Posted by: Beemer Bob | October 12, 2010

2010/10 – Geezers do dirt


Trip report. EasTex45. A new Misadventure!

I recently did an event in the piney woods of East Texas event called the EasTex450, of which I have renamed the EasTex45. This was to be an organized ride to spend 3 days riding around in the dirt of East Texas.

This is an event that was primarily a bunch of hard bellied young men on true dirt bikes with far superior riding skills and physical conditioning.  Most would be riding lightweight dirt bikes designed for this kind of off-road adventure.

I am 62, out of shape and my riding companion (and brother), Hap Hazard is 66. Why on earth are two old geezers riding BMW GS’s that weigh over 600 lbs, going on this fool-hardy trip? I’ve been asking myself the same question for over a week now, but yet, here I am.

I have a reputation for being the one that says, “Awh come on. It will be an adventure” and tear off to parts unknown persuading poor Hap Hazard to follow. This practice has caused Hap to break his color bone, several ribs, dislocated neck and general misalignment of many body parts. But while I was off injuring myself attempting to ride the Continental Divide Trail, Hap went to some fancy-dancy off-road training school.

So now Hap thinks he is ready to conquer off-road and show those young bucks how it’s done. Lord help us! I had reservations about the wisdom of doing this ride when Hap first brought it up, but now it has been him going “Awh, come on. It will be an adventure”. I relented to the chants and agreed.

A few young friends rode with us. Their purpose is to help the old geezers lift their bikes after we drop them and to administer geriatric first aid.

I tried to pack an extra supply of Depends for those stressful moments and enough Ensure to keep us going through the day.

So another Beemer Bob misadventure begins.

I have more pictures and even videos on my real camera, but that camera is still attached to my scooter being stored at undisclosed location. (I’m hiding it from my wife, so that she doesn’t sell it). So, my report of the EasTex45 event is limited to the pictures I had on my iPhone. When I get the rest of the pictures, I will update this report. So, for now – on with the EasTex45 trip report.

Oh, I bet you thought is was EasTex 450 didn’t you. Well, that was the original plan, but at best I estimate that I only completed about 45 miles before I “bit the dust” or more appropriately “bit the sand”, so for me anyway, I have renamed the event to EasTex45.

I head out Thursday about mid-morning in no particular hurry so I kept the speed under 95. As I was passing through the town of Marques it occurred to me I had a friend (Hardy Baker) that lived there so I stopped for a visit and to bum a free cup of coffee. Hardy is currently in the process of expanding his pond to be the size of Lake Superior, so we spent a short while reviewing his project. I didn’t think about taking any pictures until we were back at his house, so this is the best I got.
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After some rains, this thing will fill up and will be big enough to float battleships.

In route to the first night’s campsite, I go through Huntsville, TX and stop to visit the Texas Prison Museum.

This monument was placed to honor 150 years of corrections in Texas. I did not ask what they did before that. Seemed to me to be an odd monument or shall we say an odd thing to honor, but oh well.
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The museum

And then inside you get to view “Old Sparky”

This is not a replica. This was actually in production. Very creepy.

Made it to the campsite (Lake Livingston State Park). I was the first one to arrive, followed by a friend of Hap’s (Carl aka:WhiskySmith), and then Hap Hazard himself. Camp site next to us was another guy on a GS 850 named James who joined us for the evening of merriment and lie swapping by the campfire. Much later, another friend also named James (aka: JBay) joined us.

See us having a nice time by the campfire.

OK, so an iPhone does not have a flash. Much better pictures on my real camera still attached to my bike that is still deep in the piney woods of east Texas.

We meet the next morning in Moscow to register for the event. No, not that Moscow. Moscow, Texas at Carter’s General Store.

My suspicions that this would primarily be made up of younger men on true dirt bikes were confirmed.

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Afterwards, the ride begins. We tear down the road at a spirited pace for about 100 yards and then the route begins to go to ****. To say we were on a dirt road would not be fair. I only wish there was some dirt.

IT WAS SAND! LOTS AND LOTS OF SAND!
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OK, well perhaps it wasn’t really that bad, but it was a LOT of sand. (BTW: The above pictures are from White Sands)

Sand is the worst enemy of a heavy bike like a GS. Our route starts out to be a few inches of sand and quickly progresses to be over a foot deep in sand in spots. I’m serious! This was deep deep sand.

Not just the old folks or those on heavy bikes, everyone was having trouble. Lots of events where folks decided to draw pictures in the sand with their handlebars and face. I was entraining myself by following Hap so that I could watch all of his spills.

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But, not me. I’m staying upright. OK, so I’m dog paddling through the deep sand, but I am maintaining an upright position. Damn I’m doing good (I tell myself).

After one bad area a fellow rider spilled and/or stalled his bike and could not get it started again. Some sort of electrical issue. There were about 9 of us in this group providing about 9 different opinions as to what was wrong.
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No one complained about waiting around trying to get his bike going. We were all exhausted and any excuse not to ride through the sand pits was fine by us. We all needed a good rest.

Rest time over, his bike is repaired (well at least started) and off we go again. Hap continues to go through a series of drops. I think I count 6 drops but he claims it was only 4. I don’t know for sure. So let’s say “at least 4”. Carl drops at least once as does James. But, so far, I’m doing OK. So far …… Famous last words. One should never gloat. Shame on me, ‘what goes around comes around’. As you will see, I’m soon to be punished.

Another Hap Hazard spill.
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At first Hap was jumping up and grabbing hold of his bike and lifting it up. By the 3rd or 4th time, he would just wait until someone came to help because he was too exhausted. All the maneuvering through the sand is hard work. We are all so tired we could barley stay upright.

After a while we finally hit gravel and were to the point of celebration. But then we hit sand again, I hit a grove in deep sand and …

and then …
—————————–

A pause to go back a bit.

After my last incident I had decided I was going to be better protected this time. I was wearing something called a ballistic vest. This vest incorporates a chest protector, back shield, forearm and elbow protection. Additionally I wore shin and knee protection.
Pikes Peak or Bust

Hap said I looked like a big beetle but I chose to think of it as the “Iron Man” look. So EVERYTHING was protected. EVERY limb is protected right? No way can I get hurt!

Umm, oh let’s talk ankles a bit. Because of my very wide feet, I am unable to buy proper dual sport boots and therefore only wear ¾ regular riding boots. So I had considered some ridged ankle braces to prevent my ankles from rotating in the event of a spill, but that would be $100 for a pair and I decided not to bother with it. I have since reconsidered.

Also the night before around the campfire we had a discussion concerning the pro’s and cons of the large metal boxes most GS’s sport. Some feel that the boxes should be removed for serious dirt because of the potential of getting you foot caught underneath them. But then others say that the boxes help provide some protection and besides keeping the bike from laying completely on its side thus easer to pick up after a spill. I decided on the latter. That option too needs to be reconsidered.

Now with that background, back at the ranch…

I hit a rut in the sand that was causing me to spill on the left side, I over compensated to the right and went down on the right side. My right foot got caught under the side box holding my foot on one level while I continued to fall to a lower level in the sand.

Ouch!! I screamed like a little girl. Boy that hurt! There were several other riders there and they helped get me to the side under the shade.

My riding for today was over. We called for help and a state trouper showed up. Before he even asked how I was, etc. the first thing he was asking all of us. “What are you guys doing riding motorcycles on a road like this?”, “Are you lost?”, “Why are you on this road?”. He had trouble comprehending that we were doing this on purpose. He asked where we were heading and when we told him he did not understand why we were not taking the shorter route that was pavement. That dialog went on for a while and he was convinced that we were pretty dumb for trying to ride through deep sand on a motorcycle. Finally I asked if he would take me to the nearest town and he refused because of liability and that the only thing he could do was to call for an ambulance. My choices were to walk out (actually hop out dragging one foot behind me, Egor style), ride out with my right foot dangled off to the side, sit by the side of the road or ride in an ambulance.

The trouper explained that if I had medical coverage on my bike (which I do), that they would pay for the ambulance. So my chauffeured limousine arrives soon with lights a-flashing.
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Hap had great joy in taking this picture and I’m sure it has already been shared with everyone. Gee now I feel bad about gloating.

As the medics were checking me over, the same line of questions again. “What are you guys doing riding motorcycles on a road like this?”, “Are you lost?”, “Why are you on this road?”. They also point out that this sandy road runs parallel to a nice paved road and that only a fool would take this road over the paved road when they did not have to. Well they didn’t call me a fool per se but thought riding this road on a motorcycle was foolish.

Anyway, by this time, I am no longer in pain (as long and I don’t try to walk) and the ambulance ride was uneventful. I have never gotten to ride in an ambulance before. Now that I have gotten that over, perhaps I won’t ever need to ride in an ambulance again. EVER!

They take be to the hospital and after x-rays, poking and prodding it is determined that nothing is broken but I have suffered a major sprain with some ligament damage but ligaments do not appear to be torn. So they wrap me up in this cute brace and send me on my way.
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I had called my youngest son (Brian) that lives in Austin and asked him to come get me and bring me home. Brain finally gets there about 8ish. He thinks it would be fun to drive out to the campsite of the event and party with the boys. It would be about 10 pm by time we got there and he was thinking that the party would be in full swing by then. I explain that as hard as the ride was today, I seriously doubted that anyone would still be up, much less partying. So we head home. We find what looks to be a fun place to eat, party and visit in Huntsville. We park and after about 3 steps, I discover the vicodin they gave me at the hospital has worn off and I am not up to going into the restaurant. So, we find a motel, put ice on the old man’s foot and good night.

Next morning, Brian drags the old guy out to his car and we proceed to Austin. We stop in Hutto for their famous apple pie.
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We meet up with one VERY angry wife in Austin and I am transferred to her loving care for the remaining trip to Valley Mills.
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Did I mention that she was angry with me. I mean VERY angry.

Hap found someone that lives near where I spilled and they agreed to store my bike until I can come back and get it. I have wisely not told my wife where the bike is because she is making a lot of noise about selling the dam* thing. She wants me to sell the GS and get a Harley instead. At least when I had a Harley, I did not get into these messes.

Well that’s my story. Sure seems lately that all my adventures turn out to be misadventures. There is another event in a few weeks over the Halloween weekend that I had already registered for. I don’t know yet if I will be able to make it.

The saga continues. 

Well it seems necessary to update the trip report.  Seems that the hospital may have overlooked a few things.

After a few days my foot was starting to look like a basketball with purple toes. I went to my local Dr. and they did a new x-ray. It seems that I have ruptured ligaments, a fractured ankle and a fractured leg. Other then that, I am just fine.

But I get me a new boot out of the deal. As a special bonus I get to wear this boot for 8 weeks.

I am, however, finding it very hard to swing that thing over the bike. I don’t know how on earth they expect me to ride! I’ll keep working on it. I’m sure there must be a way.

Being that it is my right foot, I can’t even drive a car.

OH, BTW: I ordered those rigid ankle braces today. Hoping for a next time.

Final  update to my EasTex45 miss-event. The logistics of getting Scarface home were a concern but my new best friend, Jack (AKA: GPZ1100), that I had never met before brought my beloved Scarface home. Jack wouldn’t even let me pay him for his trouble and expense. Wow! My pay-it-forward account is in the negative big time.

The swelling went down and my dark red purple toes started fading to a light lavender shade. I showed my pretty lavender toes to my wife thinking she would think they were nice. I was wrong. She is still pissed with me for getting hurt AGAIN. Under different circumstances, she loves all things lavender, but my lovely lavender toes didn’t make the list.

I’m able to hobble around the house somewhat and so I start thinking (of which seldom is a good thing). Ya know, your right foot does not do much on a motorcycle. If your front and rear brakes are linked as they are on my Beemer, the right foot really isn’t needed at all. It just sits on the peg with no apparent purpose. So, I think…., if I could figure a way to get my foot with its 50 lb weight attached over the bike, I could ride. Umm, I thinks and I thinks (seldom a good activity for me).

I come up with …

Beemer Bob Presents “Beemer Bob’s Boot Booster”.

Why, this do-dad (patent pending), is one of my best inventions yet. I think it may even be better than the “Beemer Bob’s Booze Bag” . Oh, in case you missed the previous invention that swept the country, here it is again.

Any way back to the current invention. May I present the (drum roll please)

The Beemer Bob Boot Booster

Pikes Peak or Bust

Step one is to attach this to my walking cast. (BTW: That’s what the Dr. called it. It’s more of a short distance hobble cast) as seen in this photo.
Pikes Peak or Bust

Now with this handy loop attached, all I need to do is hook my cane into it and then lift my boot thingy up and over the seat.
Pikes Peak or Bust

Afterwards, all I need to do is simply slide my club foot over and rest it on the foot peg.
Pikes Peak or Bust

Now I’m ready to ride! I have to be a careful as I right the bike because I don’t have a good foot to balance on my right side (cuz it’s broke – dummy), and if I were to tip it too far, I would be in a world of hurt. To dismount, I simply hook my cane into the loop and lift while I put my left foot on the ground and hop like a bunny to get enough clearance room for my bum foot to land. This could be a little awkward (if not flat dangerous) if you I have much clearance. I’ll have to remember to park on the left side of a gas pump, least I take out a pump while dismounting. Hey wait, I’m already done that too (another story). Anyway, preparing to dismount ….

At this point, I’m very excited. I can now ride in the Halloween event that I had been looking forward to. As I am working on attaching some clamps on the bike to hold my cane in Dr. House style, my bride comes home. Ouh Ouh. Remember her?

Well I demonstrate my nifty invention to her, and she says
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She further explains to me that I also need to invent a way to scratch my a** with my cane while I am in a body cast, because that is what I will have to wear after she is through with me if she sees me on the bike with a cast again.

Her words were something along the lines of “Let the beatings begins”. She provided vivid descriptions of what she was going to do to me if I attempted to ride until my leg and ankle are mended. Her description was going to have me look like this poor fellow.
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Oh well, seemed like a good idea at the time.

Seems like it may be a while before I ride again.
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Responses

  1. LOve it Mr. Squires, I just hope I am having that many misadventures someday….

  2. Great Story. After a few weeks when your foot heals, we should get together and I can load a few thousand Hill Country Geocaches on your Zumo as Points of Interest. They will give you a valid reason to run around (on blacktop) for thousands of miles.

    I truly enjoy your blog and your enthusiasm for life and riding. I met you and Hap at Alpine and enjoyed our visit. It would be fun to ride with you guys sometime.

    Brad

  3. You know, Iron Man, now that you are 62 you can draw Social Security and retire from this hazardous (notice I didn’t say foolish) profession.

    • Well Iron Man duties don’t pay well so I am already on Social Security (before someone from Illinois spends it all) 🙂

      When you coming to Texas? At the rate I’m going you better hurry before I up and hurt myself bad.

  4. Hi Brad. Yes I remember you. I think it would be a hoot to get togeter sometime and do some geocaches

  5. Haahaa! That is the first time I’ve seen the booze bag infomercial and just have to know…where DID you get that oh so cute wine glass? 😉

    Continue getting well…

  6. Hey! 62 is young! (I’ll be there in 5 years). Problem is my, youngest son won’t be able to drive to pick me up for another 5-6 years. 🙂

    • Well then it will workout OK in 5 years. In the meantime, keep the wife happy and hope se will come get you.


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