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Current Location : Krabi, Thailand (Google map)
Last entry date : 06/Feb/09

My hole in the boot repaired by the best cobbler in ChiangMai


16/Jan/09 to 22/Jan/09

Friday 16/Jan, the 3 of us got our bikes geared up early to take on the 1864 twists that the Mae Hong Son / Pai road is famous for. The city of ChiangMai was barely a few hours ride away, and Holger even kidded that we could be having a beer in one of its bars by lunch time.

The dry season has firmly set in here in Thailand. No rain for weeks to come, I’m told. It was an ideal day for riding in the hills. Thailand has good roads, even up here. Our 3 bikes swayed from hills to hills and we were clearly enjoying it. No reason to rush. Whenever a great scenery showed up, we would simply stop to appreciate the view and do some photoshots.

Then strangely, at the scenic pass which leads down to the town of Pai, a biker’s nightmare came true … for each one of us. Holger became aware that his rear wheel’s axel was sticking out by 3 cms on the right side !! The nut that held the wheel in place must have staggered out many kms away !! A check on Anja’s rear brakes showed there were none left !! The rear brake system was suspect since it had eaten up a set of freshly installed pads. Holger did quick temp repair to his bike by using a vice-grip to hold the rear wheel in place (no biker ever carry a spare rear axel nut), and another set of brake-pads (their last pair of spare pads) were installed on Anja’s bike. Nothing much we could do up there on the pass except decend cautiously down the hills to the 1st bike shop we find in Pai. I would hate to be in such such a situation in the middle of nowhere on a long trip … so quite pleased my iron horse was doing fine.

As we decended the hills, I took position as last rider, behind Anja. I spoke too soon. I remembered eyeing a steep right turn. Next thing I know, the bike was screetching loudly sideways on the ground full of sparks ahead of me, coming to a halt some 20mtrs after it hit a curb, and I slided along stopping before the bike. I count myself lucky, there was no bodily harm. Passers by quickly stopped and help lift up my bike. The photos show the initial damage to the front and side sections. Once again, Holger was called upon to assist to do some quick fix. And he had great ideas !! Thanks. An hour and a half lost later, my iron horse wobbled badly and slowly down to Pai. We arrived late Friday evening in Pai and guess what ?? First no beer for Holger. Next all budget guesthouses were taken up, so we took out our tents and camped that cold night. On top of that, my biker friends said I snored ! Of course, that may happen – but only when I’m disturbed.

The next 6 days vanished quickly as I made hot pursuits of repair wishes in ChiangMai. Luck was with me, well, to a certain extent temp repairs can be done which will enable me to “continue” my journey until the damaged parts are replaced. Thanks to ChiangMai, they’ve plenty of bits and pieces here and good labour ready to help out. I ♥ CM !!

It certainly was a bad day on the Mae Hong Son / Pai circuit that Friday 16/Jan/09. A momentary lapse of concentration of what lies ahead ON the road and … sh*t happened !! The last thing I expected on the hills was spilled diesel or oil on the road. Lesson learned. The list of things to be aware of now include cows, dogs, kids, wild pigs, spilled diesel ….

Anja says I can now claim to be a long distance rider as I’ve managed to leave a “Sheen was here” trace far away from home en route to Australia …

Once is good enough. Not looking for an “encore”.

16 Responses to « Slippery slide on the Mae Hong Son / Pai route in northwestern Thailand  »

  1. Luckily you are fine and you can continue your dream!!…and I confirm…you do snore!…but only when very tired 🙂 Love, Lydia

  2. You don’t need to drive so far from south of France to slip on a diesel trace, it happened to me with my old Ténéré in Sophia Antipolis a few years back 😉 An old biker friend of me then said when he was smelling diesel, he used to cut speed and be very cautious.
    Hopefully you are fine and you Kuda recovered from the bad experience !
    Cheers, Pierrot

  3. Siew Hoon & Victoria6 February 2009 à 1:22 pm

    What a ‘nightmare,’ but good to know that you weren’t hurt, and that your friends were there with you. Take care, & enjoy yr. journey further.

    Siew Hoon.

  4. Hi Sheen,
    Thank God you’re alright. This sort of things happens all the time. Just like what happened to me in LSU when I was riding my bicycle. I crashed into a truck! I also didn’t see it coming and I learned not to be in a rush. I’m sure your biking skills helped you to avoid major damage. Now that my son is learning how to cycle, I will be telling him how to avoid accidents like these. It’s a good lesson for all of us.

    Take care and Good Luck

  5. hi sheen,

    i am sorry to see and read your little accident and i am glad that you have nothing serious with you healt. the crack in the part which is between the front shocks worries me a lot about bmw’s materials. anyway. the bad day has gone and there is a long good travel along you.

    it is good to find local people who can repear your gears and boots:)

    beautiful pictures and blog.

    best of luck again!

  6. Hi Sheen,

    Good to hear that you & kuda are fine to continue your journey. Take care and ride safely.. hope see you in Singapore again..

  7. Sheen,

    Don’t let what happened discourage you. Keep thinking positive.


  8. Left a message on the gest book main page Sheen.

  9. Update : arrived in southern tip of Msia ie Johore Baru this afternoon. Quite a long way down from Laos on a wobbling bike !! Parts arrived in Spore, including new suspension to see me thru Indon roads. Getting repairs done next 2 days.

    Dave, am off initial plan by 2 weeks, but … hope to cross your path there.


  10. Hi Sheen!!!

    Merci beaucoup pour ton message de la part de Pearl! Elle m’a dit que tu lui avais parlé sur Skype et je suis contente de savoir que tout va bien pour toi!
    Tu fais toujours d’aussi belles photos c’est vraiment magnifique!
    C’est dommage qu’on n’ai pas eu trop le temps de discuter de ton voyage quand tu étais à Nice à Noël alors j’espère que quand tu rentreras en mars on rattrapera ca!!
    Mon stage commence bientôt, le 2 mars j’ai hate d’y etre ca va etre bien. En attendant j’ai plein de travail avec les cours! beaucoup d’examens et de rapports à rendre.
    Profite bien de ton voyage c’est vraiment super!
    Gros gros bisous ta filleule qui t’aime

  11. Hi Sheen,
    Glad to see that you have arrived safely in J.B. All the best for the next leg and adventure! Enjoy the relaxing moment!


  12. Hi Sheen,

    Nice to know you are back in Malaysia. I’m glad you were able to fix your bike. Enjoy time with your family and take advantage to have some rest. Looking forward to seeing more pictures of historic places and interesting people. Take care of yourself and your pet coco.

  13. today is a special day…thinking of you. You still have lots of beautiful places to see, take care, Love, Lydia

  14. annie jeanmichel erwan gwen18 February 2009 à 1:58 pm

    contente de savoir que tout est rentre dans l ordre que la moto est reparee et que tu as repris la route je ne pense pas que ton aventure te mene au vietnam c est dommage car tu n aurais jamais ete seul je n ai jamais vu autant de motos de ma vie…..fais attention a toi annie

  15. Wow what a great read, thanks for the entertaining and insightful post of you amazing adventure.

  16. wow!! fantastic bro. it was all worth it I suppose…a real dream come true!!

    I hope you can now reminisce about ur travails!!

    Hope the best of everything!!

    Bye hope to see you one of these days!!

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