Mar 2002

Kanchanaburi, 30/31 Mar 2002


Annie 'Agony Aunt' M


The Saturday trail has not been uploaded.

The Sunday trail has not been uploaded.

Photo gallery 1

Ride report

Rides 151 and 152Wang Sing Resort, KanchanaburiMarch 2002Hares:- Annie Miniscloux and Sarah RamsdenScribe:- George 'of the jungle' MorganA large group of hashers fronted up to the Wang Sing Resort set in beautiful countryside in Saiyoke, Kanchanaburi Province.  The Saturday ride was advertised as “ A biggie.  That’s how we girls like it” by the hares, Sarah and Annie.  The ride turned out to be true to its billing but what our intrepid harriette pair had not mentioned was that the routing would result in a record number of punctures for a bike hash, or that it would coincide with the hottest day of the year.  The ride started out innocently enough meandering along dirt tracks through plantations and forest.  Then after about half an hour while I was chatting to Peter Carlisle, publisher of Sportsmania about the mean mindedness of newspaper distributors in Thailand, as preview of what was to come, his front tyre gave out with a loud phut and a curse from its owner.  A little further on James Pitchon suffered three punctures in quick succession and was found by a group of Thai school children lying in a ditch mumbling incomprehensively something about puncture repair outfits being for 8 year olds patiently awaiting an agonizing death from thirst and heatstroke.  Luckily, true to James’ observation the school kids had his tyres repaired in a jiffy and soon were skipping off to the nearest ice cream parlour or under age karaoke bar happily jangling the minute gratuity James had given them in their pockets. The heat crept up on us with extreme stealth.  One moment I felt full of beans and prepared for another 100 km wondering why the wimps were complaining about the heat.  A few minutes later the heat hit me like a sledge hammer and I was desperately draining the last drops of near boiling water from my bottle.  After 15 km of pretty but very hot countryside we came to a very welcome, unofficial water stop.  Another 10 km down the dirt tracks we came to the official drink stop.  The special attraction here turned out to be a walk in a nearby temple grounds which contained bison, deer and no less than seven tigers.  One of the latter, a magnificent male specimen, was out of its cage tethered to a flimsy looking post whilst sunning itself and being patted on the head by a monk and a group of fearless young American backpackers.  This sight reminded me of articles I had read about the abbot of the temple refusing requests from some government department to hand over the tigers to a zoo on the grounds that the monks were not trained to handle them and that it can only be a matter of time before some one was mauled to death by one of the overgrown pussies.  I witnessed nothing to make me disagree with the government’s gloomy prediction but in Thailand people prefer to postpone safety measures until there has been a tragic accident.  Soon we were off down the hill and on to route 323.  Apparently the trail went over the road and back onto dirt tracks.  I was unaware of this and pressing on down the main road and was delighted to pick up the trail again after 17 km of breathing in fumes from heavy trucks.  Another few km over paved roads and I was back at the resort just in time for a down down. The evening passed merrily enough with a decent and copious buffet at Baht 200, lashings of Heineken at only Baht 80 per bottle and distinguished musical entertainment.  The latter was initially provided by a duet of violinists who played beautiful but were totally ignored by the loutish, drunken hash hordes.  Then Mike Williams took the stage to croon some saccharin laced ballads manfully in spite of the impolite heckling from the audience.  The high point of the evening was undoubtedly a set of  70s old favourites sensitively rendered by the Bike Hash’s very own OnSec which was received with rapturous applause.  A number of harriettes became hysterical and had to be treated for scalp injuries after pulling their own hair out.  Later on Noriega led the faithful down to the river for more beer.  After some incomprehensible ramblings I excused myself and embarked on the difficult task of finding my room.  After several false trails and attempts to break into the wrong rooms I eventually located it by going back to the restaurant and reorienting myself. /o:pSunday’s ride was billed as 35 km which is the normal length for a Saturday ride.  Therefore with some misgivings I decided to give it a try despite my dehydrated condition, a thumping headache and feeling of nausea after tackling the resort’s disgusting attempt at a fusion style breakfast of cold rubber eggs, cocktail sausages and fried rice.  On opening the boot of my car to get my bike with only minutes to spare I was confronted by a flat tyre.  I quickly changed the inner tube but missed the circle where the hares gave instructions about the trail and the types of markings used.  I careered off down the hill to follow the pack down to the river and on applying my brakes found that in my haste I had forgotten to attach the brake cables.  I wore out what was left of my shoe rubber while making various rash promises to my maker about the vices I would give up, if he were kind enough to assist me in negotiating the bike to a halt without incurring a serious injury.  Finally we were all embarked on a large barge for a relaxing 15 minute sail down river and a botany lecture in which some one held up the plant that was deemed responsible for the thorns that were puncturing our tyres. Noriega didn’t hear what he was saying and asked in a loud voice which part of the plant we were supposed to smoke. /o:pThen we were off.  Maverick got a puncture after two minutes.  In the light of this and the botany lesson, I made a quick inspection of my tyres and removed half a dozen tiny thorns from each of my tyres that were trying to fight their way through to the inner tubes.  The sun was beating down mercilessly again and in my dehydrated state I drained my water bottle within 5 minutes, luckily in close proximity to a village shop where fresh supplies were available.  The terrain was similar to that of Saturday’s ride but even prettier: fairly flat dirt tracks through beautiful scenery comprising a few plantations but mainly national forest reserve.  Part of the route went on a single track right into the virgin forest where it was fun to stop for a few minutes and just enjoy the peacefulness and the jungle sounds.  Unfortunately I had earlier missed the turning onto the single track and came to a crossroads which I diligently checked all three ways.  By the time I had checked back and found the way I had fallen behind every one even Corette. /o:pAt about 26 km the trail led into the Prasert Muang Singh historical site.  By this time the sun was at its hottest and I was really beginning to suffer from the heat and exhaustion in addition to my throbbing hangover.  I had a look for paper but could only find some grains of rice which I have never seen before on a hash and assumed to be some kind of Buddhist votive offering.  After checking all four ways of the crossroads and finding nothing except the bizarre grains of rice, I felt that I was about to collapse from heat exhaustion.  Then I spotted an ice cream stall.  I happily pedaled over and had the best tasting coconut sundae of my life followed by a coke and a packet of crisps that also seemed to taste unusually delicious.  Replete with this nourishment I lay back on a bench and closed my eyes.  I had just started to dream about being winched to safety aboard a hash helicopter when my phone rang.  It was Grand Spoke Wrong Circle wondering what was keeping me from taking my own down downs in the circle like a man.  Wrong Circle explained how to get  back and that the weird rice markings were in fact the trail.  Finally I arrived back to find that the circle was finished and that some one had had several down downs on my behalf./o:pAll in all two magnificent, albeit hot rides and a memorable Saturday evening.  Many thanks to Sarah and Annie for organizing a great weekend.