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Medano Pass Face Plant


WBoyter

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So a couple days ago I decided to add one more day to my trip and go visit the Great Sand Dunes NP in Colorado, camp out, and of course collect another park stamp. I rolled in kinda late, set up camp, and finally bedded down a little after midnight.

 

The next morning I got up around 5:30, and was ready to hit the day. Since the visitor center doesn't open until 9am, I decided to tool around and take a few pictures. It was very beautiful.

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Then the jackass inside said to me, Hey! There's a cool looking dirt road headed up the hill. I bet you can get some bodacious shots from up there and catch the sunlight on the dunes in a little while when the sun comes up. Of course, I listened. Now remember, this is my last day on the trail of a 29 day/15k mile ride, and I've prolly logged close to 2,500 miles in gravel and dirt roads(including the Dalton Hwy). So off down the way I went.

 

Gravel turned to dirt which turned to sand, then the sand turned deep. I mean REALLY deep. Like walking in a deep sandy beach kinda deep. I was standing on the pegs, making certain to not hit the front brake and definitely making certain to keep a little speed behind me. That was great, until a few miles down the road my rear tire found some rocks under the sand, giving my instant and unwanted traction. Dump!

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My ELF pegs had been so full of grit that I couldn't close them. Don't have to worry about it now, the spill ripped the right one off.

Jeez! That sucks!

But I picked the bike up and travelled on a few more miles, then... DAMMIT!

 

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Aww, to hell with it! I'm going back. So I turned around. I made it to within a few miles of the road when bike found some good 'ol tree roots about six inches under the sand:

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This was a more serious spill. For one, it threw me completely off the bike. I had opened my face shield because I was hot, and when I came off I landed face-first on a tree root. It came right into the opening off my full-face Shoei, busting me right in the face. My bell was rung. After reaching over and cutting off the bike (again), I sat on the side of the road spitting blood and waiting for my head to clear. At first I thought that I'd knocked my front teeth out- fortunately they were just a little loose. Without the X-11 I would have completely busted them out. I found some paper towels I cribbed from my last gas stop to wipe off. Then I thought, dum-dum, you ought to take a picture:

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Getting the bike upright was a complete bitch. I unloaded everything(again), got it back up and VOILA !! my left ELF has been ripped off. At least the bike is balanced now....

 

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I walked next to the bike until I got it back to stable ground, then rode away. Then after I got back to the road I saw a sign that said "No motorcycles." Reading comprehension, anyone? I believe that I'll leave Medano Pass to the 4-wheel types.

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Well.... At least the bike's broken in now....

Looks like the bars did a good job protecting the bike.

Looks like your helmet did as well as could be expected in preserving your good looks. tongue.gif

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Wow...that hurts just to read that. A while ago I took my R1100RT on a sandy road (but not nearley as deep as that) and made it about 100 yards before I said "no way" and turned back. I even hate sand like that on my DRZ...hope you get everything fixed up OK.

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Maybe if you could use the GS psuedo dirt tires on the RT for these adventure tours it would fuction mo'betta. Last time I went dirt riding on a street bike I plunked into a drainage rivlett and sat purchased on the frame with the tires gliding on air. Had to hoof back to the pavement to get my riding buddy to help lift the bike to tera flatus.

At least you got out with minimum damage and dignity intact until you advertised the folly here.

Well done! dopeslap.gif

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Argh. That does indeed hurt to look at the pics and read your tale. Glad you are alright. 4 weeks ago I was in Torrey and we took a ride down the Burr Trail which is beautiful by the way. Then the road turned to gravel, dirt and gravel, and then sections of sand. It had to be interesting watching 5 out of 8 guys on street bikes maneuver through 3 or 4 deep sand sections. Surprisingly none of us dropped our bikes which was a miracle. My buddy did at least a 20 yard tank slapper motion on his K1100RS. The guy behind him was amazed he kept the bike up at all which was due to the guy in front of him committing the cardinal sin of stopping in sand. We rode another 33 miles of alternating surfaces of gravel, sand, and pavement to Lake Powell. Man were we happy to be back on pavement.

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Okay, I wasn't ready for a 3x unlucky story. ooo.gif

 

Glad your safe. Is the tupperware really as scratched up as it looks or is it just clinging sand and dust?

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Calling Dog Dancer. Dog Dancer, clean up in aisle 5. grin.gif

 

Some of you guys really are ADV Riders at heart.

 

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Then after I got back to the road I saw a sign that said "No motorcycles."

 

I hate when that happens!!!!

 

Sorry about you're experience. I would be pretty disconsolate.

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Calling Dog Dancer. Dog Dancer, clean up in aisle 5. grin.gif

 

Some of you guys really are ADV Riders at heart.

 

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Exactly what I was thinking.

 

Dude, you NEED a GS.

 

At the very least, put some TKC80's on that thing. tongue.gif

 

Good on ya fer ridin' it like a motercickle. thumbsup.gif

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At what point did you consider just dragging th bike the rest of the way?

 

When backpacking, I always have a Plan "B." Plan "B" consists of setting the woods on fire and getting rescued by the firefighters. Maybe you could have used a Plan "B", set the bike on fire and let the EMTs take you home. wink.gif

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OK, after seeing those tires and that sand, I take back my "genius" comment in your other thread. smirk.gif

 

Just kidding, and I'm glad you're OK, if a bit scuffed. It's "character," right?

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Mostly just dirt; a few scratches, but the protective covering that the Dalton mud gave the bike prolly helped.

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That's so painful! - seeing your beautiful machine lying on it's side like that not to mention your injury - all the best for speedy repairs to face, bike and pride.

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Ah, there's no pride in the motorcycle life regarding appearance, injury, or beauty, only the miles and the stories. I've got another one, so everything else is secondary.

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Lineareagle

Yep, RT's pretty much suck at off road, and almost all bikes suck in deep sand.

I am surprised you rode as much as you did in gravel etc.

I turned around many times when I hit gravel roads.

 

Well at least you were slow enough to not break anything serious either bike or body.

 

By the third time that bike must have been WAY heavy, no adrenaline left, frustration high, ego low. Not fun! DAMHIK

 

 

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