It rained a lot over the weekend here in southern Manitoba, where my wife’s parents live, but the gravel roads out by the Miami Hutterite Colony where I rode yesterday were mostly hard and smooth. Mostly.
On a whim, I decided to turn down an unmaintained road—the kind with a strip of grass growing down the middle, the kind that that has not been beaten down by vehicle traffic. Any vehicle traffic. The road looked fine, but it wasn’t. Within seconds I experienced a distinct riding-in-quicksand sensation. Mud and tiny bits of gravel flew scattershot on my legs and clung to my tires like prairie barnacles at the same time. I detected a strange, low rumble coming from the vicinity of my tires. Then it hit me: it was the Miami Mud, laughing at my Clement MSO tires.
Pretty soon I was dealing with this:
It was time to dismount and de-clump—that is, poke around with my finger between the tire and forks--and turn around and walk—carry my damn bike, even—to the regular gravel road. I knew that if I didn’t turn back, I could get seriously stuck in this muck, maybe even die in it. I imagined getting swallowed up, sinking to my demise, my remains to be found next spring, after the melt, by some passing Hutterite who stumbles on the top of my helmet.