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Thread: HELP, I've fallen and can't get up. A time to ponder

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    HELP, I've fallen and can't get up. A time to ponder

    There are times in life when a part of our subconscious whispers words of an impending change.

    As Saskia left for work yesterday, she asked what I would likely be doing. Of late, I frequently answer, I'm going to try for a ride. Try as I might, my priority seems to be projects needing attention at home. Before I know it, it is around 2:30 and for me, to late in the day for a real adventure.

    Guess something about yesterday made it different. There was more than a gentle breeze, and a forecast of rain the following day. By 10 a.m. I was suited up and the bike sat idling in the driveway.

    I did not plan to invest a lot of pavement time getting to dirt. For me Jordan Hill rd is close and has always offered enough of a challenge as to leave me feeling like I would have made a 'good pioneer'. The right turn onto Jordan Hill had me staring head-on at a big yellow sign, "BRIDGE OUT". Not for TW's I thought.

    Sure enough, the bridge was nothing but metal girders. The wooden road planks were gone. There was certainly any number of ways to get dirty, so I got on Powellton road (dirt) and headed for Butte Meadows. The upper Skyway heading to the meadows had as well been dirt up until recently. This time of year, it was generally a dusty mess. The smooth narrow strip of pavement, at least yesterday, was a welcome change. No fuss, no other vehicles for 12 miles so I putted along at 25mph.

    Upon passing the Bambi Inn, I was officially 'there'. I continued heading West now back on dirt. After about a mile, I was inspired by a right turn option. I have done lots of exploring in this general area but was please to find a logging spur I had never been on. So far, I had ventured 30 miles from home, not at all unusual for me. Likely I was about 7 miles from the closest cabin and had encountered no other explorers, but the tracks before me seemed pretty fresh. Upon adding an additional three miles, I was able to pat myself on the back. Indeed, I read the track correctly, as up ahead was the dust cloud of a relatively new Dodge Ram 4 wheel drive pickup. It is rare that I come upon someone going slower than me. The driver must have saw me in the mirror. He pulled to the side, but continued rolling along. I passed to the left and gave a wave of thanks.

    As the road was flat and fairly smooth I was able to move along doing about 18 mph in forth gear. Had enough momentum that the engine was not lugging and the low rpm's kept things quiet enough as to enable me to hear birds chirp.

    Generally when exploring a new area, I try to stay on the route that seems to get the most use. This I feel minimizes the number of turn options I need to remember or mark. Oddly, I learned during my old mt. bike days, the most traveled can also be a dead end. A main route allows you to go from point A to point B. One way, one set of tracks. A dead-end pretty much mandates double the wear. If you head in, you will as well be heading out, giving this route the appearance of being much more popular than it really is. On a mt. bike, being duped by appearances made many an A to B adventure much longer than anticipated. Likely now, this can be minimized with a gps.

    At this point it was anybodies guess as to where the fellas in the Dodge were, as I past by a few turn options and continued 'straight'. Ahead the road appeared to make a tight swing to the left. As the forest was pretty dense and the route new to me, it made sense to slow just a bit, and shift down into 3ed gear. No sooner had the road zigged left, it quickly snaked to the right, then oh shit, a hill. Quickly dropping down into second gear was to little, to late. I simply did not have enough momentum to use 2ed productively. My very low speed made maintaining balance impossible and I found myself rolling up and over the roadside berm and heading for the bushes. Trying to minimize the additional complications of extracting a hot motorcycle from dry brush, I applied the brakes and and stalled the engine. Thankfully the bike was still upright and out of harms way. So it appeared.

    The hill really was not steep, steep, but a grade most jeepers and cyclists would be inclined to stop at the base of and just to be on the safe side, put the rig into first gear. Likely this did not happen as much as it should have as the incline came without warning. Outwardly the surface seemed ok, but this, I was soon to learn was not the case. Seems there was a thick layer of talc filling in all the surface irregularities. Guess the road was so lightly traveled the wind had a chance to groom the surface and prepare the blemishes for the next unsuspecting traveler.

    Now, I was off the roadway and angled a bit off of the direction of travel. I held the front brake tightly as a roll back would have me heading towards the brush again. I have installed a kicker on my 06, but in this situation, it is a blessing having an electric start option. Pulled in the clutch, depressed the shifter into what I assumed would be 1st gear (that should have been confirmed). The engine started right up, and was set to the an appropriate rpm. I slipped the clutch and moved off the berm onto the road. Gave the engine a bit more throttle and moved about 14 inches only to have my front wheel drop into a talc filled divot. Damn, and gravity is not to be defied. Over I went. It certainly could have be a lot worse. Given the bike was falling to my left, I simply extended my left leg. Because of my suspension mods, my bike is a bit higher than most, so in situations like this, it is unlikely that my feet are touching the ground. When my left foot made contact with the road, I was able to balance my body somewhat and the bike simply dropped between my legs. Given the incline, I was not able to remain standing so I had the opportunity to fall and roll in the talc.

    It is odd. In situations like this, sometimes even before you know whether you are ok, you, (certainly myself) are so incline to think you can reverse time by trying to undo the accident. Quickly I was trying to get the bike up and out of the way, geeezz, likely there was no one within five miles.

    The most productive thing coming out of that surge of adrenalin was turning off the ignition. In the past I learned that it makes more sense to lift the bike towards the downhill side if possible. Since the machine laid with the run of the road, the front wheel facing up, I needed to orient the bike crosswise. Silly me, I expended significant amounts of energy trying to pull the back of the bike uphill. Clearly, should I have waited a few minutes and gathered my wits, I might have realized it would have been easier to try and move the front end down the hill.

    Over the years, many of you 'old timers' may have thought, mrgizmow, why do you need to carry all this stuff? Guess it part of being mrgizmow. I like the thought of being independent and as well, being in a position to help others. Not only do I carry a 428 masterlink, I carry a 520 as well. I now have a 4 gallon tank, a syphon hose and bulb, but also just enough two stroke oil to mix with a gallon of gas. This is on top of the gps, Spot, 2 meter radio, Sams splint, first-aid kit, tools, water, energy bars, bivy sac, 911 cell phone, marking paint, towrope, and misc hardware. Yesterday, when the bike was down, it was a boat anchor without a rope. Once you toss it overboard, it's useless. Once the bike was down, it was little more than scrap metal cause I could not get it upright and rideable.

    Now, it really isn't the bike, nor is it the gear. Is it the rider? Well, my point is; likely it is all three. I am 65 and now weigh in at about 145 lbs. The bike started out around 234 lbs and now I suspect it is very close to 350 lbs. You sensitive types may be inclined to say, good for you mrgizmow, you want to be able to help people. Perhaps, but I suspect mrgizmow needs to help people in order to justify his being on the planet. OHHHHH. Mrgizmow, perhaps you need to seek professional help. Thank you, and yes, perhaps.

    My point, the revelation is; I have created a set of conditions that had likely been ok for me a few years ago, but clearly, it is something of a liability now.

    Back to the story. As I was beginning to tremble with exhaustion and the bike had not been lifted more than a few inches. It was flat, flat, flat to the ground. Trying to rotate it was a bitch of a job because all my stuff; lever guards, footpegs, plastic tool tubes kept dropping into appropriately sized recesses, locking the bike in place.

    TA DAAAAA, up drives the Dodge ram. Are you ok were the first words out of the drivers mouth. I'm fine, just a little pooped out, I replied. The two fellas appeared to be a Father and Son team out looking for deer (hunting season).

    Showed the Dad my attached lifting cables. He took the rear, I the front. The bike was up in a heart beat. I climbed aboard and rolled it down the hill an set it on the side stand. Went up, thanked them both and shook their hands. Dad asked again if I was alright. They got into the truck, turned around, and drove back in the direction they came. Perhaps they thought making the hill look easy would be an affront to me; don't know.

    Things that I learned;
    In hind site, I would be inclined to suggest, when your down, your down. If you can, turn off the ignition, the fuel petcock and assess the functions of your body. Not necessarily in that order. Point is, stop and THINK about what you are going to do next. For me, it was an unproductive and knee-jerk action. At least I remember from previous falls that it made the most sense to lift toward the down hill, should you have the choice. Since my bike was in perfect line with the road, and the front was pointing uphill. I needed to move the bike crosswise to the road. Silly me, I started this by trying to pull the back end uphill instead of the front end down hill. Don't let your rescuer leave until you are sure you are ok (really) and your bike starts and functions properly. Given my carb was leaking gas cause the float was stuck open, fuel was on the ground, likely in the airbox or cylinder should the intake valve been open. Needless to say, no amount of kicking, should the heart remain ticking was going to do it. The electric finally fired it up.
    The irony; At this point, I was likely now 10 miles from the nearest cabin. Thus far, I had saw only the fellows in the Dodge.

    Ten minutes after they left, another truck pulled up. Then the bike was running and I was gearing up ready to go. When heading back, within the next mile I came across at least four groups of men off loading and ready to hunt. Likely this number exceeded the count of all the folks I have stumbled across in my 20 years of exploring. It was GREAT day and a fun ride.
    Points to ponder; Do I de-gizmowfi my bike in the hopes that I can lift it the next time? Do I maintain my identity and keep all my stuff, but make everything easy to dismount? Do I do what would likely make off roading safer, but leaves me feeling uncomfortable. That is to say, make more Friends and find a riding buddy? How about mrgizmowing a telescoping 'leverage bar' as I have some 6061 T-6 tube that might do the trick. Using leverage to move the bike skyward. Perhaps selling the TW and buying a Honda PCK 150 scooter. They sure look nice. I could then use my XT225 as in stock form, it is lighter and the suspension is pretty comfortable, plus my feet will touch the ground. Guess I can do nothing and wait to see if or when it happens again. Hey, there is weight training to get stronger. Seems at times we are put into a position that suggest thinking might be a good idea.

    Don't worry folks, I am not suggesting that you help me make up my mind. Just inclined to share an event that got me to ponder.... Here's a couple of pictures. Hard to imagine something like this merited so many bytes of cyberspace. Gerry





    Last edited by Gerry; 09-25-2014 at 07:15 PM. Reason: adding to post
    Fred, bananachunks, r80rt and 1 others like this.
    Take care my Friend.........

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    Senior Member troll's Avatar
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    The winds of change are always blowing... if one can stop the incessant chatter of the mind they can be heard eroding the foundation of the current moment. OM Peace...

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    Senior Member dogonit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by troll View Post
    The winds of change are always blowing... if one can stop the incessant chatter of the mind they can be heard eroding the foundation of the current moment. OM Peace...
    Hi troll: "the current moment" is as you know already the past. Like your description, but stopping that chatter(and agreeing, last copy Motorcycle Consumer News: article in Mental Motorcycling: "Beyond Words", it takes real and concerted effort to achieve.) I am interested in exactly what Gerry wants to elucidate.

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    Senior Member dogonit's Avatar
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    Hi Gerry: Please continue and finish your story. I for one am interested.
    Last edited by dogonit; 09-25-2014 at 11:43 AM.

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    Senior Member troll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogonit View Post
    Hi troll: "the current moment" is as you know already the past. Like your description, but stopping that chatter(and agreeing, last copy Motorcycle Consumer News: article in Mental Motorcycling: "Beyond Words", it takes real and concerted effort to achieve.) I am interested in exactly what Gerry wants to elucidate.
    you are right... and I to am interested in "the rest of the story"

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    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    No problem fellas. The thread is taking lots of thinking and time. Unfortunately the forum times-me-out and I am loosing lots of text. I try to save and edit frequently, but still seem to loose and need to redo sections. Hopefully the amendments will be better than the first (lost) drafts.

    Give me awhile, I will get it all in. Thanks, Gerry
    Last edited by Gerry; 09-25-2014 at 03:50 PM. Reason: corrections
    Take care my Friend.........

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    Senior Member dogonit's Avatar
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    Hi Gerry: I guess I will just have to be patient for the coming episodes. Look forward to them.

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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Yeah, pause and think is always good advice. I saw a great video showing lifting fallen bike using leg and core more than arms. Facing away from bike squat with fanny against mid-bike and one hand on handlebar, one on rear rack and lift with legs. I'll have to remember that .
    Gerry tells a good story, Anxious for more.
    Last edited by Fred; 09-25-2014 at 04:57 PM.
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    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    Take a tip from me Gerry as I too can get a bit long winded. Write your story in word or some other computer program you can save. Then come to your post here and do a simple copy/paste. The forum is not a place that allows for deep thought, slow and accurate rambling or good stories that wander.

    GaryL
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    Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
    If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

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  11. #10
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Oooh but I so totally enjoy those long rambling stories that wander.Jerry's, Gary's, everyone's make for interesting reads. So nice tip GaryL r.e. copy/paste from other environment.
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