Almost lost my bike last night?!?!

Went on an "easy" ride with a buddy last night after work. We were planning on just keeping to the fire roads, make a 25 mile loop, "be back before dinner" type of stuff.

Well, we ended up at an intersection of a trail called "Devil's Gulch". There was a small, 1.5 mile segment that connects to an irrigation resivoiur that we were planning on riding to, so we thought we would just bite off that little chunk of the Devils trail. This trail is not much wider than about 3 tire witdth's. Alot of mountian bikers in the area use this trail, some motorcyclist do. This trail is cut into the side of the hill, so mistakes made to the downhill side, you have about 150' down to go. You will not get killed, but I don't know how you would get a bike out. I almost had to figure it out!

We got to a segment that was essentially an "erosion slide" where a swath of the hillside, approximately 30' wide, is eroding. The established trail goes through this area, but the snow has only recently receeded, exposing this area, so the trail has yet to be reestablished. Like I mentioned earlier, the trail is only about 3 tire width's wide, so when we got to this point, there was no where to turn around. Our only option was straight ahead. I went first, and got about 1/2 the way through the erosion area, and I lost momentum and my rear tire slid below where I was trying to trail through. My buddy put his bike on the kickstand, and come over and helped me get the tail end back up on the trail. From there, we pushed it backwards about 30 feet to where there was a tree that was on the downhill side of the trail. We wedged the rear wheel against that, and were able to turn the bike around. On a side note, the turn around manuver had the bike on its' side for almost 20 seconds. Thought I was going to have to use the hot start button for the first time. I pulled the decomp lever, kicked it through about 3 times, found TDC, and it started right up. Nice.

So, we then found a spot to turn my buddy's bike around, and got out of there. It was scary awesome fun.


Here is the trail, and where it ended for me. I made it out there until the trail dissappears. The tree to the left where we pulled the bike back to and made the turn around manuver.


[ May 17, 2002: Message edited by: BrandonW ]

As far as I made it, this is looking back towards the tree.

It is WAY down there.......


[ May 17, 2002: Message edited by: BrandonW ]

bump...... :)

Hey Brandon, welcome to the club! Are you sure you were on Devil's Gulch, becaues that almost looks more like the Mission Ridge trail. They run close to each other on the top and bottom of the ridge. Anyhowz, I almost lost my DT175 on Devil's Gulch back in '79. The rear tire hit a rock and kicked off on the downhill side of one of the gnarliest steep sections. I was able to hang on to the bars and keep the bike from sliding the 200' down to the bottom of the shear ravine. It took my buddy (who was in front of me) about 20 minutes to realize I was no longer behind him, find a place to turn around, and come back to help. That was one of the longest and scariest 20 minutes of my life!!! Especially when you're only 15 years old!

Tip for Devil's Gulch: Carry a small pruning saw for the first several rides in the spring until the trail crews get in to clear all the deadfalls. Mike and I came across a snag last year and it was a mother getting turned around. A saw would have made short order of the snag. Ya, let's get out one of these days.....

PS: It really pisses me off when I hear some of the mt. bikers bitch about motorcycles using those trails. I started riding Devil's Gulch back in '78, long before mt. bikes were even on the drawing board. Now thanks to the publicity and articles on the trails from our local piece of crap newspaper, the mt. bikers think they own the trails up there. I'm still courteous around them on the trail, but it really peeves me listening to some of those guys. Later...

Brandon, I rode this trail for the first time late last fall. I wasn't sure at first if it was legal for motorcycles. It is great ... but as you mentioned, it appears that the snow pack has changed the trail some what. Making the turn around the rock outcropping is a thrill with such a drop-off. Hey Tim, I hear what you're saying about the mtn bikers ... the attitude with who "owns" the trail. I am one of "those" mtn bikers who have ridden the trails for years too. When I pass them on my motorcycle, I get a cold response at best which is funny (to me) as the next day I may be pedaling with them. Areas all over are being shut down and we all need to get along. Hope t osee you guys up on the trails some day (I've never seen another WR up there yet).



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