Where's the clutch gone?

Trip Start Jun 27, 2005
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26
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Trip End Sep 01, 2006


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Wednesday, August 3, 2005

On our sixth day we decided to head back to Hanoi and try to get there in a single day. This would mean that we had a distance of 370km to cover today, a new record for us and our 125cc Minsk. The journey was long and made longer by the changing weather along our route. At one point we felt pretty lost as we had crossed over the same river more than once and our map told a different story. It wasn't until we hit an empty dual carriageway that we began to get a little more confused (as though we were heading beck toward a major city we had already passed). Along this stretch I spotted a Vietnamese guy on a scooter and so proceeded to catch him up. AS we passed alongside him I shouted Hanoi and pointed in the direction we were headed. Luckily we got a reply similar to our question and so we pushed on.
About 200kms away from Hanoi, we had the unfortunate misfortune of the clutch going, technical term, bloody hell! Luckily I could still change up and down gear so long as I matched the speed of the gear with the engine. This was difficult at first, however I soon mastered this new method. It would be a different story though when we got back to Hanoi and would have traffic and traffic lights to contend with!
After 11hrs of constant driving we arrived where we had started, tired, wet and both with very black faces from the dusty road behind us. A confident Wayne tackled the clutch problem with ease. As we approached a red light the bike would slow and finally stall on Q. Wayne would then quickly turn off the ignition, slip the gear back into neutral and then turn the ignition back on ready for the green light. On amber Wayne forced the bike to roll forward and coast whilst he jump started the engine back into life, maintain adequate revs and continue through the back streets looking for a landmark we recognized to give us a bearing we could get back from.
We finally made it back we collected our bags from storage and found somewhere to stay, amusing all around us who starred and laughed at our black faces and panda eyes where our glasses had been.

This was a great trip and I am so glad we just went ahead and did it. Its moments like this that makes you feel alive and that you can tackle anything with enough confidence and common sense!
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