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Involuntary Get-Off in the Snow

Adventure riding has its price, and it’s easy to say that if you spend enough time riding off the paved stuff, sooner or later you’ll find yourself in a situation where you need to take a deep breath, grip the bike tight, and lift with your legs.

Last weekend I had a slow speed get-off coming down a fire road in the Cascades foothills behind Timothy Lake. I was standing up on the pegs, riding down that 1″ deep strip of snow in the center of the road. Suddenly my front tire cranked left, I tank slapped a few times, recovered, shot into the left tire track and across into the 5″ deep snow on the side, then went down onto my left side. I was unhurt and the only damage done to my bike was my front left turn indicator got bent a little bit (but still works). The Touratech side case didn’t have a scratch and handled the incident with ease.

I was able to lift my bike by myself, although it took several tries. Standing in snow doesn’t make for good foot traction, and also the tires kept sliding away from me as I’d lift.

Some gas leaked out of the filler cap and I could smell the fumes as I rode home. I stopped at the Ripplebrook Ranger Station and exposed the underside of my tank bag to the sun to let it evaporate and that eliminated the problem.

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