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Old 05-14-2007, 02:55 PM   #136
wachs
just passin' through
 
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Joined: May 2005
Location: Tumalo, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PackMule
Altitude sickness sucks.

yes it does but it's amazing how when you lose altitude, it can magically retreat. Spent the night on the north side of Mt Shasta at about 13k (was living at sea level in Portland at the time) one of the most miserable experiences but when we skied down, it vanished.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:12 PM   #137
DMc
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Great report! I hope your feeling better soon.
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Old 05-15-2007, 07:30 AM   #138
Lunatic
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Location: DOWN ON THE BORDER , LAS CRUCES, NUEVO MEHICO
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report

Ride on Bro !! Wish I was there !!
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:45 AM   #139
beemer boy OP
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Location: Chiang Mai , Thailand
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Now riding back down the canyon towards Batang. Rode with a couple of guys who were coming from Lhasa. This gentleman was 63 years old......


Here is one of the tunnels under construction they let you drive through.
That is fresh concrete forming the left lane. In the middle of the tunnel I thought I was riding through some mud, thinking that was odd to find in a tunnel. Then realized it was fresh cement that was being applied to the ceiling of the tunnel, and the excess was falling down.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Q...0/CIMG0270.JPG

This is a hill tribe woman along the way back to Litang. After I took her picture she held out her hand for money. Guess she has been watching too much TV. I smiled, and shook her hand. That got a big laugh out of her.


After I got to Litang late in the day I felt much better. It is at the same elevation that I left from that morning in Markham, about 4000 meters. I have never had altitude sickness before. Now was thinking maybe I had been allergic to something I ate. I have been at high altitude for close to two weeks by now so it should not be a problem. I really hate to quit......
Time to head back to Tibet !! So next morning I get up early, and head back toward Markham in Tibet. The bike is running pretty poorly, and hard to start. I make it to Batang which is the last town before you cross over into Tibet. Here the bike simply refuses to start no matter what I do. The shops here are pretty good on small bikes, so I push the bike to a big shop. Here they tear it apart and try to find out what is wrong.


Their prognosis was the stator was bad. I have replaced everything else except the stator. Turns out the part was not available in the nearest really big town of Chengdu. Then they start with the shoulder shrugging as if the bike is not really fixable. At this point I sort of lose patience, thinking I am in a really small town where it is difficult to get anything done. First thought is to get the bike to Chengdu, get it fixed, and sell it. I do not like to give up on a bike, but all these endless repairs is starting to feel like flogging a dead horse. All the truck traffic leaving town is either going to Litang or Chengdu.
So for a while I try bike hitch hiking, hoping I can catch a truck going the way I want. Very very expensive to charter a truck, as it would exceed the value of the bike. The sign says Chengdu in Chinese which I would wave when a likely looking truck came by.


After a couple of hours I gave up. The bike is only worth a couple of hundred dollars when running so not really worth organizing your life around it. So time to sell the bike and move on. Took it back to the hotel where I stripped off all my stuff.


Took it ( rolled it ) back to the same shop that said they could not fix it and asked them how much they wanted to buy the bike for as is. After some fierce negotiating it ended up at 1300 yuan. Here is the proud new owner. Check out the sort of shifty look.....


Fairly dejected I drag all my stuff by hand down to the bus station to arrange the long, long, bus ride to Chengdu. I then hear a familiar exhaust. Hey, there is the unfixable Zippy roaring up and down the street 20 minutes after I sold it.


Not really sure if I was tricked or not. Hate to think the worst of people but... Now am wondering if the guy sandbagged trying to fix it hoping I would sell it, as there really would not be any other choice. Or if he sabotaged the bike from running poorly to not running at all. I did make the mistake of going to lunch when they first started to work on it. Will never know. Not too worried as it is only small money, and I was sort of hankering for a new bike.

Lunch in town, loved hand cutting the noodles


Finished product....


And of course the cute service girls.


This is what you will look like when you are in a foreign country and no longer have a motorcycle to ride. Sitting at the bus station with a mountain of stuff wondering what the next move is......


In any event I am now on the "bus from hell" ride to Chengdu where I will decide what to do. The bus left this morning at 0600. Not an hour into the trip he center punches a big rock in the road. Bammm !! We then limp into the next small town where they spend two hours fixing whatever was broken on the suspension. This guy is just flying down these bad roads. I feel like I have just spent 15 hours in a paint mixer. You know how when you go down a washboard road at a slow speed it is not too bad, but when you go fast it kicks the crap out of you? Well we were doing the crap kicking speed.
Then late in the day we start going through passes with heavy snow. Nearly at the top of one he pulls to the side of a very narrow road with a huge drop off on the outside, and turns off the engine. The driver and the mechanic then put on overalls to work on the bus engine. They then all leave the bus to go outside. We are on a steep uphill with a death dropoff if it rolls backwards....Hmmmm. After about 20 minutes of work they replace some mysterious hose and continue upwards. Now it is dark, and the snow is falling heavily and building up on the road. Of course there are no chains, and some of the cars are already slipping around. And did I mention the death drop off ?? We finally clear the top of the pass and carefully head down to the lower elevations where the snow stops. Whewww !! I am now starting to really feel sorry for all these backpackers taking buses around. Give me a bike any day of the week !!! So tomorrow in Chengdu, where I will come up with a new plan. I really liked the Lhasa plan, but it just did not work out. So if the adventure starts when things stop going to the plan, I must really be having an adventure !!!
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:55 AM   #140
farmerjoe
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My first post ever on Advrider...

Wow. I've been absolutely captivated by your adventure and am sorry to see it so drastically affected.

I hope you manage to salvage a little more adventure on two wheels - I thoroughly admire the raw adventure of this trip!

Regards and best wishes from a pleasantly warm Toronto!
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:55 AM   #141
Rick Lee
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Location: Cave Creek, AZ USA
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You know the old saying, "Adventures suck while you're having them."

Rest assured, Chengdu will sooth all your aches. It's a wonderful place. I took a bus from Chengdu to Chongqing just for the hell of it and it was dirty, smelly and slow. But I met some cool girls on the bus and ended up hanging out with them in CQ. Chengdu is a HUGE place. You'll have no problem finding a cheap, decent bike there. If you want to find all the westerners who live there and ask them about finding a bike, go to the Shamrock Bar. Lots of folks there can give you some local savvy. Sam's Guesthouse can be helpful too. I could live in Chengdu. Just a great city.
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:56 AM   #142
beemer boy OP
Oh no, he's gone Asian
 
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Location: Chiang Mai , Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachBusker
Can I have this when you are done?


Sure can !! I took the plate off just for you. Send me your mailing address
and I will send the plate to you.
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:04 AM   #143
beemer boy OP
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Laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerjoe
My first post ever on Advrider...

Wow. I've been absolutely captivated by your adventure and am sorry to see it so drastically affected.

I hope you manage to salvage a little more adventure on two wheels - I thoroughly admire the raw adventure of this trip!

Regards and best wishes from a pleasantly warm Toronto!
I am honored my little adventures would motivate your first post !!
Not really drastically affected, just a change. It is no problem. There is
plenty more adventure ahead, trust me.....
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:11 AM   #144
ERIC DN
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Location: FRANCE
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Hi
The greatest adventure ever read here, each day I'm waiting your report. thanks a lot, and keep it coming, with or without a bike.
for you I hope with.

Ciao
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:15 AM   #145
Klay
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More stories coming. Great!
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:36 AM   #146
PackMule
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Totally hooked.
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:10 AM   #147
MartinDKtm
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Just buy another bike in the next town and move on! We want more!

Martin
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:12 AM   #148
lostlobos
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Absulutely brilliant adventure Beemer Respect
Yeah buy another bike and just do it
Next adventure I am coming along
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:39 AM   #149
wachs
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wow - can't wait to hear your next move.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:55 AM   #150
MartinDKtm
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We can have those chineese knock off for a few hundred bucks in america...So maybe almost free at the factory up there.
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