Well the weekend got a somewhat early start as I was scheduled to go to Shore for the Sertao’s first service this past Friday morning. I had to delay the start due to the ice on the roads in front of the house. Luckily, the sun started to poke through enough to get rid of it and I was off on the No. 3. Couldn’t believe the traffic, but found out a semi had overturned on the 103, so it was redirected. The boys at Shore were surprised to see me turn up at all. Atlantic Motoplex had sent a care package to Shore for the service so Chris got to work on the Sertao right away and we chatted as he worked and I drank coffee (sadly no Starbucks, which I hope doesn’t void the warranty). His experience as a racer and shop owner in Europe has given him wealth of knowledge on a wide range of bikes. Great guy to have work on your bike, especially if you own a European brand. Once the service was complete, it was back to the office to finish up for the week.
Now that I had the first service out of the way it was time to ride. Luckily, SWMBO and the ‘mini-me’s’ were gone all day Sunday. A quick text to Gnarly Al and it was set. Al suggested showing me the Bowater trails, which I had never been on. Much like the great adventurers of old Al was obsessed with finding the elusive route to Martock….. Okay, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as discovering a new route to the orient, but it was enough for us.
We slabbed it to East River and hit the trails. The conditions weren’t bad, but the heavy amounts of moisture over the last few weeks and the colder weather made certain sections slippery (more on this later). With Al in the lead chasing his elusive trail via GPS, he made for a great early warning system for the greasy parts. I’d see his tail end skid back and forth, and knew what was coming. But we managed to stay upright for the early going until Al tried to go off the road and misjudged the height of the road side berm, and high-centered his bike. Thankfully, I managed to grab photos and the incident was also captured on Al’s GoPro (http://youtu.be/-wYWiU51da0?list=UUWoOESbTCR5HWzkjkVthGog). Next up Al proved that not only can he shred a half-pipe, but he can shred a hill-climb as well – twice! I managed to survive it without harming the new ride, but felt naked without crash-bars (note to self for Christmas).
We spent the better part of the day searching for the elusive trail, taking different forks in the road and retracing our steps, but frankly just having fun. By the time late afternoon had hit, Al had to admit defeat and we had to put the quest aside until another day. No worries Al, just another excuse to hit the trails at a later date. Instead of hitting the main road (not sure where we were at that point), we decided it would be more fun to return home through the trails. What we didn’t take into account was the sun turning the earlier section into 2-4 inches of goo. For the last half hour of riding before the main road near Exit 6, we were reduced to a slow wobbly ride. Amazingly we remained upright the entire way despite a few close calls. I finally know how Ewan felt when he yelled “Aaaah, tarmac!” Once on the main road we blasted home before darkness hit and I spent a good amount of time cleaning muck off the bike. Another great ride, thanks Al!