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Old 11-01-2011, 10:55 AM   #8
DesertSweeper OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Oddometer: 377
Day1 Humble Pie

As always I must go back to explain. Back in Dubai when we had our last-minute send-off meeting we all concurred that shorts, T-shirts and hiking boots were to be the standard riding gear. Someone pointed out that the organisers had strongly suggested full riding gear. This lame idea was rejected unanimously by all….and now back to day one…
We are picked up at the hotel bright and early and deposited at the headquarters of “Hidden Cambodia Dirtbike Tours” and are greeted by Paul and Sheila the proprietors.

The bikes at Hidden Cambodia Dirtbike Tours in Siem Reep

Paul asks the lads to give an account of their riding skills and everyone does their bit to convince him they are up to scratch. Well we do have some of the best riders in Dubai on this trip…allegedly. We announce we are ready to ride which raises some eyebrows. Paul asks us why we are not wearing our riding gear. We explain that we are in fact wearing our riding gear. Suit yourselves he says and we fire up our Baja 250’s and head out into the countryside in our shorts and t-shirts. We are led through a fast section of dirt roads with alternating sandy and muddy patches. Bringing up the rear is “Mr Slim” who is their backup sweeper rider. A river crossing claims it’s first victim as Joe buries his steed under water:

A scene to be repeated later...Joe likes the low-rider look

We finally reach a cross-road where we stop for a discussion. Paul explains that he has been keeping an eye out on our riding skills to decide which route to take and is satisfied that we can have a go at the fabled ancient “Old Angkor Road” from Kway to “Preah-khan” or something like that. He tells us it is going to be tough…very tough. The lads snigger amongst themselves… Being the rookie-rider I am a little nervous.

Yes Brian I am sure they are still there…

The usual suspects - they are in every village all over the world!

We head off along glorious winding paths…fast and pleasant. Things start getting a little more interesting and finally at around 130 clicks we stop for a refuel in a tiny village. Petrol comes out of old plastic soda bottles. Paul says that the next 45 Kilometres will be “difficult”… And then things get really interesting really quickly. The “road” disintegrates into a mix of thick sandy stuff, crusty old deep ruts and mud. All kinds of mud. Wet watery mud, thick hard mud, slimy slipper mud. Lots of it. From what I figure they use this “road” to move large quantities of mud around the countryside. There cant be any other explanation.

The famous Angkor road starts claiming victims amongst the elite riders. James falls off a raised runner-board into the mud:

James in action

Needless to say Cameron thought he could do better so he gracefully bailed off the next one into an adjacent bamboo swamp:

Look carefully at the biker behind the first one…

This goes on for a while and after we have covered maybe around 10 clicks of mayhem Paul says things should ease up from now on…but they get worse, much worse (or better if you like that sort of thing – actually I am loving it – as are we all)
At this time the lads are starting to quietly grumble about shorts and t-shirts and hiking boots… this is dangerous unknown terrain and we are riding some of it fast. with little or no protection...

DesertSweeper screwed with this post 11-01-2011 at 10:59 AM Reason: typos
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