A Ride With Friends

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Amidst more of the rancor here on WB its time for yet another post about normal things.

 

We were invited to join a group of motorcyclists some time ago and the weekend before last we went on a destination ride to the east coast of the island of Koh Mak in the Gulf of Siam. It was an amazing ride that turned my enjoyment of motorcycle riding into an abiding love.

 

We rendezvoused early at convenient location to all. After fueling up with hi-test of both the vroom kind and the coffee kind we made our way across Hwy 3 and then turned off to the ferry pier at Laem Ngop. Hwy 3 was a heavy throttle run with only a few lights to slow progress on this heavily traveled four lane road. The real fun began when we hit the hilly winding two lane to the ferry pier. What a joy to ride with so many skilled riders through some lovely country. 

 

Ferry formalities completed we were ushered aboard for the forty minute crossing to Koh Mak. After a slight delay caused by the ferry company not boarding our support vehicle with us we began the best part of the ride up and down steep hills of up to twelve degrees, sharp turns, steep drop offs, and crossing small streams until we arrived at our resort. 

 

Relaxation and naps for those of us who required it, playing in the water and fishing for those so inclined. The evening brought non-stop seafood barbecue accompanied by all manner of Thai food and treats. Copious amounts of adult beverages were consumed so it wasn't long before the guitars came out and the singing began. 

 

The morning brought the usual litany of hangovers and early counter drinking. After those who could had eaten we saddled up around noon to reverse the process and make our way home. 

 

Now begins the search for the perfect bike to replace my eight year old and very beloved Honda TA 200 chopper. It has served me well and faithfully these thirty eight hundred kilometers and eight years but is too slow at a maximum of one hundred twenty kph preventing everyone else from fully enjoying their faster capabilities. 

 

 

 

Comments

Michael B. Added Nov 6, 2018 - 9:49pm
Captain Gilbert! Glad to see you! Your absences always leave me mildly concerned...and I meant that sincerely, lol! Anyway, awesome post! For some reason, I half-expected to see you "eating Thai" on one of the bikes!
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 6, 2018 - 9:57pm
Thanks Michael! Some things must remain private. 
Michael B. Added Nov 6, 2018 - 10:01pm
@ Captain Gilbert - I can imagine, lol. I didn't know they drove on the wrong side of the road there, too. But then again, real bikers OWN the road, huh?
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 6, 2018 - 10:07pm
 I didn't know they drove on the wrong side of the road there, too
 
Yes, we do drive on the other side here. Most Thais are in the habit of making all right turns from as far left on the hwy, road, lane, alley or track as is humanly possible. Bad enough on its own but compounded by nary a glance back before executing the maneuver. 
 
But then again, real bikers OWN the road, huh?
 
I hear that's true. Not being a "real biker" yet I'll have to get back to you.
 
Michael B. Added Nov 6, 2018 - 10:23pm
@ Captain Gilbert - "Most Thais are in the habit of making all right turns from as far left on the hwy, road, lane, alley or track as is humanly possible. Bad enough on its own but compounded by nary a glance back before executing the maneuver."
 
Substitute "Thais" with "Mexicans" as far as their driving habits and spatial orientations are concerned; they're practically identical. Additionally, red-green color blindness and depth-perception seem to have a very high incidence, lol.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 6, 2018 - 10:28pm
The group I ride with are all top notch riders. None of the usual fuckery is exhibited. They ride fast - very fast - but ride well and safely. A refreshing change. Has significantly stepped up my riding. 
Michael B. Added Nov 6, 2018 - 10:45pm
@ Captain Gilbert - "The group I ride with are all top notch riders. None of the usual fuckery is exhibited"
 
As if you would ride with anyone else. By the way, I used ZFG today, Zero Fucks Given, giving you full credit of course. It's up there with "Liquordale Yachtie", lol.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 6, 2018 - 10:48pm
I used ZFG today
 
No attribution required as I plagiarized it myself. 
 
Michael B. Added Nov 6, 2018 - 11:11pm
@ Captain Gilbert - You're a man of sterling honesty and integrity, as per usual.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 6, 2018 - 11:34pm
You're a man of sterling honesty and integrity, as per usual.
 
To what do I owe all this smoke being blown up my ass? 
 
Michael B. Added Nov 6, 2018 - 11:48pm
@ Captain Gilbert - I'm so sorry...I really meant to say, fuck you, you fuckin' fuck. I truly hope that your coconut-like and traitorous head gets squashed by the next scooter-riding 9-year-old gook whore that you cheated out of the Gook version of Girl Scout cookies. Oh, and by the way, I'm going to suggest that the Kent State shootings should be celebrated as a state and national holiday. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you fucking gook-ass-fucking-asshole.
 
How's that Jeff?
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 7, 2018 - 12:18am
How's that Jeff?
 
You've given voice to D'Opher's id rather accurately Michael. 
 
Good on ya! 
 
Flying Junior Added Nov 7, 2018 - 4:03am
I'm a little bit jealous.  Good for you.
 
Now that Harley-Davidson will soon be building bikes in Thailand, are you planning on waiting?  It seems like a safer alternative to the Honda Ninja motorcycles.  If you keep riding you will stay strong.





Flying Junior Added Nov 7, 2018 - 4:27am
Okay so the Ninja is a Kawasaki.  I always thought that these bikes did 150 mph.  It sure as hell sounds like it and such is the local mythology.  I guess 200 clicks should be fast enough for anybody.  I hear them down on the old CA-101 from my house at night.  Guys have been racing cars there since the 1940s.  It's actually nowheres near the coast.  The legends go that the CHP can't catch them but they often pick them up by helicopter in daylight hours.  A lot of the guys used to have fake registrations so that they could simply ditch the bikes rather than face penalties for reckless driving.





Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 7, 2018 - 4:29am
Now that Harley-Davidson will soon be building bikes in Thailand, are you planning on waiting?
 
Riding a Harley in Thailand would be such a cliché as would driving a Ford or Chevy or wearing under armor.... 
 
It seems like a safer alternative to the Honda 
 
I'm currently considering the Kawasaki Vulcan S 650.
 
If you keep riding you will stay strong.
 
And happier too. 
 
Thanks FJ. 
 
Stone-Eater Added Nov 7, 2018 - 4:41am
Jeffry
 
Nice one. Try to do that in Senegal with all the holes in the roads.....:-)
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 7, 2018 - 4:52am
Try to do that in Senegal with all the holes in the roads.....:-)
 
Thanks Stone, Might be place for a adventure bike rather than a cruiser. 
 
Stone-Eater Added Nov 7, 2018 - 4:58am
For sure. But another problem is the dust. No fun to ride in a semi-desert where the landscape consists of sand and bushes only....boring scenery.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 7, 2018 - 5:57am
I always thought that these bikes did 150 mph
 
Today's big bikes do. My Honda is only 200cc so much like my Yahama 125cc scooter doesn't set land speed records. Herself can achieve 140 kph but she's 80 kg lighter. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 7, 2018 - 6:00am
No fun to ride in a semi-desert where the landscape consists of sand and bushes only.
 
There is that. 
Leroy Added Nov 7, 2018 - 8:59am
Cool!
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 7, 2018 - 9:11am
Thanks Leroy. It was a great experience. 
Even A Broken Clock Added Nov 7, 2018 - 9:53am
Jeffry - good pictures. About the roads, though. It's a lot easier to keep the roads in good condition if they never go through freeze/thaw cycles. Thanks for the story.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 7, 2018 - 6:19pm
EABC, Thanks for adding to this thread. 
Jeff Michka Added Nov 7, 2018 - 6:48pm
Hey, Capt Gilbert....how many of those rides were made in India "Royal Enfields,' perhaps none.  Never have known if  Royal Enfields were exported from India, but have thought retreading a great Brit bike was kinda amusing.  A Thai cat bought a bent HD knucklehead frame and fork from me in 1980, he had plans of building a new bike from it.  Was badly mangled and not worth my time.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 7, 2018 - 7:59pm
how many of those rides were made in India "Royal Enfields,
 
None. It's not unusual to see them here in Thailand however. 
 
A Thai cat bought a bent HD knucklehead frame and fork from me in 1980, 
 
I'm not surprised. These guys are wizards with bikes. A beat up old Harley will easily fetch five years salary here. That's the extent of my knowledge with them. 
 
The big dick bike in Thailand today seems to be a BMW 1200GS. Ten years salary before accessorization.
 
Thanks Jeff. 
Jeff Michka Added Nov 7, 2018 - 8:13pm
Interesting, Capt.  I thought I did well on the frame and forks for $1500, not sure what 5 years salary is in Thailand, but the guy leapt on it.  He also said motorcycle rebuilds were state of the art in Thailand.  I got straightened out, but could never see either frame or forks so lucky.  Keep safe while riding, Capt.  I'm considering buying a 65 BSA 650 that was "the family bike" we all learned to ride.  Old age has charms as do older bikes.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 7, 2018 - 9:03pm
Michael B. Added Nov 7, 2018 - 9:31pm
"You've given voice to D'Opher's id rather accurately Michael."
 
Holy dogshit! A new low has been reached! I'm going to have to do something about that, lol.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 7, 2018 - 9:44pm
Holy dogshit! A new low has been reached! I'm going to have to do something about that, lol.
 
Highly advisable! :)
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 7, 2018 - 9:45pm
 I'm considering buying a 65 BSA 650
 
Sweet.
 
Old age has charms as do older bikes.
 
Agreed. 
Michael B. Added Nov 7, 2018 - 9:51pm
That was fucked up...equivalent to me saying you attended a policeman's ball, lol. I guess I'll have to compensate by writing my most universally-offensive post to date. It's a target-rich environment for sure!
Stone-Eater Added Nov 8, 2018 - 12:41pm
BMW.
 
Or a Rajoot Indian 175cc I had when I was there. Solid iron and no hole will stop it :-)
Jeff Michka Added Nov 8, 2018 - 6:23pm
Thanks for the interesting bike link, Capt.  I see what you mean, a few of those rides look like they were made from scrap and small pieces, but werer crafted into good looking bikes.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 8, 2018 - 8:38pm
Thanks for the interesting bike link
 
Glad you liked it. Thanks Jeff. 
 
Michael B. Added Nov 9, 2018 - 2:40am
I just had an image of a bunch of psycho expat jingoistic Harley-riding Vietnam vets having a burnout contest on your fuckin' heads, lol.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 9, 2018 - 6:28am
just had an image of a bunch of psycho expat jingoistic Harley-riding Vietnam vets 
 
Most of those guys have died. I often have lunch at a bar in Bangkok that a dozen or so former Air America guys hung out. Used to be a part of the bar that was generally accepted as theirs. Now I see only one of them and he's not with us for long. 
 
Jeff Michka Added Nov 9, 2018 - 4:29pm
Ah, Air America... I roomed with a guy in college whose Dad was a maintainence officer for Air America in Phenom Pehn.  Wendell Dore Jr. hadn't been in the states since he'd been 12 until he came here for school.  So it was interesting watch the kid implode.  His Dad did visit.  At the time, everyone in the house was in the college theatre, and his Dad's eyebrows almost lifted from his head when I told him Wendell was at the college theatre, a block away, rehearsing.  Wendell eventually joined the Army, and I lost track of him.  Gotta love 1971.  LOL
Michael B. Added Nov 9, 2018 - 11:58pm
@ Captain Gilbert - "Most of those guys have died. I often have lunch at a bar in Bangkok that a dozen or so former Air America guys hung out. Used to be a part of the bar that was generally accepted as theirs. Now I see only one of them and he's not with us for long."
 
Interesting. Some years ago, after reading a National Geographic article about sapphires and how the Thais dominate the sapphire trade much like Jews control diamonds, more incidental reading of other writings revealed the sub-culture of Vietnam vets resident in Thailand and elsewhere in SE Asia. I guess they all got raging cases of Yellow Fever in addition to Agent Orange and most of the other chemicals that the U.S. government rained down upon them, in addition to those they administered to themselves. What to say, I don't have Yellow Fever, but I still think many Asian chicks are hot, so I really can't blame them for sticking around, lol.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 10, 2018 - 12:29am
Gotta love 1971. LOL
 
Those were some trying times that shaped many lives for better or worse. Thanks Jeff. 
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 10, 2018 - 12:39am
more incidental reading of other writings revealed the sub-culture of Vietnam vets resident in Thailand and elsewhere in SE Asia.
 
Because of my strong opinion regarding Kent State I didn't become someone they talked to very often. I didn't feel bad about it because there were very few people they included. 
 
None the less I observed their comings and goings and overheard some of what they said. My impression was that after operating so long without any restraints they couldn't conceive of living in the states again. 
 
So called yellow fever, or as I like to phrase it - "once you go Asian you'll never go Caucasian" may have played a part but likely to a lesser degree.
 
Thanks Michael. 
Steel Breeze Added Nov 10, 2018 - 9:55am
interesting and enjoyable read......keep on enjoying yourself.....
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 10, 2018 - 11:26am
interesting and enjoyable read...
 
Thank you Steel Breeze. 
 
Mark Hunter Added Nov 12, 2018 - 3:57am
That looks like a fun ride.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 12, 2018 - 5:16am
Thanks Mark. And thanks for adding to this thread.
Mark Hunter Added Nov 12, 2018 - 5:32am
Well, I'm not a motorcycle rider, but I do love taking road trips. I don't think my dog would stay on the cycle, anyway.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 12, 2018 - 6:05am
Mark Hunter Added Nov 12, 2018 - 6:40am
I've seen those images and videos, but my dog's not the stay still riding type!

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