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Old 04-26-2014, 02:18 PM   #1
One Less Harley OP
OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT
 
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Easter Weekend Ride to Daniel Boone National Forest and Big South Fork, (KY and TN)

Easter weekend..it doesn’t get much better than this…or does it???

It’s been a while since I’ve taken an adventure ride and since Easter weekend officially started on the appropriately named Good Friday it seems only reasonable to take advantage of a long weekend. Temperatures were predicted to be in the mid 60's to high 70’s….it doesn’t get much better than this…….or does it????
Very loose plans were laid out for the long weekend, pretty much all I knew is the direction was to be East from Bowling Green, KY to Whitley KY, about 120 miles away. Bike of choice was my trusty BMW R80 G/S, soft bags loaded with camping gear and minimal clothing, two water bottles, basic tool kit, and 11 gallons of gas which should get me anywhere my heart desires.
Friday rolls around and departure time was a leisurely 10am, no hurry as my destination isn’t all that far away. From Bowling Green I made tracks to Liberty KY in Casey County via Horse Cave, Pascal where 436 and 88 intersect then on to Greensburg and Campbellsville eventually to Liberty Ky. My plan was to explore Casey County in search of underdeveloped roads. In a roundabout way I made it to Liberty and explored some but found my hopes of finding plenty of good roads had been laid waste due to prosperity…..i.e pavement. I grabbed a quick lunch then headed out to Whitley KY, via a Somerset KY. Once reaching Somerset it was a straight shot to Whitley via US 27.

Since my plans were written on damp toilet paper the plan of camping promptly denigrated and a room was secured at the Park Land Motel just South of Whitley. In this way the road pig’s load of camp gear could be left in the room while exploring the area…….talked myself right into a room for two nights. Once unloaded food was in order, and since I was in a cervesa free zone a trip across the board was in order…KY/TN boarder that is. Low and behold a Mexican restaurant…what a better place to have a beer….So I sit down and order a cervesa……be warned now it gets worse, tragedy #1. They no servo beero…I could end the story here, but things do get worse…..I go ahead and order and finish my meal, then head off to Walmart to satisfy my lustful desire.
I pull into the parking lot of Walmart and while pulling off my helmet notice I am being eyed ever so inquisitively by a cute little blue eyed blonde girl of about 5 years of age. She was grinning from ear to ear. I smiled gave her a wave and couldn’t help but notice in the driver’s seat the very well-shaped genetic donor to this young child and having made no eye contact with her sexy mom I went ahead to find my 6 cold friends for the night. After leaving Walmart I walked back to the bike and the car was still there the young child was playing on her phone. I said “oh, you’re still here waiting for me,” while I placed my 6 cold friends in the saddle bag. The girl then asked me a question which I didn’t understand and at that point her sexy mom translated for me. I made quick small talk and proceeded to put on my helmet and go….tragic event #2…yes I’m that slow……don’t worry as painful as this is the worst is yet to come…and yes I’m that slow…….
I make it to the motel and speak with 3 of my friends and look over the maps to get a rough idea as to where the front wheel should take me tomorrow.
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Old 04-26-2014, 04:29 PM   #2
ChromeSux
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:19 PM   #3
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Saturday- I got out of the room at about 9:00 am, no rush I’m enjoying this ride. Off the McDonald’s for a light steak and egg biscuit. Then towards Whitley City to pick up Hwy 700 East. I found some good easy gravel then some dirt trails and ended up heading more South towards 478, more of the same.


At one point off 478 on Waldroup Rd the road got more interesting gravel started to give way to dirt plus more no trespassing signs on the side of the road. At one point I saw a van with a guy standing kind of close to the road. I figured this might be a good time to stop and see if I was on private property. I can get a little paranoid when riding in the back woods all alone. I stopped and the guy who I guessed was early fifties came up. He had a full beard and longish hair, kind of heavy set, not unkept, or all that intimidating. I asked if this was private property and he said yes, but the road wasn’t. We ended up talking for quite a spell. To make a long story short, he had worked for the government as a programmer for some government agency with three or four letters and some various colleges over the years. He mentioned he started writing programs in Basic and Fourtran when he was 10 years old, which was about the same time I was in high school taking Computer Programming….which I made a D in!!!. Somewhere in the conversation he mentioned he had a 150 IQ. He seemed to not only have book smarts but common since too. He was living on a S2( sailboat) in the Gulf during the BP incident and contracted some sort of heavy metal poisoning due to what BP was dumping in the Gulf to contain the oil. He spoke more about this environmental disaster and was quite informative. He had also travel the perimeter of the USA in his Chevy van. We talked for a while longer then I got on my way.
Past here the road was still more dirt along with some decent mud puddles and larger flat rocks and also ran along green streams and then redish streams. The red color coming from the lack of trees as there was a lot of logging going on in part of the area.




The worst creek crossing. Crossing wasn't bad, but going up was a little steep and had some rocky shelves to negotiate.




I eventually crossed 27 again and tried to find Natural Bridge which I had earlier marked on one of my maps…..since I chose to use my map instead of paying much attention to the road signs….the location wasn’t found. That’s no big deal as I’m here to ride and see things. The Stearn’s Mine Museum and RR tour were on the way to the arch so I stopped by to look in the area. The RR tour was pulled by a small diesel with three RR cars, looked like it would be a fun ride. I walked up to the Stearn’s Museum and promptly chose not to go inside as there was a fee…..OK maybe I’m on a KLR and not a BMW.
Off on the bike towards the Barthell Mine, on the way I took a little hike to stretch my legs to Devil’s overlook. A good short walk with interesting sights, rocks, trees, and river many feet down below.



Off on the bike towards the Barthell Mine, on the way I took a little hike to stretch my legs to Devil’s overlook. A good short walk with interesting sights, rocks, trees, and river many feet down below. Once my feet had their fill of walking in stiff MX boot it was off once again to the Barhtell Mine. It’s an accurate recreation of the 1902-1948 mining camp. A tour was available for $15 but I had arrived too late. The tour guide did give me a little history of the place and spoke briefly of the struggles between the newly forming union and owners. A neat little place to visit.




notice the Chevy rear axle over the wheels-




With more roads and sites to see I made way to a more updated Stearn’s Mine Triple. The RR tour ends up here and there is a building which shows history of the mine.





After a quick tour of the area I hoped back onto the bike and found more fun back roads. Made it to Split Bow arch and paying no mind to the warning signs I walked across the top of the arch and made my way down to the actual “safer” path under the arch.


. Since it was after 4:30 about this time I decided to kind of start heading home…not a direct route, but off to TN for a meal outside at Sonic. Plus this would be a good time to check the oil on the G/S…it was a ˝ qt low, so across the street to purchase some oil and fill it up. At this time my three remaining cold…very cold friends were calling me from the hotel. So back to the hotel in KY. The fridge was opened and low and behold my three cold friends were upset…..they were too cold to speak to me…i.e. frozen (tragedy #3) !!!! So back to TN to find more sociable friends of a different flavor. Not all the Way to Walmart this time but a gas station, and I might as well get it out of the way and fill the 11 gallon tank up completely for tomorrow. Made it back to the room and talked with three or four of my cool friends and dumped the unsociable frozen ones.

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Old 05-01-2014, 09:26 AM   #4
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For Sunday I headed towards the Natural Bridge (N36 50.472 W84 30.738) and hiked down for a closer look. It was a very nice walking trail but walking in riding boots isn't all that much fun.





Since home wasn't that far away and I wasn't done exploring I headed further South to ride towards Big South Fork along the Cumberland River. The roads looked nice and curvy on the GPS.

From Cannonshots RR







While traveling along I spotted an inviting RR bridge (N36 43.056 W84 32.595) crossing the Cumberland River which had the rails and ties removed and was a nice hard packed gravel bed. There was a metal gate but it was pulled off to the side inviting me to take a look beyond. There were a few RR ties still on the RR bed which made ridding a little bumpy but not that bad. I continued until the bed ended at what must have been a short bridge, but there was nothing but RR ties pilled up, so I decided to turn around and get back to pavement.



Most of the ties were removed or barely exposed but there were a few that were up higher than the rest. The was one which required a little more speed the throttle action to negotiate. So upon reaching that one I gave more throttle to get over the tie, but when coming back down on the other side the bike came down sideways and hit another RR tie tossing me forward and impacting my left shoulder. I felt two impact points, my shoulder and head, unzipped my jacket to check my collar bone and noticed that it was no longer in one piece...yeap broken collar bone. I went to turn off the bike's ignition and fuel, then gave my self a few seconds to see if I was going to pass out or anything like that. I knew if there was anyway I was going to right the G/S ( with all 11 gallons and gas and full luggage) I had better do it VERY soon, because once the pain hit from the broke collar bone I knew there would probably be no way I could get the bike up.

At first I grabbed the bar with my left hand to pull on the bike, well that wasn't going to work. Then grabbed the bar with my right and was able to get the bike upright and manipulate the spring retracting side stand in place. The windshield was laying on the ground and I wanted to get this back in place since riding with out it would be more discomfort for the ride home. Somehow I managed to pop it back on with one good hand while my left just kind of held it in position while the right hand popped it back onto it's mounts.

Now for the next problem...somehow when crashing the ignition starter shutoff switch had been ripped off, just leaving the housing and no switches. So I tugged on the wires with my one good hand and ripped them out of the plastic housing. Three wires, I knew one was hot, one for the starter and one for the ignition. Only took me two tries to twist the right two wires together and touch to one for for the starter to get the bike to start.

I was dealing with some pain of course during all of this but really had no choice in the matter as I needed to hurry up and get back on pavement ASAP. Luckily the rough stuff was passed and I was able to slowly navigate back to pavement while being hunched over the bars to relieve stress on the collar bone.

According to the GPS I had 112 miles to go to make it home....that was if I didn't pass out....
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:46 AM   #5
NJ-Brett
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I thought it was going to be a nice ride report till the end.
I gave up on riding big heavy bikes off road.
Its way to easy to really F yourself up big time.

Think about many more broken bones, which could have happened in your case as well, and riding out (if you made it) is not an option.

I hope you heal up fast and well...
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:08 PM   #6
DougFromKentucky
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Another report showing why it isn't wise to ride alone offroad.
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:12 PM   #7
jbeem
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Richard,
You were basically in my backyard but of course that's no good now. Hope you're healed up by now. Missed you at Old's Cool.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:29 PM   #8
mr. matteeanne
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Scary stuff. Glad you are typing.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:49 PM   #9
One Less Harley OP
OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbeem View Post
Richard,
You were basically in my backyard but of course that's no good now. Hope you're healed up by now. Missed you at Old's Cool.
Yeah, I remembered I was in your play ground. Great riding around there, maybe I'll be smarter and give you a shout next I decide to go out that way.

More story on the way...
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:54 PM   #10
ChromeSux
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So Richard did you get plated and screwed? How is it going? Mine gets a little better each day. While nobody was looking i went for a 7 mile ride the other day, that felt goooood! Therapy for the mind helps too.

3 broken collar bones posted here in pace plant in the past month. Heal well.

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Old 05-01-2014, 04:39 PM   #11
dancerdave
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Next time holler at me or Tommy and we will ride with ya..it sounds like the kind of trip i would like...
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:49 PM   #12
hardwaregrrl
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Really sucks Richard. Phil I had no idea?!! Did it in Tellico!? Heal up you two...Blaine's brother Kyle busted his in a SORCS hare scramble. Guess he started a trend
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:56 PM   #13
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OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT
 
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Glad to have the GPS to figure out the quickest route home, but also gave me 112 miles to get home and it was about 10:30 AM, last food and drink were at about 8:30 AM.. Things going through my mind at this point...wonder how I'm going to handle shifting, turning on the back roads till getting to better roads, will the pain get bad enough where passing out while riding will be a concern, can I make it two hours in the saddle without drinking ( not wanting to drink if needing surgery) or stopping to pee as I don't want to move any more than absolutely necessary!!! Just small changes in body position are very uncomfortable.

I find that most of my steering can be done with my left right hand and I can ride with my left hand in my lap, but choose to keep it on the bars for clutching. Clutch action doesn't hurt all that much..luckily!!!! I make my way deliberately from the curvy roads to Hwy27 where I pick up the Cumberland Parkway, from here it is a very straight shot home, with a short distance on I65 to home.

My travel speeds on the parkway and 65 are 80 mph, this speed would have been painful without the windshield, so suffering the pain to put it back on was well worth the effort. I was very mindful of how my head was feeling as I wasn't sure if my body might react negatively in some strange way to the pain...i.e. would I pass out while on the bike??? Plus I was hoping not to gain a prestigious award offered by the state for speeding as stopping would cause me so much pain this isn't something I relished doing, besides I doubt a police officer would let me continue in my physical state. Riding two hours hunched over the bars was uncomfortable also unable to change positions, but I just had to endure it. Luckily my kidneys didn't request a pee break and thirst wasn't an issue..a consideration yes, but not dire need for water.

I finally made it home to my parent house, where I stopped and put the kick stand down, got off the bike andlet my left arm hang down to my side. Slowly removed my helmet with my right hand. Just removing the helmet cause extreme pain. Then trying to unzip the jacket, I'd more a little and have to stop as I needed to deal with the pain, I would breath rather erreatically and recompose my self then unzip the jacket a little more, stop....start breathing heavy until the pain became somewhat bearable, and try again to remove. At this point any movement was extremely painful and I wondered how the hell I made it 2 hours on the road!!!!!

My parents took me to the ER, where I was checked out by the on call physician, I was able to keep my smart ass disposition what else could I do. An x ray was taken and eventually it was suggested that if I wanted morphine I could get an injection. I told the DR I could handle it, but since see said there was no need for me to that she would provide it. It did take the edge off, also before leaving I alos had a shot of delaudid.

I was unable to see the orthopedic till Tuesday, where we discussed letting the medial clavicle fracture healing on it's own or with a plate and screws. I decided to plate and screw the bone. I felt this would be best to get the bone to heal back as close to original form and function.

Sorry I don't have any good pictures of the break only the post op picture. Surgery was Tuesday and the shoulder is still stiff. I took Percocet for two days post op, but don't feel a need for it now. For the most part I am able to move the lower forearm wrist and hand unassisted, any movement of the humorous and shoulder is with assistance. Tonight I expect to sleep in my own bed instead of the recliner. The difficulty in sleeping in the bed was getting up from the bed put to much stress on the muscles and clavicle.

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Old 05-01-2014, 06:07 PM   #14
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Next time holler at me or Tommy and we will ride with ya..it sounds like the kind of trip i would like...
yeah, guess those fun solo rides are out!!!! Lots of good roads to explore. The hotel was only $54 for one night so that wasn't to bad.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:51 PM   #15
NJ-Brett
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I think you were right to pick the repair.
I was not given the option and am paying the price for that.
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