Go Back   Motorcycle Forum > Motorcycle Riding > Ride Stories

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-23-2008, 08:04 PM   #1
Bestmaps
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4
Default

My relief grew greater with each minute as I watched the GPS screen show the road that would get me out of this mess approaching. Just a few more minutes and I was saved. I rounded a curve and hit the brakes. There before me was a yet another river, the mother of all rivers. This was no stream or branch. A good 400 feet wide, the cool clear mountain water cascaded noisily over the rocks. And there, on the far side, was a graded forest road and a path leading out of the river. I was screwed. I watched a white SUV cruise by on the far side. Civilization or something close to it. I paused. I pondered. Options? Go back. Stay here. Go ahead. I studied the river.

The voices wrestled in my head as I started across. "This is stupid, what are you doing" screamed one while "You've just got to make it to the other side" fought for the dominance of reason. I carefully steered around the larger rocks as I bounced forward the water swirling about my legs. I diagonaled out into the rapid flow seeking the shallowest path and ticked off the first 100 feet, then 200, then 300. Just a little course correction and I was there! And that's all it took. That slight change in direction was all that was needed for the water to sweep me off the slippery rocks and down I went.

The bike lay on it's side water rushing over it. I scrambled to get off it and stand it upright again but couldn't lift it. I turned my back to it to gain more leverage grabbing the bar with one hand and the seat rails with the other and heaved mightily. As the bike rose the tires slipped out on the smooth rocks and I couldn't get it up. I struggled until I gave out and stood there in the cool water taking in the situation. My GPS was now a big screen TV for the trout. A rainbow sheen formed downstream as petroleum seeped from somewhere on my prized ride. This was not good. I looked to the road not 75 feet away and ciphered how I would drag the bike to the bank through yet deeper water.

The splash of tires brought me back. A jacked up black SUV with huge tires drove out into the river and parked beside me. The driver looked at me. I looked at him.

"That sure is a pretty bike" he said.

I muttered something. We looked at one another.

"You OK?" he asked.

"Yeah" I replied. "Do you think you could help me stand this thing up?

He hopped out of the truck into the river and the two of us got it upright.

"You ride that thing across the mountain?" he asked quizzically.

"Never again" I replied.

He grinned, shook his head. I hesitantly hit the starter button. Dead. Then I remembered it was still in gear. I climbed on it, turned the key off then on again, shifted into neutral and hit the button again. I think we were both surprised when it fired right up like nothing had happed. I quickly shifted into gear and rode the deep section to the bank, up to the roadside, and parked.

He backed out of the river, wished me good luck, and left with his own story to tell about some crazy motorcyclist he found in the river. I pulled off my boots and dumped out the water. I had only a hint of where I was and I went to my top bag to consult my maps on the best way out of here. No more GPS. I wanted pavement. I unzipped the top bag to find my maps, camera, and lunch floating in an aquarium. I grabbed the camera, unzipped the case, and quickly determined it was not yet fully soaked. I snapped a couple pictures of the river then turned to the printouts of the area I carried. They were soaked and useless. I removed the top bag and dumped out the water.

I guessed correctly and followed the forest road until it came to pavement. A short ride on tarmac and I spotted a rural church with a freshly tarred parking lot baking under the midday sun. I pulled over, dismounted, and removed my clothes laying them out in the sun to dry. I grabbed the camera to record this foolishness, but the water had penetrated by now and it was dead. I ate my soggy lunch.

I stuck to the paved roads for the rest of the day. The bike ran as nothing had happened. It had a few new scars on a side case where it had scraped across the rocks, the GPS never blinked, and I completed what I could of my planned explorations. I never went down another dirt road. I'll think twice before I do again. I now know of a lot of roads you don't ever want to ride. On the other hand, I did find one or two that may make it on a map. We'll see what else Georgia has to offer beside some great trout streams. After all, it's the riding that makes this job so much fun.
Bestmaps is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links Remove Advertisements
Motorcycle Forum
Advertisement
Old 06-23-2008, 09:07 PM   #2
Bestmaps
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4
Default How NOT to wash your bike (Part 1 of 2)

Producing maps has its tedious periods. The long hours spent at the computer, pouring over routes, guides, and satellite photos. Yet more hours which become days working pixel by pixel to transfer them to printable form. And still more hours spent hawking them to vendors and restocking their inventory. Were it not for the riding I'd get a real job. The mountains of North Georgia were proving to be one of the biggest challenges yet.

Armed with a GPS loaded with potential and a stack of paper print outs to guide me, I set off for the northwest corner of the peach state to search out the little known two lane secrets which waited to be discovered. One after another I started down the side roads and back ways which spurred off the main arteries. The roads wound through cradled valleys amongst the green hills quickly leaving any trace of modernity behind entering areas time had little hold on. Only the occasional late model vehicle gave hint of what era I might be visiting for little changes back in the coves and hollows of the hill country.

The typical pattern was holding true. Within a few miles those lines which looked so promising on the road maps abruptly deteriorated to gravel or worse. Only the lines on the maps continued as before. The roads they represent were more illusion than the idyllic tarmac indicated. Still luck had been with me this morning. I'd chanced a few of these dirt roads simply to maintain my planned explorations and keep on course with that programmed into my electronic navigator. I'd been lucky enough to pop out onto pavement again after a brief section of gravel and while the route was unsuitable for recording I maintained my schedule and plan.

As the middle of the day approached I was reaching the end of the rides in this section and would move on to another. Still, one road remained, the most promising on the map, one which would prove to save miles and time and avoid the congested towns and busy highways I try so hard to escape. It started off full of promise and I soon settled into a rhythm of curves and sweeps that rarely grazed the speeds suggested by the DOT. Winding along rivers and pastoral farms the first section flowed smoothly into the next. This was looking good. It tightened up a bit and I found myself sliding off edge of the seat to keep my speed through the hairpins. Around a curve and up into the woods! With no warning the pavement disappeared and I'd shot up a steep trail. Darn! I slowed just in time to skirt over and around some large rocks and eased on down the path as I digested my disappointment. I was in the woods. I paused for a minute. No good place to turn around here. I'd go ahead a bit and find a spot I could swing around and get out.

This was no gravel road. It was a mountain trail and one which would have a four wheel drive jeep crawling at that. This was no place for a road-biased sports touring bike but years of off road riding in my younger days told me to maintain the momentum and let the suspension take care of the rough stuff. I plodded on weaving around the larger rocks and slipping up the muddy climbs always looking for that chance to get turned about and escape. I was more than a mile in when I came to a small stream. Crap. I paused on the bank and fumbled for options. With nothing but going ahead to choose from, I dipped down the bank, splashed across, and skirted up the far side.

The pause of relief on the far side was almost my undoing as I lost the needed momentum to climb up the steep path that led from the stream and I barely spun to the top of it. As I continued on, a glance at the GPS showed more than 4 miles to the next road, but I was committed now, I didn't want to face that stream again. Ride this out for 4 miles and I'll get out of here. Nothing to do but go on.

I was beginning to marvel at just how much this bike was capable of. First gear is a little too tall for this kind of work and I watched the temp gauge and slipped the clutch as I bumped and bounced, dodged and skidded over rocky sections ever aware momentum was the key to progress. I was getting closer - only 2 more miles before the next road when I came to another stream. Though a bit wider, I made the snap decision to keep moving forward and plunged down the embankment towards the black water. I plunged in and was shocked as water splashed up over the faring. Thanks to momentum I rose up the far bank now soaked to the skin. This was getting serious.

There was definitely no turning back now. I would ride out the remaining miles and get the heck out of here. The trail got a little wider in places now but turning about was no longer an option. The next road was much closer than the return route, and things had to get better. I watched the GPS with anticipation as my salvation drew closer and closer. I crossed a rocky washout. The path had become two paths now worn by the tires of backwoods adventurers and I gained hope I was approaching more civilized territory. The next road drew closer and closer on the display as I came to a river.

"Turn right to get on the next road" the GPS said. I stared at the river. There was no road on the right. I stared at the river. There was no road on the left. I parked the bike and got off and walked the area. There was no road to turn on to. I took off my helmet and sat down to cool off. I stared at the river. Broad and shallow, the crystal clear water washed across a rocky bottom a good hundred feet across. As I sat in the sun and took in the beautiful setting my eyes focused on a break in the trees on the far bank. Yes, there was the road. Decision time - again.

Bolstered by my success so far I committed to my fate. I would do whatever it would take to get out of here. Already soaked, I had little to loose as I mounted the bike, clunked into gear, and drove out into the water. It was broad but shallow and I found the crossing easier than expected. And yes, the next road was on the far side, though it differed little from the last. I glanced at the GPS. Miles to go before the next road. I soldiered on.

I never got into second gear, but I did make a little better progress in sections as I forged ahead. I was actually felling pretty good about myself now. I'd been through the wringer and me and the bike had survived unscathed but for a good soaking. I was on my way out and I watched the tidings of promised civilization grow closer and closer on the display screen. I was ready to leave this adventure behind me and return with my stories of glory. I'd made it.

(Continued as next reply)
Bestmaps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2008, 09:08 PM   #3
Bestmaps
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4
Default

My relief grew greater with each minute as I watched the GPS screen show the road that would get me out of this mess approaching. Just a few more minutes and I was saved. I rounded a curve and hit the brakes. There before me was a yet another river, the mother of all rivers. This was no stream or branch. A good 400 feet wide, the cool clear mountain water cascaded noisily over the rocks. And there, on the far side, was a graded forest road and a path leading out of the river. I was screwed. I watched a white SUV cruise by on the far side. Civilization or something close to it. I paused. I pondered. Options? Go back. Stay here. Go ahead. I studied the river.

The voices wrestled in my head as I started across. "This is stupid, what are you doing" screamed one while "You've just got to make it to the other side" fought for the dominance of reason. I carefully steered around the larger rocks as I bounced forward the water swirling about my legs. I diagonaled out into the rapid flow seeking the shallowest path and ticked off the first 100 feet, then 200, then 300. Just a little course correction and I was there! And that's all it took. That slight change in direction was all that was needed for the water to sweep me off the slippery rocks and down I went.

The bike lay on it's side water rushing over it. I scrambled to get off it and stand it upright again but couldn't lift it. I turned my back to it to gain more leverage grabbing the bar with one hand and the seat rails with the other and heaved mightily. As the bike rose the tires slipped out on the smooth rocks and I couldn't get it up. I struggled until I gave out and stood there in the cool water taking in the situation. My GPS was now a big screen TV for the trout. A rainbow sheen formed downstream as petroleum seeped from somewhere on my prized ride. This was not good. I looked to the road not 75 feet away and ciphered how I would drag the bike to the bank through yet deeper water.

The splash of tires brought me back. A jacked up black SUV with huge tires drove out into the river and parked beside me. The driver looked at me. I looked at him.

"That sure is a pretty bike" he said.

I muttered something. We looked at one another.

"You OK?" he asked.

"Yeah" I replied. "Do you think you could help me stand this thing up?

He hopped out of the truck into the river and the two of us got it upright.

"You ride that thing across the mountain?" he asked quizzically.

"Never again" I replied.

He grinned, shook his head. I hesitantly hit the starter button. Dead. Then I remembered it was still in gear. I climbed on it, turned the key off then on again, shifted into neutral and hit the button again. I think we were both surprised when it fired right up like nothing had happed. I quickly shifted into gear and rode the deep section to the bank, up to the roadside, and parked.

He backed out of the river, wished me good luck, and left with his own story to tell about some crazy motorcyclist he found in the river. I pulled off my boots and dumped out the water. I had only a hint of where I was and I went to my top bag to consult my maps on the best way out of here. No more GPS. I wanted pavement. I unzipped the top bag to find my maps, camera, and lunch floating in an aquarium. I grabbed the camera, unzipped the case, and quickly determined it was not yet fully soaked. I snapped a couple pictures of the river then turned to the printouts of the area I carried. They were soaked and useless. I removed the top bag and dumped out the water.

I guessed correctly and followed the forest road until it came to pavement. A short ride on tarmac and I spotted a rural church with a freshly tarred parking lot baking under the midday sun. I pulled over, dismounted, and removed my clothes laying them out in the sun to dry. I grabbed the camera to record this foolishness, but the water had penetrated by now and it was dead. I ate my soggy lunch.

I stuck to the paved roads for the rest of the day. The bike ran as nothing had happened. It had a few new scars on a side case where it had scraped across the rocks, the GPS never blinked, and I completed what I could of my planned explorations. I never went down another dirt road. I'll think twice before I do again. I now know of a lot of roads you don't ever want to ride. On the other hand, I did find one or two that may make it on a map. We'll see what else Georgia has to offer beside some great trout streams. After all, it's the riding that makes this job so much fun.
Bestmaps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2008, 11:51 PM   #4
The_AirHawk
Founding Member
 
The_AirHawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Leanin' Tower O' P-P-P-P-POWAAAAAAAAA!!!!
Posts: 11,491
Default

Hahahaha! That's fantastic! (not the bath, but you know what I mean) Welcome back to Civilization............

It's not an ADventure without a little ADversity!

Thanks for sharing!
__________________
Parfois, on fait pas semblant
Sometimes, it's not pretend
Oderint Dum Metuant
Let them hate so long as they fear
политики предпочитают безоружных крестьян
Politicians Prefer Unarmed Peasants
Nothing to see here, Citizen. Move along now...
The_AirHawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2008, 08:16 AM   #5
pplassm
Founding Member
 
pplassm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,875
Default

Um. I've been gone for a while. What were you riding?
__________________
Mongo just pawn in game of life.
pplassm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2008, 09:31 AM   #6
pushrod
Founding Member
 
pushrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Baja 'Bama
Posts: 3,642
Default

BM,

Great read!

Same ol' - same ol', though. If it was easy, there would have been no story.
__________________
You would not understand,
this is not how I am...

I have become -
Comfortably Numb.
pushrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2008, 11:16 AM   #7
seruzawa
The Toad

 
seruzawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: 8501 ft.
Posts: 17,461
Default

Either stay out of rivers or ride a KLR, eh?
__________________
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
seruzawa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2008, 01:56 PM   #8
mscuddy
MODERATOR X

 
mscuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Next to my still checkin the temp.
Posts: 5,448
Default

Reminds me of the time my uncle Bill took us on a trail ride up Alamo mountain to a place called the "fish bowls". They are 12 foot deep bowls hollowed out of the limestone, that run next to a small creek. Of course I had to drive my AT1 into one, and submerge it past the hand grips. When we finally got the Yamaha running, it squirted water out of the exhaust stinger for about five minutes like a hose. Let's see you do that with your modern four stroker mister!
__________________
A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.
mscuddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off