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Old 04-26-2012, 12:45 PM   #31
bigvern OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Texas / Isle of Wight (sometimes)
Oddometer: 61
Sunday: Part 2 – See how much trouble we can get in to in Big Piney….

Simple plan for the afternoon – get over to Big Piney and see where we end up from there…

Well you don’t have to ride in very far until you hit this…..

Having never ridden over this before and given the width, judging how deep it was and what would be the best line presented us with an interesting challenge…..but after yesterday how hard could it be.

Back to the usual plan, Phil gets to go first…

Well that looked easy……well it would wouldn’t it

Still a little suspicious given that Phil always makes it look easy David and I proceeded across and this time no incidents – we must be getting better at this stuff



…and looking back across to where we’d started from…I think it looks worse from this side.

Anyway we’d made it across and now the rest of the ride should be easy. The plan was to head back up towards Deer, first following the trail we were on and then heading up on Parker Ridge Road…

It all started out OK and the trail, which my GPS euphemistically called “City Road 311” was really good following Big Piney. So far so good….

Eventually we came to a point where the trail opened up and joined the end of another trail that headed off up a steep climb away from the river. I was leading at the time and knew we were supposed to turn on to a different trail “somewhere” so I stopped.

It turns out that this “other” trail where I’d stopped was indeed Parker Ridge Road, but by the time Phil got up to where I’d stopped he confidently declared that we needed to keep heading straight on. This would be a mistake and would make my afternoon at least at lot more interesting.

What we didn’t realize at the time was that “City Road 311” was basically no longer an intact trail because a large section of it has been taken out by a landslide. The trail is there and it still shows up on the map, but the map also shows that there’s a “gap” in the middle.

Now you’d think we’d have noticed this little detail, but again you’d be wrong. Remember, we’re still useless at navigating by GPS and now we also know that we don’t even pay enough attention to real maps either…….it certainly keeps things interesting if nothing else

As for the missing bit of the trail, it’s still passable – sort of – but it’s rough in sections with many holes and washouts.

Undeterred and blissfully ignorant we carried on and after getting through to quite literally the end where it joined up with the other side of what was left of the trail, we got to this……

Now the picture above is taken looking back at it after we’d got through it…..sort of for me anyway.

I appreciate that this doesn’t look like much and certainly nothing compared to what we’d been riding through up to now. It was after all “only a puddle”

Now I don’t know why, but for some reason I did not trust this puddle and I have now learned that I should listen to my inner voice more often.

Inner voice : That looks deep, you should stop

This was enough to make me stop (albeit briefly) and David and Phil pulled up alongside to check it out. Now although I don’t trust this puddle I also needed to exercise some patience to figure out the right line, but I’ve never really been good at the whole patience thing and so with very little thought I went for it.

The line I picked was to stay to the left hand side (right hand side in the picture above). This was the downhill side, nearest the river and as it turned out this was not a good idea – who knew

It was a lot and I mean a lot deeper on that side and I very nearly submarined the bike. I got about a third of the way through before I had my “oh shit” epiphany. It was deep and the front end started to dig in to whatever soft goop was lurking at the bottom almost dumping me and bike on the left side.

Fortunately out of nothing more than blind panic I stuck out my left boot and managed to somehow kick the bike upright enough to pull it through and out the other side, at which point I stalled the bloody thing in a cloud of steam rising from the recently submerged engine. Still I’d survived. There are no pictures of this but apparently it looked good

Learning from my mistake the others chose to ride through the “other side” which was a lot less dramatic. The response I got from David was –

“Why did you go that side, don’t you know that they’re always deeper on the downhill side?”

No, no I didn’t, but I do now thanks for the tip

No damage done but a little damp….and sticky

We’d needed to take a break and this was a good enough excuse to stop for a while. This is when we finally realized that we’d yet again missed the trail we were looking for. Our navigation skills really do suck.

Still there was no way we were going to back track now, so we continued on and besides this trail would also get us back to Deer.

It could have only been another 200-300 yards further down the trail when we get to my second run in with “a puddle”.

This one to be exact…..again looking from the far side after I’d pulled the bike out.

Now maybe I was getting tired or just maybe I thought the right hand side of the bike was too clean and didn’t match the left side after the last “puddle”, but either way this one was going to bite.

In my defense the line I chose was fine – the uphill side this time – see I can be taught after all. I’d got through the first part of this just fine and had decided to ride the edge of the second part before clearing it and this would be the mistake.

Turns out the edge was soft – very soft and with the XR being such a fat heavy bastard of a bike the front end just plowed and before I knew it the bike was on its side (in the puddle) and I was in the grass at the side of the puddle, down but ultimately dry.

The only thought I had was “what the f*** !!!”

Still no damage done, we picked the bike and pulled it out to survey my handy work. I think it looked pretty good….

Left side….

Right side….

From that point we were finished with all the excitement for the day, although I did have to park my bike in the river at a low water bridge in Murray on the way back to get some of the mud off the engine and oil cooler as it was getting a little hot

So what have we learned from this trip…

- None of us are any good at navigating – bloody useless in fact
- The Buffalo river area and Ozark NF are great places to trail ride
- Ozone burger barn has the best cheeseburger (IMHO)
- Orange was a lot faster than Red
- We’re already heading back up there for part #2 in early June

…..and will you just look at those boots


bigvern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2012, 05:05 PM   #32
Joined: Oct 2006
Oddometer: 1,198
Cool2 let me put some light on the subject

Originally Posted by bigvern View Post


…..and will you just look at those boots



get out your shades folks
Every question in life has an answer of YES OR NO
Maybe = NO
Keep life simple and enjoy it!
ABYSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2012, 09:00 PM   #33
Joined: Oct 2006
Oddometer: 1,198
Note to Self

more power in creek crossings is ok just as long as I lean back. I had no other issues the rest of the trip.
Every question in life has an answer of YES OR NO
Maybe = NO
Keep life simple and enjoy it!
ABYSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2012, 05:11 AM   #34
be happy :)
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Joined: Dec 2011
Location: in the garage
Oddometer: 595
Had a good read, thanks for the RR
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