Five 650 Ninjas and Doi Tung Mountain...

I wont not for the reckless abandon of youth.  The days of fearless bravado and launching one’s self headlong into the abyss, are no longer for me.  These aging bones are tempted more by coddling and comfort than fear and the rush of adrenaline.  Yet yesterday found me facing my fears and doing things with my bike that had me amazed.  Amazed that we all escaped unscathed.

Five Ninjas racing through traffic on the way to Doi Tung and then snaking our way up the mountain at breakneck speed.  Granted I was at the tail end of the snake much of the time, waiting for an opportunity to go around other vehicles rather than between them.  Even after pushing what I felt were the physical limits of my tires on the uphill twistys, one of the younger guys pointed out on the edge of his tires, how much further out the wear pattern was from mine.  I doubt he had a full centimeter of unscuffed rubber at the boarders.

The three young Thai guys obviously do this run up Doi Tung regularly where it was the first time for the two aging farangs.  The experience I gained on the day was invaluable.  Following others gave me the confidence I would have been lacking on my own.  With them clearing the way, so to speak, I could focus on my technique rather than guessing at the optimal speed and worrying about the constant threat of finding someone in my lane, passing on a blind curve.  A regular occurrence, I might add, and one that is met with daily when on the roads in this area. 

The young lads couldn’t resist commenting on how small our bikes looked under our more substantial bulk and our retort was how they looked like tiny children perched upon their massive beasts.  Much was made of which gears were used to climb the mountain.  Clearly the weight to power ratio was in there favor, no getting around that fact.  Thrills, camaraderie, banter and great riding weather marked the day.  I did breath a sigh of relief when my regular riding buddy and I headed back to the Rai at a very brisk, yet more measured pace.

It was nice of them to invite us and the five of us had a great time, risking life and limb.  After coffee and conversation at the top of the mountain, which was remarkably crowed on the day, we parted ways.  The two young guys that we know are policemen, continued on to Mae Sai for lunch and to visit a friend who had been invited to join the ride, but who had a mishap and incapacitated his R1, just the day before.  The youngest rider was entrusted to the Farangs on the return ride to Chiang Rai.  We even received a thoughtful followup call to make sure we all got back to town safely.

The winter riding season seems to be in full swing.  Seeing more bikes on the road everyday.  Next month I’ll be off to my first Bike Week in Chiang Mai, just to have a look see.  It may end up being a one-off but with friends planning a new route to get there and back, I just couldn’t resist.  Sorry no pictures this time, as we were moving a bit too fast.