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Old 09-08-2009, 08:47 PM   #16
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When we were staying in Gunnison, we had heard a lot of people talking about a castle built by a single man. I was thinking, yeah sounds pretty cool. But I wasn't super intent on seeing it. Bret however, wanted to see it really bad.

After we met up with the guys at Royal Gorge, we make the trip on the slab to Trinidad. All of a sudden Bret stops, he was lucky. All I can see is there are a bunch of cars pulled off the side of the road. That's odd, all of these people in the middle of nowhere.

We had found our way to Bishop Castle. Now I had a general idea that this guys was going to be crazy. I mean he has spent 40 or so years building this castle all by himself. All that rock stacking and time to yourself has got to make him go crazy. And judging by the signs my assumption wasn't that far off.



I guess he has had some problem from the government about him building it and taking the rock from the land.



Apparently he has been harassed to the point where he is really really pissed off. There were several other signs. His crazy ideas were good for one thing. The sheer beauty of Bishop Castle.

We came out of the tree's and I was finally able to get a good look at the caste. It was much bigger then I thought it was going to be. And I am dead serious when I say that my jaw almost hit the floor.



There is no way that my little camera would be able to capture the sheer size of this place.



I saw people way way up at the top of the castle. Now I am not really a fan of heights, but what the hey. It would make for some really good pictures. And Since Notar was doing GPS stuff, I just had to take some pictures for him.

The stairs started out fine. Well, as fine as they could be in MX boots.



And then they got really pretty in the main room.





But then they started to get really sketchy towards the top...


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Old 09-08-2009, 08:52 PM   #17
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Here are some random shots of my adventures in the castle.



If you go back and look at the picture of the outside, you can tell that I was pretty up there!



These balconies were super sketchy, you could feel the metal giving under your feet! Not very comfortable. But hey, if i did fall I was well prepared!





The stained glass that had been put up was beautiful. Some people had donated parts and they had been placed in the window.





See look how high that Dragon is that I was above!

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Old 09-08-2009, 09:34 PM   #18
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Finally we all start to slowly move towards our bikes. My father and I encounter Jim Bishop, the castle builder. We talk--well it was my dad really, about how cool the castle is. Now, to be fair I do not remember what it was that triggered the switch from how cool the castle was to politics. Well, he had a lot to say ranging from how 9-11 was an inside job, to the cops just randomly coming up and harassing him. I tried to walk away slowly but he just kept ranting on. My father nor myself are very rude people, so it seemed we were stuck. Luckily for us, Ghilly was already at his bike and yelled to my dad that he had a phone call. Phew we were out alive. That is, until Bret decides that he really wants a picture with the crazy. Well, good thing Ghilly was there. And that we get a lot of phone calls...

The group dynamic obviously hasn't been ironed out yet. We don't know when we stop to take pictures. And obviously there are speed issues, even on the street. We normally drove with Paramedicrogers out front on the road, earning him the nickname of the Pace Car. Well, we finally are getting our grove on, traveling at speeds all of our bikes can live with. And then something hits me in the face. A bug? Eww, I really wish that I would have had my full face for the small parts of slab. But no, that was not a bug...It was a rain drop.



We all pull over and start to break out the rain gear. Digging through my loop I find out something very very bad. I seem to have misplaced my jacket. Looking back, I don't even think that I packed that thing! Oh man. I suck it up and play the hardcore card " The rain will stop soon." Luckily for me -- it did.

Well after a very long long day we manage to roll into Trinidad. We had reservations at the Super 8, using my employee discount. Apparently, they really needed that extra 30 bucks. They canceled our reservation, and had filled up. What jerks, not even a call to us. It's not like I hadn't pre-paid with my credit card or anything. The guy said that we could come back for breakfast the next morning because of the mistake. Yeah, that apologetic act really made me feel better.

Luckily for us we found our way to the Trails End. My dad was saying that a lot of TAT people stay here. I really hate to stereotype, but all those bikers on harleys were making me nervous. One of them wanted to race the person in our group with the fastest bike. Well, this is one of those times that I am glad I have brain mouth control.





Our tires were getting killed on the asphalt, KTM Ben and XT225 Bret were going to do some tire switching. This is when I seriously confirmed my suspicion that the Kentucky boys were comedians.




Now when I found out that the group needed some tires changed I was worried. My dad is pretty hardcore, so much so in fact that he used to paraglide. Well, there was a little incident in which he fell from the sky and kinda broke his back. Changing tires straight up kills him. Making it really hard for him to walk the next day. So I told him, Dad you can let them change their own tires, just show them how and give them advice. But don't do it.

Well I was first to shower so I go and leave the boys to wrench. When I come out of the hotel I see what I knew was going to happen and I am not pleased...



The Harley guys were drunk as skunks, but were helping with the tire change. My dad got up after he was done, looking stiff as ever. KTM Ben looks at him and says

" Do you have back problems?"

And my poppa being oh so clever at deflecting responds

"Now I do.."

Guys being macho, well I can tell you one thing. My dad did pay for his good service in the morning.

Now that we were done getting all the tires ready, it was time for dinner. The awesome steak house that ghilly talked about was closed. So we find ourselves a diner within walking distance.





Grilled cheese beats steak any day.


Our rooms were pretty cool, with the exception of smelling like a freshly made hamster cage. The owners were super nice. And the room was dirt cheap. No bugs or rats to report. A lot of people stay here for a reason.

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Old 09-09-2009, 06:03 AM   #19
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Hang in there folks! All the posts from here on out are sheer TAT goodness
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:45 PM   #20
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Finallly

We woke up, and I was awake as I had ever been. For what reason? Today was our first day on the official TAT. I love riding on the street, but in the dirt. I love that you don't have to worry about a car slamming into you. And there are no speed limits on dirt roads But for the most part I just love the seclusion. The smell of the tree's as you whip past them. And of course there is the element of danger, and the pride that comes with a recovery. Yes, today was going to be awesome.

We had planned to start that morning bright and early. Well, we found out that some people had different definitions of out by 7...The Kentucky boys were freezing that morning.





Hang in there guys! It will warm up.

And then of course I had to get the cool shots of my bike. We were going to get some helmet camera time in!



And then this seemingly innocent picture becomes very important to my story, later on in this post. Here is my giant loop, which has been awesome so far. I can't even tell that I have bags.



Finally everyoneis ready, and I can stop taking random pictures. My dad had spent forever researching the TAT. He said that today would be a pretty easy day. I know that I should take advantage of it, because tomorrow were the long dreaded passes.

It wasnt long that after we hit the dirt that two groups were established. I like to call them group A and group B. I was pretty pissed. Yes I have a girl complex. Where I think that everyone in the group thinks that I am the slowest and weakest. Perhaps even that my dad was crazy for taking me.

So of course I was mad when I was classified as being in the slow group. Fuming in fact. WTF. We liked to take pictures. Mike didnt want to trash his KLR. So freakin what. Besides that, is there really a reason to travel 50 on a dirt road? Whatever so be it.

My dad knew that I was pissed, so next time we stopped he said I should ride with the A group. Thats me, mav, tearing down one stereotype at a time. I took off like a rocket smiling like a crazy lady.

As I lay on the ground I thought to myself, when you ride like you have somethting to prove, you always prove their point. I was up in an instant. I had gotten some good distance from my bike, I did a quick body check and I was unharmed. I might have scratched by elbows, but I was fine.

Bret gets off of his XT and is in full freak out mode! " You passed me doing like 50, what were you thinking? You lost your helmet camera! Are you okay? Oh my gosh,"

I smiled. Okay, so I hadn't been able to negotiate a loose corner. However, the dirt told my story. I was passing Bret in a corner, because all this road was it seemed were corners. Yes, I could have taken the corner slower, but hey my name is Mav.

There was a line where I had slipped out my back tire. Success!! And then a long drag mark where my peg had hit. And then the imprint of my body, rolling away from my bike. 8 times...I had rolled 8 times. And honestly, I didnt feel a thing. Only later did I find out that I had broken the LCD screen of my camera, and runined a memory card. Walking back to my bike I had also lost my tank bag the one pictured above.

My giant loop help up like a champ, the fabric still in tact, even as it had slid 30 feet across a dirt road.





My thor compression suit, also held up pretty well. It had certainly done its job. I did manage to put some minor scratches onto it, as well as rip out some of the mesh part around the elbow.








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Old 09-10-2009, 05:32 PM   #21
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My dad was on his bike laughing while I was getting the Paramedic lecture from KLR mike. Even though I didn't need to be lectured I thought it was pretty cool. My opinion of Mike was set in stone that day, super cool. Well we get back to the road. I would be content hanging back with my dad. I'm sure he got tired of eating dust just because he had the GPS.

I was not bummed that I had crashed. I still thought it was super cool that I dragged a peg in the dirt. But something happened next that totally made up my mind. I was so happy that I had crashed. Why? Every time XT Bret would hit a corner, he would grab his clutch and brake. To slow down at least 20 miles an hour. I ruined his confidence that day, I probably shouldnt have thought that this was funny...But I did.

The road that we were on remained pretty boring.




Here are the boys from the East stopping to take pictures of the mountains. I swear it's like they have never seen them or something.




Yup, After I crashed I got put behind the pace car.




Here is KLR Mike trying to get an artistic shot of the tree's.



While we were climbing, Ghilly aka DRZ Mike, had said that his bike was running like crap. Well, maybe the problem was that he was jetted for sea level. Since my dad was the bike expert, ghilly got to take up Uav the black drz while his bike was being tested. Well Ghilly got off of that thing with a huge smile on his face. You see, my fathers and I bikes arent normal DRZ...They have been pumped up..a bit...Uav more so then Urijah Sunshine. (Named for Urijah Faber ) Yup, well Ghillys bike was running like ish. The passes for him were going to be rather difficult.

We stop to take pictures of high speed moving passes. Really? At this point I was really pissed. We get the whole lecture that we need to go fast on the road to make up for missed time. Well here is a newsflash everyone in the 'slow' group was ready to leave at 7. And here we are doing high speed passes and taking pictures? Wasting a good 30 minutes of our time! Do you know how fast we would have to drive to make that up? In addition to our late start this morninUGH, I really hoped that our group would pull together later on in the trip.

It was because of this stop, that I passed them when they had stopped to take a picture. I had to do something so I just thought I would get about 5 minutes ahead of them and be able to take my break without an impact on their precious speed.

Well I get down to the bottom and I am waiting...waiting. Several people pass me coming down from a different path. Some stopped to talk to me and ask if I was alright. While others gave me the thumbs up, or the okay sign, which I returned. I had been down there about 20 minutes before I decieded that I should go back up. The guys are coming down so I quick make a turn and catch up to my dad. Apparently Bret had nailed the brakes and crashed, Now maybe, I don't find it so funny.

This is what I missed out on. And I am not going to lie, I find this picture hilarious. I am sorry that he crashed. But the fact that he looks so dramatic in this picture is pretty darn hilarious.



Not staged at all my friends, not staged at all.

Luckily the Paramedics got him right on up and down to the Emergency room, where he later received two stitches. We head back to the hotel and my dad looks and me and informs me that we lost my lap-top charger, my cell phone charger, as well as our walkie chargers. They were in the side bag that I rubbed off. Since my dad was in the back no one noticed when they fell off the back of his bike. Freaking Bummer.

We stayed at the super 8, and found some grub nextdoor. KTM Ben fell in love with the hostess. What a suprise there. She took some time out of her busy evening to tell about the rattle snake she had killed and was skinning..... Colorado girls are werid!


The end of our first day on that TAT! Tomorrow the passes. Oh joy...
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:32 PM   #22
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:06 AM   #23
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Just my luck. Perhaps the most infamous things about the TAT is the dreaded Hancock pass. Sure I put on a cool front. Eh, this pass..whatever. I got it. And of course Notar had been pumping me with info, and putting all these crazy ideas in my head. As I understood, I had been up things steeper then Hancock pass. It was easy I had it bagged. Well, I crawl out of bed with a strange feeling. As I sit and ponder the appropriate word I find myself settling on ' impending doom'. Sounds a little dramatic..But hey, thats what that day was.

We wake up and are ready to roll at our schedule lift off. We have to wait for the others to gather themselves up. Which at this point, I really don't care how long they take to get ready. We can always skip the passes right? I really would have been upset if I didnt get them done. And It really was a goal of mine to conquer Hancock.

We get a little ways up the road and stop at a look out spot. Of course the East Coast boys and in sheer awe of the mountains. I will admit, these ones were a little bigger then the ones I see out my window.




You can see the look of dread!



See? Tiny mountains!



I think he might be talking to me about being in first gear the whole pass. Whatever dad, I know I know. I'm going to freaking nail it. Just watch. Maverickchick is going to eat that pass alive. I'm going to get to the top and be like...Where is this Hancock?
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:23 AM   #24
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What the heck is this? I swear..People in Colorado have the weirdest signs. I was thinking that we might get to see one of those little skitzy creatures.



But nope. There was a bazillion of them. Yes, A bazillion. It was quite terrible that I couldnt get my kickstand down to get off my bike. Yes...terrible. Those germ ridden things were crawling up everything. And on everyone. Not really my idea of fun, but of course I had to put up proof. We dawdled here much longer then I would care for.



Be careful Bret, that one has a crazy look in its eye.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:42 AM   #25
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Well, Tincup pass was looming in front of us. Not to brag or anything, but I just trucked up that sucker. Seriously, Tincup was fun. Well, besides me almost getting killed by a Rhino.

Now is a good point to inform you all, that I hate right hand turns. I have talked to a few people and they all agree, right hand turns blow. Well besides Notar, but he is a hero...we will get to that later. Anyways, there was one nice right switchback. Normal people might not notice it...But I ended up in the ditch. Luckily I was able to pull out of it. ( DRZ POWER )

It got a little rocky at the top, but nothing that I hadnt seen before. This was just like beggers canyon back home. My type of riding. Yes, I got to ride in the fast group. Yusss. I really would have liked to go a little faster up it...but you all know what happend last time I made the choice to kick it up a little bit. Daynja Daynja Daynja....

Here we see a member of team Kentucky, getting ready to kill Tin-cup.



I think he was texting his wife, telling her that this pass thing was gravy. And hey, why not? Tincup was gravy.


Like I said I did almost get killed by a Rhino. It was bossing up Tincup at about...three miles an hour. And to be frank, I am not geared low enough for that. It looked like they were going to stop and pull over so I could pass. But then right as I am passing them they start going for it again. WTF lady...

Seriously, people like that...They are the types that hit buildings during their motorcycle training course. I don't hate, some people just shouldnt be allowed to do the whole ATV thing.

Did I really want to be pushed into the side of a hill...not really. So I gassed it. Maybe I should have slowed down...maybe a sketchy moment came from it. But I did not eat it! Woot.





Well when we finally make it to the bottom the speedy guys had already had a chance for their snack. We however were denied that privlage, I was kinda pissed.... It's not like we needed our energy for something big coming up...
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:53 AM   #26
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Finding Hancock wasn't easy at all. We had to go back down Tincup, which was not horrible...I do however have a slight phobia of downhills. But when looking for Hancock, make sure you look off the side of the roads for hidden signs. It took us about three times driving past it. And some long looks at the map.



We finally found it. And were off on our way, once again my dad was really specific when he said to go up Hancock in 1st gear. Yes, I have a bit of history with starting in 2nd.

Well the road up was gravel, not hard at all. We encounter a building that even the best of real estate agents would have problems selling.





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Old 09-21-2009, 01:34 AM   #27
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The gravel road started getting rocky. And we encountered a huge cluster of jeep. Well, Mav, its about to get interesting. We almost missed our steep right hand rocky turn to Hancock.





And what I mean by we almost missed it, is that I had to turn around. Low speed + Rocks + Shortness = Dirt Nap Numero dos.
Well, maybe if there had been some dirt to fall into. Well I figure they charge a lot for acupuncture, so I was still ahead!



When I was little I always wanted to be 5'8...That's all I wanted. Well, I was denied, and because of that I like to blame all of my tips on height. If I had a mere 3'in more, I wouldn't have had this tip. Shoulda woulda coulda.

I manage to turn around and make the uphill climb without further incident. Thankfully. At this point, my skills or lack thereof are probably giving team Kentucky a heart attack.

The road starts getting rocky. And I am riding on the back tire of Paramedicrogers on his KLR. He has decently low gear and is able to just torque up it. I however am doing an excellent job of massaging my clutch, a perfect output of power. Righto.

I get the signal to stop. " Don't follow so close, you need to be able to slow down and speed up depending on terrain."

So I give Paramedicrogers some breathing room. And then I attack, that is until my bike just stops.
For the record it is one nasty RIGHT hand turn..









Whatthefreakinheckisgoingon whytheheckamistoppedinthisridiculouscornerofhancoc k. My dad tells me to make sure that I am in first. I stomp on it. More throttle. I twist it. Nothing. Well, my dad goes past me to give further instruction. And then the jeep that makes an debut in the leaning building picture, pulls up. This guy jumps out and is all over the situation. He helps me move my bike back down to the bottom so I can get a run at it.

Roostn is the name and helping is the game. He gives the advice to stand up and just take the rocks. I can do it. So I get back on. And what do you know I conquer that corner. The very small incline after however...well. My bike makes this really cool sound

Vrraaaaaaahhhhhhhhhmmmmmm raaaaaaaaaahhhhhh

And then it dies.

You know those delicious pecans they sell at the mall? You know its Christmas time when you smell those suckers.

Well, apparently its not so good when your bike smells like that. Only Burnt. I look back to see my dad with his head down. Roostn doesn't look that pleased either. I did roast something that day, it just so happened to be my clutch plates.



First gear is essential my friends...essential.

I was SO SO SO SO close and then this happens? How the heck am I going to get my bike to the top when I killed my clutch? Hancock was a big enough hassle for people who have clutches!!!

Notar, takes the mini bike up. And I get a ride with Roostn in his awesome jeep. His wife stays with Uav, the bike my dad is on. Once I am to the top, My dad will be shuttled down.



Some good news dad...I did most of the hard work. And the remaining of the path was similar to what we saw on Tincup. I had come so far and came up short. Pissed.






And during our 30-40 minute ordeal, no one from our group came looking for us. No one. And when we get to the top, they leave. They really don't want to deal with a busted clutch. Notar can do it all. Not to mention the fact that they seriously doubt anything is wrong with my clutch.

Seriously I think I might be missing the concept here of 'group'. Perhaps we went with other people so in situations similar to this someone might man up. Nope, straight up abandoned. They didn't even wait to see my dad my dad make it up on his bike.

To be fair Paramedicrogers looked really bummed that he had to go. He gave me his spot and told me how to use it. Thank you again Mike, it made me feel tons better. I knew if it would have been just us and the Kentucky boys, they would have stayed.

I was so drained at this point. I had no idea what was going to happen. How I was going to get my bike down. Nothing. Totally stuck on some random mountain in Colorado. Freakin' fun.

Here is ghilly, who had jetting issues. 'Jetting issues ' I could say. But nah, errybody bought his story. Okay so it was true, his bike was sucking wind. I did roast my plates, but because I was 19 year old girl my clutch story was hard to wrap their ditcherfacing heads around...




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Old 09-21-2009, 06:16 AM   #28
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:30 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K2
Rocky!
Yeah, if I got to name those mountains they would be called the Rockies.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:56 AM   #30
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So there I was, I found myself sitting on top of some mountain in Colorado. I was all alone. My dad was down on the path, alone as well. He had taken a tumble on my bike when he was bringing it up. So, things were pretty much sucking. I did have Paramedicrogers spot, thank goodness. But how was I going to know if my dad needed it?

I could take my bike back down...just to make sure. However, you had to push the bike to get it moving. Otherwise it stood screaming, refusing to move. I wasn't afraid. I wasn't sad. I was angry.

Not only had I managed to destroy my bike, I came up short of my goal. I was one corner away from completing Hancock and I failed. Not only that, but my father had to take up a non-working bike. In doing so, he took a tumble. Maybe not such a big deal for other people. But Notar kinda fell from the sky and busted his back. And those backs never like to return to full strength.

Everyone has at least one moment where they are truly touched by the generosity of a stranger. A moment in the movies where everyone pulls together. I once witnessed a stranger pay for a ladies groceries because she couldn't afford all of them. I was overcome with such a warm feeling. How awesome was that? A human being demonstrating compassion, and performing such an unselfish act....optimus prime would have been proud.

My group left me and my dad up there. The Kentucky boys really did look saddened, and I could never hold this moment against them. But to the person who just up and left me there. To the person who really didn't care how we got off that mountain. You are the true embodiment of selfishness, and I wish nothing upon you-but to be put in my situation, and to be treated the same way.

At least he tried to justify his statement " Let's get outta here." He had altitude sickness, and logically that could only be solved by climbing another pass. Logically....

I was tired and cold. I had a jacket in my giant loop bag, but I was too tired to stand up and get it. Drained is the only word to describe how I felt. The weight on my shoulders was almost instantly lifted when I heard the growl of Uav.

Well dad, you did the impossible. You rode a non working bike up Hancock pass. Are you ready for the impossibler? Let's see if you can manage to get your hypoglycemic daughter and her bike down the other side.

I climbed up onto sunshine and tried to coerce her forward. Nothing. It still smelled hot, and by now Maverickchick the terrible pessimist had taken over. Sliding off to one side I tried to keep my balance so I could push my bike forward. As I picked up my bike--err tried to-- I thought to myself...this is going to be a terribly fun ride down.

I managed to get her going. Quickly coming to the realization that I could not depend on my clutch I made the choice that I was going to cost down this sucker. Meaning that I needed to keep enough speed to tackle the slight inclines. Coming to this conclusion is not without casualties however. I was about to cross a small stream of water, I would go down and then need to climb back up the other side. Without thinking I let the clutch out and nothing.

At least I landed in the softest thing around, the bushes, I did manage to find myself tangled. My dad, who is not showing any signs of tiredness yet, hops off his bike and helps me lift mine. Thanks dad

Yup, things seems to be getting brighter now, I am rolling on without a care in the world. That is for about 5 feet. I hit a rock and fell down. This time it stung a little. Pull yourself together Mav...

The next time I ate it again I managed to get about 30 feet. I can't really tell you what happened, all I know is that my left leg was under the bike and I was hanging off the ledge of the road. No biggie if I would have gone off, Just a 20 or so foot rocky roll to the next part of the road.

This time my dad jumps off his bike, setting it down to get to me asap. I'm up again an on my bike. Man, this falling down this is starting to get really really tiring. I go to start it and I get rewarded with this wonderful sound...

rhmmm rhmmm rhmmm. ch-ch-vroom.

If you couldnt guess from my wonderful attempt at sound effects, my battery was nearly dead. Joy. This has to be one of the greatest days of my life....NOT. That's right Borat, at this point in time I was NOT having fun.

For those that have been down the backside of Hancock, you will remember a sharp left turn. Guess what, I ate it. And to make things even better there was a four-wheeler hot on my trail. Do you know what that guy did after asking if I was okay? He put it in reverse to get a better run at it. Reverse? WTF!!

We get down a little further and I manage to fall again. This time I just lay there, there is no way I am going to make it down. I might as well pull out my emergency stuff and camp out for the next couple days. My dad gets my bike righted and tells me to sit down and just cool it. We were passed by a good amount of people and they all would give a thumbs up in a questioning manner..and my dad would return them with a smile. Are you freakin' kidding me dad? Things are not okay!!!

Finally after about 15 minutes of feeling sorry for myself the little voice in my head finally clicks on. Oh hello reason, where have you been? Okay, pull yourself together before you get hurt. Once you are down you can feel sorry for yourself and think about how bad this situation really sucks. Fine.

I look at my dad and ask him if he thinks it gets easier from here. Yes it does. The hard part is over and we are home free.

I kept replaying that in my head and I went down a steep incline littered with baby heads. You can do it! I had full confidence until I saw my giant loop back. Oh come on, now you are going to slide down a hill sideways?? I thought about the teeth I was going to loose. Please don't let them be in the front.

But I managed. Then I came across some people hiking up the trail. GET OUT OF THE WAAAYYY. You know what I'm going to be selfish. I didnt even brake as I got closer to them. Finally they stepped out of my way. There was no way I was going to eat it in front of people. And after I had gone so far. I was hoping for something more dramatic, like them leaping out of my path at the last moment. But apparently people are not as stupid as they are in movies.

A sign for Alpine Loop!! Success. I stop on top of the rocks, and as I put my foot down rocks slide. I should take the left and hit the alpine loop. My dad was saying something about it. I try to make sunshine move forward. Ka-stall and Maverickchick once again finds herself on the ground.

Meanwhile, my dad is asking the hikers if they have seen a girl on a yellow bike. Yup they sure had. That makes him feel better at least now he knows I hadn't gone off a cliff yet...
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