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Old 11-07-2010, 02:15 PM   #1
Dr. Greg OP
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Cry Dr. Greg's 2010 Multistrada 1200 is TOTALLED!

Well, Wednesday, November 3 was not the best day for me and the 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200S Touring model. Pull up a chair and let me tell you all about it...




Preface

After the Ducati MTS 1200 and I had returned from our NEW Mexico to NEW England Trip, I figured I owed Mrs. Greg a little vacation. Since I'm on sabbatical this semester, we decided to take a week in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Mrs. Greg drove the '02 VW Golf TDI and I rode the Milledue (MEE-lay-DOO-Ay, what I call the bike) up from Albuquerque.

I figured to do a couple of day rides, as well as drop in on our good friends Gale and Sandy. Part of the plan worked out, but part of it didn't...





Monday, November 1

The weather was gorgeous; there had been a little precipitation a week or so earlier, but the roads were clean and dry. Even so, I was on my toes for any slick/icy conditions. For Monday, I planned a ride from Pagosa Springs down to Chama, New Mexico, then up over Cumbres and La Manga Passes on CO 17, over to Antonito, CO, then back via Alamosa, South Fork and Wolf Creek Pass. About 240 miles...a nice easy ride.

I was especially wary of La Manga Pass, and its descent into the Conejos River valley, since it has some shady spots. Riding north out of Chama up over Cumbres Pass (over 10,000 feet) the road was clean and dry. After Cumbres Pass, CO 17 stays in the high country for about ten miles, then goes over La Manga Pass and begins the descent to the Conejos River. Again, despite my concerns, the road was clean and dry...great riding! Both passes include lots of fun curves, and the Milledue and I were enjoying ourselves immenseley.

The remainder of the ride went well: lunch in Alamosa, stop by the Visitor Center in South Fork, then up and over Wolf Creek Pass and back to Pagosa Springs. What a great ride! As I texted Mrs. Greg during the ride, "Boy, I LOVE THIS BIKE!!" And I did (do?)





Wednesday, November 3

After a "rest day" on Tuesday, I planned another ride Wednesday (Gale, I was gonna visit you on Thursday). My route Wednesday was again from Pagosa Springs down to Chama, but on south to Tierra Amarilla, then across US 64 to Tres Piedras, NM (gorgeous ride thru more 10,000 ft mountains), then north to Antonito, CO, then west on CO 17 up and over La Manga and Cumbres Passes again (but in the opposite direction as Monday), then back to Pagosa.

Here's a pic from US 64 between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras, at 10,000 feet overlooking the Brazos Cliffs (and Brazos peak at 11,288 feet):


And here's Doc and the Milledue near the base of San Antonio Mtn, this big 10,908-foot dome near the NM/CO border:


Finally, here's the Milledue just past the Conejos River preparing for the climb up to La Manga Pass. BTW, this is the last foto of the sexy lady shiny side up...







The CRASH

Remember, I had ridden DOWN the La Manga Pass road just two days earlier, and all of it was clean and dry. The weather had been continuously gorgeous since then. Just wanna make that clear...

There are a couple tight "S" curves on this road (marked 25 mph); I took them at about 45-50 mph, being pretty conservative. Above those the road is pretty flowing, so I was in a good rhythm at about 65-70 mph. As I came out of a right-hand curve and prepared to straighten up...



Instantly I lost the front!!



As the front tucked and the bike went down on its right side I went flying through the air, all the while wondering...WTF HAPPENED?!?!



I slid and tumbled for a little ways (it was uphill, so not too far), then quickly went through the typical checklist: fingers, toes, etc. I was OK. As I stood up and began to remove my helmet, a young lady came running up (she was parked below and heard my crash...she said it was LOUD!). Anyway, here we were; she's looking over the edge for my other side case:


This is the direction I was coming from:


This is in the direction I was going:


The bike went down on its right side first; it must have bounced onto the left side, which is where it ended up. BTW: look at the condition of the pavement. It was clean and dry. Remember that!






Now what?

Well, shit. No cell phone access, of course (although I had forgotten my phone that morning). Almost no traffic. Luckily the Milledue was off to the side. BTW, I had slid-tumbled roughly in the middle of my lane.

I still had NO IDEA why I had gone down with absolutely no warning. As you can see from the pics, the road was clean and dry.

My legendary good fortune stayed with me. The next vehicle to come up the road was Antonio and Molly, organic sheep ranchers from Tierra Amarilla. They stopped to help. They managed to get the Ducati off onto the shoulder and up on its sidestand (centerstand was a pretzel).

Now get this: Molly was an EMT, and Antonio had a trailer to pick up my bike! So I struggled into their SUV (my right wrist was beginning to hurt, so Molly put a splint on me and iced it) and we drove down to Chama, where Antonio got his trailer (and his buddy Richard). They left me in their house and took off back up the mountain to rescue the Milledue. Amazing people!! They just dropped all their plans to help a complete stranger. Rural hospitality.

Anyway, I phoned Mrs. Greg and told her to drive over to Chama (about 50 miles from Pagosa Springs where she was). BTW, Mrs. Greg is used to getting phone calls like these...

Antonio and Richard (pronounced Ri-SHARD, BTW) arrived at about the same time as Mrs. Greg. I managed to get a pic of (L-R) Dr. Greg, Antonio, and Richard (who is getting ice for my wrist):


We left the MTS 1200 at Richard's place; nobody would bother it there (they actually put a tarp over it) and we'd somehow get it back over the weekend. So Mrs. Greg drove me back to Pagosa Springs, where we stopped by the hospital E-room for X-rays (distal radius fracture and metacarpal fracture). I'm very familiar with distal radius; did one of those in 2008. At least not as bad as the femur I did in '72... FWIW, I now have a grand total of TWELVE (12) fractures. Sigh.

The "comment of the day" came from my 2nd son Keith (who lives in Albuquerque): Mrs. Greg texted him that I had been in a crash; his text reply was

Jesus. Not again.

That made us chuckle.





The Aftermath: WTF Happened?

We had scheduled our vacation through Friday, so---since I was pretty much okay---we decided to drive back over to the crash site and try to figure out what happened. I mean, I lost the front with NO WARNING, and I wanted to know WHY!

My crash had happened at 1:33 p.m. Wednesday. At almost exactly the same time Thursday, here's what the road looked like; this is the direction I was coming from (I had almost finished the right-hand curve):


Here's a pic in the direction I was going:


HOARFROST!!

It was slick enough both Mrs. Greg and I almost fell down. There was NO frost on Monday, and (obviously) ENOUGH frost on Wednesday to take me down. Tricky, tricky...go back and look at the "Wednesday" pictures and compare the road surface.

Well, at least I now knew WHY I went down. And I felt better. A little...

BTW, if I had slid about three feet further to the right after I went down my poor ol' 63-year old body would have pile-driven into this:


I got very tired of people telling me how LUCKY I was...but I was. As Mrs. Greg said, "you must have unfinished business on the earth yet." Dunno what, but here I am.

On Saturday, Mrs. Greg, my 2nd son Keith, and 4th son Jeff drove up to Chama to pick up the bike. We took it up to the dealer, where the service guy said it looked totalled to him (me, too). Sigh.

For those who think the Ducati side cases are flimsy, both of them made it through this crash almost unscathed (and one went off the edge and fell about 50 feet). My '06 Uly side cases (which look much stronger) were demolished in my 2008 crash.





GPS Track

My Zumo 450 made it through the crash unscathed. Here's the track leading up to the crash:


So my speed was 67 mph when I went down. Ouch! The elevation was 9,481 feet.

Interestingly, I looked at the track from my Monday ride: at the exact same spot (but descending) I was going 65 mph. And I had no traction problems on that day. So I figured the road would be the same on Wednesday. Not true.





Conclusions

Well, fellas, I'm pretty bummed out. Milledue and I had recently finished a 6,000-mile trip back to New England, so I guess I got my money's worth. And in only 3 months (boo-hoo) of ownership I had almost put 12,000 miles on the Milledue. So I guess I enjoyed myself. My new motto is: DON'T THINK THE ROAD TODAY IS THE SAME AS IT WAS YESTERDAY EVEN IF THE WEATHER IS GOOD.

But---sniff---this is all I have left...


--Doc
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:28 PM   #2
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glad you're ok, thanks for the writeup, glad you had some helpful hands around.

i have no idea what hoarfrost is, but i intend to learn about it...not the hard way, preferably.


abe
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:32 PM   #3
Gale B.T.
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Thanks Dr. Greg for the call on your conditions and also for the up date of your adventure, or ordeal, or what ever.

I guess our visit will have to be put aside until you are healed or up here again next year. Sandy and I are still ready, so come on!!

Hang in there partner, Mrs Greg is correct, you still have things to do on this good ole earth.

Keep us all posted on your progress,

ciao, gale
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:47 PM   #4
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H2O phase change in the shade.

Good writeup! Glad that you came out of it reasonably intact. Thanks for taking the time to share your story and good pics. Great looking bike! When you spoke of texting your wife, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you were on a pulloff at that time. Elsewhere in faceplant is a story titled 'two broken ankles' - he had an emergency locator beacon that works where cells phones wont (uses satelites (not cell phone towers) called 'spot2' (see www.findmespot.com)). A $150 investment that you might like for the Holidays? I'm thinking about one for the future.

That situation would have caught the most of us by surprise too, especially with having riden it previously.

Heal quick !

-2po
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:06 PM   #5
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Oh man, I was enjoying your ride report to New England.. and now this.. Glad you weren't seriously hurt.. sorry to hear about your beloved Milledue Totalled? It doesn't look it..
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:07 PM   #6
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Well that sucks, glad your not seriously injured,

I enjoyed your last ride report east, you were just getting to know that beast.

What was so extensively damaged that you and the dealer think it's a write off?

Thanks for sharing the details.

Might be to early to ask, but whats next?
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:18 PM   #7
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Glad you aren't worse off and that folks were so great in helping out!


Now buy the bike back and make a stripped down pike's peak racer (or buy it back and sell it to me so I can )
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:42 PM   #8
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This has to be the first thread in face plant that was made into a ride tale!

He even makes friends of locals to join in the tale. I'm thinking I would have had an 8 mile hike out to civilization.

Two others that I can recall, after face plant and healing, bought another bike same as the one they had.

Just reading this thread, I was very happy you were not seriously injured, but I forgot to say it. I will be on the lookout for shady high mountain areas late fall in the future, thanks.
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:50 PM   #9
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Glad your ok Doc, get some rest and heal them bones.

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Old 11-07-2010, 07:16 PM   #10
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Sad to hear about your bike (gorgeous piece of machinery BTW), but I'm glad you're going to be ok.

You're obviously a very experienced rider, but it sounds like this could happen to anybody easily enough. Good lesson for everyone.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:52 PM   #11
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Glad you're okay, I honestly don't know what else to say. I'd like to think I'd have recognized the dangers of riding above 10,000 feet in November, but I'm pretty certain I would have pushed ahead as you did. A good reminder to us all of the dangers of reading too much into road conditions.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:13 AM   #12
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unlucky ?

You are unlucky ? , doesn't feel right . I thought you lucky before the crash .

if only because I am pedantic, why hoarfrost as compared to black ice or glaze ?

If it it is colloquialism, please ignore me. Which you might well do anyway.
Regards,Ed
Ps Pleased that your injuries are not major.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:13 AM   #13
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Glad you are ok!
Shady parts of the road..especially this late in the year..
So completely different than if the sun has been on for just a few min. Like you said, hard to stand up and walk on much less ride or drive on.

Definitely lucky, could have been much worse..guard rail is a killer for sure.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:34 AM   #14
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This sucks Doc! I can't believe you fell. The poor multi.

I'm so happy you made it through to tell the story and get ANOTHER one! You will heal up well.

What gear were you wearing? No mention of this.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:32 AM   #15
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Radiation frost (also called hoar frost or hoarfrost) refers to the white ice crystals, loosely deposited on the ground or exposed objects, that form on cold clear nights when heat losses into the open skies cause objects to become colder than the surrounding air. A related effect is flood frost which occurs when air cooled by ground-level radiation losses travels downhill to form pockets of very cold air in depressions, valleys, and hollows. Hoar frost can form in these areas even when the air temperature a few feet above ground is well above freezing. Nonetheless the frost itself will be at or below the freezing temperature of water.
Hoar frost may have different names depending on where it forms. For example, air hoar is a deposit of hoar frost on objects above the surface, such as tree branches, plant stems, wires; surface hoar is formed by fernlike ice crystals directly deposited on snow, ice or already frozen surfaces; crevasse hoar consists in crystals that form in glacial crevasses where water vapour can accumulate under calm weather conditions; depth hoar refers to cup shaped, faceted crystals formed within dry snow, beneath the surface.
Surface hoar is a cause of avalanches when it forms on top of snow. Conditions that are ideal are cold clear nights, with a very light wind that is able to circulate more humidified air around the snow surface. Wind that is too abrupt will destroy the crystals. When buried by subsequent snows they may remain standing for easy identification, or become laid down, but still dangerous because of the weakness of the crystals. In low temperatures surface hoar can also be broken apart and blown across the surface forming yukimarimo.
Hoar frost also occurs around man-made environments such as freezers or industrial cold storage facilities. It occurs in adjacent rooms that are not well insulated against the cold or around entry locations where humidity and moisture will enter and freeze instantly depending on the freezertemperature.



Wikipedia FTW

Altitude...shade...well, it was predictable a little. What was the temperature at this moment?

Glad you're almost OK though.
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