I’m a little late with my write up on this, but here goes. EastCoast Al organized this ride late November and Adam (XT), Jake (KLR), and Rob (Sherco) showed up to take part. The plan was to find an alternate route on the Old Mersey road to the Dalhousie Road.
It all started well enough as we headed down the Mines 2 road for a taste of what was to come later on the Old Mersey road . Lots of twists & turns, rocks, hills, mud, but not too long. In short, it has all the ingredients of a fun adventure ride. Then all of a sudden this covered trail disappeared and was replaced by a clear cut and hastily created road. We had no idea where we were at that point, but continued on. The newly created road was a glorified mud bog and we all struggled to get through it. Have I mentioned that my TKC70s aren’t really that great in the mud? 20 minutes into the ride and we were all covered in mud and soaking wet, all on a cold fall day…..great, just great. After what felt like an eternity in the mud, we got to the main road and headed down another trail, which thankfully hadn’t been clear cut.
At that point we needed to get gassed up (well the Sherco did at any rate). By the time we got to the gas station in Greenfield, we were frozen. My attempts at outrunning the cold were sadly unsuccessful and drew the ire of my riding companions (apparently they didn’t appreciate the pace I had set).
Undeterred, I blasted off after the lunch break to get to the Old Mersey road and slower (i.e. warmer) riding. But luck wasn’t with us as the Sherco had a tire leak. Adam instantly set about helping Rob repair the flat, while Jake got a roadside fire going to keep us warm. Remind me to bring these military guys along for any future adventures, they’ll have you covered! Despite their best efforts, they couldn’t plug the leak, so Defeated Al called in the reinforcements to truck the Sherco back to Bridgewater. Adam, Jake and I rode back in the cold and I couldn’t feel my toes by the time we hit Bridgewater. I didn’t say a proper goodbye to the boys, but I think they’ll understand I just needed to get home by that point.
As soon as I warmed up, I ordered a pair of Klim Gore-Tex socks and got them in three days (better than spending big bucks on Gore-Tex boots). Just in time for Unresolved Al and I to make another attempt at the alternate route.
This time we bypassed the Mines 2 ‘bog’ and headed straight to the good stuff. We reached the fork in the road without incident and headed left instead of the usual right. The ride was great, but a little greasy, as would be expected at this time of year. We did take a couple of wrong turns, but found our way to the Dalhousie road – success! We now have a good loop to ride in the future. I needed to get back, so I headed to the highway while Adventurous Al took the Old Liverpool road back. I haven’t heard from him since, so I hope he’s ok. I’m sure his wife would have called if he didn’t make it. Then again…………