Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 6:47 pm
Location: Hillsburrito, OR
Off we went, Rusty solo, Jeff pooled with Kerry and Scott, and me with little Divey (this is sorta key). After cat-and-mouse games of getting petrol in my jug, we finally arrive to the meeting location and, holy crap, the area was packed like sardines in a can and resembled a Saturday Market, but without all the hippies! “Too many people. We’ll need to split into groups” was the general consensus. Ricky Bobby had a rider’s meeting, did a count and there was about 30 (count ‘em) people, and more were coming into the staging area!
Rick Higgins photo.
We all finally all took off like a looooooong accordion. Right off I noticed my steering-head bearings, which were too loose, were now too tight. Wow, a poor-man’s steering dampener. Soon enough my arms were pumping up. We made a couple wait stops for everyone and soldiered on. Eventually we came out up by The Boulders and I just had to take a break and loosen up the bearings before I augured in, and sure enough it would’ve been onto my healing right side. I told Rick I’d just catch up with everyone at The Stumps and pulled out my tools, while everyone took off.
As I’m fooling with my triple clamp, I hear some bikes. Three bikes soon showed up and the first one says, “Hey Tom!” Hell’s fire, everyone looks the same in their gear. Then he pulled off his hat and it was Kelly Anson, who I’d just seen the night before at the Rock Creek Tavern! You see, Donna and I were out for an after-work dualsport ride and we ended up at Rock Creek Tavern. As we pulled up, two riders were standing by their bikes talking. Suddenly I realized that it was Kelly and his bud Scott – small world! (crappy cell phone shot)
So now, the second guy pulls off his helmet and it’s world-famous Jake Meteer! This was Jake’s first ride out after his broken femur – ouch! The third guy was their bud, Ben. Anyway, they watch me beat on my steering head, I pack up and we go in pursuit of Rocket Rick and the Centipede Gang. I again quickly realized my damn bearings were still too tight as I almost low sided a few times. We finally caught up with the others at The Stumps. After a small chat session, Rick takes everyone out the northern exit. Kelly says he was going to do the eastern loop, and then would catch up with everyone. I figured what the heck; I’d go with Kelly’s group, and then catch up with Rick and crew, so we took off.
That’s the last I saw of Rick’s group. Try as we did, we never did catch up with them. Doh.
Our ride was pretty damn fun though. We passed by a little pond, which presented a fun photo session, so out came the cameras. Jake styled nicely for the camera, but that darned Kelly can’t wheelie through water worth a damn! It was at this time I tried to loosen my bearings one last time. This time I finally got it loose enough I could steer again, so life was good.
Jake Meteer photo.
The rest of our ride was nirvana: epic single track, minimal dust, balmy weather, bodacious views and plenty of laughs. At one point we came out into the Motocross Woods area and I’m guessing that’s where we missed a turn chasing the others. I have yet to get GPS track logs from the others to confirm against my track log though.
The rest of our ride rocked, not much else to say and I had a blast riding with the Three Amigos.
But wait, there’s an unhappy ending to this day. We were riding along almost to Bald Butte, when my clock showed 3pm. Since I never caught up with the others, and I pooled out with Little Divey, I figured I better cut things short for me and branched off from the other three, heading back to the staging area. Holy smoke – I got back and Dive was almost the only one left in the staging area! Damn, thought I’d get back before the others. We loaded up, and pointed his Subaru homeward. We pulled into the McDonalds again in Troutdale and threw my bike into my pickup. Divey took off and I was behind him by a few minutes. The usual I84 traffic coming into Portland had me swearing at a tailgating lady behind me along with the sudden stopped traffic. Dammit, what caused all this? Stop and go, stop and go, and finally in the left lane I see people up ahead exchanging information, so must’ve been a wreck. I get closer and, what, there’s a KTM involved? What there’s a bunch of cars too. HOLY CRAP, IT’S DAVE’S CAR! DAMMIT! I pulled in front of the accident, turned on the flashers and ran back to make sure Dave was okay. Turns out he was fun, just frazzled, as were the other people involved. I of course offered any help I could, took crappy cell phone pix of the accident in case Dave needed them for later and asked Dave what happened. Evidently he was stopped due to stop-and-go traffic, when he felt a big impact from behind. He looked in the mirror and saw his KTM fly by! He ended up 90 degrees sideways, the trailer was completely separated from his Subaru, the KTM was still strapped onto the trailer and a Volkswagen Beetle’s front bumper was into his KTM’s rear tire. Damn. Plus there were two cars behind the Volks that were crashed. Dive later said there were actually five vehicles involved. Ugh.
Optimistically, Dave was fine, he drove his car home and his trailer (with KTM laid on its side) got towed to impound. He might not be dirt riding for awhile – damn - A bummer ending to an awesome day.
Dave Klug photo.