|Don't ask me why but I always wanted to do the homeless grunge shot....|
By the way Apr-Sep would be rainy season
Also.... Lesson learned. Stick with what works from before. Yes full length knee-shin guards be it they are on the dorky-robocop side of fashion appeal. Even if its not for the knocks & spills... the dry lashing vegetation on the shins during high speed runs makes a BDSM scene looks like a Disney fairy tale.
|Reflecting on all the boo boo of the previous day... |
and hoping that everything was sorted out before reaching the summit
Ok Note, our guide to the rescue-- gave Ivan his seat post and gone sans seat and post. Can still jump and whip on the way down! Some Madmonkey indeed!
|Note and Ivan: And we can all see the budding relationship in those few days|
All thanks to 2 cleaned sheared off bolts ;)
I always bring spare rear dee and hanger but never occurred in the past to bring spare brake levers... maybe it was something in my subconscious says.. and luckily I did...
Thankfully by Day 2. I was back in my element. Suspension adjusted and got used to the new riding positions as dictated by all the changes on the bike... I have been going back to Chiang Mai yearly and each time my fork got a little bigger or beefier... this year was the ultimate.. cramping the RV-1 DH fork on a non DH fork and working all sorts of magic to make things workable...I totally understand why people do stick with these big forks when the going gets ..well Big. It is truly worth it and judging from the performance I see -- frankly I will stick with RV-1.. Nah no FoX or Rochshox for me still.
|Spare XT lever.. Whew!|
|Uplift: The most understated but critical piece of equipment from our guide. Without which there will be no gungho posing ride shots if we have to drag bollocks pushing the bikes up each time in this dusty heat.|
Ok -- let's get to some riding pics Plucked from various cameras... in no particular sequence to the days we were there
|Go Pro Good arh!|
|"Mai Tu Liao...chiong arh"|
|Group shots.. .can there ever be a trip without one?|
|"Camera Front!" Quick lah.. Pose Pose Pose.. Hip sway, Eyes front, Heels down. Look the part damnit!|
|Our mystery rider-- Look Ma, no hands! This has got to be another "WTF-Happened" moment....and the entire sequence? Here|
|Doi Inthanon: Not particularly exciting on the way I must say and we travelled 80+km to get there... But hey at least its bragging rights back home that we been to the highest mountain in Thailand that's part of the Himalayan range eh!|
|ahhh.. this trip's most verbally abused rider want his portrait shot with the peak too. Yea rite... over all our salt laden hairy ass... Permission not granted Tinny!|
|Ernie-the-Detonator did it again... another dust bomb from him.... All lovingly captured for posterity by cam-whore Dave.|
|Seeing fk-all : Just gotta have faith in the guy in front of you not to fall...|
|The dusty aftermath of Doi Inthanon... actually back in the rest |
of the usual trails twas' pretty much the same in this dry season
|whenever there are streams and falls in my ride-- old habits die hard.|
|Hot Hot Hot: Me icy skullcap creation to make sure I don't have to haul |
some heat-collapsed bag of old bones I've known since the Jurassic Age
|Mid Trail Arm Pump Relieving Break: Excited Merv relating dunno what |
experience he has up there. Note and Andrew lending big sympathetic ears :)
Videos to follow-- Too many cameras, too much to edit now...
Riding is just a part of CM trips. Food glorious food, gorge till you drop, great local stuff to things we will pay a king's ransom to feast on back home....
|From nice chic restaurant to donnowachacallit-point-your-finger-and-order goodies...|
Of course there's the default touristy thing to do... More pachyderm art in the house now...
|2nd trip for the missus to CM. Looks like they are enforcing|
the helmet rule more in the last year since we were there.
Were told it's a 500 Baht fine if the coppers decide to stop you...
|Ok one parting ass-shot oops I mean group shot. Yup, just about everyone got their personalized Madmonkey jersey.|
Conclusion: Think I'll be back end of the year again if no other big trip materialize in between. A new DH bike? Nah... the EG is really versatile and good enuf for me... Just gonna keep all my different forks and shocks to Plug 'n' Play as necessary. With no WC DH courses around the region nor me having the guts to pile some 30ft air anyway.. a full on DH would be just overkill.
But rough "FR"ish terrains for some of the trails here sure can use a DH pogostick if the frame can fit. For which the EG certainly is up to the task with the RV1 plonked on it. In retrospect, back then I wasn't really thinking so much about pure DH rigs but veered in the direction of things like the TR250 or Morewood Kalula. Bikes that are comfortable and catered to switch around with a big single or dual crown....
There's no wrong or right but often with all the marketing hypes we all tend to fall into the "more is better" trap. Been there done that too... not that I have always been all that wise on things mtb. But with a much better sense of knowing one's own capability and terrains to match, its a lot easier to settle on what's really necessary and functional.
The single biggest change wasn't so much as having the bigger fork in there this year.. It was the head angle change with the Workscomponent set. Never thought it would be so radical but it did necessitate quite a fair bit of changes in my riding positions to accommodate the differences from before. A lot more forward but which was still a lot more stable It also meant having to watch out for front hoop washouts and do the leg kickout routines more often into high speed turns.. a la MX style.
With increasing speed each year, I can see the limits of me XT brakes... time to swipe that plastic for a pair of Saints now... Definitely a proven piece of component as seen on the other guys' bikes on this trip.
Adjustable seatposts? Duh-- learned my lesson from past 2 trips. Much as I'm an advocate for one on any trail bike but for these kinda riding and the possible cartwheeling spills, an adj post is like trying to carry a porcelain vase on a ride. No more, not for klutz me at least.