I saw that although Powhaton road was not yet built all the way to Smoky Hill Road from the development, that there was a dirt trail. Cool I thought, a bit of trail riding. Big mistake.
The dry dirt surface quickly become very slick. It looked dry on the surface but just beneath was this gooey type of mud. Almost dropped Brigitta at this point but her lighter weight compared to Maria and my ability to use my legs as outriggers saved her from a drop as I slid to sideways to a stop.
I looked ahead and it looked dry. I was to be proven wrong. I kept on going where I should have turned around thinking that it was just that patch of trail that was muddy. It turned out to be the whole damn way back to pavement. Perhaps 1/4 mile, maybe more.
I was struggling to keep Brigitta upright and succeeding for the most part. Some close calls and then things got worse. Mud built up under the front fender and the rear wheel was just sliding sideways for the most part. I kept trying to forge on, hoping for dry surface, with no luck
Finally, the rut that had been created down the middle of the trail seemed to magnetically attract my rear wheel, no matter what I tried. Down it went into the rut and I was stuck.
Managed to put the kickstand down after a while, and after a couple of droppings of the bike onto the soft mud. Got most of my riding gear off and cooled off for a bit while I pondered things and took the above picture.
Tried many things, digging a path, spinning the rear wheel till it smoked (I quit that approach very quickly), noted my dang headlight was not turning off even with the ignition off (weird, had to take the fuse out to avoid draining the battery). Tried shifting my weight back to the rear tire and bouncing it, no luck.
Tried putting her on her side in the mud and pulling and pushing her to get her out of the rut. No luck, she may be lighter than Maria but still damn heavy. Finally, got her upright once again, and started rocking her forward as I worked the clutch to engage the rear wheel. I started making a little progress, I quickly kept up the rocking and I was out of the rut!
Of course, still surrounded by the damn gooey mud, even on the grass covered areas. I kept going really slow, slip-sliding my way until I got her moving forward. I inched forward while sliding sideways with the rear tire. I had to keep my legs out as outriggers and I painfully, slowly, made my way the last 2-300 ft back to pavement. The last few feet were up a slight incline, muddy of course, which made for an interesting finale. Damn mud.
Retrieved my gear, cleaned off (I thought) enough mud from under the front fender to get me home, replaced the fuse, and started off. Less than a mile of riding, I had been feeling a very bumpy ride, I looked back in my mirrors and saw I was trailing a cloud of blue smoke! Aaaarrrgggh.
I stopped as soon as I could get off the road. I thought I'd blown the engine with the struggles in the mud. Happily it was not that, but just caked on mud under the front fender which was causing the front wheel to overheat.....damn. Now there's nice rubbing marks on the front tire.
As I cleaned off the mud more thoroughly this time, the second of two cars stopped to offer assistance. I told them I was OK and thanked them for stopping. Made me feel good that people would stop to offer aid.
Finally got the wheel cleared off enough and got her home with no further incident. Spent some time getting all the mud off her, there was a lot still under the fender! Finally, she was clean, I was exhausted and hungry.
That was the end of Ride One.
Some lunch and some rest later, I left the house once again, close to 3pm or so. I wanted to make sure there were no issues with Brigitta. She ran pretty good though she did seem to not want to hold idle some of the time. Hopefully that's just because she was on her side a few times while on the mud. I'll do a more thorough check tomorrow.
I headed over to Buckley Air Force Base to try and capture the light of the year's last sunset shining on the satellite dish domes located there. I got there in plenty of time and got these shots as the sun sank further into the West, finally disappearing for the last time this year.
Near the end of the sunset, I liked how the sky to the East reflected the dying rays of the sun below
Here's hoping the New Year is a good one for you, my readers. Ride safe and Ride Often!