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Old 01-04-2013, 03:17 AM   #496
Sleepy John
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Happy new year, Big Fella.

Now back to work!

SJ
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:00 PM   #497
The Bigfella OP
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Thanks John. Happy New Year to you and everyone else too.

Yeah, work eh? I better do some of that. I'm plotting my return to Asia though.... but I better do something about the bank account first. I've spent the last month being the go-fer for the missus. She had her second hip replaced in early December, a few days after I got home. She's ditched the crutches now but not before leaving them where I could trip up and smash the crap out of my foot. My little toe got broken and dislocated... sticking out like a Pommie tea drinkers' pinky. I think there might be a bit more damage in there though, so will have to get to the doc again at some stage. It isn't the toe that's keeping me laid up... its the damn foot.

I've been somewhat absorbed with customs issues too... lots of emails and phone calls. My shipping agent hadn't extended my KTM's Temporary Import Permit in time before it expired - I guess I should have made sure it was done before I left. There's been discussion of having to pay import duty and taxes, me having to return to Thailand to sort it out, etc, etc.

We think we've got a solution... an authorisation for my mate to export it on my behalf, but only because I was able to send Customs over there a copy of the surgeon's bill, showing why I had to come home.

Exporting the Norton is fine - but only because I brought the frame home with me on the plane. My Beeza hasn't made an appearance yet. If it doesn't make it before the container leaves, I may end up doing some road riding on a '47 Beeza in Thailand. I'm somewhat on tenterhooks about that one still.... my contact was doing his second trip to the border yesterday to get it. Last week's effort, after 4 separate confirmations that it was ready to get, turned into a disaster when he got there.... ie no bike. He went again yesterday, having had confirmation that it was there... but I'm still waiting to hear.

Can't wait for this one....





Nice eh? I'll run it on historic plates.

Meanwhile, I better finish off my story from Laos eh?

Monica, the German woman who runs the Jumbo Guesthouse in Hongsa, Laos (she does lots of elephant-based tourism for guests, hence the "Jumbo") took me around to a friend's house.

This young woman has just had her first baby.



Her husband is a soldier, doesn't earn much - IIRC 700,000 kip a month (plus some allowances for phone and petrol) - about $85 a month.

Her job, for the first month after the birth of the baby (born here, in the bamboo hut) is to sit on that stool near the fireplace and take care of the baby and to do nothing but that. I believe she's not supposed to was for the first month either, which presumably is about bonding with the baby.

Her husband's job is to take care of her and everything else. Keep hot water on the fire, for herbal teas, etc, provide her the best of food and wait on her, hand and foot.

On the food front, while we were there, this kid turned up to sell the husband a rooster.



The baby was just a couple of weeks old when we went around



Here's the kitchen for that one-room hut. Its outside in a bit of a lean too - closed in on three sides.



Anyhow, that was it in Laos for me for this trip. I had to head for the border. I was carrying rego papers for the KTM that showed an expiry date of that day, although the bike actually had registration for another six months (but the papers were back in Oz). I struck problems both sides of the border.... despite me actually being 100% legit with my bike for once. On the way into Laos, they'd run out of "green forms" ie the Temporary Import Permit for the bike and I'd just been waved through. Fortunately I'd got the guy who waved me through to stamp a photocopy of my rego papers. On the way out, the guy at customs was giving me grief because I didn't have a green form (TIP). About the third time I said "they run out of forms"... with me waving the photocopy around, he waved me through.

At the Thai side, one of the guys kept asking for my export form, or something like that. I gather the Thai-registered bikes get it. As mine was on a Thai TIP... which you hand in when you leave, I had no papers. It all got sorted in the end, but only after it'd gone up the chain of command two more levels.

I plugged "Riders Corner" in Chiang Mai into the Garmin and let it take me there via the fastest route. When I rolled in at 2:30pm, the guys were somewhat surprised at my early arrival. I'd done 510km and a border crossing.... and gone through some damn heavy rain as well. I'd kept my speed under 100mph, as my chain was on its very last legs. I looked down at one traffic light and spotted one of the rollers sitting on the swingarm. Oops. It sounds a bit like an Abrams tank in the final drive area. Both bikes are definitely in need of new chains and sprockets.

I parked the bike at that stage and that was my last ride apart from dropping it to the shipping agent on my way to the airport. Would you believe, it rained on me as I took it out to them at sparrowfart the day I left? No rain gear, of course... and me going straight from there to the airport for 3 flights over the next 22 hours. Lovely.

I'll see if I can dig out some Loy Krathong photos, which was the night before I left. A fabulous event, well worth taking in - and Chiang Mai does it better than most, I believe. I've also got the link to the music video clip I got roped into in Jakarta.... I'll post them up when I sort some more photos out.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:09 AM   #498
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The Super Enduro is almost home. I went in with Neil (who shared the container with me) today to watch it unloaded.

There's been the odd hassle or two with the shipping, but it came out of the container OK and I got to see my new Beeza for the first time



The bling has to go... and the carby isn't original, but decent Monoblocs are out there....



There's a rub mark through the Beeza's paint... but that didn't happen in the container. I'd say it was on the five day truck trip up to the border crossing into northern Thailand. I've got a mate who's already volunteered to blow some paint on it.

You have to love the Burmese. The "transfers" are all hand painted on.

AQUIS have cleared them... and here's a tip to anyone doing it. They had a damn good look at the radiator. Sitting down with a toothpick and getting every grain of sand out paid off.

I've got a ticket booked back to the other KTM in Siem Reap, Cambodia, booked for April 19th.... so the trip will continue. I've got new brake rotors, pads, chain and sprockets in already and more stuff still to come. I've been in touch with Henning (anyone who's done the Alpine Rally knows Henning) and we may be catching up in Southern Laos in early May.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:28 AM   #499
Medic
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Get yerself some new boots too!




Looking forward to more next time.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:20 PM   #500
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Geez, I'm hoping to go for a ride on Sunday on the KTM... got it back home on Monday last and am trying to get it in shape. The chain had lost the rollers off each end link... which is why it sounded like a tank track. Haven't got the new boots yet... must do.

Fitting new sprockets yesterday and the axle adjuster fell into two pieces.... so I've got a new axle on order (why can't I buy just the adjuster, Mr KTM?). Imagine if that'd happened last time I had it out... repairing a flat in the middle of nowhere, rushing for the Laos border to get there before closing. I'm sure I could have bodged it up, but that's not the point. CJ Designs sell a nice billet one, much better than the bit of cast crap that KTM fit.

I'll try for some photos of it back in Oz and on the road
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:28 PM   #501
russbryant
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Great ride Bigfella. Thanks for taking us along. I'll be in Singapore/Malaysia in September for about 3 weeks so now I'm thinking I need to arrange some sort of world wind tour on a bike somehow. My wife has family in both Singapore and KL. Can't wait for you to get back on the trail.

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Old 03-20-2013, 02:15 AM   #502
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Thanks Russ. Its great riding over there... so many different styles to choose from too.

My getting back on the trail just hit a snag. I've got tickets booked back to Siem Reap, but I'm booked in for a knee reconstruction tomorrow and the Doc says its serious and at least 3 months off.

I was trying to start the BSA for the first time and the kick starter pawl slipped and I hyper-extended the knee. The femur drove the central part of the tibial plateau down into the bone. So its bone graft (synthetic, apparently) and a selection of plates and screws. It will lead to a full knee replacement relatively soon too apparently.

All that from a frigging kick starter.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:33 AM   #503
gavo
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Gotta watch those high compression singles
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:59 AM   #504
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Well, I've been bionicked, if there's such a word. I'm flying high on the morphine and enjoying the fabulous care at the San. Looking forward to seeing how many plates and screws it took.

I keep harbouring thoughts of getting back on the bike sooner rather than later, but am haunted by the memory of having to slam that right boot down to avoid dropping the bike on the marble like gravel. Conundrum eh?

I'm annoyed that I'll have to miss the talk by Simon and Lisa tomorrow night at Revolution Fitness in Duration. I bumped into them last week and hadn't seen them since Lake Toba in Sumatra, a year ago. Get along to it if any readers are in Sydney. It costs $10 I believe .
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:19 PM   #505
Andy_P
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post
Well, I've been bionicked, if there's such a word. I'm flying high on the morphine and enjoying the fabulous care at the San. Looking forward to seeing how many plates and screws it took.

I keep harbouring thoughts of getting back on the bike sooner rather than later, but am haunted by the memory of having to slam that right boot down to avoid dropping the bike on the marble like gravel. Conundrum eh?
I just shattered my tibial plateau yesterday. I now know how you feel.

I made one big mistake though, told them I was ok with panadeine forte when I was in the hospital yesterday. Its not working very well today, def need something stronger.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:48 AM   #506
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I have to say, the mix I'm on works well... there's endone, panadol and targin (a slow release endone with naloxone), along with some magnesium tablets to relax the knocked around muscles. I just pushed it an hour longer than the nurses had suggested.... and sheesh, it sure starts to make itself felt - the pain, that is. The unspoken side effect of these things is guaranteed constipation... but the nurses just smile and hand you a glass of a guaranteed cure for that.

I'm told that some folks find it hard to get off these pills... they are basically heroin in a pill. I've given up smoking and sugar cold turkey in the past, so I've got my fingers crossed here.

Here's a crappy shot (the lines are the blinds in my room... this is just iphone shots of scans with a window behind them)... of my MRI. The tibial plateau damage is a 17mm area that got rammed 4mm down into the tibia. There's a big crack in the tibia too.



The solution.





Bear in mind, these aren't riding injuries.... that's from a kickstarter pawl slipping. I guess I won't be riding without my knee braces again, eh?

I've got my crutches licence now and hope to be heading to the rehab hospital tomorrow. Home isn't exactly conducive to rehab... and the dogs are a worry. The guy that I was sharing a room with for a couple of days got his catheter out, headed to the bathroom in a fit of joy and went arse over tit - he was back in surgery again today... so I'm taking it easy. I've had a bit smoother run, but had a pretty nasty hematoma for a while.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:41 AM   #507
Sleepy John
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Bloody ell! I leave you by yourself for 5 minutes...

Swift recovery, big fella.

SJ

Any news of the joint venture?
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:58 AM   #508
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The recovery isn't proving to be rapid.... I'm still in the rehab hospital... may be here 'till late April. See the surgeon again on Monday. Got a thread running in face plant with the details.

I've emailed my mate in Cambodia where the bike is stored... haven't heard back from him, which is a bit of a worry. I'll give him a couple more days and ring him.... hopefully he's just busy with the new van and doesn't want to talk to me in case I want some money paid back (I don't)... the alternative option is that maybe the bike isn't there.... but I don't want to think about that.

Got a message recently that the family in Sumatra were selling the first couple of pigs to cover education expenses for the two still at school. Good news eh?
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:52 AM   #509
ata
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get well as soon as possible, dude, this thread must go on

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Old 04-04-2013, 05:00 PM   #510
loxsmith
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That proves how quickly life can turn to shit

Get well soon Big Fella
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