|05-01-2007, 09:26 AM||#1|
Oh no, he's gone Asian
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Chiang Mai , Thailand
Face plant, Chinese style....
I am currently touring in China on my small Chinese 200 Cc bike. Interesting trip so far. But no trip is really complete without a face plant thrown in...
Was headed to Dali. However once again I have underestimated the time needed to travel to Dali from Kunming....Four hours by bus, unknown hours on the bypass road . So now get caught in the dark in the mountains. No problem, just taking my time winding along the road.
Finally come off the mountains and down into the flats. Now speed up a bit, very little traffic on the road . I see a truck coming towards me with very bright high beams left on. I politely dim my lights and turn off the driving lights. He of course never dims his lights, and I am completely blinded. At that exact moment in time.......of course there is cart full of wood with no lights at all being pushed down the middle of my lane. I never even had a chance to swerve, just plowed into the back of it about 60 kph. Shit !! One frigging week in China and I have entered the face plant zone...Next thing I know, big impact , and I am sliding down the road..After coming to a halt I do a quick body check before I try to move. Yep everything ok, just bruised badly. Dodged a bullet ! The woman was protected by the cart and was not hurt. Here is the offending cart which ended up being pushed off the road by the impact.
I get up and drag the bike off the road before I am run over by a truck.
Here is poor nightime accident scene picture of my bike. Does not really look that bad in the picture but everything was bent up. It started up , and was barely ridable with the severely twisted handle bars.
The accident happened just outside a village. So of course in short order guess what ?? Yes, the giant evil foreigner who has harmed one of the locals is now surrounded by angry villagers. When I test start the bike a group gather in front of the bike to block it, thinking I going to do the classic Asian runner.I then whip out my phrase book and indicate the police should be called in. The head guy indicates that they have already called them.
So now we are all in a weird standoff waiting for the police to show up. I called my friend Levin who speaks excellent Chinese to try to make some sort of settlement so I can be on my way . It was pitch black , I was cold , partly in shock, and I had not eaten all day. So I wanted to move on.
Could not work anything out , maybe because the police has already been called. In SE Asia a sad fact is when there is an accident, the two parties quickly settle and leave before the police show up , as the police will want a cut of the action. Here the police show up at last. Sorry for my weak flash.
They were very polite and courteous. They took pictures of the scene, and made drawings as well. Of course the group of villagers were pressing their case the whole time. When he came over to me I simply
pointed to the back of my bike showing the tail light, and then pointed to the back of the cart showing no light. I then rested my defense.....The police could not speak a word of english. I was a bit nervous as in essence I did not have a Chinese driver license, and did not have insurance. So I called Levin again who spoke to the police on my phone. He told them it was my first time in China and that I was really scared. A bit of a fabrication but sounded good to the police. Leving also said the villagers were probably afraid they were going to have to pay me for damage to the bike. The police told him to tell me to not be afraid. After a while when the police man got tired of the villagers bending his ears he called someone who spoke excellent english and handed the phone to me . This guy apologised profusely to me, and said I was free to go. He asked if I needed any help or medical care. Wow !! This is a far cry from Thailand where the police ransom your bike if you have an accident regardless of who is at fault.
So I limp the last 20 kilometers into Dali with the bike barely ridable, arriving at midnight completely beat. Just wanted to let you guys know life on the road can have some downside . Not all glamour and beautiful scenery.
Next day wake up in a world of pain feeling like I had run into a wood cart. Wait, now I remember, that is what I did ! An hour of feeling sorry for myself , and then time for bike fixing. Here is a view of the handle bars.
A piece of luck for me , the hotel had a nice inside area where I could work on the bike. Even including an operating table for my parts and tools. I guess that should be my new criteria for a hotel, workspace.
The right front fairing piece was completly broken off. So burned a bunch of holes , and then stitched it together with stainless steel wire I had . Came out perfect. I remembered this trick from Ricardo Kuhn.
Damage was extensive but fixable. Axle was bent, broken fairing pieces, broken headlight shell , driving lights mount all twisted up , instrument cluster mount broken , and on and on and on. Good thing I brought lots of epoxy, spare parts, and most importantly steel wire. Will be back on the road almost as good as new tomorrow. So overall I feel pretty lucky to walk away from this one. Riding at night is ALWAYS a bad idea, but basically I was stuck in the mountains and did not have the choice to stop. Was wearing full protective gear. Ended up with a bruise on my hip where the jacket rode up and exposed it.
If you can't pick it up by yourself, it is not an adventure bike.
beemer boy screwed with this post 05-01-2007 at 09:32 AM
|05-02-2007, 01:35 AM||#3|
Please Stand By...
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Mile High City
MY PERSONAL STICKY (Hmmm...wait a minute, that sounds kinda wierd.)
Tires that fit the BMW GS (1100/1150/1200)
Translation: Your little miss looks pretty and clean, You must ride her like a filthy sow.
(Posted by German, in German, translated by Airguitar)
|05-02-2007, 08:25 AM||#4|
the VooDoo Child
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: South East of +8 GMT
good looking bike, 4t that looks like a 2t, hope you get well soon sir
|05-02-2007, 09:29 AM||#5|
Iron Butt #31
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: been there
a few hints
I lived in China for 4 years and rode a lot. Here are a few hints:
1. Never ride at night. That truck you saw was probably a coal truck with the driver hopped up on speed. They stop for nothing. People also drink till they can't stand, but they drive home.
2. People turn off their lights in order to save their batteries. Sad but true. Even the big busses do this.
3. People drive like they ride bikes. Thus they think eveyone is going the same speed.
4. People just walk across the street. I saw a lady walk into traffic with her hand hiding the oncoming traffic.
5. You will gather a crowd. This means that if you are injured, you will lie there till you die. They will want to see that your blood is the same color as theirs, but they will not help stop it from flowing... nope.
6. There is no 911. If you do get to medical treatment, expect to pay. want better treatment..pay more. In my 4 years, I think I saw 6 ambulances.
7. If 2 cars hit each other, both will be at fault. Their reasoning is that if there had not been 2 cars in that position, then there would not have been a collision.
8. If one of the cars is driven by a foreigner or if a foreigner is in the car, all bets are off. It will be that one car's fault. My driver got hit one day and I was out of the car fast.... Nothing was said, I just walked away and caught a taxi. This also applies if you are riding in a taxi... get out and walk away if you can.
I remember the first time I took a good friend on a 2 day side car trip. He was a good rider, but was taking it careful because of the "random acts" in traffic. Within the first 5 miles of the trip, I see first one shoe and then another shoe in the road. I know what is ahead. I see the scooter and the truck and the body. That's the first thing that usually gets left on the road..the shoes. He was crossing diagonally across the road and he didn't know what hit him.
The next 10 miles bought our second death. The guy was still on his three wheel scooter and had been hit hard. The blood running from his head had made a stream about 6 feet across the road. Everyone was standing around looking, not an ambulance in sight. They were waiting for the relatives.
This could be you... have a great trip.. I'd go back in a heartbeat.
|05-02-2007, 05:51 PM||#6|
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Bangkok, everywhere else
Yep ridding in asia can be very unforgiving.
Robert glad you're ok! Close one!
I got caught in the dark a in the mountains going into Ranong a few weeks ago which scared the poopy out of me.
There where a bunch of meth crazed pickup drivers carrying their loads of fish out of Ranong.
And in front of me I kept picking up the unmistakable odor of glycol!
Between the oncoming lights and the fear of running into a pool of glycol puddled somewhere reduced my speed to 30-40kph.
By the time I pulled into Ranong I was exhausted and the hot springs were heaven.
Night riding is to be avoided.
|05-02-2007, 10:21 PM||#7|
The Eternal NooB
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Northern VA
Yeah there are certainly many tales of terror on the roads of China. I'm sure we've had different riding experiences in China and ,while in general, I dig what you say, a couple of points I don't agree with.
5) Crowds gather around ususally where there are people. Long distance riding in Western China is a little different. In the countryside the people are just about as nice and can be. Speaking from personal experience, lots of people have stopped and helped me out. Some of them may have even saved my life.
6) In general whenever or wherever you get medical treatment you'll have to pay money. I've had two riding related operations in China now and the bills have been quite reasonable - a fraction of the cost in the US.
7) The whole process of the crowd and cop routine is to determine who's at fault. If the accident is major and the vehicles are insured, you can be sure someone will (have to) recieve the blame. No shortage of blame in China either.
8) Getting out and walking away from an accident is a bad idea and can end you up in some serious sheit here. Taxi's are a different matter because you aren't behind the wheel and there's no need to stick around for the ensuing quarrel. Your presence there only complicates matters UNLESS its major and you are needed as a witness. If you are the driver or rider, and you get into an accident, you'd better stick around and settle it like the Romans do.
CrazyCarl screwed with this post 05-02-2007 at 10:48 PM
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