where was Hash Flash’s camera for this event?.  But not to whinge or digress. We were promised exactly half an hour of rain at the start of the ride; we were promised 35k which would take over 4 hours; we were promised 10k of technical stuff at the start… and we got it all - with extras/o:pIt was well pissing down at the 1pm start. Peter ‘Bald Eagle’ who was taking the cash, like the dame the in the Christmas Panto threw up his arms and screamed ‘No More’!.  The RA took this as his cue to utter those immortal words of that Tory grandee from Essex, ‘get on your bikes’./o:p/o:pThe sheets of rain put some of the FRB’s off course - paper being hard to spot. Late starters came across them coming back shouting  “off paper!”. Franklin was frankly forlorn and flummoxed as he f-d about at the rear of the pack. This was one of two occasions when I spotted this rare bird on the ride or even the circle (see later)./o:p/o:pBut then on into the technical stuff where initially there was room for FRBs like Marty to cut you up in his never ending quest to stay ahead.  However as the trail moved into the horse trails of the area and we were left with little option but to follow the bum of the rider in front and stay at that pace. Moving down to the bottom of an escarpment FRBs came across a recently fallen tree, the roots of which were still groaning under the strain. A schoolteacher, lawyer, and pushing to the scene, an engineer of high rank within the BHHB, decided that the only way through was under this strategically placed obstacle. The hold up was of course horrendous while each bike was passed through and around each stubborn branch.  It says much for the training of various professional cadre when this was seen as the only route through. Those who have been in Thailand some time and perhaps those of a wider education will know that if there is a problem, you do not necessarily confront it, you can on occasions, go around it. And that of course was the way that the more sensible bikers took after some excellent hacking work from a n other./o:p/o:pWhen the leading dirty dozen arrived at the ‘E’ and “A’ junction, the braver took the former. Our honourable Grand Spoke, by his own admission did a spectacular arse over bollocks manoeuvre. The grand man of this year’s BHHB then discovered hanging from an overhead branch, what looked like a netting or cover for a bike helmet. (This was later attributed to ‘Bald Eagle’ but that doesn’t explain how if he was that far in front of us all, how he came in so long after us). But at the 10km mark where we emerged from the undergrowth a bevy of beafy bikers were gathered waiting for us lesser mortals. Chris who had joined in an animated conversation about house flies – or was it horse flies, which had been bothering Marty’s shaved legs, was absent minded enough to replace his punctured tyre, with ……. his punctured tyre! Even on the second try, we all mused whether he had picked up the one without the prick…so to speak./o:p/o:p/o:pThose dirty dozen which included the always steadily riding Peggy and ‘I’m better at running but I’ll still have a go at two wheels’, Lynda, then took us left up a steep hill to park on a U bend. We waited and watched the others take the same route. This was a wonderful feeling which the German biker called ‘schadenfreude’!! This was now becoming a desperate time for a water stop. And after we rolled passed a row of billion baht houses, we came onto a road where the hares in a van were throwing paper out of the window!! But what the hell, we were at a very welcome water stop./o:pThe hares, God Bless ‘Em, had pointed me to a direct ‘short cut’ route on tarmac back to the start. The question was asked because the wall of my front tyre was showing signs of serious wear, where the appearance of the inner tube was probably to be expected very soon. I inadvertently stayed on trail and ended up in 5km of the most difficult part of the whole ride. /o:pMud up to your ankles clogging up every moving part of your bike causing you to stop at every short distance to reverse your bike and dig out the crap. On, then off the bike to push through the ooze. Then onto stone chippings which became embedded in the very same mud, which clinked and chinked the paintwork really badly. On to a fast run downhill to a stream where I spotted Ken, Marty and others washing their bikes in the hope that there would be no more mud on the trail - or not in such density.   Sure enough, we were not far from that optimistically named ‘Corporate House’ where we thankfully decamped to wash our bikes and selves down. That is until Lynda came along and told us there was a water shortage!!/o:p/o:pThanks to stand in hash piss, Ken, who I think supplied the beers – they were certainly in his car anyway. These were much needed and appreciated. While warming up for the circle and devouring the bread, cheese and crisps, to the sound of cracking timber, Neil ‘Weedeater’ and others who were sitting on a bench behind us, fell backwards down the slope towards the lake. Ken, in the meantime had been pointing out the damage done to his half million baht bike when as the Americans say, the ‘chain entered a suck situation’ which caused his derailleur to take out some of his spokes. There were many other mechanical and physical problems. For example, two punctures on the same wheel. Cramp which left one our riders stretched out on the trail in a position as if he was about to start the 100 metres race. Neil’s massive blow out towards the end of the ride and not to be outdone by anyone, our very own Bald Eagle riding into the gathering circle in the gathering gloom giving us a whole sad history of failure. It really does seem that Peter had had a bad day at his biking office, covered in mud with scrapes on his side. Our Trail Master wittingly opined that ‘there was a dirty-old-man if ever he saw one!!’/o:p/o:pIn the circle our frantic Grand Spokesman called upon the ‘dirty old man’ to tell us who were the visitors, returners and, if any, new boots. Regrettably, Peter had no recollection of whom he had taken money off and so the rest was left to guesswork/o:p/o:pCertainly, the hares Will and Adam got down downs. They had really set an excellent trail, which normally would have us ordinary bikers having to spend three or four weekends away. But local help is useful and commendable and they got their down downs after some delay from Ken’s piss wagon. There was also one leaver, who had written an article for the Bangkok Post at some time and was going back to England (wasn’t it good enough?). No one admitted to be virgin bikers or visitors. Returners were absolutely ignored and so it was on to our illustrious RA sort the circle out. Marc Levoie was called in for opening up a travel agency (his wife’s as he pointed out). We know he’s not averse to a beer or two, but would he be travelling away soon was the question…  Bald Eagle got a down down for losing his ‘hair net’ (was it really his?). And Chris got his down for confusion over inner tubes.  Did Neil get one for his blow-out?./o:pThen we were asked to turn our backs to the circle and raise our voices to induce the arrival of Franklin who had not been seen since the beginning of the ride (see previous). This was to no avail, and something told me that he was already tucked up in his pit. I think one of the hares got called into the circle at a later stage for holding hands in the circle (ie having sex) and announcements were made regarding the June AGM Bike Hash in Ratchaburi set by our very own Bald Eagle.  This should be another good one. There were various announcements for trips to Mongolia, Tibet, Burma somewhere else and the Faroe Islands I think. Some trekking, and some biking.  (NB: Please let me know if you are biking to Thorshaven, I’d like proof in photographic form!!)/o:p/o:pMost of the circle then retired to the ON ON at 8pm on the lawn. I don’t know if it rained because by that time I was on standby in another hotel for the Heineken Rugby Cup Final in Cardiff./o:p/o:pWorth a note for non-Americans is that the World Cup and the AGM ride are going to clash if the circle is not closed by 6pm.  GS and RA kindly note. Many of us hope that CH9, 11 and iTV’s coverage extends to the Ratchaburi area on the off-chance (?!) that England will be there in the finals…/o:pON ON /o:p /o:pLem Morgan/o:p/o:pAka No-good-boyo