First Day of Riding

12 Feb

By Gary:

Day 1 – We are in Kampong Cham – we had a change of route to avoid some wet weather on the coast where we were headed.

Yesterday was an eventful day. Between the crazy Cambodian drivers, the heat, the breakdowns and the, uh, “roads” it was a fun time. The way some of these guys are riding, I seriously doubt all the scooters are going to make it. It is pretty funny though to see them riding these things like it is a hare scramble. Most everyone is a pretty good rider but we are still developing into about three groups – fast, slow, and pepe l’pew. Two of the older guys, Frank and John ride slowly and deliberately and end up many kilometers back, yet somehow manage to be among the first to the destination. Probably due to less stops for repairs and picking up of thrown off luggage.

As far as a first day’s ride – there was lots of shake-down. Several people lost their luggage and their GPS and such, but with a couple minor exceptions everybody still has all their gear.

Damage for the day was mostly just to one guy’s bike – Lawrence’s. He broke his footpeg, lost his chain guard, ripped out (stripped already?) the case mounts for his pegs and had multiple and regular fuel problems until we finally found he had salt(?!) in his gas tank. By sheer dumb luck we found a welder on the road to Kampong Cham who welded and reinforced his footpeg bracket and re-fitted it for him. That was a lucky break. Riding these bikes at this pace on these roads, we have to be standing on the pegs just to prevent beating these poor little things things to death.

Rocinante is holding up fairly well. The front fender is a little off center and when the suspension compresses the knobbies eat up the right side of the fender a bit. I didn’t lose any luggage or have any mechanical issues. Actually she handled shockingly well in some of the deep sand sections on the road today.

I had a nice Khmer yellow curry last night. Best meal so far this trip – I keep forgetting to take pictures of the food. Nobody has tried to serve us dog yet except for some mystery meat in yesterdays lunch – of course I didn’t eat the meat so no fido so far. I haven’t had to break into the emergency meals I brought, though I might today just to shed some weight from my luggage.

Headed off to breakfast now. ttfn

Sand from Laurence's Tank

 

Improvised gas tank from water bottle

 

Traffic for the RFC riders in Phnom Pehn

 

The first fill up -- Buying gas out of a coke bottle on the side of the road before we take off

 

Riders Ready!

 

Scooters Ready!!

 

One Response to “First Day of Riding”

  1. jacl-kampuchea February 13, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Hi guys,

    Just a tip – buy the more expensive premium gas from Tela, Sokimex or Total/Caaltex where ye can.

    It’s slightly more expensive but delivers better mileage with less likelyhood of issues with gunked tanks, fuel-lines or carbs.

    Good luck,

    J

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