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Old 04-07-2014, 07:28 PM   #1
ThirdUncle OP
Dusting my teeth
Joined: May 2010
Location: Toronto
Oddometer: 51
Ontario Slush Fun

It started as a "time for a ride" group-text on Sat. After no one could think of a place that might be ridable a week after the end of a 1960-style winter, someone suggested the Oak Ridges route to the Ganny. Just a sniff around. Nothing too dramatic. A peek into the woods to check on melt progress. There were 6-7 initial takers, but just 4 showed up: Amir, Jack, Regan and I.

From the Blackstock rendezvous, we rode into the Purple Woods road, passing the rifle range, and within 100m Regan was airborne. This gentleman, never met by me before, showed up on a KLR, engine oil dripping out a stripped drain plug, a foot peg held on with zip-ties, and an inability to shift gears all that often.

Regan was keen though, performing two of the most spectacular deep water entries I've seen off a motorcycle -- but before I thought to get the GoPro out. Within a two-minute space, he'd flipped over the bars and landed, back first, into two different giant deep pools of clear ice water with a huge splash. I was trying not to laugh when I came to check on him. But he was just, "OKAY. Got those two out of the way... now I can get on with it."

At that stage I was just going to 180 it the hell out of there, but then I thought, I'll just go the mile or so to the crossroad, then stick to gravel roads for the day. But once I covered that mile I was getting the hang of things. Just had to steer the mother into every front-wheel-grabbing slush slide and not gun it. Once the revs got over 2500, the spent TKC80 on my 800GS would spin like it was in mid-air.

I soon realized I could sorta drag my feet splayed out like an idiot behind me, outrigger-style, in the deepest business, instead of giant-stepping it, which was getting sweaty and is really murder on my 54-year-old hips. As the day wore, I relaxed and got OK riding it feet on pegs.

Riding on ice, wet snow, slush, a bit of mud and deep puddles frozen at the bottom doesn't compare to anything I've ever tried -- outdoors or in. You have to focus 100% on reading the terrain, guessing how it'll do you, and then just midwife through it. In a way it was easier than riding the deep mud holes and ruts we get here come spring, because you could bet on mostly zero traction, vs Ontario mud, which always has trickery.

In the end I fell twice into soft snow banks. I got into second once, for maybe 30 sec.

I'd do it again. It was educational. I feel fortunate to have met this group of nutters -- now nearly a year ago. They are up for anything (on their mostly 800 and up rides), not to mention funny and eccentric. They have pushed me into places I'd never have guessed this bike, or I, ought ever to go, and I owe my skills and confidence to them.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:29 AM   #2
Speed changes you.
keener's Avatar
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Toronto, Canada
Oddometer: 909
whos that good looking guy with that bad ass bike?

You made it so poetic it makes me want to go back there and do it all over again. I can't remember shifting to 2nd gear for the whole ride.

btw, you can post the videos here like the photos from smugmug like this:

on smugmug go to Get a Link for your video, then click on Embeddable Link tap, and copy paste the text that is made for Forums.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:31 AM   #3
Speed changes you.
keener's Avatar
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Toronto, Canada
Oddometer: 909
or this from Video Embedded on the same tab
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