I am soooo looking forward to riding with you next year-
(Hope your throat heals soon) ........
So, I got to use my SPOT Tracking Device for the very first time...well, sort of.
This SPOT Report is different than the S.P.O.T. report I used in my previous life before being promoted to Admiral and military retirement.
Mrs. Admiral didn't feel well so stayed at camp and I went out riding by myself. I will point out there is no cell service at camp...or mostly anywhere around these parts.
About four hours later and 10 miles from camp, my trusty Scoob just kind of quite and I coasted to a stop on the side of the road. For the "for gosh sake don't coast your bike without the engine running crowd", I only coasted about 50 feet.
I blipped the starter button many several times and the engine just spun without the hint of a spark plug firing. After letting the engine cool down, aka I ate lunch, I checked the petcock fuel flow, good, spark plug, good, kicked the tires, good but Scoob would just not start. The starter would engage engine fine and even the kick starter but got nuttin'.
Things are starting to look like this is gonna be a long walk.
Mrs. Admiral didn't exactly know where I was riding. Generally yes but to go look for me...nope. So I thought long and hard about hitting the "help" button on my SPOT. From what I knew, Mrs. Admiral was the only person listed in the "Help" area and she's sitting back at camp with no cell service. What real good would pushing the button do? Maybe a signal would sneak through.
So I hit the help button.
Don't think anything will come of it but what the hey.
I put all the parts back on the TW and pile my walking gear on the side of the road. Nowhere to really hide the TW since it's just a bunch of sagebrush but I wheel it across the road into the sagebrush.
Let me try the starter button just one more time before I lay the TW in the sage and begin my hike. At this point, I don't know how far away I am but guessing more than a mile lol.
So when I pushed the starter button the engine made a different noise other than crank, crank, crank, nothing. Not a fire but just a little different. So I kept hitting the starter button and I'll be go to toad water heaven, Scoob started up. I rode it back to my gear and without shutting it off I loaded up and headed back to camp. Rode perfect the whole way and this is when I discovered it was 10 miles back to camp.
Back all safe and sound, Mrs. Admiral is kind of confounded why I'm back so early. She expected me to be gone all day and here I am. I tell her my tale of the no start, hit the SPOT Help button, then start story.
This is when I find out Mrs. Admiral is NOT the only person listed to be notified in the "Help Area". Oops. Mrs. Admiral then suggests I push the "OK" button to hopefully cancel the help button.
And the rest of the story but which I don't find out until I get cell service later.
With a couple hours to kill, I decide to go back out riding. I give Mrs. Admiral a detailed report of my intended route. You know, just in case.
When I got to cell service I see one of our daughters is replying to the "Help SPOT" button txt she got. She's in Northern Idaho and can't really do anything from there but she does call the local sheriff's office, Stig (son #2 if you all recall) and Mrs. Admiral's Parents.
Sheriff's on the way to my last known coordinates from the SPOT Help, I get a txt from Stig saying he's on the way, and a voicemail from pop's-in-law saying he's on the way too. I then see the follow-on txt's from everybody that they got the "OK" SPOT message so everything called off. Well, except Mrs. Admiral did see a sheriff vehicle go by either too or from the location I was at.
Whew, all good. Well almost!
I ended up riding later than I thought and Mrs. Admiral got worried when I was overdue for an hour and it started to rain so she hopped in the truck and went to go look for me. I was riding a loop and she did the right thing and drove the route in reverse hoping to run into me. I got caught in a downpour and had to dodge tumbleweeds and lightening. Finally, made it back to camp and there's no truck there. What the...? Where's Mrs. Admiral?
Turns out in one part of my loop is a major highway. I took a backroad on my loop ride so I didn't have to ride on the highway. Mrs. Admiral took the highway. You can guess what happened. It was only a short section of highway and what would be the chance of us being in the same area at the same time but on different roads.
I was back at camp about an hour when Mrs. Admiral rolled back in with her every so present smile on her face.
Now, all's well that ends well.
Here's where it all started.
And that's my SPOT Report. It worked.
Smart back country tool to have, especially if you are a lone wolf.
I've used my SPOT for help once as well. Not on the bike but I had a Monday off and went out late Sunday to camp a favortie spot in my 4x4.
About 50 miles into the forest from the nearest town my rig dies. Cranks really fast, too fast... About 10pm at this point and close to where I wanted to camp so I grab my headlamp and pop the hood. Poke around a bit and pop the timing belt cover off. No timing belt in there anymore. Well not rigging a fix for that. Flipped on the LED floodlight on the back and roll it back down the hill and into a pull off I saw on the way up. Decomissioned road that goes in about 50' before the tank trap. Guess that's camp! Find some rocks, build a firepit next to the tank trap open a beer and hit the help button.
At least I was ready to camp.
A few hours later two of my buddies roll up to see what the problem is. They leave me some more beer and firewood and then head back and arrange a tow truck and give them my coordinates. Next afternoon the truck arrives and takes me home. Was late because the first tow truck ran off the road and flipped halfway up.
My SPOT subscription price went up last year, I renewed it since it saved my butt once already.
I always make a point when stopping to take a break or something to hit the check in button. That way if something happened where I can't hit the help at least when I am a no show when expected a trail of breadcrumbs will help lead others to me. Plus i carry the Gen3 that has a second check in button. I have that one programmed with a "Gonna Camp here" message. One so they know where camp was if not hearing from me, two because many times I'm heading out first to get camp set up but actual location was to be decided as I went and it makes it easy for the rest of the group to find camp.
2017 TW200 "Lagann"
Cycle Racks Rack, Clarke XT350 4 gal tank, Rox 2" bar risers, 12v power port, Ram GPS mount, Coleman seat cover, Wolfman tank bag, HF "Pelican" style case attached to rack, LED headlight bulb, LED spot lights on the forks wired to the high beams, lots of mud caked on.
Future mods: Ricochet skidplate, ATV tire for snow next winter, maybe a ManRacks front rack over the headlight.
This is precisely why I chose the InReach over the Spot. It allows real time two way communications between you and the sheriff, other rescue personnel, or your darling wife, as long as she has either another InReach or a functioning cellphone.
For the cheapest yearly program it is only marginally more expensive than the SPOT, it has 3 times the transmit power and the Iridium sat constellation has 10 times the coverage. Yes, the initial purchase it is significantly more expensive if you get the Explorer model which has mapping GPS, but not so much for the just released Mini model.
In a few dozen hours of research it became obvious to me that the InReach as taken over by Garmin is vastly superior to the older DeLorme product.
In my recent crash, I used it because the sheriff didn't show up for 40 minutes due to a screw up at the 911 call center and the InReach people responded in 2 minutes. Just as I was acknowledging their response the sheriff showed up.
It will be in my jacket pocket any time I ride further than the grocery store from now on!
2014 BMW R1200GS LC
That report was SPOT ON. LMAO. You know I am beginning to see that you are a good guesser. Mrs Admiral I am glad you two have so much fun together. Thanks I am still laughing.
”Everything You Know is Wrong”
” How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You Are Nowhere at All?”
Twin 2014 TW200's made side by side on the assembly line, Moose rear racks, Protaper ATV high bars, DG oval pipes, kick starters, rejetted carbs, 130 main jets, 2 -3 -.020 shims on the needles and @ 2 1/2 turns on the pilot screw, #34 pilot jets, Acerbis hand guards, Shinko 241 front tires, modified Krator foot pegs, 14-55t sprockets, Ricochet skid plates and 90 degree fuel filters.
I have nothing against the InReach and do think it's very helpful for two-way communication but what difference would it have made in my case? No difference except I wasn't txt'ing someone.
Unless my wife who was back at camp had an InReach in addition to me carrying one, she still wouldn't have been contacted since she was out of cell range, so having her so close yet so far wouldn't have made a difference unless we both were carrying something like the InReach. As an aside, I did txt her with my cellphone but I was pretty positive she wouldn't have received the message unless she started driving around and received a signal. A what if situation for sure.
If anything, this reinforces the thought to ride with another person. Had Mrs. Admiral been with me and my TW remain inoperative, then either she would have rode back for the truck or both of us rode back on her TW to retrieve the truck.
A PLB (personal locator beacon) would have been good too but it wasn't a dire emergency which is what I like about an InReach, SPOT or something similar in that you have a some kind of feature not matter how it's set up to just say "I just need help". I would only want to use a PLB if I were hurt or lost way back in the woods, sticks, swamp, sagebrush etc.