Monday, November 8, 2010

2010 Day In The Desert Recap - Part 1

Hey Everyone and welcome to another update to the San Diego BMW Motorcycles blog. Today I'm going to recap the events of October's "Day In The Desert" GS instructional class held in Ocotillo Wells OHV Park.

Friday night Aaron Klein and myself loaded up our gear, the grill, the pop tent and a cooler of delicious brats from Busher's Meats in Ramona. We headed east on 78 all the way out to Ocotillo Wells OHV area to set up camp for the following day's GS Instructional class. Aaron, Andrew Hursch and myself were going to use the dry lake bead just north of Ocotillo Airport to give 30 or so BMW GS riders a few tips and tricks before last weekends GS Dual Sport Ride with Jim Hyde and his crew. On our way out we ran into Tudor Tomas on his new F800GS. Tudor planned on meeting up with us out at Ocotillo but was going to ride dirt trails from Ramona all the way to Scissors Crossing. After a few quick "hello's and goodbye's and see-ya-later's" Aaron and I contunied east toward the desert. Oh. And the Day In The Desert went really well too. Here are some pics:

At about 5:00pm we arrived at the OHV Park and picked a great spot with an overhead, fire pit and a coal grill. We were in view of the highway but far enough in that dust and ambient noise from the passing vehicles would not be an issue. We quickly unloaded and set up camp the hopped on the bikes for a pre ride of the next day's loop. Other than some really slick mud in a few washes the ride was uneventful and I was confident the loop we had in mind would make a great post-class ride to finish the class.

Back at the truck for about 30 minutes I'm about to light the grill and cook dinner when Tudor pulls up. Had had put together Rodrigues Canyon, Grapevine and a few other trails out of Ramona and was all smiles with the performance of his new ride. After a little more small talk Tudor asks if Aaron and I want to go for a quick ride as the sun is setting. Reluctantly, only because we had just been out g, we agree to show him the next day's loop. Again the ride is uneventful until we dive into San Felipe wash. The sides of the wash are pretty reasonable with some rain packed sand and sediment. The centerline through the wash however is full of the aforementioned mud slicks. Aaron and Tudor take off ahead on their skinnier bikes and I put along on the 1200GS working on being smooth and NOT getting mud caked in every crevasse of my shop loaner. The sun had set by now and we were all riding solely on our headlights. Except in Tudors case he was slightly out-riding his headlight. I rounded a curve in the wash only to find Tudor's bike on it's side facing me and Tudor laying next to it. Aaron was working on getting his bike parked to help Tudor:

Me: Tudor, what's up?
Tudor (dead pan): My leg is broken. Both tib and fib, compound fracture. I can't move.
Aaron: Your leg is broken? Are you sure're awfully calm right now.
Tudor: Ooooh yeah. It's broke. It's facing hte wrong way.
(Aaron and I pan our eyes down slightly further only to confirm Tudor's words. His right leg is facing the wrong way)
Me (trying to hold back dry heaving) : Ok bud. We gotta lift you back on your bike. Can you ride back if we get you on your bike?
Aaron: I don't think that's a good idea.
Me: It's a fine idea. Tudor, if we get you on your bike can you ride it back? We're only about a mile from camp.
Tudor: Yeah I think so

So Aaron and I get under each of Tudor's arms, lift him up rocking chair style and get him situated on the seat of his bike. Tudor pretty much screamed in agony through that particular part of the operation.

Aaron: Ok dude. You're on your bike, you need help getting your helmet back on?
Tudor: Um. What am I doing?
Me: You're gonna follow me back to camp
Aaron: He doesn't look so good.
Me: Tudor, are you ok?
Tudor: I'm gonna pass out.

So now Aaron and I run around the bike fire-drill style and get a shoulder under each of Tudor's arms and lift him BACK off the bike and onto the ground.

The decision is made at this point that I'm going to leave Aaron with Tudor and ride the 1200GS back to the van. I unload everything out of the back of the van and drive down Shell Reef expressway to San Felipe wash. I turn into the darkness of the wash and was able to navigate the van to within 20 feet of Aaron and Tudor. Aaron makes a sort of bed / leg stabilizer out of sleeping bags and 2 fold out cushions that he brought. We lift Tudor into the back of the van, Aaron gets back on his bike and we drive back to the campsite. Tudor is using his arms and good leg to brace himself against the van's bumping along the rocky trail. Once back at camp I hop on the back of Aaron's bike and he rides me back pillion to the crash site to retrieve Tudor's F800GS. FINALLY back at camp with all bikes we ask the family in the next camp to keep an eye on our gear while we run Tudor to the hospital. Tudor's girlfriend works as a nurse at Scripps in La Jolla so we had about a four hour drive ahead of us.

At 8:30pm I park the van at the ambulance entrance of the Scripps in La Jolla and Aaron and I jump out. We're covered in dirt, driving a van that has S1000RR race bikes painted all over it and are frantically trying to get help form the two EMT's parked next to us. All the comotion got the attention of the receptionist who came walking out and asked "What IS this? I mean, I know it's a van but what is it doing HERE?!?!" Aaron looks at her plainly as says simply as he slides open the side door "It's an ambulance tonight. We Oh. And the Day In The Desert went really well too. Here are some pics:got a broken guy in here."

Well that gets the two EMT's, the receptionist, a passing doctor and another nurse from inside the ER moving like fire ants over a melting Popsicle. Aaron and I can only stand back and let the pro's get Tudor into the hospital and taken care of. Once he was inside and the nurse assured us we could not go back there because we were not family we left rather unceremoniously. At 11:45pm we pull back into our campsite exhausted, cook a quick dinner and crashed out (no pun intended).

"What happened to Tudor in the wash?" you ask? Well I'll tell ya! Seems Aaron decided to pick up the pace a bit running through San Felipe and Tudor took off in chase. The two of the diced back and forth for a bit before Tudor really dropped the hammer on the 85hp F800GS. All was going pretty well until he rounded the bend in the wash and right there in front of his headlight (which he was out-riding) was A BIG SLIPPERY PATCH OF STUPID! Tudor's front wheel washed out slightly in the stupid but he was able to catch it and right the bike. But just he got things gathered back together the rear tire lost traction in the stupid and pitched bike and rider to the ground. As the bike slid along the desert floor Tudor's leg got caught under it and twisted around the wrong direction.

So all in all it was a pretty rough start to the weekend. I promise part 2 has a much happier ending. Tudor's leg is going to be 4 month's....and everyone who attended the GS training class had a blast. That ride report to follow!

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