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  1. #1 China Earthquake C-Moto Rescue 2008 - I 
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    Yesterday, three stalwart C-Moto riders went back into earthquake territory to rescue three stranded bikes. Really, it was a bunch of people hanging out getting their wheels back!

    - China Earthquake Motorcycle Recovery Video -



    Just Charlie (Charlie) , and Ray were stranded on QingCheng mountain during the Sichuan Earthquake on May 12. With all roads blocked, they made their way to the base of the mountain on foot with a group of fellow stranded locals. Hopefully Charlie will share more of his harrowing tale with us if time allows.

    Their bikes were left at a hotel on the mountain which had now has limited access. Ray and a group of people including the hotel owner and Dave, an Australian whoís never ridden in China before, set out earlier than us and took the toll-road there. The three of us would meet up with them on the mountain and attempt to bring back three stranded bikes.

    That said, a man needs to have his wheels and it was time to reclaim what was rightfully his so Just Charlie and I met DHFox (Chris) on Saturday morning and rode out to the very same mountain to recover Charlieís bike and take a look at the destruction first hand.

    - Charlie and Chris -


    - 6 foot 4 in a CJ sidecar! -


    We needed Chrisís good olí CJ750 to port Charlie out as far as we could make it before having to go on foot. The CJ750ís are great bikes loaded with character and really enjoyed seeing it in action!

    - Team CJ on the road to Dujiangyan -


    As we got closer to the mountains, green returned and even if we didnít have a specific purpose for the dayís ride, it would be a pleasant day trip.

    - Starting to climb -


    The roads to the back of QingCheng mountain start to wind and twist along the mid-base of the mountain following a river deep in the valley below. DHFox got a chance to scrub the CJís tires a bit!

    - Scrubby scrubby -


    Even though the roads became scattered with debris, they looked fairly clear. A couple cleared landslides gave an opportunity to get the CJís tires dirty again.

    - No problem! -




    - CJ on itís way -


    We rode through an unusually quiet small town. QingCheng mountain is a major tourist attraction and Iím sure if it had not been for the earth quake, it was have been busier and full of traffic. Tents were lined along the streets and in most every suitable nook and cranny.

    - Passing a tent-ple -


    Then the road came to a dead endÖmaybe literally. A massive land slump had completely obliterated the road and there was no going over it. I had seen land slides in the mountains before but this one completely took the road out of commission. They werenít even trying to work on it as Iím sure there were other more immediate problems to be solved.

    - Mountain-1 : Road-0 -


    - Looking closer -


    We walked over the first obstacle to get a better look at how much damage there really was. The whole section will need major reengineering.

    - Whereís the road? -


    A little further in it was plain to see the whole side of the mountain opened up and covered the road under incalculable amounts of earth, rock and splintered trees. Walking on these steep grades of loose freshly fallen debris would be difficult and dangerous without the proper equipment.

    The rocks continued on a steep slope to the river valley below. Landslides like these have contributed to the now more than 300 new lakes formed by landslides in the area. One lake was reported to have been rising at a total of 2 meters a day, threatening up-river villages.

    - Trees didnít stand a chance -


    - Further scarring can be seen down the whole range -
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  2. #2 China Earthquake C-Moto Rescue 2008 - II 
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    This was obviously not the right way so Charlie called his buddies Ray, Ray's squeeze, Dave, Angela and the owner of the stranded hotel (help me out with his name Charlie) who had already arrived by van about an hour before us as they could take the expressway.

    The road to the hotel having been knocked out, we had to walk about ten minutes up the mountain carrying fuel…this part might be shown in a video later.

    Before too long we met Angela and Dave who had already brought Charlie’s bike half way down off them mountain with some difficulty and were waiting for Ray and his girl to come down with a red 125cc which belonged to the third member of their group at the time. The hotel owner came down the hill with some of their things and seemed to be a really nice guy.

    -Coming down the mountain -


    - The hotel owner and the mid-mountain crew -



    All the bikes seem to have had their gas drained over the past couple weeks and needed some refilling.

    - Good thing we brought some gas! -




    Ray walked back up to retrieve his Lifan cruiser and now that Charlie’s bike was secured we had a few minutes to appreciate the silence and look at our environment. With lush green vegetation and plenty of birds and butterflies, it’s actually very beautiful the mountain.

    - Charlie and Rays’ girl -


    - Your’s truly -


    An old man followed by a small dog came marching up the trail with a wicker basket on his back and stopped to talk for a while. Our conversation with him was captured on video and may come later. I asked him if the place was safe or not and just as he was answering we felt an 4.4 richter aftershock which occurred in the Gansu province over 300km’s away from where we were standing.

    The quake experience in Chengdu was more like being shaken to bits. The feel and sound of an aftershock when you’re standing on a mountain of rock is much different and very difficult to describe. It was nothing major though and no further damage occurred since it was so far away but there was no mistaking it’s presence! The mountains everywhere bore scars of three weeks of constant shaking.

    - Land slide sample -


    Ray eventually came back down with his 150cc Lifan cruiser and as a new rider was getting an experience of a lifetime! I give Ray much credit for learning how to ride in China and I’m sure this has become an unforgettable part of his experience here.

    - Got Mud? -


    - Ray of Sunshine -


    Ray added some fuel into his bike and Charlie, being on a Franken-bike dual sport, headed down first. Eventually, it was time for Ray to head down the mud path with his cruiser and given the low ground clearance and street tires was sure to be interesting.

    - Ready to go! -


    The mud path was only about 100meters total but completely strewn with medium and large size rocks. Ray handled himself and the bike well!

    - First turn is a doozey! -


    - Got more mud? -


    The dirt track was nothing but deep Caterpillar tacks and rocks. The extra cruiser side-boards must have been fun to navigate…at least they would slow you down!

    - Got mud -


    - Ray in action -


    The tracks last turn was on a steep drop and a T-junction. With the bike’s tail up high, Ray got the front wheel boned into a mud birm and needed some help getting the bike straight He was doing well when a local guy can running up from the street and helped him push. The locals are extremely friendly!

    - Local power! -


    - Heave ho! -


    - Fancy footwork -


    - Hurray! -
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  3. #3 China Earthquake C-Moto Rescue 2008 - III 
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    Now at the bottom, you can see a different angle on what all three bikes had to come down. Charlie reported not to many problems getting his bike down and was happy to be on pavement again, I’m sure.

    - Whew! -


    Everyone collected themselves at the landing area and since DHFox had taken the 125 down with Dave earlier, they were a little down the street getting a tire repaired.

    - Happy to be on smooth ground again -


    The group went down the street a little ways to meet up with Chris and Dave while I stayed back for a few spare moments to take some pics of the landscape. This massive landslide has entirely covered a small town Access to it is difficult and, if I understand correctly, there are people still buried underneath.

    - Ouch -


    Closer examination of the image reveals the splinters of several small structures amongst the debris; totally devastated and no chance of survival. It’s sad that people loose their lives this way; let’s just hope it was quick.

    - Closer look - <click for larger>


    Just then the boys in green showed up in step carrying shovels. The lack of heavy machinery makes this a long and drawn out process.

    - Here comes the cav -


    - Ready to work -


    Luckily only one hundred meters down the road, a bike shop was still open that was able to repair tires. The crew gathered there with some locals who gave us bottled water and shared some memories with Ray and Charlie. What great people!

    - Chillin’ in the hood –


    The town’s buildings where completely destroyed, all up and down the street. This didn’t stop many locals from staying in their homes and making the best of it. If any words had to describe their attitude, it would be “kind” and “helpful.”

    As a bunch of foreigners on bikes, it naturally drew some attention and was probably an interesting even in what may otherwise be another long and quite day in the town’s life.

    - La rou (Dried meat) roasting on an open fire -


    - Lady onlookers –


    From what Charlie said, the damage was not this extensive from just the first quake but that the over one hundred aftershocks in the following weeks must have created more.

    - Some planet style destruction -






    With the 125c repaired, everyone got their boxes checked and so was time to head back to Chengdu. DHFox took a few minutes to deal with some later responsibilities and straighten out some problems on the CJ then we hit the road.

    - Time to roll man! -




    The road out of the park was mostly clear but sometimes you’d see some amazing rock-falls. This huge boulder had landed on the very edge of the road and rolled onto its side, taking the rail with it.

    - Heads up! –


    Leaving the gate from the back side of the mountain, I noticed a bunch of refugee tents set up to house the displaced locals. They looked clean and well stocked. Some locals hung out by the street while other tried to keep their meat business running.

    - The back gate -


    - Sittin’ on the dock of the bay - <click for larger>



    Since Ray and the group had rented a van, they no longer had transportation back to Chengdu so DHFox’s CJ came in handy once again! This time DH had a cuter, daintier passenger sized more correctly for a CJ’s sidecar. Looks like ol DH is having fun!

    - What a wonderful world -


    One of the side car support spring collars keep slipping into the wrong position and scratching the left side of the side car so we stopped for a bit and the parks main/front entrance to collect ourselves as a group again. Like the towns we rode through earlier, the park was unusually quiet, but we did happen to meet a group of Chinese travelers who now live in the US. I’m glad to see they weren’t scared off by the earth quake “threat” and came to travel anyway.

    - QingCheng Mountain park entrance main gate -


    - Gang’s all here –


    - CJ man in repose -



    Despite some rain, the two hour ride to Chengdu was fun and I think some people were happy to have their wheels back. Wheels are wheels no matter how much they cost and if they get you and your loved one’s home, then it deserves some respect.

    - Nice to have the bike back isn’t it Ray? -


    Once out of the mountains and back in the flat basin of Chengdu, we were almost home. Good people working together to get things done and sharing some company along the way. On the road or off, it sounds like a recipe for a good time to me! Cheers!

    - Almost home -


    Ride Safe, Have Fun
    CC
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  4. #4  
    C-Moto Not-so-Noob Just Charlie's Avatar
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    great writeup and badass photos Carl. to fill in some info:

    I was trapped for a day on Qing Cheng Shan (an ancient Daoist mountain spotted with temples, 25km from the quake epicenter) during the earthquake when landslides covered all the roads leading down the mountain. I had gone up the mountain with two other guys on a day long motorcycle trip to tour the mountain but we ended up having to hike down and leave the bikes there. 19 days after the earthquake, yesterday, we were able to get the bikes back down. A full account of what my experience was like on the mountain is on my blog.

    I learned a lot of important lessons that day and one important one in the context of riding motorcycles, is to always be prepared. The situation would've been a lot easier to deal with if I had a compass or GPS with me. Leaving the mountain I felt incredibly lucky to have survived the situation, knowing that many people had died in very close proximity to me. I said goodbye to the bike at sunrise the day after the earthquake, as the swollen river roared nearby, not expecting to ever see it again. I feel super lucky to not only have survived and not sustained injury, but to have gotten the bike back as well.

    Thanks to Carl and Chris for coming along on the trip. The photos and writeup are outstanding, and riding in the sidecar was fun and surprisingly comfortable considering my legs wouldn't in the sidecar like they're supposed to. It makes sense that I wouldn't fit in a sidecar though, I'm uncomfortable in movie theaters.

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  5. #5  
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    You take any pics on the trip man?

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  6. #6 Better than NBC or CNN 
    Master of Thump
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    You guys keep us posted on the quake very well , great write up, pics too , especially the pics .
    I have learned more about the quake from you guys than CBS, NBC , CNN , FOX or any other news scorce . Plus it aint filled with Propaganda , its fact and backed up by pics . Very cool, keep it comming, tis very interesting stuff to us all .

    Cheers, Snortin Norton
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  7. #7  
    C-Moto Not-so-Noob Just Charlie's Avatar
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    I didn't take many photos but I got some video which I'll probably upload to youtube and then edit into this post.

    One shot of Carl I got with my p&s canon

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  8. #8  
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    Arrrgh! Charlie caught me in my pirate mode! Arrrgh!

    Hmm...there's no pirate emoticon!

    CC
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  9. #9  
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    After several days of editing and sub-titling, I've finally finished the China Earthquake Moto Recovery video. It's attached here and to the beginning of the original post.

    Happy viewing!

    - China Earthquake Motorcycle Recovery Video -



    CC
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  10. #10  
    C-Moto Guru Supersignet's Avatar
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    Cool vid Carl/ GGood job on the editing. Looks like you guys had some fun and met some really nice people.
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