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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

to deadhorse on a dying horse. what an adventure

Woke up at around 8am. really bad sleep. Damn dogs were howling all night keeping me awake.
got up and took some pics.

one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong.

yup. the blue tent, it's not a bike.

there were other bikers there as well. spot what doesn't belong in this picture.

yup. my bike. 6 bikes. 5 are dual sport/adventure bikes. one's a suzuki cruiser. odd man out.

I had to set up my tent away from them because i didn't belong.
hah. actually i didn't, but thought this looked cool.

buffet breakfast. was good. really starting to like biscuits and gravy.
and cottage cheese. and bacon. mmmm... bacon.

coldfoot viewwe left at roughly 1pm. this was going to be a long long day. memorable day. a hard day. a very long day.
weather looked nice...
Levi running the rear...

Steve and levi up front

those clouds don't look too fun.uh oh. this is where we pulled over and we all got into our rainsuits. we would need them. this was 1/2 hour after leaving coldfoot. maybe 20 miles or so away.

yup. it's raining over there.
we had a light sprinkle for bit. i didn't take the camera out for about an hour and 3/4. camera's don't like rain much. then it was nice. roads were a bit wet in spots, but mostly dry from this point on

And then we hit the big Pass. Atigun Pass. what a road. i wouldn't like to do it in the rain, wouldn't be fun and it would be downright dangerous.

Steve and Levi talking on the pass. This is the first time you see their faces, it won't be the last.
and yes. That is Ewan McGregor. I asked for his autograph, but he refused.

neato. make sure you know what gear you're in kids. don't want to burn out those back brakes.

More rain, as you can see from the smudge on the lense.
the rains were with us for the better part of the rest of the ride.

what a neat picture of the pipeline, don't you think?

uh oh. more nasty weather.

see that road down below? it's nasty stuff. slippery and it's not just mud. It's the Calcium Chloride they put on the roadbed as a binding agent. when it gets saturated with water, they scrape off the top and re-spray with calcium chloride to harden the surface, or else the water would just wash away the road.

the view from behind my windscreen. the view from behind my helmet screen is about the same thing.

Here is the conversation that took place.
Steve - "how many miles have we gone in this?"
Levi - "about eight"
Steve - "How many more miles of this?"
Levi - "About eight to ten"
In reality i think it was more like 20 miles of this stuff. Before and after this it was just as slick, but not so much mud.
some people up here call it whale snot. it cannot be accurately described.
you need to experience it first hand.

Btw for any adventure riders. notice the tires these guys have on. heh. that's adventure riding.\
wait a minute. i was on a cruiser with street tires. i am king.

nasty stuff. the stuff of dreams... or nightmares.

it's not deep here, but in spots it would swallow your whole foot up. seriously.

just a light drizzle at this point.

here we start to see the tundra. very flat land.

Are we having fun yet?

caribou. they were all over. herds of them

stopped to take a picture of a pingo. flat as can be in every direction and nothing to be seen. except this mound miles away. must be a pingo.

and then, at roughly 10:45pm, it happened.
I crashed the bike. I was doing well, no drops throughout the day with all the horrible weather, and at some points i was in a groove and hitting about 65-70 mph over the ruts and i was in full control.
it was late, i was tired and i slowed down. Steve and Levi blasted past me and kept going. they wanted off the bikes bad. I figured if i slowed down, it would be safer. wrong move.
This happened about 10 miles (or less) from Prudhoe bay.

the road was as straight as could be, and i guess i was in a more 'relaxed' position on the bike (instead of almost standing on the pegs) and i slowed down and the back end went to the left, then to the right, the bike going lower to the ground with every swing, almost lowsiding it, then to the left again, then to the right, then Poof I highsided over the bike and the bike smacked into ground on the right side.

motorcycle speak
- lowside. the bike falls and you are behind/underneath it.
- highside. you usually wind up flying over the handlebars.

It flew me over so violently, but at the same time, not.

I was thrown to the ground, landed on my elbow, hip and back. all areas that have armor. the wind was not knocked out of me. it's like i landed on a giant pillow. i'm not kidding.

what happened was that there was a huge pile of loose gravel, about 4 inches deep, and when i landed on it, it cushioned my fall.

Do not panic people. the only damage to me at this point are a few cuts on my knuckles (from the actual riding pics to come later) and a small cut on my thumb which i think i go when i picked up the bike.

wow. the bike was pretty messed up.
all the luggage and bags flew off in one clump. the saddlebag on the right side ripped at the seams. a few D rings that i used on the bags to tie them together got ripped out too.
The back seat got ripped off. I couldn't figure that one out at first.

first things first ,Put bike on center stand. that puppy was up on the stand in 2 seconds flat. adrenaline i guess.

2nd assess damage to self.
my body felt fine, helmet wasnt' scratched at all, gear all in one piece, no rips except for a small bit on my boot. guess a rock took a little chunk out. my thumb had a bit of blood on it.

get everything off the road and pick up the pieces. wow. debris.

once that was done i got my first aid kit (yay) and got a bandaid. a small one. i used an alcohol wipe to clean around because that calcium cholride gets into everything. there. that's done.

I started assessing bike damage. first things first. does the bike start.
Check. it gets into gear and it can roll. rideable. good start.

Now to assess the damage to the bike. not pretty.
from front to back.
Right side mirror smashed
front brake lever end snapped
starter button gone. must have popped out in the crash. odd.
right side handlebar grip smashed. this is the throttle. not good. i can rev the engine tho, so that works well enough.
tank scratched and not punctured. not dented either. good.
handlebars bent. not great, but i can still ride it.
right peg and back brake bent up towards the bike. uh oh.
both mufflers dented to hell. still attached to the header and on the bike solidly enough.
back seat flew off. what the hell?
tourtank gas can scratched and dented. uh oh. i don't see any punctures, so that's good.
busted right signal light. it was hanging from a wire.
highway peg snapped off. it's a cast past, can't be welded.

so here's what i did to make it rideable again.
duct tape on the grip. good now.
duct tape on the front brake lever. it's short, but i kinda like it without a nub now.
taped up the mirror. forces me to make shoulder checks.
right peg and brake. looks like the bolts were just loose. i tightened it up and the peg looks right, and bent the brake pedal out. good as new.
nothing can be done about the mufflers.
rear seat. i feared it sheared the bolt off. nope. put a spare bolt in the hole and tightened it down. good as new. musta popped out earlier and i hadn't noticed. really odd.
the tank at the back looked a little loose and i'd find that trouble later it seems.
I cut the other wire off the signal light and put it in the saddle bags... wait... saddle bags.

ug. the right saddlebag was ripped at the seams. the left saddlebag looked mostly ok.
D rings were ripped out of all the bags. i'll have to figure something out.

It looks dirty, abused and broken, but it's rideable.
Levi came back to look for me. he couldn't believe i was ok. I guess i've fallen so many times i know how to now.

i do my own stunts.

here is Beast. beast isn't happy, but he isn't weeping oil or crying any fluids. heh. tough bike.
i packed it up with bungees, tie downs and a cargo net and off to deadhorse we went.

I was a little freaked out, and just then it got REAL dark and the fog rolled in. we couldn't see a thing and couldn't go that fast with these roads.

We got the to caribou inn and spoke to the manager. we were exhausted. she made us laugh and smile so we liked her for that. since i was down on my luck she made me a deal and took a bit off the price for me. still expensive, but after a crash, i can swallow it easier.

i left everything on the bike except for the tank bag, and we took our rooms. i showered right away and went to bed, expecting to be hurting in the morning. it was about 1:30 by the time i went to sleep and my alarm was set for 6:30 in the morning. breakfast stopped at 7:30

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