Cliff Diving in PA on my way to The Hancock Quarry Run (and the extraction)

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by 5Chord, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    I was excited. It was my first organized dual-sport event and I had the beemer packed to the hilt.

    The plan was to take a leisurely trip up some asphalt twistys and arrive in Hancock at 4pm in time for sign-up. It was a good plan and the weather was perfect.
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  2. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    D met me at me at my house at 11am, I activated my SPOT device in tracking mode and we were off. Traffic was light and the trip up was effortless so far. D asked if I wanted to do some dirt roads he had done on earlier trips. I said fine. D is fairly new to off-road riding, but very enthusiastic. He is in the process of putting together a Trans-New-England GPS route and carries two of the devices whenever he rides, a Garmin, (I forget which model) and an off-road/hiking GPS. He's one of the few guys I ride with that I can just forget myself and follow.

    The dirt road was well groomed and secluded. It stayed that way for several miles.....And then got very narrow and rocky
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  3. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    It got progressively worse and we contemplated turning around. We couldn't get a GPS signal and weren't sure how far we were from pavement. I had only a tee-shirt and (kevlar) jeans on. An entire bag of motocross gear was strapped on the bike. We decided to continue as we had already covered about 8 miles of grueling rocks and we were in no hurry to do it in reverse. [​IMG]

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  4. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    We continued on. D and I have different riding styles so we fell into a rhythm after awhile. Fatigue was setting in so D was stopping every 100 feet or so for a few seconds, putting his feet down to rest. At 5' 7" I'm a bit small to follow him closely on the big GS, so I wait for him to go 100 yards or so and catch up to him, wait and repeat. I was enjoying it very much and this is where I made my fatal error.

    With 100 yards of trail ahead of me, I forgot I was on a 600lb fully loaded bike and was throwing the GS down the trail at a safe but swift pace. I also forgot I had 2 large aluminum panniers making my bike 2 feet wider than my brain was registering it to be.:eek1 The trail was getting tight and I stayed close to the left wall of the mountain traveling an estimated 25 mph.

    I saw the rock at the last second as it connected with my left pannier, kicking the entire rear of the bike off the mountainside trail. I was ejected and I watched the 600lb GS do a 360 degree flip over my head, landing in a tree 25' down the embankment. I did a flip myself and managed to get a grip on something about 25 feet further down. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the right pannier take the full 300 foot trip down to the river, spinning end over end as it went. This pic was taken by my cell phone as I was climbing to the top of the embankment.
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  5. Ed Muggles

    Ed Muggles oh, the other left

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    man lucky escape... your typing you must be alright... :eek1
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  6. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    Aside from a small scrape I appeared to be fine. D had no idea I had crashed and walked over 10 minutes later to look for me. He was ashen. I pushed the 911 button on my spot, and we discussed what to do next. The trail was far too technical for our skill to ride two-up, so I grabbed a sleeping bag, D's GPS and a jacket off the bike and started walking while D rode ahead. I wasn't worried; my SPOT was working and I was sure the army and helicopters would be arriving soon.

    About 10 minutes later, I caught up to D and gave him a push to get through a steep rocky area just past a very intimidating rock/falls section. Very little water, but MAJOR rocks:eek1 I was instantly impressed that D had made it through.

    Again, 10 minutes later I caught up to D on foot and helped him through a tough spot. And yet again a short time later, this time he was off the bike.

    "Taking a break?" I asked....."So is the bike", he replied as I suddenly smelled the burnt clutch and saw the smoke rising from the front of the bike.
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  7. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

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    where you just a little tempted to kick the bike the rest of the way into the water?
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  8. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    While we waited for D's clutch to cool, we finally got a fix on the GPS and it appeared we were 5 miles from pavement. I was happy; I was now sure I'd get out of the woods before dark. It was about 6pm at this point.

    D made it the rest of the way down the trail without my help and it was a doozy. Several large water crossings lay ahead as a compliment to the very rocky road. What was amazing, was that the trail we were on appeared as a real road on the GPS and maps. There was even one house!

    While it was indeed 5 miles to the pavement, it was just another 2 miles to a smooth dirt road that we could do 2-up. D was excited as was I. I scanned the sky for the approaching helicopters that were surely dispatched for my rescue but the sound of rotors were not heard.:ear

    "Let's go to Hancock" D said. ""We're only 6 miles" 6 miles!?!?!?! So close, yet so far. It made a lot of sense to go to Hancock. There were literally hundreds of bikes, trailers and mechanics there. So off to Hancock we went.

    I rode on the back of D's bike all the way to Fireman's Field, mesmerized and dizzy. I knew that the real adventure was yet to come. How the HELL were we going to retrieve that bike.

    We pulled up to the gate at the field, dismounted and told my sad tale to a slack jawed gentleman named Elroy (Not his real name). He was one of the main guys who run the Hancock FD. He immediately put me on the phone with a towing guy. After a brief talk with the towing guy about what happened, and the fact that he couldn't get ANY kind of a truck within miles the bikes location he said "Well, I'm off the hook, put the big guy back on the phone"

    After hanging up Elroy said "Don't worry, we'll get your bike". I really wasn't worried. I was just glad to be alive. :D
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  9. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    No, but I was VERY tempted to swim across, as I saw a house on the New York side of the Delaware river. It was hot:evil
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  10. cRAsH

    cRAsH Banned

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    :lurk
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  11. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    "Hey we have service here!" D exclaimed. While my phone had died searching for a signal, D's iPhone had full data service in Hancock and a USB power source.

    My girlfriend sounded VERY relieved to hear my voice. She told me the SPOT monitoring people called and explained about my 911 signal. They couldn't explain however, the reason why no one was dispatched to rescue me. They did manage to tell my girlfriend and father that I was in trouble but that was about it. Mmmmmmm. So that's what you get for a $100 a year subscription?

    After I got off the phone, D told me he overheard that they were planning on getting a boat to retrieve the bike. "Wow cool!" This is going to cost me friggin thousands, I thought.

    What D thought was "Boat" was actually "KUBOTA" (pronounced Kooboata)

    A burly guy named BJ in a bright orange T-shirt (not his real name either) pulled up in the side-by-side dump truck and said "Let's go get your bike" :clap
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  12. Kjharn

    Kjharn Hrmph?

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  13. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    The 3 of us got in the Kubota and rode off. I was just thinking it was going to be a long ride to the bike in this golf cart, when we pulled into the Hancock FD. BJ got out and went in the building leaving me and D wondering what was going to happen next.

    A short time later, the large-bay garage door opened and BJ pulled out with a yellow FD pickup, pulling a trailer. He drove the Kubota onto the trailer, ratcheted the 4wheeler dump truck down without asking for(or receiving any) help from us. He grabbed his favorite chain saw and said "let's go gentlemen"
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  14. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    We got into the truck and drove as far as the road would allow before pulling over and off-loading the Kubota.
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  15. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    It was 7:30pm when we started down the trail in the Kubota. BJ said it wouldn't get dark 'till 9pm and we had plenty of time. The Kubota floated over everything effortlessly, although the edge of the embankment was a few scant inches from the tire. It barely fit at times.
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  16. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    D was taking a beating in the dump bed of the side-by-side but was taking video much of the time - (D please post!)

    BJ was 100% confident in his abilities to extract the bike and I never once lost faith in him. Watching a man who knows how to use a winch is like poetry in motion. While BJ and D got the straps ready, I climbed all the way to the river and managed to find my dry bag with $200 worth of gear inside. I got all my stuff to the top when my inflatable mattress tumbled all the way back down and into the river. "If that's the only thing I lose, I'll be lucky" I thought.

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  17. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    D climbed down to help with getting the bike strapped up. The process went rather quickly as the 4000lb winch on the Kubota dragged the 550lb plus GS up the mountside
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  18. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    A few more pics
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  19. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    Now that is was up, what do we do now?........."I think it'll run!" BJ said loooking at the relatively light damage on the bike. "umm we don't have a key" I said. Never expecting the bike to be ride-able, and definitely not feeling good about a nearly-dark trail ride on my already beat up GS, I didn't think about bringing keys or a helmet until that moment. "You forgot your keys?!?!" BJ said.."Sorry man" I said sheepishly. I still wonder if he thought I could ride it out or he was just busting my balls.
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  20. 5Chord

    5Chord No Short-Term Memory

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    We needed to get the bike in the bed of the Kubota. We lowered the bed, got the bike next to the truck and cranked the bike onto the truck without much drama at all. It was now 9:00pm. We drove out to the pick up without incident, although I got out and walked a few times as the edge of the tires got within an inch or two of the ravine.

    Before we knew it we were back at the pick up, ratcheting the Kubota (with the beemer on the bed) on the trailer
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