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Old 08-08-2009, 06:51 AM   #46
Hundnase
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great report and great pics!
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present: '91 PD06 Transalp XL600V | past: '88 BMW R80GS, '80 CB400

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My dad said, “Don’t wait until you have the money and time to do things…do them while you have the health.”
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:28 AM   #47
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Day 10: August 4th, Stuck in Huize

Last night I ended up with a dead bike. The bike died about a kilometer out of town and had to pushed/ tucked into town. The person who helped with the trucking of the bike also happened to own some motorcycle shops and he said I could use his tools to help fix the bike. When I arrived at his shop with the bike the people waiting for me wouldn’t let me touch the bike and proceeded to do everything and anything to the bike that would and could not help getting the bike started. Every time I tried to tell them what I thought the problem was they would say, we fix bikes for our job, you’re just a foreigner, let us do the work. I said it was late and that we should just finish fixing the bike in the morning.

The bike was low on compression, the blow-by that kept kicking the breather hose off the engine case was a sign that the rings were gone. I expected to have to change the jug, piston and rings in the morning. I was a little worried, Huize is a small town and it isn’t really an easy place to find parts for anything over 150cc engines in small towns.

When I woke up in the morning I headed to the bike shop and I was shocked to see the engine broken down and the piston lying on the ground. I asked them why they didn’t wait for me and again they said, “You’re just a foreigner, we want to fix your bike and we know how to do it.” They changed out the piston and the rings and put a new set of gaskets on the bike. I asked them why they didn’t swap the jug or at least hone it and they laughed at me. “You don’t have to do that. The bike will work fine like this. That is just extra work for nothing. We woke up at 7am to fix your bike, why are you complaining and telling us how to do our job?” I said the engine wouldn’t last without fixing it the right way. They just look at me laughed and shook their heads.

In all fairness I took the time to have a look for a new jug and there was nothing in the town. If I could get the bike going at all I might be able to get some distance out of it and maybe, just maybe those dumb assholes working on my bike would be right and the problems would go away with a new set of rings, a piston and some gaskets. I wasn’t happy about the crap fix it job that these guys were doing, but if it got me out of the town I’d be happy. I went for lunch and when I came back the bike was back together and was running. I took it for a short ride to check it out and was happy that the power was back. The engine felt fine and there was no smoke. Maybe these guys were right, maybe. I still had my doubts. Never the less I paid the 200 RMB I owed for my engine rebuild and rode the bike back to the hotel. I looked it over quickly again and had to adjust the clutch and tighten the exhaust clamp, but the bike was running. I was happy but still worried.

After wasting the morning with these fixers I decided that I’d stay another night in Huize, check it out, snap some photos and rest up for the coming day. I was surprised to find that Huize actually had a lot to offer. It had a nice old part of the city, a bunch of temples, a nice park with a huge coin in the middle, some good street food and lots of nice people.My wife and I set out with the camera and our feet to check it out. The people in Huize were great. Everyone left me alone. There wasn’t the usual crowd following me when I rolled into a small town with. No one was talking about me, the people were just happy to have us there and were very welcoming. The city is short on Han Chinese. This is one of the larger minority regions in China and the majority of the people in this area are Miao or Yi. I was surprised to see most people in their traditional dress or in the Maoist Cultural Revolution Inspired blue and gray fatigues. It was like stepping back in time. I was impressed and even happier that this wonderful place hadn’t been ruined by tourist trail. I sat down for a 2 RMB shave and decided to relax and enjoy the rest of my day.





























My 2 RMB shave
































Lisa and I met Marcus and Lynn for dinner and in the pouring cold rain we settled down in a nice restaurant to eat and talk about the coming day’s travel. I was hoping to make up the day we had lost today and make it all the way to Panzhihua in one day. It would be about 350km, but it should be doable. We all wanted to get to Luguhu by the end of the week and we agreed that this was probably the best plan. If my bike could hold together it would be a good day and be a great setup for the rest of the trip.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:33 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postman
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!
Thanks, the bikes hold up well as long as you keep the Chinese bike fixers away from them..
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:34 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hundnase
great report and great pics!
Thanks
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:34 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS in Vzla.
SPECTACULAR Photography!

Sorry to hear about your foot. I hope you can continue your journey.
Happily the foot is ok
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:37 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcc66
Fantastic photos, enjoying this ride report greatly, sounds like quite an adventure. Look forward to reading more.
mcc66
Thanks..lots more to come. I still have about 20 days of road time left.
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:11 AM   #52
scythe08
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Wow! What a fascinating thread ! Can't wait for more
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Old 08-08-2009, 12:30 PM   #53
BillsR100
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Wow, Amazing. Thank you for this very interesting insight into China.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:33 PM   #54
jshuck
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thanks for the memories

I lived in Beijing for 4 years and your ride report reminds me of the rides we used to take out in the boonies in our sidecar rigs. Your stories about the hospitals and the bike fixers are right on target. My daughter still talks about the times we rode out the Great Wall and camped. Thanks for the great photographs.. Ride safe brother... john shuck
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:32 PM   #55
emulzhn
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Amazing Rr....

Your images are NatGeo worthy. I know we're in a ADV forum but would you share some techniques? I see that you've dodged some faces. Also is it color correction that you've done or manipulate WB on exposure?

Absolutely capturing images...
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:47 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshuck
I lived in Beijing for 4 years and your ride report reminds me of the rides we used to take out in the boonies in our sidecar rigs. Your stories about the hospitals and the bike fixers are right on target. My daughter still talks about the times we rode out the Great Wall and camped. Thanks for the great photographs.. Ride safe brother... john shuck
I've almost bought a CJ more than a few times. My wife always talks me out of it for some reason. I've ridden in the Beijing area and aside from the dust and polution the riding there isn't bad. Any plans to come back to China?
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:50 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsR100
Wow, Amazing. Thank you for this very interesting insight into China.
lots more to come. I should be back on the road sometime tomorrow. I need to decided whether to push north another 300km to Luguhu or just go west to Lijiang. This delay I'm on now isn't very good for the schedule. I'll have the ride report updated to the present today. Thanks for looking and thanks for the comments.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:47 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsR100
Wow, Amazing. Thank you for this very interesting insight into China.
lots more to come. I should be back on the road sometime tomorrow. I need to decided whether to push north another 300km to Luguhu or just go west to Lijiang. This delay I'm on now isn't very good for the schedule. I'll have the ride report updated to the present today. Thanks for looking and thanks for the comments.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:00 PM   #59
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Day 11, Aug 5, Huize to Panzhihua
Big coin from the night before. How many people can say they walked through the center of a coin on a foot bridge?


We were up early today. The promise of more than 350km through mountain roads promised to be beautiful and exhausting. At 7:00 we hit the road toward Sichuan. Our first stop for the day was about 120km away. We had found some gel packs in the local Huize supermarket. The four of us were hoping these would help our tired asses endure the long hours on the bike today promised to bring.

The road out of Huize quickly went bad. I was amazed and I didn’t even think we were on the right road. I had to stop and ask 4 people to confirm that this was the best and only way to get into Sichuan from Huize. Everyone I asked confirmed the route and we made our way up the horrific mountain road. From broken, cracked concrete, to multiple rock slides to no road at all this road was a challenge. Overloaded trucks, lack of upkeep and a heavy rainy season had all taken its toll on the road.












Going was slow. The mountain road kept getting worse and we were wondering if there would be any road left to get us to where we needed to go. Around every dangerous turn and up every broken switchback we were rewarded with amazing views. This was our first real day up in the clouds. Riding up through the clouds is always something that chills my spine. It is so amazing. So beautiful and so calming that it took a lot of stress out of the road. We stopped regularly for breaks and to talk about the terrible conditions.


The rain water had turned streams into torrents and was cutting through the road and mountains like butter. The rising mist and descending clouds rewarded us with a surreal ride. Something a biker can only dream of. This was one of the most challenging roads I had ever ridden, but it also had some of the most amazing views I had ever seen in my life.

As the Shineray made its way up the mountain I was happy to feel that the power had been restored. However after about 10km the engine had started smoking again. I shrugged my shoulders. There was nothing I could really do about it and really it wasn’t a big surprise. I just hoped it would hold together until we got to a larger city. Huidong was not to be that city. I would have to make it to Panzhihua if I had any hope of getting the bike fixed properly. From the small amount of smoke I figured the engine wasn’t using a lot of oil and that it should be able to make it. I decided I’d double check it in Huidong and if it needed oil, I’d buy a bottle and top it off.

Coming down the other side of the mountain we were faced with a rickety bridge crossing leading to better roads. We stopped for photos on the bridge and to appreciate the immense power of the river flowing under our feet. This rainy season had seen many mountains fall down, our destination for the day, Panzhihua had just last week received 18cm of rain in 9 hours causing massive rock slides and sadly causing the deaths of 22 local people. We knew this could make things difficult for us, but if this was easy everyone would do it and then it wouldn’t be any fun.




After the bridge crossing we were rewarded with some nice smooth black top obscured by many major and minor rockslides. It had rained the day before in Huize and it looked like most of the rock slides were fresh. Some were still happening as we rode through them. This isn’t something I really advise doing, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. As we were riding down the road we heard a crash come from around a big corner as we rounded the bend we saw a biker picking up the bike he had laid down to avoid the falling rocks. The road was half covered and we knew if we didn’t get through it we would most likely be stuck there for at least a day waiting for a cleanup crew to handle the mess. With the amount of slides we had already ridden through we decided that it would be dangerous but a good idea to wait for a short lull in the falling rocks, get as far away as possible and get the bikes through as quickly as possible. I made it through with no problem as Marcus came through some rocks started falling again and one barely missed him. We were through and we were safe again.




Huidong was still 50km away. We pressed on and at about 4 pm we pulled into Huidong. My wife was complaining about stomach pain and was worried about food poisoning from the night before. She was running a fever and we all agreed that it would be best if we stopped in Huidong for the night. Panzhihua would have to wait. It took us almost 9 hours to cover 120km. It was a long day and with Lisa not feeling well we grabbed a hotel room and had a rest before dinner.

Around 8:00 Lisa was starting to feel better so we went for a walk to get something to eat. I was hungry. I hadn’t eaten anything today. I really needed something in my stomach and Lisa wanted some fresh air. We walked around the town for a while, ate some noodles and some Sichuan BBQ. When we got back to the hotel there were about 8 police officers waiting for us. Two of them were drunk and they were not happy to see us in their town. They kept asking us why we hadn’t registered at the police station when we arrived and why we hadn’t informed them that we would be coming to their town the day before we had arrived. We tried to explain to them that we had filled out the papers required by the hotel and that they were the ones responsible for registering us. We also told them that the only reason we had stopped in Huidong for the night was that Lisa was ill and couldn’t continue. One of the police officers went off on a rant that this was a special autonomous area for the Yi minority group and that foreigners couldn’t just come in any time they wanted. They wanted us to produce all of our documents from our passports to our marriage certificate.



I couldn’t understand what was happening. We had done nothing wrong. Legally we have 24 hours to register with any police station after entering a town or city and usually the hotel we stay at will take care of the registration for us, especially after we have filled out all the necessary documents at the desk. I figured the police were going to try and extort some money out of us as some kind of Guangxi (patronage) for us to have the right of breathing the air and eating the food in their small town. Most of what was coming out of these drunkards was totally false and if it were true why weren’t we informed of these facts when we arrived in town.



After about an hour of having people yelling at us the big police bosses showed up and talked to me. They were surprised to see I could speak Chinese and told me that they were just here to make sure we were safe and not having any trouble in their town. I told them the only trouble we were having was from the drunk cop inside and I asked if this was a special no foreigner zone, (don’t laugh China has them… think Tibet) the officer in charge laughed and asked me who was the idiot who told me that. He said we could come and go as we please as long as our papers were in order. He had a look at my passport told the other cops to piss off and said we could return to our rooms for the night. It was quite a hair raising experience and we were happy it was over. We went up to our rooms and settled in for the night. We all decided we would get out of Huidong as soon as possible. Another early day was coming. Luckily we were told by the hotel owner that the roads to Panzhihua were much easier and we should be able to make good time.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:03 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emulzhn
Your images are NatGeo worthy. I know we're in a ADV forum but would you share some techniques? I see that you've dodged some faces. Also is it color correction that you've done or manipulate WB on exposure?

Absolutely capturing images...
Thanks for the compliments. You're right about the dodging on some of the faces. Usually I do just some basic PP and usually it consists of playing the saturation of each colour and playing with the curves or levels. Sometimes I will use layer masks to bring out and highlight the subjects of the photos. If you want some more information the best thing to do would be to send me a PM and or add me to skype or msn messenger
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