My second roost

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Petard
2017 RMDRA Member
2017 RMDRA Member
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 10:47 am
Location: Calgary
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My second roost

Postby Petard » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:43 pm

I have had my dirt bike for 2 weeks and, due to the raininess, have only ridden once, so I loaded up yesterday (Monday) around 11:30. By the time I was loaded up, it was 12:15 and I still had to stop at the gas station down the street to fill the cannister. It was 12:30 when I was finally rolling. I made it to the Stoney Trail/Trans-Canada turnoff at 1:00, when I noticed that I had forgotten my camelback, license plate and some other gear :crybaby: I was forced to turn back and lost 45 minutes as a result of my carelessness. When I got to MacLean Creek around 2:30, despite the weather being much nicer and drier than the first time, there was nearly nobody there :confused: I unloaded by myself, taking especial care with the bike, so as not to dump it, suited up, and decided to do some exploring on my own.

I headed down the same road toward the gas plant I had taken the first time. I took a side trail early on, found that it was exceedingly flooded and very uneven and sloped so that I was unable to see what the conditions were like farther on. I felt insecure about being unable to turn around, so I made a tight turn back onto the gravel road. I tried another side trail (marked), as it looked very inviting. It headed into a wood. This trail, too, was nothing but a series of puddles for as far as I could see, but was more level than the first one. The puddles didn't appear to be very deep, so I continued, but I quickly noticed the forest closing in on me and I was apprehensive about being able to find my way back out. I ended up having to make a very large loop and I could see that it was nearly impossible to tell where the road was. Luckily, I spotted a stop sign that must have been erected to warn bikers of the bisecting main road.

Yet further on and on the other side, I spotted a vast open area dominated by a large pit. This appeared to be the gravel pit I had often heard of. I found a nice trail that led around the perimeter. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to descend into the pit, as the angle of descent of some of the trails prevented me from seeing the condition of the trail. Again, I left the area and headed along the road. I had barely gone more than 50 metres when an ATV pulled up beside me. A man said that he was riding with a buddy and his son, the latter on a dirt bike. He said they were from Airdrie. I followed him back to the group and they asked if I was game to go down a trail from the gravel pit toward the gas plant. I did, but was apprehensive about the steep hill they warned me about.

The son, another lithe teenage type and a whiz on his bike, like the fellow I had met the first time, led and I followed, with the 2 ATVers at the rear. I had been instructed to watch the biker's trail and to follow his exact path through the puddles and roots and ruts, etc. I feel that I managed very well and there were a good number of rather difficult pools that saw our wheels submerged past the axles in muck as we rode along the one or the other edge. I was surprised that we didn't get stuck. It was pretty tough going but we kept on, taking great detours around the worst parts. At one point, I was told that one of the puddles was chest deep, so we went quite wide into the forest to get around. Unfortunately, the mud was so deep here in the double ATV tracks, that my bike slipped out from under me as I was trying to get from one trench to the adjacent one. I was on my side in the water. Luckily, it was just the parallel trenches and not a pool, so I was able to right my bike and straddle it. I was soaked on my right side up to my waist in the thick brine, but it didn't matter :lol: We lost no time and continued on.

Not long after, we reached the steep slope. Boy, was it steep—and strewn with rocks all the way down as far as I could see, which was only to the first curve. The young guy on the dirt bike bolted down to do a reconnaissance and was back to tell us that it was sort of an 's' curve. Well, the way he described it, I didn't know how many curls this s had, but I did know that it apeared to go nearly vertically down. I wouldn't have down it on my own, but I followed the biker, as always, and had the brakes applied as much as possible, since the slope was so steep that there was nothing but fairly rapid forward motion possible. I had been told to apply the rear brake, not the front one, but with the unstoppable downward pull, I didn't have much opportunity to do anything but try to control the bike as we went down. Amazingly, we all made it down just fine. We stopped a moment and then continued on through some more puddles and muddy ruts and whatnot, but the landscape soon levelled out and we picked up considerable speed until we came to a small fenced-in gas pump.

My companions asked whether I wanted to return by the same route. They were intent on it. Well, I would have, but for that one hill. My arms were totally exhausted: I had been gripping my handlebar in a vice grip the whole time. I just didn't see how I'd make it up that steep rock-strewn vertical ascent and I had had enough. I think I'd put in 2½ hours of riding. We agreed to meet up at the gravel pit, just to make sure everyone got out safely. What a super idea it is to ride with some ATVers! I told them so. They were equipped with winches and gear, just in case of anything.

I rode at a fair pace toward the pit and spotted the hill I had ascended on my first roost. It looked like a little kiddie hill from the road. That evening, from the vantage of the bottom of the ditch we had been in, it had looked like a vertical incline. When I got to the gravel pit, I rode the perimeter and a few of the descents and ascents on the other side, when I heard some roaring motors in the forest. I bolted out onto the gravel road and there they were, the 3 of them, all lined up and waiting for me!!! I couldn't believe my eyes. I don't know how they managed to cover that track back again so quickly. They must have tricked me and followed behind a way on the road :lol:

I got back to the parking lot and packed up, headed home to have supper, then to the car wash and some more bucket and rag wiping back in my garage and made it into my suite at 11:00 pm. It was just short of 12 hours of adventure, incuding my little forgetful blunder :crazy: It was a super experience and I was really glad to have had these guys as companions and I sure liked being with the ATVs for security!!! :thumbsup:

My second roost

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