Often the boys like the bike… mine is certain: Marius 13 years and Gabin 15 years make the cross bike and dad Philippe roll from time to time with them in training! They are amateur but passionate! Me, for I was 45 years old, I saw myself offer my motorcycle permit and 3 years is on 2 wheels I’ll get bread. Our vacation was so far here mainly in mountain biking in the mountains!
Then when the project from criss-cross paths on a motorcycle germinated in the minds of the boys, I told myself that I should get there and finally I started the challenge! Double challenge because we also had to find a destination allowing “unlicensed driving permit” guys to fly and not to be passengers… And cousin Chantal, not more experience than me in enduro except it also on his ATV, has entered the project.
On the net, I think Planet Ride and at Planet Ride I find a listening ear and good advice. Exit my initial choice the Italy, the Portugal or Costa Rica, Laos welcome. Why not, Asia we don’t know not and the Laos still less!
And there, from the 1st telephone contact with Charly and Jeremy, the specialist Planet Ride partners motorcycle in Laos, I am seduced: they are breaking down my doubts (am I crazy to bring my kids so far? y’ beasts? will we be safe?) and promise me an adventure… Blow e-mails and telephone conversations, they concoct us a journey of 5 days north of Luang Prabang, a loop along the Vietnamese border and Chinese in this mountainous region dotted with forests, rivers, rice fields and large colourful.
Well the adventure was wonderful! A Laotian guide, nicknamed Big, experienced and attentive, a course varied and strewn with discoveries, mix of winding roads and “off road” sometimes sand tracks (I don’t like), sometimes single Earth and pebbles (I love), passages on bridges in any kind and crossing of rivers, unforgettable meetings and flawless material (apart from a concern for boots but those there are parts in the trash isn’t it!). Dad, mechanic in his spare even didn’t put his hands in these Honda CRF 250 engines!
We drive every day between 150 and 250 km. Big explains and describes each morning before the start of our stage. Then we throw our bikes, under the eyes of the fans and sometimes intrigued guests, always in the same configuration, Big and children in front, 3 adults behind. Happiness to be between us, it is that the pace is suitable and no one feels pressure. Of course, before rolling a little harder and behind is more contemplative. And still the guide who watches, who advises, which explains and especially who translated. Good from time to time, Philippe go forward with his guys, history of pleasure and, we girls are redoubling our caution to not to crash otherwise who will we pick up this bloody bike too heavy for our small arms?
Each step his discoveries, a tribe Mhong, a flamboyant market, villages remote, each evening his or rather let’s be honest, its beers every night his cocks (they follow us or what? anyway they sing too early…) and every morning breakfast “surprise”: coffee black local excellent but rare, delicious rice but enough is enough! “sticky gold steamed rice this morning?” “no thanks, toast to it you please” grrrr…
Casually over 800 km in 5 days, not bad for a first! But here, we would have well kept because finally it is exhilarating to not to say bewitching driving in these conditions and because it is far from having seen it all. As a result, the South of Laos, Hey Charly and Jeremy, how is it?
In conclusion, certainly must be a little clever and know how to handle a 2 wheels, but no need to be champions for caught you! And if by chance, Charly and Jeremy offer also to navigate on the Mekong, a mountain bike trip or a trek up to the waterfalls, go there go for it! Adventure, they control.
Corinne, MOM biker “Laos Tour finisher”
You also go on the most beautiful roads in Laos for a road trip unique bike!