Day 3: We wake up and everything is THICK MUD. It rained REALLY hard for a long time and the mud was like clay that just clung to my boots, making them each weigh 15#. By the time I brought all my gear back to the lean-to where my bike was, I pretty much had like 300 leg kicks done because I couldn’t really walk very well with 4” of mud on the bottom of each boot while carrying all of our shit through the grassy/mud bog field. I get to the bikes and realize that the lean to was great to keep the bikes out of the direct weather, it also did a great job collecting rainwater… and now my bike was engulfed by mud. Lots of mud. There was zero percent chance I was going to push that hog backwards in mud, with mud pies for boots, solo.
<--pre-mud/storm; now just close your eyes and imagine this same scene after (literally) 4" of rain and a tornado touch down 70 miles away....
We all took turns helping everyone gets bikes out while slipping and sliding around. When we got to this place last night, I remember thinking the driveway was super long. And gravel. And now, I look to the end of the driveway towards the road and the driveway just got 5x longer.
I walked a ways down it to figure out my game plan on getting us out of there without mud wrestling the bikes. I walked about half way and was pretty content with my plan. First, we hug to the right in the grass where the mud was kind of burrowed vs RIGHT there. Then, we quickly swerve across the mud pie and hug the left side where it’s now higher and therefor drier. Then, at the end, its kind of a ‘fend for yourself and hammer it’ because it’s an incline onto the pavement, and all the rain collected at the bottom of said incline, to make a really fun looking mud hole. Fun, if I was on my dirt bike. Fun if I wasn’t going to try to maneuver an 800# bike, loaded with gear, through it. Nope, this suddenly did NOT look fun.
I give myself a pep talk – you know the one “You can do this. You frickin rode all the way to TX in ONE day- this is a simple driveway. A Texas sized driveway, but you go this….” Luckily, it was chilly that morning – like 45 degrees chilly. So we geared up with all of our leathers on. We gave hugs to the girls, hopped on the hogs and stared that muddy driveway down like we owned it. And we did! We hugged the right side, then barreled across the least muddy middle spot, plowing to the left side and high on the grassy area. Piece of cake! We are both still upright! Here comes the fend for yourself part – Had it not been for the pipes, the girls might have been able to hear me growl at it – being all bad-ass and ferocious. < Yes, to a driveway – but I was planning on winning > I quickly scope out the path of least resistance- which I determined was back on the far right side. So I swerve a little left to try to get my wheel straighter for the cross over. Then I grab the grips a little tighter and go for it. The front tire cleared the grass and got onto the mud. The back tire felt like being more daring and hung on to the grass edge a little too long, so the front tire got confused, and I felt my ass end doing that whole ‘hip shimmy shake’ maneuver – aka fishtailing. I pulled out of it and was pretty dang proud until I wasn’t. Next thing I know I’m trying out for the future mud wrestling competitions. In full leather. And my bike laying right next to me. I remember thinking “Just keep your damn legs on the pegs and you’ll be fine” aka don’t get my limbs under the bike. I flipped the switch off, I stood up, did a quick ‘wait for it’ to see if pain followed, nope. I’m good! I go put my butt/back under the bike on the side it was laying on. I’ve only done this once. And I got the bike up, but it hurt a LOT the next day, and the next day, and the next day…..oh, and that was my Suzuki. The lil 800 that doesn’t weigh #800! There was zero chance I was lifting that damn bike up by myself, I realize, as my 4” mud boots quickly return and my feet just slide around making mud patties. I look behind me for the first time, to realize shelly was still upright! Man, I bet THAT was fun to witness. Two of the other gals were now running (hilarious in itself!) down that ginormous Texas driveway. Friend A making it known she was not prepared to sprint today –or tomorrow, for that matter. It took 4 of us to get the bike upright as none of us could catch enough non-mud to get our footing secure. My first thought “I hope I didn’t scratch the tank!” “Or the bags”. Never mind the blinker kind of loosely hanging out. Or the mirror which is now a selfie mirror from the front. I just really didn’t want scratches on the tank because I have to look at them then.. All the time. And the bags, well, I just like the bags. Thankfully, the Big Honkers took the brunt and saved the bags except for just a few dings on the very bottoms. Good job pipes!
Get the blinker back to its original place, flop the mirror 360 back, and good to go! After a few minutes to get my heartrate back to half ass normal, we say goodbye again and roll on. Eff that driveway. I have NEVER dumped this bike. In Thousands of miles, I’ve managed to never tip her over. Until Texas. Go figure. And this is only the second time I’ve ever dumped a bike in my life (well, dirt bikes don’t count – that’s what they are for!). As we pull onto the now paved road, I realize my nerves are on edge. WAY on edge. Time for another self-pep-talk, as mud is literally flinging too and fro all around me and back in my face. Stupid mud. I hate Texas today. Every corner for the foreseeable rde would make me tense up – which is the LAST thing you want to do on corners. Granny style riding is how I rolled for a solid 4-5 hours as we head south. (We had planned on going to Arkansas – but the weather there for the whole week was crappy, rainy, and cold – screw that. We shall head south! Austin, here we come!