Motorcycle Touring in Moab with Tony

Geared up and ready to leave town

Tony made the trek out from Houston, Texas to take a motorcycle adventure ride in the backcountry of Utah. We spent a couple months getting him prepared and geared up for the trip. Once he arrived we spent some more time getting his bike loaded and inspecting his gear. We visited the local watering hole for some dinner and to study a map of the route. The weather looked beautiful and we rolled out the next morning for Moab.

Tony and Scott at Delicate Arch

Tony and Scott at Delicate Arch

We made our way to Moab stopping at the famous Ray’s Diner in Green River for a great burger and fries. Once we arrived in Moab we hurried to find a great camping spot along the Colorado River. Then we geared up to ride over to the Delicate Arch hike and get there by sunset for some great pictures. We rode over and into Arches, then up to the trailhead. It was really nice weather, but still actually quite warm on the hike as we had the sun on our backs. After the hike we headed back to camp for some dinner and to talk about the next days ride.

Motorcycle Camping in Moab

We woke up the next morning ready to ride the Shafer trail. This is a dirt road that starts outside of Moab and takes you beneath the island in the sky and out on the north end of Moab. It was a beautiful morning as we made our way back into town from our camping spot along the river. The sun was rising with blue skies and it was starting to reveal the red rock formations.

Tony enjoying the scenery on his BMW motorcycle

Tony enjoying the scenery on his BMW motorcycle

As we continued our ride we transitioned over to wall street, stopping several times for pictures of the majestic and towering red rock mountains. This road is pavement until you get up to the Pot Ash plant, then it turns to dirt and snakes it’s way up into the red rock mountains. This is where the trip started to get interesting and Tony had a very unfortunate accident.

Tony enjoying Wall Street on his motorcycle

We had a GREAT adventure riding up this road. The scenery is stunning and to be able to experience it on a motorcycle is an opportunity that everyone should take.

Ray and Tony headed for the Shafer Trail

Ray and Tony headed for the Shafer Trail

As we started up the dirt road Tony was doing great. We had to climb a few hills to get started and he tackled them without any issues. The lighting on the red rock was perfect for great pictures so we took an opportunity to take more pictures. This is when we started to jockey for position with a pickup truck. Both of us were trying to enjoy the trail and stay out of each others way. Little did we know that this pickup truck and the incredible couple inside would save the day a little further up the trail.

The Shafer Trail

The Shafer Trail

We continued up into the beautiful and very rugged red rock mountains and turned a corner to climb another hill. I had been stopping and looking back to make sure that everyone was doing okay. I slowed down and looked back to make sure Tony could watch my line up this hill. I had watched a video that a guy took from his dash when he drove the entire road and sent it to Tony. Unfortunately there had been some heavy rain that had occurred in Moab not long before our trip. The rain washed out this section of the road exposing a large rock right in the middle of the road. The best line was on the left side of the road and that is where I went. Tony followed, but made a crucial mistake. His front tire got caught in a little rut in the road, which put him a little sideways and heading directly for the big rock. He may have misjudged the size of the rock and thought his BMW could motor over the top of it. This was not a small rock though and when he hit it his motorcycle shot in the air and landed on his leg. Normally when you simply tip over a BMW with an oilhead motor sticking out the side it actually protects your legs because the engine protruding out of the side creates a safe gap for your leg. This was not the case for Tony because his bike shot in the air and then the motor actually landed on his leg.

Shafer Trail Crash

Shafer Trail Crash

I stopped at the top of the hill to watch Tony and Ray come up it. I saw that Tony was down and I thought that he had simply tipped over. I went down the hill thinking that I would help him pick up his bike and we would be on our way. Tipping over on occasion in adventure motorcycling is a part of the deal. The bikes are heavy and sometimes you lose your balance or roll over an obstacle the wrong way, which causes a tip over. Anyway, Tony’s leg was broken and my heart sunk when I heard this. We had just started this adventure ride and had many more awesome things for Tony to see and do. I was extremely disappointed in our situation, but I had to put that aside and get Tony to the hospital. This is where Roger and Barb who were driving the pick up truck came to our rescue. We used a couple tire irons and some duct tape to stabilize Tony’s leg. Then we carefully loaded him into the truck and he was off to the hospital.

Shafer Trail Motorcycle Crash

Shafer Trail Motorcycle Crash

Tony had a bad break and would need to wait in Moab for a couple days for them to get the parts needed to put him back together. At this point we also decided that it would be better to bring Tony’s truck from Salt Lake to Moab instead of taking his bike to Salt Lake. That way he could get better medical attention back in Houston. At first we didn’t know how bad the break was and if he was going to be able to drive, let alone all the way back to Houston. Roger and Barb also took me back up on the mountain to get Tony’s bike, along with taking Tony to the hotel. I cant say enough about how great they were in helping us out. We decided to have Ray AKA “The Captain” drive Tony back to Houston, then he would fly home once Tony was in a better place.

Right before Tony and Ray headed to Houston.

Right before Tony and Ray headed to Houston.

I will let Tony tell the rest of the story in his own words.