Had a quick blast on the mountain bike yesterday. Part of the ride was next to a river which sometimes gets flooded when the river breaks its bank. Going down hill and around a corner, a quick glimpse ahead indicated that the area was not flooded although it looked a bit damp. No problem. Except that I ended up in three inches of accumulated river silt; the black, gloopy and smelly kind! Having misjudged the situation going in, I did not have enough speed or momentum to take me through this gloop and out uphill. I soon ground to a halt and had to walk my way out. Oh my poor Five 10 Impact shoes!
I got out of the gloop soon enough, trying not to slip walking uphill, but now both the bike and myself were like mobile masses of glue; leaves and other plant detritus sticking to us and not shifting! I normally don’t mind riding through mud, it’s a lot of fun actually, but this black gloop was something else!
Come to think of it, I hadn’t been this way for a couple of months and I do recall that the area had been flooded for an extended period of time…it’s entirely possible that it has remained flooded until quite recently, and that this has given enough time for the black, gloopy silt to accumulate and trap the unwary or foolhardy.
When I got home I immediately washed everything down; that decaying stink had to go! The Five 10 Impact shoes will take longer to dry out being the older model that soaked water and never let go, like those super absorbent kitchen towels. I do have Teva Links shoes that I can use in the meantime.
I guess it’s also time to change my tyres to something more suited to wet winter conditions. Rather than go for an all-out mud tyre like a Specialized Storm Control or Continental Baron, I’ll probably try a Continental Mountain King II 2.4 ProTection on the front in a tubeless configuration to replace the X-King 2.4 RaceSport, and leave the rear on the X-King 2.2 RaceSport (also in a tubeless configuration). The Mountain King II can be used in a wider variety of conditions than the Baron and I really do not want to constantly keep changing tubeless tyres for specific trail conditions. Last winter I used a pair of older Rubber Queen 2.2 UST tyres but I’d like to see how the Mountain King II stacks up.