[Field Report] Experiments With Mud.

Summary Damage Report:

  • One, maybe two, cracked ribs
  • Severely bent left pedal mount

Recommended Purchases:

  • Nikwax
  • 2nd ContourHD camera (details to follow in separate memo)

Notable Products:

  • Fastway Pedals

Details:

Sunday’s practice run ended up a little more “interesting” than anticipated.

Nargo in the mud
Nargo in the mud

Some people from ADV Rider had put together a trail ride through the Arcadia State Park last sunday and we went along to get more off-road experience. As everyone who came was on a “big bike” (with one exception) the trails we were taking weren’t supposed to be particularly tricky, and overall they weren’t. But in the process we discovered that Dachary has a nemesis: mud. While inexperience and, at times, a lack of confidence was certainly a contributing factor to the four drops, we’re still unsure as to the primary cause of three of them. We do believe that the Trailwings tires she currently has on her bike are quite possibly the most inaptly named tires on the market as they are horrible in mud.

The roads started out as rather easy hard-packed dirt roads, but then we turned off onto a portion of an enduro trail, which is where the first drop happened. At the very end of a minor wallow Dachary’s back end slid out and down she went. We didn’t realize it at the time but we suspect that this is when she cracked the rib(s). When we stopped at a gas station, one minor, mudless, fall later, she commented about some chest pain but continued on. Little did we know…

Muddy Dachary
Muddy Dachary

Dachary commented after the ride that she

“…had a totally fun day and would do again. In fact, am thinking about getting a smaller dirtbike when we get back and playing in the mud more often. I highly recommend it.”

Her ContourHD camera was running through each incident, and while an attempt was made to film the last two falls the V.I.O. P.O.V. camera failed to actually save the video in what has come to be standard behavior for it. It doesn’t appear to always get the signal to record from the remote unless the following footage is incredibly boring, in which case it always gets the signal. Full details on the VOI P.O.V. versus ContourHD will follow.

[vimeo clip_id=”16867296″]

After the last fall we noticed that her left pedal was at an odd angle and she couldn’t use the shifter. The shifter had bent slightly, and was easily adjusted using the odd looking tool in the BMW tool kit that no-one knows the name of, but the pedal was another matter. Eventually we discovered that the pedal had come down on something hard under the water, and when it reached the end of it’s pivot range it held its own and, instead of breaking, transfered the force into the frame above the pedal and caused  it to bend instead. The bend in the frame doesn’t look too bad in the photo (there’s curve in the vertical piece of  frame in the middle of the photo) but it’s enough to angle the pedal up a few degrees and make shifting more difficult. Unfortunately, we’re not sure how to correct it since there’s nothing solid behind it to use as a leverage point. On the up-side, any potential concerns over the pedals breaking in a simple drop have been eradicated.

slightly bent frame
slightly bent frame

We’ve uploaded some additional photos from the ride to our Flickr account and a couple more videos of the less dramatic parts of the ride to our Vimeo account. We’ve gone ahead and ordered a second ContourHD so that there will be no more doubt about what does, or doesn’t, get recorded.

Medical notes

The pain of cracked ribs increases for several days afterwards. Anecdotal evidence suggests that during this time the reading of humorous articles such as this one can be extremely painful and possibly set healing back by a day. Also, it is inadvisable to take painkillers that are also blood-thinners (Asprin, Ibuprofin, etc.) when healing from cracked ribs or  broken bones as it slows the process.

About Kay

An old-school geek, addicted to travel, with a love of programming, writing, Esperanto, and starting businesses. -- @masukomi on Twitter.

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