Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Minor Update

So, yeah. I'm in Bilouxi, Mississippi. Spending the night with an old friend from high school, and heading out of here tomorrow, though Alabama and into Florida. I'm not heading down to Key West, but I figure I should at least roll through the top corner of it so I can officially say that I rode from Florida to Alaska.

Last couple of days have been stupid. I totally failed at stealth camping last night when I was north of Baton Rouge, LA. There just weren't any side roads, anywhere, and all the land was pancake-flat in seemingly all directions (looking at a map now, I realize that I should have been on the other side of the river). I was looking for a long time, couldn't find anything, and eventually it got dark. There weren't even any proper campgrounds around, so I asked in at a gas station if the attendant knew of anywhere to camp.

There was a farmer in there, who said that I could camp on his land for the night if I wanted. I gratefully accepted, and followed him in his truck down a road on top of a levee. "Road" is a generous term. Had conditions been dry, I doubt I would have had any problems. But conditions WERN'T dry, and the road was really just a few inches of incredibly sticky yet oil-slick mud. I made it maybe an eighth of a mile before loosing it and wiping out.

The guy saw my headlight go down, stopped his truck and backed up to help me. We got the bike turned around and pointed in the other direction, and I managed to somehow make it back to the main road. Goddamn, do I HATE riding in slippery, almost-crashing conditions at night in the pitch-dark. I had a flashback to getting out of that bog in Norther Michigan. It was the same sorta situation, although almost worse. I had to keep the speed up, because at many points I was in pure slush with gave no real traction at all, and the only thing keeping me upright was the gyroscopic force of the wheels, and dumb luck. The front wheel often had little to no effect on which direction the bike was going, it was more of a rudder. So very familiar of a situation.

It really, really sucks, and I seem to have done it far more times then I'd like. At some point, perhaps I'll learn that a '97 Virago is NOT an off-road bike.

Either way, after getting out of that mess, I was tired, covered in mud, the bike was covered in mud, and I was in no mood to camp. I found a hotel, and engaged in sleep, glorious sleep.

Road through Nawlins today, and now I'm here. I've got pictures of things, which I'll post at some point later.

Anyway, it's sleep time for me. Night all.

1 comment:

  1. yikes, glad you are ok!

    You have to wonder though, why on earth that guy thought your road bike would be OK in mud like that. I mean, didn't he just drive over it earlier? Some people have no sense, I guess.