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A Survival Tale of Men, a Mountain, and the Monster


Marty Backe
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1 hour ago, Marty Backe said:

Your suggestion was with regards to the Sheriff Department (the guys that helped you). Everyone that got me down the mountain (including Roberto who drove us) was part of the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue organization. That's who's getting my check and letter. 

I can't speak officially for either organization or who exactly did what because I'm not invovled with either organization.What I can say is that they both must work closely together because the Sheriff's Dept. had many people out looking for you.I watched 6 deputies suit up and head up the Hwy.2 in a search vehicle in responce to your situation.And the deputies that picked me up off Hwy.2 did so because they knew I had info on your whereabouts.So maybe both organizations deserve a thankyou letter? Just sayin';)

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15 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

I had images of a helicopter

I thought I saw a helicopter mentioned as part of the search to locate Marty, but now I can't find it. Am I remembering wrong that a helicopter searched from above?

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3 minutes ago, MaxLinux said:

I thought I saw a helicopter mentioned as part of the search to locate Marty, but now I can't find it. Am I remembering wrong that a helicopter searched from above?

Whoops, now I found it!

Dusk was approaching when I started to hear a helicopter somewhere in the distance. That was the first mechanical sound I had heard for hours. I thought I heard a plane too. I did see the helicopter at one point but it was miles in the distance. Amazingly I had made it back to trail junction where we made the bad turn. And then I heard and saw a large search and rescue type helicopter hovering over me, but very high. I was in an area where there were power line towers (thus the maintenance equipment found earlier) plus I'm sure they generally stay far above the trees. I waived both my hands for a little bit and then it moved off to the distance a bit and hovered again. Then it left.

"Well, that's it. I've been found and now help will be on the way"

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I wonder if staying put with the wheel and the front light flashing might have helped signal to the chopper your location.  Also, carrying some matches to make a fire might have been helpful.  Bear Grylls usually tries to make some smoke signals from dumping leaves onto a fire.  It might have been better to try heading down to where the stream was to get some water as dehydration will have a huge impact on the body's functions.  There are those water filter bottles that come in handy that help filter out giardia and cryptosporidium.  Having an emergency call whistle might also be good to ward off bears and signal locations.

https://sawyer.com/products/sawyer-personal-water-bottle-filter/

SP140-bottle1-498x480.jpg

I wonder if it would allow you to drink your own pee... 

 

 

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love
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5 minutes ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

I wonder if staying put with the wheel and the front light flashing might have helped signal to the chopper your location.  Also, carrying some matches to make a fire might have been helpful.  Bear Grylls usually tries to make some smoke signals from dumping leaves onto a fire.  It might have been better to try heading down to where the stream was to get some water as dehydration will have a huge impact on the body's functions.  There are those water filter bottles that come in handy that help filter out giardia and cryptosporidium.  Having an emergency call whistle might also be good to ward off bears and signal locations.

https://sawyer.com/products/sawyer-personal-water-bottle-filter/

SP140-bottle1-498x480.jpg

I wonder if it would allow you to drink your own pee... 

Cool water bottle.

Not being an expert in starting smoking files, I don't think anyone in California would appreciate me potentially starting another wild fire that's already so common in California. But it's a good thought.

I did have matches in my backpack along with a reflective blanket, light, compass, and whistle. None of them came in handy on this trip.

All the what-if's are perfectly fine to ponder about in hindsight. But at the moment, I did everything that made sense to me.

You have to remember that this was intended as a 3 hour joy-ride. To pack a 30 pound backpack with supplies would have seemed over kill. And maybe still would be.

My mistake was using the Monster. Without the Monster none of this would have happened. Even if a wheel broke and I had to walk for 15 miles I would have come out without having to call anybody. It was the Monster and the resulting incapacitation that did me in.

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3 minutes ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

It's maybe just my "inner boy scout" talking, but I like to be over-prepared for anything that the elements can throw at me.  For my 50 minute rides, I carry the same pack as the guy on the left.  :innocent1:  No wonder why my Ninebot struggles to go fast... :whistling:

Giant-Jansport-Backpack-3.jpg

I also think it's a good idea not to leave anyone who's dehydrated and exhausted by themselves unless there is no choice or unless they are in good enough condition to fend for themselves.  They could easily pass out, fall off a ledge, or get eaten by a bear.  Don't you guys watch TV/movies???  :rolleyes:

:roflmao:

Tell that to @jrkline ;)

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Marty, does your day job require you to stand on your feet all day? Or you usually stand for other reasons? Did you have trouble standing when you first started EUCs?

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Wow Marty that is an amazing and frightening story.  I am glad everyone turned out ok.  The scary thing is I can see myself making similar decisions in that situation, push on! What is the worst that can happen?  Anyway, live and learn bud and again, I am glad everyone was safe and that all wheels were accounted for.  The type of exhaustion you describe sounds very similar to what I experienced when I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back out the same day.  It is terrifying to feel so tired that you can no longer count on your body.

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38 minutes ago, Marty Backe said:

:roflmao:

Tell that to @jrkline ;)

Nemo Resideo!  Com'on.  Seal Team Six?  Lone Survivor?  I can't be the only one watching these movies!  :popcorn:

Then again, sometimes when ya gotta go for a donut run, ya gotta go right?  :whistling:  Donut calls...

donut%20platter.jpg

@Marty Backe I think your biggest mistake was to have placed this custom vinyl covering on your Monster...  :facepalm:  Not a good idea... not a good idea when riding with Jeff...

Ninebot_Sticker_Muster_Donut-web.jpg

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love
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1 hour ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

I wonder if staying put with the wheel and the front light flashing might have helped signal to the chopper your location.  Also, carrying some matches to make a fire might have been helpful.  Bear Grylls usually tries to make some smoke signals from dumping leaves onto a fire.

Great ideas but the best way is still to have a GPS locating beacon. (Buy one @Marty Backe!) 

Knowing the exact GPS location is extremely helpful to helicopter pilots. This method is used daily during Life Flight emergencies. 25 years ago I helped test out  the first system in Toledo using my chopper. When an ground ambulance arrives at the accident scene and it is determined an AirVac is necessary the medics radio out their longitude/latitude coordinates to the pilots.  The pilot or copilot enter the coordinates into their GPS system, fly to the exact location and if a safe perimeter has been established on the ground they land.

Spotting a person in the woods or mountainous region from the sky is extremely difficult. You cannot fly low for a better view in danger of hitting power lines or trees (power lines almost killed me and a police officer on board years ago). Also if an engine failure were to occur there is not enough altitude to perform an safe autorotation.

A locator beacon helps the helicopter pilot and spotter to reach the rescue scene in an expedient fashion where time may determine between life and death. Buy the beacon Marty!!!

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2 hours ago, Marty Backe said:

:roflmao:

Tell that to @jrkline ;)

Although @Marty Backe was low on energy when I left him to get water,he wasn't exactly dehydrated because he had just finished off the water in the bottle he gave me to go and look for more water.I could have gone back to him with no water,(and had I to do it over,I probably would.) But like the saying goes,hindsight is 20/20.I busted my ass getting out of the canyon to try to get some help,and would have; had not @Ando Melkonyan got to cell service 1st.Either way,I figured one of us would get to cell service and call for help and that's exactly what happened.So in retrospect:bring more water,bring ham radio and no monsters allowed.:rolleyes:

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4 hours ago, Ombre said:

<snip>

I wasn't there and I can't speak for @Marty Backe because we're all different, but my guess is that if he'd had plenty to eat and drink, he could have rested up an hour or two and ridden home.  I've been in similar situations.  The good ones are the ones that don't involve helicopters. :)

Glad you made it, Marty!

It's 5 days later. My legs have still not fully recovered and when I try and ride my wheel now, it's difficult. So no, resting for a couple of hours would have accomplished nothing. I had an episode of severe muscle fatigue which can take many many days to fully recover from.

Thanks for the good wishes :)

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4 hours ago, LanghamP said:

Marty, does your day job require you to stand on your feet all day? Or you usually stand for other reasons? Did you have trouble standing when you first started EUCs?

No, no, and no :)

I really wish I could find the medical term for what happened to me. It's really a simple case of over exerting the muscles to a degree that they cannot recover. 

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3 hours ago, Duf said:

Wow Marty that is an amazing and frightening story.  I am glad everyone turned out ok.  The scary thing is I can see myself making similar decisions in that situation, push on! What is the worst that can happen?  Anyway, live and learn bud and again, I am glad everyone was safe and that all wheels were accounted for.  The type of exhaustion you describe sounds very similar to what I experienced when I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back out the same day.  It is terrifying to feel so tired that you can no longer count on your body.

Thanks Duf. You, being the physically fit guy that you are can probably relate a similar experience within your life, as you mention your hike. I've been trying to find the technical term for it, but I know it's possible to drain all of the energy out of your muscles and that it can take days to fully recover. That's where I'm at right now.

It's also demonstrating to me how many leg muscles we actually use when riding. 5 days later, if you saw me riding you would think that I'm relatively new to EUCs. I don't have good coordination right now, and I can feel that my legs are still not fully recovered.

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8 hours ago, LanghamP said:

I do not have the Monster. I do have the MSuper. I used to have the lean forward problem too until I set the hardness to medium. I had previously set to sport that felt closer to my Inmotion.

--Set to sport the pedals feel like they are in concrete when leaning forward up a hill. It constantly feels like one slows down.

--Set it to medium one's feet are pointed down while climbing. The constant feeling of sliding forward seems to be enough for the Gotway to climb, and climb fast.

This is a great tip with the ride modes!

In addition:

  • You could recalibrate the wheel so the pedals are pointed upwards (less tiptoeing necessary). Shame the Gotway recalibration process is so shitty/convoluted, some simple app buttons to choose different pedal orientations would be much easier.
  • Use msuper pedals (bigger) instead of the standard ACM/Monster ones (not sure if Marty already has the bigger pedals on the Monster).
7 hours ago, KingSong69 said:

I really dont know if thats such an great idea...

Or better: Yeah, this is for sure a great idea for short steep hills, or to have an easier pushing in general. But on such an epic hill ride like this was here, for me it seams that is just no Monster parcour...

The riding might become easier with such an installment, but knowing the Amperage that gets pushed trough the wires on such hard -forced- accelarations....this then could came out the same as what happends with meepmeeps ACM....even on that, much more torque related wheel, he got it that the wires burned. When the acceleration is that hard/difficult to do as it was here, i would better "listen" to my wheel....

Clamping between the legs, or mechanical solutions to do so....are longsightedness not so good for the wheel...

Thats All Imho...

i once forced my Ks18 up some -crazy- hills by clamping between the legs-was summer-...and run into heat issues by doing so.

 

These were my thoughts exactly. Force the wheel to do more than it would  "naturally" do, and you might end up with melted cables (maybe not so likely given I'm the only case) or a blown mosfet or some other damage. Who knows? My new rule is: if I would have to clamp the wheel between the legs, I don't do it (or just for a very short time).

But I guess Marty has enough experience what works with the Monster already. It also depends on the incline, higher incline = much higher power/current requirements. At least from the videos, it didn't look too steep.

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9 minutes ago, meepmeepmayer said:

This is a great tip with the ride modes!

In addition:

  • You could recalibrate the wheel so the pedals are pointed upwards (less tiptoeing necessary). Shame the Gotway recalibration process is so shitty/convoluted, some simple app buttons to choose different pedal orientations would be much easier.
  • Use msuper pedals (bigger) instead of the standard ACM/Monster ones (not sure if Marty already has the bigger pedals on the Monster).

These were my thoughts exactly. Force the wheel to do more than it would  "naturally" do, and you might end up with melted cables (maybe not so likely given I'm the only case) or a blown mosfet or some other damage. Who knows? My new rule is: if I would have to clamp the wheel between the legs, I don't do it (or just for a very short time).

But I guess Marty has enough experience what works with the Monster already. It also depends on the incline, higher incline = much higher power/current requirements. At least from the videos, it didn't look too steep.

I can't wait to experiment a little on the weekend regards to the pedal softness. I'll see if I can notice a difference in climbing when the pedals are soft vs hard.

The only reason that the wheel doesn't "naturally" want to climb is the geometry of the pedals vs the wheel diameter. It has nothing to do with power being supplied to the wheel. So if we can more easily get the electronics to send power to the motor I'll get better hill climbing. I really don't think it'll be detrimental to the cabling. But time will tell.

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Wow! I am glad you all came out of this experience OK. Lessons for everyone to learn there!

I have actually wondered if anyone will try and make a seat for the Monster with a bar coming out the front with handle bars. It would need fastening into place, rather than just gripping the handle, or it would just be pushed off but that would make the Monster an easier ride. Ando's technique showed that the Monster can really shift so something to add leverage would definitely help. 

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Lactic acidosis.  :smartass:  What?  I watched a lot of "House MD."

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/exercise-and-lactic-acidosis

@jrkline - I'm just busting your um ball...istic donut dependencies.  You and @Ando Melkonyan are real heroes to literally go that extra mile and climb that mountain to help out a fellow rider in distress.  No disrepect intended.  ;)

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love
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3 minutes ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

Lactic acidosis.  :smartass:  What?  I watched a lot of "House MD."

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/exercise-and-lactic-acidosis

Hmmmm. I don't think so. I actually workout at the gym a few times a week and I know what the 'burn' you can get as you keep pushing your number of reps. There was no burn on Saturday. I'll keep hunting...

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Vagovasal syncope related to dehydration, heat exhaustion and extreme exercise.  :smartass:

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/dangers-of-dehydration-standing-for-too-long

https://uamshealth.com/healthlibrary2/medicalmyths/standingcausefainting/

Edited by Hunka Hunka Burning Love
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1 hour ago, Marty Backe said:

No, no, and no :)

I really wish I could find the medical term for what happened to me. It's really a simple case of over exerting the muscles to a degree that they cannot recover. 

I totally understand and can relate to this. I never used to have this problem. I was able to ride my mountain bike or walk for miles/hours on end and not feel any pain/weakness AT ALL. Since my spine issues started & nerve damage I now feel like that with just short walks/standing and am no longer able to ride a bike - hence my EUC's. Normally I am OK to ride, though can't do so much with the cold & damp weather, but this week I am still recovering from doing too much last weekend and have been unable to even ride my ACM! Where you say after 4 days your legs still feel weak this is me all the time if I don't manage my pain and watch how much I do.

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