Recovery operations and rocky pockets: lessons learned

Discussion in 'Crashes' started by DanCR, Aug 3, 1999.

  1. DanCR

    DanCR New Member

    Freakin' hillarious! :). Ya know, I sold my KLR after taking it on a the equivilent of a single-track mountain bike course one day - 1-2 foot ruts and all that mess - and getting towards the end, stopping at a 12" high flat rock. I 1st gear, goose clutch, and ride on up it.

    This is when I find out the KLR only has 9" of ground clearance. OOps. <Wham. Oil dribble dribble> Landed right on a crankcase bolt.

    Awesome bike, though, made it home in 1 piece. Bike still <probably> runs like a champ.
  2. RobertR

    RobertR New Member

    OK, we make mistakes, and hope that we learn from them. Or at least not repeat them without some truly imaginative variations.

    Today's lesson(s) involves getting a KLR650 into a tight spot, where, I readily admit, it never should have been. But this is axiomatic: lots of KLR650s get into such places.

    Specifics: There is a certain 4WD trail in an undisclosed area of Colorado, just west of the Collegiate Range, at about 9,000 feet of elevation. The trail degenerates into a boulder-strewn stream (read "crick" if you wish) which at this time of year runs about 6 inches higher than the top of your typical Matterhorn boot. The predictable error is to run the KLR650 into a place which narrows and is boxed in to where, let us say, a
    KDX300 in the hands of a trials rider might be a lot more fun, and shall I say, successful.

    So we have about 380 pounds of bike and light-tour stuff wedged into a small space, framed by stream boulders which pocket the wheels. Nobody of my physical exponents can lift a KLR from such a place, nor do I hope to ever meet any person or animal who can, at least not alone and after dusk.

    The usual attempts yield the usual results, with the usual assortment of bent items and broken plastic. I ask myself: What would Ted Simon or Helge Peterson or Robert Fulton have done?

    Lesson number one: When in such a predicament, don't be in such a hurry that you can't fling things ashore that add measurable weight, and that ought not to get wet. You may be here for a while.

    Lesson number two: The nice tire pump for which you paid US$30 just recently will float away very quickly when it somehow escapes from the tank bag you thought was safely closed.

    Lesson number three: The Swiss Army knife that falls out of the tank bag does not float, but you will thank yourself for having previously tied a 3mm cord to it that does.

    Now, one of the things that distinguishes most of us from goats and sheep is that we theoretically have the ability, in varying degrees, to use
    our brains instead of our backs when confronted with the results of the acknowledged foolishness of our own making. Thus it behooves us (no pun intended) to analyze how we might best employ levers, fulcra, and the like, that we have not seen since high-school physics.

    Unfortunately, there were no natural forest objects around this place that resembled natural cranes and such, and the appearance of the
    trail surface suggested that it might be some time before other mechanized humans came rolling along. And already my back was hurting far more than mere aspirin could address.

    It turns out that not only foolish KLR650 riders, but others of related clans have experienced difficulties at this little ambush. There was, for example, what appeared to be the rusty remains of a once-proud jeep hood out in the nearby bushes. After a few moments of silent cogitation, this discovery gave rise to a hypothesis related to what we will come to call the Lazy Susan Concept for KLR Recovery Operations, or Newton's
    Eleventh Law of Gravitational Transmogrification.

    Which gives rise to lesson number four: Since lifting of the bike from the grip of rocky pockets was not an option, I built a small pile of boulders next to it (the Forest Service expressly forbids the building of Large Piles of Boulders).

    Then I sandwiched the old jeep hood onto the pile. Finally, I let the KLR lean (or "fall" might be more accurate) onto this Cro-Magnon device,
    which succeeded in propping the front wheel enough to drag it around as the sheet metal slid on the rock pile. It looked like something that Fred
    Flintstone himself had constructed.

    At this point I reckon that I should supply the usual warnings: closed course, professional driver, don't try this at home, and so on.

    OK, I was able to bend enough control features back into place to not only ride all the way home, but to enjoy doing so.

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