Posts Tagged ‘Motorbike’

Just outside Can Tho, 12 noon

In Writing, Place description, Feeling of the moment, South East Asia Photo Album on 2017/12/09 at 17:04

An arrow straight strip of asphalt stretches through the lush landscape out towards the tree line at the horizon. The sun shines brightly from an azure sky filled with dramatic clouds. The speedometer shows a clean 80 kph, ah,I feel so alive.


Mountain road outside Hsinchu, 4:41 pm

In Place description, Writing on 2017/09/11 at 15:13

The rain is truly torrential now, large drops falling at a  rapid pace. The road we’re on has turned into a veritable river; dead leaves and other debris from the surrounding jungle have been washed out onto the road and gotten caught on the edges of the many cracks in the asphalt, forming little islands here and there. The road is steep enough for a current to form, it keeps splitting and reconnecting as it flows around the little islands, even building up swells as it passes around some of the bigger ones. Separate streams flow down the ditches on the side of the road, white, foaming torrents that plunge down the mountain. I keep riding upwards, the gear low and the engine gunned, there is nowhere else to go and no cover to hide under. What rain clothes we have are insufficient for the onslaught of heavy rain, this is absolute misery, but there is nothing for it, forward is the only direction that will bring us closer to a hot shower.

Road 14 near Hehuanshan, 12:47 pm

In Place description, Writing on 2017/04/03 at 15:26

The road follows a mountain ridge, not far from the top, dipping and curving with the contours of the mountains. We are just past the peak, descending into the valley. Though the slope is gentle, it’s enough to keep us rolling, and despite the thin air, I no longer need to fight to keep the bike moving. As the road straightens out a bit, I dare cast a glance to the left and the whole landscape opens up. Beyond the barrier at the  edge of the road, the mountain side slopes steeply downwards to the valley below, then rises skywards again on the other side, forming another ridge on the opposite side. Behind that, range upon range of imposing mountains, a multitude of peaks that look like they are floating in the mist, each layer becoming more and more duffuse until they disappear beyond the horizon. It is spectacularly beautiful but only last a moment, then I have to direct my gaze at the road again.

Central cross-island highway, 3:42 pm

In Place description, Writing on 2017/04/03 at 14:50

It’s as if the road has been glued to the mountain side, a narrow strip of asphalt winding its way upwards along the steep slopes. To the right, a low barrier that keeps motorists from careening over the edge and beyond that, the ground falls away sharply. The road follows the curve of the river  below, the clear blue water cutting a perfect U through the pine clad landscape, and the banks strewed with grey boulders. It’s a picture perfect landscape, almost like driving through a Bob Ross painting.

Coastal road South of Tuy Hoa, 5 pm

In Feeling of the moment, Writing on 2016/10/12 at 13:04

I’ve seriously had it with this incessant rain, like Samuel L Jackson in Snakes on a plane would have said: enough is enough! It spoils the fun of riding by making the road slippery, it ruins any photo ops offered by the gorgeous scenery I’m passing, but worst of all, I’m getting soaked despite my rain gear. It is utterly and completely miserable.

Somewhere near Vinh Long, 5pm

In Feeling of the moment, Reflections on 2016/10/09 at 03:27

The sun is shining,  the rain seems to have dried up completely; the road is straight, only one way forward, with trees and small shops by the side, I keep the throttle at a steady 60 km/h. The theme to Smoky and the Bandit keeps playing in the back of my mind as I reflect on my first day of riding in Vietnam: my bag falling off the luggage rack, the rickety wooden bridge, the water buffalo by the road side. So many impressions just in one day…

Zhonghua road, 8:14 am

In Feeling of the moment, Place description, Writing on 2016/01/31 at 15:10

It’s just pouring down, heavy drops patter incessantly on the visor of my helmet and although I’m dressed for battle with elements, rain jacket, rain pants, and big floppy shoe covers that are impossible to walk in, there is till considerable discomfort. The drops sting my lips every time I accelerate, my gloves are already wet through and through, and there is a coldness in my crotch which I sincerely hope isn’t water soaking through my pants. Sometimes, on a good road in good weather, riding a motorcycle can be thoroughly enjoyable; swooping smoothly from turn to turn as you carve your way through a gorgeous landscape is a pure hedonistic pleasure. However, riding the boring old backstreets of my morning commute, in this shitty weather, is an exercise in stoicism. Stop hunching those shoulders, sit straight in the saddle and face the elements head on.

Jing guo/ Min quan cross, 5:08 pm

In Place description, Poetic prose, Writing on 2014/05/15 at 23:31

I’ve only been outside for a couple of minutes but I’m already utterly and completely drenched. My shirt clings to my back like a wet dish cloth, my jeans are heavy with water, sticking to my thighs. Every time I brake or change gear, a torrent of cold water runs down my legs and sloshes around in my shoes, when I speed up the heavy drops pound my chest like a fistful of marbles, I’m suffering unmatched levels of discomfort. I see the light turn green and the riders preceding me hit a giant puddle on the opposite side of the street, with big splashes. I cross the street and go in myself, the water level must be over my wheels, a great wake sprays up on both sides; I feel I should’ve come in a boat, not on a motorcycle. At that moment I realize how crazy this is, at noon the sun was still shining, and this was still a road, now the torrential downpour has turned it into a river and I’m traversing it with the wrong type of vehicle, I can’t help but to crack a smile at the thought of it.

West Coast Highway 5:48 pm

In Feeling of the moment, Writing on 2013/09/19 at 16:45

We are on a bridge, an arrow straight length of asphalt stretching across the river. We are speeding towards a massive, slate grey wall of clouds in the distance, all around us, the incessant drone of wind, as it buffets our scooter. The young man in front of me is not the most experience scooter driver, neither does he have that solid build that would allow him to move unscathed through a storm, but I, with a few beers in my belly, am not particularly suited for driving either.  Here we are, two men equally unfit for driving, heading into a thickening tempest on a small scooter. As the rain hits me, I feel our insignificance all the more acutely…

Hukou 6:38 pm

In Feeling of the moment, Writing on 2013/07/07 at 23:41

I’m on a motorcycle, not a scooter this time but a proper one, with manual gearbox and all. I’m sitting upright on the loaf of bread saddle, bright green gas tank up front gripped between my thighs for stability. I come to a part of the road where the vegetation on the side gives way and you get a view out over the fields. As I do, the orange glow of the setting sun lights up my face and I can see the world in front of me in splendid colors. At that moment, and for one moment only, I imagine myself as a lone rider, black profile against a golden sky, riding off into the sunset.