Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Extra Evelo Explorations

The entrance to whatever this is, is high clearance only, due to one dive off the main trail, and a larger one just ahead.

The entrance to whatever this is, is high clearance only, due to one dive off the main trail, and a larger one just ahead.

Some trails just lay there, while others seem to beckon with the challenge, “Where do I go? I must be here for a purpose. Wouldn’t you like to find out?” I guess I’m a sucker for the ones that head over to the top of a distant ridge, as if to promise a full view of what is beyond.

Well, I made it to the top of that ridge, and it appeared that this was a serious trail indeed.

Well, I made it to the top of that ridge, and it appeared that this was a serious trail indeed.

So, I made it down the hill, through the undergrowth, and to the next descent. This one gradually tipped steeper and steeper, until it collided with the valley below.

So, I made it down the hill, through the undergrowth, and to the next descent. This one gradually tipped steeper and steeper, until it collided with the valley below. You can’t see the trail along the valley floor, because this is the approach, not the steep part.

On this approach slope was a horse path crossing it. I haven't seen one wild horse here yet, but their tracks and those of antelope were plentiful.

On this approach slope was a horse path crossing it. I haven’t seen one wild horse here yet, but their tracks and those of antelope were plentiful.

Just a gratuitous e-bike shot. Once I saw that braking traction would become an issue ahead, I parked it.

Just a gratuitous e-bike shot. Once I saw that braking traction would become an issue ahead, I parked it.

"Hey, that doesn't look anything like I-80 down there!" The final drop that intersects the valley trail with a bang. The goal is to get as close to the bushes (on right) as possible, without letting that side tilt drop your tires down into the ruts. Need more ground clearance, stat!

“Hey, that doesn’t look anything like I-80 down there!” The final drop that intersects the valley trail with a bang. The goal is to get as close to the bushes (on right) as possible, without letting that side tilt drop your tires down into the ruts. Need more ground clearance, stat! And maybe a tire pressure a lot lower than 75 PSI, eh?

I wound up stopping at this point, because a walk down showed the incline to be too steep and loose to hold traction, and certainly impossible to ascend again. I wouldn’t even attempt it in the Mighty Furd, since erosion had not only made the center ridge too high for a stock 4×4, but had tilted each rut sideways severely enough that it would be a miracle to avoid slipping to the side and grounding out the differential cases. You’d have to ride the center with one set of tires, and ride atop bushes with the other, hoping that neither side had a big traction advantage over the other. That would try to make it rotate and then roll, making life perhaps a little too interesting. Even the start of that on a climb would try to put two tires in the air because of the stiff suspension, bringing a it to a halt. Yeah, I’d be too chicken, though I’d be happy to leave my beloved anvil at the top and try it in your stock 4×4!

The return trip. With the battery down substantially from the earlier ride, the last part of the climb actually took full throttle and a bit of huffing.

The return trip. With the battery down substantially from the earlier ride of the day, the last part of the climb actually took full throttle and a bit of huffing.

Rancho Begley again. The rectangular shape at right, along the edge of the ridge.

Rancho Begley again. The rectangular shape at right, along the edge of the ridge. Yep, life is hard, but I’m dealing with it. 😉

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8 thoughts on “Extra Evelo Explorations

  1. Nice adventure.
    I know of beckoning trails. Some have called me.

    • Yes JR, but did you answer? Am I right in thinking that you carry a bike on board?

      • I do not have a bike. It’s one of the reasons I’ve come to Childersburg AL. I have a bike contact here who has offered to help me get one at a good price. We’d be talking fat tire or mountain style bikes
        However, the more I read your ebike adventures the more I like that idea.

        • Well JR, if you’re in good shape, an e-bike is more fashionable than necessary, unless the terrain or distances you want to cover are challenging. (I hope Evelo doesn’t read this!) I only got one because I like riding, and didn’t want to stop riding just because my pumper is trashed. Fat tire bikes are fab on loose sand and gravel, but take a lot more power to go longer distances (if that’s what you want). Mountain bikes are easier pedaling, but you do need to pay attention to what you’re on, or the front tire will let go and start some excitement. I haven’t had much luck with derailleurs in the dust of the West, but there are alternatives, and results vary depending on how clean you’re willing to keep derailleur shifters.

          As for e-bikes, I recommend against front wheel drive for traction and stability reasons. You might get away with it on a fat bike, maybe. Rear hub motors are fine for flat and mild slopes. Mid-drive is the only way to go to tackle it all. In any case, you will find a model with both pedal-assist and throttle to be most handy, though a throttle-only model will be okay, too. If you are hale and hearty, a 250-watt mid-drive is usable, but 500 watts will make the difference between “crawl” and “slow” going uphill. No shortage of opinions here! I guess it’s almost as involved as choosing the right rig for yourself – it depends on where you want to go and what you want to be able to do with it. Just keep in mind that my “e-bike adventures” are nothing that a normal, healthy bicyclist can’t do on a decent mountain bike, albeit with a lot more sweat.

          • This is really helpful. Thank you. I may try a mountain bike first and see how healthy I am. lol

            • Good! Make it a decent one, as the component quality is better, and they tend to be more tolerant of not being babied in a garage for only occasional rides. But – I’ve been out of that market for two decades, so that’s old advice that may or may not apply now. Just stay out of Walmart! 🙂

              • I learned years ago that quality might cost more initially but in the long run it was generally less expensive.

              • Not enough people have learned that, JR, since in many product categories, a quality version is simply no longer available at any price. It’s been replaced by more heavily-featured crap.

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