Warning about hypothermia!!! - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-26-2009, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Warning about hypothermia!!!

A buddy of mine went down yesterday and we think it may have been hypothermia. We were riding along and were slowing down for a pedestrian, when he just came off the bike and slid down the road for about 50 feet. When we got to him he was unconscious. He had no recollection of even being on the ride with us.

Hypothermia is a killer. It sneaks up on you like carbon monoxide. You loose your ability to reason (not a good thing on a bike). If you feel cold on your ride get off the bike and regain your core warmth. If you can't you are in serious trouble and need medical help.

Our buddy is recouping OK, but we were very lucky that we had slowed down.

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post #2 of 18 Old 09-26-2009, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honest bob View Post
Hypothermia is a killer. It sneaks up on you like carbon monoxide. You loose your ability to reason (not a good thing on a bike). If you feel cold on your ride get off the bike and regain your core warmth. If you can't you are in serious trouble and need medical help.
Hard to tell from your account whether hypothermia was the culprit, but nevertheless, big +1 on the warning about this condition. The effects are a lot like being drunk (loss of fine motor control, slurred speech, mental fog), and as you point out, the scary thing is that it's hard to recognize in yourself. This is one big reason that I stop hourly for gas, bathroom, fluids (for me and the bike), and a head check. I stretch that to 2 hours only in the most temperate climates when I know I'm well rested and hydrated.

hyperthermia and dehyration are also insidious. Both caught me off guard once recently in central BC in July, when I stopped at a gas station in Little Fort and then realized I was basically walking in circles aimlessly. I sat my butt down, and even though I drank a quart and a half of Gatorade, I didn't have to pee for another 90 minutes. That's really not good. Until I got off the road, I had no idea anything was wrong. I hadn't noticed how very hot it had become, nor how dry I was.

I'm glad the rider is ok, and thanks for sharing the warning. Stop often and check yourself. Ride safe.

Last edited by dtalk; 09-26-2009 at 09:58 PM.
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-27-2009, 01:00 AM
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That's just one of the reasons why it's good to ride with at least one other rider. Solo riding can be fun, but you're on your own, and if something happens, who's going to know?

I always take more gear than I figure I'll need. That way I'll have it when it's needed, if that makes any sense. Hypothermia is insidious and really sneaks up on a person. If you're riding and find you're making some bonehead decisions or have trouble making decisions, you might suspect hypothermia if it's cold/raining/foggy, etc., out. Stop and put on some warm gear. I always have my Gerbing's heated jacket along. I hate being cold! Just good insurance. Your buddy was very lucky.

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post #4 of 18 Old 09-27-2009, 06:33 AM
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Huh...

Are you sure you guys didn't stop by a pub for a moment and someone slipped him a roofie?

Na, seriously, I'm glad he's okay. My dad one time cleaned the garage floor with muratic acid. I left to go to McDonalds which thankfully is only about a half mile from home. When I came back, he was standing in the center of the garage on a concrete "island" surrounded by bubbling orange and green ooze. It looked like the stuff that Jack Nicholson fell into in the first Batman movie; he was swaying back and forth, about to pass out from the fumes. I hopped out of the car and ran right to the edge so he could use my arm to help jump from the island back to the driveway. He felt better after fresh air and we used something to neutralize the acid. The garage floor permanently looks like lava rock where the acid ate through the surface.

I'm a fan of the Tourmaster carbon fiber heated vest. It has a built-in controller and all you do is hook it up to your battery terminals. 5 minute installation and the hottest setting is so hot it hurts in most climates. It cost me $112 at my dealership.
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-27-2009, 07:06 AM
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Yup, the biggest problem with hypothermia is acting dumber than dirt. Pulling up to a stop and forgetting to put your legs down is a sure indicator.

I caught myself in time....

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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post #6 of 18 Old 09-27-2009, 07:50 AM
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Glade to hear he is alive, not a good thing to happen on a bike even worse behind the wheel because they can verge into oncomming traffic.

It could also be a very low blood sugar level coma ,or it could a malfunction adrenal system that causes you blood pressure to slowly drop till you pass out . Both of these can also lower you core body temperature .

Make sure he get's a second opinion from another doctor then get a third , misdiagnoisis is common in these cases . It took 18 months many specilist till I intervened with father 33 years ago . It turns out the 3 specilists ignored weid result from the pathologist . It was not till I saw my doctor and he got the same blood tests done .He imediatly referred him to a speclised reseach instute and he has lived ever since ( Now 81 ) .

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post #7 of 18 Old 09-27-2009, 09:17 AM
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I've put myself in potentially hypothermic on a couple of occasions. Part of it was get-home-itis and part was not being prepared for the unexpected. I found myself in the mountains at nightfall, soaked to the skin. In July. It got down to about 50 degrees and I was starting have trouble concentrating on riding.

Packing rain gear would have made all the difference in the world. Now I keep a cheap set in Ziplok bags under the seat.

Glad to hear that your buddy made it through as well as he did.

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post #8 of 18 Old 09-27-2009, 09:34 AM
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heated gear

Most of the time I ride with my heated gear tucked in my luggage ( gloves, socks and jacket linear) . You never know what is ahead of the trip . I do winter rides and without those I won't make it a mile .

Fast recovery to your friend and Enjoy the Rides
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-27-2009, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your concern. Some more details. Our friend seems to be OK now but still has no memory of even going out for a ride. (not good). We could not convince him to see a Dr. either at the scene or since. (more not good). He has a sore leg. We will hound him till he sees a Doc.
We had been on the Rd. only one hour. The temp was between 9c/48f and 15c/58f. Most of the trip was at 100k/60mph (definite wind chill factor) He rides a bike well, very experienced, was well dressed for the cold and has been out many times this fall in the cold (so was acclimatized), but was not wearing any heated clothing. (I'll be buying some of that very soon)
Witness says it looked like he tried to get off the bike before it stopped (50k/30mph) That sounds to me like he was still functioning rather than unconscious from stroke coma etc.
There was about $5000. damage to the bike and ATGATT in total.
Once again, thanks from our gang. Bob... PS. excellent advise from all. I had hoped you guys would come up with stuff to add to this.

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The destination, can be the journey! Honest Bob

Last edited by honest bob; 09-27-2009 at 04:30 PM. Reason: add text
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-27-2009, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honest bob View Post
Thanks everyone for your concern. Some more details. Our friend seems to be OK now but still has no memory of even going out for a ride. (not good). We could not convince him to see a Dr. either at the scene or since.
That's very disconcerting. I hope you are successful in convincing him to see a doctor pronto. The memory loss would really concern me. Head injury? Seizure?
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