…musings of one easily amused

It Always Gets Worse Before It Gets Better

Tuesday morning broke with sunshine, the first we had really seen since arriving Sunday afternoon.  We gassed up and headed Southeast toward the Pocahontas trail system.  This system was like Indian Ridge where you have a central artery running through it, classified with an easy rating.  It’s basically a dirt road a full truck width wide.  Off this artery are the secondary trails with various ratings from easy to extremely difficult.  I had added strips of duct tape to my tank where I recorded connecting trail numbers and other cryptic notes and symbols to myself.  I didn’t want to be stopping constantly to refer to a map.  For the most part my notes system worked well.  One new note for today was a number 8 with the circle and slash.  We weren’t looking to do any hero sections today and all of the trails that started with the number 8 were rated “Most Difficult”.

We headed out from camp and eventually connected into trail 12 and then to 13.  Not having done any single track yet a trail marker advertised “181′.  I knew all the single track trail numbers were three digits so decided this was as good a time as any to give it  run.

I realized later that the single track trails are rated either “More Difficult” – numbers 100-150 and “Most Difficult” – numbers 151 – 199.

Lesson learned.  We got our hero section completed after all.

181 popped out onto a welcome wide dirt road, trail 10.  We followed it North, riding through the pines and across the slickest, slimiest substance I’ve ever encountered.  A battleship gray mud, that rests on hardpack only a couple inches down.  I’d liken it to axle grease on a steel plate.  When you ride over it you hear a popping sound as if you were riding over sheets of bubble wrap.  Slicker than whale snot.  This trail brought us right back to were we started our journey down the single track.  We took a vote, Austin said he’d do it again, he thought it was “kind of fun”.  Alex and I overruled him and so we opted for a bypass and headed for the town of Bramwell.

Trail 10 leads out of the woods to a paved town road that leads to Bramwell.  This is a road approved for ATVs and dirt bikes so you just ride it into town.  This may seem common place in West Virginia but in Connecticut this is just not done.  oh, the horror of those hooligans terrorizing our streets.  Imagine what such lawlessness would lead to?


We coasted into a little lunch business and the two ladies inside took our order.  About a half hour later we had our lunch. Yup, nobody is in much of a hurry here so I might as well get used to it.  I asked one of the locals if there was anyone around that worked on dirt bikes.  Yes, the KLX had developed a new issue.  Now it would only run for a few hundred yards at a time.  I could tell that the amount of fuel going into the bowl was just not right.  Either the jet was clogged or the float was stuck.  The locals had some suggestions but I could tell by their descriptions of the businesses they were not going to have a rebuild kit for a 10 year old KLX sitting on the shelf.

We finished lunch and headed back to the trailhead.  Right at the entrance the bike died.  I did my remove-the-drain-plug routine but still the bowl was just not filling quickly enough to keep the bike running.  I removed the inline filter we had installed the night before and decided we needed to get back to camp and tear it apart again.

It takes a very long time to get anywhere when you can only go 300 yards then have to wait 5 minutes for your carb to fill back up with gas.

Back at camp the tear down was swift and the diagnosis was just as quick.  It was obvious that the sealant I used around the base of the carb had not reacted very well with the gas and had swollen enough to make contact with the float.  The float couldn’t drop so the bike was starving for fuel.  The proof would be in the test ride.  Once the bike was back together we immediately headed back to Pocahontas.

Success!  the KLX was back.  As the clock passed the 6:00pm mark we headed back.  Along the way, while practicing his drifting, Austin sheared the valve stem from the tube on the rear tire.  He nursed it along a ways then I went to get the truck.

At least someone else was working on their bike instead of me for a change.

Previous installment – Success, then failure

Next installment – Gas?! I won’t need no stinkin gas.

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