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Old 11-10-2012, 06:27 AM   #76
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Portland, Oregon
Oddometer: 278
I had some, ahem..., "deferred maintenance" on a bike that I didn't ride much and let the air pressure get too low on the front. I was on a freeway off ramp that was a big sweeping high speed curve that crossed over the freeway when the turning forces on the front tire separated the bead from the rim and burped all the air out of the tire in the middle of the turn at about 45 mph. Seemed like it took forever to stop the bike and I remember thinking that I couldn't believe I was still on top of the thing as I was stopping it For weeks after I would clinch up when taking that off ramp and I probably averaged 15mph slower on it for a month. I'm better about keeping tires inflated now...
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:45 AM   #77
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Location: West-central France
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I had been up to North Cape, Norway, for the summer solstice. The ride up was better than expected weather-wise, same for the return to Copenhagen. When I rode off the ferry from Oslo, pleasant temp, high overcast, no wind, no expectation of bad weather for the rest of the day.

But, less than an hour later, heading south toward Rodbyhavn to get a short ferry ride to the island of Fehmarn and then a bridge into Germany, the wind kicked up and it started to rain. By the time I got to Rodbyhavn I was pretty well soaked and the strong west wind had beaten me up. There is a large staging lot for vehicles that are going onboard and a toll booth at the entrance. But the booth opens only about 30 minutes before the sailing and the line was long. So, sitting on the bike in a pouring rain. I almost lost it when going up a steel ramp onto the ferry when a blast of wind hit me. Tied the bike down and by then I was shaking like a leaf from the cold (this was in late June!) so I climbed the stairs toward the cafeteria to get something hot. Within a few minutes, the RoRo had cleared the breakwater and thus began a 45 minute ride in a washing machine. Peeps were bouncing off walls and falling down and a couple looked like they were just seconds away from puking.

We rolled off and immediately formed the tail of a long, long line of vehicles, barely creeping along the road to the bridge. Fehmarn Island is about 10 miles across, so, a 10 mile backup. I could see a huge parking lot mostly full of trucks, caravans and car-trailer rigs. Now, the only 'towns' on the islands are there to support the ferry operations and a bit of agriculture but very little in the way of tourist support. I scooted ahead around the traffic and stopped about a quarter mile from the bridge. My Beemer has heated grips and seat but even the high setting couldn't stop my shaking from the cold and wet. Again stopped in a driving rain which was trying its best to knock me over. I pondered my options: turn around and go back to the port to a whole bunch of travelers trying to find shelter and eats; cross the bridge in a horrendous wind and rain storm.

As I was chewing on that, a minivan crept up on my right and I wondered where he thought he was going. I glanced at the driver and he gave me the thumbs up and some sign language that said, 'I'll block the wind for you'. What a nice gesture! A few minutes later, a police car appeared on the bridge, lit up, going slowly. Then I saw a few bikers further up turning around, one of whom paused next to me to say that the police were forbidding all but car traffic to cross. F-ing great...When the police car came up next to me, the cop said I should also turn around. Yeah, sure, then what? I motioned that I was going to try to run the bridge. He shrugged the 'it's your neck'.

Some vehicles were going across and another few dozen were waiting for spacing, I guessed, or fear was holding them back. Luckily for me, the guy next in the minivan was Belgian and he spoke French. I motioned for him to roll down his window and said that if he was going, I'd tuck in next to him and see what would happen. Then came 'the moment'. We rolled up to about 50 kph as we reached the bridge. Holy shit! It's a steel grate surface, perfect for traction! But, I'm committed. If I didn't stay in the center of the minivan, the wind would flick me off the bridge or at least slam me into the railing. I'm now rolling in second gear and cruising when the minivan picks up a little speed. Shoulda told him to keep it slow and steady....

My steed is turning about 6 grand. Not that I was looking at the tach, I could hear her screaming but I was damned if I was going to upshift. Hold 'er steady, not far to go (the bridge is about 3,200 feet long). And, finally, terra firma, albeit it wet as hell. The Belgians turned off and we exchanged waves. Then I humped it to Kiel, arriving about 7 p.m. at a Ramada Inn. Still shaking and feeling like I had been in a blender. I jumped into the bathtub and fell asleep for a half hour before struggling to get dressed and go across the street for a pizza and a beer. Best of both that I'd ever tasted!
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:21 AM   #78
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Manhattan. South of 34th. Night. After Sandy. Power is out. Buildings are dark. No stop lights. Every intersection pucker-worthy....
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:28 AM   #79
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Location: Sandy Eggo
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Last summer at the track I was pacing a buddy of mine who happens to be an amateur CCS racer.

Well I forgot that the lines racers use and trackday riders use are significantly different. Where I would brake a tad earlier for turn 1 to get everything settled and carry speed, he ran down to the 3rd brake marker before he even let up.

.....that is about two markers AFTER I would have started braking, about a bit over 150mph.

I wasn't watching the markers because we were running maybe 15feet apart, so when he checked up and I noticed WHERE the fuck we were in relation to the apex/....lets just say it took most of the break between sessions for me to get the leathers out of my ass. I was still on the binders harder than I thought the front tire would hold with the bars wiggling around at the VERY limit of the tires.

That was the likely the most scared I've been on a bike in a decade.
Originally Posted by RottenScummyTroll View Post
Show folks something with a clutch and carburetor, and it's like teaching a baboon to use a Macbook.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:22 AM   #80
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Location: Long Beach, Ca.
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Comming back from Oakland, Caifornia on 101 south about 12 miles north of Cambria in a fog so dense you couldn't see 5 feet. All we could hear is the surf to our right and feel the reflective bumps in the center divider to our left to determine where the road was. We had to take our helmets off and ride about 5 miles an hour so we could communicate by vocal and our bike's lighting. I ran lead for about an hour and it was all I could do to just stay on the road. This was about as close to riding totally blind as I ever want to get. 2 hours of this is all I ever want.
We almost missed Cambria because we couldn't see it. Found a motel and stayed in for the night. Room rate was more than we had at the time but the couple who owned the place let us stay for free. I guess they felt sorry for 4 stranded young men on a night even muggers feared to venture.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:26 AM   #81
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Location: Thailand
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Wind, Patagonia, an overloaded KLR, and gravel combined make for a rather unsettling experience. That and it goes on for so long it wears you out getting through it.

The wind phenomena down there must be mountain wave rotor that's touching down on the ground, seeing how it gusts everywhichway. It's the kind of wind that can often break airplanes.
USA travels 09'
Anchorage to Ushuaia
RTW...part: Europe
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:33 AM   #82
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Location: Pittsburgh
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Just today; riding early to work (0500); a little rain/drizzle, about 44 degrees. Turned onto an offramp (the turn is blind into 300ft ascending climb to a stoplight. Luckily only going about 30mph as: someone was coming the wrong way down the ramp towards me as i made the turn. Grabbed the brake; skidded but back tire didn't wash out; stopped about 2ft from the front of his Jeep. ?was he drunk? lost? i dunno, go out of there so noone would hit me from behind. Pretty shaken for a bit afterwards this am!
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