Hey There! My good motorcycling buddies! How ya all doin? Are you gettin out on your trusty 2-wheeled friends?
I dare say, so far this has been an amazing riding season for me. I’ve logged over 10K miles on my trusty Yamaha MT-09 Tracer, and I’m not finished yet. Buds, and I, have a 7-day trip planned for early September. We’ll be logging almost 3K miles, as we tour Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Keep an eye out for a blog post describing that trip, eh.
One of the primary reasons I moved to Bend, Oregon, dang near a year ago, was for the excellent sport tour riding. With each ride that I go on, my satisfaction with that decision only increases. There are so many excellent touring routes in central Oregon … well, it’s a motorcyclists dream! And, if you want even more touring, you can just pop down to Northern Cali, which also offers a plethora of great riding. For all you poor bastards that live in the flatlands, such as Ohio, or in the swamplands, Florida, I feel for ya, brothas. I feel for ya. With that being said, if any of my readers make it to Oregon, pop me a message, and perhaps I can show ya some of the gem rides around here.
Okay then, I’m guessing you’re probably wondering what the title of this post is referring to. What the hell is “The Horned Wall of Muscle”?
Undoubtedly, you may have an idea. The Horned Wall is them deer, bears, elk, meese, kangaroos, wombats, and any other member of the muscled-up wildlife community, that has the bulk and girth to take one of us smelly motorcycle dudes out.
Yes, I know. Not all of them are horned, but I think you get my point, eh.
Here in central Oregon, I fear the Horned Wall more than I do the dreaded Texting Millenial.
I tend to ride out in the middle of nowhere, where there are not many cars in general, but there is plenty of wildlife.
Central Oregon is still a very wild place! That’s one of the things I love about it.
Southeast Oregon is one of the most remote parts of the Lower 48. People run out of gas all the time. It’s a bit like the Australian outback, but without the Roos and funny accent. ( Heh, heh ).
Gas stations can be 100 miles apart, and if you do make it to one, no doubt while running on fumes, it may not be open. In which case, you’re going to have to spend a cold night in your car.
Did I tell you the high desert gets friggen cold at night? Even, during Summer.
People disappear in central Oregon. Especially, during Winter, when they find themselves stranded, and attempt to hike it out and look for help.
The reason I’m bringing this up is, because if you do run into The Horned Wall while riding out in the middle of nowhere, it could be awhile before you, or your body, are found, if ever.
So, you’d best not run into the Horned Wall, SON!
When I’m blasting through the Oregon Wilds, I take a number of precautions in order to minimize the chances of kissing the Horned Wall. I certainly don’t want any of my motorcycling buddies ( You guys! ) to meet the Horned Wall, either, so’s I’m going to share my learnings with ya all.
First off, I try not to be on the road before sunrise, and I try to get off the road by sunset.
Preferably, before hitting the road, an hour has passed after sunrise, and I’m at my motel at least an hour before sunset.
You see, son, The Horned Wall tends to be nocturnal, and likes to wander about, mostly during hours of darkness, or near darkness. Also, not being nocturnal myself, my eyesight is much better during the hours of bright daylight. Therefore, unlike a vampire, I try to do my riding in the bright sun.
Next up, I’m always aware, and alert, to the current road conditions. That is, how close to the road do the trees and foliage abutt. If there is a bunch of foliage right up against the road, that the Horned Wall could be lurking in … yup, that’s right, son … got’s to slow er down!
You should slow er down enough so that you have a reasonably good chance to brake enough so’s you don’t plow into The Horned Wall at high speed. Truth be told, chances are high that you’re gonna impact The Horned Wall. But, hopefully, you will survive. And, if you do survive, you avoid spending the next several months in a body cast.
A corollary to the previous item is, when carving through a corner, if visibility around the corner is limited … Yup … That’s right, son … Slow er down!
Not only will you, hopefully, be able to stop in time to avoid hitting The Horned Wall, but also avoid hitting a crawling RV, logging truck, or the dreaded Texting Millenial!
Have you ever got up and close to the ass-end of a logging truck, such that you could kiss the end of that piece of lumber sticking out?
I haven’t yet, but I imagine it’s not only sappy, but also, none too much of a comfortable feeling. OY!
Ok, here’s one that might garner some feedback …
If the foliage is abutting the road, and I can see that there is no opposing traffic, I damn near ride smack in the center of the road. The way I see it, if the Horned Wall jumps out, I might have a chance to blip my horn and brake, before the Horned Wall saunters into my path. Yes, I know there is likely to be debris in the center, but I figure it’s worth the risk of a flat tire. I’d rather get a flat, then kiss the Horned Wall.
Speaking of horns, I replaced that weeny, little stock beeper, with a more burly honker.
Here is the one I went with: ( By the way, hey Revzilla, you can thank me later for the plug. Perhaps, with a free tire, eh? )
This horn was a snap to install on my Tracer, and it honks real nice. Even the dreaded Texting Millenials hear it!
Just a side gripe … Why the hell can’t OEM bike manufacturers install a decent horn?
Come on, dudes! It’s only a few extra bucks, and it could save lives!
I only have two other tips that I can think of:
If The Horned Wall does jump out in front of you, it’s often best to emergency brake, but NOT swerve.
The Horned Wall is very unpredictable. There’s no tellin what that critter might do. Jump left, jump right, jump toward you, or just stand there with a baffled look on it’s face. The best you can do is, apply brake like one of the crazed, and perhaps, scrunch yourself up to reduce the area of potential impact.
Do NOT “Lay the bike down”!
I hear this load of hogwash way too often. Your motorcycle is your protector. In many cases, it will ensure your safety. Do not abandon it! Brakes and rubber are way more effective at bleeding off speed, than metal, plastic, and skin. And, don’t forget that magnificent engine that’s roaring under your crotch. With a sufficient application of throttle, you may be able to power past The Horned Wall, before it has a chance to leap on top of you.
There’s an ol’ saying “There is no problem in the world that can’t be solved with a sufficient application of throttle.”. Remember that, son!
My Tracer’s beautiful 850 triple banger has kept me comfortably safe many a time. Many a time!
The final tip I have to share with you is, wear some Hi Viz. The Horned Wall will see the bright green, and not jump out in front of you. Ha. Of course, I’m jokin on ya.
No, here’s the deal with Hi Viz … If you do go down, and end up sprawled out in the middle of the road, the 4-wheeled cager coming up behind you, or around the corner, just might see the Hi Viz, and not run your ass over.
Ok then, my riding buddies! I hope you’re getting something outta my words. And, yo dudes, if you are, please do drop me a comment, or a Like. Show a riding brotha some love, and let me know that my words aren’t just ending up in the ether, being read by a dude who goes by the name of “No One”.
As always … Ride HARD! Ride GOOD! Ride like you know you SHOULD!