The air is filled with flying termites. Last night, the rain fell softly for hours, waking up the baked earth and ushering the jungle back to life. The raining season has come; a breath of cool, humid relief.
This is the time to change your knobbies. Sure, you can ride around in the dry season with half your treads missing and get away with it, but things get real – real fast – once the rains fall in Thailand. Towards the end of last season my front tyre was looking more like a slightly bumpy doughnut than the Michelin Enduro Medium it was meant to be, but we made it through.
Now, with the frogs singing and the jungle floor turning to slime, it’s time to grab the sharpest knobbies in the shop and drop your tyre pressure to nothing.
These days I have Tubliss on my KLX230, and it’s one of my favourite mods. Not only does it make the whole bike lighter, but it means I can literally run zero PSI when I need to. The grip is phenomenal.
We also get super aggressive knobbies here in Thailand. It wasn’t until we took the KTM instructors out for a ride in March that I learned that treads like ours simply aren’t allowed in some parts of the world. I don’t mean the Michelin Enduro Mediums; I mean, the IRC M5B Evo and their ilk.
The reasoning is that they rip up the trails too much; looking at some of the ruts around here, I can see where they’re coming from. Fortunately, the jungle also reclaims quickly.
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As you can see, I might not be able to ride right now, but my mind is still filled with motorcycles. I grit my teeth in envy every time I hear the thumping sound of P’Lah fanging around on his CRF450. That Yoshimura is sweet.
The throttle calluses on my right hand are starting to peel off, so I have consoled myself with a blood red manicure. I am regrettably safe from breaking a nail.
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I have been doing my physiotherapy exercises, possibly too much, because my knee swelled up like a pomelo. On one hand my range of motion is looking very nice; on the other hand, I have some pain when straightening my leg to full extension. That, and the pomelo thing.
But speaking of fruit, my mulberry bushes produced their first fruit! Sweet, rich mulberries! In my little house in the mountains, where the single track runs out of the back garden, I have five small mulberry bushes. I plan to turn them into the source of extravagant mulberry pies. Mulberry smoothies. Mulberry compote on your pancakes before we go riding enduro in the mornings.
It has been suggested to me that my target audience might not cope with an entire blog post about soft fruit, but you see, everything comes back to enduro in the end.
To be honest, I’m comforted by the omnipresence of motorcycles. The other day, I came outside to find P’Lah scrubbing his new Alpinestars Tech 7s in my kitchen sink. And honestly, what could I say? They’re lovely boots.