The day started off with much anticipation. Between Thanksgiving travel and other things it has been weeks since I have ridden. The excitement had been building for a while and even though it was in the low 40’s F I was ready to go!
I met up with my buddy Stretch and we were expecting another friend, but he had a dead battery. We waited for a little while, but he was unable to make it so we saddled up and started riding towards Wayehutta OHV trail system.
By the time we left, the day was warming up a bit and the ride was more pleasant. As we headed towards Wayehutta we rode some of the best twisty mountain roads I have been on yet. There was no traffic, no sand on the roads, and the pavement was in great shape almost the whole time! We were riding with a destination in mind and we didn't stop much for pictures, but the ride was beautiful! Since there is very few pictures I will try to share what I saw with words.
There were several places where you could see the road wrap around the edge of the mountains in a flowing serpentine of awesome! No leaves were on the trees and you could see the upcoming curves long before you got to them. Stretch and I were ripping it up! There is something magical about taking a motorcycle through the curves at a brisk pace. One area on the way up was a slalom of tight sweeping curves. The pavement was perfect and you could really carry your speed through to the next curve. Back and forth dragging left toe and then right toe. Making those street knobbies sing is so much fun!
As we neared our destination the asphalt roller coaster turned to gravel and we found our way to the Wayehutta OHV parking lot. We planned on meeting up with some more guys from ADVRider.com. They were just heading out to do a loop while Stretch and I aired our tires down. We waited a little while for them to get back, but ended up taking off on our own.
It rained a lot the day before we got there and as we expected the trails were so slippery. The red clay mud was like ice. I know I have mentioned it before, but I hate mud! Nothing puts me on the ground faster than slick red clay. Stretch and I got about 200 yards into the trails and as I came around a bend into a hill climb I took my first spill. The front tire just slipped right out from under me. As I lifted my bike I could almost get it upright and then the mud would give way under my boot and down we went again. I had to wait on Stretch to get back and help me. After we got the bike back up I managed to fish tail it up to the next flat spot and this is when the bike started having carb problems. There was a flat spot in the fueling right where you need it on the trail. I could twist it back and the RPMs would jump up and then it would almost cut off on idle. In slick mud and tough trails, this was a no go so we turned back.
On the way down I took another spill. The bike started sliding and something caught my right foot and started twisting it back. As it twisted I felt the force get transferred to my knee and it was still getting torqued further. In an effort to save my knee I actually got off the bike backwards. When the bike and I came to a rest my right foot was pinned and I was facing the opposite direction of the bike. It was awkward and my knee hurt badly from the torsion, but nothing was broken! I took a minute to shake the pain off and I managed to coast it back to the parking lot to work on the carb.
I got my tool kit out and started messing with the needle settings. I think I redid the needle settings, air/fuel screw, and idle screw settings about 6 times. Stretch and another friend named Lucas took off to ride while I tried to sort my bike out. I was worried that I would not be able to ride it home. I took a moment and said a little prayer. I asked for some guidance in fixing the carb and for a safe ride home. Finally, I was able to get it to idle and behave good enough to get me home so I stopped messing with it.
Shortly after I got it running Stretch and Lucas made it back to the parking lot. It was late afternoon so we decided to head back towards home. We got to redo the twisty slalom and all the great roads coming in. I didn't really get to ride the trails, but the street riding was fantastic! The only problem is we left Wayehutta too late.
On our way back the temperature dropped into the low 30’s F. It was cold, really cold on the way home. My hands and feet were numb, I could feel my concentration being taxed. My nose was running and there was not a good way to wipe it. Uncomfortable does not begin to cover it.
Riding these twisties at night is difficult. You can’t see very far ahead of you and it was so dark! With my body being so cold and tired it was a challenge to keep it safe, but there is a very rewarding feeling when you make it home through adversity.
What I Learned:
- I now know a very quick way to field strip my carb,
- Don’t try Wayehutta trails on a heavy dual sport bike when it has been raining, unless you are really good in mud.
Matthew 21:22 NIV “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer”
My carb was broken and I needed it to run in order to get home. Obviously, the faith spoken of in the Bible is a much more serious and heavy subject than carb problems, but the mindset of trust in the Lord still applies. I prayed for help and I knew I would get help. What challenges have you faced in life that required some faith to keep your mind at ease?
Please share in the comments below. I would love to hear your story.