Riding The Cliffhanger

Today we rode a trail from Valpoi to Chorla. I’m not sure what they call the trail, but I’m going to call it the Cliffhanger. That’s because it starts out as an innocent wide walking trail with trees and shrubs on either side. But as you continue riding the path changes to a narrow track carved out from the from the side of a hill. The path is about a meter in width and has a deep rut running through its center in some places caused by the rainwater flowing down the hill. So to your right is the hill at less than arms length and to your left is a dead steep drop. When you realise that you are riding your motorcycle on the edge of a cliff, the trail doesn’t seem so easy any more.

In reality, the trail isn’t that difficult to ride. There are small to medium sized rocks strewn all over the place and even with my almost bald rear tyre, I was able to get enough traction to propel my motorcycle forward. The trail is a series of climbs, some of them a little steep, but nothing too difficult. The problem is the knowledge that you are riding a motorcycle a foot away from the edge of a cliff.

Another problem is the center rut. You can’t ride to the left of it because you run the risk of riding off the cliff. You can’t ride to the right of the rut because your handlebar could run into the hill face, your motorcycle could bounce off the hill and you go flying over the edge. The only option is to ride in the rut. The best way to ride in a rut is to ride as fast as you can. You need to force your way through the rut, specially at narrow sections. Otherwise you risk getting stuck if you don’t have enough momentum. So to sum it up, you need to ride quickly up a series of slopes in a rut on the edge of a cliff while its raining and everything is wet and slippery. Pretty interesting, I would say.

We climbed each slope one at a time and left safe distance between each other. However, as I came around a slight bend I almost crashed into the rider in front of me. He was stuck in a rut. Due to the way I stopped abruptly, my front tyre stayed to the left of the rut while my rear tyre sat squarely in it. I continued riding for a bit this way and then the situation worsened. My front tyre almost went off the edge. No matter how hard I yanked at the handlebar, I couldn’t pull the front wheel back onto the path and into the rut. One of the riders came back for me and lifted my front wheel and dropped it in the rut so that I could continue riding.

All in all, it was a pretty challenging experience and I felt good conquering this trail. It had its scary moments. But then, I believe if you are going to do some shit, you might as well do some epic shit.