Wild Hogs Tour 2010 


It was Hogs time again we planned to meet at the usual place Bang Chang on Sunday the 17th October 2010.

  Jake, General ,Phantom and Snags were al ready down there causing havoc and marking their territory. Biggles (myself), Scuba and Coach were in Bangkok. Duffy arrived from NZ on Friday and travelled down in the car with Jake. I was planning on travelling Saturday morning the others Sunday morning. I actually went bed early for a change to start at 1st light, only to be woken by rain. I tossed and turned thinking it has to stop. Up at 05030 looked out window and it resembled a warm southern NZ, drizzling rain low cloud and no sign of letting up.  I paced the floor looking out the window in every direction. I rang the boys down Bang Chang they said it was raining there to and said they wouldn’t get wet as they will be in a bar! I whined bit more and was told if I was looking for sympathy its between shit and Syphilis in the dictionary. I rang General who I was meeting up with said he had to go to meet Jake so was heading off without me. I waited until 11am then could bear missing out on the day one fun at Bang Chang. I set off battled the traffic and a little rain. Managed to get under the Bang Na Trat over head fwy, whilst it was hammering down and the rain stopped after 80 kms when I exited, great luck. I gave it a hand full to beat the rest of the rain and arrived in BC at 1pm. General and the rest were at Jakes place fitting a new performance exhaust to Jakes Buell that Duffy brought over from NZ, when I rang informing them I was having my first beer at Hubert;s bar “Colleens”. It wasn’t too long before the mob arrived and then proceeded to check out a few of the bars. Scuba and Coach arrived the next day whilst we were getting over our hangovers at the camel. We took a ride down the beach and panned the ride. Its was hoped that we would go north through Kao Yai National Park to Pak Chong and around back to Hue Hin. Due to the heavy rain and flooding up north we decided to detour straight to Hue Hin. Riding in Thailand can be dangerous if you don’t take care and riding in the wet not being able to see the condition of the road is even not recommended. In Thailand it can let down 300mm or over one inch of rain in 30 minutes hense mud and water flows over the roads.On Monday morning 7 riders set off at about 0930am from the Camel bar at Bang Chang, I was leading due to apparently know the short cut through Bangkok. I managed to split the group 5 kms out of town! We tracked through on to Hwy 331 then on to 36 and right onto hwy 3 towards Bangkok. We had planned to go via the old hwy 3 to Samut Prakan then on a car ferry to cross the Chao Praya river and onto hwy 2 and down to Hue Hin. The rain had eased up but the roads were still wet and muddy so we took it easy. We turned off towards Samut Prakan. The road was really bad and full of traffic it was slow rough going. Re refuelled at Samut Prakan and headed off to find the ferry, I managed to get us lost after 10 kms, lucky Jake had been in this area before and knew the way to the ferry. We arrived at the ferry and after a short wait boarded with the hoards of local bikes and a few cars. The fare was a massive 15 baht approximately 50 cents. A short boat ride to the other side and a bit of sea time for the ANZAC Riders. No one threw up although Snags looked a little green. We survived the exit off the ferry which was like a Le Mans tank slapper start as every bike on the ferry tried to get off first up the narrow ramp. We rode about 1 km to a restaurant on the river for lunch and awaited for the pick up with our bags catches up. About  5 km ride to hwy 2 which leads straight down to Hua Hin. Coach took the lead which woke Phantom up who proceeded to chase him as he set off at a furious pace. Something was up as we all gave it a hand full to keep up. It took about 2 hours before we arrived at Hue Hin managing to avoid most of the rain, although some donned their wet weather gear which is a sure sign it wont rain! We booked into the Jed Pi Nong hotel changed quickly into the usual shorts , T shirt and thongs (Jandles) and headed off to check out the bar scene. Duffy retired hurt early Jake , General and myself back to the hotel at a reasonable time. The young boys and coach managed to tie one on as we couldn’t find them or wake them in the morning for the next days ride. After Breakfast we decided to let Snags and Phantom sleep in and the rest went to have the bikes washed. We eventually found a car wash with a small restaurant attached that served cold drinks and sat back whilst our bikes were washed for the princely sum of 3 dollars. Then back to the hotel managed to get the young lads out of bed and planned to head off down south for the day to dolphin Bay an idyllic beach spot for lunch. It was a great ride through the small hills to Dolphin Bay were we found a small thatched hut restaurant on the beach and enjoys numerous plated of fresh seafood for a small price. After lunch it was a quck ride back to Hue Hin for another night on the town. Next morning Wednesday the 20th , we managed to get everyone up and on their bike, we decided to head of to Kanchanaburi to catch up with our Thai friends who own “Nings Bar” near the Bridge Over the River Kwai. We didn’t get far as after refuelling coaches bike gave up the ghost and died. After extensive trouble shooting we could’nt get it fixed and decided to put it on the pick up and get it fixed in Bangkok on the way back. It was a short ride of 300 kms to Kanchanaburi and we arrived early afternoon. We all ventured down to Nings bar who was glad to see us and had put on a great party to celebrate. We had a great night even though it rained most of the time. A few were seen in the swimming pool at early hours of the morning relaxing ready for the ride home.Next morning we set off for Bangkok, It was a good ride until we hit traffic on the out skirts of the city. We managed to get through it all and find our way back to the ferry. I sloped off before the ferry and headed home. I was given the DNF (did not finish) prize for being so slack. Coach managed to get his bike fixed and met the rest at Bang Chang for the final night. Duffy stayed for a couple of days being looked after by Phantom and Snags, which was a very dangerous alliance, then flew back to NZ. It was another great ride although cut short by the floods.



ANZAC 2011 Tour


Well the time had come around again, to ride to Kanchanaburi to pay our respects and keep the ANZAC spirit alive and in remembrance to the POW's who gave their lives and worked on the Thai Burma railway. Also for all the other theaters of war where Australians and New Zealanders fought and gave their lives to protect our countries and way of life. 

It was not quick enough for some members, with their bags packed a month in advance and cleverly hatched plans put in place to obtain permission from wives and girl friends. Members flew in from New Zealand . Australia and Malaysia. Other members from Bangkok, Jomteim, Chachoengsao, and Phuket. This year there were 11 riders ,General, Basil, Staz, Chopper, Beaker, Snags Harry and Tony on HD'S, Duffy on the much loved Buell, Phantom on the go faster R1, Coach and Biggles on Trumpy's  plus 2 back up crew in the truck, Puka and Boris, who we aptly named "Vinnie the van man and Nev the navigator" ,  Staz's father Vic hired a van and joined the us for half the tour, just to make sure Staz behaved him self!

This years tour was ; 24th Ban Chang to  Sai Yok,  25th ANZAC Day Sai Yok to Hell Fire Pass (Dawn Service) to Kanchanaburi (ANZAC Day Service). 26th Kanchanaburi, 27th Kanchanaburi to Hua Hin, 28th Hua Hin to Ranong, 28th Ranong to Phuket , 29th 30th  1st  Phuket, 2nd Phuket to Rocky Point (near Hua Hin), 2nd Rocky Point to Ban Chang.

As usual we all met at Boris's fine establishment "The Wall Street Bar and Grill" on Soi 33 Sukhumvit Thursday 21st. Many beers were had and lots of lies told as we catch up on old times. Couple of the boys were in Pattaya getting the hire bikes ready etc and the General was finishing the last minute arrangements of a logistics nightmare but managed to get a few G&Ts as well.

Friday the overseas boys were mobilized down to Pattaya to pick up their bikes and ride to Ban Chang. Saturday morning Coach and Biggles road their Trumpy's down to meet General and the rest of the ANZAC riders. On arrival General summoned us to his house, one to keep us out of the bars and two to get his HD Fat Boy off the lift as the hydraulics had thrown the towel in whilst in the up position. After a lot of grunting and swearing we managed to get it down, straighten our backs then scuttle off up stairs to raid Generals fridge before he could lock the door. Rest of the boys arrived and we watched one of Generals great DVD productions of last years trip called the "Wall of Shame". Everyone had the rinse taken out and a great lot of laughs. The last can was drained out of the fridge and then we rode down to the beach for lunch. We sat under the sea pines next to the beach going over the trip details and safety issues. Then back to Ban Chang before the heavens opened up on us, parked the bikes, checked in to the Chang Inn, then hit the bars to catch up with everyone.

Boris was the first one in trouble, while watching the rugby a couple of German tourists told him it was a game for dunderclumpins,(wrong thing to say to a rugby fanatic like Boris) who then promptly replied  " how would you know you lost the bloody war"! Then the fight started. Most of the crew managed to contain them selves to get to bed ready for the big ride ahead.

Sunday 24th, most were up early readying their bike for the ride ahead. We loaded our bags in the truck under severe instructions from Boris and Puhka and met at the Camel Bar for brecky and then a 9am departure. All were there except the two young turks, Phantom and Snags who were heard getting home at 6am. Many phone calls and door knocking produced no result. So after breakfast we mounted up with Basil in the lead, General sweeping and set off to skirt around Bangkok and up to Sai Yok. We left Phantom and Snags to catch up. Fines would be forthcoming!

The ride was unusually cool for this time of the year, well at least until we got to the out skirts of Bangkok at Midday. when the clouds disappeared and it got quite hot. Which made it uncomfortable trying to push through traffic. Halfway into the trip just before our lunch stop Staz's HD gave up the ghost in heavy traffic and 40 heat. I (Biggles) stayed with Staz while the others went to the lunch stop only 5 kms up the road. Lucky it was Staz who broke down, as he is our ANZAC Riders engineer, an old school mechanic who can actually fix things! He deduced that it was the crank angle sensor had over heated , so we let it cool down and Staz shouted me for a lavish lunch at a near by noodle stall, after 2 plates of rice and spicy pork, 4  cokes we tried to pay with AMEX but were threatened with a spatula to cough up a costly sum of 150 Bht (5 dollars). Staz managed to get the HD going again but it didn't last for long, after lunch we loaded it in the back of the support truck. We ordered a part from Bangkok to be sent ahead to Kanchanaburi.

After lunch the remainder set off to Sai Yok and after getting drenched in a down pour of biblical proportions. we arrived at Kanchanburi where we picked up Harry, Tony and a new member, John who asked to join us for a couple of days. We arrived at Pong Suda Resort in the small village of Sai Yok on the Thai Burma Railway at about 5 pm, to see Phantom and Snags sitting in Reception looking sorry for themselves. Showers and massages were had, then a few beers and dinner outside in a picturesque jungle stetting. Most of us were in bed by 10 pm as we had to be up at 0230am next morning ready to depart for the dawn service at Hell Fire Pass.

Monday 25th ANZAC Day. All were up at 0230 am ready at their bikes except Tony who missed the start but caught up later. Great night ride 40 kms up to Hell Fire Pass in the cool of the morning. Through a lot of Police and security due to the Australian Governor General attending, we arrived at about 3 am. We found out later that day that a van with 2 Australians and 2 Thais lost their lives in a head on crash on the way to the dawn service. We made our way down to the cutting with Puhka nipping at our heels to keep us together and moving. We were lucky to get front row seats at a packed out service. As all ways it was a very moving ceremony with 5 original POW's attending. After the service we had to wait until the GG had a natter to everyone and then we made the arduous journey back up the stairs for the "Gunfirers breakfast". We departed early back to the resort for breakfast just making it before it poured down raining.  Due to the steep winging road back up the hill out of Sai Yok and the associated water and mud flowing across the road, for safety reasons we waited until the rain stopped then departed for Kanchanaburi, hence we just missed out on the service at the Kanchanaburi cemetery.  We book into the hotel on the river Kwai just up from the famous bridge, then went to our usual restaurant on the river for lunch and met up with other colleagues who were attending  ANZAC day services.After a nanna nap and a swim we proceeded to our local bar "Nings" owned and run by good friends of the ANZAC riders Ning and Ek. They put on a heap of food and entertainment and a great time was had by all with a few sore heads in the morning.

On Tuesday we had a free day some guys went to the waterfalls for swim, Puka and others went the restaurant on the river for wine and seafood others laid around the pool and suffered. We managed to get the part for the HD and Staz fixed it in no time so he was on the road again. We again all met later at Nings for a farewell drink or the hair of the dog and most were a bit more subdued then he previous night and left early for bed.

Wednesday 27th, we were all up for breakfast on the River Kwai and to say goodbye to John and his wife as they were returning to Pattaya, also Tony who was to return to Phuket.  The truck was loaded with Boris kicking the tyres like he was driving a road train and Puhka pondering over a map of Thailand, we all set off towards Hua Hin.This was a relatively short trip so we decided to head straight to Dolphin Bay which is 30 kms past Hua Hin for lunch. Dolphin Bay is a pristine fishing bay with a few small resorts. We arrived and parked up on the beach to have lunch in a small thatched outdoor restaurant. A great sea food lunch was had for a pittance. We all then departed for the short ride back to Hua Hin and checked into the hotel. In the afternoon drinks were had, while Chief prosecutor Duffy and Judge Puhka held court and dished out some severe fines. A great night out in the town with the young turks stretching it out to the early hours.

Thursday 28th, We were up rearing to go at 7am as we had a long ride about 450 km's through the Hills down into Ranong near the Myanmar (Burma) boarder. We arrived at Chumpon just before the turn off to Ranong for lunch. Phantom decided he would ride ahead so he could give the R1 a work out through the hills. The group set off and the horns emerged out of a few riders as they cruised around the sweeping bends. 3 of them left the group for a GP style blat through the twisted jungle road. We all emerged the other side of the hills unscathed and met up with the front runners. It was a great ride that tested all the ANZAC rider's skills. One thing missing was Phantom. Phantom by name Phantom by nature! We went to the hotel and finally contacted Phantom who eventually found the hotel. He had gone down the wrong road and went back up it looking for us. He had a grin from ear to ear so it was obviously the RI got a thrashing through the hills. It was around the pool for drinks and into the spa's of volcanic water to ease the aches and pains of a couple of the senior riders.

Friday 29th it was off to Phuket, everyone was up, including Boris who was at the back of the truck jumping up and down about being late for a rugby match in Phuket. Which only made everyone go slow to take the rinse.We set off smartly after the truck at a fierce pace through the winding roads towards Kao Lak, where the lunch stop was. Khao Lak  was one of the worst hit areas in the 2004 Tsunami disaster. After lunch Harry took the lead and we headed off towards Phuket. We arrived early afternoon at the bridge that takes you onto the Island of Phuket where we met two other colleages who were going to lead us into Pattong beach. After a quick refreshment and some quick maintenance by Staz to Harry's Vrod, we were off at break neck speed. It seems that the Phuket boys were going test us out on the ride in. Duffy, Phantom and Snags were dispatched up front to give them a run for their money, the rest stopped to refuel.  The big HA from Phuket got a bit of a shock when all he had in his mirror was a R1 and a Beull all the way to the hotel, and he is one of the best riders in town! We all arrived at "Nicky's Handle Bar, restaurant, hotel and Harley repair shop. We checked in and the rooms were great with each room done in a Harley motive next to the swimming pool. All fixtures were made out of motor bike parts artistically done. Well worth a look if any one is in Pattong. While some of the bikes had minor repairs, we all lubricated our insides with a cold beer.

We spent 3 days in Puhket. A great time was had by all, Boris got to see his Rugby, the rest of us got the wobbly boots on and staggered around Pattong beach getting lost amongst the bars. During the day we spent around the pool taking it easy listening too some good stories. A few feats of strength were performed to impress some passing staff but we all failed and resigned ourselves to floating around the pool with beer cans resting on our stomachs. Great time was had by all, but it was time to leave money was running low and we were running out of excuses to wives and girlfriends.

Monday the 2nd we loaded up and set off under a light sprinkling of rain. It was taken slowly as we exited through the slippery winding roads over the Phuket hills. Harry graciously led us out and then said goodbye after 100 km's and returned home.Basil up front set a cracking pace of 130-140 kph along the dual carriageway. It was hot day and we had 530 kms to cover. At about 3pm we arrived at Rocky Point Resort, a great little isolated spot on the coast south of Hua Hin. While waiting for the truckies to roll up we took over the pool and the beer fridge.Dinner was taken care of by the sponsors which was a great selection of local seafood washed down with Staz's Bundy Rum, Basils Chivas, Puhkas wine and bottles of cold local beer. The last court session was held and we were all given a fair trial with some unjust but deserved fines. The Toad of the trip was voted on , 3 nominees were put up. Chopper for show boating(standing on his seat), Snags for not getting home before 4am every night, and Phantom for chasing squirrels in the jungle with his R1.

It was unanimous, Phantom won the day.

Tuesday 3rd everyone was anxious to get going and was up, breakfasted and packed by 7.30am. After a small photo shoot next to the sea we mounted up, all except Chopper as he had a battery failure and even with Staz's expertise we couldn't get it on the road. So it was loaded up along with Chopper in the truck and they set off to Ban Chang. The rest of the ANZAC Riders got on the road and made good time up to Bangkok where myself (Biggles) and Coach peeled off home. The remainder put their bikes on a 10 minute ferry ride across the Chao Praya River to Samut Prakan and rode on to Ban Chang getting back to base about 4 PM to the welcome of the local cheer leading squads in the various entertainment venues.It was a great ride organized by General and assisted by all in the ANZAC Riders. Our international brothers Duffy, Chopper, Vic and Staz sadly packed their helmets and gloves away and headed for the airport, having already booked their flight for next year! The rest of us scuttled off to our favourite watering holes then home to maybe dodge a few pots and pans. Only 50 weeks until next ANZAC ride, counting down.

Nings Bar Kanchanaburi



2010 ANZAC Tour 
The 2010 ride was a great success with all having a good time and great riding.  The route is panned to be at Kanchanaburi on ANZAC Day and via areas in Thailand that allow great riding and good times.The route this year was decided over a few beers at the “Wall Street”. The “General”, Anzac Riders organiser and logistics man set out the route on Google earth. The ride started at Ban Chang, then to Sia Yok, Pak Chong, Odon Thani, Nong Khai, Buriram, Aranyaprathet, Koh Chang and return to Ban Chang. General” drove the route using his GPS noting the distances to turn offs fuel stops and destinations. Hotels were organised at the right price ensuring they have security for the bikes, swimming pools and cold beer in that order!.  We received confirmation of 15 riders plus some undecided or still waiting on the wife’s permission! We decided to cut it off at 20 bikes due to the logistics and the problem of getting the pack through Thai roads and traffic. We had overseas riders from New Zealand, Townsville, Sydney and Singapore. The ANZAC Riders organise accommodation, back up vehicles, hire bikes, tee shirts, etc. The cost for a 10 day ride, if you have your own bike is about 14000 baht (470 AUD). A hire bike costs ranges from 1500 Baht (50 AUD) for a japper to 3000 Baht (100 AUD) per day for HD.  
Thursday the 22nd April we all met at the “Wall Street”, catching up with friends from last years ride and downing a few cold ones. Tee shirts, bandanas etc made up for the tour were issued out and transport organised for the overseas riders to go to Pattaya to pick up their hire bikes. Some riders had to work and were meeting the group later at various locations on the Saturday. Friday 23rd Local riders headed off to Ban Chang from various locations and the overseas riders picked up their hire bikes from Pattaya. A short ride was organised the same day to iron out any problems with the hire bikes etc, we all met at a near by beach for lunch and to sort out the finer details.  We had a lead rider “Basil” with directions laminated and fitted on his HD Anniversary Dyna tank. Myself (Biggles) on a Triumph Rocket as tail end charlie and sweep. “General” on his HD Anniversary Fat Boy and “Duffy” on Basils second bike a Buell XB12SS Lightning as blockers and photography. The Phantom on a Yamaha R1 was the gopher, chasing up riders, support vehicles etc. Scuba on a Suzuki GSX 750 catering officer, a fluent Thai speaker organising food and beers. In Thailand we use bikes to block traffic at intersections as the pack rides through. Locals in up country Thailand, especially ones on 125cc step throughs tend not to obey traffic rules! Two way radios were used between Basil and my self (when they worked!) to stop and start the pack etc. We had two support vehicles, one a small 3 tonne truck carrying our entire luggage, tools and enough room for a broken bike and Puka a senior member who doesn’t ride anymore in a SUV. . 
A good night was had by all at Ban Chang and we all met for Breakfast and briefing at the Camel Pub at 8 am next morning, a few look worst for wear but all were ready to get on the road. General gave the usual safety briefing, beware of Buffalos, elephants, dogs, monkeys and rotary hoes that cross the roads in Thailand at the most in appropriate time!5 Harleys, 2 Triumphs, 1 Beull, 1 Suzuki, 1 Yamaha. Kawasaki, 4 Hondas departed Ban Chang at 9 am. We sit on a reasonable speed of about 120- 130kms per hr and stop every 100- 120 kms to fuel and rehydrate. This time of year in Thailand is one of the hottest, with temperatures most days of 35-40C. So we stop frequently to refuel both bike and body. We passed Minburi in outer Bangkok, stopped for fuel and pick up a Police escort organised by “Freight Care” one of our sponsors. A Police escort is essential to get you through heavy traffic, other wise you and your bike end up over heating. We only needed the escort around the back of Bangkok until we got on the highway to Kanchanburi. We left the fuel stop at a furious pace led by the Police on motorbikes pushing all the traffic aside and giving us a clean run. We arrived at our lunch spot near the start of the Highway safely in 20 minutes, this normally takes 1 hour in Traffic. After lunch another rider joined us, Scuba on his Suzuki 750 and we continued down the road to Sia Yok, 40 kms passed Kanchanaburi . We arrived at the night stop a resort next to the River Kwai late afternoon and enjoyed a few beers around the swimming pool discussing the days ride. Most of us were in bed early as we had to depart for Hell Fire pass for to the dawn service ceremony. It is essential to get there early due to the amount of people that attend the service. 
ANZAC Day 25th April we lined up at 3.30 am, all made it except “Boris” who claimed he had a dead battery and travelled in the back up vehicle. We ascertained it was the combination of a hangover and a kill switch in the off position! Great night ride in the cool of the morning up through the winding hills to Hell Fire Pass where we met 4 other Anzac riders on the way. The organisers of the Dawn service graciously organised us parking near the memorial and we set off for the long walk down into Hell Fire Pass.  The Dawn Service is a very moving experience, anyone visiting Thailand at that time it is highly recommended. We completed the service at about 8 am and made the arduous trek back up to the top for the “gun firers” breakfast (coffee, ANZAC biscuits and Bundaberg rum). We set off soon after back to the resort for breakfast and then departed for Kanchanaburi Anzac Day Ceremony near by. After the ceremony we checked into the hotel and retired to the swimming pool to cool off and get ready for the Anzac day parties later that night.  The next day was free day, some riders rode to Three Pagoda pass next to the Burma border, a great ride through the hills in some of Thailand’s most scenic areas. Others went to the Tiger Temple to pat a very big cat then to the waterfalls for a swim and clean the underwear after the tigers thought it was “meals on wheels” when they went to the temple. The remainder laid up in the hotel nursing a hangover and visited the “Bridge over the River Kwai” near by. Next day after a few group photos (insert Photo) at the “Bridge over the River Kwai”, we rode to Pak Chong Then next day on to Udon Thani, Nong Khai next to the Laos. Thai boarder and Mekong River. Excellent ride with 2 days R&R in that area. The tour then proceeded down through central Thailand (Isarn country) to Buriram for a night stop. Then it was on to Aranyaprathet on the Cambodian/Thai boarder, a very scenic challenging ride through the hills. It was planned to go to Koh Chang a tropical Island but due to some logistics problems we decided to continue back to Ban Chang. Three riders had to head back to Bangkok due work commitments and the remainder rode on to Ban Chang for post tour celebrations and discuss the next years ride.  The ride was a great success with a few minor problems of a flat battery and few speeding fines.