Well, she’s back on the road and ready to roll…After finding more broken than expected, and biting the bullet on a few things I had neglected, I finally got the Tiger out on the road for a few hours this weekend. For more details on the repair/maintenance check out the Tiger Forums post I made. I forgot how much I missed riding this thing, a tad over 55,000 miles now and I hope for many, many more in the coming years. I am currently packing and planning for my spring adventure ride down the Pacific Coast Highway, across Southern Arizona, a brief jump into New Mexico to check out Silver City and then back up through AZ to Mexican Hat, through the Bears Ears and Abajo’s and onto the deserts of Utah. I’ll do my best to post pics along the way and will be writing a full report when I get home. If you’re on Instagram you can find me and my pics from the road at 73hutch24 I start riding home on the 18th if the weather plays nice. See you soon
Some of you may know I had a little accident with the Tiger last fall, fortunately (but lamely), I wasn’t riding it at the time. I was unloading it from the trailer in less than perfect conditions (snow/ice) and it slipped and landed perfectly on the plastic faring on the corner of the trailer, causing the obvious damage you see above, plus some unseen underneath. So instead of going on one last fall adventure, the bike went into storage and I stewed about it all winter. With Spring starting to show signs of coming to the west I started thinking about getting her patched up and back on the road.
During an assessment of the parts I would need, I discovered another issue (known problem for this year beast) had reared it’s unpleasant head over the winter. The plastic fuel fittings that connect the fuel lines from the tank to the throttle bodies had not only cracked, one had broken completely. I also decided since the tank etc were coming off I may as well get caught up on a bunch of other stuff I had been putting off due to the high pain in the ass factor. After assessing damage and deciding what maintenance stuff I was and wasn’t going to tackle, the challenge of finding parts began. Unfortunately, the 99 Tiger is not a highly coveted bike and parts are often challenging to find and slow to arrive, you will see once this project is done, the faring had to change color but I was contemplating that change anyway. As fate would have it, a perfect opportunity for a spring motorcycle trip fell into my lap and thus a little kick in the shorts to get this kitty back on the road.
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Earlier this winter I once again had the pleasure of working with a variety of search dogs from all over the western US at the semi-annual WBR International Dog School It’s so rewarding to watch these dogs and handler’s make such huge steps in a short few days. It’s a labor of love, since my dogs have all moved on to mountains where the snow is always perfect and the sun always shines, it gives me the opportunity to get a serious dog fix. Anyway, out friends over at Ruffwear have been huge supporters the last few years and have put up a great review of the school on their blog : Ruffwear Attends WBR Avalanche Rescue Dog School with some great photos and videos. Check it out. Now shameless plug time, I love their gear and they have used our feedback to improve many products they make, one of which is the Flatout Leash, which has an awesome easy to use with gloves connector and built loop to tie your dog out if needed. Check it out here:
About to tear into the Tiger for some much needed repair and updates, so stand by for spring moto madness and a trip report to follow.
Yesterday, Paul Diegel, Executive Director of the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center, posted an interesting article on the UAC blog, “In Defense of Sidecountry”, where he discusses the term sidecountry and how we should be using it. I have long been vocal about trying to eliminate the word from the professional vernacular and emphasize that it is truly “backountry”, whether it is ten feet or ten thousand feet from a ski area boundary, snow and avalanche conditions are different than within the ski area and should be treated as such.
From details provided in the blog post, they were obviously skiing at Canyons Resort and almost certainly the slope in question is Dutch Draw. Dutch has seen two avalanche fatalities since 2005, both in the Conehead slide path, both were predictable and preventable events, and both involved ill-equipped snowboarders leaving the ski area from the Backcountry Exit Point at the top of Peak 9990. I was heavily involved in one body recovery and have spoken with those involved in the other, ii is unlikely safety gear would have changed the outcome in either case, only knowledge and better decision making could have changed these tragic cases. I have also spent countless, frustrating hours trying to educate the skiing and riding public about the dangers of the areas so easily accessible from 9990. It is from these conversations and exchanges that I have developed a very different view of the problem and how we apply terminology to it. Read the remainder of this entry »