I had the day off, so I got some work done from home, got my hair cut, and washed both cars. Took a short nap even. Then I decided to go for a short ride to explore the trails behind Universal Park in Penn Hills (suburb east of Pittsburgh). There is a section with trails and a slag dump play area. I (unwisely) chose the trails...
I crashed climbing the first easy hill from the parking area. Had the sun in my eyes and couldn't see the trail well. My front wheel dropped into a deep erosion rut and down I went. No harm no foul. Continued up the hill to a "T" and decided to go left which follows a gas pipeline behind some houses and businesses.
I'm thinking this is good fun. The trails are pretty muddy/greasy, but it's a nice day, and the bike seems to be running OK. I come up on huge muddy area with many ruts through it. I follow a firm looking strip of dirt and then have to cross a little puddle. Next thing I know, the front wheel has disappeared into the goo, the bike has stopped moving and my ass is WAY up in the air, staring down at the ground.
I manage to land the stoppie and pull in the clutch to avoid stalling the bike. Hmmm, front wheel is really buried in there. Yank, throttle, curse, yank, throttle, curse. Damn. I'm stuck. So I shut off the bike, get off and go to try to extract the front wheel from this hole and I sink up to my knees in sticky mud. Bugger (I didn't say "bugger" but this is a family web site). It's like quicksand, and I'm here alone, about a half mile back from the road. And it's 3pm.
More failed attempts to free the front wheel happen. I tried moving the rear of the bike around, perpendicular to the hill. More yanking. Pop. Feck. Bugger. Feck. My lower back just did something bad. I feel pretty crippled. Time to phone a friend. So I call my wife, have her get some climbing rope to maybe drag the bike with, and then she can pick up my son Dan from work (near the riding area) to help. They show up about 45 minutes later after hiking about a half mile back in the mud.
While waiting for them, I took a couple photos of my situation for your amusement. The first shows the hill I was coming down (steeper in real life):
Look Ma! No kickstand needed!
So we attempt to drag it out of the hole with no luck, but now my son and wife are covered with mud too. Wife notices some wood down the hill a ways, so Dan and I check it out. Seems there was a wooden bridge across the creek at the bottom. It's still in one large piece so no use to us. But off in the woods is more wood, and we find a 8 foot 2x10? that's loose. So we carry that back up the hill to the bike.
Our first attempt to free it was to lift the rear wheel onto the wood, then attempt to free the front. No joy.
Second attempt was to use the board as a lever to extract the front wheel. No joy.
Third attempt was to just lay the bike on its side on the board (board parallel to fall line) and drag the bike down the board to firmer ground. Well, the board acted more like a raft and the whole mess slid down the hill to firmer ground. Stood the bike up, got it pointed uphill, started it, and it dug a trench. Sigh... So I rode it down the hill, then got a run at it and made it up through the mud hole of doom, MHOD (tm), to the top of the hill. I waited there for my wife and son to catch up.
Down a little hill, then crashed in a muddy rut going up the other side. Damn. Got it up that hill on my second try. I was beat and my back is really jacked up.
I see I have another small downhill, followed by a long muddy uphill. Not wanting to repeat the muddy rut crash, I spy a trail to the right under a Posted cable/sign. Heck with it, I need to get out of here. So I follow the much nicer trail over towards a road, ride along the edge of a cemetery, and escape onto pavement. Met the family back at the car.
*I* needed to be hosed down when I got home. Tons of mud on my pants and boots. The bike was a muddy mess. No energy to actually wash it, but I got the worst of the mud off and made a huge mess in my driveway.Lesson Learned: Don't ride alone. You never know when you're going to need some back-up.