• Welcome to the Two Wheeled Texans community! Feel free to hang out and lurk as long as you like. However, we would like to encourage you to register so that you can join the community and use the numerous features on the site. After registering, don't forget to post up an introduction!

Be careful riding alone!

Joined
Apr 26, 2006
Messages
4,041
Location
Seabrook, TX
That is very unfortunate.

A good reminder to do the same things as going into the wilderness solo. It's fine to go solo, but file a flight plan. Let at least one person know whereabouts you are going and when you expect to be back.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,947
Location
Huntsville
I really like riding alone. But this is a good example of why I don't ride alone in remote places. You can tell yourself that you will be careful and you are prepared, but life has a way of throwing unexpected things at us that lays waste to the best of plans...
 

jfink

Forum Supporter
Joined
May 29, 2007
Messages
3,152
Location
Conroe, Tx
Gee ... there has to be something else is going on here. 29 rd in Grand Junction is similar too but more populated then FM1375 where it goes into FM149. I was in more isolated areas when I went out yesterday on the Cheeseburger Loop alone. The Bookcliffs, the hills north of I-70 (the desert as they call it), are pretty popular with dirt bikers and 4x4ers. Lots of 100 to 200 foot hills with tracks everywhere. I wouldn't be surprised if he just caught one wrong. If you look at it in the Satellite View, you can see what I mean. Still it's a good reason not to go alone.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
6,207
Location
Harmaston, TX
I really like riding alone. But this is a good example of why I don't ride alone in remote places. You can tell yourself that you will be careful and you are prepared, but life has a way of throwing unexpected things at us that lays waste to the best of plans...
Well that's life. You can have a heart attack alone in your home and die if nobody is around to get you help. I highly doubt this guy died from being exposed to the elements overnight. Said his last contact was Saturday evening and they found him sometime on Sunday. Probably dropped to freezing or only slightly below at best but he would have had riding gear on so hypothermia not likely.

Good example for the benefits of a PLB or GPS tracking device. Assuming he had an opportunity to deploy it.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,947
Location
Huntsville
Good example for the benefits of a PLB or GPS tracking device. Assuming he had an opportunity to deploy it.
Totally agree.

Life is risky. I have no issue with folks that want to ride alone. I get it. Just be smart and recognize it increases your risk factor.

Let's face it. Riding IS risky compared to not riding. All the other examples of ways we can die are true. Like riding, there are things we can do to minimize the risks, but we can NEVER eliminate all risk. So we eat healthy, exercise, and use good judgement when doing things with higher risks. This is why I wear good protective gear. It is no guarantee that I won't die or suffer horrible injury, but like that full face helmet I mentioned at lunch on Friday, it can make a BIG difference in the outcomes when things don't go as planned!!

229717
 

jfink

Forum Supporter
Joined
May 29, 2007
Messages
3,152
Location
Conroe, Tx
Well that's life. You can have a heart attack alone in your home and die if nobody is around to get you help. I highly doubt this guy died from being exposed to the elements overnight. Said his last contact was Saturday evening and they found him sometime on Sunday. Probably dropped to freezing or only slightly below at best but he would have had riding gear on so hypothermia not likely.

Good example for the benefits of a PLB or GPS tracking device. Assuming he had an opportunity to deploy it.
Yep, I agree, not exposure. As I mentioned this whole area isn't very far from major development. You can climb to the top of any one of those little 200 foot hills and see downtown Grand Junction. A couple mile walk and you could be at I-70. Grand Junction Airport is only three or four miles away. In the picture, you can see a building of some sort in the background.

But, this poor guy would have had to be very disoriented or had done some very foolish things to die of exposure or hypothermia. Not impossible, but highly unlikely. On the other hand those hills are VERY steep, I mean they are really steep in places. Some have wicked drop offs, even cliffs . Hit one of those wrong, or miss the down trail and it can be disastrous. Riding in the dark is a major no, no. If I had to guess, since that is what we are doing here, I think this what happened.

People come from all around to play in those hills, I think they have a name but I have forgotten. We use to drive down from Glenwood Springs just to jamboree with other 4x4's in those little hills they are that inviting. It's fun to just go watch people play around sometime if you ever in Grand Junction on a nice weekend. I think there has been some effort to shut this down though.

It doesn't take away the original premise though, that it's inadvisable to ride alone. I actually thought about that yesterday. What if I pretzeled into a bob wire fence or ended up where it wasn't obvious I was there. As it turned out, I didn't have a phone, a tracking device and really no one knew I was out there. Roll the dice ...

Just musings since I can't play with my phone ... :)
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
7,062
Location
Huntsville
Joe, I guess that is why it's a good idea to tell someone where you going, but the beauty of d/s riding is I don't know. I generally tell my wife what area and hopefully, Kiser or Terry would know what roads we frequent if needed.

2-3 years ago I went to same area as our upcoming ride, I had never been before. Wife was at cabin and told her I'd be back later. She nor I had any idea where I was going. I got further in and of course phone didn't work, and while it's not Colorado, the side of the hills are very steep and over grown. And it was during the week, I met no one for over an hour for any kind of help. With no idea where I went, and no way to see me, who knows how many years to someone happens to go down the hill, lol. Next time I went I had a SPOT with me!

Just last week on I-10 near state line I watched a car hit inter wall and bounce across all lanes into the bush. Nobody but me stopped in the group that witness the wreck. If I hadn't stopped, he would have been out of luck, you could not see car from the road at all at 70 mph. Luckily he wasn't hurt but if he had been...
 

Yeeha! Stephen

Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
1,937
Location
Bedford Texas
I often get chided for riding alone. I pre-ride almost every ride I put together for the local club. Maybe you're gonna read about me someday, but jeez, I can't get someone to go with me every time I go on a discovery route.... I might be gone for days.
So sad for that guy ....
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2006
Messages
4,041
Location
Seabrook, TX
Don't count out hypothermia just because it wasn't that cold or because he was likely wearing gear. Injuries could have caused shock which could make the body more susceptibility to hypothermia and being in contact with the ground conducts heat away from the body much faster than air will. I had a co-worker that lost a nephew to exposure when the kid passed out overnight in a field. The temperatures that night only fell into the 60s but that was enough to drop the core body temperature low enough.
Of course, the autopsy will reveal the true CoD.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,947
Location
Huntsville
I often get chided for riding alone. I pre-ride almost every ride I put together for the local club. Maybe you're gonna read about me someday, but jeez, I can't get someone to go with me every time I go on a discovery route.... I might be gone for days.
So sad for that guy ....
I ride alone all the time. I like to wander and explore without having to worry about someone else's schedule or preferences. That said, I generally try to keep in mind that I am alone and ride accordingly, meaning I am more cautious about the places I might right and the conditions in which I might ride. I don't think I would do much solo riding in some of the places I've ridden in Utah. However, other places like Moab or the passes around Ouray, I might do those alone just because there are so many people in the area. Still, like Rob pointed out, there are places where you could leave the road and no one would ever know if they didn't see it happen... Most of the places where I ride alone in Texas folks would see a bike wadded up in the barbed wire along the side of the road as they passed by, so hopefully, they might look for a rider too :cool2:
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
6,207
Location
Harmaston, TX
I always keep my Spot turned on and in tracking mode when riding alone. Usually two people at minimum are aware of me riding and if no "check-in" message signaling the end of my riding day, they will initiate contact. So if an incident happens and I can't activate the SOS button at least the rescue process gets an earlier start.

Sent from my SM-G860P using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
2,818
Location
Cypress Tx
If that mud is anything like northwest colorado mud a hundred miles north of there you do not venture more than walking distance from improved pavement , Terlingua comes to mind , if its wet you simply don’t go there .
 

Texas T

Moderator
Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
11,976
Location
Sun Lakes & Show Low, Arizona
I always keep my Spot turned on and in tracking mode when riding alone. Usually two people at minimum are aware of me riding and if no "check-in" message signaling the end of my riding day, they will initiate contact. So if an incident happens and I can't activate the SOS button at least the rescue process gets an earlier start.
+1
And if I'm unable to hit the SOS or activate my PLB my wife will at least be able to tell them the general area in which to begin searching.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,947
Location
Huntsville
I spent many rides alone. Good thought time, but then you start realizing, things do happen. And think your decision was a stupid one.
So where is that? Where you lost or do you have all those roads memorized? Nevermind... I watched most of that. It was a good example of the kind of riding I would never do alone. High risk of of something going wrong with all the snow and being out where no one would find you for a long time... Still. It did look fun.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
1,540
Location
Possum Kingdom Lake, TX
What if I pretzeled into a bob wire fence
Just FYI.....


Of course there was this movie, showcasing the acting skills of a pre-Hep C infected Pamela Anderson

 

Monica

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
411
Location
Texas
Poor dude. My guess, medical issue, a CA. Happens even to young guys.

I like riding alone. And I go alone to camp & hike, kayak, everything I do. I also get chastised for it. My mom is the worst, but some coworkers do it too. Fact is, I'm single, work a weird schedule, and doing stuff alone is normal for me. I will tell coworker or family where I'm going or what my weekend plans are and if I don't show up to work, dispatch SAR. If I die I die, but I died living, not waiting on someone to go with me.
 

Jarrett

Forum Supporter
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
1,576
Location
Waxahachie
Not sure if its relevant, but just throwing this out there in case it might be of interest to someone. I came to motorcycle from cycling. When riding bicycles, most people use a ride computer to track stats of the ride. Garmin Edge computers are pretty popular. I have the Garmin Edge 820 from cycling and I typically use it on every motorcycle ride as well.

It has a few cool features while on the bike like providing tons of stats. Temp, time, direction, elevation, speed, sunset time, etc. Pretty much whatever you want it to tell you. It can also do routing functions, but its not as nice as the Zumo. If you are in a pinch and need to look at a map, you can pull over and it will show you exactly where you are on the map, where you came from, how to get back, etc. It lasts about 10-12 hours per charge.

It has a few cool features off the bike like tracking ride data and storing it on a website you can access later. Here is some info from a pickup ride from our local FB group last weekend:

229776

229777

229778


The interesting stuff related to this thread is that it has two additional (free) functions called LiveTrack and Incident Detection.

Before I ride off on the motorcycle, I just turn the Garmin 820 on and ride away. When I get over 3 mph, it detects that I'm riding and activates automatically. That immediately starts recording all my ride data and starts a new LiveTrack session. When a live track session starts, the Garmin app on my phone sends out two emails to two contacts that I've preset in there. So no matter where they are, they get an email on their phone that says I've started a ride.

If they open that email and click on the link inside, it will take them to an active map showing them where I started and where I am now. They can watch as I move along the map. Sometimes if I linger too long at a stop, I get a text asking if I'm ok :) If I don't respond, they typically start driving to my stopped point on the map. One time on the bicycle, another rider and I got caught in a bad, pop up storm and before I could even call, help was already on the way to come get us thanks to this function.

The other function is Incident Detection, which theoretically goes off if you crash. This piece has been hit or miss for me. Sometimes when I crash, it does go off and then I have 30 seconds to cancel it before it sends a panic message to my contacts with my GPS coordinates. Other times, it misfires. I was riding through town the other day and kinda did a quick zig zag maneuver to pull into a parking spot on the side of the street and it went off. It kicks off a loud siren type noise on the computer and my phone and both start flashing. I was able to get it cancelled before the panic message went out.

Both of these functions are free, but they are dependent on phone network service. So if you are riding in an area where there is phone coverage, it works. If not, it doesn't. But if you ride out of a phone network, the tracking email map will still show the last place you were on the map. When you reenter phone space, it bridges the two points on the map and continues to track you going forward.

It's not perfect, but its a free service. I'm not sure I would buy a cycling computer just to have these functions, but since I already had one, I use it. Who am I kidding, I'm a data nerd, I love all the stats it provides and would probably buy another one :)
 

2WheelNut

Forum Supporter
Joined
Aug 25, 2017
Messages
604
Location
Arlington
Most of the places that I'd be worried about riding alone is where the cell phone coverage is spotty. As such, if I intended to ride in those places alone, I'd invest in a spot tracker. (pun intended :) )

Between the tracker and the subscription to make it work, it's an expensive solution IMO. But.... how much is your life worth? It's still the best of breed solution that I'm aware of and works pretty much anywhere on the planet.

Bottom line....for me.... a spot tracker and subscription is an entry cost to the sport of exploring alone.
 

Monica

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
411
Location
Texas
Not sure if its relevant, but just throwing this out there in case it might be of interest to someone. I came to motorcycle from cycling. When riding bicycles, most people use a ride computer to track stats of the ride. Garmin Edge computers are pretty popular. I have the Garmin Edge 820 from cycling and I typically use it on every motorcycle ride as well.

It has a few cool features while on the bike like providing tons of stats. Temp, time, direction, elevation, speed, sunset time, etc. Pretty much whatever you want it to tell you. It can also do routing functions, but its not as nice as the Zumo. If you are in a pinch and need to look at a map, you can pull over and it will show you exactly where you are on the map, where you came from, how to get back, etc. It lasts about 10-12 hours per charge.

It has a few cool features off the bike like tracking ride data and storing it on a website you can access later. Here is some info from a pickup ride from our local FB group last weekend:

View attachment 229776
View attachment 229777
View attachment 229778

The interesting stuff related to this thread is that it has two additional (free) functions called LiveTrack and Incident Detection.

Before I ride off on the motorcycle, I just turn the Garmin 820 on and ride away. When I get over 3 mph, it detects that I'm riding and activates automatically. That immediately starts recording all my ride data and starts a new LiveTrack session. When a live track session starts, the Garmin app on my phone sends out two emails to two contacts that I've preset in there. So no matter where they are, they get an email on their phone that says I've started a ride.

If they open that email and click on the link inside, it will take them to an active map showing them where I started and where I am now. They can watch as I move along the map. Sometimes if I linger too long at a stop, I get a text asking if I'm ok :) If I don't respond, they typically start driving to my stopped point on the map. One time on the bicycle, another rider and I got caught in a bad, pop up storm and before I could even call, help was already on the way to come get us thanks to this function.

The other function is Incident Detection, which theoretically goes off if you crash. This piece has been hit or miss for me. Sometimes when I crash, it does go off and then I have 30 seconds to cancel it before it sends a panic message to my contacts with my GPS coordinates. Other times, it misfires. I was riding through town the other day and kinda did a quick zig zag maneuver to pull into a parking spot on the side of the street and it went off. It kicks off a loud siren type noise on the computer and my phone and both start flashing. I was able to get it cancelled before the panic message went out.

Both of these functions are free, but they are dependent on phone network service. So if you are riding in an area where there is phone coverage, it works. If not, it doesn't. But if you ride out of a phone network, the tracking email map will still show the last place you were on the map. When you reenter phone space, it bridges the two points on the map and continues to track you going forward.

It's not perfect, but its a free service. I'm not sure I would buy a cycling computer just to have these functions, but since I already had one, I use it. Who am I kidding, I'm a data nerd, I love all the stats it provides and would probably buy another one :)
My coworker who road cycles uses that (or similar, I remember the screens you show). He'll send updates or a link to keep track of him.

Great idea for a resource, and definitely something that translates from sport to sport. Thanks for posting that.
 

Jarrett

Forum Supporter
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
1,576
Location
Waxahachie
Most of the places that I'd be worried about riding alone is where the cell phone coverage is spotty.
Guessing here, but I'd say:

97% of the time I ride alone or otherwise, I am in phone coverage areas.
The 3% of the time I'm out of phone coverage, I'm riding with someone else.

This year I might do a solo ride somewhere there is no phone coverage and if so, I will probably buy a Garmin InReach for that.
 

Jarrett

Forum Supporter
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
1,576
Location
Waxahachie
That reminds me, the Garmin Edge 820 will beep at you when you leave phone coverage, so you know.

It was beeping like crazy on the dirt roads in Arkansas.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,947
Location
Huntsville
It was beeping like crazy on the dirt roads in Arkansas.
And there are a LOT of places up there where you can leave the road and no one driving by will EVER notice...

I suspect that SAR can access cell tower info. So they would at least know which towers your phone last connected to, assuming you don't turn it off to save the battery. On that last Arkansas trip I did in October with Daniel, I forgot to put my phone in Airplane mode, so it was constantly searching for towers. It was fully charged when we left that morning and dead by 5:00pm.
 

Jarrett

Forum Supporter
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
1,576
Location
Waxahachie
So they would at least know which towers your phone last connected to, assuming you don't turn it off to save the battery.
The Garmin app would lead a trail to the last place on the map that you were connected. Better starting point than none, I guess.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,947
Location
Huntsville
The Garmin app would lead a trail to the last place on the map that you were connected. Better starting point than none, I guess.
It takes more than one tower to calculate your position if no GPS is involved. So at best, once you reach the edge of coverage for the last tower before you lose ALL signal, they could only narrow it down to which coverage zone you are in, but not where in the zone you might be.

If you ride in places like Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, etc,... there are LARGE areas with no coverage once you leave the paved highways. There really is no better option than SPOT, InReach, or a PLB of some kind.
 

Jarrett

Forum Supporter
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
1,576
Location
Waxahachie
Clearly, but I don't ride there. I typically ride where there is phone coverage or with someone else.

If that changes, I'll get something that makes sense for that scenario.
 

Monica

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
411
Location
Texas
And there are a LOT of places up there where you can leave the road and no one driving by will EVER notice...

I suspect that SAR can access cell tower info. So they would at least know which towers your phone last connected to, assuming you don't turn it off to save the battery. On that last Arkansas trip I did in October with Daniel, I forgot to put my phone in Airplane mode, so it was constantly searching for towers. It was fully charged when we left that morning and dead by 5:00pm.
I did the same hiking at Enchanted Rock this fall with my sister, phone was tapped out of battery in a few hours.

The Garmin app would lead a trail to the last place on the map that you were connected. Better starting point than none, I guess.
It is better than none (but it is a difficult starting point), being one initiates that search and keeps a running tab for when you're back in service. I won't lie and I certainly don't hope harm on people, but I enjoy a good search, and I've had no better feeling than when we get "Found them".
 

jfink

Forum Supporter
Joined
May 29, 2007
Messages
3,152
Location
Conroe, Tx
This poor guy probably had better cell coverage than we do sitting in our homes. He was only, at most a few miles off the Interstate and below the mountain where they put many of the cell towers. I use to use my Android cell phone with Spotwalla before I had my Spot. You use an application called Bubbler GPS. Your phone registers its location using its built in GPS system (not the cellular system) then sends a ping with it's location information to Spotwalla for mapping (this does require cellular data connection). It looks exactly like doing it with a Spot Device. The only two drawbacks is that it does require a cell connection and it will use up the battery quicker in the phone (although not that much faster).

If I had a cell phone, I would try to set it up to see how hard it was. :( And as I think about it, if I had set it up, I wouldn't be missing my cell phone now.
 

StromXTc

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
1,591
Location
George West
Remember when we tried to be outraged when we found out "big corporations" were tracking us. :trust:

I believe, and someone should confirm, that Google maps allows tracking for a defined amount of time and reports your position via web or email notifications.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
22
Location
Aubrey, TX
So where is that? Where you lost or do you have all those roads memorized? Nevermind... I watched most of that. It was a good example of the kind of riding I would never do alone. High risk of of something going wrong with all the snow and being out where no one would find you for a long time... Still. It did look fun.
Yes, it was getting late and I was low on gas. The real problem came when I went down a steep north facing hill and there was no way back up. This was in Rio Puerco (west of Rio Rancho) New Mexico. I spent many days riding alone but this was the scariest. Have a great one and be careful.
 
Top