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Old Yesterday, 05:50 PM   #1
apleschu OP
Chief Cat Herder
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: H-town
Oddometer: 202
Ride turns epic -- the wrong way, and the conclusion

Ok, since I am already being pestered ...

On Sunday morning I decided I'll do a "short" adventure ride. Karen was still tired and sleeping, so I left home around 9AM and my thought was I would follow the old 87 from High Island to Sabine pass. I knew that part of it would be on the beach, and that was not my concern. The pig handles quite well actually on wet sand. She doesn't like powdered sand or deep sand, but the course wet sand on the beach should not be a problem.

So, I leave home, ride out to Winnie, TX on I10, nothing really to say about that. Off the Freeway and down 124 to the coast. The air already smells better as I approach the water, and just for a moment the thought crossed my mind that the sand may be a bit of a challenge for me, but I wanted to do this and pushed that thought away as soon as it came up. I arrived in High Island at the intersection of 127 and 87 around 11AM, and turned onto the remnants of 87 towards Sabine pass. The first couple of miles really were no problem, it was rather hard packed dirt with a layer of fine sane on top. I mean every now and then she got a bit squirrely in the sand, but nothing that was really hard to handle or would have set off alarm bells. I also knew from a ride report that I read a few years ago, that this "toad" would be ending after about 3 miles and then the wildlife preserve began. So I push on, as expected the road ends, there is a short swing around the fence and a somewhat similar road continues, but since I am now in the wildlife preserve there is much less traffic and therefore the road in much worse condition. Still nothing that the pig could not handle and we press on.

About 6 miles in even that road ends, again expected and we have to continue on the beach. I was lucky the sand in that spot was not too deep, and I was on the damp sand, and on we go. I am now about 9 miles in and away from High Island. Well on my way to Sabine Pass. The thought was that I would catch a bite to eat in Sabine and then head home.

About 10 miles in I pass what I believed to be a leftover rest of the asphalt of the old road on my left and on the right is the water, and I am always trying to stay on the sweet spot, between the deep sand, the stuff she doesn't like and the too wet sand that is being lapped by the waves. If you have ever ridden on the beach, you know what I am talking about. Too dry and it get very squirrelly, too wet and you sink in too much. Two more miles in, at around 11 miles in the trip on the beach I come across the remnants of an old dock and take a breather on the concrete patch right there.

The obligatory picture of the bike at the stop:

Looking up and down the coast
This is where I came from:

And I wanted to go:

What was amazing to me as the amount of trash that was laying around everywhere

And the birds where using the posts of the old dock

After a while I continued on, but very soon came to the conclusion that I did not do one crucial thing: I did not check the tide table before I set out and the tide was coming in. When I realized that I was still on "good sand" about another mile down from the rest stop, but I got the feeling that continuing on not knowing what lay ahead and the tide coming in may not be the smartest idea. So even though I hated it I made a "reasonable" decision and turned around. All the while the tide was of course still coming in. I passed the platform and pushed on.

Pretty soon around 10 miles from the intersection of 127 and 87 I came again the what I thought were the remnants of the old road, but by now the tide had come in so far that everything below those "remnants" was already under water. "No problem" I thought, "I'll just jump up there onto those old road segments, it'll be one hell of a rough ride, but better grip than the sand that begins to be too wet" Especially since that segment was only about 100 yards long I did not see a problem in doing that, because I knew from coming in that after that it would be smooth sailing after this 100 yards strip. SO I turned my handlebars right onto the "old road" and landed flat on my face when the front wheel slipped due to to traction. At that point I got the feeling that maybe I have done something wrong, but as you can see in the pics the sand had caused me to drop her twice on the way in, so this additional drop was not really that bad (yet) Or so I thought. Only when I got up and was almost unable to stand up because I was standing on pure clay it started to dawn on me that I may have done something stupid. So I found some pieces of real road debris, lifted her up again, put the side stand down and started to contemplate into what situation I got myself. It was about 12:30, I had not had any food and nothing to drink, and I was what seemed to be stuck miles from civilization, knowing that there would be nobody just coming this way. I tried a few more times to free the bike, but on clay that gives you near zero traction that was futile, and I gave up after a while. These pics show the bike "stuck". Do not make the mistake to judge that the bike is upright and not too dirty, at this point it still would not go anywhere

Pissed at myself and slowly getting sunburned

These pics were taken over about 5 hours. Around 1PM I was finally able to get a text message through to Karen and she got on her way to rescue me from the beach, where she arrived around 5PM. After trying with both of us to free the bike and being not very successful we finally gave up, put something under the side stand and decided it would be time to get off the beach before dark, get some sleep in a hotel close by and come back the next day in order to rescue the bike.

AT that time we knew the tide was low around 9am in the morning the next day, so that was when we posted for help.

The next day we tried to mobilize just about everyone possible, BMW roadside assistance (worthless in this case), my insurance, because if the bike stayed out there it would be their problem, and while on the phone trying to mobilize ANYBODY I was in contact with two guys from TWT one of which said he would be able to help me the next day again, because the time was just too short to get his Jeep in place and another guy who saw it in the morning, saw that nobody was really helping yet, got into his truck and started driving. Thank you Justin and Hellwig if you read that! At the same time we were able to attract the attention of the game warden, who promised he'd come out but was unable to render assistance other than being there. And even that was helpful. When we finally arrived in our small Audi A3 close to where the bike was we had to accept that the tide in the morning did not allow us to get closer than about two miles to where the bike was, and my foot did not allow me to hike that on the beach. So Karen got the shovel out of the car and started walking. About 30 minutes later the game warden arrived, and I was able to go in his truck the last two miles. At this point we did not know yet if we would be able to get the bike out, Hellwig was still on his way, and the game warden did not have a winch on the truck. Without a with there was no way in hell we would be able to free the bike. While we were working to stabilize the bike for maybe another night on the beach, here comes a red truck down the beach, and a friendly older gentleman yells out the window: "Y'all's need help with a winch?" I was just flabbergasted at this point and for a moment was unable to answer, and just nodded. hooked the bike up to the winch and 10 minutes later it was up on the "road", Which I avoided the day before "because there is too much deep sand"

Here is the bike just minutes before we were rescued by a good samaritan, whose name I still do not know.

Here you can kind of see the underground

and the whole the bike was in

it doesn't look very impressive, but remember, Clay has a traction coefficient of near 0 and in addition it gums up everything.

From here, I was able to ride to safety without much problems.

Lessons learned:

-) Have a gallon of water with you
-) Make sure that you tell someone where you are going. My foot would have made it completely impossible for me to hike the 9 miles to find someone, and I did not tell Karen before I left
-) Check the tide tables!!!!

Now lets have some fun at my expense!
KA5PLE | Houston, TX | '14 R1200GSAW soon: Cyclone RX3
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Old Yesterday, 06:52 PM   #2
Blixa's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 779
Great write-up but I can't see your photos. I hope your bike isn't damaged and am glad you're ok!
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