Sunday, May 22, 2011

I got a Go-Pro camera for my birthday this year and really hadn't used it yet. I do plan on using for some upcoming "You Are There" type videos on the Sky island Riders "Riding SoAZ" series.

I took it along with me on a one of the rides we did one the rally and included that footage in a rally montage I edited using the video and pics taken during our rally. The video has been posted on the various club sites, but I am posting here because some of the people who read this blog, do not read the others.

If you've seen it already, I apologize, if not, I hope you enjoy the video:
Ride on,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Of Fractures and Fun

"Fractures and Fun." There's a couple of words that you don't hear together all that often. but they describe my life of the past 6 weeks.

First, the fracture part: On March 16, I was on the scooter, riding around behind Scoot Over, and. . . crashed. I don't know how or why. I presume that I hit a patch of grease of oil, but I just don't know. So, going 10-15mph, the scoot (Iron Buddy) went down on it's left side. I went over the front, broke my fall with my right hand/arm, rolled to my elbow, then over to my butt and up on my feet, grabbed the scooter and returned it to it's full upright position. All this happened in 5 seconds or less.

I immediately felt as if my right wrist was sprained. I helped unload a scooter from the back of the Scoot Over truck, then took the cowl off the Buddy's engine, replaced the spark plug cap and put the cowl back on. My wrist was really beginning to stiffen up. I decided that I had better head home before I couldn't ride.

By the time I got home, I was unable to take my gear off and had to have my wife help me. Naturally, I had to tell her what had happened. Being the good, caring wife that she is, she told me to go the Urgent Care as she was certain I had fractured my wrist. Being a nurse, I was rapidly coming to the same conclusion.

Long story short: I had fractured my right radius bone in two places. the first was at the wrist and the second was in the elbow. Additionally, judging by how much it hurt to move or breathe, I believe I fractured a rib on the right side as well. This put me in a sling and wrist immobilizer and out of work, for the better part of five weeks. The picture above is me, an hour or two after returning from Urgent Care. They splinted the arm, but the next day, the ortho doctor removed it.

The worst part of this was that i was supposed to ride in the Salton Sea Endurance Rally the following week. I had to cancel. Initially, I could only type with my left hand and so, didn't feel like posting anything about my little mishap.

So, where was the fun part? I don't know that I mentioned it, but we have been planning our second scooter rally, called "For A Few CC's more." The rally was this past weekend. My injury kept me off of work, but not out of rally planning. Thanks to my fracture, I was able to get out, find sponsors and plan rides in a lot more detail than last year.

I had debated on writing a separate entry just for the planning aspect of the rally, but I'll pass, since the rally is over. Suffice it to say, that we (4 of my loyal club mates and I) spent about 4 months planning the rally. The last month was hectic and required a lot of time, but we got it done. So, what did the rally involve?

We kicked it off with a ride. 9 scooters and a beautiful Triumph motorcycle participated. It was a bit windy, but it was sunshiny and about 90 degrees.
This ride crossed through some beautiful desert areas. We rode through Picture Rocks, then around behind the Tucson Mountains and returned to the Tucson area via Gates Pass.
This is the group stopped at a gas station for a couple minutes of rest and fuel for those who needed it. The ride was 52 miles and 2 hours long.
We finished the kick-off ride at Scoot Over, where we were holding our Meet & greet. Rally bags and t-shirts were passed out.
This is our shirt. Isn't it amazing. One of our local scooterists is a graphic artist. Everyone really liked the way the shirt came out.
Saturday started with an early ride, breakfast, then the most planned ride I've ever been associated with and I didn't even ride in it: the Tucson Oddities Ride. We selected a number of unusual locations around town, provided a pamphlet to tell everyone about the locations and took a long, urban ride. One of the spots was Valley of the Moon. I think I'm going to try and do a separate post with pics from all the locations.
Another part of the ride was Roller Coaster Road. I posted a video of it in an earlier post.
Our main venue for Saturday was Grace Community Church. One of our riders is a member there and they welcomed us warmly and gave us the run of the place. It's not a great pic, but they made a nice welcome sign for us, using our t-shirt design. We used their parking lot for our scooter "rodeo" and the inside for our spaghetti western dinner.

Our teeter-totter from last year was modified a bit, for safety. Most of the participants rode the rodeo course. Six even did the teeter-totter.

We also had slow drags. Above, Brandon and Damn Dirt Dave are pretty close. Dave won the slow drags and the rodeo.
Sunday was our ride up the Sky Island Scenic By-Way, aka Mt Lemmon. It is a beautiful ride. It is 26 miles and about 7000 feet to the top. The road twists, turns and climbs its way out of the desert and eventually into pine forest. At the top in the little community of Summer Haven. 18 bikes participated in this ride. I always have us ride up as a group. The ride down is done as individuals. I do this so that everyone can ride in their own comfort zone and skill level. I don't know if other groups ride mountains this way, but it makes sense to me. We meet up again at a coffee shop at the bottom.

The other neat part of this rally is that we gave the money from the raffle to a local charity. This year it was donated to Ben's Bells. I was able to give them a check for $543.00. I had deliberately looked for a local organization that was small enough, that our gift would matter. I think it will.