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steve404

Howard's Snow Trip

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steve404

I met up with Howard (PhillyFlash), Laney, Denny (Tool), Bill Walker, Dennis Andress, and JerryMather at Furnace Creek. A “re-olding” of a V-belt was in progress.

 

 

 

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At Panamint Springs, one member took to his senses with the winds in the sky of the and six of us ventured on.

 

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We went through wind

 

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We missed squalls

 

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and went up to near the worlds oldest living creatures, the bristle cone pines

 

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Then it got bad, even for Laney and Dennis

 

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Then it got worse as Howard leads Denny and the rest of us

 

 

 

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to safety

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and a bit of warm looking sun

 

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All the BMW riders made it out

 

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Sorry Greg

 

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Tool

Riding through snow-covered mountain pass... taking photos one-handed...

 

Steve, you rock!

 

Or... you are certifiably looney. I don't know which! dopeslap.gif

 

 

Sure was an "adventure" ride, eh? I keep going over memories of the weekend, trying to find some remembrance of a time I wasn't cold! Sure, when we weren't riding... and maybe that short break at Furnace Creek to play with Flash's RT.... um... that's it! eek.gif

 

 

FWIW - In this shot...

 

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altho the thought did cross my mind, I wasn't using my foot as outrigging! That's my preferred posture when I get to the point of needing some mode of stretching the ol' bones in my left knee... I bet there aren't many photos of me NOT riding with that foot dangling! tongue.gif

 

 

And that photo sure makes the road conditions look worse than I remember... was it that bad? blush.gif What got me PO'd later was when we got SNOWED ON, and how fast that white stuff was building up on my faceshield!! frown.gif

Edited by Tool

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Dennis Andress

EEEEEEEEHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

clap.gifclap.gifclap.gifclap.gifclap.gifclap.gif

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Gleno

 

Awesome pics Steve. Great tale. You are indeed certifiable. eek.gifeek.gif

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Les is more

Fantastic in oh so many ways, Steve. Just to top it off Philly, Bill and Tool headed up and over the saddle at Mt. Charleston the next day. Jamie and I were headed up that way as well but in our wimpdom . . .er . . .widsom, turned back at 7800' and 30 degrees f. We figure those guys were riding in 20 to 25 degrees at 8400'. When we ran into them in Pahrump, they were just a wee bit chilly (read rolling popsicles.) crazy.gif

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ericfoerster

Just the norm for riders on this board thumbsup.gif

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Whip

Howard

 

Great pics....glad I went on the "smell the roses tour"

 

Mrs Whip would have killed me......

 

Whip

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PhillyFlash

Wow, Steve. I didn't realize that you were snapping photos as we rolled through the snow. I'm glad you got those shots, because there was no way I was going to take my hands off the grips. Not because I was afraid of the snow, but because the heated grips made my hands feel so toasty warm.

 

Since you beat me to it and started this tale, I'll go ahead and add my portion. In other words, here's the rest of the story.

 

Friday I had to work late, and didn't leave Phoenix until about 1:30 pm. While the ride was pretty uneventful, it was dark by the time I left Vegas, and the ride from Vegas through Pahrump and on to the Longstreet was very cold. Little did I know that this was just the start of a very cold riding weekend.

 

I reached the Longstreet about 7:30 pm local time, thawed out while socializing with the group for awhile, unpacked, socialized a bit more inside and outside, finally deciding it was just too cold outside, and headed up to my room for the night. There was talk of a ride starting at 7:00 am, but Tool and I saw the weather forecasts and decided 8:00 am might be a better start.

 

We awoke on Saturday at about 7:30, and decided that maybe 8:30 would be a better time. AZ Al's phone call shortly thereafter, telling us that people were waiting for us downstairs, motivated us to get a move on. 8:30 stretched into 9:00, then a little past, but we finally started out. It was Tool, Jerry Mather, Laney, Dennis Andress, and myself (I think, early events are somewhat clouded). We had a somewhat chilly and windy start, as we headed for Furnace Creek for our first gas stop. All went well until we saw a fellow BMW rider (unknown) being pulled over a mile or two from the gas station. While trying to transmit to the others, I heard an awful squealing from my radio, a sure sign that the battery was dying. This was very bad, as my radio was hot wired to the bike battery. A mile later, as I was downshifting, the bike died when I pulled in the clutch, but restarted when I was back in gear, only to die for good a short while later. I barely coasted into the gas station, which really was good fortune. Tool's tools came out, Laney and I went to work taking off the tupperware, and we went through a process that determined that the alternator belt was the culprit. I had an old one with me, which meant we could do the needed repair, but it was pointed out to me how foolish it was to carry used spares. I had never even thought about that before, but I will from now on. Lesson learned: if you're going to carry spare parts, carry new ones. Jerry had replaced belts before, and he had the old one cleaned out (most of it looked like a plate of black spaghetti, with a few slightly larger pieces, and lots of little ones that were somewhere in and behind the pulley system, staying there until they would later be burned off) and the new one on before you could bat an eye. Thanks again, Jerry, for a great job. It got me home. We buttoned up the bike and got on the road again, a total of about 1 hour and 45 minutes lost. Now our start was very much later than planned, but we pushed on. We also added two new members to our group, Steve404 and Bill Walker, who had observed our impromptu tech daze.

 

The ride through Death Valley is alway beautiful, and it was that day, too. However, the wind was starting to pick up. Fortunately, it wasn't too cold. As we cruised through Panamint Valley, the gusts were knocking us around quite a bit. It was really windy. We pulled off in Panamint, and found another group waiting there, ready to continue their ride. We had a group meeting, trying to decide if we should push on to Lone Pine, or stay in Panamint to eat lunch and shorten our ride. Jerry decided he was not going to fight the wind all day, and decided to bail (was he the smart one?). Six of us decided to continue on.

 

As we headed to Lone Pine, the wind gradually became worse, and the temperatures continued to drop. Then the wind became much worse (see "We went through wind" above), but we made it to Lone Pine. While it was bad, it wasn't that bad, so we headed north to Big Pine, about 40 miles away. Now it did get bad, then went from bad to worse. The wind was beating us up pretty bad, pushing me back and forth in my lane. It felt like my bike was doing a waltz. Then we touched the edge of a squall that was coming down from the mountains, heading east across 395. It was windy, it was cold, it was a little rainy, but we pushed on, too foolish to turn back.

 

We made it to Big Pine, mostly frozen and dizzy from the cold and wind, filled the bikes up with fuel, and found a restaurant to fill our bodies with fuel, too. We needed it. We were all pretty cold and tired from the wind, and hungry, too, and the hot chocolate and burgers hit the spot. It took a long time until we took all of our gear off, trying to get and stay as warm as possible, and all too soon, we had to gear up again.

 

Now came the big decision, turn back or continue on. The little squall that we passed by had now moved over the highway, and we were pretty sure that the winds behind us had continued to increase. The weather in the direction of our proposed route, 168 east to 266 east to 95 south, looked clearer than the route retracing our steps, so we made the decision to continue on. We had reached the point of no return.

 

Tool and I had wanted to take 168/266 for some time, and were looking forward to taking that route. 168, just east of Big Pine, quickly starts to twist back and forth as it climbs to 7200 feet. There was large granular sand and gravel in the road, but we took it easy and had no problem. Since it was more closed in, the wind wasn't too bad, and it didn't feel as cold. All was going well. There was plenty of snow on the hillsides and at the edge of the road, making it very pretty. We reached the summit and started down, figuring that we had made it through the most risky area (for snow and cold), and it could only get better. There was less gravel, and the road was pretty clear. This is a great road; take it if you get a chance. But if you go in the winter, don't be deceived. As we continued on, the road became a little wet; no big deal. We could see a squall a ways up the road, but didn't think too much about it. We rode through a little slush, but again, it wasn't anything to worry about. I continued on, in the lead, enjoying the scenery, the music, the white road, hmm, the road is white...The Road Is White!! Oh, shit!!! We hit the snow covered road at about 55 or 60 mph, and as the realization of what we were on hit me, I rapidly thought of all the things that I should and should not do. For starters, I did nothing, just continued on at the same pace. OK, I'm alright, I'm not sliding, the road is flat here. So I got on the radio and warned the others to slow down very gradually, we're on snow. Not everyone was on it yet, and the ones who were, had already figured it out. I was pretty sure what to do - slowly ease off the throttle, do not touch the brakes, do not downshift, let the bike decrease speed without doing anything to upset its stability. But time was not unlimited; I could see that we were pretty close to going downhill, and I didn't want to hit that too fast and have to brake going downhill. We all slowed safely, some getting a bit of rear wheel slide, some slowing down a little faster or slower than the others, but we all made it with no problem. At about 10-15 mph, we made it down the hill and out of the snow, then back up the hill and onto the snow, then back down, and up. Well, you get the picture. Then it started to snow on us, and as Tool said, the thick, wet flakes were sticking to our shields. Eventually, we made it out of the mountains, on to dry land, and back into the wind and cold. But the road was dry.

 

Now all along this ride, I kept smelling burning rubber. When we reached 95, I mentioned it on the radio, and Steve and Bill reported that they now smelled it, too. Was the new old belt starting to shred and burn up? Was I going to make it back to the Longstreet? Was I going to be stranded in the middle of BFE Nevada, as night was falling? We pushed on to Beatty. It was getting dark. It was getting colder. But the wind wasn't as horrendous. We reached Beatty, filled up with gas, bought some candy, warmed up, and then headed out for our final 50 miles to home.

 

Well, folks, we all made it, very cold, very tired, very hungry, but safe and sound. My alternator belt survived, and lasted all the way back to Scottsdale. We rode to the top of Mt. Charleston (near Vegas) on Sunday, reaching 8400 feet elevation, and about 25 degree temps, fought the wind, which became extreme on the way to Pahrump, survived hypothermia (which made us a bit giddy), had a great BBQ dinner in Pahrump that everyone else passed on, put on everything we had to wear for the more comfortable ride back to the Longstreet, and all journeyed home without any further event.

 

This was my coldest of three DVDs. Mostly better than my first one (this time I rode my bike home), although until the wreck (and even afterward), that first one was pretty good; and more challenging than my second one (the weather wasn't as much of a factor two years ago). But all in all, it was a good time, with some great riding, and hanging with a great group of friends. Now if only my feet would warm up...

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Dennis Andress
As we continued on, the road became a little wet; no big deal. We could see a squall a ways up the road, but didn't think too much about it. We rode through a little slush, but again, it wasn't anything to worry about. I continued on, in the lead, enjoying the scenery, the music, the white road, hmm, the road it white...The Road Is White!! Oh, shit!!!

 

The moral of this story is....

 

Never follow somebody from Phoenix into a snow storm!!

 

 

 

And check the exposure adjustment on the camera

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russell_bynum

Shesh, Howard...reading that tale has got me all bundled up in front of my computer shivering.

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AdventurePoser

Awesome pix, Steve. I've been enjoying this ride vicariously....so keep the pix coming, everyone.

 

Steve in S Cal

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Bill_Walker

Wow, Steve! I didn't even think of posting a Ride Tale because I had no pix. I can't believe you took pix with the snow on the road! I think I was busy holding my bike up with my sphincter!

 

Moral of the story for me: when you see people working on a BMW on the side of the road, DON'T STOP!!! There's no telling what madness it might lead you into!

 

And watch out for PhillyFlash! His reality distortion field was so strong that I followed him into the snow on the second day, too!

 

Actually, it was a grand adventure and a wonderful time.

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russell_bynum

And watch out for PhillyFlash! His reality distortion field was so strong that I followed him into the snow on the second day, too!

 

Sounds familiar.

 

 

...but we didn't go all the way to Hanksville.

 

grin.gif

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Laney

And that photo sure makes the road conditions look worse than I remember... was it that bad?

 

YES IT WAS THAT BAD!!! grin.gif

 

Certifiably looney is right -- even the cows were staring wide-eyed at those idiot BMW riders. tongue.gif

 

Great pictures Steve! thumbsup.gif

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Laney

And watch out for PhillyFlash! His reality distortion field was so strong that I followed him into the snow on the second day, too!

 

And be really, really, worried when PhillyFlash tells you the ride will be "slow" or "boring."

 

Someday I'll learn... crazy.gif

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Francois_Dumas

Just wondering...... where can you buy snow tires for RT's ?? smirk.gif

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Marty Hill

Howard,

 

You guys rock...but are nuts. thumbsup.gif

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Gleno
What got me PO'd later was when we got SNOWED ON, and how fast that white stuff was building up on my faceshield!! frown.gif

 

I'm remebering one of Tools funniest lines when telling the story back at the Longstreet....

 

Denny: "Howard, this rain is starting to stack up". grin.gifgrin.gif

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Dennis Andress
What got me PO'd later was when we got SNOWED ON, and how fast that white stuff was building up on my faceshield!! frown.gif

 

I'm remebering one of Tools funniest lines when telling the story back at the Longstreet....

 

Denny: "Howard, this rain is starting to stack up". grin.gifgrin.gif

 

RATFLMAO!!

grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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PhillyFlash
What got me PO'd later was when we got SNOWED ON, and how fast that white stuff was building up on my faceshield!! frown.gif

 

I'm remebering one of Tools funniest lines when telling the story back at the Longstreet....

 

Denny: "Howard, this rain is starting to stack up". grin.gifgrin.gif

 

We don't get that thar white rain down in Phoenix. Sure had me puzzled for a while, I reckon.

 

(spelling corrected by Prof. Gleno.)

Edited by PhillyFlash

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Gleno
I wreckin'.

 

Glad you mean "reckon" and not "wreckin".

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PhillyFlash
I wreckin'.

 

Glad you mean "reckon" and not "wreckin".

 

Yup.

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BeniciaRT_GT
Just the norm for riders on this board thumbsup.gif

 

Well...

 

The ones that actually come out and ride that is!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oooo, Did I say that out loud? blush.gifgrin.gif

 

That is just my way of telling you how VERY much you were missed, and not just by me!!!

 

Hope to see you in Torrey, and I'll wear nomex and thick Kevlar that weekend!!!

 

p.s. I know you missed me, after comments like that ehhh???

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ericfoerster

p.s. I know you missed me, after comments like that ehhh???

 

 

Oh man, that hurts grin.gif

 

This all from a man who wears safety orange cool.gif

 

tf1.jpg

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GS_George

I have looked at all of these photos several times and have read and reread Philly Flash's narrative. I nominate this thread to be archived. clap.gif

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