When A Good Friend Goes Missing
By Norm Kern

When A Good Friend Goes Missing
By Norm Kern

Back in late March, good friend and fellow MSTA member Kirk Wintersteen, of Cumming, GA, went missing on his motorcycle. He had been at Two Wheels of Suches, GA, about 50 miles from home, hanging out with friends, having brought a key lime pie to share. He left his friends in mid afternoon to go home on his Suzuki 650 V Strom but decided to explore some forest roads and trails on the way. He disappeared without a trace.

Kirk’s girlfriend suspected something was wrong pretty quickly and alerted the police and his friends, who began looking for him.

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Kirk almost always rides alone but carries a beacon so his girlfriend can track him. Unfortunately, this time he had mistakenly turned it off when he thought he was turning it on.

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Kirk was found alive eight days later. Here’s what happened. He was on Forest Service Road 33A in Cooper’s Creek Wildlife Management area north of Suches when he came to what looked like the end of the trail, and slipped on some mud trying to turn around.

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The bike fell on him, pinning one leg and broke his ankle. He had no food or water with him, there was no cell phone service and no one around, but he was able to roll and crawl to a nearby creek to get water.

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Temps in this area can get quite cold at night in March, but fortunately the lows were mostly in the forties. He endured rainstorms as well as cold. The problem was that FS33A is not a frequently traveled road and it was very early in the season so there are not many people in the area.

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On Sunday morning, eight days later, dual sport riders Jeff Alexander and Mike McCown came across Kirk’s bike.

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When they stopped their motorcycles to help, they heard him yelling. One of them stayed with Kirk while the other rode to a location that had cell service and called 911. “We do a lot of riding out there, and we just happened to go that way that day,” McCown said.

Bentz Bagwell, one of Kirk’s friends who was there at Suches the day Kirk disappeared, brought a key lime pie to him at the hospital to celebrate his rescue.

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Kirk is at home now, giving his ankle time to mend. He is going to be OK and will continue riding. 

Here are a couple of links to items related to this story.

WSB-TV in Atlanta did a very nice news story:

This interactive map link includes the route from Suches and the point where Kirk was found:


Connect with local Ohio MSTA riders at these monthly breakfasts:

Southwest Ohio Breakfast, 9AM June 17
Village Family Restaurant
144 S. Main St.
Waynesville, OH 45068

Central Ohio Breakfast Meet – Sunday July 2
Arrive at 8 am to eat, 9AM to ride if weather permits.
Portside Cafe
6515 S High St
Lockbourne, OH 43137