Getting the F800GSA dirty

As summer has finally kissed us out here on the east coast, I thought I might take a day out of the office for a quick scout for the Fundy Adventure Rally.


Riding solo and with a small time window, I assured my beloved that I was merely going to check out some options for the rally’s base loop. Meaning that it needed to be pretty easy stuff, and therefore if it did get rough, I would simply give up and turn around.

Well, that’s assuming that something base in my character had changed. Namely that little voice inside that says” It looks shit right now but it might be much better around the corner”. This voice pops up in many aspects of my life, from pursuing a career that does not pay very well, to being overly optimistic about past relationships, to exploring trails.

This particular trail was obviously not a candidate for the base route within the first 30 feet, but it was also the shortest route to the next section of trail to check out. So I persisted.

Although the F800GSA is a much better suited ride than the V-Strom for when things get rough,  when I saw a big mud hole in front of me I neglected to heed the first rule of mud holes; do not enter unless thee is sure to be able to exit.

“Whoop”. The front wheel sunk up to its axle in the mud, making it impossible to pull the beast out but also unwise to ride it forward. It was a standuponitsown type of mud. As in you can get off the bike and the mud is now supporting the bike – it stands up on its own.

This conveniently allowed me to go into the woods and looks for tools, which is where I found a pile of dead trees … cut to make way for a bypass around said mud hole. Hmhhh.

As Da Vinci said "When in a mud hole, layeth down a carpet of trees. Wise man.
As Da Vinci said “When in a mud hole, layeth down a carpet of trees. Wise man.

Rule number two when it comes to mud holes; thou shall not enter a mud hole if the local ATVers have even decided to make a detour.

I used the trees  to make a kind of carpet over the mud ahead of the bike and then stuffed some smaller branches rather optimistically into the mud just in front of the rear tire. It was an act of desperation based very loosely on scientific principle. As I swung a leg over the GS, dropped it into first and feathered the clutch I was expecting that literal sinking feeling as the rear tire chews downward into the mud rather than forward and out of it.

But forward it went, and once on to the tree carpet ahead of it, out she came.

It was a triumph of engineering, though and most of all, optimism. There was something about that first day of summer and my first foray into the woods that ensured that bad things would not be allowed to occur.

Honestly, I thought I was in for a long wait, but out she came.
Honestly, I thought I was in for a long wait, but out she came.

Of course now there was no turning back, but for once the voice was right, as around the next corner the trail dried out and it was clear sailing for the rest of the foray. I even found the elusive connecting trail that I needed for the base loop too.

Maybe summer is going to be alright after all.


  1. Ah yes: been there, done that. All the more fun when it’s getting dark and you’re being pestered by mosquitoes and deerflies in some fetid swamp.

  2. Hey ‘arris … looks like you had a nice line to the left (and maybe the right) of the mud puddle … but of course that would make it too easy and what would you write about? However, your engineering genius is something to be admired.

  3. Gotta love it when a plan comes together…

    There’s not a lot of things more tiring than getting a dualie out of a mudhole.

    • Yes, I was sure that it wouldn’t work, but it just all came together so well. I’d like to say lesson learnt, but I’ve said that too many times to believe it now.

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