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Getting screwed in Hornitos

Tuesday, February 27, 2018   (6 Comments)
Posted by: Nick Gloyd #208623

Some weeks before the BMWNorcal '49er Rally, fellow Norcal club and MOA member Lance Danielson and I were heading up to Mariposa to pre-ride routes I was planning for the rally. The plan was to head up Friday after work and meet at the Knights Ferry Covered Bridge State Recreation Area. This was a convenient meeting place for us, as Lance was coming from Modesto and me from Santa Rosa, but it also happened to be the halfway point for this year’s Poker Run. We were going to pre-ride the second half of the Poker Run the rest of the way to the fairgrounds, where we were going to set up camp for the weekend.

Riding the second half of the Poker Run was a lot of fun. The roads and the scenery of that area, especially in the waning of the day, were great. The ride was uneventful until we went through the historic town of Hornitos, where I felt my front tire hit something. I didn’t think too much about it until a few miles later when I felt my bike handling a little mushy.

We were on a remote section of Hornitos Road, but were able to pull off onto a dirt entrance to some fields. Sure enough, I had picked up a quarter-inch carriage bolt in my rear tire. The sun had set and the temps were dropping. Oh well, Lance and I agreed this was part of the adventure. Luckily we had cell signal.

No sweat! Being an MOA member, I got out my card and dialed the roadside assistance number on the back of the card. The adventure continued as I was told by the woman that answering that the road recovery company was no longer affiliated with the MOA. Apparently, the MOA was working with another company but hadn’t reissued cards with the new number yet. I called the second number on the card for the MOA and left a terse message telling them that their standard road service was in fact, no service at all. (The following Monday I did get a return call sorting out the confusion with the road service group, and I have since upgraded my MOA road service plan to the Premium package for better benefits.)

Next I call AAA knowing that I don’t have their motorcycle coverage, but I figure I can at least pay to get a tow into Mariposa. The AAA representative transfers me an answering machine with a greeting that doesn’t jive with a tow company, so I hung up. Next I call a local tow company directly and have to leave a message. I’m down to one last resource before we bivouac in place for the night: the MOA Owners Anonymous book buried in my tank bag.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with it the Anonymous book, this is probably the single greatest benefit of membership in the MOA. It’s a directory of fellow MOA members that offer varying degrees of assistance to other MOA members on the road. You simply look up telephone numbers listed in the town closest to you and check the codes to see what services each member offers. There’s no names, just telephone numbers. You roll the dice and call; hopefully it works out. This was my first go at it – and my last option for the evening.

There are two members listed for Mariposa, not exactly great odds but it’s part of the adventure and I’ll take it. Both members are offering a trailer, work space, space to camp out, mechanical assistance, basically the full monty, YES! I have to leave a message with the first number.

I’m down to the last number of my last resource, c’mon MOA Anonymous… Yes, someone answers! I introduce myself and explain the situation. The man (anonymous remember?) tells me that not only had he sold the trailer, but he couldn’t come out with his truck on account of the stiff cocktail he had just consumed. I can’t fault him for that, if we had made it to camp I’d be in the same condition.

While I was talking to this guy I had two calls go to my voice mail. Turns out the local tow truck operator is over two hours away on another call, but the second call is from a Jay MacDonald, the first Mariposa MOA Anonymous number. I call him back and he answers. He still has a trailer and no, he has not been drinking. He tells me he’s heading out and it’ll be 45 minutes or so.

Meanwhile a Hornitos Road resident who saw our headlights drove out to see if we were OK and ended up shooting the breeze the whole time until Jay arrived; in fact, he offered his place to us if Jay didn’t make it. After a while Jay did make it and we loaded up my bike for the trip to Jay’s house, about seven miles from the fairgrounds.

By now it’s pretty late, probably close to midnight. We get unloaded and settled in at Jay’s garage and I ask if he minds if I fire up my camp stove outside on his garage slab to heat up some dinner. He insists that we come in and use his kitchen, which we do. We ate dinner, hung out, and swapped tales.

Turns out Mrs. MacDonald was out of town, so Jay was a bachelor for the weekend. In addition to being a MOA member, Jay is also a member of the Central California BMW Riders. Eventually we turned in for the night and proceeded to change my tube the next day using Jay’s tire machine.

Yes, I travel with a spare tube, so we didn’t have to try to patch the tube. It was a good thing too, because the bolt was about two and a half inche long and bent so it had spun inside the tire, ripping the inner tube in about six places. We were out by 10 in the morning and Lance and I spent the rest of the weekend pre-riding for the '49er Rally.

Huge thanks MOA Anonymous but especially thanks to Jay MacDonald for the hospitality – he is a true man among men!


Michael Ignatowicz says...
Posted Thursday, March 1, 2018
Rear Sprocket comes off with the cushion drive assembly when removing the rear wheel. No big deal, really. Having it separate from the rear wheel also protects the sprocket from getting damaged on during tire removal/installation.
Chris W. Weld says...
Posted Wednesday, February 28, 2018
I have used the anonymous book, been with other riders who've needed the book and have never had a bad experience associated with 'book use'. I have a dear friend now in Brainerd MN who came to rescue a riding companion in '86. when he lived near Cass Lake MN. We've been attending or meeting-up at every National since. I owe my GS ownership to the anonymous book- found in Cascade MT. following a broken alternator belt on an RT in Great Falls MT. Chris Weld #1671
Robert K. Kruse says...
Posted Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Would carrying a compressor and tire irons have allowed you to do a roadside repair? I have with my R1100RT (tubeless) and R75/6 (tubes). Your main point of the Anonymous Book, however, is good. It helped me in Ohio with a soggy aftermarket ignition computer in a rainstorm. (Operator error.) Bob Kruse
Susan Campbell says...
Posted Wednesday, February 28, 2018
WOW, that was an exciting day! I'm new to MOA, joined late Dec, and will be in the new Annon Book. I'm happy to hear there IS good people out there willing to help! As a motorcycling community, if we can't count on each other, who can we count on? I'll be heading out on a long journey early June, route not finalized yet, but will certainly have my Book with me!
Dennis Keierleber says...
Posted Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Potential dumb questions. I've been noticing more F800GS's in pictures and know some riders swear by them. Never thought about it but from this article I see they do not have tubeless tires. That, plus the issue with the chain gives me some pause. I'm curious if the resultant hole in the tire could have been plugged if you'd been on a 1200GS? Multiple plugs may work for larger holes. Also, being not tubeless should make the rims less deep than the 1200GS rims. Would that make fixing with had hand tire changing tools easier? I realize in this instance you were limited by night conditions.
Gerard Gatineau says...
Posted Wednesday, February 28, 2018
You have to take the rear sprocket off to change a tire tube?

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