Area Ride report from the Wolf a couple of weeks ago I was on the 07' WR450 my son on his 09' WR450:
Ride Report: Hook, Line, and Sinker
After the fall out of riders for the long awaited ride with The Snake at The Snake Pit, I found myself alone but bound by my word that I would ride with the Elder Creatures(Snake and Bombardier) despite the rest of the riders would not be attending. Without a doubt, I knew that was in a lose-lose situation, but that's just not a good enough reason to lay down and be Cobbed!
I show up to our ritualistic breakfast before "The Feeding". In the parking lot of the diner I saw about a dozen, or so, bikes. Immediately I was praying that these bikes weren't ALL coming with us. I walked in, sat down away from the possible riders and waited. Within 10 minutes, the door behind me opens and icy cold gusts of wind come rushing in sending a sharp pain down my back like the tip of a knife dragging down your spine. I didn't even need to look back because I could already sense that the boogeyman was present, The Bombardier had just arrived. Bombardier walks in and is followed by MikeyLikesIt. Shortly thereafter, The Snake, The Dog and The Boy(Snake's son) arrive.
I dined at the same table as Bombardier and Mikey. I ventured to ask, if "all these people" were coming with us. Originally I was of the mind that this was going to be a small group ride in Jawbone since the Snake Pit ride had fallen apart. Bombardier then proceeds to inform me that yes they are all coming with us, but he does it in a 'short' manner. Then I ask what he had conjured for the "Jawbone ride". Now he becomes a little more reserved, and I immediately knew something was up. I knew that we were not going to Jawbone, and that there was probably never any intention of going to Jawbone. I had been duped by my own people! Bombardier tells me we are going to The Snake Pit. I don't quite understand why they felt the need to deceive me and I never did find out. I love the Snake Pit, riding there is one of my fondest memories of riding with The Donkey, and The Snake knows this! However, I digress, back to the story.
I took a look around at the riders that tagged along. I looked at their faces, and I had already seen their bikes. Most of these faces weren't the faces of my breed of creature, these were faces of the unknowing. Turns out, there was a mass email ride invite that had been sent out from a rider I will not name, and each one the riders at the diner responded and confirmed that they were interested in the ride. Unfortunately for most of these riders, the originator of this email ride did not show up. I ask Bombardier "wait a second.. is this a rat f**king??!". He grins and and Mikey laughs as Bombardier says to me "I believe its going to be." This was a golden opportunity for The Bombardier and The Snake to mutinize, and they did. This became their ride and everybody was on board. Hook, Line, and Sinker.
A little background on The Bombardier: Excellent rider, mastermind ability to both acquire riders and strategically punish them mercilessly, knows every trail ever in California(even when he pretends he's lost) and has a gift for saying the wrong thing at the precisely right moment to piss you off instantly. Both The Donkey and The Bombardier are the two most infamous riders you may have, or may not have, ever heard of. Why "infamous"? Well, its a long many stories with some being true and some being skewed. Regardless, The Bombardier, in many circles, has become a boogeyman of sorts. He's the guy that riders wish they never met and wish that they could forget about what happened by the end of the ride. The Bombardier will make it to the top, you wont, and he will sit perched at the top watching you suffer and listening to your spirit breakdown. The punished riders can wish all they want, but when they wake up, the scars will still be there.
Breakfast is over. Now its time for The Feeding.
Every one is geared up and flees from the staging area. Only a few stragglers are left behind, two of which are Snake and I. I am in a panic because I cant find my keys, they have escaped me! I tell Snake that he doesn't need to wait for me and that even if I cant find them that I know where they are going. He confirms with me the route that they will be taking, which has never changed, and he slithers away toward the stairs into Pit. Before he left he also told me not to worry that I had time because they're all going to be trapped like rats. Well, I scoured every inch of my truck and the dirt surrounding my truck, NOTHING! Then I just happen to notice them sitting on the roof of my truck **DUMBASS**. 10-15 minutes after the group has left, I finally head out.
On my way to the gates
of the Pit I can see the landscape had changed tremendously since the big storm that passed trough toward the end of 2015. I also see a littering of riders having issues all within that first mile away from the trucks, which means its still the same ol' Snake Pit. As i pass the riders having severe issues just getting to the entrance, I am reminded of my last ride here with The Snake and The Dog when we watched for an hour, or more, as riders struggled just to make it up the first minor obstacle. As I approach the Stairs, a few riders kindly move to the side and I see MikeyLikesIt off his bike and filming the failed attempts. I survey the new layout, turn around and hit it! The ground is even looser than i remember and I go straight into rock sticking out of the ground. Fortunately, she was able to recover.
From there I am on the gas trying to get to the gates
and pass as many riders as I can. I come around the blind corner and see three riders waiting to go and three riders stuck on the hill. Two riders are stuck on the left route which looks easier, but actually is not. On the right route I saw a bike loop out and a rider tumbling down the hill. I'm not gonna wait my turn so I ask them(nicely) to move to the side so I can go. They do, and I did. At the top it's the normal scene: Snake instructing the victims how to get up and Bombardier in the perfect viewing location to see the faces and hear the noises. Another very familiar show was display as well. The timeless "loops, high-sides, low-sides, curse words and attempted/failed
alternate routes" routine, 1 mile away from the trucks
. There was A LOT of carnage at this section. It even had me second guessing myself as I watched riders fail after numerous attempts and continue to make the same mistake. I even had to ask Snake if it was a hill because I didnt think it was before, but I started having my doubts. Both Snake and Bombardier re-assured me though that it definitely was not a hill
. Needless to say, I was relieved because I thought I had missed it.
Unfortunately at that point the group had to split up(for the first time of the day) because the obstacle was impassable, for some. But luckily, they would get a guided tour around the gates
of The Snake Pit and reconvene with us at the beginning of the next trail, where my suffering began.
Inside the Pit its frosty cold. Snow still on the ground, puddles frozen solid, and I even saw some patches of frozen mud. The leaders go up the climb one at a time, but nobody really makes it look easy or smooth. The Boy(Snakes son) is up and before he goes I ask him "are you gonna make it?" to which he replies with a "yea." Then I try to put the pressure on him and tell him "alright, I'm gonna follow you up so dont f**k me on this." I don't think he thought that was funny though, haha, because he didnt even acknowledge it. He goes, and I follow. we both hit the turn and my rear swings waaaay out as The Boy takes off leaving me behind. Punished me! It's ok though because The Boy is an outstanding rider just like his pops. We are gonna battle many more times in the future. Back to the suffering though.. Shamefully I turn my bike around and head back down. I wait my turn as another rider fails and I go again, and fail. I repeat that same scenario, and again I fail. Now I'm trying to push the bike up the hill only to slide backwards on the frozen ground. back to the bottom. I never set my air pressure so I let out a good 4psi as I see The Bombardier coming back down the hill to torment me. "What is that she-wolf doing?" Bombardier asks me and he follows with "Was she planning on ever making it up?". I bluntly tell Bombardier "I dont wanna hear any of your shit Bombardier." and I give it another attempt to go up. NO DIFFERENCE... its not the tire! it's the rider. Bombardier is now in full effect and loving the show. "Wolf-cub, we're gonna go and take the rest of the women around to the woman's way. That's enough let's go wolf-cub." See.. now I'm pissed because I know what The Bombardier is doing. If I go with them, that story would have followed me for the rest of my life. So I tell him "No. I'm going up this way, you can go that way". Well.. now I have no choice but to make it. If I don't, I will never hear the end of it. I hit the button, drop the clutch and let her eat. I get out of the turn with great speed, but get all f**ked up in the rut. As I approach the icey rock ledge I have almost no speed. I suddenly harness my inner Donkey and pull speed and traction out of my ass and get up the ledge with ease. As I finish the rest of the climb I let out the breathe that I had been holding for the last two minutes and howl out "KISS MY ASS BOMBARDIER!!". Damn it feels good.
The Snake leads The Boy, The Dog and I through the misty mountains toward Triumph Hill. Visibility is maybe 50ft and the snow was three feet deep when you least expected it. It was a battle just staying on the bike. I was looking for any opportunity to go over the bars, because you know how I love going over the bars. I can see tracks all over in the snow. Some deer tracks, dog tracks, possible bear tracks but worst of all I saw some dirty F***ing rotten troll prints too. Thankfully we never crossed paths with this troll. I hate trolls.
Finally we make it to the formidable Triumph Hill, and she's a beauty. Coincidentally, The Bombardier is also just arriving with the rest of the remaining ladies. I didnt want to stand on ceremony so I get after it! I had 3rd gear pinned until I just barely let off for a split second and lost all of my speed. Then I looped it. The moment I hear my motor stall out, I hear a bike at the bottom fire up. It's The Bombardier.. He's going about a hundred and I need to get my ass out of his way. The Boogeyman is coming to punish me for my fowl mouth. He comes around the turn with the bars crossed up, unwavering speed and the throttle locked at "full". He blows passed me and my highsided bike fast enough to unbuckle my boots
and make my bike slide toward me. This has got to be one the best punishings I've ever seen or had the displeasure of being apart of. I was speechless. "Kiss my ass" indeed, I suppose. I could see the face as he passed me, it was nightmarish. If it was anybody else, it wouldn't have been as punishing, but this was meant to be. The Bombardier had been waiting for his opportunity to present itself, and he seized it. Well done Bombardier.
Now the rest of the hillclimb madness can begin. There are 6 different lines to go up triumph hill. Each line presents a different problem, but all require the throttle to be pinned without relent. Everybody tosses there packs off and digs in hitting all the different lines. My brain is stuck though, I need to make it up the line Bombardier punished me on before I go any other way. For me, its not about the lines you can make, its about the line you cant make. The Snake on the other hand, is making every line and getting faster after each run. The Boy is doing the same. Every attempt I'm making is resulting in a loop or a high side. Loop, loop, highside, loop, highside. Finally I get a clean run going, throttle twisted to the max, I hit the turn and shoot out with good speed. I can see the top approaching but I'm losing speed. I start slipping the clutch and prepare to hit the downshift. I press down on the shifter but it wont go into gear. Now I'm really slowing down, uh-oh.. I'm stomping on the shifter and it WILL NOT GO DOWN! F****CK!! Finally it clicks down, but I'm almost at a dead stop as the motor begins to scream... The bike shoots out from underneath me like a canon and loops violently breaking my fender! I am 20 feet from the top, but theres no way in hell I can get going again. I have to walk up to the bike, and go back down.
From that point it only gets worse. I continue over and over trying to make that line with each time getting further away from the top. I was going insane! The bike started feeling like it had ZERO horsepower
, I couldn't even get it to the rev limit in 3rd gear. Now the Hamster is getting higher than me too. after 9 or so consecutive tries, I happened to glance over as MikeyLikesIt is going up the far right line, but doesn't make it
. An opportunity has just presented itself, and I need to take it. I fire up the 500 and get her going as fast as I can. Mikey sees me coming and he scrambles to get his bike and carcass out of the line of fire. I coming up the climb but the bike just doesn't feel like its going to make it, BUT somehow I was able to maintain my speed and do some much needed punishing of my own. As I pass by him I showed how grateful I was and even told him "THANK YOU!". After that though. I must have tried the original line 5-7 more times. She was just riding Horrible!
From there we headed over to Impossible Hill. On the way over, I ran into a professional endurocross/extreme enduro rider. I took a couple pictures with him and had a short chat while everybody else that didnt recognize him had left. I wont say who, but I will say he is a phenomenal rider and he is also very familiar with The Donkey himself
. I pull up to Impossible and see only The Boy and MikeyLikesIt even attempting it. Thats because the top 1/3rd of Impossible is covered in ice. Only an unwell individual would try it. So I say excuse me and grab a handful of throttle because what have I got to lose? I've already spent most of the day crashing, why not just continue the pattern and give The Bombardier some entertainment. On my third attempt I had a plan, "after the right sweeper just swing wide to bypass half the rut". In theory it would have worked fine, but that theory wasn't taking into account the mountain being covered in ice. So here we go.. hop across the whoops, pin it, sweep left, go deep into the next turn then sweep right wiiide, full speed ahead I hit the off-camber ice covered hillside and the rear wheel
loses all traction, spins violently careening me down into the rut and over the bars at full speed ending with a lovely crunch as my carcass comes crashing back to earth.
What a super day of riding it has been!
After that it was a nice flowing ride back to the trucks. I was so mind f**ked after that last crash that I was barely able to stay on my bike at cruising speeds. The Bombardier was loving it too. Halfway back on the long ride back to the trucks I finally recovered, and was able to shut the brain off to ride off instinct the way I am supposed to. I wasnt tired, but the body did feel a little bit beat. The mind was as gone as its ever been. The time before at the Snake Pit I felt great. This time time it was like I had never even ridden a bike. Like The Snake said to me "Every time you come here, the hills are different". I couldn't agree more. As much as I suffered, I still had an awesome time riding with My Creatures of the Hills. Bombardier feasted on my misery. Nobody can escape him either. He will find a way to trap you, punish you and make you breakdown. It will be patiently devised and calculated. When your suffering happens, The Boogieman will there to watch and relish in it.
Who's next? Who's the brave one?
Edited by stevethe, January 19, 2016 - 04:30 AM.