Short Trip, Long Day Stuck in the Sand

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by salad, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. salad

    salad New Member

    It started out a gorgeous day, calm, clear, 70+ degrees out side, not typical for November in North Dakota at all. I work the night shift, midnight till eight AM, but it was entirely too nice a day to waste by going to bed right away. I decided to put on my motocross boots and take the KLR down to the river to explore and play on the open sand flats where the water has receeded. Wandered some trails north of Fort Rice, where I usually go, looking for a spot to get to a nice sand bar that a friend and I had spotted from the canoe a couple of weeks ago but no luck. So I headed south to Fort Rice and down on to the beach, which appeared to have dried out nicely since the last time I had been down there, and left lots of nice open sandy spots to play, or so I thought...

    Missouri river bottom sand is all silt. It makes a very fine sand when dry but very nasty mud when wet. So I wander along the shore for a ways, checking out the sights, sticking to stuff that appears dry. I decided to head out along a row of long dead trees that appeared to be sitting on somewhat higher and drier ground than the surrounding flats when all of the sudden I start sinking. Usually no big deal, give it a handful of throttle and shift your weight back for more traction and shoot back for solid ground. Didn't work. I had been putzing along and wasn't carrying enough speed to do what I needed. So there I sit, Bike with the rear wheel buried far enough that it is still standing on its own and me walking around it with about 10 extra pounds of mud on each foot.

    Needless to say, it was a long morning. Had to tip the bike over on its side and lift the rear tire far enough out of its hole to dig some of the mud that was completely filling every void in the rear end out and stuff logs and crap from on shore in the hole previously occupied by the rear wheel and then try to stand the bike back up while my feet were sinking in the mud. It was during one of these initial heaves to lift the bike back up that I felt a rib pop. Oh great! That ought to help out. Ended up getting stuck 2 more times before I finally made it back to shore and then down to the boat ramp to dig more large handfuls of mud out of the underside of the KLR and wash myself up.

    By the time I made it back to the house, maybe 20 miles away, it was well after 2 PM. I was exhausted, sore, ready for a beer, some Motrin, a hot shower and bed. Oh well, it didn't kill me so I guess it will just have to make me stronger, even if no smarter=,)

    Stay tuned for further installments. I cant seem to go anywhere, whether on the KLR or the Concours, without getting lost or stuck or having a run in of some sort, but its usually still a blast. Kind of like the trip this spring on the KLR where I started my right foot on fire while going down the road...
  2. dale

    dale New Member

    I'm probably stating the obvious, and it might not apply to wet sand, but in case you or others haven't tried this I'll speak up.

    When I've buried my Transalp in sand deep enough for it to stand upright by itself (more than once ;^) ), I've always been able to ride out by significantly reducing the air pressure. By significant I mean down to 15-20 psi (i.e. less than half of recommended psi). This allows the tire to float instead of dig into the sand. Just don't drive fast on hard surfaces until you pump the tire back up. I carry a small bicycle pump for this purpose (lots of pumps, but it works). Learned this trick with my Jeep driving around in Sand Dunes Nat'l Mon..
  3. salad

    salad New Member

    Very good idea, don't know why I didn't think of that myself. Don't know if it would have helped once I was sunk in the first hole (there was water gathering in the hole as I was digging), but that probably would have kept me from sinking in the first place. Thanks, I will have to keep that in mind for the next time.
  4. jayjacinto

    jayjacinto Member

    I always knew bicycle pumps will come in handy sometimes..

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