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Old 09-14-2008, 01:12 PM   #1
gearnut OP
Joined: Mar 2008
Oddometer: 16
Redneck Rescue

aka - A Cautionary Tale of Piss Poor Preparation

On Wednesday I got the chance to take a couple of days off from work and jumped on it. I've been itching to get the KLR out for a shakedown run, and with no obligations until an awards ceremony for my wife's company at 6:30 pm friday I had the perfect opportunity for a quick overnighter in the Ozark National Forest. A check of the weather report showed that heavy rains were predicted for Thursday, to be followed by the outer bands of Hurricane Ike on late Friday or early Saturday. Great! I'd get to see how the new GP1's perform on wet pavement and in the mud. Anyway, I WAS overdue for an epic disaster caused by my own lack of preparation and planning.

I left work early and picked up a couple of dry bags to pack my gear in. Since I don't have a tent small enough for a bike trip and I hadn't checked my riding gear to see how waterproof it was, a quick trip to wally world was in order. After two miles in a light drizzle I declared my gear fully tested and waterproof. Now armed with two small blue tarps I was prepared to shelter myself from thunderstorms/hurricanes. Yep, all of the pieces necessary for an epic disaster were falling into nicely into place.

By the time my wife got home I had the bike packed and ready to go. She looked over the bike doubtfully, question #1 "have you seen the weather?" question #2 "how did you get your sleeping bag in there?" Well, I had been a bit surprised that I'd had to pack so many extra clothes to fill out one of the drybags. It didn't take long to repack the bike, this time with my sleeping bag and without the extra clothes. Again, she looked doubtfully at the bike "What else have you forgotten?" I assured her that everything I could possibly need was packed...
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:37 PM   #2
But Itsa Dry Heat
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This is looking like a good one already.
"I wanta be the man that my dog thinks I am"

" Lord grant me patience, because if you grant me strength, I'll need bail money and a lawyer to go along with it"
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:44 PM   #3
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Eagerly awaiting...

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Old 09-14-2008, 01:44 PM   #4
Verbal tactician
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I would say you are off to an interesting, possibly even cartoonish start.

Looking forward to more, Wile E

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all around good guy
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:48 PM   #5
Still alive
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Think i'll watch this one as well
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:54 PM   #6
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What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:59 PM   #7
Studly Adventurer
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Awesome first post.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:03 PM   #8
gearnut OP
Joined: Mar 2008
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Since the whole point of this trip was just to ride I didn't spend much time planning a route or studying maps, I didn't even bother taking any topos. I plugged a few waypoints in the GPS, primarily so that I could locate my approximate location on the highway maps that I carried since they don't show any of the backroads. I pulled out of the garage into a light rain and headed east. As I rode the rain gradually increased in intensity, and before long it was raining pretty hard. Much to my surprise I was actually staying dry and comfortable except for my feet, as my boots are not even remotely waterproof. I tooled along the backroads, tunes pumping on the ipod, and having a great time. After a couple of hours the steady rain stopped and I only ran into scattered patches of rain.

I stopped for a map check and took a quick pic
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Epirush
What could possibly go wrong?
Those famous last words.

You hadn't ridden in the Ozark National Forest much have you?

Those dry branchs, that are so easy to cross and just plain fun to follow. Look like the Arkansas River after a few inches of rain, and that lovely sandy dirt that gets good traction when dry, becomes slicker than cat **** on a linoleum floor.

This looks like a fun read.

BTW did you have to call in the air rescue folks to get you out?

BTW where you from?
Google Earth GPS Howto (still a work in progress) use USGS TOPO Maps to layout trails.

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Old 09-14-2008, 02:22 PM   #10
gearnut OP
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I stopped for gas and an early lunch at a small cafe in Arkansas. After lunch I turned northeast on the first promising gravel road I found. The rain had stopped and conditions were great, wet enough to prevent dust, but not too muddy. I meant to stop occasionally and take some pictures but was having way too much fun. I the GP1 tires performed well on wet pavement and they were working great on the gravel and dirt, even at highway pressure. In fact I kept having to tell myself to slow down. I was out in the middle of nowhere, by myself and no one knew where I was. A mistake under these conditions would not be good. Unfortunately that mistake had already been made...

While cruising along a gravel road I heard a brief whacking sound like something caught in the spokes of the rear wheel. As quickly as the sound started it stopped. I slowed down to look at the back of the bike the rear tire was already flat. Before I even got the bike stopped I realized that my spare tubes, patch kit and tire irons were sitting on the workbench in the garage. As the thunder roared overhead I knew that this was not going to be a fun afternoon.

I had not seen another car or even a building since leaving the main roads, and had not seen pavement in over an hour. There was a piece of wire sticking out of one of the center knobs of the back tire. I got my pliers out and pulled it out of the tire. The wire was over four inches long and looked a lot like a broken spoke with one end sharpened. Scratches on the swingarm showed that the sound that I had heard was the wire hitting the swingarm before being driven completely into the tire. Out of desperation I tried to air the tire up with my small electric pump, I thought that even if I could get a few hundred yards per pump I could make it to civilization. After several minutes of pumping the tire was still completely flat. It is hot, humid and threatening to rain at any moment. There is no cell phone reception and I had to walk to a small clearing at the top of the hill to even get a GPS lock.

I weighed 3 options:
Option 1- Call my wife, give her my GPS coordinates and have her bring my tire repair stuff after work. That would involve her finding my spare GPS, programming it and using it to find me after dark in the maze of gravel roads. On top of that it would require at least six hour of round trip driving. This would be a feat akin to successfully arranging a space shuttle launch. Nope
Option 2- Set up camp right there and hope someone comes by and gives me a lift to somewhere that I can fix the tire. I'm dumb, not helpless. Nope
Option 3- Get the tube out of the tire and start walking. I've got about half a camelback of water and some peanut butter crackers, the Thor 50/50's aren't waterproof but are comfortable to walk in.

I moved the bike to the ditch and got the back wheel in the air. The tire is off quickly, but things go downhill from there. If you have ever tried to break the bead and change a tire with the two flat wrenches that come in the KLR toolkit you'll know what I'm talking about. Thirty minutes later I'm dripping in sweat, covered in red sandy dirt and no closer to getting at the tube. On the plus side I've invented a few new words and it hasn't started raining again. So I decide to grab the whole damn thing and head out.

As I'm writing a note to leave in the map pocket of the tank bag I hear what I thought was a vehicle in the distance. A short time later I see a small pickup coming down the road. The truck rolls up slowly and thankfully stops. As I step up to the passenger door there are two guys in the truck, both are drinking beer and have shotguns beside them. The passenger slowly looks at the motorcycle, then at me and says "looks like you got yourself a predicament." I was instantly reminded of the movie Deliverance, but tried to put that out of my mind. Yeah, I don't guess you have any fix-a-flat do you? "Nope" was the only response. Well, I'd be glad to buy you some gas and cold beer if you could give me a ride to someplace where I can get this fixed. They just looked at each other and laughed.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:32 PM   #11
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Epic within one page.

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Old 09-14-2008, 02:44 PM   #12
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ok this is really well-written I'm in.
05 KTM EXC 300 (she thinks she's street legal...)
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:45 PM   #13
ruh roh
hey Yall
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( Deliverance won?? )

If the world didnt suck , we d all fall off.
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:01 PM   #14
lookin 4 a way outta town
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My ambition far exceeds my talent...

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Old 09-14-2008, 03:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by gearnut
......... They just looked at each other and laughed.

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