Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Killington, Vermont
Just trying to be helpful ...
Growing up in Northern New England, it seemed like if the road wasn't paved, than at some point in time it was going to be muddy. Certainly here in Vermont the majority of the roads are actually fine gravel roads that rarely get too bad, except for mud season in the spring. The back roads, the Class 4, 5, 6 roads, are the ones it sounds like we're talking about, where no one goes frequently, and sometimes not even traveled daily, or even weekly.
Those roads are the bad ones, where you come around a corner, see a puddle, think you can make it around the outside edge, you gun it, and whoops there you go, the rear end of the bike is passing you, and you're already skimming across the puddle. That's the scenario in my mind, when reading through this thread.
To be honest, every one of the suggestions so far have been wonderful, from the Warn Winch, to the Dyneema rope and pulley, Z-drag system. Actually, the Rope Puller system is impressive as well. The words of advice of not riding on roads like that alone, getting a smaller bike, bringing a pillion all make sense too.
But here's the thing for me. As good as all those tools, systems, and words of wisdom are, most likely, when my bike goes down, none of those things will be with me, nor in that moment will I be heeding the advice. Instead, my bike will be down, me with mud all over, and just clothes on my back and the things in my bike.
So all that being said, here's where we start:
Where I first learned about the power of the lever, was years ago, two people lifted a truck up out of a silt mud hole, where the drivers side was buried up to the window. The other side was up on high ground. An old Dodge Power Wagon couldn't pull it out. But they used a couple of dead logs from the woods, and a lot of rocks. They put down a big thick log beside the truck, and used the trunk of a six inch thick tree, that had blown down, to lever that truck up a few inches. Rocks were thrown under the tires. The lever was repositioned to the front, and the process repeated, over and over. An hour or so later, the truck was up out of the watery silt, and backed out the way it came.
Random relative photo found on the internet.
Many times the thought has crossed my mind, "... what would you do Liz, if the bike was on it's side, and just too much for me to pick up ..." One thing you would find me doing is walking around in the woods, acting like a dog on the scent of a rabbit, looking for a relatively long branch on the ground. To me, if that branch is say two to three inches thick and maybe ten or fifteen feet long, that's a pretty good start.
With my big old GS, the end of lever would probably go in behind the footpeg, careful to not hit either the rear master cylinder on one side, or the shifter on the other, my jacket would go over the seat, so the branch doesn't tear it, and starting out on the other end of the lever, I'd try to walk the bike upright.
Now maybe that wouldn't work totally, but even if it lifts the bike up a bit, there could be another short branch or short log or even a rock, to fall into place to hold the bike up, even if it's only a few inches more than it was.
Another photo from the internet
Now you know that I'm not going to be carrying:
A Warn Winch
Two square feet of cutting board
A boat anchor
Snowmobile jack (which I think is a really cool tool)
Block and Tackle with 100 feet of static climbing rope (I do like the Dyneema version)
And I doubt most of you would be carrying most of those things too.
However, I could only hope I was on a first name basis with this guy, and all my troubles would be over. My guess is as long as my Sat Phone is working, and I'm pretty close to where he wants me to be in southern South America my world would be golden.
What I do have on my bike are four of those 15 foot ratchet straps that you get at Home Depot for $15.95, a few hand tools, and a hacksaw blade or two, no saw, just the blades. If it's necessary to cut down a sapling, it might take a while, but that silly little hacksaw blade can do it.
Now about those ratchet straps. If there's a branch overhead, or a tree near by, a pair (four, if more length is needed) of those ratchet straps side by side, could probably get the bike upright, foot of strap by foot of strap.
Why are there four of those ratchet straps in my bike, you ask? Well they are used to tied things down on the bike, and how many times have you been in a situation where you hear "... i can put the bike in the back of my truck, but got nothing to tie it down with ... " After the first three times of hearing that, the straps had a permanent home on my bike.
Now what if the bike is down over a banking?
To be honest, there's no real plan in my mind. If the bike is destroyed, then probably Plan A is to grab what I need and walk out. If the bike doesn't have any bad damage, than Plan B might be using ratchet straps and a gin pole.
Depending how far down the banking it is, if it's a long ways down, and there are trees on the banking, using their branches and the ratchet straps would be a start, get it up a few feet at a time, reposition. Knowing that the bike weighs a lot, and those little ratchet handles are pretty short, creating a pulley system might be in order.
You know those old style carabiners? You'll always find a handful attached to my bike. They just plain come in handy. We're not talking about the small ones on the end of a key chain, bigger, with more strength. A couple of those, in a pinch, can become pulleys for the strap to run through.
The other choice, going back to the gin pole, is to use those little hacksaw blades to cut a sapling that splits into two trunks, and turn it upside down to become my gin pole.
A few points to make.
This is presuming I'm alone way in the woods, far from civilization, and walking out is going to be a long ways.
If things are bad, and there's hope someone might come driving by, usually there's enough gear on my bike to camp out in a hammock and sleeping bag, or at least a tarp and a bag, food and water.
If the bike really is way down over a banking, probably the tank, front wheel, and rear wheel would come off, as well as the panniers. The lighter the bike is the better, if dragging it on it's side.
Am I making sense with all that?
PS: Wait there's more!!!
MsLizVt screwed with this post 03-02-2013 at 09:32 PM