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firffighter

Being properly prepared for Gifford/gnar

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So, I watched Greg's (PNW enduro) and Magnus' recent videos on their rides at GP. 

Greg's last video showed them help rescue a rider who had gone off the trail and needed assistance. Greg alluded to the fact that this rider and group was out of their element and over their heads. 

This brings up a HUGE issue. Rider's unprepared for the extreme ridng really need to think about the consequences, not only for themselves, but others. 

It appeared this group was not prepared physically as well as not having the necessary ridng ability or the ability to self rescue. I believe I heard someone comment on the video that the downed rider had 3 heart attacks previously and Greg mentioned they were completely exhausted. Not only that, the guy was ridng, what appears to be an mx bike. 

I see this on a regular basis and it's something guys do all of the time. Ego seems to play a big part and gets guys in big trouble. Having some self awareness about your riding ability and being properly prepared physically and carrying the proper equipment and having your bike properly set up are key. 

 Going into environments not properly prepared, you put yourself at big risk, and often, you put other's at risk who have to bail you out of the situation you put yourself in. 

Huge Kudos to Greg, Magnus and the other rider who assisted this rider. 

Maybe others have a different perspective and hopefully Magnus will chime in with his thoughts as he was there. I know he comments regularly on being prepared and how difficult this type of riding is if you're not ready to tackle it. I just feel strongly that guys need to take an honest assessment before taking on certain ridng situations.

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Good thread.

1 minute ago, firffighter said:

guys need to take an honest assessment before taking on certain ridng situations.

Yes, but this is not as easy as it sounds for many people. They think they've done a race, or they're faster than their second cousin, so they can handle anything.

Some people just have no concept of what "extreme difficulty" means, especially on PNW mountain trails. On my recent ride to Taneum, it was like this. 3 out of 4 of us riders knew what we were in for, and the 4th was all for it, but we quickly shattered his reality. 

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3 minutes ago, jrodicus100 said:

Good thread.

Yes, but this is not as easy as it sounds for many people. They think they've done a race, or they're faster than their second cousin, so they can handle anything.

Some people just have no concept of what "extreme difficulty" means, especially on PNW mountain trails. On my recent ride to Taneum, it was like this. 3 out of 4 of us riders knew what we were in for, and the 4th was all for it, but we quickly shattered his reality. 

Yeah it's easier said than done for sure! 

Over the years I've seen many guys out in places ridng areas they had no business being in. There's a big difference in challenging yourself and progressing as a rider, and being in so far above your head that you are putting yourself and others in danger. 

Guys watch videos and think "I can ride that" without any forethought into being properly prepared. 

I've ridden GP a handful of times and was fully understand the consequences if something goes wrong. You better be prepared to hike out, administrator some first aid, or carry a SPOT or Garmin to get help in a real life threatening emergency. 

Ridng these remote extreme Mt areas carries the same risk as Mt climbing. Guys simply don't see it that way, but the consequences of failure are equally disasterous.

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On the flip side, we shouldn't push someone in our group over his or her limits.  It's easy to give the "c'mon Man, you got this!" and get a guy hurt or worse.  It's especially hard to do after we put a lot of energy in getting to places like GP etc. and not wanting to cut short our own ride.  We were out on a knife edge goat trail last summer and one of our friends had that look in his eyes.  He didn't want to be a pussy, but he was obviously not comfortable with the situation.  I called it right there.  I said, "hey man, we're here to have fun and ride another day.  Let's turn around and ride something else.  The mountains will be here tomorrow."  This year, we went back and he smashed that section! 

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21 minutes ago, Harder1 said:

On the flip side, we shouldn't push someone in our group over his or her limits.  It's easy to give the "c'mon Man, you got this!" and get a guy hurt or worse.  It's especially hard to do after we put a lot of energy in getting to places like GP etc. and not wanting to cut short our own ride.  We were out on a knife edge goat trail last summer and one of our friends had that look in his eyes.  He didn't want to be a pussy, but he was obviously not comfortable with the situation.  I called it right there.  I said, "hey man, we're here to have fun and ride another day.  Let's turn around and ride something else.  The mountains will be here tomorrow."  This year, we went back and he smashed that section! 

That's exactly the best approach. Being able to appropriately guage when someone is out of their element as a group is key. 

We had a day at Moab in May when it was brutally hot, already had 4 days of hard ridng, guys were dehydrated and shot, and we were hitting the nastier trails. We cut it short after about 20 tough miles, recognizing it was no longer fun and not worth it! 

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1 hour ago, jrodicus100 said:

Good thread.

Yes, but this is not as easy as it sounds for many people. They think they've done a race, or they're faster than their second cousin, so they can handle anything.

Some people just have no concept of what "extreme difficulty" means, especially on PNW mountain trails. On my recent ride to Taneum, it was like this. 3 out of 4 of us riders knew what we were in for, and the 4th was all for it, but we quickly shattered his reality. 

LOL, I had a similar experience a couple years back. We took a mtn newb up to Taneum and went up Northridge. When he gets to the top of the grade the first words out of his mouth "we're not going back that way are we?" We said "yeah"

He did alright after that until we were coming back and he somehow turned wrong and went up Clifty. Went out searching, found him, but it's getting dark, and we gotta get back across and down Northridge. I didn't have a light at all, so I had to bolt and get down. He had to come back down in the dark with his stock headlight. He's never called us back :)

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I've rode GP a lot. First time in 2000 on a cr125, second on a yz400f. Both times I learned those were not the best choice for it for my riding abilities or style or terrain. And that would be my point. How does one know limits or terrain without trial and sometimes error?

I've had a guy in tears over the extremeness of it all, but he came back with a different bike and mentality and made it thru with a better appreciation for it and a stronger skill set for whatever he rode next.

I've also done 70 miles alone up there, and that doesn't count the 65 miles on road to get there and then again home, which felt more dangerous than anytime I was alone on the trail. Not that 70 miles thru the dark divide alone isn't dangerous, but is that not the nature of our sport? To push our abilities and the capabilities of the bike.

A guy died at Jones Creek with hoards of people around on what some call small gravel roads. Shit can happen anywhere at anytime as many have learned the hard way.

So should we all sit in our bubbles and not challenge or test ourselves or learn how to overcome obstacles and increase our abilities?

Do we limit our abilities to progress by not trying what everone is saying is the hard stuff?

How do we become the rider that can take on GP without taking on the GP?

How did any of you become the rider that is capable of doing it?

I'm on the opposite side of this trail. I say do what you love and are inspired to try, maybe the exhilaration and feeling of achievement will over ride your fear of what MAY happen and that will make you a better rider. Or maybe it will crush you like an ant in an avalanche. Theres only one way to find out.

Also if you run across some lone hippy half dead cause he didnt make a corner or got bucked off the sidehill and it doesn't look like he's gonna make it out......roost some dirt on my ass and leave me there, I'll die doing what I loved if I was ready for it or not.

20150509_095206.jpg

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On the flip side, we shouldn't push someone in our group over his or her limits.  It's easy to give the "c'mon Man, you got this!" and get a guy hurt or worse.  It's especially hard to do after we put a lot of energy in getting to places like GP etc. and not wanting to cut short our own ride.  We were out on a knife edge goat trail last summer and one of our friends had that look in his eyes.  He didn't want to be a pussy, but he was obviously not comfortable with the situation.  I called it right there.  I said, "hey man, we're here to have fun and ride another day.  Let's turn around and ride something else.  The mountains will be here tomorrow."  This year, we went back and he smashed that section! 
Exactly. I lost 3 people behind me on one street ride, 5 in one summer. Never took posers out again. 4 of them lived, 1 crippled, 2 never rode again. I was younger and figured folks take their own risks but after that last incident it was clear I was the problem. "I followed you into the turn and kept thinking you'd brake but you never did, then I went off the road". I definitely know better than to bring my yz out to GP or Taneum and try to follow you loons, and I'm in great shape, its just way outside my abilities.
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14 minutes ago, dirtyclods said:

I've rode GP a lot. First time in 2000 on a cr125, second on a yz400f. Both times I learned those were not the best choice for it for my riding abilities or style or terrain. And that would be my point. How does one know limits or terrain without trial and sometimes error?

I've had a guy in tears over the extremeness of it all, but he came back with a different bike and mentality and made it thru with a better appreciation for it and a stronger skill set for whatever he rode next.

I've also done 70 miles alone up there, and that doesn't count the 65 miles on road to get there and then again home, which felt more dangerous than anytime I was alone on the trail. Not that 70 miles thru the dark divide alone isn't dangerous, but is that not the nature of our sport? To push our abilities and the capabilities of the bike.

A guy died at Jones Creek with hoards of people around on what some call small gravel roads. Shit can happen anywhere at anytime as many have learned the hard way.

So should we all sit in our bubbles and not challenge or test ourselves or learn how to overcome obstacles and increase our abilities?

Do we limit our abilities to progress by not trying what everone is saying is the hard stuff?

How do we become the rider that can take on GP without taking on the GP?

How did any of you become the rider that is capable of doing it?

I'm on the opposite side of this trail. I say do what you love and are inspired to try, maybe the exhilaration and feeling of achievement will over ride your fear of what MAY happen and that will make you a better rider. Or maybe it will crush you like an ant in an avalanche. Theres only one way to find out.

Also if you run across some lone hippy half dead cause he didnt make a corner or got bucked off the sidehill and it doesn't look like he's gonna make it out......roost some dirt on my ass and leave me there, I'll die doing what I loved if I was ready for it or not.

20150509_095206.jpg

Good points and I agree that we should test our limits to progress and try things that may be beyond our comfort level in order to become better riders. 

I had great opportunities to ride with better riders over the years which definitely helped me feel more comfortable and progress to the hack I am now 😁

But, if you're completely unprepared and not able to get yourself out of a situation because you're in over your head and unprepared for the "what if's" you now are putting your problem onto someone else. 

I see it more from a first responder side of things as people constantly lack self awareness and common sense and affect other's by their selfish idiotic actions. This makes me bias, of course when I see it demonstrated in the riding community. 

There's also really no excuse for knowing how to be properly prepared and having the right equipment and capability as there's more than enough information on dirt biking gear, first-aid, bike prep, fitness level, bike prep, etc. 

I would also argue that it's very easy to find out the terrain difficulty from the miriad of info on the internet dedicated to discussing precisely this subject.

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I learned not to hurt my friends a long time ago. Boys are boys and once we go into dog mode we'll get in the moment and do about anything our friends are doing. Over the years, I've learned to pay attention and not allow that to escalate too far. I know better than to push someone from behind by doggin their every move, and I've learned not to take off on a tear when I know someone is going to give chase and get in over their head. I've been in all those situations, both players at one time or another. I had a big name racer that I got the chance to go on a trail ride with and my ego wasn't going to let him pass...he knew if he wanted to he could, but he backed off and later that night over a beer he told me "I wasn't going to be responsible for you getting hurt". And he was right, grew me up a bit with that statement.

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Its the problem with us dirt bikers. Nobody wants to be "that guy" that ruined the ride because they where too chicken to ride a certain section. 

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4 hours ago, firffighter said:

So, I watched Greg's (PNW enduro) and Magnus' recent videos on their rides at GP. 

Greg's last video showed them help rescue a rider who had gone off the trail and needed assistance. Greg alluded to the fact that this rider and group was out of their element and over their heads. 

This brings up a HUGE issue. Rider's unprepared for the extreme ridng really need to think about the consequences, not only for themselves, but others. 

It appeared this group was not prepared physically as well as not having the necessary ridng ability or the ability to self rescue. I believe I heard someone comment on the video that the downed rider had 3 heart attacks previously and Greg mentioned they were completely exhausted. Not only that, the guy was ridng, what appears to be an mx bike. 

I see this on a regular basis and it's something guys do all of the time. Ego seems to play a big part and gets guys in big trouble. Having some self awareness about your riding ability and being properly prepared physically and carrying the proper equipment and having your bike properly set up are key. 

 Going into environments not properly prepared, you put yourself at big risk, and often, you put other's at risk who have to bail you out of the situation you put yourself in. 

Huge Kudos to Greg, Magnus and the other rider who assisted this rider. 

Maybe others have a different perspective and hopefully Magnus will chime in with his thoughts as he was there. I know he comments regularly on being prepared and how difficult this type of riding is if you're not ready to tackle it. I just feel strongly that guys need to take an honest assessment before taking on certain ridng situations.

It’s all fun until something really bad happens. 

Gifford and remote places like it;

3 Rider minimum

one Rider at least should be expert level

Fuel for 20 extra miles beyond plan

Study the damn maps! Know the bail outs

ask before you go, get advice from others on route

&%$#@! water , you need hydrates, don’t count on finding water

track your location with a trail app

download a gpx file before you go if possible

food  eat a big breakfast and eat no less than every two hours

tell people where you are going

have supplies to make fire and stay warm

turn back if something goes bad or a person gets injured

look out for each other, watch for signs of fatigue in others

bring adequate tools and repair items

give 90 minutes leeway on dark

Know the weather forecast

if you think you might get really wet, bring dry socks and gloves

always have paper and digital maps

share the pack load to minimize duplicity and maximize gear

never split up

dont plan a huge long ride unless you really are up for it

be cautious if the trails are new to you  expert level trails always have surprises

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by TigerTanker
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4 hours ago, firffighter said:

Yeah it's easier said than done for sure! 

Over the years I've seen many guys out in places ridng areas they had no business being in. There's a big difference in challenging yourself and progressing as a rider, and being in so far above your head that you are putting yourself and others in danger. 

Guys watch videos and think "I can ride that" without any forethought into being properly prepared. 

I've ridden GP a handful of times and was fully understand the consequences if something goes wrong. You better be prepared to hike out, administrator some first aid, or carry a SPOT or Garmin to get help in a real life threatening emergency. 

Ridng these remote extreme Mt areas carries the same risk as Mt climbing. Guys simply don't see it that way, but the consequences of failure are equally disasterous.

The videos... they always understate the slope and degree of difficulty!

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23 minutes ago, Vsack said:

Its the problem with us dirt bikers. Nobody wants to be "that guy" that ruined the ride because they where too chicken to ride a certain section. 

Not me! Here @dan500afc ride my bike! He doesn’t need to anymore but ego is a fools game. I’ll come back for the trick stuff as my skills improve. 

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13 minutes ago, Vsack said:

Its the problem with us dirt bikers. Nobody wants to be "that guy" that ruined the ride because they where too chicken to ride a certain section. 

I agree but if you and your riding partners have empathy for each other no problem.  On many occasions over the years someone on a ride has for many reasons said enough of this ride, and we head back to staging. No hurt feeling because there is always another day for a riding. 

All of what Tiger said.

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2 hours ago, dirtyclods said:

I've rode GP a lot. First time in 2000 on a cr125, second on a yz400f. Both times I learned those were not the best choice for it for my riding abilities or style or terrain. And that would be my point. How does one know limits or terrain without trial and sometimes error?

I've had a guy in tears over the extremeness of it all, but he came back with a different bike and mentality and made it thru with a better appreciation for it and a stronger skill set for whatever he rode next.

I've also done 70 miles alone up there, and that doesn't count the 65 miles on road to get there and then again home, which felt more dangerous than anytime I was alone on the trail. Not that 70 miles thru the dark divide alone isn't dangerous, but is that not the nature of our sport? To push our abilities and the capabilities of the bike.

A guy died at Jones Creek with hoards of people around on what some call small gravel roads. Shit can happen anywhere at anytime as many have learned the hard way.

So should we all sit in our bubbles and not challenge or test ourselves or learn how to overcome obstacles and increase our abilities?

Do we limit our abilities to progress by not trying what everone is saying is the hard stuff?

How do we become the rider that can take on GP without taking on the GP?

How did any of you become the rider that is capable of doing it?

I'm on the opposite side of this trail. I say do what you love and are inspired to try, maybe the exhilaration and feeling of achievement will over ride your fear of what MAY happen and that will make you a better rider. Or maybe it will crush you like an ant in an avalanche. Theres only one way to find out.

Also if you run across some lone hippy half dead cause he didnt make a corner or got bucked off the sidehill and it doesn't look like he's gonna make it out......roost some dirt on my ass and leave me there, I'll die doing what I loved if I was ready for it or not.

20150509_095206.jpg

Yup. You must go and ride to learn. Lots of guys took me for my first two summers. Now I return the favor and offer to guide folks. And when I do, I’m ready and responsible. Even if I drop my phone and wallet on the trail. 

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35 minutes ago, Vsack said:

Its the problem with us dirt bikers. Nobody wants to be "that guy" that ruined the ride because they where too chicken to ride a certain section. 

Might be better than "that guy" that ruined the ride by getting hurt, dropped the bike down embankment for others to rescue, bonked and unable to ride anymore, or had to have others ride the bike up, over, and through tough terrain. That guy isn't very fun to ride with, ask me how I know! 

But, I get your point and thst gets some guys into trouble. 

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2 minutes ago, firffighter said:

Might be better than "that guy" that ruined the ride by getting hurt, dropped the bike down embankment for others to rescue, bonked and unable to ride anymore, or had to have others ride the bike up, over, and through tough terrain. That guy isn't very fun to ride with, ask me how I know! 

But, I get your point and thst gets some guys into trouble. 

I actually enjoy helping others get better, or simply have a day that will always be remembered 

some of our best memories come from overcoming adversity or simply being pushed beyond our expectations and limits. Even an ugly day has a silver lining. I just don’t want serious injury or death. 

I have had a long list of serious injuries for 2 yrs. I have learned that I can tolerate pain better than boredom 

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The guys we rescued off the mountain. A synopsis

they planned way too long a ride day

the trails were too much for one guy

the other guy wasn’t monitoring his buddy

the other guy should have been following the weak rider, not leading

the guy had heart issues, shouldn’t have been on that kind of gnar

They had a cheap map with little detail

no bailout plan was considered 

 

bottom line, a fubar waiting to happen  

That said, pnw, kmk and I were willing and able and glad to lend a hand and be good samaritans. 

 

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23 minutes ago, Chuck. said:

I agree but if you and your riding partners have empathy for each other no problem.  On many occasions over the years someone on a ride has for many reasons said enough of this ride, and we head back to staging. No hurt feeling because there is always another day for a riding. 

All of what Tiger said.

Cant agree more. My brother was one of those that was totally fearless and delighted in taking people up the gnarliest crazies stuff imaginable as kind of an "interview". He took my up clifty(I think) in the early 90's. Big deal right? Well Back then there was sections where the trail just flat out disappeared with total dropoffs and zero room for mistakes. It was up to you to just gun it and pray you don't fall down and die. I remember yelling and cussing at him in my helmet. I didnt have fear of hights until that ride. I still ride stuff with exposure but I immediately get vertigo once up high(never used too). I didn't speak to him for a week for that.

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