Vol. V No. 1 - Saturday December 31 - January 6, 2006
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SPORTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Lampang Bike Week

HIKE THE WATERFALLS: Jan. 2, ’06

Chiang Mai Pool League: Top teams take the points

Chiangmai SportRoundup

Lampang Bike Week

Harley Street in Lampang

Philip Cornwel-Smith Author of ‘Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture’

Photograph of the organizers/VIPs at the stage with bike and pictorial bike jackets. Photo: Philip Cornwel-Smith 2005

Lampang rumbled to the throaty roar of motorcycle convoys recently for the second annual Lampang Bike Night. In a prelude to Chiang Mai Bike Week, local enthusiasts joined bike club members from across the country.

“We printed 700 T-shirts, but we ran out by 8 p.m.,” said an organizer, Steve, a Briton who’s one of several expatriates involved. “There must be a thousand bikes here.”

The empty lot opposite Big C on Phahonyothin Road gleamed with the polished chrome of every kind of two-wheel fantasy object, from stately antique Harley Davidsons and retro-refitted Vespas to custom-built choppers and the occasional souped-up taxi motorsai.

Parked in neat rows, the bikes formed a gallery for browsing aficionados to purr over and swap touring tales with the proud owners. Many couldn’t resist opening the throttle and letting the finely tuned engines thunder. Some pulled stunts like wheelies. Others insisted on shredding their rear tires in a ‘burn-up’, whereby spinning wheels literally burn rubber arcs onto the concrete amid clouds of acrid smoke and whoops from the crowd.

Like any provincial festival, Lampang Bike Night had the sanuk charm of a temple fair, with food vendors, live music and stalls selling biker chic, from bandanas to belt buckles. More artistic owners entered their precious creations into the beautiful bike contest, while the Tattoo Miss Bike trophy went to the prettiest tattooed female rider.

Despite all the Hell’s Angels-style imagery, there wasn’t a hint of menace. “In decades of Thai bike events I’ve never seen a fight,” says Ta, a Harley collector from Phichit. That’s easy to believe on seeing oil-smeared engineers mix happily with hi-so Harley dilettantes,
designer scooter fans and dare-devil trick-bikers. Underlining Thai bikers’ etiquette, the convoy cruised – via a Mae Sai rally – to Chiang Mai Bike Week, for a gala hotel dinner and a police road-safety talk.


HIKE THE WATERFALLS: Jan. 2, ’06

Start the New Year on an “upbeat” as we hike upstream and up the lower Huai Kaeo Falls, both sides of Huai Kaeo Rd into National Park and return. Great Chiangmai views! Not a long hike, but need to be fit for continual uphill grade; steep, at times.

BRING: sturdy shoes/boots, water, sun block, light munchies.

MEET: 9:30; west (far) end of Fitness Park, H-K Rd., before Zoo.

Anticipated return between 1–2 p.m. with optional light lunch afterwards at Zoo area. For more information, phone Joe 0 1020 4245, and confirm by email to joesurf
[email protected]

Hike leader with CM ex-pat group will welcome others if you are fit for the walks we do! For addtional info on this and other future walks, view webpage www.
chiangmaiexpatsclub.com


Chiang Mai Pool League: Top teams take the points

Pat Black

The first five teams in the Chiang Mai Pool League took winning points in last week’s matches, with La Villa victims to Half Moon’s backlash, The Wall returning to form and Chiangers and Bangers, Blue Sky Bar and The Local trundling on relentlessly.

F of Out Back trying the masse shot.

After two consecutive defeats, league leaders Half Moon Pub bounced back with a vengeance by whopping the “Pizza Boys” from La Villa 8-1 and maintaining their two point lead at the top. But Chiangers and Bangers kept in contention with a home win over Out Back.

A hopeful Out Back side soon found themselves 0-4 down and although they took the last two singles, lost the match to a strong Chiangers side in the first doubles. Blue Sky Bar made short work of beating Rock Hard Bistro away 7-2 and The Wall was equally impressive in a 6-3 win against Blue Sky Garden.

However, The Local can count themselves a little fortunate in overcoming a resistant Happy Bar 5-4. There’s a saying that one should always nominate a pocket for the black no matter what the situation. Being snookered on the final ball in the third game, Happy’s Aum clearly stated no bag before proceeding to cleverly escape the snooker, only to see the black disappear down the only hole available. We live and learn.

Elsewhere, Friend’s Corner hauled their side up two places to sixth position in the league with a convincing 6-3 win at home to December Bar, and Enjoy Place grabbed the points at Number 1 Pub by capitalizing on a 4-2 singles lead with a win in the first doubles.

In last Thursday’s rearranged match between Enjoy Place and Rock Hard Bistro, the Bistro ran out 5-4 winners.

When watching pool room scenes in a movie, I usually get frustrated by not seeing the ball positions on the table or even a proper shot being played. That wasn’t the case, however, in the 1961 film “The Hustler”, where Paul Newman took the leading role as “Fast Eddie” Felson and Jackie Gleason, the legendary Minnesota Fats.

In lengthy pool play sequences shown on screen, the actors themselves took all the shots, bar the masse, in which the cue is addressed almost perpendicular to the table in order to screw the cue ball around an obstructing ball, and 14 times World Champion Willie Mosconi was asked to give the performance. Unfortunately, this scene created a movie gaffe, as a house rule sign behind the table in question at the Ames Poolroom clearly stated on film, “No Masse Shots”.

Fifteen years later, Tom Cruise joined up with Newman for a sequel to “The Hustler” called “The Color of Money”. Known for working his own stunts, Cruise insisted on playing all the pool shots himself, but like Newman before him, one remained elusive. Director, Martin Scorsese, wanted Cruise to learn the shot, but the estimated two days tuition would have held up production and cost thousands of dollars, so top professional, Mike Sigel, stepped in to do the honors.

The shot that got away from Cruise was jumping the cue ball over two balls to intentionally pocket a third ball. Try it sometime, but mind the cloth.



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