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Old 11-08-2007, 11:05 AM   #1
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Name: Carolyn

  Cupertino, CA

  '01 F650GS, '05 XT225, '02 XT225

Join Date: Nov 2004

Posts: 44
Frank Raines carnage :)

In the immortal words of my coworker: "Why is there so much dirt on your bike?"

The short answer:

Andy, Don, and Doug from the Chain Gang met up with Peter and I at Emil Villa's in Livermore on Sunday for some great dualsport riding.

First, we had much yummy goodness.

(Yes, I ate more than bacon -- though who would want to? -- my waffle just arrived a few minutes late.)

Andy, Doug, and I had our F650GSs; Peter rode his NEW DR-Z400S (!! more on that in a bit); Don brought his Yamaha TW200.

We took Mines Road from breakfast down to Frank Raines Off-Road Park.

The original plan was to get a trail map and play around on the easy jeep roads but, unfortunately, that plan was right out the window when the ranger said they were out of trail maps. No problem, we said, "what could possibly go wrong?"

Well, what went wrong was that we pretty much instantaneously got lost.

I believe that I was the first to bite the dust as I was leading...I tried to stop on what I THOUGHT was a flat section, but it wound up being sloped and my foot couldn't touch ground. Rather than pulling a muscle trying to save it, I just let the bike tip over. Plop. That'd be the photo up above there.

Doug came up behind me, looked at me and my sleepy bike, and decided to join in the fun.

Peter hides behind a bush and pretends he doesn't know us:

So, hey, how about that DR-Z400S, huh? I found it on Craigslist last week and we bought it on Saturday night.

Here's another pic of it:

Peter seems really happy with it (which, of course, makes me thrilled -- more riding with my sweetie!). He was certainly kicking all of our asses at the park.

Which brings us to the fateful hill. Or, as I like to call it, The Hill.

After dissecting the following events with the benefit of hindsight, it seems that the problem was that Peter thought that he was riding up The Hill on the DRZ to scout for the rest of us; unfortunately, Doug and Don thought that he was leading, so they followed him up.

Doug will be the first to admit that he has no idea how he made it up The Hill. Beginner's luck?

Don wasn't so lucky -- when Doug slowed down at the top, Don had to brake while he was still behind Doug, and Don's TW200 went ker-plopsky.

Andy and I were still at the bottom at this point, parked, saying things to one another like, "oh, HEYYYY-L no".

For some reason that is probably unknown even to Andy, he decided that he was going to try to make it up after all. To be fair, he did make it up about 3/4 of the way before losing traction and sliding back down the hill. On his side.

So now Peter and Doug are at the top, Don and Andy are resting partway up, and I'm parked down at the bottom.

Don's bike is easily righted since it's close to the top and very lightweight. Andy's bike was a little trickier. I helped by staying out of the way and, y'know, taking pictures of people doing actually useful things.

The guys get Andy's bike back up on the rubber bits, but there's a problem. It won't shift out of neutral -- rather, the lever itself will shift but the clutch won't engage, or disengage, or something. No power was getting from the clutch to the final drive. "Oh poo," we said.

So that decided what we'd already mostly figured out -- we would have to get everyone back down The Hill since the park entrance was downhill and mechanical issues meant the day was pretty much over.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:06 AM   #2
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Name: Carolyn

  Cupertino, CA

  '01 F650GS, '05 XT225, '02 XT225

Join Date: Nov 2004

Posts: 44
Re: Frank Raines carnage :)

Peter rode his DRZ down without trouble and parked it in a flat area at the base of The Hill. Doug happily turned his bike over to Peter as well, who rode it down and parked it. My bike was a little tricky, since it was far enough up The Hill that I couldn't back it down; Peter wound up riding it UP and THEN BACK DOWN The Hill. I will insist until my dying day that I married a superstar.

As you can see in that pic, Doug and Andy were still hanging out at Andy's bike. Eventually, that bike also made it down to the flat area, where I got out my tools and started checking the obvious parts. His clutch cable and shift lever were both fine; I started taking off the clutch cover before realizing that it was a bigger deal than it should have been, due to being a BMW. Thank you, Die Korp, for necessitating removing the water pump to take off the clutch cover. Oh, but I found the drain bolt that has the coolant under pressure. Thanks for that, too. *spits out antifreeze* Pfeh!

About this time, I suddenly heard Peter yelling "BRAKE! BRAKE BRAKE BRAKE!" and Andy and I looked up from the antifreeze puddle in horror to see Don SCREAMING past us on his TW200 going much much much too fast, his legs sticking straight out and the front wheel wobbling like mad until BAM! Don flopped face first into the ground with a sickening thud.

I ran to my tailbag for my first aid kit while the others bolted over to pull the bike off of Don.

He was conscious and insisting that he was OK, but had a nasty gash on his face and he let us remove his glasses and lay him back down on his back. I asked the usual "Who are you? Who am I? Where are we? What day is it?" questions and he had no trouble. To be on the safe side, Andy and I removed his helmet using the two-man system, which was harder than I remembered. I should practice that.

Anyway, luckily the only things needed out of my first aid kit were the antiseptic wipes and band-aids. Don had a mouthful of dirt and a bunch of scratches and bruises but his helmet and gear did its job and he's already looking forward to riding with us again.

Don's bike was now unrideable, too, with bent forks and the mirror glass shattered out of one mirror.

We decided to leave the broken bikes at the flat spot and all re-convene at a shaded camping area near the entrance. Don and Andy walked down; Doug, Peter, and I rode.

Don had a friend in Modesto who could come and get him and his bike, but Andy was pretty trapped. Long story short, Peter and I decided to ride home, get our pickup, and come back for Andy. Because Doug is also a superstar, he offered to stay at the park with Andy until we returned.

We left the park around 2:30, got home around 4:30 (after an admittedly awesome ride over Mt Hamilton), left home around 5:00 and got back to the park around 7:00.

We loaded Andy's bike into the truck and said goodbye to Doug.

Andy took us out to dinner and a beer in Livermore on the way home and we dropped him off at Cal BMW around 10pm.

So that was our day at Frank Raines. Apparently we don't really learn anything, since we're already planning an upcoming trip to Hollister Hills.
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:24 PM   #3
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  Aptos, california

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Re: Frank Raines carnage :)

Sounds like a case of MOS...(Multiple Owwie Syndrome).
If you don't like the way that I ride, get out of my rearview mirror!
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:59 PM   #4
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Name: Kelly

  Chico CA

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Re: Frank Raines carnage :)


You seem like a gal who can do it all!!!

Tool kit (and knows how to use it!). first aid kit (again, knows how to use it), great pics and fantastic sense of humor.

Thanx for taking us along on your adventure (despite the mishaps )
Language is the apparel in which our thoughts parade before the public.
Never clothe them in vulgar or shoddy attire.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:21 PM   #5
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  Modesto CA

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Re: Frank Raines carnage :)

Wow! What an unfortunate adventure.

Don is one of our good customers at Cycle Specialties BMW. I sure hope he is allright!

As y'all found out, Frank Raines isn't the best spot for beginers. The hills can be very steep!

Better luck on your next excursion!

Let's Ride!
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:00 PM   #6
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Re: Frank Raines carnage :)

Dang, glad everyone made it off The Hill. Thanks for sharing Carolyn, very cool and captivating post. One thing I've noticed on off-road rides is the group acts more as a team to assist each other on the more difficult sections to make sure everyone gets through and back down. Looks like you all make a great team and had a real adventure.
You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need - The Rolling Stones
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:12 PM   #7
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  Tulare, California

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Re: Frank Raines carnage :)

Nice pics and story Carolyn thanks for sharing, glad to see everyone made it out alive.
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:28 PM   #8
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  El Cerrito

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Re: Frank Raines carnage :)

Ain't dirt fun?...and your wonderful story perfectly illustrates why I don't do it much anymore...too much fun makes me sore...
...'nother thing your greatly enjoyable story proves...a good dirt bike mechanic will always have work...
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:29 PM   #9
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  San Francisco Bay Area

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Re: Frank Raines carnage :)

Ouch! Glad Don is OK and the injuries were not more serious. Reminds me of my mountain bike rides...I always seem to draw blood (my own) on every ride...but it's too much fun to give it up!

Thanks for the story and great photos Carolyn. Hope Don recovers quickly!
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:05 PM   #10
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  Reedley, California

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Re: Frank Raines carnage :)

The F650GS is a better bike for the ride to the park but the XT225 would have been a better bike while at the park.

I don't like the TW200 for any kind of riding anywhere. I tends to want to fall into corners instead of turning into them. I have seen too many people go down on the TW200.

Never been to Frank Raines Park. Now I've gotta go.

Hollister Hills also has very steep hills but also has miles and miles of easy two track trails. Hollister Hills should have maps available and they are very good. They mark the trails as "easy", "intermediate" and "for experts only" with the designation of a green circle, yellow square and black diamond if I remember correctly.

Hollister Hills is a great place to develop your skills and have fun doing it.

If you don't have TKC 80 or Dunlop 606 knobbies on your F650GS, put some on if you plan to do more of this kind of riding. They will make a big difference. Also, airing down to 14 psi front and rear on the 650 and DRZ400S will make a big difference while off road. It is easy to carry an air pressure guage and small bike pump with you.

I used to run 12 psi rear and 14 psi front on my dirt bikes when I rode at Hollister Hills. Never had a flat at those pressures.

Hill Climb Hint: If you don't make it up a hill climb, let the motor stall with the clutch out instead of pulling in the clutch and keeping the motor running. That will work like a brake for the rear tire and make it easier to get off the bike and turn it around.

Also, if you know you are not going to make a hill, stop the bike side ways to the hill and lean the bike up hill and get off on the up hill side. Doing this, along with killing the motor with the clutch out, makes it much easier to turn the bike around and get it going down hill. If you have to, you can walk the bike down hill, with the motor off, in gear with the clutch out and use the front brake to control your speed. If the back tire comes around, pull in the clutch and let the rear tire roll to straighten the bike out.

Practicing this technique of getting off your bike and turning it around on easy hills will give you the confidence of taking on bigger and bigger hills.

I love riding in the dirt.......
I came to ride and ride and ride and ride............
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