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Old 09-28-2012, 11:16 PM   #1
canoli OP
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They Donít All End Well..Do They?

After a particularly stressful day last week I felt the need to blow off some steam. At first I was thinking that a workout and a big ol gin & tonic would cure my ills, but after some thought, I decided that I needed a bit more. So I walked in the door, grabbed my gear, wrote a quick note telling Canoli wife where I was going and hit the trails behind our house. Since we live in a newer development on the edge of Alice Springs these local trails are not the ordinary run of the mill suburban power line tracks you find in the states, ..nope our “back yard” is in actually the great big Australian Outback. It's a fantastic place to go to see wild kangaroo's, and explore the rolling foothills of the MacDonnell Ranges while still being relatively close to civilization.





Usually when I head out that way, I stick to the sandy double tracks that wind their way out of town and towards Emily Gap. But for some reason on that fateful day I decided to take a left instead of my usual right turn, and aimed my oversize dual sport touring bike towards a narrow rocky single track that was more suited for hiking. Rather quickly I realized that my DR 650 was in way over it's head and my decision to fill my 30 liter tank for this ride was a HUGE mistake. I looked everywhere for a place to turn around but with thick brush, sharp rocks and steep inclines surrounding me, I had no choice but to keep moving forward. The DR and I crept along the track being careful not to push too hard while at the same time carrying enough speed to hop up and over some of the humps in the trail. The bike and I were just starting to get into a groove of throttle, break, clutch ..repeat , when all of a sudden a tight uphill lefthander filled with boulders appeared! Before I could even react I was stopped dead in my tracks and when I went to put my right foot down (the left side was wedged against the bolder) there was nothing but air below me.

Off into space I flew...and flew...until the left side of my head struck a pretty sizable rock. The hit didn’t stop my fall and as I continued to bounce down the cliff I thought to myself in a very calm and collective manner that my gear was holding strong and doing it's job. This thought helped me to relax during my flight and when I finally came to a stop, I simply stood up and hiked the 50 or so feet back up the hill to lift the bike onto it's wheels. I was a bit dazed but for some reason I thought that a picture was in order so I took this:



The sun was now starting to set and I needed to get home so Canoli Wife wouldn't worry. The problem was that there was still no place to turn around, so I walked the bike through the roadblock and continued up the trail. After what seemed like an eternity, I found a steep but wide and clear section of track and spun Ĺ a u-turn, ...fell on my ass....picked the bike back up, and then completed my 180. However in my dazed state I misjudged the angle and instead of tracking straight on the trail, the front wheel slipped and down the ravine we bounced. Over rocks, through and through a forrest of burnt out trees until the bike's wheel struck something and I once again found myself airborne. This time I flew over the handlebars and landed in a bush a solid 20 feet away. I got up, dusted myself off, picked the pig back up and took some time to assess the situation. The sky was now a glow with the purple light of dusk and I knew that only a little bit of time remained before it would be completely dark. Directly in front of me there was nothing but heavy brush and scrub, but a few hundred yards further was a double track road that I figured I could make. So back on the bike I went, crashed through some more trees, bounced off more rocks and once again was back on the ground. This time I was completely spent. My adrenalin reserves were empty and I began to feel the effects of the evenings crashes. My head was ringing, my thoughts were getting cloudy and the sky was now completely black. I was out of water, out of energy, and out of options. I needed to get help NOW !! With no cellphone or radio to call for help, I grabbed the flashlight from my tool bag and started walking towards the lights of town. When I finally made it to the dirt double track I drew an arrow in the dust to mark the location of my bike. A bit further down the trail I tied my bandanna to a tree to mark the place where I turned onto the main track. As I stumbled along the path I realized that my condition was getting worse. I felt dizzy, vulnerable and for the first time in a very long time I was scared that I may not make it home. Somehow another adrenalin hit kicked in and I kept on putting one foot in front of the other. Eventually I collapsed on the driveway of this guy and his wife who rushed over to pick me up. They put me in their car and wanted to take me straight to the hospital, but all I wanted to do was tell Canoli Wife that I was alive so I gave them my address and down the street we went. Just the wife was coming out to look for me, we pulled into my development and somehow I moved from one car to another. Off to the hospital we go...

I'm not going to bore you with the tails of the next few hours, but let me just say that the people at Alice Springs Hospital were friendly, helpful and polite. They were very happy to see that I had been wearing all the appropriate gear including a leatt neck brace. After a series of x-rays, scans and exams I was sent home with nothing more then a mild concussion and a fist full of painkillers (good times) .

The next few days I took it easy, got re-checked by another doctor, had a few Ĺ days at work and with the help of my good friend John, I was able to retrieve my beloved DR650 from the grips of the Outback. That bike is such a tank that when we pulled it out of the tree it started right up and I was able to ride it home. There is literally NOTHING wrong with it.

In the end I feel very fortunate that I had worn all my gear, not been that hurt , been able to walk out under my own power, had been found by a great couple of folks and that my wife and the staff of the Alice Springs Hospital were there to make sure I was well taken care of. I've since bought a cellphone, retired my helmet to the local rescue squad, and we are in the process of purchasing two way VHF radio's. The lessons learned were many but I am extremely happy to report that after a week or two of recovery, Dumb & Dangerous will be back out filming the next episode.

The resting spot of my DR:


The arrow in the sand:


Back on flat ground and still running strong, the DR 650 is the (old school) Toyota Land Cruiser of the motorcycle world :



Thanks for reading,


Canoli

canoli screwed with this post 09-29-2012 at 12:09 AM
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:08 AM   #2
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Sounds like you had a real "adventure".
Glad to hear it all turned out OK.
What did the Missus have to say about all this?

Cheers.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
TheAdmiral
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Lesson Learned

Great everything turned out ok in the end. It takes a big person to admit the mistakes we make and share with other's to learn from. Thanks for sharing.

...and here's what I learned from your adventure; stay at home an drink or take a right instead of a left!

Seriously, it was nice the couple helped you out and that all is well in the end. Take care and good safe riding.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:21 AM   #4
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Life Lesson

No doubt you are now a few days older and a few years wiser.

Glad that you weren't hurt any worse than you were.
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:37 PM   #5
canoli OP
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Thanks guys. Yeah a few lessons were learned on this ride.

As for what the wife thinks about this whole thing? She is very happy that I wore all my gear, greatful for the help of those strangers and she just told me to be more careful next time. We have this understanding that neither of us would never try to stop the other from doing something that they love to do. Yeah she's a keeper.

Canoli
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:13 PM   #6
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Sounds like it ended much better than it could have. Glad to hear you made it out. That looks like a great place to ride.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:06 AM   #7
Ockrocket
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EPIRB!

Good to hear both you and the bike survived, must breed 'em tough out your way by the sounds of it.

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Old 09-30-2012, 09:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canoli View Post
Yeah she's a keeper.

Canoli
+1 Yeah, definitely a keeper.

Glad you are okay.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:46 PM   #9
OutbackDreamer
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Canoli,
Glad to hear your ok.

You do have an awesome place to ride and explore around. I visited a mate there a few years ago, and we went riding every day I was there. The thing I noticed that you're very quickly isolated.

Gary
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:57 AM   #10
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Cool report. Glad it turned out OK.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:27 AM   #11
canoli OP
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Originally Posted by OutbackDreamer View Post
Canoli,
Glad to hear your ok.

You do have an awesome place to ride and explore around....... The thing I noticed that you're very quickly isolated.

Gary

Tell me about it. 10 miles outside town and there is no cell coverage, no real infrastructure and you might not see another person for hours. Never ridden in any place quite like it. Things can go south VERY quickly here.

Canoli
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:47 AM   #12
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Thanks for sharing Canoli.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:59 AM   #13
the_sandman_454
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Originally Posted by canoli View Post
Tell me about it. 10 miles outside town and there is no cell coverage, no real infrastructure and you might not see another person for hours. Never ridden in any place quite like it. Things can go south VERY quickly here.

Canoli
Is anything available there for communications, amateur radio, etc? I don't know how much fun I'd have being that isolated without being able to summon help. I imagine I would become so cautious it wouldn't be entertaining or relaxing.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:43 AM   #14
TeeVee
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the DR is an absolute solid rock of a bike. the crap i've done to mine and had it keep going is simply amazing. guys i ride with have yamis, hondas, kaws. invariably they end up breaking somewhere inopportune.

call me a wuss but i simply would not ride alone in places where bad can happen real quick. i know all about the "adventure" of it and how "awesome" solo adventuring is, but i value my life and longevity just a tad. not enuf to stop riding but enuf to at least be a bit cautious.

anyway, glad you came out of it with not much more than some bruising. after it all, i'd say it ended pretty ok!
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:56 AM   #15
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Hi Canoli,
Glad to see that you ended up ok.

I know what you mean by the remote location, I had an off last week 20k's west of Hermannsburg on what I consider a very busy outback road. Lucky a few very helpful people stopped, including 1 with a sat phone, and 8 hours later I was in Alice Springs hospital having my broken collar bone seen too. (Excellent staff)

So before I come your way again I will be looking at some better options for comms.

Stay well and have fun, Glen
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