Tuesday, June 9, 2009

another day, another fall

(click to view larger image)
There are a few new scratches on my bike after another offroad fall last week. The tank, handguard and valve cover took a beating this time. In addition, I snapped the clutch lever and beat up my left Jesse sidecase.

The old Salt Ponds in Key West have some nice coral and dirt mounds that make an excellent practice riding area. They are steep and bowl shaped, so you can ride up the side and turn down, going as high as you are comfortable. There is a 2" to 3' wide area at the top, then the mound slopes down the other side. After riding there many times, I thought I might be able to ride my bike up onto the ridge and stop. I stopped by after work last week, not planning to try to top out, but I foolishly decided to give it a go.

(click to view larger image)
In the photo above, you can see my tracks on the right, where I enter the "bowl." The red dot is where I was aiming for to crest the top and either stop or turn down and ride out. I have made endless runs along the ridge but have never completely come out at the top. I decided to give it a try and when I reached the top I was unprepared, lost my balance and came tumbling down. The bike fell sideways and slid about half way down the slope and I stepped off and ran out the rest of the hill to the bottom. I was fine, but the bike was not.

(click to view larger image)
Here is the side view, showing the slope and the point at which the bike began its long and painful slide. It took me about a half hour to get the bike down and back up on its wheels, grinding along the rocks the whole way. Riding home was difficult, as I had to get it in first using the stub of the clutch lever, then try not to have to shift or stop until I got home.

Deep scratches and a small dent in the tank, deep scratches in the valve cover, broken spark plug cover, broken clutch lever, broken but serviceable left hand guard and a dented and scratched sidecase were the casualties of the day. Along with my dignity. I know better than to not go home straight after school...and now, according to my wife, I am grounded.

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