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Old 08-07-2009, 01:21 AM   #16
overtakenagain
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This thread deserves bumping back up. Wonderful pics!
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:30 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by overtakenagain
This thread deserves bumping back up. Wonderful pics!
Thanks for the bump
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:39 AM   #18
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Day 3: July 28, Yanshuo to LiuZhou to YiZhou

Another morning came and we looked outside to see a dry but ominous sky. We packed the bikes, had breakfast and hit the road to our lunch time stop of Liuzhou. Liuzhou was about 190km from Yangshou and we expected a nice ride through some increasingly interesting landscapes. The first hour of the ride went well, no crashes and nothing out of the ordinary, then the angry sky opened up and we pulled over to throw on our rain gear. Looking like a couple of bright purple penis heads my wife and I were very ugly and very dry. Marcus’ plan to avoid the rain pants in an effort to stay cool and dry didn’t work well. When we arrived in Liuzhou around 1:00 he was cold, bitter and soaked. We started to look for a place to eat. We rode around for about 30 minutes trying to find a restaurant that wasn’t selling noodles or dog meat or some combination of the two. We finally arrived at a Northern Dumpling Restaurant.


































The food was good. We had the restaurant all to ourselves and we started to talk about where we wanted to go as our final destination for the day. We looked at the map and decided our best choice was Yizhou about another 160km from Liuzhou. We planned from Yizhou to go look for some minority villages.One thing we had forgot to consider was that before we could get to Yizhou we first had to get out of Liuzhou . It seemed everyone asked had no idea or had no interest in anything outside of Liuzhou. We must have asked 20 different people that all gave us different answers. Even the police were no real help. After eating lunch and riding around Liuzhou for what seemed like forever I looked at my watch and saw we were approaching 4:00. With another 3-4 hours riding ahead I started to worry again about having to ride at night. Luckily just as I was about to give up for the day a local lead me out of the city through some rice fields and onto a main road that lead to our destination.

It was now after 4:00 and we had to make good time. Happily the rain had stopped and we had started to see the first glimmer of sunshine of our trip. The roads ahead were nice, smooth and empty. It looked like we would be able to make some good time and safely make it to Yizhou. We stopped from time to time to take some photos and have a drink and to rest our asses. It was a nice ride. We saw our first sun, got to see some nice landscapes and Marcus was able to dry his pants out. We made it into Yizhou just after 7:00. Still plenty of light left. We found a cheap motel, paid our 60RMB, got some dinner and settled down for the night.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:31 AM   #19
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Great Effort

Once again mate, excellent pics, something I really have to work on for the future. I'm still chopping off heads and getting generally crap photos. I was in Yangzhuo last week, I agree that it's a tourist trap now, a real painted up slut of a place with touts flogging evrything you could imagine. Including the girls on the back of their scooters.

We rode from Guangzhuo to Yangshuo via Wuzhuo and then took road north to Sanjiang. Following alongside the river for quite a ways, I recommend that route, little traffic, windy smooth roads and great scenery.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:33 AM   #20
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Good to see you post again.. it's been a while and it looks like the bike is holding up too
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:38 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirrainasia
Once again mate, excellent pics, something I really have to work on for the future. I'm still chopping off heads and getting generally crap photos. I was in Yangzhuo last week, I agree that it's a tourist trap now, a real painted up slut of a place with touts flogging evrything you could imagine. Including the girls on the back of their scooters.

We rode from Guangzhuo to Yangshuo via Wuzhuo and then took road north to Sanjiang. Following alongside the river for quite a ways, I recommend that route, little traffic, windy smooth roads and great scenery.
We'll have to get together for some drinks and chat about bikes, photos and travel in China when I get back to GZ. Thanks for the compliment about the pics.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:40 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Good to see you post again.. it's been a while and it looks like the bike is holding up too
Stay tuned in for the future of the bike... it hasn't all been lollipops and sunshine. I'll try to get the RR up to date over the next couple of days
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:50 AM   #23
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Day 4: July 29, Yizhou to HeChe to Bashu

The night in Yizhou was only meant as a stopover. We didnít have any fun and games planned for day 4, we just wanted to push on up the road about another 150km to Heche in our attempt to locate a minority village that had not become a large tourist draw.



We decide the night before that today would be a short ride and planned to be on the road by 10:00am. 10:00am came and with breakfast in bellies we hit the road to Heche. We hit Heche around lunch time and pulled into a restaurant for some food and some local inside information. Lunch consisted of the normal Chinese food fair and upon completion of consumption we started to pry into the local knowledge of the restaurant owners. We pulled out our maps and asked our questions and were told that there was a minority market in a place called Bashu. This Bashu place wasnít on any of our maps and we were only given a vague idea of where the place might be, but we decided to put our trust in their words and headed off down the road another 80km.

breakfast



My wife Lisa trying to understand all the Chinese on the map




We pulled into this small town called Chehe (not to be confused with Heche) and asked where we could find Bashu. They told us to go back down the road we came and take the first left we saw. We headed down the road, took our first left and headed up a mountain. The road quickly got worse and soon was nothing more than piles of rocks and washed away mountain. This is what I was on the trip for. I love these roads and this is one of the great things about living and biking around China. The roads are bad, but that usually means you have the chance to make some nice discoveries and get to places not too many people get to visit. Most of the time the people you meet down these rough and beat up roads are welcoming and extremely kind to travelers.







As we made our way up the ever worsening road we got to see some great views of the valley below. Guangxi is really an amazing place. The views were stunning and the road didnít disappoint . We arrived in Bashu to see the end of the minority market closing up. We quickly asked one of them if we could follow them back to their village. We were answered with a big thumbs up and followed them back to their homes.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:54 AM   #24
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Stunning.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:58 AM   #25
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These are some really amazing people. Living a great life off the earth, holding true to their beliefs that are very welcoming and gracious. They were so happy to have us in their village. The men all wanted to know about the bikes we were riding and where we were from. Everyone invited us into their homes for a drink and to talk. It was one of the nicest experiences I have had in China. The welcoming nature of the people really made me feel how lucky I was to be there.































I was amazed to learn that the girls in the village make all of their clothes by hand and when they go out or into town only wear the clothes that they have made. It is really amazing how intricate the hand embroidered details on their hand woven clothes really were.




























We were invited into one house for dinner and sat down to a nice meal of chicken feet and bone marrow. The food was good, but chicken feet arenít really my favorite thing to eat.










We were invited to stay for the night, but with the lack of rooms and with how gracious our hosts had been we decided as a group not to impose on them any longer. We figured we could get a place to stay in Chehe and decided to head back out the nasty road, but when Marcus went to start his bike there was nothing. No power, not even a click. I quickly looked over the bike and noticed a loose battery terminal connection and asked him if he had this problem earlier in the day. He said the bike had given him a little trouble early in the day, but that it always started after a few pushes of the starter button. I ripped out my multi-meter and checked the voltage; only 10.5 volts. Luckily our bikes have a kick start and a couple of kicks later we were on our way out.


A massive rockslide that had happened just after we passed through the road earlier in the day







Waiting for the road to be cleared





The sun was starting to go down and we were making good time out the bad road. Everything looked okay for our arrival in Chehe when we rounded one of the last corners and were confronted with a traffic jam and some heavy equipment clearing away a rock slide that happened not long after we road through there. I talked to one person who was waiting there and he said he had been there for 4 hours waiting for them to clean the road. I guess we were lucky the rocks didnít get us as we went through. The construction workers told me they had about another 40 minutes of work to do before the road would be passable again. We moved the bikes up to the front of the line and settled in for the wait. To my shock the work was actually done on time. Usually when people in China say something will take 40 minutes it means 4 hours, this time everything was done on time. I was the 3rd bike to fight through the mess of traffic pushing its way out of the mountain road. Patience is a virtue that is lacking here and as soon as the road was open to one lane of traffic two lanes tried their best to push their way through a recently constructed road. This is one time the bike comes in handy and is the main reason I pushed my way to the front of the line. I didnít want us to be stuck on that mountain road all night. We both made it through in the first group of vehicles and managed to get into Chehe just as night was coming in. All in all it was a great day. No falls, no injuries and no death by rock slide. Tomorrow would be a big day. From Chehe to Guiyang, about 360km.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:00 AM   #26
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Thanks for the ride report. Its fun to see different places. I will check back to see how the bikes are holding up thay look nice!
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:43 AM   #27
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Day 5: July 30, Chehe to Guiyang

I had never ridden in Guizhou before but I had been told by many people that roads in Guizhou suck. Iíve heard horror stories of roads that have no good scenery and that are so bad you can only manage 15-30kmph on them. I had also been told that due to this fact, Guizhou is one of the few provinces in China that will allow motorcycles on the express ways. Knowing this I opted for the expressway. I thought it would be the easier of the 2 routes and the quality of the roads would be much, much better.

After a nice noodle breakfast I turned the right black grip and we were on the road to Guiyang. Marcus and Lynn had eaten breakfast before us and decided to get an early start on the trip. Being a new rider he is quite a bit slower than me on long stretches of road. My wife and I are accustomed to being on the bike for a long period of time. She was nervous at first but has come to enjoy it enough to put up with my adventures. She was also excited to make it to Guiyang as it meant our goal of making it to Yunnan was drawing closer.

As we hit the road we were enjoying the solo riding time. Not having to worry about a person behind you is always a load off your mind when you ride. The first part of the trip was easy. The kilometers rolled by and we were wondering when we would catch up to Marcus and Lynn. As we made our way from Guangxi into Guizhou we spotted them. Just as the roads were turning bad we passed them. They motioned for us to keep going so they could enjoy the day together. Not one to fuss I was back on the accelerator pushing us through the broken road.
Making your way through a maze of overloaded trucks moving at breakneck speed is never a relaxing time, but it can at times be interesting. The suspension on the little Shineray was handling the bumps with ease. The crappy nobby Kenda tires were chewing up the gravel and this gave me the confidence I needed to push on and make my way through the jumble of 18 wheelers. I thought this road was bad, but it could only be due to the construction and that soon we would have to be out of the shit. Unfortunatly the road just kept coming. Seemingly getting worse with every kilometer. More trucks would appear, kicking up more dust and making the ruts in the road even worse.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:44 AM   #28
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At one point I was in the middle of passing a group of stopped trucks when a huge overloaded truck ripped around a corner and was headed straight for me. This truck was hauling a load of mini-busses that were stacked side by side and then on top of each other. This was one wide truck and with little road to work with I was forced to gun the throttle in a bleeck attempt to spare my megar exisitance. As I pulled back on the throttle and shifted my weight into the tank to move the bike I noticed a large rock coming up on me quickly, I swerved to the right to avoid the rock but didn’t fare very well. At somewhere between 60-70 kmph I managed to smash my left foot into the rock. I hit the rock so hard that it went through my Alpinestars boot, through my sock, cut on my foot and ripped my left side foot peg off the bike.

This was probably the most pain I had ever felt in my life and I have hurt myself badly many times. After the hit my eyes were red and I was in agony. I felt like I was going to faint, but I had to keep pressing on until I could find a safer place to pass out. After about 15 km I couldn’t take it anymore. I pulled the bike off the road climbed off the bike and walked over to the side of the road to take a rest, have a drink and inspect the damage. I was positive my foot was broken. I limped to the side of the road and planted my ass on the concrete. I propped my back up against a pole on the side of the road and pealed my boot off my foot.





After getting the boot off it was pretty easy to see that the boot had done its job keeping damage to a minimum. The boot itself was ripped as was my sock, but the cut on the skin looked like a minor scrape. Inside the foot however it felt like someone had whacked me with a sledge hammer and I was having a hard time moving my toes. Again I was thinking only one thing. My foot was smashed and so were my vacation plans. I thought about it for a while. Sitting there on the side of the road I thought about what I could do with my foot, I thought about how I could get the bike to Guiyang and I thought about what I was going to do if I was unable to recover and if I would have to stop my vacation.







I sat there for about 30 minutes letting the initial pain subside and decide I only had one choice for today. That was to get back on the bike and finish the ride to Guiyang with my bashed up foot with one foot peg and see how I felt after a good night sleep.
The two of us climbed back on the bike and continued down the road to Guiyang. As the road passed under the Kendas I started to get some feeling back in my battered foot. My toes were still very numb, but were moving again, even if just a little bit. This inspired me and I thought there might be a chance that those Aplinestars boots were really made well and that they, plus the shearing of the foot peg managed to save my foot from any major damage.

As we were getting closer to Guiyang the Shineray started to show its first long distance travel hiccups. We had covered close to 2000 trouble free kilometers and now at the worst possible time it was starting to have a resurgence of Chinese built bike syndrome. The engine started to sputter and the bike died. I played with the pet cock and we were good again for about 5km, then it died again, again playing with the petcock solved the problem. I thought there must have been some crud in the line blocking the gas flow and was happy that a bullet had been dodged. The roads were improving and the speeds were increasing. The little Shineray was hauling along consistently around 95kmph chowing down on the now improved road. Then the troublesome engine mount bolt worked itself loose and I saw the nut pop off and fly down the road. I stopped the bike and had a look, but with no luck it was gone and I knew I would be forced to limp the bike into Guiyang with some wicked vibrations. Also all these bad roads and highway speeds had taken their toll on the poorly designed an riveted together exhaust can. All of the rivets had been pushed out by the vibrations and back pressure of the exhaust. The baffling in and rear plate shot out of the can with 5 km of highway riding left. Again I stopped, pulled my battered ass off the bike, shook my head and wondered if I would even be able to make it to Guiyang with any of myself or the bike left.


Random Chinese guy selling living rabbits, snakes and pheasants to passing motorists to put in their bellies at dinner time.



I climbed back on the bike and made one last push for Guiyang. Riding into town with no exhaust, no foot peg and a badly damaged foot I started to look for the first hotel I could find. Traffic was bad focing me to walk the bike most of the way, but we managed to find a “7 Days Inn” right off the main drag. I pulled up to the hotel entrance and asked Lisa to get off the bike and go book us a room. It was a little out of our budget range, but I didn’t care. I needed to rest my foot and think about going to the hospital. I unpacked the bike, hauled the bags up to the room, pealed the boots off my feet again and had a shower. My wonderful wife went to get me some medicine for the swelling and the pain and to pick me up some dinner. After some dinner and some meds I passed out. Tomorrow would be a rest day. I needed to take the time to assess the damage to the foot and contemplate the ramifications of what would happen if the foot was broken. I was optimistic though, I could walk and most of the movement had returned to the toes. Except for some massive bruising and some serious swelling I couldn’t really find any problem with the foot. I decided to wait for morning to decide about the hospital.

As a result of the pain the camera spent most of the time in the bag.
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:44 AM   #29
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:00 AM   #30
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Infreakincreable!!! keep it up Mike, luv the posts and pics, good to know your foot isn't broken!!! 22 moe days, can't wait to read about them all!!
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