10 hours 15 mins
Number of stops- 5
Animal sightings- Deer
Fuzz Sighting- 1- Grant County Sheriff
Yup I crashed. The blog post title kind of gives it away huh? Well before the crash I had about 475 miles of joyful riding that i will share a bit about. I started my morning at about 6 with a fill up at the local Chevron. I met a fellow rider who was on her way to some sort of Celtic festival in Pocatello to compete in some Caledonia games. She seemed pretty legit and was talking about some championships in Utah later in the year. She was also putting a celtic skirt of some kind on over her riding pants as she was getting ready to leave. Hardcore. I wished her good luck and safe travels. She replied with a “thank you” and a “cute monkey, I like it”. If Sock Monkey could fist bump me he would have.
It was pretty erie to see the forest fires right outside Mountain Home burning in the distance as I headed out. Next stop McCall.
It seemed that the city of Donnelly was up to something when I went through. I later found out that they were having their annual Huckleberry festival. Will have to plan on that next year. It looked like a lot off fun. I did make another mile stone on the FJR just outside of McCall, Idaho. The FJR turned over to 33K!
My travels to Cambridge, Idaho were uneventful and I didn’t seem to see much traffic. They did just pave a nice stretch of highway 95 outside of Cambridge though, so if you are riding through during the work week watch out for that. I didn’t have any problems but they still need to do some shoulder work and paint the lines. The ride to Oxbow is always a blast. I maybe saw 2 vehicles the whole way. I felt like I owned the road.
I love riding the stretch after the dam into Oxbow. The river is always dead calm and the road is lined with some sort of berry that smells so sweet. Once in a while if your lucky you will catch a glimpse of a big horned sheep. I didn’t see one this time but I did see one last year. I was lucky enough to see 2 deer right before entering Oxbow.
I continued on passed Oxbow and made a quick pit stop at the Hells Canyon Outdoor Supply store. The grounds were really nice but I couldn’t say the same for the help. It looked like it was ran by a husband and wife team. I tried to make small talk with the wife inside while I picked out my candy bar. She wasn’t having it. She was pretty short with me and I got the feeling that I was an inconviounse. I almost just said forget it and left. The husband seemed to be a lot nicer but was pretty busy with the ‘mornin chores’. They did have Wi-Fi and gas. It looked like the pumps only took cash though. Maybe you will have a better experience then me if you ever stop there.
My next planned stop was Baker City, Oregon to make a quick pit stop for gas then head toward La Grande, Oregon via highway 203 toward Medical Springs. I have been on this road many times so there wasn’t much new to see. I did notice a bunch of hunter along side the road “spotting” the hill side. I was thinking it was pretty early for any kind of hunting so they must have just been out preparing.
I knew my next stretch of ride was going to be long and with out many gas stops so I stopped again in La Grande to fill up again. I spent some time there to stretch the legs and take a break. I was about at the turn around and had about 400 miles left. I was making good time and was on mark to make it home before dark.
I was going to have lunch in Ukiah, Oregon but was feeling pretty good and though maybe dinner in Baker. So I made a quick stop in Ukiah to look over my map and plan my next stop. Oregon Highway 244 is another of Oregon’s fun roads to ride. It is pretty popular with the area motorcyclists and for the guys coming out of Washington. I remember riding it while we were living in Pasco, Washington. I hear the food is pretty good in Ukiah.
I traveled down Oregon 395 made another top off stop in Dale, Oregon. The old man who was running this out in boon sticks gas station was pretty nice and his last words to me as I throttled off were, “be safe son”. I waved to him as I was shifting gears not knowing what was about to happen not 20 miles down the road.
So here we are to the part where the shine side met the pavement. I was traveling east on old highway 20 or the west scenic bikeway when I noticed that the road was not really 100%. I think I was was a little spoiled from the fresh pavement of 395 that when I hit these little patches of tar on the road they kind of freaked me out. Each time I hit a patch of this road tar my front tire would squirrel around or my back tire would kind of kick out. It almost felt like riding on gravel or ice. I shrugged it off and told my self to just go around them or watch them on the turns. Well I didn’t listen to myself to well. I was maybe only 3 or 4 miles into this road when I came to a left hand sweeper. I leaned into it like have done 100 times before but this time I hit a patch of that tar and or gravel and it caused me to squirrel about. The next thing I know I am off the road trying hard not to take the bike and my self out into the creek that paralleled the road. I was able to fight it to the right as much as I could just before the bike decided to buck me off and send me and the bike sailing. This is called a “high-side”. You can look it up on Youtube. The next thing I knew I was in the middle of the road and the bike was laying on the road with bits and pieces of it strewn all over. I staggered around looking for my cell phone so I could call Teresa. (the Iphone was in an otterbox case attached to my handle bars) I found my undamaged Iphone laying off the road some 20 feet from the bike. Thank you Otterbox! I called Teresa and told her I was ok and that the bike didn’t make it. She was pretty worried that I need an ambulance but I reassured her that I really didn’t want to pay for it. I called 911 and asked for a tow service to come pick me and my FJR up. In the mean time I tried to lift the bike up in which I then realized that I did have some sort of injury. My right shoulder started to throb and I couldn’t even pick my right arm over my head. I thought dislocation. So I paced around thinking of how I was going to get this bike out of the road, since it was on a blind curve and anyone coming around that corner would be in for a surprise. At that instant a truck came from the other direction and stopped to see if I was ok. I told them I was ok but asked if they could help pick up the bike and move it out of the way. They did and even left me with some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Good folks.
In the above photo you can see the path of travel in the gravel. At the end you can see the abrupt turn to the right where the front of the bike caught pavement and tossed me. I took these pictures so that pile of clothes is not me. No worries.
This photo shows the other side of the turn and the tar I was talking about.
So with the wonderful world of Google I was able to bring up some street views of the road. I then drew some cool graphics for everyone so see what happened and how eveything landed. I forgot to put me in the last photo but i am pretty sure I was about 15 to 20 feet from the bike up the road.
I was waiting for just about 30 mins when the Grant County Sheriff deputies arrived. The came out and chatted with me for the whole time we waited for the tow truck which was about an hour or so. Cool guys and one was a reserve just like me. Once the tow truck showed up everyone help to load the bike and off we went to John Day, Oregon.
It was a long ride to John Day and my arm was starting to hurt. I guess the adrenaline was wearing off. The tow operator, Matt was pretty cool and we chatted about motorcycle projects all the way into town. He kept telling me I was pretty lucky and that he has seen a lot worse. Once we arrived at his tow yard we unloaded the bike and he was since enough to loan me a car so that I could drive to the hospital. I was lucky it was a automatic. It was only like 2 miles up the road so it wasn’t that bad though. I kind of felt bad because he left his wife’s high school reunion to come pick me up. The ER visit was uneventful. Everyone was nice but things took forever. It was a small hospital so I kind of expected that. My doctor kind of looked like a hippie chick but she was nice. The nurses where great so no complaints from me.
Teresa, Rod, Floyd and Austin all made the trip to John Day to come pick me up along with the FJR. It was a long night and I have to give props to Floyd for driving both to and from John Day. We did find a really great place to have pizza in John Day called The Outpost. I highly recommend it.
So the damage. I broke my scapula. It hurts but the doctors say it will heal in time. The photo shows what looks like a really bad break by my collar bone but that is just were the scapula and collar bone meet. The gap is usually a lot smaller. The break is actually a little more to the left of that spot. Here is a photo—v.
My helmet and jacket did there jobs and saved my skin and head. Without those two things I would not be alive or at least not typing this ride report. Wear your helmet at all times!! Wear your gear at all times!!
The FJR didn’t fair so well. It will probably a complete total. As of today 8/14/13 the bike shop had a parts quote of over 5,500! The insurance company will most likely total it out. It really hasn’t hit me yet that the good old FJR will be scraped. I will keep everyone posted on that.
What did I take away from all of this. A few things. I am not as young as I think I am. It is taking me longer to heal. It really sucks that a paid for motorcycle is now going cost me money to replace. I am not a MotoGP rider so I probably shouldn’t ride like one. You may think you know a “road”, but they can be sneaky. Be prepared. Teresa asked, why don’t you take your time and smell the roses? Why do you have to go so fast and so far? I didn’t have a good answer to that. Maybe its time to rethink my riding style.
Don’t worry I won’t buy a Harley….