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Thread: Close Calls

  1. #1
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Close Calls

    Yesterday was the first really nice day we've had in a while. It started out cold, but soon warmed up into sunshine and the low 60's for temps. Even cold and sunshine would have been an improvement over the mid 30's and rain we enjoyed the week before, so this really brought out the urge to go someplace on two wheels.

    Earlier in the week, a friend from Mississippi had called and said, ÔÇ£LetÔÇÖs ride and do breakfast in Meridian this weekend.ÔÇØ So, through the week, and contingent on the weather holding good, several of us planned to make the 90 mile trip. Saturday dawned to suitable weather, and it was a go.

    On the way to the gas station where we would all meet near the interstate, I discovered an issue with my rear brake. Mentally jumping the hoops over whether to make the trip with a spongy pedal, I thought, ÔÇ£Well, I once did a three day trip around south Louisiana with no rear brake at all.ÔÇØ So it was still a go for me. One other rider called and begged off, but another showed, and we got underway about 9:30.

    The ride over on the big road was uneventful. I was awake by the time we arrived, and we soon commandeered a table at Cracker Barrel and cornered a waitress with enough savvy to keep the coffee cups full for a table of five.

    After an hour and a half of swapping lies and insults, we parted company. My partner and I elected to take old U.S. 11 back to Tuscaloosa. Neither of us had ridden that route for quite some time, and we decided the leisurely ride on the two-lane would be preferable to the crowds on the interstate.

    Briefly heading east on I-59/20, I led us off the interstate at the wrong exit, which I now know was one exit too soon.

    Generally riding south, and about three miles into the rural countryside, I pulled over on the edge of the asphalt and killed the engine. Two old guys were sitting outside a mobile home firing up a BBQ grill.

    Taking off my helmet so I could hear, I shouted and asked, ÔÇ£Which way to old 11?ÔÇØ

    ÔÇ£You can't get there from here,ÔÇØ one of them grinned and fired back.

    Then he told me ÔÇ£Go to the stop sign and turn left -- and after you cross the tracks, bear right. ItÔÇÖs several miles, but that road will put you back on old 11.ÔÇØ

    Shouting ÔÇ£Thanks,ÔÇØ and giving him a thumbs up, I went to put my helmet and gloves back on.

    Sitting, as we were on the wrong side of the road, my partner restarted his engine and moved over to the right lane -- more or less at the center position of his lane.

    Just at that moment, a pickup truck came over the hill and the driver saw him sitting in the lane with his engine running (i.e., headlight on), and there I sat at the edge of the asphalt on the other side -- but with no lights showing.

    I had just begun to shift my weight to throw myself off and into the ditch when the truck whizzed by me -- only inches from my right side mirror and side case. It was a close call -- as close as I have come in a long while!

    We made it back with no further incidents. Hopefully, I now have that out of my system for the season, and I hope your riding season starts on a less stressful note than did mine. For me, it was a graphic reminder of how quickly something as simple as a roadside stop can turn sour.

    FYI: After originally posting this on Campfire, I deleted it and moved it here.
    Last edited by basketcase; 03-14-2004 at 09:14 PM.
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  2. #2
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Rick, glad to know you came out unscathed! Also nice to see my hometown get a mention- I grew up in Tuscaloosa! I hope you said hi to everyone there for me!
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  3. #3
    leave my monkey alone LORAZEPAM's Avatar
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    I would have to say that my worst close call (other than my own stupidity) happend on a windy day. I was riding along and minding my own business, when a garbage can suddenly appeared in the road in front of me, due to the wind. I have never practiced panic stops, but I have discovered everyone has them in them! I went from 60ish to zero in a very short time. After the shaking stopped, I shook out my pants and went on.
    Gale Smith
    2009 Versys
    1999 R1100RT

  4. #4
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    Once while motorcycle camping

    my way out to Arizona. I stopped at a KOA in Oklahoma and asked that they put me out at the edge of the property off by myself.
    In the wee hours (2 am or so) a big storm blew in and flattened my tent, forcing me to gather up my stuff and high tail it for the shower building to finish out the night.
    I missed seeing the Grand Canyon on that trip because there was a huge electrical storm (not quite as visually pleasing as the cool picture you posted) happening and I changed my course. The rest of that day was spent riding leaned into the worst wind I had ever ridden in. I was on a North bound road and the wind was coming out of the West so I was leaning the bike into the wind and riding at a 20-25 degree angle. If the wind stopped or I went by an object large enough to stop it, then I had to straighten up real quick. It was really a wierd sensation. Made for some serious road fatique after a couple hours.

  5. #5
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    I was riding to the 03 Rally from Indiana and had just crossed into Ohio when the Tornado Sirens went off. So i high tailed it to the closest hotel and checked in. Got everything into the hotel and could see the RT out the window ---- yea I know I am not suppsed to stand by a window. Sirens started going off in that area as well. So just as I backed away from the window I got to see my RT blow over into the light pole I had parked it against.

    After watching the news there were a few blown over trucks and stuff, unfortunately some really serious injuries and stuff.

    Then there was the experience of the Beer Tent....
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  6. #6
    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    ...then there was the time on the way to Redmond when we had to seek refuge under the eaves of a rest area, watching lightning strikes all around, just east of Billings. Encouraging words on a sign there to stay on sidewalks, rattlesnakes have been sighted in the area.

    Hey Ben, were you considering working the Beer Garden this year? I'm always there.
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
    Ambassador, Biergarten co-chair
    BMWRA Wisconsin Region Rep, camping chair

  7. #7
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Being that it looks like this year's Beer Garden is bolted down, there is a better chance I will be there.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

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