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Old 08-10-2014, 07:11 PM   #1
Fleksta OP
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A reminder to stay safe when riding solo

This saturday my brother decided to take his dirt bike out to a trail network that he often frequents. Since everyone was working or otherwise unavailable he went out on his own (which he does often). This time would not be like the others however, as he crashed his RM250.

He said he was riding a wheelie and brought the front wheel down in the wrong spot, washed out, and got thrown over the bars. He ended up breaking his left femur just below the hip joint and shattering his left elbow, along with some road rash on his back as icing on the cake.

Luckily he had met two other riders just before who were at a snowmobile warming hut, and had asked them to wait while he went to refill his tank. They went to check on him when he didn't return.

He was able to call 911 himself, and is stable at the hospital after some pretty major surgery. He was close enough to the trailhead that the EMTs could get him out after a short ride in a pickup bed (which must have been excruciating).

I just hate to think what could have gone wrong:

1) What if nobody knew he was there?
2) What if his cell was broken/out of service/or simply out of reach?

The impact managed to destroy a barkbuster guard and actually bent the pro-taper handlebar. He was only wearing a helmet, thin gloves, and motocross boots, no other armor.

He is doing alright now, but will certainly not be getting on a bike again this year. I just wanted to post this as a reminder not to get overconfident when you're out solo, and always let someone know where you plan to be if you can't get a buddy to come along. He could very easily have ended up lying there for who knows how long before anyone came across him.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:35 AM   #2
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Agreed anyone of us could die at any given point in time. In fact we all will be dead at some point.
What matters is the journey. That's kinda what's this forum is all about.. the journey.. not being afraid. Honoring those who have fallen. But always about the journey forward, be it me, you or the next adventure rider.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:53 AM   #3
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I did a bunch of solo rides in the mountains where I live. Some of those roads were beyond my skill level. I've since wised up and stopped.

Hope your brother gets well soon.

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Old 08-11-2014, 09:28 AM   #4
DC2wheels
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I ride 99% road, and nearly always ride alone but like to find roads that have very little traffic- think very northern Vermont, just below the Canadian border.

Just this year I made SWMBO happy by buying a spot. She is happier now when I go out on a long day ride.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:53 PM   #5
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:04 PM   #6
Import
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I guess thats why I carry a 'spot'....glad he's ok, daaammmm that's gota hurt though....
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:10 PM   #7
hardwaregrrl
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Ouch.....I ride solo often...but find myself not riding down certain roads. Don't think I'd pull a wheelie if solo off road...but to each his own. Glad everything went the "right" way for him post-crash.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:52 PM   #8
JeffS77
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Riding solo is all about risk management. Play it safe and ride with in your ability, don't push the envelope or partake in any risky behavior and you will most likely make it home just fine...all though not always the case.

I hope your bro has a speedy recovery.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:47 PM   #9
ChromeSux
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Couple of thing come to my small mind. First, glad your brother is doing ok, could have been bad.
1. Like hardwaregrrl said, wheelies while solo are a thing of the past for me too.
2. I have a friend who always carried his cell phone in a pouch on his belt. He wrecked one Jan. evening. He laid in a ditch for 7 hours with 2 broke vertebrae. His phone was 10 feet further down the ditch. He now carries his phone in his riding jacket pocket. Come to find out he turned down the wrong road on the way home, it was a dead end road. He knew his way home well but made that wrong turn at dusk.
3. You never know what can go wrong while alone. Just 3 weeks ago. A long time friend and former work mate, crashed while riding at his moto cross track he has on his property. He laid there for hours unconscious, busted up pretty bad, many broken bones. He has ridden that track for years. Come to find out he blacked out while riding. They have not yet found out what caused him to black out.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:45 PM   #10
brayjay
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I have put on 2300 dirt miles on so far this summer, alone in very remote areas in northern BC and mostly in the mountains. Areas that no one should be riding alone in and very rarely see anyone else around. I have enjoyed it immensely but the what if's have been on my mind a lot lately. No cell service either which sucks. Time to buy a spot device, like yesterday. Even with a spot it's still risky but I love it and don't want to stop.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:31 PM   #11
JustKip
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First, I'm glad your brother will be OK after the requisite healing time, of course.

And, like many others here, I'm also guilty of riding off into the wilderness by myself. Yeah, Risk management is a huge part of it. I've even resorted to getting off my bike and scouting shallow stream crossings, then proceeding slowly with feet down.
But I'm also constantly aware that one "surprise" get off and archeologists might find remains centuries later.

Guess it's time for me to look into getting a SPOT too.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:00 AM   #12
Schnickelfritz
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Moto touring. MTBs. Gravel roads. Hiking. Bicycle touring. I do a lot of these alone. I yoosta do a lot of solo backcountry skiing when I was in Seattle.

I'm no stunta, but riding, especially alone, has its risks and hazards, many of which can be magnified by isolation, disorientation, or inability to reach help. I now have a Spot. I got it two years ago for SchnickelBabe's entertainment and peace of mind. Plus...you never know.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:39 PM   #13
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Yup, carry a spot or plb and DONT mount it to the bike so when you're 40 feet from the bike and unable to move you can still get help.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomspins View Post
Yup, carry a spot or plb and DONT mount it to the bike so when you're 40 feet from the bike and unable to move you can still get help.
Good advice
I have a spot and it does make it more sensible to ride alone in the local national forest. It gives me some piece of mind. BUT, I will say this:
If your wife is the worrying sort, and you tell her that you will send her an "all's well" message every now and then, then DO IT.
If you don't, guess what. If she's anything like mine, she'll eventually get acclimated to not getting them and will not think anything about it.
You'll end up paying for the damn thing and not fully benefiting from it.
If you make a plan, you had better stick to it!
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bush pilot View Post
Agreed anyone of us could die at any given point in time. In fact we all will be dead at some point.
What matters is the journey. That's kinda what's this forum is all about.. the journey.. not being afraid. Honoring those who have fallen. But always about the journey forward, be it me, you or the next adventure rider.
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