Oscar and Minnie Grope Are Alive and Well

Posted at 8/26/2014 10:34:52 AM

budoka

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Oscar and Minnie Grope Are Alive and Well

We recently had a fabulous trip out to the NW Corner and bck. 10 wonderful days of great riding and fabulous roads (yes there will be a report coming), but something was different in my mental prep this time around. As the years mount up, the odds can weigh against you and I had a sense of unease that I've never felt before, a nagging concern that there could be misfortune ahead. No we didn't have any real issues, but my senses were far more heightened than I can ever recall.
The trip out to Washington was nothing short of riding nirvana, fabulous weather, traffic (other than the lower mainland nearing Vancouver) was fine, and my pre-planning had us in very good accomodations for the most part and nothing got left behind (especially the passports like last year LOL). We toured the backroads around Bellingham and though we didn't have time to ride up to Winthrop we did some serious riding and floorboard scraping (enough that I need to replace the board protective pads again). I could live ther and be in total riding bliss forever.
On the way home however, my suspicions were confirmed, and some total nimrod in his car turned left (classic right?) directly in front of me as I was passing through and intersection to a fueling station in Golden BC. After the initial emergency escape was executed, the bikes horn (damn, but Goldwings have fabulously LOUD horns) blared followed by an extremely profane verbal tyrade into the cager's open window, we got to the pumps with no harm done. Even my wife was pi$$ed off at him. I still believe he didn't know he did anything wrong.
Three days later we rolled up the Icefield Parkway into Jasper Park. Just North of Sunwapta Falls, a cager passed us with very little room to spare from oncoming traffic (I had been watching him rather closely in the mirror as he clearly was watching for an opportunity to overtake us; we were doing about 70mph). I pulled over to the shoulder to give him room and he took full advantage of it, passing us at far too close a margin than I am comfortable with. With no need to stop in the tourist trap town, we took the bypass, same as the car did. From my vantage piont behind him I could see his driving was becoming very erratic and he seemed engrossed in conversation with his passenger. I opened up my follow time to about double my usual time gap between 8 and 10 seconds. If I had exactly 8 seconds I was covering 700 feet at 60 mph, if I take a second to recognize, and a second to react, I still have time to stop my bike well within the 700 foot mark. Theoretically anyway. Oncoming traffic was very heavy, trucks, trailers, motorhomes, you name it it was there coming at us in a steady stream. Just then the driver veered left right into the oncoming lane and an oncoming semi. I hit the binders hard enough that my wife's helmet smacked mine hard enough to knock my head forward and she squealed in fright as she could see what was taking place now. Several things happened at once: the semi pulled over to the shoulder, the cager got his car back into the proper lane, and I was alomst at a full stop pulling over to the shoulder on my side. Had the trck not pulled over, the car was toast, and the semi would likely have lost control and took us out too. As it was, I had done as much as I could to ensure our safety, but had the truck lost it, it would have been nasty for us.
My point in all this is that you can be aware, give yourself a margin of safety and still end up in deep doodoo. I'll never know whether or not we'd have been ok had the truck and car collided. We certainly wouldn't have hit the car, but a big rig wouldn't stop after hitting that car and could have very easily lost it and continued on and ran us down. Sometimes it's not just the other guy, sometimes it's more than one other guy.

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Posted at 8/29/2014 9:26:14 AM

RaptorFA

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Hey Daryl! Sounds like an epic trip. Well except for the part where you nearly get killed. Seems to me that your intuition paid off big time.

I'm convinced that even though we as a species are suposed to be evolving and getting smarter man is actually getting dumber. But you out-foxed 'em, dude! I am very much looking forward to the official trip report. Hopefully there will be lots of pictures, because as you well know



What, Me Worry?

Posted at 8/29/2014 10:13:43 AM

GAJ

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Were you able to make contact with GeoffG?

Glad you survived both threats.

ABS on the Wing?

Current bikes: F800ST, DRZ400SM

Past bikes, starting with the first in 1970: CB50, K75S, Seca 550, Nighthawk 750, TL1000S

Posted at 8/31/2014 11:37:17 AM

Michael D

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Glad you enjoyed your trip and got home safe.
I drive a rig and let me tell ya those four wheelers can scare the hell out of you. I assure you as a truck driver the driver of the rig had you in mind. I've more than once had a cage veer into my lane causing me to put my rig on the shoulder or half in a ditch. The thought of having to live with killing someone is the last thing anyone wants to live with. But if I have to chose between the idiot not paying attention and the innocent I will do whatever to avoid involving or causing more fatalitys. The company I work for requires you take a driving course every 3 yrs. Not all do. They put us on wet courses and use a computer to control the brakes to put us into slides. You don't control the slide and come out of it you don't drive. Were trained to look beyond impact. Point is my motto has always been, I have a better chance of survival in a accident than anyone I hit. So I'll put her in a ditch or a field if possible to avoid a impact or lessen it. I also haul flammables and oxydizers, so avoidence is priority.

Posted at 9/3/2014 2:58:22 PM

budoka

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GAJ said:Were you able to make contact with GeoffG?

Glad you survived both threats.

ABS on the Wing?


Dunno what happened there, Had an email a couple weeks before we took off and I had his cell # to text him but when we got to Castlegar he never replied. Was really looking forward to meeting up but now I'll just have to go back...

Yup the Wing has ABS, but I was on new clean asphalt in Japser and it never engaged that I could feel. I've gotten pretty good at hauling that big sucker down from highway speeds. That other dork I was going slow enough turning in that I was more concerned with a turn in drop than stopping real hard. Might have been different if I hadn't seen him early enough though, likely would have t-boned the dumbarse. Pays to be attentive all the time.
Hey remember that group I used to ride with up til last year? One of them is in the hospital. Was treating his Dyna like a Ninja and went into a speed wobble passing a semi. some cracked ribs, lost his front teeth and either compresion fractures of a couple vertebra and various bumps and bruises. Haven't heard if he was \up to his old tricks and half beered up or not but it wouldn't surprise me either. Feel bad for him just the same, but he's friggin lucky.
Yes guys, there will be pics, soon I hope.

My Rides: 2003 VTR1000R/RC51; 2009 GL1800 Goldwing airbag model
So many bikes, so little coin...

Posted at 9/4/2014 9:47:04 AM

GAJ

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budoka said:Was treating his Dyna like a Ninja and went into a speed wobble passing a semi. some cracked ribs, lost his front teeth and either compresion fractures of a couple vertebra and various bumps and bruises. Haven't heard if he was \up to his old tricks and half beered up or not but it wouldn't surprise me either. Feel bad for him just the same, but he's friggin lucky.


Sounds like that guy is lucky to be alive.

I've heard numerous mentions about that HD speed wobble.

You'd think by now HD would have put a steering damper on those bikes as a bandaid.

Current bikes: F800ST, DRZ400SM

Past bikes, starting with the first in 1970: CB50, K75S, Seca 550, Nighthawk 750, TL1000S

Posted at 9/4/2014 10:12:31 AM

budoka

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A bandaid won't stop a bullet wound from bleeding LOL. Many causes for a speed wobble out there, but treating a cruiser like a supersport isn't a wise move IMO. Pics will be in another thread in the rides section so Rich and crew won't have to work too hard moving and merging.

My Rides: 2003 VTR1000R/RC51; 2009 GL1800 Goldwing airbag model
So many bikes, so little coin...

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