If there’s a gene in the human body that chooses the hardest path, I’ve got it. I’ve heard of this thing called, “The easy way,”I’ve never tried it myself. When faced with the path less traveled, guess which one I’ll be heading down. This is not hyperbole, I have an example.
This Sunday I went out for a bit of a bike ride. The call of the bike is very strong on a Sunday morning anyway and so I found myself roaring down the QEW towards Ball’s Fall Conservatory out by St. Catherines. I figured I’d ride down there and then come back along the escarpment on Ridge Road. The ride out along the QEW was nothing to talk about. As previously mentioned, you’ve got to ride for an hour to get to anywhere worth riding back from in the GTA. Ball’s Falls looked nice but I wasn’t going to spend the five bucks to find out, so I gave it a body swerve and stayed on the bike.
Back at the edge of the escarpment I followed the twists and turns of Ridge road. I was riding pretty sedately, just happy to let the bike move about under me, besides, there’s enough loose gravel in the corners to make any sort of aggressive riding a foolhardy endeavor. I was also doing some pretty hard thinking about stuff, none of it too pleasant. Not to the point of being distracted but certainly to the point where I wasn’t totally engrossed in just enjoying the ride but then some roads will let your mind wander.
Right up until the bridge is out because it’s under construction.
I looped back up and around this obstacle, intending to pick up Ridge Road once I was past the construction zone but also as previously mentioned Ontario is a province settled at least in the southern part buy farmers and a farmer hates a curved line, so I’m on this grid and try as I might, getting back down to Ridge road is proving tougher than I thought. Until I came upon an, “Unassumed road.” Which is essentially muddy dual track that disappeared into dense foliage.
I stopped the bike. The track looked gnarly but workable okay, it looked gnarly period but it was an unrestricted track and those are rare. A smart man would have shook his head and turned left on the tarmac and ridden around this anomaly. But that broken wire in my head shifted and made contact with the bits of my brain that control throttle and brake and into the green we went.
No sand this time, it was pure mud. The dual track got deep and rutty immediately and pushed me hard into the brush on the one side. I tried getting up on the hump in the middle of the track but the ruts were too deep for me to get my feet down again if shit went wrong. The Shinkos did better in the mud than they did in the sand but this time my ground clearance issues were really showing as I could hear my skid pan grinding away underneath me almost constantly. I wasn’t hanging up on anything so I just said screw it and pushed on. I was fighting the bike upright at every second. This went on for about a mile. It got pretty good by the end of it and I was able to find a good track finally. The last bit was a drop down into a drainage trough and then up the other side of a berm and true to form, my trusty Strom handled that part with ease.
But a smart man would have done it on better tires with a lighter bike.
I am not that man and I never will be.
I’m working on a book right now… First person narrative. See I can’t help myself.