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Old 08-12-2009, 12:30 PM   #76
reelfish
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FANTASTIC. Thank you
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Old 08-13-2009, 08:01 PM   #77
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No updates? Hope your okay.
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2003 Honda xr400r (street titled) For sale, but not posted anywhere.

Riding a motorcycle is fun. Riding a supermoto is inexplicable.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:01 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrushKid
more great stuff, keep it up, try to avoid more painfull hospital visits! lol
I'll try my best to keep my ragged ass out of the Chinese doctor's hands.. Thanks for the concern Steve
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:02 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scythe08
OMG, Talk about a cliff-hanger. I hope your wife feels better and things pick up for you.



Eagerly awaiting the next update,,,,,BTW the pic with the huge coin is now my desktop
Glad you like the report and the photos. Next installment coming soon
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:03 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roughshod
A highly entertaining report and wow! top notch photography. Challenging road conditions, incredible medical conditions, and daily complications. You guys are true ADV jockeys. Cudos to your ladies for their bravery. I wish you good luck and safe but exciting passage.
Thanks for the interest and the compliments. More photos to come..
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:04 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by kurvenwetzer


thanx, for sharing those great pics,....
and thanx for this great report!
My pleasure. Makes me happy to see so many people interested in the trip. Thanks
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:05 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pookiebear
cool looking motorcycles too. Nice report.
Thanks. The bike will be for sale after the trip. If anyone is interested in this Shineray or a new one please let me know. I might be able to help.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:07 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuyaoli
what a colorful picture-ful adventurous ride. It is really amazing.

I hope your wife will get better soon and that the new engine will work and does not put you in trouble again.

Keep on posting.
Thanks for the concern. We're all fine now. We've had another long day of riding and we're now in Lijiang. Update is coming soon.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:09 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roughshod
I see the news shows Typhoon Morakot heading in the general direction of Guiyang. Hope you guys missed the storm...
The last few days we've been hit by some nasty rain, but it hasn't really caused us any major problems. Luckily we're far enough west that the typhoons don't really have any impact on us.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:09 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowbudget
Outstanding photos and a very nice report!

Hope youīll be back on the street soon.
Thanks, we've been back on the road for a few days.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:13 PM   #86
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Day 13-17: August 7-11, Stuck in Panzhihua
The past 4 days have been a major bore. I have been stuck in a hotel room waiting for and engine to arrive from the factory. The wait has been rough. No one likes taking a massive break from their vacation, but this one does bring some good connotations. The wait has allowed my wife to recover from her illness and has allowed me to prepare more for the rest of the trip and get caught up to date on the ride report.

Panzhihua itself as a city isn’t bad. Nice mountains flank the city on all sides but there really isn’t much to see or much to photograph. The people are nice, and the city is probably one of the lowest cost places in all of China. A taxi ride starts at 4 RMB and that 4 RMB will take you 3 kilometers. The relative lack of interesting areas and touristic style attractions were beneficial to the rest we both needed. Now our batteries are charged again and we’re roaring to go today.

I got a call this morning telling me the engine was in the bike and I could come pick it up whenever I was ready. I ran outside, hopped in a taxi and spent my 4 RMB to get to the fixer’s place. I looked at the bike and wasn’t completely happy with what I saw, but I decided not complain and that I would fix it myself when I got back to the hotel. I threw on my jacket, gloves and helmet and rode back to my room.

When I arrived at the hotel I noticed the bike wouldn’t start, I checked the battery with my multi-meter, all was good at 12.8v. I checked the terminals and noticed they were loose. I tightened the screws, pushed the starter button, still nothing from the starter. I touched the wires and they were cooking. I took the side panel off the bike to look at the solenoid and what did I find. The wire running from the solenoid to the starter was somehow wrapped around the exhaust pipe and had melted on the ride back to the hotel. I fixed the wire and all was good. In total the fixed bike came back with, every possible loose bolt, an incorrectly installed seat, a wire wrapped around the exhaust pipe, battery box missing a bolt, the engine short one engine mount bolt, the gas tank wasn’t on correctly and the chain had been tightened incorrectly. All in all it took me close to 6 hours to go over the bike and refix all of the fixed problems. By the time I was done it was too late to push on to Luguhu. Tomorrow might be rough, the forecast calls for massive amounts of rain in the region. All the roads to Luguhu are marginal at best and during rain storms are places you really don’t want to be. Rockslides and mudslides are common place. If the weather is bad, we might have to delay again. The waiting is starting to drain us. We really want to get back on the road tomorrow.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:14 PM   #87
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Day 18: Aug 12, Panzhihua to Luguhu or someplace else.
Last night Lisa and I had a serious talk about our future vacation plans. We talked about where to go, time remaining and whether or not to wait out the forecasted bad weather or to cut out Luguhu and press on to Lijiang. When we woke up at 7:00am we checked the weather, it didnít look good. We decided early that Luguhu was out of the question and we started to think about going to Lijiang instead. The road to Lijiang was also filled with mountain passes, but according to the people we asked in Panzhihua the road was much better than the road to Luguhu. We talked about it until about 9:00am and decided not to wait any longer. The rain had started, but there really wasnít anything for us to see and do in Panzhihua and we had spent almost a week here. We packed the bike, threw on the raingear and started out on the road.

Total distance to Lijiang was 267km. We expected to make good time even in the bad conditions and make it to Lijiang around 3:00 or 4:00, just in time to find a decent place to stay, get cleaned up and go get a nice dinner.

As we left Panzhihua, it was raining, not much but raining. We were optimistic that we would be in drizzle for most of the day. Sadly, we were wrong. After 30 minutes on the road the angry skies let loose on us and the little Shineray. The rain was intense, visibility was low and the temperature was dropping as we climbed the mountains. The rain was bad, but the fog was worse. As we climbed the mountains we found ourselves in the middle of the dense rain clouds. Clouds so dense visibly was at best 4 to 5 meters. Luckily the road was good and lined with trees. Anything less and we would have been in real trouble, going was slow, about 20kmph, but at least we were going. Every once in a while we would emerge from the cloud to see the crazy mountain roads we were on. Massive voids of space framed the road. I mean massive, sheer drops of 500m were a great reminder to keep speeds down and to stay alert on these roads.

As we pressed on we made our way down the mountain into a valley. This was amazing. One road about 15km long lined with 1 or 2 waterfalls every kilometer and a raging river on the valley floor. I was shocked that up until now we hadnít encountered any mudslides and I was even more shocked at the lack of traffic on this major road. Then all of a sudden we came along one of the worst traffic jams I had ever seen. There was a 15km long line of trucks, all empty with the drivers all standing outside chatting and eating. The bike made its way up the empty lane. Passing what seemed like an endless stream of driverless trucks eventually coming upon one of the worst landslides I had ever seen. The whole road had been washed away and heavy equipment was busy clearing a path for temporary use. We waited for a few hours; the workers were having trouble in the rain. The soft, deep mud made things difficult and the road crews were weary of letting any vehicles try to transverse the deep, muddy road.

As the road was getting flatter one of the army guys directing traffic pointed at my bike and told me to give it a go. I nodded my head; Lisa got off the bike and agreed to walk through the mud. This mud was deep the bike got stuck 3 times and dropped once. The road workers had to help push the bike through the thick shit like mud. Ten minutes after I started I had gotten through the 100m stretch of road, Lisa climbed back on the bike and we started back on the road to Lijiang. I doubt any of the other, larger heavy vehicles made it through. I didnít want to hang around to watch. It was still raining hard, I was cold and I wanted to make it to Lijiang as early as possible.

The rest of the trip was wet and cold, but happily uneventful. The roads were foggy, but the mudslide kept traffic to a minimum. We finally arrived in Lijiang just before 6:00pm. It had taken us 9 hours to ride the 270km to Lijiang. We were here, we were cold and wet and we needed to find a hotel.

As we made our way into the city we were stopped by the police. They wanted to know why my motorcycle wasnít wearing a license plate. I told them it was a new bike and that I had 30 days from the time of purchase to register the bike. They looked at my odometer, it read 3400km, they didnít believe me the bike was new. They also didnít believe me the bike was mine. They asked me to produce the documents for the bike. I told them I didnít have them. I told them the factory was holding them for me until I got back to Guangzhou and that if they needed to see them I could have them faxed to them at their office. They told me to get off the bike and go to the police station. I told them I couldnít get off the bike because no one there was tall enough to ride the bike to the police station. After a long heated discussion and having three police officers make fools of themselves trying to get on the bike they agreed to let me ride it to the police station if Lisa went with them in the police car. I agreed and off we went.
When we got to the police station they asked us about our documents, we told them that we could provide them with the documents they requested through a fax, but they would have to wait until tomorrow because the factory office had closed already. They made me sign some statements saying that I was riding a bike with no plate and effectively that I had broken the law. If I didnít sign the papers I would not have been allowed to leave the police station and I would not be able to get my bike back after I had produced the papers they wanted to see. I was pissed. I had done nothing wrong and I was well within the 30 days I am allotted by Chinese law. Really I had broken no laws and I told them they were the first police to give me any kind of trouble in the 3400km I had covered up to this point. They just laughed and said I could have the bike back after I showed them the documents and after I paid a small fine.

I was really angry and asked them why they even bothered to stop me. They told me they are stopping all foreigners on all motorcycles because some American guy who was here on vacation last month rented a bike in Lijiang, picked up a girl and proceeded to ride himself and his girl off a mountain road killing them both. They are now cracking down on motorcycle rentals in Lijiang and making sure that all motor vehicles are all registered correctly and that the people in control of the motor vehicles also have the required documentation. And because of this and because my papers were not on my person and were at the factory I was still subject to a fine of 500 RMB. I was really pissed. I had done nothing wrong, I was cold, I was hungry, I had a difficult 9 hour ride earlier in the day and now I was being forced to sit in a police station and pay a fine for no real reason. I was being extorted. I knew this and my wife knew this. One of the officers told me they stop all foreigners on bikes or in cars now because they know 9 out of 10 donít have the papers they need and that the police can make a lot of money from the fine. In Lijiang the fine for riding a bike without a license is now 2000 RMB. If they can get that 9 times in one day the police can make a lot of extra cash for their own pockets.

After about 4 hours of talking to the officers I was told I could go find a hotel, but that I had to leave the bike there until they saw the fax from the factory. I agreed and Lisa and I took the luggage off the bike and set out to find the first hotel we could. We found a clean place, not far from the police station and not far from the old town for a cool 80 RMB. It had been a rough day. We hadnít eaten anything since 9:00am and we were tired and angry. We had showers at the hotel and went out for dinner. It was now 11:00pm and we had a hard time finding a place to eat. We finally managed to find a burger at a nice little pub in town.

We werenít looking forward to tomorrow. We had to go back to the police station, show our fax and pay our fine.

We didnít take any photos today. The weather conditions meant the camera had to stay wrapped up for the entire journey. Iíll head out with the camera tomorrow.
If you ride into Lijiang make sure you have all your papers with you. The police are stopping everything now and if you donít have what you need youíre asking for a lot of trouble.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:22 PM   #88
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Day 19: Aug 13, Lijiang Ė back to the police station and to the old town
Today we woke up at 8:00 am; we had to get to the police station before 10:00 to take care of the crazy fine I was hit with the day before. Lisa and I made our way to the police station. We called the factory and had them fax the needed documents. We had hoped that after producing the documents they wanted they would drop the fine and drop tear up the papers I was forced to sign the day before. After they saw the papers nothing changed. I asked them why and was told it was because I didnít have the papers at the time I was stopped. I said they can see that myself and the bike are both 100% legal; they shook their heads and said I still had to pay the fine. Rather than fight these crooks I paid the fine and was told I take the bike whenever I wanted. I said I would leave it at the station until we were ready to leave town because I didnít want to be extorted by them for any more money. I will pick up the bike tomorrow when we leave town.






After all the bullshit at the police office Lisa and I wanted to relax. We made our way into Lijiangís old town to take some photos, have some lunch and do some shopping. Lijiang is really an amazing place. The city is full of old Chinese architecture, running streams and good food. Itís no wonder this place has received world heritage status. If it werenít for the police we would have really be enjoyed the city, but we were still a little bitter.


















Probably the world's ugliest dog. A bald British Bulldog....



We had our lunch, did our shopping and took our photos. By the end of the day we were starting to feel better about Lijiang.

Tomorrow we planned to switch hotels and move into the old town. The place we were staying was like a dungeon at best. We needed to pick up our spirits and really needed a change of habitation.
Lijiang is a beautiful place. Iíll spend a few days here with the camera trying to get as many nice photos as I can.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:24 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwitchThrottle
No updates? Hope your okay.
Everything is fine, just had a few days with no internet. I'm back online now.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:32 PM   #90
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Fantastic trip and absolutely wonderful pictures. That was a part of Yangshuo we didn't get to see. We just rented scooters there and cruised around trying to find a spot that would fix my water saturated camera. My wife is from Southern China and is also very excited about seeing these pictures. Hope everything goes well. We wanted to go to Yunnan but never got the chance. This seems like a great way to go.
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