Wherever I May Roam - One Woman Livin' on a DR650

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Feyala, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,669
    Location:
    Currently - Canada
    Damn. Glad you are ok.

    In the 12 years I've been riding I've never had a get off like that. I know it's not if, but when. I continue to cringe thinking about it...

    Somedays it slows me down.... some days...
  2. WarLlama

    WarLlama belligerent cameloid

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19,576
    Location:
    twixt & tween
  3. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,061
    Location:
    Upstate SC USA
    Holy feck!Glad to read you're ok.That's a slide few make without ending in a trip to the nurses station.Good there wasn't more traffic.My fear is getting run over after going down.I've been lucky.That's all I'll say.I don't want to jinks it.
  4. Mi Vale Madre

    Mi Vale Madre Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Yuma, AZ
    do you have a fork brace? had 3 klrs and discoverd they were a must
  5. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,692
    Location:
    north florida
    I love me some orange! good to know you survived, healed, and back to the ride.
  6. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    570
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Thanks for the clarification. I was thinking that you survived a second tank slapper. :eek1
  7. GAGirlMissingMyRide

    GAGirlMissingMyRide Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Georgia
    Your writing pulled me right in !!! :clap Can't wait to hear more -
  8. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,827
    Location:
    Visalia CA
    Delurking for a moment to say I'm still loving this RR and looking forward to the next piece of the puzzle. :lurk
  9. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Everything going well in Illinois? Just finished catching up yesterday. Excellent report - I'm really enjoying living vicariously through you.
  10. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Safely back in Phoenix, several days had passed. Most of my injuries were healing, but my wrist remained painful when moved. I suspected it might be broken, and investigated my options.

    I don't have health insurance. I've never had health insurance that wasn't supplied by an employer, as the costs are prohibitively expensive, and I cannot be nomadic with high recurring bills. I do have some health coverage through my bike insurance, but it has a high deductible. Overall, not the best plan unless I REALLY needed it.

    Arizona has a Medicaid enrollment freeze for "childless adults", so if you aren't already on Medicaid, you can't join. I called various medical centers which advertised reduced-fee care for those with low incomes, and was told that I'd need to see a financial advisor before becoming a patient. They were scheduling such appointments for February, which was useless. The hospital offered financial aid, but you had to first be denied Medicaid and go through a labyrinthine approval process. This could take months, and has no guarantee of acceptance.

    Overall, I felt left out in the cold. I am a fairly healthy person, and this was the first time I'd actually needed medical care without insurance. It was a sobering experience, and a stark contrast to the health care system when I lived in Denmark.

    The cost of getting an x-ray out-of-pocket would have been a few hundred dollars. Thankfully, a friend of mine had a bright idea and recommended that I visit her chiropractor. This sounded bizarre, but they had an offer for new patients: free x-rays and consultation, so I decided I had nothing to lose.

    I had never been to a chiropractor before, and wasn't entirely sure what to expect. All my life I'd thought that it was much like any other medical profession, so imagine my surprise when I arrived at a room with a poster depicting "the damaging effects of subluxations" on the "innate life force" of the brain.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/subluxations.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1253__320x240_subluxations.jpg"></a></center>
    Apparently this is a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertebral_subluxation">controversial concept among chiropractors</a>, with many shunning it due to its metaphysical origins. There appears to be a range of viewpoints within the practice, from the pure-science aspect of aligning the spine helping to reduce stress on the surrounding tissue, to a more antiquated approach. This suggests, much like acupuncture, that one can alter the pathways of energy force by spinal manipulation alone and use it to cure other, completely unrelated diseases.

    They took x-rays, both of my wrist and neck, and the wrist displayed a small fracture on the radius. The chiropractor said "Now, officially I told you to go see a doctor, because I am not licensed to give you medical advice about this. However, if it were me, I'd put that wrist in a splint and avoid moving it, and if you like, we can take more x-rays later and check up on it." I thanked him for his help. He also suggested that my neck was misaligned, and we did a spinal adjustment.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/neckxray.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1252__320x240_neckxray.jpg"></a></center>
    They wanted to schedule me for dozens of appointments, every day for weeks, but I strung them out to once a week or so. My neck and upper back did feel quite relaxed afterwards, but at $40 a pop, the costs piled up quickly. I likely wouldn't have returned much at all, but I was concerned that they would be unwilling to help me with "off-label" x-rays if I wasn't seeing them for other services. My friend loaned me her wrist splint and I tried to use video games to feel less cooped up while I healed. My only real outings were the weekly ride across town for the adjustments, and it was great to get out of the house.

    Overall I ended up spending about $200 over the course of a month. Still cheaper than even getting a single x-ray from a real doctor. After the second set of x-rays showed that my wrist was healing - and, thus, that I didn't need something pinned - I stopped going.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/wristhealing.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1254__320x240_wristhealing.jpg"></a></center>
    I did have to change a flat tire with the broken wrist, I'd picked up a double-headed nail on the way home from one of my visits. This was a surprising challenge and the process involved holding tire spoons with my feet.

    My wrist has since returned to full strength and no pain, as though I'd never broken it.

    One of my wisdom teeth had been getting increasingly sensitive to hot and cold foods, so I decided to see a dentist. After calling around, I found one which offered a free exam and x-rays.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/dentalxray.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1250__320x240_dentalxray.jpg"></a></center>
    Two of the wisdom teeth on my right side were growing sideways. This would have to wait, they wanted $300 to remove them, and they weren't bothering me. The sensitive one was, as I suspected, riddled with cavities and needed extraction.

    For the princely sum of $100, they shot me full of Novocaine and yanked the sucker out. This was cheaper than what the local dental school wanted for a simple exam. Recovery was surprisingly painless, I ended up not needing the painkillers I'd been prescribed. Victory!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/extractedtooth.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1251__320x240_extractedtooth.jpg"></a></center>
    It was good to be around family for the holidays. I manage to visit my parents once or twice in a good year, so it was a nice change of pace to spend some quality time with them.

    I also spent some quality time with their cats, Patches and Tasha. I set up a chair for Patches nearby and she kept me company most days.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/cats.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1258__320x240_cats.jpg"></a></center>
    Tasha is huge. At over 20 lbs, she weighs more than two cats combined.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/momtasha.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1260__320x240_momtasha.jpg"></a></center>
    My parents get her shaved periodically, when her fur starts developing mats. It's difficult for her to keep herself clean because of how overweight she is, and the shaving seems to help with that. She looks ridiculous.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/tashashaved.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1265__320x240_tashashaved.jpg"></a></center>
    I also did what I could to get the bike back to pre-crash status. My first priority was the box. My father and I cut out a piece of sheet metal to match the bottom panel and riveted it all together braced on all four sides with pieces of angle aluminum.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/boxfix1.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1256__320x240_boxfix1.jpg"></a></center>
    He wanted to wrap a strip of aluminum around the outside, so the box would serve as a chair again, and to hide the jagged outer edge. We made sure it was as even as we could get it before riveting it on.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/boxfix2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1257__320x240_boxfix2.jpg"></a></center>
    Success! It's now even stronger than it was originally. I caulked all possible gaps and hoped that it would be waterproof.

    Next up was the rack. Here's the damage:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/rackbent.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1261__320x240_rackbent.jpg"></a></center>
    A closer look revealed that it was just the tabs which bent.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/tabbent.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1263__320x240_tabbent.jpg"></a></center>
    After some trial and error hammering the tabs flat, we managed to return it to normal. It's still a bit off, but not enough to matter.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/rackfix.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1262__320x240_rackfix.jpg"></a></center>
    I also got a new tube and rear tire, as mine was getting pretty worn:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/tires.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1264__320x240_tires.jpg"></a></center>
    While I had it off, I noticed that my cush drive rubbers were getting a bit tired. Not wanting to wait for another shipment, I found a suggestion to shim it with inner tube rubber. Worth a shot!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/cushshim.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1259__320x240_cushshim.jpg"></a></center>
    It was surprising how much more responsive the throttle felt after this fix, there had been drive lashing that I had not even noticed until it was gone. Yay!

    We made some other slight modifications - I got a set of tank panniers to hold my tools and hopefully add a bit of forward weight. We riveted some strips of leather to the bags and ran a loop of rope through them, to keep the bags from flapping upwards at speed. I purchased a battery terminal to SAE cable, and my dad soldered together an SAE to cigarette outlet, which we outfitted with a USB adapter. I can now charge electronics off the bike and air up my tires at will. After sanding, masking, and painting, my plastics are almost as good as they were. There's a few lumps and bumps, but it adds character. I also got new grips, as mine were… slowly dissolving? Gross.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/grips.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1271__320x240_grips.jpg"></a></center>
    Oz had grown tired of the rainy Oregon winter and started saving money. A few months later, he flew to Mississippi and bought a bike from an ADVRider. He showed up in Phoenix five days later and visited me for a couple of weeks until I had everything ready to go. He wanted to travel with me.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/ozwrench.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1268__320x240_ozwrench.jpg"></a></center>
    We went for a shakedown ride to Wickenburg to test my new setup and make sure it was road-worthy. It was great to be on two wheels again. Oz was digging the cactus, he hadn't been in the desert since he was a kid.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/wickenride.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1270__320x240_wickenride.jpg"></a></center>
    In Wickenburg, we had lunch at a local diner and explored the town. They had some interesting statues, like this one waiting for a train:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/trainstatue.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1269__320x240_trainstatue.jpg"></a></center>
    Everett Bowman, "All-around Champion Cowboy of the World":

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/cowboy.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1266__320x240_cowboy.jpg"></a></center>
    And, of course, the "Jail Tree". "From 1863 to 1890 convicts were chained to this tree for lack of a hoosegow. Escapes were unknown."

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/jailtree.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1267__320x240_jailtree.jpg"></a></center>
    The bike handled the ride with no complaints, even though it had sat mostly idle for almost four months. There was no noticeable jiggling and the rack and box held up great.

    The stage was set...
  11. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,203
    Location:
    Kingdom of Belgium
    You're a tough lady. Sad you had to loose a tooth because of improper health care.

    Thanks for getting back on your feet and spoiling us with continuous reports of your wanderings.

    Be safe.:wave
  12. Merlin III

    Merlin III Mean SOB

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,775
    Location:
    Maine
    Those prices for x-rays and dental work, even for the procedures you didn't get, are very reasonably compared to what you would be charged in New England. I have to back track some on your story later today, but if you haven't been vetted yet, exactly was the cause of your losing control of your bike? Were you just going too fast for the type of bike?
  13. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,061
    Location:
    Upstate SC USA

    Just guessing as I experienced a similar event.Passing a big vehicle and catching their wind wake caused me to experience a tank slapper.I can only assume that's what happen to her also.
  14. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Yeah, they were the cheapest I could find and mostly serve a hispanic clientele. Even the dental school wanted way more even to look at me.

    I believe it was partially wind and partially too much weight in the rear, causing a pendulum effect (I carry a lot of crap and it is fairly far backward). I've added a bit of weight in the front with tank bags (also makes it nice for charging stuff!) and am less likely to pass vehicles at excessive speed. If it starts to happen again I know to back off the throttle and lean forward as much as I can to weight the front more.
  15. IRIDE56

    IRIDE56 Mike

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Odessa, Tx
    sounds like Mexico is wide open for your adventures , and a lot cheaper to.. So when are you going?
    Mike
  16. flyingz06

    flyingz06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    301
    Location:
    Indiana
    She didn't lose the tooth from the trip :rofl

    It's from years and years of improper Hyg
  17. zuker13

    zuker13 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    16
    there are so many wannabe's out here, (i guess i'm included) after reading your story i know that there are some real bonified bikers left out there.
    a tatoo, loud pipes, pot bellies do not a biker make. (i now ride hondas and a dr650se, sold the hardley-ableson)
    enjoy life it's the only you get. keep us updated
  18. Gramp-Z

    Gramp-Z Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    844
    Location:
    Maple Valley , WA , USA
    Fey , first let me compliment you on a great ride report ! I don't know how I had missed it for so long . I was a little skeptical when I first started reading , but you sucked me in real well . I am impressed with your ' schooling" and learning to ride better in a short period of time . I enjoy your thoughts and your point of view of all the things you see and experience . I also have to compliment you on your photos , are they taken with your phone ? If so , I guess I should throw away my camera or learn how to use it ! I will be following along . Thanks for all the work on this RR . Maybe I might meet you if we both make it to Hells Canyon next month . Tired body makes it a guessing game of when and how far I can ride . Go girl !
  19. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Sorry for the radio silence everybody.

    I left Illinois about a week ago. Oz is working in Flora, and we had... ah... personal differences. I prefer not to speak ill of people who can't defend themselves properly, and anyways, my personal drama doesn't really add much here. Suffice it to say that he won't be joining me.

    I'm currently in Iowa and on my way to eastern Oregon for the Hell's Canyon rally. I go kinda slow and I still have another 2k miles to go, so I'm trying to limit the time I spend on the internet until I get a bit closer to my goal. I haven't forgotten about all of you, and thank you for being patient! :clap

    Not enough time in the days... hopefully I don't get blown away by a tornado!
  20. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,024
    Location:
    Shasta County,Calif
    Hey thanks for the idea of shimming the Cush with inner tube,something I save and have lots of,when time comes old tubes will be recycled to the Cush,sounds kinda funky cool to me!!!!!