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Old 05-13-2013, 06:31 PM   #1
ThirdUncle OP
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Joined: May 2010
Location: Toronto
Oddometer: 41
Bethany Mudbath For Two

After the last two of our original six bowed out mid-Saturday afternoon, following an energizing blast through the Ganny, it was down to Chris and I (he on KLR650, me on F800GS). Here's a sample of that cakewalk:

http://bit.ly/16D3mhI

We were now two hounds sniffing for trails, but I was low on gas. Saw a sign for Bethany, so rode that way, but stopped in Mill-something, got gas, had burgers and Guinness at Mo's Tavern, and then on to Bethany, from where, to put it very mildly, we got deeply into it.

We'd been there two weeks before and knew of a great track rising straight out of town. That led to some dunes and sandy tracks that were good fun for a bit.

Back into the forest, a bonehead wrong turn by me led us down a narrow, steep, extremely nastily rutted, eroded, boulder-root-muck-fest that bottomed out way the hell down a deep valley at a vehicle-digesting creek-fed mud hole... that would be this mud hole shot below with the F800GS relaxing around it.

And here's a brief video analysis:

(Coming Soonish)



ThirdUncle screwed with this post 05-17-2013 at 06:43 PM
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:33 PM   #2
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Bethany Mudbath For Two

That puddle took us an hour to cross. An operation it was, but fun... exhausting fun. We basically pulled the bikes up the other side an inch at a time with some fabric slings for rock climbing that I keep under my seat. Looped them through the front wheel and each tugged the other's bike out of the quicksand slop that swallowed everything deeper and deeper, the longer it was parked there.

This is me with Chris behind and the bikes ready for more:



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Old 05-13-2013, 06:34 PM   #3
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Bethany Mudbath For Two

Naomi's ready to go up that track just ahead of her... but she will lose some of her beauty there:


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Old 05-13-2013, 06:35 PM   #4
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Bethany Mudbath For Two

Then through all that, we suited up and I thought, "Okay, easy-peesy now."

I will never dare think that thought again. The ruts that came almost immediately were the deepest I've yet ridden -- often a foot or more higher than my pegs. I didn't think to stop and get a photo. This trail, we'd begun to realize, to our enlarging dismay, was basically impassable to anything but a goat. It looked like it had not had much use since being rendered that way by the ATVs that did it. We had to choose between the left or right ruts that ran for the next two miles or so, basically taking huge steps as we rode our clutches (to near death) inch by inch through all kinds of brutality, dropping the bikes every 20-30 yards, having to help each other right them again.

We were soon exhausted, sweat-drenched, foodless and low on water, with zero to little phone signal, no idea where we were, or when this track, in deep, dark older-growth forest did or would ever end. We'd kill the engines and no sounds of humanity could be heard. It was getting a little intense.

Then, while standing, powering through one somewhat rideable rut, my right boot, a size 13 Alpinestars Tek3, caught on a root or something. This twisted my foot around almost 180 degrees. Pain shot through my ankle and knee as the boot jammed between the bike and the wall of the rut, stopping the bike. When I got up I tested the leg, noted I could walk, but it felt all wrong down there. Chris was well ahead, out of sight. I kept on, caught up to him. He was in a good tangle of his own.

Now it was becoming steep. And really greasy -- more than anywhere else. We'd reached the other side of the valley we'd been thrashing in for 2-3 hours -- though we didn't know this yet. With boulders and ruts and roots at their biggest, we were just below the crest. We even left the bikes on their sides where each of us had last fallen and walked up for a look, just to be sure this really was the end. It was. We dared to become hopeful.

This last bit of trail forked, and Chris went right, up a greasy section, and crashed. I crashed too on the left fork, which was less greasy but more technical -- too technical for me at the best of times. It took probably an hour to get the two bikes the last 60-70 feet to the top -- where the forest opened to a wide-open plowed field. Pushing the huge bikes was absurdly hard work. At one stage I became so hot and winded I felt I was going to puke. I stripped off my helmet and jacket, and we took a few minutes just lying there in the weeds panting, like filthy old exhausted dogs, still cracking jokes, but truly, fully wasted, ability long-ago spent, running on pure dread and home-lust. And then after both falling again right at the crest, we were up and out.

The field was a cake-walk, then on to a gravel road and then one final roadside stop, layering up over sweaty clothes for the long, windy, cold ride home, down 35 to 401 and back to Toronto. I was shivering when I arrived at my front door after 10pm.

On Sunday, X-rays showed my right ankle has a sliver of bone chipped off. Knee's OK, but well tweaked. I'm in a removable cast-boot till whenever the specialist I see on Friday tells me I'm not -- at least a couple of weeks.

I can't say I went out that day feeling like being all the way tested. But I would say I was. I believe Chris would concur.

Side note: I saw for the first time really that ATVs can do very bad things to good trails. I now understand why they're not deeply loved by all -- laypersons and ADV riders alike.

Chris has pics and vids, too, to come. Over to you, sir...

ThirdUncle screwed with this post 05-17-2013 at 06:35 PM
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:30 PM   #5
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^ What He Said

Here's Pauls thoughts on the day's adventures:

http://youtu.be/TDkf9-9_Brc

Here's a vid of the mud hole (sorry no action shots):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcS0m...shgMVHU5kRuGt1

Here's some choice photos of the ride:



















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Old 05-15-2013, 07:33 AM   #6
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Joined: May 2010
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More video

Top work, Chris.

I have one last video -- the final escape:

http://bit.ly/1857wN2

ThirdUncle screwed with this post 05-16-2013 at 08:50 PM
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