@BaronSamedi Cool man. What's your stance on Akira Ioane?
Best posts made by Kruse
RE: Sunwolves v Blues
@rotated I don't think there's anything sinister at all. He was sick last week (which if you look at his rugby and travel schedule the past two months it's not hard to see why).
I don't see any benefit at all in flying him to Japan this week. Just let him R&R. Player welfare of your young stars is important.
You don't see anything sinister in a Lions fan being in his kitchen, and then shortly after - a mysterious illness?
So - 2019 London - Beijing
A group "expedition" - organised by a company called GlobeBusters. For the last decade or so, every 2nd year they do a London-Beijing trip, and every other year - Trans-Americas (Alaska-Patagonia).
I would recommend them - they did a great job of organising, support, etc. One thing to note - it was rather pricey, and that would mostly be down to using very high-quality hotels (where possible)... my ideal would have been a cheaper trip, with cheaper hotels, and maybe a nice 4-star once every week or two, whenever stopping for 2 nights - to get a good break/laundry-done.
Started off from London's Ace Cafe with 20 bikes (mostly BMW GS, 3 Triumphs, 1 Ducati, 1 Honda CB500) and 2 support vehicles - a pimped-out Hilux, and a Mercedes van big enough to take a bike (or two at a pinch). The group was larger than I'd expected/hoped... and it did slow things down at borders or when choices of petrol stations was... limited.
But - it gradually shrank over time...
2 bikes had opted to only go as far as Almaty, another 2 only as far as Lhasa, and 1 guy came off with about 10 days to go - breaking half-a-dozen ribs, mangling his front-forks into a shape they definitely shouldn't be, and choosing to fly back to the UK rather than "be a tourist" by riding in either support vehicle or catching a train to Beijing.
Ace Cafe at each end gave us a decent send-off/welcome.... London shouted us fish'n'chips the night before departure, and then breakfast the next day - with speeches and such bollocks
Beijing welcomed us with bottles of cheap bubbly to spray all over the place, sweet cold beers, a decent spread, all sorts of "merch"... and speeches and such bollocks
From London to Turkey is a vague memory, but...
- UK, France, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-and-Herzegovina, Albania, Montenegro, Greece
- Most of it was just getting the miles under the belt, trying to get out of Western Europe ASAP... quite well planned though, to keep the interest up... typically being a couple-hundred miles of motorway, and then an hour or so of some sweet twisties or country-roads, or something else a little more interesting - before reaching the hotel. So each evening, the recent/residual memory was the "fun bit"
- 3 nights in Istanbul - the first time we'd stopped for more than a single night. I'd never been before, so ticked off the major touristy things
- Safranbolu - nice enough old town, with an absolutely shite museum
- Cappadocia, Mount Nemrut & Ani
- Tbilisi - rather cool city, very unexpected. Very "bohemian", or "hip", or something... without (much) wankiness that typically comes with those words. Reminded me of a less self-aware Melbourne. Plenty of the old-world stuff (ancient statues, cobblestone streets, bathhouses), and then craft-beer pubs, weird-modern architecture, wine-bars.
Oh - and look up the 1907 Tiflis Bank Robbery
- Azerbaijan - the sign from Georgia announcing that you're approaching the Azerbaijan border also proclaims at the bottom "Good Luck!". An excellent little dig at one's neighbour
- Caspian Sea - we caught the "ferry" from Baku to Turkmenbashi - a 13 hour crossing
- Turkmenistan - interesting. Probably most people's choice as "least favourite country of the trip" - but it would be a contender for my Top-3... solely as it was interesting. This is a country where it's essentially still a totalitarian rule... by a nutter.
Roads - mostly pretty shit, extended periods where they seemed to have laid black glass instead of tarmac. Not cool in the rain - we had one GS go down at reasonably high speed, no major damage to rider or bike
- Uzbekistan - stopped at several classic Silk Road towns - Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand
- Tajikistan - Probably my favourite country...
The Tunnel of DEATH! - which was an interesting experience, but not one I'd want on my daily commute
The adherence to Islam was very much waning this far east, and some of the ladies certainly had that "adultery-isn't-really-that-bad-of-a-sin" sparkle in their eyes
The (bike) riding once we hit the Wakhan Valley/Pamir Highway... awesome. Riding along the Afghanistan border, unmaintained dirt roads along hill-sides, following rivers... so much fun... videos to come
- Kyrgyzstan - the first peek at high-altitude passes, and fermented horse-milk. Some reasonably fun rural dirt roads, absolutely crazy drivers, and corrupt traffic-police armed with speed-radar-guns.
- Kazakhstan - pretty much just a few days in Almaty, resting
- Border Crossing, at high altitude - a full day to just get physically across the border. Then 2 days stuck in Kashgar, getting the bikes' paperwork sorted.
- Xinjiang province - oppressive. Police checkpoints everywhere, a very very police-state feel about the whole place. I probably shouldn't write too much about it, sitting here in a Beijing hotel not using VPN, but... look it up. Xinjiang, and the "Uighur problem".
- Tibet - the story goes that Tibet is now essentially "pacified" - and the guy that managed that, has been moved on to Xinjiang.
There were certainly far less police checkpoints, etc - but still some
But anyway - Tibet... awesome. Altitude, obviously. Snow-riding - not fun, when I'd swapped the visor out for goggles during the previous dirt road sections.
Mount Everest - I've already posted about that... just awesome. The mountain itself - just being there - literally brought tears to several bikers' eyes. And the road to get up to Base Camp... motorcycle heaven. So many switchbacks... and chinese road rules - so safe overtaking is very much optional.
And then - the Tibet-Sichuan highway - the G318 - some sections, contenders as being even better than the Everest Base Camp road. On a bike, dodging chinese fuckknuckles in Land-Cruiser-Prados - just great fun.
- Sichuan - some decent scenery, but the roads were already becoming rather "tame" compared to the previous month or two... so just ticking off tourist boxes on the way up to Beijing... Chengdu - pandas, check.
- Shaanxi - Xi'an - great city, with a couple of days off to rest/relax/drink, and more of the touristy stuff... Terracotta Warriors - I'd seen about 15 years ago - not a single bit of more excavation has been done since then, but there are shiny new restaurants/souvenir-shop complexes.
- Shanxi - at this point, we're just trying to get to Beijing, on roads absolutely rammed full of the infamous "red trucks" - what are presumably state-owned trucks, shipping coal from mines to power stations. Hundreds of them... thousands. I've got a video where I passed about 200 of them all queued up. So - lots of trucks, lots of coal-dust... doesn't make for traditionally enjoyable riding. Does, however, make for some very inventive interpretation of road rules at times... I was swerving up onto pavement to get around trucks, nipping back from the wrong side of the road into the middle of a police checkpoint, taking shortcuts through building sites, rice-fields, whatever.
- And finally Beijing - made it, 16,500 miles, I think I remember my GPS unit claimed.
Beers were had.
So... 10,000 miles under the belt, with a couple of days off in Lhasa.
I've been writing near-daily updates on my own website/blog if anybody's interested, but generally get in each night too tired to really do it justice.
But - figured I'd update the Fern on one of the very recent highlights.
HolyFuckBalls - how awesome.
The road up to the Tibet Base Camp - absolutely amazing. I don't know how many switchbacks there were - one person cited 200, another mentioned 348 - and I genuinely don't know if these are exaggerations or not. I've never done Stelvio Pass, which is apparently considered one of the best motorcycle roads in the world... but a few others in the group have. And the general consensus was... Stelvio Pass has absolutely nothing on this road.
Personal accomplishment - managed to scrape a foot-peg for the first time ever, and it was with knobbly tyres.
And then - at the end, a big magnificent bastard of a mountain.
The very first viewpoint, where we stopped for our first long-range view of Everest... it was a little weird... the road is now completely tarmac, but there was still somehow enough dust around to get in a few eyes, my own included.
And then - when we got up to Base Camp (the 'tourist' one, at Rongbuk Monastery - not the actual climbers base camp) - with Everest framed by the valley... cool as fuck. Just sat there for a couple of hours soaking the magnificent bastard in.
A portion of the road down the north side of the pass on the way to Rongbuk...
Representing Aotearoa with the black woollen singlet, Red Bands, etc...
RE: Life changes
What's this tweetering all about
@Virgil got some wet pussy, and broke his TV. Now he's agreed to do some insurance fraud.
Just, you know, standard Fernin'.
RE: RWC: England v New Zealand (SF1)
I was so simple in my wanting cathartic release.
I walked home from the stadium through deserted dodgy areas, no mugging.
I went to a standing bar, got thoroughly re-drunk, yelling “fuck” at the ceiling once in a while. Much to the amusement of locals.
Then I went down to the riverside with a couple of drinks and cigarettes, found a gang of teenagers hanging out causing trouble. Sat down close to them, and when I got eye contact... gestured to the litter-mess they'd caused. They cleaned their shit up, and left.
What do I need to do to get beaten up in this country? I just want my body to feel like my mind does.
Latest posts made by Kruse
RE: Best Kiwi Rock Songs
Every time I come back to NZ, I visit an independent "record store" - and buy pretty much every NZ CD which came out since I was last in-country.
This time, I did a little research before hand (VERY little - I checked the NZ Music Awards shortlist)
On visiting the store - I find the two "top" artists of the year, didn't release on CD - only vinyl, with MP3 downloads included? An interesting way to go... but fuck, I need a job if I'm going to finally go into vinyl.
Anyway, some of the more notable artists of 2019...
Benee - yeah, probably not the cup-o-tea of the old-white-guys/hot-young-polish-girls here - but she's talented, catchy, modern
Avantdale Bowling Club - haven't heard much, but from what I have - although they were the top award winner - fairly bland NZ hip-hop
The Beths - seem to be a solid resurgence of the Flying Nun pedigree
Six60 - I've never bothered buying an album. From what I've heard - the blandest of bland "NZ BBQ dub"
Marlon Williams - good at what he does (crooning) - but not much to distinguish himself from the rest of the world
All that said - as I say, I love to support and buy up NZ music when I'm home, so... - any suggestions I give any of the above another chance, or recommendations of other recent (or older) music - appreciated.
RE: R.I.P. 2020
@Paekakboyz even some of the more 'boring' stuff they did was funny...like trying to prove if crossing your legs enabled you to hold on form taking a pee longer or Walking through a field with a blind fold!
So much great stuff
One that sticks in my mind is they dispelled the theory using a cellphone while pumping gas can start a fire. Never happened no matter how many things they tried.
Something I found amusing coming across Central Asia, and the Western provinces of China... they refused to fill up a motorcycle tank from the pump.
It was considered "safer" - to fill some other canister, carry that across the forecourt to the bikes, and then pour that into the tank.
RE: Hawt discussion (lots of PG13 gifs/pics)
Diora Lynn Baird (born April 6, 1983) is an American actress and former model for Guess? who has appeared in films such as Wedding Crashers (2005), Accepted (2006), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), Young People Fucking (2007), My Best Friend's Girl (2008), Stan Helsing (2009), and Transit (2012).
RE: Hawt discussion (lots of PG13 gifs/pics)
I believe @mariner4life has already named Monica Bellucci. That is top notch.
I have to add to the discussion via reiterating a thought I had long ago: being the meat in a Jessica Biel + Jessica Alba sandwich.
Also add Ana de Armas to the list. Blade Runner 2049's artificial girlfriend
Just to help get this thread back on track - will highlight some favourites from the thread.
It's going to be a tough job doing the research required, but somebody has to do it.