Tree the across road: I should have stayed there
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mad Mac's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    This is a TW200 forum, but I know that some of you ride your TWs on the street or have other motorcycles you ride on paved roads. With this beautiful weather, I finally decided to take my new to me '01 Moto Guzzi out for its maiden ride on my favorite back road.

    It had been a few years since I had ridden anything and the quirky California EV was... different. So, I was taking it easy, enjoying the cool shady curves and warm sunny straights, keeping an eye out for loose livestock and slow tractors when all of a sudden, holy integrated brake pedal and hand brake.

    Just over a crest in the road was a huge tree trunk completely across the roadway. No top or limbs sticking up to give a little warning, just the 32 inch two-ton log lying in broken shade.

    U-turns have always been my weakness (I need at least two zip codes to do one) and a downhill u-turn on a narrow, humped black top with slippery pine needles on the shoulder was out of the question. Did it the sissy way: killed the engine in gear, put down the side stand, got off and rolled full lock to the left, then back to the right until I was pointed slightly uphill in the reverse direction, fired up and took off to call it in.

    There had been almost no traffic on the twelve mile stretch that morning and I was glad no one came over the hill behind me while I was turning around. In the many times I had ridden this road, rarely had I ever seen another motorcycle. However, half way to town, a BMW S1000RR zipped by. I couldn't catch him. My mind and guts started churning.

    I should not have left the scene. I should have stayed there on top of the hill where I could flag down traffic. Even though there was no cell phone service, I could have had the next person to show up drive where they could call it in. My stomach began to feel sick.

    On my cell phone is the number for Texas DPS Roadside Assistance, *377. They transferred me to the County Sheriff who agreed to dispatch someone. I got in my truck and headed back, figuring I would beat the deputy.

    As I got closer, my anxiety increased. A pickup was parked on top of the hill with flashers on. Is anyone hurt I asked, then I saw the BMW parked in the shade and the rider walking up the road. He probably thought I was crazy because I shook his hand like a long lost brother. Was I ever relieved.

    Next time, I'm staying.
    2001 TW200 adopted January 2012. 2001 Moto Guzzi California EV acquired June 2012. Ex-rides: Hidden Content , Hidden Content that I rode 67,000 miles in six years and had many Hidden Content , 1979 Yamaha RD400F Daytona Special, Yamaha XT 500, 1969 Yamaha DT 175 Enduro purchased new that started it all and a Honda 90 and 110 ATV, an Indian Mini Buffalo (a 50cc Italjet) and a couple of other dirt bikes.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Paradise, Calif.
    GREAT story Mac. I have not found it often that a situation arises to give meaning to the expression 'you are your brothers keeper'. When it happens, 'you know it' though sometimes it takes awhile to sink-in. Glad it work out; like you I 'got it' a bit after-the-fact and the anxiety began to well up. Sad story, or traumatic experience, I'd rather not deal with either.. Here's to a happy ending........ Gerry
    Take care my Friend.........

  3. #3
    Senior Member losttourist's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Ontario Canada
    Glad to hear neither of you were hurt because of this tree. It definitely could have turned out differently.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member retmotor's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    The Southwest
    Just after the crest in the road... It's a good thing you were paying attention and not over-riding your line of sight. Good awareness on your part. It could have been worse.

    Sounds like you need to attach a chainsaw to that bike. That'd be an eye-catcher
    The value of the internet is that when you're wrong someone will immediately correct you, and when you're right, someone will immediately correct you". Lizrdbrth

  6. #5
    Senior Member joeband's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    norcal nutjob
    <<<<Sounds like you need to attach a chainsaw to that bike. That'd be an eye-catcher >>>>

    sounds like flingwing's set up.
    1994 TW226- 6spd. 10w-40 synthetic, XTHidden Content , XT225 stainless header, +2" Joemama swingarm, lizrd cooler, +20% fork springs, +25% rear spring, 2001 speedo w/ trip odo, pro taper atv bars, bark busters, shinko 241 front tire, front fender w/ mr bracket bracket, Hidden Content , o-ring chain, ricochet skid plate, Hidden Content , XT225 rear brake cam lever, folding-tip shifter, cycle rack, kolpin 1.5 aux tank & 1450 pelican case. Hidden Content or Hidden Content

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  7. #6
    Senior Member flingwing1969's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Shasta County - In the Shadow of Lassen Peak
    Quote Originally Posted by joe band View Post
    <<<<Sounds like you need to attach a chainsaw to that bike. That'd be an eye-catcher >>>>

    sounds like flingwing's set up.
    Precisely why it's on there. Many of my trails don't get traveled very often and I frequently come upon a downed tree or limb with no go-around in sight. Since I've already seen where I've been I'm not interested in going back.

    Also, don't beat yourself up about not staying at the tree. Unless you were sure someone was coming soon to remove the tree, you better have a lot of camping gear with you. Maybe we should figure a way to carry warning signs and traffic cones? Just kidding there but maybe a role of day-glow engineer tape would be in order? I do think I'm now going to throw a roll in my rack box.

  8. #7
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Desert, SoCal
    When Ronnydog and I did the Iron Butt on our TW's shortly after crossing the Colorado River in the wee hours we came around a tight bend to find what appeared at first to be a dead elk in the middle of the road. It turned out to be a feral burro. I felt guilty the entire rest of the trip for my inaction, imagining a minimum of 26 people died a fiery death from hitting its 500+ pound carcass.

    Tough call. If you'd stayed put you may have been aced by the first bus cresting the hill.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  9. #8
    Senior Member lower al's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Thank you for this post.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Ephrata, WA
    Stay? Leave? I don't know...that is a tough call. I understand your anxiety about the other rider. Good for you for going back to make sure everything was fine. Good heart started to beat pretty fast reading it.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

  11. #10
    Senior Member CS1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Tulsa, OK
    I understand the hesitance of leaving, knowing what could have happened. However, the best thing might be to keep some flagging tape on your bike to set up warning of an obstacle. I mean, you have no cell service and you're just going to stay there? What if no one else comes by? What if you're just sitting there for a while, gotta get home, intend to call it in when cell service is regained, and THEN Mr. BMW Bike goes zipping by?

    While we are our brother's keeper, we are not his throttle hand or his individual eyes and personal judgement. If Mr. BMW or anyone else wants to get the land speed record for X trail, it's on them. What if the tree was a truck coming the opposite way and the two meet in the same blind spot?

    Stuff happens. Can't be second-guessing everything and pulling guard duty on fallen trees in BFE.
    Hidden Content Hidden Content

    "I thought the slowest bike i have ever owned was going to kill me." - Hidden Content

    The John Birch Society is too Liberal.

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