Blown off the Road! - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 11:54 am Thread Starter
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Blown off the Road!

I was coming back home from Iowa traveling North on hwy 169 N. I was trying to outrun a Big Thunder Storm.....I didn't make it. But ...when it started raining it was no big deal....then the wind started blowing really hard and the temp dropped by almost 20 deg. in about 3 miles. It then stopped blowing for about a minute or two and then....and then....I believe I was hit by a wind shear! It took my bike from the center of the highway and literally blew me off the right side of the road off the pavement and onto the rock on the side of the road. By the way I was doing around 50 when this happened. I was ready to head it for the grassy ditch when I managed to get the bike back up on the road. Pucker factor +10.... I was fortunate enough that there was a town (Brit, Iowa) right there and pulled into the only gas station in town until it blowed over.

I have been riding a long time and have never experienced wind shear on the bike.

Has anybody else ever encountered those kinds of winds before?

Bob Thede
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post #2 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 12:47 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

I've been caught by a couple of wind gusts that pushed me out of my lane. Luckily I was in the left lane on an interstate so I had some sideways runway to use, but I thought I was headed for the ditch for sure. Glad you can through that OK with only your seat damaged.

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post #3 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 1:35 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

Glad to hear you didn't do the ditch. I have had some wind pushes but never like that. I have been moved from the far left of the lane to the right a couple times but I am sure I would have panicked and hit the ditch. I don't always do well with gravel. I question myself on it.

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post #4 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 1:36 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

I hope they sold underwear in that town or at least had a laundry-mat because that's where I would have been headed.

About ten years ago a downburst wind blew down a 300 foot 60 year old communications tower owned by the highway patrol here in Topeka. It fell on an apartment complex next door and while nobody was injured it went through the bathroom ceiling in one guys apartment while he was setting on the toilet. That made for some great cannon fodder in roll call for quite some time.

If I had to choose between your experience and the toilet guy it would be tough, although I would probably choose the toilet experience. I can't imagine being blown off the road.


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post #5 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 1:43 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

A little over two weeks ago I was riding east on I-70 near Limon, Colorado. In the space of about 200 feet the wind went from barely noticeable to a crosswind of 80 mph (accord to CDOT's monitoring station) The last 11 miles to Limon were ridden at about a 40 degree angle with gusts regularly pushing me across two lanes and onto the left shoulder. It's not an experience I wish to repeat.
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post #6 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 3:31 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Blown off the Road!

The whole incident happened so fast.....I didn't have time to s**t my pants!

Bob Thede
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post #7 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 3:35 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Blown off the Road!

Quote:
Originally Posted by markc
A little over two weeks ago I was riding east on I-70 near Limon, Colorado. In the space of about 200 feet the wind went from barely noticeable to a crosswind of 80 mph (accord to CDOT's monitoring station) The last 11 miles to Limon were ridden at about a 40 degree angle with gusts regularly pushing me across two lanes and onto the left shoulder. It's not an experience I wish to repeat.

I am afraid I would have to find a place to pull over.....I can't take that much excitement.
Getting to old I guess.

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post #8 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 3:59 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

Glad to learn that you were able to keep the bike upright. I rode from NYC to Los Angeles this past weekend, arriving in L.A. on Monday. I originally planned to take I-80 to make good time on the superslab and still have an opportunity to ride through Colorado, my favorite area to ride, but switched to the southern route, taking I-40 because of bad weather along I-80. I encountered some very strong wind gusts in Oklahoma and some moderately strong gusts in New Mexico; the LT moved sometimes 4-5 feet nothing that would have put me on the side of the road but enough to provide a good jolt. I found that lowering the windscreen to the lowest position and sitting a little forward to put more weight on the front end helped a bit. Thanks for sharing your experience and thankful you kept the LT rolling, on the road.
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post #9 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 4:20 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
----------------------------
About ten years ago a downburst wind blew down a 300 foot 60 year old communications tower owned by the highway patrol here in Topeka. It fell on an apartment complex next door and while nobody was injured it went through the bathroom ceiling in one guys apartment while he was setting on the toilet. ---------------------------------------
At least he was in the right place to save him from a laundry visit!

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post #10 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 4:26 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

I have been in some extreme winds, in the SoCal deserts a few times, but worst ever was in Oklahoma on I-40! Very tiring riding leaned over 20-30 degrees for miles. Passing trucks was interesting. Would be mostly be blocked from the wind by the truck and be blasted again as soon as passing the front of it. Made for a lot of full lane side to side movements. I stayed pretty much on the white lines when possible to allow plenty of movement either way when gusts were encountered.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

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post #11 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 5:04 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

It does happen.

My worst (best?) experiences were overseas. One year we were coming toward Toulouse on an Autoroute from the south-west and the crosswind was very powerful. Never experienced anything like that before. It really pushed us around, easy moving half a lane with a gust,

The interesting part was that it was creating rotors within the overpasses. As we were getting into the section below an overpass, the wind direction would suddenly change 180 degrees, to return to original direction as we re-entered clear airflow.

That experience was equaled by my recent trip to Patagonia. I have been forewarned about the local winds, but they were really something. When it blows (we had them about 3 days out of 5), it is very powerful, but steady. You can manage by keeping a steady tilt - although there are sudden changes behind terrain features or when shielded by passing vehicles.

Hey, that is the adventure, no?

Robert in Northern NJ

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post #12 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 5:05 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

Blown onto oncoming traffic near Pinedale, Wyoming with wife, trailer and dog on board. No thunderstorms - it was a dust devil without any dust. Luckily no one was coming the other way. It took me totally by surprise.

Also had the LT blown over near Mexican Water, AZ one time. No one on board - and it was parked on the side stand leaning into the wind. Witnessed by an AZ DPS officer who just gave me a speeding ticket.

He helped me pick it up, and after seeing the damage took the ticket back!

(It was also my birthday...)


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post #13 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 5:14 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

Came back to Big Piney last Sunday from Kns. I-80 from Cheyenne to Rocksprings...............Bad news most of the way............I only live about 40 miles from the Pinedale, Wyoming that Ron mentioned so I suppose I'm getting used to riding in the wind................glad your OK Golfguy...........
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post #14 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 6:39 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

Same happened to me on an interstate here in Ohio. Traveling in the center lane during a very heavy storm heading home just a few miles to go. Wind blew me from the center lane to the right lane, I recover then it blew me into the unpaved berm, thought I was going to lose it, then the wind stopped just long enough for me to get back on the road.

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post #15 of 21 Old Jun 24th, 2009, 7:14 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy
I am afraid I would have to find a place to pull over.....I can't take that much excitement.
Getting to old I guess.
That's part of the joy of travel on the plains. There is no where to pull off other than the shoulder. There wasn't even an underpass to hid under. I was very glad to see the Flying J in Limon.
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post #16 of 21 Old Jun 25th, 2009, 7:14 am Thread Starter
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Re: Blown off the Road!

We are heading to Cody, Wyoming and other parts unknown tomorrow. Hoping we have gotten the pucker factor taken care of ahead of time!
Although my Wife did mention that on the way to CCR last year ........the bike fell over twice. And was hoping that this would take care of the drama for this year. Then she started practicing her thumbing a ride technique.....no confidence.

Bob Thede
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post #17 of 21 Old Jun 25th, 2009, 4:14 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

I had a similar experience to previous posters when fighting the wind in WY. One thing to be careful of is the small hills along north/south interstates. Behind the hill, nothing, you relax a bit then BAM, it hits you again when you clear the hill.

Life happens...you control your reaction.

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post #18 of 21 Old Jun 25th, 2009, 7:14 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pickerbiker
I had a similar experience to previous posters when fighting the wind in WY. One thing to be careful of is the small hills along north/south interstates. Behind the hill, nothing, you relax a bit then BAM, it hits you again when you clear the hill.
We had the same experience last summer, traveling across South Dakota, east on some U.S. highway (rt. 34?). W-i-d-e open country out there! For hours on end we were hanging off the left side of the bike, crabbing into the constant heavy wind. You'd pass a rancher's windbreak and the bike would stand straight up, then you'd get smacked again as you cleared the windbreak. I told my wife "all we can do is hunker down". There was no where to go, or stop, or pull off.

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post #19 of 21 Old Jun 25th, 2009, 7:36 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy
I was coming back home from Iowa traveling North on hwy 169 N. I was trying to outrun a Big Thunder Storm.....I didn't make it. But ...when it started raining it was no big deal....then the wind started blowing really hard and the temp dropped by almost 20 deg. in about 3 miles. It then stopped blowing for about a minute or two and then....and then....I believe I was hit by a wind shear! It took my bike from the center of the highway and literally blew me off the right side of the road off the pavement and onto the rock on the side of the road. By the way I was doing around 50 when this happened. I was ready to head it for the grassy ditch when I managed to get the bike back up on the road. Pucker factor +10.... I was fortunate enough that there was a town (Brit, Iowa) right there and pulled into the only gas station in town until it blowed over.

I have been riding a long time and have never experienced wind shear on the bike.

Has anybody else ever encountered those kinds of winds before?
Memphis, 2006, the wife and I were returning from Cincinnati across Tenn., on 64. It had been raining for a couple of hours. When we got to Memphis we took the loop south to avoid the I40 construction down town while raining. Got to the I55 River bridge rain had stopped, about half way across got nailed with wind shear, moves us from the left 1/3 of the center lane to the right 1/3 of the outside lane next to the bridge rail, as you said pretty good pucker factor!! The sky was Black to our left and bright Sun shine to the right. Stopped at the truck stop and drained out rain suits on their floor, got out breath, continued west on I40. Discovered that evening there was a tornado just south of I40 about the time we had cross the river.

Bill Jennings, fhp
Denison, TX

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post #20 of 21 Old Jun 25th, 2009, 9:54 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

This past good friday April 10th riding from Jasper TN through Scottsboro AL I had lightening strikes so close I couldn't hear anything for a little bit afterwards. I had about 5 minutes of hail a little smaller than marbles. Then the cross winds started from both directions. I herd tornado sirens off to the left for at least 10 miles. I don't think if I had stopped I could have held the bike up. I couldn't belive it when I saw a LEO sitting in the medium (not sure if he had his radar on or not).

Not knowing when the wind would change direction I waited until I was at the edge of my lane before I pushed the handle bar hard to go the opposite direction. I don't know what the wind speed gust mph were but I have ridden in 50mph gust that were a piece of cake compared to these. I later found out that the tornados lifted a few of those big floating docks from a marina on the TN river and dropped them on a road a few miles from me. Three days later the road a state hwy. was still closed because of the docks.

My bike has not run right since & is now at the dealer with multiple electrical problems. At my next fuel stop in Huntsville AL I had to open the throttle to get it started. It had always started as soon as I hit the button before. I don't know if the problems I have now are related or not.

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post #21 of 21 Old Jun 25th, 2009, 11:21 pm
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Re: Blown off the Road!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy
...Has anybody else ever encountered those kinds of winds before?
Yes, on Interstate 5 through a wind-driven firestorm in Orange County, October 2007.

I was reasonably sheltered from the winds until a few miles after "turning the corner" at San Juan Capistrano. Suddenly, I got a view of the nearby hills, covered with flames, accompanied by a dramatic change in the wind. The flames were being blown right at the freeway.

Blasts of wind hit me from both sides. According to later reports, gusts exceeded 85 mph. Orange cones, which had been used to close the exits, were blowing across the freeway, along with ash, embers, and other debris. Cars and trucks were all over the four-lane road, and so was I. Most people drove single file, because nobody could stay in the lanes. I saw several wheels lift off the road briefly, but nobody rolled over. Stopping or turning around were not reasonable options. Pucker factor: 11.

Conditions improved once I got past the fires. The winds were still fierce, but manageable, especially after I reached a point where the wind was behind me. Quite frankly, I was lucky to make it home safely.
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