Two offs in one day

We followed various logging roads to the village of Long Terawan, then long boat to Royal Mulu Resort.

The road up was abominably dusty. I was riding in convoy with Brad Baker’s Hilux – he was taking the guide, pillion and luggage.

It would have been easier for me to follow, but I could not see the road surface clearly through the dust. So I rode in front.

At one stage we caught up to a logging truck but I could not pass it. He’d hammer it downhill and the dust became as thick as a blizzard. I could not see the sides of the road so I had to slow to walking speed each time, and the truck would escape.

Just for variety…it rained all night while we were at Mulu. Dust + rain = mud. Lots of greasy mud over hard-packed dirt.

Anyway, gravity had it’s way with me twice. The first time was close to the village, on a really steep “jeep track”. I made it up the hill with the bike weaseling all over the place, but on the downhill the front wheel started tracking in a rut and my attempt to steer out of it ended with the bike sliding down the hill on its side.

The second was a more harmless looking puddle in the generally muddy road. It sloped left-to-right and I was apprehensive about getting too close to the edge of the road so tried to steer up the slope. Bike said “no” and laid down in protest.

After that I stopped trying to steer through the very slippery bits. I would just balance the bike and let the competing forces of momentum and gravity determine the path. This sometimes has the bike tracking sideways, like an aeroplane in a cross wind. Very disconcerting.

For the first hour I was wrestling the bike almost all the time. Utterly exhausting.

No injuries but I bent the gear lever the second time. Will have to get some mechanical help with it tomorrow.


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