December 2017
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Month December 2017

Christmas in a week…

…signing out until the new year.

‘sound editing’ 2

Big improvement but still noob. Might as well put all this stuff here, haven’t got unlimited disk space to keep past experiments and I’m paying WordPress for unlimited storage

Here’s a link to if you haven’t visited. It’s cool. Linkedin bought them 2 1/2 years ago for $1.5B. My course looks like this, really nice page layout

‘sound editing’ video course section

So we’ll do a voice-over. argh. It’s pretty amazing that we can record a game played on the iPad with the Mac. So 2 things learned today.

Now, time for a Milky Google

incredible Dzukou Valley

This goes on the Top 10 natural places list I’ve been so far on this ride.

A Google Earth of the area SW of Kohima, showing the Dzukou Valley. It’s actually more a dip in a high plain than a valley. (the iPad has this new feature where you can draw on a screen grab, pretty cool!)

Here’s the GPS track, which as you can see corresponds with the above

It’s a project to get to from town, even now in the dry season, and a wet mess of a climb when you want to go for the flowers, from late April to July, in monsoon.

First is the drive from Kohima to the point where you leave the main road and take a rough 4X4 road for an hour. Then it’s an uphill climb for another hour, including a very steep climb at the end for 40 minutes. Then a 2 hour beautiful hike through the valley

The elevation profile. The valley is at 2500 meters

The steep bit

Special places often have botanically unique features, this has at least two, and they’re magnificent. First is the Dzukou lily, Lilium chitrangadae, pic from the web. It’s found here and nowhere else, for more Dzukou lily, and valley, wiki

The second is what gives the valley its unearthly feel, a low dense bamboo that restricts the growth of competitive plants for most of the terrain. Plus there are rhododendrons everywhere. The flowering season is from late April for the Rhodies until June/July for the lilies.

So, here we go. The drive in

Start of the hike

Start of the steep bit. Every once in a while there are stone steps, made on site

My guide. Ashamed to say I have forgotten his difficult Naga name. He didn’t say much but smiled continuously

This huge tree on the trail is Rhododendren arboreum. This was the biggest we saw and was, without exaggeration, at least 60 feet tall. The world record was measured at 108 feet in 1993 on Mount Japfu, right next to us here. More here r. arboreum wiki

At the top of the climb, before the hike into the valley. The polution here is extreme. It’s not only the blown engines but the nightly garbage fires by the side of the road

Japfu, behind

The first glimpse into the valley

Walking in



Close up for gardeners

This view to the rear bluff is least a mile deep. Never seen anything like this place

Into the valley a couple of hours later

The hut at the end. The usual thing is to stay here 2 nights with the middle day for exploration. I should have done this

Had lunch here

Then reversed the hike out.

This empty beauty, like a few other places I loved, appeal to me far more than the spectacular stuff.

project while I’m here

I’ve made the decision to wait for a cancellation ahead. I don’t want to ride by it. More on that when I get there.

We could be here for a while. So, doing this video course on It’s not easy, not hard

The objective isn’t great flashy movies, it’s learning and practicing the features. I watch the course on the iPad, practice on the Mac.

just back

Southern Peruvian altiplano, Australian outback, this (on a small scale) was up there. Story tomorrow

things that are less than 5 years old, and a movie

So, as promised last night, here are a couple of things on the bike that are newer and cool. The pics are dark just now because it’s dark outside

Grip Puppies. Lessen vibration and are a great fit if your hand is larger than average. Really nice. I added them in Melbourne. On Amazon: grips

Yikes a bad shot below. There’s a group of high-end seat makers. Most make for cruisers, sport bikes and stuff. Two make for enduros and dirt bikes. Do your own research, the whole subject is so controversial it’s like trying to have a conversation with a KTM owner: going nowhere. Renazco Racing are the most expensive and are generally accepted to be a firmer seat. I changed over from stock when I went back from Malaysia. I get very sore still, but never in pain. A truly great seat

But what would be really cool is one of Renazco’s suede-topped seats, if you don’t see much rain. Go here: renazco

As promised, so here’s the 40 second movie of another Myanmar woman, but this time working with a machine to make sugarcane liquid at a sugarcane bar. Easy to loose your hands/arms here. Hipsters at the end of the clip

I had coconut instead and she whacked away

In Kohima there are 2 future problems which can be not problems, even if it all goes wrong. The delay due to rain has boxed me in for Christmas, maybe, but we have a good alternate and my excellent son-in-law (only one so far) would approve.

It’s 95% Christian here. People are coming in from the villages to get what they need for Christmas dinner, etc.

Without fridges, it’s sold live and the streets are alive with squawking birds, and hacking heads off later is a Naga tradition

Non-bike adventure tomorrow

Heidenau K60, drifting

I need my GPS for something (not ride related) tomorrow (you’ll see) and noticed this on my track history. I was in an email chat 2 weeks ago with Tom D, Tom F and Tom R, who are all better riders than me, but not Tom H, who doesn’t ride) and was blithering again about the Heidenau K60 rear tire.

Below, in Kohima festival madness, the road had a side slope, the traffic was stop-and-go, and the road was wet from the uphill side.

The black dots are the same time intervals (you can see me blast way from the slow spot). I’m sliding downhill, drifting across the road almost at a standstill, completely lost grip at 3 mph. The traffic was slow enough to stop while I somehow stayed upright (hard to do when the rear is on ice) and and eased my way forward. Crazy

Close up

This happens with this tire when there’s new water over dirty pavement, everytime.

So why go through the scares? Because the K60 is the best (rear, but not front) tire when you want a combination of great wear, decent dirt handling and all-around robustness, specially if you have a powerful bike and the next possible new tire is 1000’s of k’s away.