TLH2010: Return to the Trans-Lab and Newfoundland

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by markbvt, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,119
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Day 12: Wednesday, 8 September 2010

    It turned out this campground had Wifi, so on our way out I checked the weather forecast. Turned out the weather was looking crappy over the entire Gaspé peninsula for the next few days, while Maine was looking pretty good, so we changed our plans -- we'd head west to Maine and ride along the coast.

    Unfortunately, we didn't ride far before we hit the rain. Rain gear on, Flogging Molly piping into my ears, we slabbed it to Moncton (where we emerged from the rain) and over to Fundy National Park.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, the rain restarted as we rode through the park, and kept up past Saint John. We eventually gave up on this day and stopped at New River Beach Provincial Park to camp.

    The rain petered out, but the fog we'd ridden into about 20 miles back didn't.
    [​IMG]

    Apparently the weather here is like this a lot, because the ground was covered with a thick coat of moss.
    [​IMG]

    We built a campfire and were soon invited to drink some traditional chai (similar to very strong tea) at the campsite across the way, inhabited by a very tall R1200GSA rider. Not many people make me feel short at 6'4", but this dude was 6'9". Turned out he was from Montana and in the National Guard, and was spending a while riding around the US and Canada before he gets deployed to the sandbox for the third time. Chai consumed, we moved over to our campsite to enjoy the campfire we'd started and chatted into the night before turning in. I never caught our very tall friend's name, but he was a really nice guy.

    Stats for the day:
    [​IMG]

    Track for the day:
    <iframe src="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100908_track.html" width="600" height="600" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0">
    <a href="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100908_track.html">Click here for the map</a>
    </iframe>
    #21
  2. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Day 13: Thursday, 9 September 2010

    The next morning the weather was much better. Jason and I broke camp and set out westwards, still passing through occasional patches of fog, but mostly enjoying morning sunshine.

    Soon we crossed the border back into the US and stopped at the visitor center in Calais, ME, to use their Wifi.
    [​IMG]

    Then we headed southwest along Rt 1, which was much more boring than I'd expected. Basically a lot of this...
    [​IMG]

    ...occasionally interspersed with this...
    [​IMG]

    ...or this.
    [​IMG]

    Our goal for the day was the campground at Mt Desert, just outside of Acadia National Park. Short day, easy ride, and tomorrow we would meet up with my friend David (the one from my WV/TN/etc ride report, who'd moved to Maine with his girlfriend a month ago), ride over to NH, and camp along the Kancamagus Highway.

    We turned onto Rt 3 towards Bar Harbor with increasing traffic, and I was eagerly anticipating having a lobster roll for lunch. A joint off to the left side looked like it might be a good spot to get one; I glanced over, and by the time I glanced back, the truck ahead of me had slammed on its brakes. I braked hard... too hard. The front brakes overwhelmed the TKC-80's ability to grip the grimy suburban pavement, the front wheel locked up, and down I went, thinking, "Goddammit, I wanted to make it through this whole trip without crashing!"

    I scrambled off to the side of the road to avoid being hit by a car and sat down on the grass. Jason and a bystander picked up my bike for me. I tried to unbuckle my helmet and noticed my hands weren't working right, so Jason helped me. He also helped me out of my jacket, whereupon I discovered that my right hand was making a really weird shape at the end of my arm. Shit. I told Jason to grab hold of my hand and pulled on it, hoping it would pop back into position, but it didn't. Shit. At least it didn't hurt.

    A few minutes later, I saw an ambulance approaching and thought, "I hope they're not coming for me." But it pulled up and paramedics emerged. They began checking me out and seemed surprised that my head was intact, my neck was intact, my spine was intact, and in fact the only thing obviously wrong with me was my weirdly-shaped right hand.

    I, meanwhile, had just two thoughts that kept alternating. The first was, "Dammit, I don't want to let something stupid like this keep me from finishing this trip," and the second was, "Shit, this is going to be expensive."

    I am a V-Strom rider, after all. Only slightly less cheap than a KLR rider. Unfortunately the paramedics assured me there was nothing they could do to patch me up in the field, and I'd have to come to the hospital with them. So I climbed into the ambulance (I refused to be put on a stretcher), while Jason collected my gear and got a room at the motel I'd conveniently crashed in front of.

    And so began my adventure at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital. The ambulance arrived and I once again insisted on walking into the ER on my own two feet. The ER staff seemed a bit surprised by this. I was made comfortable in an examination room, and soon a stream of different people flowed in, mostly one at a time, checking my pulse and blood pressure, asking me the same questions over and over, taking insurance information, etc. They were all very friendly though.

    Eventually I was wheeled over to radiology, where a number of pictures were taken of my right paw, and also the left one since something felt off inside it as well. A short time later, a nurse stopped by to deliver the bad news that yes, my wrist was busted.

    Right paw:
    [​IMG]

    Left paw:
    [​IMG]

    Shit. This is going to be expensive.

    A short time later, an orthopedist stopped in to discuss my injuries and advise me on my options. The laundry list: broken and dislocated right wrist, broken fifth metacarpal in my right hand, broken third metacarpal in my left hand. The left hand was aligned and should heal fine on its own with a splint. The right would require surgery. The doctor told me there were two different plates he could use. The first, cheaper one is sort of an all-purpose plate that would do the trick but carried an increased risk of future arthritis. The second, more expensive one is a new item specifically designed for exactly this sort of injury. This was one case in which I decided not to be a cheap bastard, so I opted for the swanky new plate. Thankfully I have good health insurance.

    So I was scheduled into surgery that evening, and although they wanted to keep me overnight, I told them I'd rather just go back to the motel room Jason had gotten. The next few hours were spent alternately talking to a variety of doctors and nurses and reading magazines, and finally I was wheeled into the OR. I had really hoped they could use a local anesthetic so I could watch the procedure, but that wasn't in the cards. I passed out, and next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room with both of my paws bandaged to splints.

    I was informed that the doctor had installed the plate to shore up my wrist joint...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ...and a pin to stabilize the fifth metacarpal.
    [​IMG]

    The pin will come out, but I get to keep my nifty titanium wrist farkle for life.

    Eventually a cab was called for me and I went back to the motel. Jason had gotten me a BLT, which I tried to eat, but could only swallow a few mouthfuls due to the most hellacious cottonmouth caused by the damn breathing tube they'd stuffed down my throat during surgery.

    Stats for the day:
    [​IMG]

    Track for the day:
    <iframe src="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100909_track.html" width="600" height="600" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0">
    <a href="http://www.swyve.org/stuff/tl2/20100909_track.html">Click here for the map</a>
    </iframe>
    #22
  3. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

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    Vigo
    Ouch! Heal up quickly! So glad that didn't happen somewhere on Phase III...
    #23
  4. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Epilogue

    Friday morning Jason and I mulled over options for getting home. The V-Strom was fine except for a few scratches and a broken clutch lever -- but there was no shop around that had a replacement clutch lever. Besides, I wouldn't be able to ride it. So we eventually decided to rent a U-Haul; conveniently, there was a rental place across the street from the motel. I picked a great spot to crash.

    We made it home Friday evening, a small army of friends was mobilized to help unload the bikes, and my friend Jesse dropped off the U-Haul for me while Jason rode his bike home.

    Having both hands splinted is inconvenient, but I've got decent mobility in my fingers, and the left splint is removable for bathing/etc. So I'm getting by fine, was back at work on Monday, and can type and mouse okay. Mostly I'm just pissed I'm missing the best part of the riding season. If anyone with a hack feels like giving me a ride...

    Thanks to Jason for being such a good sport when things departed so radically from our plan, and to the doctors and nurses at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital for patching me up. And to my friends for helping out when Jason and I got home Friday night. And to Roman and Martin for being such good company before they split off. Regardless of the way it ended, it was an awesome trip.

    --mark
    #24
  5. RunLongVT

    RunLongVT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    103
    Location:
    Vermont
    Glad to have you back in one piece, Mark!
    #25
  6. sdpc2

    sdpc2 Just another Rally Rat

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,235
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    I was there only a month ago, but your piks are so clear, that i can vividly remember our trip like it was yesterday.

    And yes, CINDY made me drop my bike, because that was all that i could think of . :D :D (that and the fact that my GSA had a full TANK) :eek1

    And so sorry to see how it ended. We had a few drops on our trip, but to crashes. But were very fortunate.

    Heal fast so that we can hear of more of your adventures.

    sdc
    #26
  7. VO1MX

    VO1MX Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    North Bedeque
    Great report and pictures. Too bad to read about the ending and I hope you heal well.
    #27
  8. MZcountryboy

    MZcountryboy Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,468
    Location:
    Northeast Kingdom, Vermont USA (close to Canada!)
    Man, I hope you heal quickly, you did more damage to your wrist than I.

    You will miss out on foliage season riding, but I know a guy with a hack.....


    :deal


    Great report, and nice pics.
    #28
  9. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Aug 4, 2007
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    Location:
    Northern Vermont
    Mark -- I'd be glad to give you a ride in my hack, but it has no seat -- just a dog bed. You'd have to wear the leash and Doggles.

    Pete
    #29
  10. C-Stain

    C-Stain Long timer

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    Location:
    Canoodia
    :clap

    Very enjoyable RR! Sorry to hear about your get-off..so here's to wishing you a speedy recovery and hoping you don't miss all of what remains of the riding season.


    Get Well Soon!

    :thumb
    #30
  11. sevenpointsixtwo

    sevenpointsixtwo Resident Hooligan

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    371
    Location:
    Meanwhile, somewhere near Smuggler's Notch, VT...
    Drivers in Maine seem to be all about doing things for no particular reason... They are quick to pull out in traffic, slam on the brakes, or give a horn tap, but pretty short on common sense.
    #31
  12. ktjim

    ktjim longtime n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    so. maine
    Mark, Great report. Good to meet all you guys in Labrador. I'm shocked that of the three groups that went through about the same time, none of us got a picture of Cindy fueling our bikes.
    Really sorry to hear of your lay down. Bummer to ride clean through all the "marbles" only to have a mishap on the asphalt. I worried about the same thing on the way home. Sounds like you got some good care in Maine though. Heal fast!
    #32
  13. worgoose

    worgoose Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    428
    Location:
    Seacoast NH
    Titto turned me on to your thread. Sorry to hear about your fall. But other then that it looked like a great trip. Good luck
    #33
  14. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,348
    Mark crossing the single lane bridge at the Riviere aux Pekans...

    [​IMG]

    at that point, he had the Strom right side up.

    sorry to read that you were injured. i was in the same area on Thursday that week.

    best heal up, that trip west will be almost 14,000 miles.

    thanks again for letting me tag along a couple times. i enjoyed the hospitality of you and crew.
    #34
  15. High Side

    High Side Squidventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Squidventureville (heart of Nova Scotia)

    Hope you heal up well soon. Remember bones heal and there are worse results in bike crashes than what you received. It sucks but if that happened at the first of your trip you would have missed the incredible Trans Lab experience. Our group went through what seems to be a couple of days before your own. Check out the link to our ongoing ride report below to see what you missed with the Gasp Bay Peninsula, you may want to visit next year once better. Thanks for a great ride report !!!
    #35
  16. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    I've been to Gaspé before. Great riding up there.

    --mark
    #36
  17. C-Stain

    C-Stain Long timer

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    Canoodia
    I've got to ask abou the tires on that Tiger 1050!

    So, sorry for the Hijack..

    I've got a buddy of mine who would love to find a set of those...could you PM me with the sizes your friend was running?

    Thanks!
    #37
  18. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    They're Pirelli MT60R's, 120/70-17 front and 160/60-17 rear. The Tiger's rear rim is designed for a 180, so the tire's profile was pretty flat, but it worked fine.

    --mark
    #38
  19. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Location:
    Northern Vermont
    Spelling it like that might make Tito think you were casting aspersions on his manhood! :rofl :rofl :rofl
    #39
  20. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    628
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Another great report! Thanks for your help via PM. Good luck on a speedy recovery!
    #40