Posted by: Beemer Bob | December 14, 2010

2010/11 – Hazard in Death Valley

Following trip is by Hap Hazard (Big Beemer Bob’s Bodacious Big Brother)

Last February while on a trip to Baja MX, I broke my collar bone. This event was thoroughly, and with much mirth, duly reported by my brother in BeenerBob’s Bodacious Blog ( Getting from the accident scene back to my home in San Antonio proved to be quite the adventure.

While healing I reflected that the real cause of the accident was operator error. I owned one of the finest machines in the world, a BMW R1200GS. It is capable of going literally around the world as evidenced by many books, videos and ride reports. My personal mount was perfectly equipped. It had big aluminum side cases, it had running lights, it had fog lights, driving lights and a custom seat! What it didn’t have was a rider with any clue about going off road.

This had to be remedied. In August I enrolled in RawHyde Adventures Introductory course in adventure bike riding. After two days I knew lots of stuff; tire pressures, setting the rebound on the suspensions and various skills related to riding these beasts off road. Hell, I even have a picture of me catching ”air” with my GS.

So early October, I persuade BeemerBob to join me on a 3 day 450 mile enduro in East Texas. This event turned out to be almost exclusively deep sand roads for miles and miles. Even the smaller bikes were spinning out. My properly set up GS and my newly acquired skills served me well. Unfortunately, Beemer didn’t fare so well. After a spill trapped his leg under the pannier, an ambulance was summoned to haul him away. He broke an ankle and leg and currently hobbles around in a walking cast on his right leg.

Anxious to continue my education, in November I enrolled in RawHyde’s advanced off road course. And to cap it off, I would attend the ’post graduate” course which is 5 days exploring the remote parts of Death Valley. The advanced class goes well and it is with confident expectation that I begin the “Expedition C. V.”. On the third day we enter what Jim Hyde calls the hard part. He described it correctly. It took 7 hours to go 12 miles. One section involved tying ropes to the bikes; four guys pulling, two pushing, one riding to get over rock ledges.

Later in the day, at another difficult at best section, the rider ahead of me makes a spectacular dismount that would have been the envy of any gymnast. The judges would have awarded him perfect “10’s” except he lost points when the motorcycle rolled on top of him breaking his collar bone. After the debris and his body were dragged off, it was my turn. Alas, I did not get any points. Apparently, getting an ankle sandwiched between a rock and the cylinder head is not difficult enough to get points. It was enough to break my ankle though.

With no other options, I kept the boot on and resumed riding. That night after setting up camp, one of the doctors on the trip examined my ankle. She pronounced it sprained but not broken.. I should have been suspicious when she kept telling me to breathe deep and push. She was a retired OBGYN.

We were still 2 ½ days from getting out. Luckily the boot provided enough support that I could ride relatively pain free. Once back to civilization, I loaded the bike and began the long drive back to SA. By the time I reached Phoenix (sounds like a Glenn Cambell song) the foot had turned black and I decided to stop by the local ER for a visit. The ER confirmed that it was broke and wrapped it up in a fiberglass cast and sent me on my way. Once I got back and saw the local Doc, the temporary cast was removed and replaced with the same type of fashionable ‘boot’ currently worn by Beemer Bob.

This Christmas, the Beemer Brothers are sporting matching casts. Bob on the right and me on the left.

Hap Hazard's Avatar Hap Hazard reporting



  1. I am so sorry to hear that both of you guys are busted up a little. I suppose it’s good for brothers to have matching footwear.

    I hope your enthusiasm is not dampened by any of this. It’s fun to read about your adventures!


  2. Unbelievable. You two guys crack me up… and give me the motivation to get off my butt. Time to live a little. Thanks.

    Dave H

  3. We were wondering if y’all would make the Christmas party holding each other up! Hurry up and heal…we have riding to do!

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