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


Marty Backe
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10 minutes ago, TremF said:

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.

Wow, that's too bad. Fortunately this will be a passing phase for me. Normally I have quite good endurance. Take care.

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18 minutes ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

You're scaring me with all of these medical conditions ;)

I'm beginning to think it was a case of glycogen depletion (I had a very small breakfast that day and then all of the exertion). Once your muscles have consumed all of their stores you're out of luck. Then the body starts taking from your muscles. That's probably why my legs are still recovering.

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Looking forward to hear more about the "medical condition" that made Marty so weak so fast. Apparently it's more than just dehydration. A bit scary, and also with no obvious warning signs...

1 hour ago, Marty Backe said:

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.

By "naturally" I meant how you would naturally use it with the existing geometry without doing to much "unnatural" body positioning or extra levers or whatever. One thing I've learned on this forum, theory is nice but in the end the empiric experience matters, and if the wheels have only been used and tested (by GW and users) in the existing state with the existing geometry and everything, that's what we know;) Also I'm biased, the one time I clamped my wheel a bit, you know what happened, thus my new personal safety rule, it may be overzealous.

But I'm certainly thankful for any experimental data and pushing of the boundaries, and as said you used your Monster a lot in the mountains already and you know what works. Just do the more critical experiments not too far away from civilization/help, and with someone else around:)

--

One more tip, I asked Ian why they check their temperatures on hills (as seen in their 2nd 1000 mile preparation ride) very carefully, and he said with the heavy backpacks (up to 25kg!!!) and for looong, steep inclines they use the wheel temperature as an early warning system of sorts (naturally, they can even less risk complications if they have a schedule). Their rule is, "High Yellow" = wait or walk for a moment. Maybe extreme, but they do it.

So the tip is, having an eye on the (changes in) wheel temperature may give some more indications on how stressed the wheel is (even if it's not overheating). It's a bit complicated to do in practice (you'd have to log and look afterwards maybe and compare to where you were), and who knows how much information you really get out of that (we don't even know what part's temperature it is), but it's an idea. If you need any ideas for testing things, this is one.

Looking forward to see your mods on the wheels!

Edited by meepmeepmayer
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5 hours ago, jrkline said:

I ordered one this morning.So the next time we go into that canyon,communication in an emergency won't be an issue.:P

Awesome! :thumbup: Your small investment will afford you the luxury of being rescued first if your group encounters another unfortunate search and rescue! 

You have my permission to :clap3: @Marty Backe as you fly to safety!

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9 hours ago, Marty Backe said:

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.

 

A certain Skipper and Gilligan once went out for a 3 hour joy-ride.  A 3 hour joy-ride.  You never know, but ... it didn't turn out so well for them, just sayin'...

Glad you guys are all okay and that you even got your Monster back.  

And I had thought you would be presented with a bill for services, but maybe it doesn't work that way everywhere.  

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1 hour ago, Marty Backe said:

You're scaring me with all of these medical conditions ;)

I'm beginning to think it was a case of glycogen depletion (I had a very small breakfast that day and then all of the exertion). Once your muscles have consumed all of their stores you're out of luck. Then the body starts taking from your muscles. That's probably why my legs are still recovering.

Let's analyze your sore legs! :confused1: Could it be that you had 2 separate accidents on your wheels a week before the mountain rescue?

RX: Relax in an easy chair with your feet up propped this weekend while consuming large quantifies of liquids:cheers:

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8 hours ago, Rehab1 said:

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!!!

It's not just the steep initial cost but the ongoing monthly costs for a texting or whatever plan that makes me hesitate. Maybe I should simply remove from my consideration a lot of trails I had been considering.

Also, great on you for being a helicopter pilot.  Of all the studly things I've ever wanted to do that there's no way I ever will, that's right at the top of the list ... and it looks like incredible fun (and challenge)!

I was listening to a podcast a while back and someone was saying the maintenance costs are so horrendous people sometimes just sell their used helicopters when maintenance time comes around and buy a new one instead.

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4 hours 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. 

Three hours of exertion without taking in any calories or electrolytes would be hard on anyone, even a teenager ... and like myself, you're no teenager, Marty.  I think you need to keep some calories and more water/electrolytes handy as a part of your regular routine, and refresh yourself regularly.  

Once a person notices and gets particularly bothered by something like low blood sugar, dehydration, or certain kinds of exhaustion, it has sometimes already been a problem for a while and might not be quickly recovered from.  And as we get older, we tend to drink less fluid and notice dehydration less. This happens in places like the Grand Canyon all the time, so people are warned before going on trail rides there to drink before they're thirsty and bring much more water than they think they will use.  Still, even people packing a couple of two-liter bottles of water regularly have to get helicoptered out.

What you brought wasn't a lot of water for three hours on a 90 degree day ... even without much exertion.  It sounds like it's definitely time to start erring on the side of caution.

 

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Finally, I think you had both glycogen depletion and CNS (central nervous system) exhaustion, along with the usual culprits like low electrolytes insufficient hydration.  This can come from exercises that put a lot of strain on the spine.  Weightlifters doing deadlifts, even if they do little or nothing else in a session, can find themselves completely exhausted from them on a systemic level -- not just tired or sore around the back or core support muscles, but sleepy, wobbly-legged, or even with blurred vision.  Go to the gym at 4:00 p.m. and at 5:30 you're at home trying to eat and falling asleep in your plate, unable to make sense of what you're hearing on the evening news.

Your leaning forward for long periods put a strain on your spine that undoubtedly affected your muscles, but also likely also went beyond your body's acquired tolerance for exertion involving prolonged forces on your spine.

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35 minutes ago, Dingfelder said:

It's not just the steep initial cost but the ongoing monthly costs for a texting or whatever plan that makes me hesitate. Maybe I should simply remove from my consideration a lot of trails I had been considering.

A satphone will usually have a monthly cost/plan. A locator beacon is something different - all you can do is activate it to send a "save me" message with your coordinates. Boats have EPIRBS and similar beacons (you have to register them to your boat or person, depending on type, and the registration is good for 2 years or so)- maybe something similar is an alternative to a satphone without monthly costs (just make sure it fits the application - a rescue seaplane won't help in the mountains;)).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_position-indicating_radiobeacon_station

For Marty's situation, I think a satphone is better - you can describe what's going on etc and he wasn't lost geographically.

Edited by meepmeepmayer
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2 hours ago, Dingfelder said:

Also, great on you for being a helicopter pilot.  Of all the studly things I've ever wanted to do that there's no way I ever will, that's right at the top of the list ... and it looks like incredible fun (and challenge)!

 

Past pilot. It has been over 8 years since I last flew. Unfortunately a family tragedy lead to the decision. 

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7 hours ago, Marty Backe said:

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.

Yep for sure.  And just from my alligator/swamp ride which pales in terrain difficulty to what you guys are doing, I could tell the tremendous exertion difference from riding on flat open road.  The fact that you were willing to leave the Monster says it all. :)

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Sounds like a horrible day.

Rest up , take it easy. As you know the one wheeled , self balancing (but only when moving with it) device called an EUC has a few drawbacks despite it's 'fun' factor and a graceful dismount is not always realistic.

I'm learning to think along with the my doctor's train of thought about the rotator cuff and created a rough 3D model of a shoulder to assist my perception of his insight into my recent injury.

The boney parts of the rotator cuff....hummm....let's see...there's the humerus, acromion, scapula, coracoid, 'greater and lesser tuberosity', head of humerus and glenoid cavity ... have preoccupied my thoughts as I look to my next appointment with the doctor. The associated muscles are still not a part of my learned terms of relevance.

Get well soon. Try not to ride while not feeling 100 %. 

Great videos and pics.

shoulder-humerus3.png

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6 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

<snip>

So the tip is, having an eye on the (changes in) wheel temperature may give some more indications on how stressed the wheel is (even if it's not overheating). It's a bit complicated to do in practice (you'd have to log and look afterwards maybe and compare to where you were), and who knows how much information you really get out of that (we don't even know what part's temperature it is), but it's an idea. If you need any ideas for testing things, this is one.

Looking forward to see your mods on the wheels!

I agree about monitoring the temperature. That's another thing I love about having the Pebble watch. I can glance at it and know whether I'm approaching an over heat situation. For the Monster it looks like the two fans are effective because the temperature never got higher than the lower 60's.

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4 hours ago, Dingfelder said:

<snip>

And I had thought you would be presented with a bill for services, but maybe it doesn't work that way everywhere.  

If they had stuck me in an ambulance I would have gotten a bill from the ambulance company or city who runs it. The Search & Rescue organization is a volunteer group who will never charge anybody for anything. 

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Another way to carry supplies is, instead of carrying in a backpack, adding a saddle to store things inside. Or something like Speedyfeet's mod of ninebot with big battery, with big battery replaced by supplies. I like the saddle better since you can even sit on it. I remember there are photos of a Chinese riding Msuper to Tibet. His mod included a saddle to put his clothes etc in the saddle.

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hey @Marty Backe.  I think we should invent a new survival tool.  Since we american always carry a bit of extra lipo reserves not as lipo-batteries but lipo fatty acids around the middle. We should invent the lipo re-enregizer tap.  It consists of a thin tube with an epidermic needle and anchoring tape.  You insert the lipo syringe in your thickest part of lipo fat. the syringe comes pre-loaded with a lipo-fat liquifier. You first blow on the tube so the liquifier is injected in the lipo-fatty areas. After 30 minutes you can start sipping on the calorie rich pudding. Possibly have flavoring added.

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5 hours ago, Rehab1 said:

Awesome! :thumbup: Your small investment will afford you the luxury of being rescued first if your group encounters another unfortunate search and rescue! 

You have my permission to :clap3: @Marty Backe as you fly to safety!

I got the delorme in reach explorer(the one with the built in gps tracking)because it is $200 cheaper than the Garmin branded unit and is the same thing.The Garmin unit is about $450 but I found a delorme unit for $250 so I couldn't pass it up.It will be nice knowing it is available just in case.However, having a 2meter ham radio is really the solution because most areas including where we were are covered by repeaters. Mt.Wilson is on the ridgeline of where we were and is bristling with repeaters,TV broadcast towers and even an observatory.So the next time we go out in the boonies we'll be covered. I'll also make sure that @Marty Backe had his Wheaties for breakfast and didn't forget to take his daily supplement of Flintstones chewables!:w00t2:

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1 hour ago, Carlos E Rodriguez said:

We should invent the lipo re-enregizer tap. ... After 30 minutes you can start sipping on the calorie rich pudding. Possibly have flavoring added.

tumblr_ny8g3cSSOR1r8q9x8o1_500.png

Lovely idea.

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46 minutes ago, Carlos E Rodriguez said:

hey @Marty Backe.  I think we should invent a new survival tool.  Since we american always carry a bit of extra lipo reserves not as lipo-batteries but lipo fatty acids around the middle. We should invent the lipo re-enregizer tap.  It consists of a thin tube with an epidermic needle and anchoring tape.  You insert the lipo syringe in your thickest part of lipo fat. the syringe comes pre-loaded with a lipo-fat liquifier. You first blow on the tube so the liquifier is injected in the lipo-fatty areas. After 30 minutes you can start sipping on the calorie rich pudding. Possibly have flavoring added.

As an Amerikan I resent that fat. Er, fact...

Food requires water to digest but if your body is trained then it can easily break fat molecules into energy (water, carbon dioxide, energy). Most people, including me, aren't trained so after the sugar is depleted from the blood we "bong". 

I mean, I know I'm carrying at least 40 pounds of fat, so at 40 * 3500 calories that means I have 140,000 extra calories to cross the sierra nevadas. That's, um, at least three weeks of very heavy exertions assuming I use 6000 calories a day (what a polar explorer uses crossing the artic).

How do you comfortably carry four gallons of water on a unicycle?

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