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Old 04-05-2013, 04:24 AM   #511
Sleepy John
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Beautiful news!
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:36 PM   #512
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I should be back in Asia again next week.

One of the guys I was riding with in NW Thailand is getting married, so I'm going back for the wedding. I won't be doing any riding... other than a scooter. I can't afford to stuff the knee up any more.

The plan is to do the wedding and 3 1/2 weeks of this:



That isn't me btw... its an English guy who lives in Chiang Mai.... also with a dud knee.



Its a little resort place, a bit run down, in Chiang Mai. Not far from Riders Corner. I'll get in there (subject to the OK from the ortho tomorrow) and do some leg strengthening - see if I can build the muscle back in a hurry. Its close, easy access and cheap... and I'll follow it up with some massage



I sure as hell need something to focus on... so that will be it. While I was in hospital, I got a "your boat is sinking" call... which has been neither cheap, nor pleasant. I could buy another Super Enduro for less than what the last three weeks has cost.

Still, she's a lovely old boat. This is her during her anti-submarine patrol days during WW2. Pity they won't let me run depth charges and mount the machine gun any more.



As for the leg... I'm weight bearing now, but still walking with one crutch most of the time.

I'll post up some photos, but don't expect anything other than cultural....

The plan is to catch up with Andras in Singapore for a beer on Tuesday night and lunch there with an old work colleague on Wednesday.... then off to Thailand for the wedding.
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:58 AM   #513
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Glad you are sort of up and about - a few weeks of pool, massage, food, drinks, pool, massage, drinks should do the recovery process wonders. Good luck
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:18 AM   #514
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Is there more about Grantala at that other place?
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:37 PM   #515
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Good luck Ian,
I hope the recovery goes smoothly.
I still find myself sighing deeply in relaxation and relief completely out of the blue since selling my boat last year- best thing I ever did with that thing- but then I just wasn't getting the proper use out of it. Motorbikes are where it is at for me now, besides I've still got a 12 foot sailing pram to play with in the water and it just sits happily on a trailer rather than threatening my wallet out there on the mooring

Are you dropping through Laos at all?
I might be heading back next week for another month of work based out of Vientiane again- not going to know for sure until last minute but it is looking pretty solid now. We might have to catch up for beer somewhere.

Be careful on the scooter too- still very easy to fuck things at this point no matter what you are riding. Personally I wouldn't be doing anything to threaten that knees recovery at this point
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:32 PM   #516
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.. so were you ever able to get hold of the guy in cambodia about your bike ?
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:35 PM   #517
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Thanks guys.

Re Grantala... not really, other than scattered stuff, unless its back in the archives and a lot of that is stuffed due to Imagestation disappearing. I've done a massive amount of work to her - new transom, new cabin sides, new deck, rebuilt engines, boxes, other systems. Still a long way to go, but like Ontic, I'm enjoying bikes more. I've got some mates needling me to crank up the old grey matter and shake out some funds to get things happening, so maybe I'll do more to her soon. Maybe I should organise a Sydney-based boat trip down the river for the ADV mob?

Yes... I'm going to be super careful with the knee. I won't be going into Laos again this trip (unless a mate is driving in and wants a passenger). The plan is to attend the wedding and to concentrate on building leg strength. If I feel at all uncomfortable riding, I'll be going via tuk tuk. I've got a pool here that I could be using... about the same distance away, but here its impossible to get to. There... its a dollar.

Off to see the ortho in a couple of hours. Looking forward to that.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:37 PM   #518
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp View Post
.. so were you ever able to get hold of the guy in cambodia about your bike ?
Yep. Rang him. Its fine.

Not sure when I'll get back to it... probably around Christmas. I'm under pressure to do some work this year. Apparently the country is stuffed and needs some fixing. Oops... let's not get political.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:15 AM   #519
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Shan't digress too much... but here's the boat





and there's plenty more wood butchering to do... but I've swung towards spanners for a while

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Old 05-14-2013, 04:43 AM   #520
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What a trip. Damn good write up too. I'm a very jealous man right now.

Hope your knee fixes up well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bigfella View Post


I saw a fair few of these in one area. I'm presuming they are for storing cattle fodder or for drying things. Its mud daubed woven bamboo. Open at the bottom



It really is like stepping back 100 years in time
Yeah these are for drying /curing the tobacco crops you probably saw hanging beneath houses. The light a fire in the open area at the bottom.

Did you ever end up getting a new sidestand fabbed up while in PP? if so, I'm curious as to who did it. My 450 has been two years without one. . .
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:30 PM   #521
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Thanks Jacl.

No, I didn't get a new sidestand fabricated, the guys at one of the bikeshops did some repairs and modifications to the existing. I'm glad you mentioned it though, because I'd forgotten that right at the end of the trip - the last time I used it, the sidestand seemed to have seized... and I had to give it a kick to get it down - probably due to a bent pivot bolt. I've got all the other spare parts sitting there ready for me to get back to it... so all I need now is another sidestand... and me.

After two months on the sidelines, I did manage to get back in the saddle yesterday, sort of. I guess I shouldn't have, but there was a funeral out at Mae Rim Wat for a Norwegian expat who was married to a local lady. I rode a scooter out to the service. John went under a truck earlier this week. It wasn't the best of news to arrive back here to. This from rideasia.net

John Olson, known affectionately to his Chiang Mai riding friends as "Crazy John" was one of the nicest, fun-loving guys you could ever meet, no one had a bad word to say about him -ever!


On the 12th May, 2013, after riding off-road on a Honda CRF 250-L from Mae Rim to Mae Hong Son, while John & a friend were returning, John hit a Telephone company truck, killing him on R 1095, his body was taken to Mae Hong Son hospital.


John's is from Norway & his family have decided to repatriate his body to Norway.


I have to say, its the first time I've attended a funeral (and I've attended far too many) where there were bright flashing LED lights adorning the casket.

The farang riders present (of approx 150 attendees in total) were asked to come forward for a photo. (photos by Phillip Gibbins of Riders Corner in Chiang Mai)








RIP John and best wishes to his friends and family in moving on from this tragedy.

I'll update my progress later.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:42 AM   #522
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I'm very conscious of the fact that I need to do an update. Things are on the up here and after my last post, I wasn't in much of a mood to do it.

I'm mobile again... still using a crutch on stairs and for anything other than a very brief walk. I've ditched the damn leg brace and (shhhh) I've been belting around on the scooter.

When I got here, my Burmese massage lady said "You fat" and poked me in the gut.

Last night she was saying "You very fat". No tip for her last night.

Sheesh. Its a bit tough - a bloke cuts out a hell of a lot of his diet, misses meals, etc.... but because he can't exercise much he gets hounded.

I'll do the write-up later, including a road trip down to NE Thailand with Auke, the local map-maker to check out some war history. Came back from that fairly knackered. Been out with some of the lads too. Have the wedding to write up... have forgotten all details from the bucks party, of course.



More in a day or two
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:20 AM   #523
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Good to hear the recovery is going well.
I'm sweating my ass off here over in Vientiane, wish I had a pool to jump in. Lots of fieldwork in the sun for me... aaarrrgh.
It is hard to loose weight working with Laos people- even if I am working hard. I eat half as much as these people who are usually literally half the size of me, and in between meals they are still eating. Then after dinner it is endless beerlao in that good old forced drinking game thing until late and the food still continues to come out. Then we are up before dawn again...

Recover well.
I'm heading back to Melbourne winter in a week. Thats gonna hurt.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:25 PM   #524
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I just had a look back through some videos from my rides in Asia.

Here's one on Route 4B in Laos. This road is marked "impassable in wet season", but with a bit of care, its OK. It got quite sticky in places... and no-one had been through the day I rode it. There's an old tyre track full of water... could have been there a while. The only other signs of traffic were a tracked vehicle.

The route is around 120 km from Hongsa to Luang Prabang. A doddle in the dry season, but its as greasy as... well, grease.. in the wet and damn steep in places. It defeated us on our first attempt on the big bikes (I was on the SE) and we had to turn around at about the 30km mark.

It took me 7 hours or so - which is about a 10 mph average - but that includes a couple of stops... and the last couple of hours of that was reasonably flat and open. Some of the worst downhill stuff was done engine-off, both feet down, bike in gear, using the clutch and engine as the brake... and truth be told, the front brake too - at dead slow... sliding down the hills. I have my doubts as to whether I'd have made it in the other direction.

The ruts were bad, up to three quarters of a metre deep in places... where the rain had gouged them out.

I love the way this bike handled it. This video shows how well it tractors up the really steep stuff.

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Old 09-20-2013, 06:30 PM   #525
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Same road (Route 4B), once I'd got down out of the mountains. Its a lot more open... but with plenty of creeks of indeterminate depth.

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