Friday, February 15, 2019

Winter Riding!

The Lake of Bays ATV club recently announced that they have groomed ATV trails available for winter riding, and since I happen to be a Lake of Bays/Hatva permit holder at least until May 2019, I decided to try it out.

 The ride there was almost eventful... there is a layer of ice in the back of my truck so my ATV rides higher than normal. The roads that google maps lead me down were rougher than normal and I took them a bit aggressively so my ATV got some bounce.

As a result, I came very close to breaking my rear window... the hook from my winch bounced around more than usual and ended up denting my cab about an inch below the window. Lucky. So I rode the trails, and groomed winter trails are fast. No rocks sticking out, no mud holes, I made great time.

There were a few open water spots due to running water, these are the only pictures I took:

However a problem came up a few minutes after these pictures were taken.

I had pulled over on the side of the trail to check my GPS. I'm not sure why I pulled over, since I didn't see anyone else out riding so there was no one to block, however out of habit I pulled to the side. And got stuck.

No worries, or so I thought, I have a winch. Frozen solid. Could not even move the clutch to release the line. Pressing the button did nothing, I would have burnt it out.

So I carry a shovel, and tried to dig myself out. Pointless, my skid plate was on the snow, and the snow was hard packed. I would have been there hours digging.

I also carry 100' feet of rope and a rope puller (like a come-along, but it feeds rope through). So using that I pulled my ATV around from the back and with tension on the line was able to back out of the hole I was in and keep moving.

It was a bit of a scary situation though... more than 20km from my truck or any civilization, no one riding the trails, alone, in the winter. I'm going to have to be more careful under circumstances like these; I could have been stranded. It all worked out though, and was a great day of winter riding.

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