Sunday, November 28, 2010

this sunday I decided it's time to practice a bit for my alaska trip next year. If I find a way to afford this somehow. Right now this part is a bit unclear. Depending when and where I'm going to move.

Anyway, It was a beautiful day today, just a touch over 40F (5 Degree Celsius) and sunny. So it was perfect to practice on rainy, muddy roads. Since the are standard conditions for Alaska, as far as I know.

So about half a mile into the trail with my 80% Street/20% Gravel tires (not the best choice, but I want to see what I need) I found a large puddle on the muddy road.

This gave me 2 choices:

  • be a man and go through it, but I tried this with the pathfinder and got nearly stuck this way...
  • be smart and go around it

I tried the smart choice for once and ended up landing in the puddle. Guess choice number 3 was to swim throw the paddle...

The next 2 hours I spend trying to lift the bike in the mud and once I accomplished this to get back onto a paved road.

Turns out that my tires got clogged up and had literally 0 Traction and kept digging myself into the road over and over again. My best chance was to put the front tire at a 45 degree angle and try to move slowly out of this area.

And lifting a 500lbs bike in the mud was no fun, but no damage what soever. The frame guards worked again and I completely expected that I gonna drop the bike at least once during this practice run.

Lesson learned:
  • street tires work on loose gravel, but not in muddy conditions
  • expect to pay 500$ for tires before going to alaska
  • I need a certain momentum to keep going or I get stuck...
  • forcing the bike out of the mud is not good for my back