BMW GS Trophy – Day 5 & 6

Story by Costa Mouzouris// Photos by Costa Mouzouris
March 7 2016

The 2016 BMW GS Trophy is rolling along as riders covered almost 450 km in the last two days, travelling from Mae Sariang to Doi Inthanon yesterday and to Chae Son today.

Day 5 was a long riding day, as the 270 km route took riders from Mae Sariang to Doi Inthanon. It was a fast-paced ride, once again covering almost every type of road surface imaginable. Main roads in northern Thailand are pristinely paved and smooth, with fast, flowing sweepers, while other roads are either dirt, or concrete, or were once paved with only spotty patches of asphalt remaining. Or they are simply cow trails. And if you think the Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina is twisty—all roads here are dragon’s tails!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn day 6, we were told by route scout, Tomm Wolf (pictured with me) during the morning’s briefing that the 160 km route would include a 10-km stretch of extreme single-track trails that would provide the most difficult conditions of the entire rally. He wasn’t kidding. Although 10 km doesn’t sound like much it took us about one and a half hours to cover the distance.

The foot-wide track often flanked the side of a steep hill, where one wrong move would send you off the edge and down quite a long way. If you were lucky, trees would break your fall. The hill was so steep footpegs sometimes scraped on the side. Exposed tree roots often nudged the front wheel towards the edge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh, and every so often you had to duck very low to avoid whacking your head on large overhead branches. This ride alone has become my benchmark for riding difficulty.

Of course, before exiting this crazy trail, we had to climb a steep hill, littered with loose rock. About half the riders got stuck on the way up.

Tomorrow we return to the starting point in Chiang Dao, where riders will partake in the final riding test.


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