Redneck Rescue

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by gearnut, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. gearnut

    gearnut Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    16
    aka - A Cautionary Tale of Piss Poor Preparation

    On Wednesday I got the chance to take a couple of days off from work and jumped on it. I've been itching to get the KLR out for a shakedown run, and with no obligations until an awards ceremony for my wife's company at 6:30 pm friday I had the perfect opportunity for a quick overnighter in the Ozark National Forest. A check of the weather report showed that heavy rains were predicted for Thursday, to be followed by the outer bands of Hurricane Ike on late Friday or early Saturday. Great! I'd get to see how the new GP1's perform on wet pavement and in the mud. Anyway, I WAS overdue for an epic disaster caused by my own lack of preparation and planning.

    I left work early and picked up a couple of dry bags to pack my gear in. Since I don't have a tent small enough for a bike trip and I hadn't checked my riding gear to see how waterproof it was, a quick trip to wally world was in order. After two miles in a light drizzle I declared my gear fully tested and waterproof. Now armed with two small blue tarps I was prepared to shelter myself from thunderstorms/hurricanes. Yep, all of the pieces necessary for an epic disaster were falling into nicely into place.

    By the time my wife got home I had the bike packed and ready to go. She looked over the bike doubtfully, question #1 "have you seen the weather?" question #2 "how did you get your sleeping bag in there?" Well, I had been a bit surprised that I'd had to pack so many extra clothes to fill out one of the drybags. It didn't take long to repack the bike, this time with my sleeping bag and without the extra clothes. Again, she looked doubtfully at the bike "What else have you forgotten?" I assured her that everything I could possibly need was packed...

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. Ironhead

    Ironhead But Itsa Dry Heat

    Joined:
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    The Acres, Ca.
    This is looking like a good one already.:lol3 :lurk
    #2
  3. bikepikespeak.com

    bikepikespeak.com Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
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    605
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    :lurk

    Subscription added! :wink:
    #3
  4. barnyard

    barnyard Verbal tactician Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    12,545
    Location:
    central Mn
    I would say you are off to an interesting, possibly even cartoonish start.

    Looking forward to more, Wile E

    Tom B
    #4
  5. Reislust

    Reislust Still alive

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    Sep 7, 2008
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    Location:
    Pensacola
    Think i'll watch this one as well:evil
    #5
  6. Epirush

    Epirush 4 Day Adventures

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    Aug 4, 2006
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    13
    Location:
    Wentzville MO
    What could possibly go wrong?
    #6
  7. changingground

    changingground Been here awhile

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    Jul 25, 2008
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    510
    Awesome first post. :rofl
    #7
  8. gearnut

    gearnut Adventurer

    Joined:
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    16
    Since the whole point of this trip was just to ride I didn't spend much time planning a route or studying maps, I didn't even bother taking any topos. I plugged a few waypoints in the GPS, primarily so that I could locate my approximate location on the highway maps that I carried since they don't show any of the backroads. I pulled out of the garage into a light rain and headed east. As I rode the rain gradually increased in intensity, and before long it was raining pretty hard. Much to my surprise I was actually staying dry and comfortable except for my feet, as my boots are not even remotely waterproof. I tooled along the backroads, tunes pumping on the ipod, and having a great time. After a couple of hours the steady rain stopped and I only ran into scattered patches of rain.

    I stopped for a map check and took a quick pic

    Attached Files:

    #8
  9. Zecatfish

    Zecatfish XTique Rider

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,928
    Location:
    Arkansas USA
    Those famous last words. :deal

    You hadn't ridden in the Ozark National Forest much have you? :evil

    Those dry branchs, that are so easy to cross and just plain fun to follow. Look like the Arkansas River after a few inches of rain, and that lovely sandy dirt that gets good traction when dry, becomes slicker than cat **** on a linoleum floor. :lol3

    This looks like a fun read. :freaky

    BTW did you have to call in the air rescue folks to get you out? :ear

    BTW where you from?
    #9
  10. gearnut

    gearnut Adventurer

    Joined:
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    16
    I stopped for gas and an early lunch at a small cafe in Arkansas. After lunch I turned northeast on the first promising gravel road I found. The rain had stopped and conditions were great, wet enough to prevent dust, but not too muddy. I meant to stop occasionally and take some pictures but was having way too much fun. I the GP1 tires performed well on wet pavement and they were working great on the gravel and dirt, even at highway pressure. In fact I kept having to tell myself to slow down. I was out in the middle of nowhere, by myself and no one knew where I was. A mistake under these conditions would not be good. Unfortunately that mistake had already been made...

    While cruising along a gravel road I heard a brief whacking sound like something caught in the spokes of the rear wheel. As quickly as the sound started it stopped. I slowed down to look at the back of the bike the rear tire was already flat. Before I even got the bike stopped I realized that my spare tubes, patch kit and tire irons were sitting on the workbench in the garage. As the thunder roared overhead I knew that this was not going to be a fun afternoon.

    I had not seen another car or even a building since leaving the main roads, and had not seen pavement in over an hour. There was a piece of wire sticking out of one of the center knobs of the back tire. I got my pliers out and pulled it out of the tire. The wire was over four inches long and looked a lot like a broken spoke with one end sharpened. Scratches on the swingarm showed that the sound that I had heard was the wire hitting the swingarm before being driven completely into the tire. Out of desperation I tried to air the tire up with my small electric pump, I thought that even if I could get a few hundred yards per pump I could make it to civilization. After several minutes of pumping the tire was still completely flat. It is hot, humid and threatening to rain at any moment. There is no cell phone reception and I had to walk to a small clearing at the top of the hill to even get a GPS lock.

    I weighed 3 options:
    Option 1- Call my wife, give her my GPS coordinates and have her bring my tire repair stuff after work. That would involve her finding my spare GPS, programming it and using it to find me after dark in the maze of gravel roads. On top of that it would require at least six hour of round trip driving. This would be a feat akin to successfully arranging a space shuttle launch. Nope
    Option 2- Set up camp right there and hope someone comes by and gives me a lift to somewhere that I can fix the tire. I'm dumb, not helpless. Nope
    Option 3- Get the tube out of the tire and start walking. I've got about half a camelback of water and some peanut butter crackers, the Thor 50/50's aren't waterproof but are comfortable to walk in.

    I moved the bike to the ditch and got the back wheel in the air. The tire is off quickly, but things go downhill from there. If you have ever tried to break the bead and change a tire with the two flat wrenches that come in the KLR toolkit you'll know what I'm talking about. Thirty minutes later I'm dripping in sweat, covered in red sandy dirt and no closer to getting at the tube. On the plus side I've invented a few new words and it hasn't started raining again. So I decide to grab the whole damn thing and head out.

    As I'm writing a note to leave in the map pocket of the tank bag I hear what I thought was a vehicle in the distance. A short time later I see a small pickup coming down the road. The truck rolls up slowly and thankfully stops. As I step up to the passenger door there are two guys in the truck, both are drinking beer and have shotguns beside them. The passenger slowly looks at the motorcycle, then at me and says "looks like you got yourself a predicament." I was instantly reminded of the movie Deliverance, but tried to put that out of my mind. Yeah, I don't guess you have any fix-a-flat do you? "Nope" was the only response. Well, I'd be glad to buy you some gas and cold beer if you could give me a ride to someplace where I can get this fixed. They just looked at each other and laughed.
    #10
  11. Mr. Guy

    Mr. Guy Ubernoob

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    151
    Epic within one page.

    Guy
    #11
  12. Elsinore

    Elsinore Adventurer

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    Location:
    Canadian East Coast ->>>beachie keen
    ok this is really well-written I'm in.
    #12
  13. ruh roh

    ruh roh hey Yall

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    Location:
    Central Ark
    ( Deliverance won?? )

    :lurk:
    #13
  14. benh

    benh lookin 4 a way outta town

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    Louisville, KY
    More!
    #14
  15. InfoManiac

    InfoManiac Always Learning

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    San Antonio, TX

    :lurk
    #15
  16. bikepikespeak.com

    bikepikespeak.com Been here awhile

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    Colorado Springs
    The suspense is killing me! :ear
    #16
  17. gearnut

    gearnut Adventurer

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    Mar 23, 2008
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    Zecatfish,
    I live in Tulsa now, but lived in Little Rock several years ago and spent a lot of time driving the backroads from the Buffalo River down to Mena. In fact I bought my first 4x4 truck after an epic and exhausting trip on the muddy ONF roads in a two wheel drive S-10.
    Apparently I:
    a. Have a short memory
    b. Am a glutton for punishment
    c. Just ain't too bright
    d. All of the above
    #17
  18. Antman

    Antman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
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    174
    Location:
    Moss Beach , CA
    dont keep us hangin too long !!! :evil this story has got to continue.
    #18
  19. gearnut

    gearnut Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    16
    These guys jumped out and started cleaning out the tiny back seat of the truck and even stuck their shotguns in the toolbox to make room for me. That was more than I would do to make room for some fool who could just as easily ride in the bed with the dog box. They even helped me load my gear into the truck. In a couple of minutes we headed off to the nearest atv shop 10 -15 miles away and hoped that it would still be open when we got there. I don't remember these guys names, but sure wish that I could. They offered me a lukewarm Shiner Bock and we talked about hunting and the local area. I was familiar with some of the places they mentioned since I had traveled and hunted near there when I lived in Little Rock. They kept referring to themselves as rednecks, and I felt like I had known them my whole life. When I grew up in Mississippi every kid learned to shoot, drink and drive. As a teenager you learned to to all three simultaneously, I felt right at home.

    When we got to the backroads ATV shop (no really, that was what it was called) the owner sorted through his pile of junk tires and determined that he didn't have a 17" tube so he went to work patching mine. It took three attempts to patch all of the holes left in the tube as the wire thrashed around inside the tire. When he was done I asked what I owed him, after considerable thought he decided on $15. All I had was a $20 bill so I gave it to him and told him to keep the change he insisted on giving me back $5. As we got back in the truck I asked my saviors to head to a store so that I could use my debit card to fill their truck with gas and buy them some beer. Both laughed, "it's a long way to anyplace like that" they said. But all I've got is $5 and I owe you a hell of a lot more than that I insisted. "If you ever find a redneck stranded on the side of the road, stop an help him out" was the response I got. They just laughed off any attempt to get their addresses.

    On the way back to the bike one of them asked me where I planned to camp for the night. Well it's getting late and the rain is coming, so somewhere around here I said. "There's a nice place right up the road, it's next to a cemetery and real peaceful." I bet the neighbors are quiet I quipped. "Oh there aren't any houses around for miles" he said. He probably got it later. They wouldn't leave until I had the tire back on and the bike running. I sure wish I knew how to get in touch with those guys, I owe them a big one.

    Since it was now after 6pm and threatening rain I chose to head for the cemetery campsite. He was right, it was a nice spot. I quickly pitched the tarp in a kind of tetra configuration with a low pitch for as much protection from the rain as possible. The rain held off until after I cooked a can of soup for dinner. Thankfully, even though the wind changed direction after a front came through it never picked up much and I stayed dry and comfortable all night long, lulled to sleep by the sound of the rain.

    Here is a blurry shot of my camp btw, that's the graveyard in the background

    Attached Files:

    #19
  20. gearnut

    gearnut Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    16
    In the morning the rain had stopped, I packed up camp, checked the pressure in the rear tire and headed for town to get a tube. I checked the pressure in the tire constantly and it never varied, eventually my ride to town got sidetracked. I came across a small store late in the morning and got a coke, gas and a bite to eat. Eventually I decided that it was time to head home and made my way down to I40. After hitting Oklahoma I turned north on 82 and enjoyed the twisties as I worked my way back to Tulsa. I ended up back home at about 3:00 pm Friday afternoon in plenty of time to unpack and cleanup before the awards ceremony.

    Despite my best efforts to create an epic disaster, the trip turned out to be very enjoyable thanks to the redneck rescue. The final tally: right at 500 miles of backroads, twisties and interstate along with one very important lesson learned.
    #20