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Old 01-21-2015, 04:36 PM   #1
Mr. Ray OP
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Just because I've always done it that way: A cautionary tale

Nearly Two weeks ago Sunday (1/10/15) I had to get to the brewery to pick up my truck & MTB. My Vstrom was the only method of transport I had that left Miss Tame with a mode of her own. Easy choice?

I got on the wee knowing full well it had a brake issue it has had since last summer: after a period of disuse the left front caliper seizes a bit. This condition has been solved quite easily by shaking the steering stem A bit, pushing the pistons back in the calipers. It hasn't bothered me because practicing emergency swerves has gotten rid of the "insignificant" issue every time.

I see opportunity for a flame job emerging just by reading the above.....

So I gear up and head out. FYI "gear up" meant gloves, Firstgear "jaunt" jacket, jeans, and sneakers for this 2 mile trip.

I hope the vitriol of the Flamers is fully aroused just about now. :)


I headed off toward my current means of adrenal induction and, no surprise, sticky caliper. So at about 30mph I do the shake one and I do them shake twi and suddenly F$&)!!! Brutal highside resulting in mr. Ray hovering above his favorite toy wondering what might come next. Then splat! Shoulder first, I'm deposited rudely into the pavement shoulder and neck aglow with a fire unlike any I've ever experienced.

I slid about 20' into a drainage ditch face down and lay there for a short time before jumping up to examine the bike.

The gear I chose to use (I have tons more) did a great job keeping concussion and skin loss at bay.

I got lucky. You may not.
I have a shattered collarbone. Four pieces.
I also have two broken ribs.

Had I been wearing more gear I might have avoided a big butt bruise. Had things gone differently with the "gear" I had on I could envision more broken bones and missing extremities.

Maybe the way you've always done it isn't good enough?
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:12 PM   #2
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thanks for your candor in telling this tale... not gonna shit all over ya (but it is coming - I assure you...) because I have also committed the same type of poor decision making process including taking out a bike with a known brake issue while wearing nothing but cutoffs and shower shoes. That cost me almost an entire summer at age 15 (hit a pile of apple crates, ended up with a hot pipe on my ankle). I have learned a little since then...

best of luck with the healing!
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:20 PM   #3
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Another meaningless stat: I have about 200,000 miles of road riding experience. Most of it in full gear on long trips.

One more: I was 1300 yards from my driveway.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Ray View Post
.... for this 2 mile trip......
Why didn't you just walk?

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Old 01-21-2015, 06:45 PM   #5
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Why didn't you just walk?




I don't know if one is allowed to walk more than 223 yards in NC.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:23 PM   #6
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I won't flame you, but I have nothing to say in support either.

With so many poor decisions made, you got off very lucky.

Heal well.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:30 PM   #7
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The key to doing something dumb, surviving and telling about it is.....not doing it again.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:37 AM   #8
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That story is a complete fabrication and a bald-faced lie!!! There has NEVER...EVER…been an instance of catastrophic mechanical failure on a Vstrom. True fact.

Heal up well and rest assured in the knowledge that your shattered-and-healed collarbone will keep you awake many a night as you regress into senescence years from now. Take it from one who knows.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:01 AM   #9
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Busted my collarbone in a Low-Side up in the mountains this summer. Good luck and heal quickly. Not a fun way to spend 3 months of nice weather (couped up with a sling).

I opted for surgery to repair it and don't regret it at all.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:11 AM   #10
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Maybe I'm missing the obvious - did the high side happen because you shook too much? Did the brake seize or was there some other mechanical failure? Or is it not clear?
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:27 AM   #11
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Why didn't you fix the caliper? There's enough safety concerns without being worried about your bike failing.

I broke my collarbone badly when I was younger while playing hockey, and it healed back up to 100% within a year. It sucks, but is way less bad than a leg break or wrist (both of which I've had). You definitely got lucky it wasn't worse. I'd take a collarbone break over lots of other bones.

Get well soon.
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwizum View Post
maybe i'm missing the obvious - did the high side happen because you shook too much? Did the brake seize or was there some other mechanical failure? Or is it not clear?


+1
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:08 PM   #13
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Just because I've always done it that way: A cautionary tale

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwizum View Post
Maybe I'm missing the obvious - did the high side happen because you shook too much? Did the brake seize or was there some other mechanical failure? Or is it not clear?

You're asking yourself the question I posed. I just rambled a lot more.

I've always been on a shoestring budget. I have always ridden around a bikes problems and employed a "fix it when I can" strategy. As a result I can fix anything and help things limp along until parts arrive. That works in the brewery real well. On the bike? Well, I think it's time to stop that behavior. The point is: don't ride it if it's not 100%. The risk reward ratio isn't in our favor.
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dwizum View Post
Maybe I'm missing the obvious - did the high side happen because you shook too much? Did the brake seize or was there some other mechanical failure? Or is it not clear?

I think I hit ice or pea gravel. It all happened so fast that I can't be sure. Had I taken the 3 hours to address that caliper I'd be in a different conversation on AdvRider right now. It'd probably be in the MTB subforum. I bet it'd be about how great Pisgah was a few weekends ago, or about how I shattered my clavicle in Pisgah. Who knows?
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Old 01-22-2015, 04:54 PM   #15
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I think I hit ice or pea gravel. It all happened so fast that I can't be sure. Had I taken the 3 hours to address that caliper I'd be in a different conversation on AdvRider right now. It'd probably be in the MTB subforum. I bet it'd be about how great Pisgah was a few weekends ago, or about how I shattered my clavicle in Pisgah. Who knows?
Look at the bright side, now you have all the more time to spend with us fuckers and our MTB thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Ray View Post
You're asking yourself the question I posed. I just rambled a lot more.

I've always been on a shoestring budget. I have always ridden around a bikes problems and employed a "fix it when I can" strategy. As a result I can fix anything and help things limp along until parts arrive. That works in the brewery real well. On the bike? Well, I think it's time to stop that behavior. The point is: don't ride it if it's not 100%. The risk reward ratio isn't in our favor.
I've slowly been learning this too. I've had less than exceptional chain performance for about a year now, and I was lucky the five times it left me stranded (three in a weekend 'cause nothing was open to get a new one) somewhere near people. It was never really a safety issue to riding, only stopping.

I ride every day, and it's now my only means of transportation. That means making sure it's as close to 100% every day as I can. Don't let money get in the way of fixing something, farkle projects are for stagnation.
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