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A Nice Morning Ride

I started this Asia trip in the far south of Thailand, mainly in the rural area around Nakhon Si Thammarat. After a few days I was feeling like I needed to spread my wings so I took the motor scooter out for a ride on my own. I did not know the countryside very well but knew there was a special coffee shop in the vicinity and I was sure I could sniff it out. Getting out on the open road on this sunny day felt great. I pretty much forgot all about the bikes brakes misbehaving a bit over the past few days. After several kms, I made a leisurely right turn, coasted onto a bridge and suddenly the bike came to a screeching halt and stalled. I tried moving the bike but the rear wheel seemed to be locked. A local farmer came along with his truck and could see I was in a predicament. The locals speak very little English in this area so I showed him the locked rear wheel. He got out a piece of wood and we pounded on the brake which eventually released. I tried pushing the bike again and the back wheel could roll, unfortunately now the chain was broken. I definitely needed a garage. The farmer left me, frustrated like me with my lack of Thai language skills. Another guy came along right away who could speak a bit of English. He indicated there was a repair place just 200 meters or so up the road, great.

 I pushed the bike along the road and now realized just how hot it was out. It was high noon now and the tropical sun was blazing down on Southern Thailand. The first place I came to looked like they might do mechanical repair but they waved me on down the road, sounded like only a couple hundred meters more. I pushed onward a few hundred meters more and there I was told the bike shop is just ahead. Sweating profusely, I go through this cycle one more time and this time the people point to a shop I can actually see and it looks promising. A young guy came riding towards me on a bicycle and he guided me right to the shop, his shop. It must have been my lucky day because this guy formerly worked in a tourist hotel and probably spoke the best English for miles around. He said the bike needed a new chain as well as front and rear sprockets. Sounds expensive! I got him to look at the rear brakes which basically crumbled into a pile of rubble when he opened up the housing. I called for some translation help to make sure we were on the same page and agreed to replace only the rear sprocket, brakes and fix the existing chain. He set to work and in about 20 minutes was done. He took it for a test drive and tweaked the brakes a bit more and I was ready to roll again. Total bill was 220 baht, about $7 dollars. Gosh I love this country!!

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Brad the Nomad

Your guide to the good life

I love to live a healthy lifestyle, learn new things and travel extensively without spending a fortune.

Happy Travels,
Brad

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