Every tour is an adventure.
It’s letting our primal instincts take over and gallivant to our destination.
Humans, by nature, are strange creatures who couldn’t endure contentment. We’ve thrived by seeking greener pastures - the fulfillment of a better life by covering vast distances, often through adversity. It is through this nature of ours’ that we have conquered the highest peaks, dived to the bottom of the deepest oceans, explored the wilderness and poles, and space.
Similarly, it’s this desire that compels us bikers to ride far and wide, pushing towards our destinations, through heat, rain, sleet and snow. It’s seeing, feeling, experiencing different places for ourselves.
Malaysians just love to tour, on motorcycles regardless of type and engine capacity.
We’d get up on a weekend and our friends buzzed us to “convoy” to some remote village for nasi lemak. But instead of returning by lunch, we diverted to somewhere. Next will be that phone call from you, “Don’t wait for me for dinner, Sayang.” Oh, I’ve been there.
But in contrast to those short rides, long distance touring requires proper planning: Destination, route, fuel stops, equipment, riding gear, bikes, physical condition and psyche to be memorable.
Done right, you could relax and enjoy the ride as much as at the destination and this is what touring on motorcycles is about. You’re not hemmed in by a cage, smelling artificial fragrances. Instead, you have a 360-degree view around you. You’ll even smell some of the food being cooked as you ride through villages. In Malaysia, you’ll smell sambal but in Thailand it’s that sweet basil aroma.
Every year in April, we see large numbers of our fellow bikers travelling north to Thailand to attend various motorcycle carnivals in conjunction with the Songkran Festival, otherwise known as the Water Festival.
While there are many other great destinations for you to celebrate Songkran with the Thais, for example in Chiang Mai, where the celebration is the biggest anywhere in Thailand, the epicenter for bikers is of course on Phuket island, where thousands around the region and even from different continents throng to the Phuket Bike Week. Held twice, first from 8th to 10th April at Patong Beach, then from 15th to 16th of the same month in Phuket Town, the Phuket Bike Week celebrates its 22nd edition in 2016. The Bike Week is estimated to contribute approximately THB 800 million to the local economy annually.
But what the Phuket Bike Week truly stands for is the celebration of touring among our motorcycling fraternity. Songkran, Phuket Bike Week, Krabi Bike Week, Chiang Mai, or whichever festival or location in Thailand, forms the backdrop to touring, as something to look forward to at the end of a tiring ride.
We’ve decided to put together a small Touring Issue for this month, in view of this. It’s not comprehensive, of course, but we hope that it will kickstart a Touring & Adventure Special in the future.
Before I end, Cycle World Malaysia would like to thank the folks who have assisted us in putting together this issue. They had to endure our constant badgering even at odd hours. This issue belongs to you, for it was the result of your work from the interviews, product features and data, photos, etc.
Ride safe and we’ll see you on the road to Phuket!