Story by Robert Brewer
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
BANGERS ON BIKES 2012!!!!
What can you say about the The Old Bangkok Bangers RFC and their Bangers On Bikes? Well…....…lots really…........
Not since Schlonger’s trip to Pat Cotters wedding across the mountains on a Honda Dream has anything so audacious been planned by men in a pub in connection with two wheels and charity. (For the record, Pat’s wedding was charity on Kai’s behalf).
And so the concept of BANGERS ON BIKES was born. Designed to raise money for the Asia Centre Foundation the key beneficiary of the Phuket Tens it was the brainchild of Bob Pearson, Scot and overall friendless person.
In the first year he roped in his Bangers Club Coach Peter Burgess (NZ) and his club Captain Jean-Francois (Jeff) Klentzi (FRA) to make the ride from Bangkok to Phuket to raise as much money as they could for beer...... I mean charity.
The aim was to depart from Bangkok the morning after the Bangkok Tens to ride the 850+ km to Phuket, the home of this tournament.
Huge numbers of training hours were logged on the roads east of Bangkok in preparation were nearly as tough as the pain endured by others listening to them whine about the effort required.
It was a success and in the first year they raised 350,000 B.
Not content with feeling that bad a single time in their lives, they decided to do it again.
In 2011 they made additions to the team. They recruited a serious cyclist in Frenchman Patrick Bernard, a Triathlete; Richard Ford (NZ) and two fat men from the pub Martin Hodgson (SCO) and Richard Folds (ENG).
It was touch and go for Bob who by this time had given up rugby due to a slight knock on the knee (ruptured ACL); but even with one fit leg and a piece of overcooked spaghetti hanging from the other side of his trousers he got himself ready for the trip in time.
Left to Right: 2011 - Eddie Evans (Canadian International), Richard Folds, Patrick Bernard, Bob Pearson, Jean-Francois Klentzi, Martin Hodgson, Breyton Paulse (SA International, Peter Burgess.
So again a day after playing in the Bangkok Tens they set off on a trip that became legendary for Foldsy’s baboon like bottom and Martin’s leisurely stroll up Karon Hill.
Again, it was a success raising 410,000 B
And now we are in 2012 and once again the Bangers on Bikes have completed their ride.
This year they added the infamous Trefor Day (ENG), Mr Heineken himself Andrew Lamont (NZ) and 3 tourists from China: former Banger & soft ice hockey player Frosty (USA) & 2 of his mates, Stephen Pennicott and Gervais Lavoie (USA).
Here is their story extracted from the emails they sent after each day......
<BOB> Day 1 started of very early. Alarm at 5:00 with a 6:00 departure time. Got to starting point only ti realise that I had forgotten my drink bottles. Basic schoolboy error and one that I took a little bit if stick for. Especially from Martin till he realised he had forgotten his helmet. Undergrad mistake. Sent the driver back for his helmet and I borrowed a couple of bottles. So all greased up and ready for the off til Jeff realised he had forgotten the map. This has to be a mistake of PhD proportions.
Still we set of a wee bit late but quickly made up time by forgetting the nice gentle warm up and getting straight into a 34km/h ave. lunch came and went and the ride through the salt fields was lively and lovely at the same time.
Into Hua Hin and maxed out at 45km/h which was not nice after 140km.
A quick stop in Starbucks and it was back on the saddle for our last 44km which seemed to take an eternity. But we managed it. Down at dolphin bay after completing a total of 188 today. A quick dip in the pool something to eat massage then off to bed.
Tomorrow will be hard as its a massive 210km. Some of the gang are walking rather strangely. Goodness knows what tomorrow will bring.
No major mishaps today and hopefully it will continue over the next few days.
Slight error in yesterdays report, the 200's are sadly tomorrow and thursday! Today only 185 from Dolphin Bay to Bang Sapan Noi. Hot as hell and some taxing bumps (no real hills yet). No one dead yet but a few sad looking faces around me.that is my one. Really struggled today but hope tomorrow will be kinder but I doubt it as its the start of the hills.
The start of today was lovely through the national park but once the sun broke through it was pretty hard. The temperature maxed out just a smidgen under 40.
Not to worry. Tomorrow is hump day
Sorry for the small report but am a tad tired.
Well, I'm glad that, that specific day is over..
For the last past 2 years, I usually hit the ground at one stage of the day and it's normally make the last 2 days even harder.
I don't think I need that this year ...
Today, the day started with a 6:30 departure again and then with a little bit off roading as we were led through the forest. Would be great on a mountain bike but the road bike just isn't cut out for it. Eventually we found the main road and it was business as usual. Patrick at the front and Bob at the back. With no cloud cover and over 200km to ride it was going to be a long long and hot day. Certainly wasn't disappointed there then. Into chompon and our now customary cafe and baguette stop. Lovely little place. Got all the running repairs to the bikes and off we go again. As somebody said we were heading towards the Antarctic so it is bound to start getting cooler. Unfortunately there is a little line called the equator that is in the way.
Lunch came at 3pm after 150km, we still had another 60 to go.
Luckily, the 4 bottles of Pepsi, the fried rice but also the 41 Deg, cool everybody's ardour and we all finish up in one group with a cruising speed of 30 km/h.
Few of us really started to feel the pain in their legs from the few hills climbed in the morning and it give them an idea of what they will feel tomorrow when a wall of 300m and 6km long will be in front of us at the 160 km mark before arriving in Takua Pa.
Just let see how it will go, 197 km is still shorter than today so we should all make it....
Can I also say that I really appreciate all the kind words that all have said over the last day. It keeps me going.
I will keep you updated. Mind My Accent & My Grammar...(I'm tired)
<BOB> What can I say except I am going to rename a famous Beatles song to "the long and lonely road" because blooming 'eck today was the hardest thing I have done. Probably since last years day 3 ride.
In the past two years day 3 has always been incident day - normally involving Jeff and hitting things like the Tarmac or old grannies on their scooter but today passed without any major incident to be honest. Well frosty from china bust his gears but managed to get a lift 60km into chumpon to get them fixed and a couple of punctures but nothing really too serious.
The day started with a 6:30 departure again and then with a little bit off roading as we were led through the forest. Would be great on a mountain bike but the road bike just isn't cut out for it. Eventually we found the main road and it was business as usual. Patrick at the front and bob at the back. With no cloud cover and over 200km to ride it was going to be a long long and hot day. Certainly wasn't disappointed there then. Into chompon and our now customary cafe and baguette stop. Lovely little place. Got all the running repairs to the bikes and off we go again. As somebody said we were heading towards the Antarctic so it is bound to start getting cooler. Unfortunately there is a little line called the equator that is in the way.
Lunch came at 3pm and150km. Was nearly out and finished and thoughts of jacking the whole thing in was more than a passing thought. We had another 60 to go and really didn't fancy it at all. It's amazing what stubbornness can push you to achieve. Oh and also 4 bottles of Pepsi and fried rice.
Last sixty were really hard i took cramp in the top if my leg at 177km and had to cucle eith it for 9km not the easiest if things i must say tears were shed but luckily I have glasses and nobody sees them. . The predicted 7pm finish was slightly off as we managed to crank in a steady 30km average and reached our destination at about 5:40.
Don't know where we are but what I do k ow is that tomorrow we have 197km to do and there is a 6km hill climb at the 160km mark. That will really really push all of us.
On the map, Day 3 was supposed to be the longest stage of this trip but in reality, it was not.. by 1 km...... Indeed, today we discovered at the end that the distance that we had to ride was not exactly the one was planned.
But the 6km hill located at 3/4 of the way, was unfortunately still there...
Going down in the south, the heat was also there (42 deg) which did not make our day easier.
The first 160km of the ride was just winding road going up and down and we passed through some stunning scenery. The day got of to a bit of a slow start again by us getting lost but we finally found the correct route.
That explained the difference between map and practical distance...
Sadly we are down to 7 or 8 riders. As our friends from China decided to take a more leisurely route to Phuket via the bus and poor Martin had an Achilles injury that prevented him from continuing after only 15 k into the day. Martin tried later in the day to see if he was able go do it but alas whenever a hill appeared he was dying...
We all expect that after a couple of beers he will be ok to try it again tomorrow.
The records for today was a climbing speed of 10/ km/h when the gradient was closed than 10% but also going downhill at 70 km/h...
I could have done better if I would not have lost so much weight......
There still one more day and 135 km to go with the famous "Patong" climb but after what we have done today, we should all be able to manage it. (with different pain... and pace)
Breaking with tradition this year we are cycling into the ACF center tomorrow afternoon hopefully making it by 3.
Then it will be time for couple Ricard in the pool....
Well today was another long long day in the saddle over 10 hours and 204km. What made it slightly more challenging was that it peaked at over 42 degrees and we had to go over the Swiss alps who were in Thailand on vacation.
Sadly we are down to 7 or 8 riders. As our friends from China decided to take a more leisurely route to Phuket via the bus and poor Martin had an achilles injury that prevented him from continuing after only 15 k into the day. Martin tried later in the day to see if he was able go do it but alas whenever a hill appeared he went slower than me. The ultimate insult in cycling. Maybe after a couple of beers he will be ok to try it again tomorrow.
The first 160km of the ride was my favorite of the whole trip to date. Through some stunning scenery and winding roads. The day got of to a bit of a slow start again by us getting lost. We were only supposed to do about 190 today but we eventually found the correct route. Or was that yesterday I really can't remember.
The ride was full of ups and downs. Coming down was great and maxed out at 68 km/h that beats last years top speed of 63. Going up my slowest was a superb 8km/h. That is nearly walking speed. The hill that lasted 6k felt like 66 and at one point it had a gradient of 10%. Topping that off it came after 163km into the ride.
I think all of us made it to the top and the last wee bit into our hotel did seem more than 30km.
Still we are here and tomorro we have a short hall of around 140 km into Phuket. Breaking with tradition this year we are cycling into the Asia Centre Foundation tomorrow afternoon hopefully making it by 3. Then it's a cool and well earned captain Morgan and coke.
Will send you a brief update tomorrow on completion.
The lads completed the trip in fine style but were too excited to finish and enjoy a quiet beer that they betrayed all promises and didn't write. Martin erased the memory of last years humiliating stroll up the hill into Patong. Pete Andrew and Patrick completed with a minimum of fuss and even Foldsy completed with his bum intact although word is Trefor was a little sore after his debut. Rumour has it somebody had a little walk up the hill but people seem quite coy at discussing who it could be.....answers on a postcard please.
Although the ride has been completed for 2012 it's fair to say that the fundraising isn't. So if you see any of them around at the Tens say Hi and dig into your pockets to reward them for their efforts and more importantly to keep the ACF running as well as it does.....
THE 2012 BANGERS ON BIKES
Bob is from Scotland. He is a teacher, mainly because it brings him friends in his own age group. He is married with 2 children but lives a life of silence as no one will talk to him at home. He is always injured which is his excuse for not playing rugby, but it's fair to say he gets on his tricycle once a year and tears up the miles to Phuket and it makes him feel good.
Club: THE OLD BANGKOK BANGERS
The Sargeant Major: Former Bangers coach and downright nasty bloke when he's got a clip board in his hand. Until patrick came along he was the serious side of the team. Made his name in sewing and is still Bangkok's Premier cross Stitcher. His intricate hand stitched montage of the Grand Palace is still talked about in Thai High Society.
Club: THE OLD BANGKOK BANGERS,
Jean Francois Klentzi
Only the garlic, stripey shirt and beret are missing from this classic comedy Frenchman. Originally from Twickenham, Jeff has spent years in front of his TV watching 'Allo 'Allo in an attempt to perfect the silliest French accent known to man. We are pleased to announce in 2012 he has succeeded. Former Bangers club captain and occassional Phuket Viagrabond. Never let him push your wheel chair.
Club: THE OLD BANGKOK BANGERS, ROYAL SELANGOR DOGS.
It's fair to say the sun always shines on this Cornishman's face. His sunny demeanor is linked to the fact that he has made a fortune being an ass double in most documentaries about baboons. His backside was described by Sir David Attenborough as 'timeless'. He is the only man to complete the ride to Phuket on a Raleigh grifter bought on eBay for 3.50. Dislikes the French.
Club: CULLY COBRAS, PHUKET VIAGRABONDS, POT BELLIED PIGS
Another Scot.Martin is the quiet man of the group known for his shy retiring persona. A born again christian Martin campaigns fervently for the abolition of all forms of alcohol. A Kindle and a Starbucks is all the great man needs to make him feel like he's had a productive day in the office. Possibly his finest moment in rugby is kicking a water bottle the length of the pitch after his U14's gave away a last minute try to a team he particularly disliked. Bite's worse than his Bark.
Club: THE BANGKOK LIONS
Sir Andrew Lamont
Mr Heinken: This is the man to thank for the sponsorship of the Phuket Tens.Possibly the nicest man in Thailand he was often found in a confused state on the ride due to his extensive mountain biking experience. Riding in a straight line can be taxing for one used to bouncing around all day so he was often found asleep at the wheel. Top class golfer too. Like all Kiwi's he fears the French.
Club: THE OLD BANGKOK BANGERS
Mr Cycling: This man is a serious hard core cyclist who works hard concealing his frustrations at being stuck with the fat kids on tour. His ability to break the sound barrier on a bicycle is legendary and there is many a Thai lorry driver fed up of his face grinning in their rear view mirrors akin to the T Rex in Jurassic Park. Hates the French.
Club: THE OLD BANGKOK BANGERS
What can be said about Trefor that hasn't been said before. "He's a nice bloke" springs to mind. A fervent English rugby supporter from the North of England who has such an uncanny ability to injure his arms that he has taken to using his legs these days.Before the ride we met at the airport and he was looking fit and well, apparently he didn't end up that way. Also hates the French.
Club: THE OLD BANGKOK BANGERS
Story by Robert Brewer
Story by Robert Brewer