Monday, May 30, 2016


Domestic bliss has been killing me lately. I guess I'm just one of those people who is compelled to roam... (That's compelled! Not I occasionally like to get out and about, but I fell a strong compulsion to break out and roam the streets, get on a bus, go for a drive, ride my bike or... if limited to the confines of a house, pacing around the joint till I've warn a groove in the linoleum floor! I CAN'T Stand being confined!)

So after missing out on several opportunities to attend some of my favorite activities and fulfill my obligation to contribute to a few significant community responsibilities... finally I was able to get out and just ride...

After a recent visit to the Leanyer swamps I thought I'd try to make my way across the 'dry' salt flats to an isolated patch of hard ground near the sea. It all looked so easy from Google Earth!

It was a cool morning and the sky was dark with the stuff which shouldn't be here at all, not this time of year. 

As I peddled through the 10ft high Gamba grass, I felt the first few drops of precipitation. Just a few drops.... nothing really.

The rain had barely wet the ground. I didn't even bother putting my phone away, by Darwin standards this was not rain. 

Enjoying the coolness of unseasonable shade I peddled on, blissfully actually, and unaware of the the effect a few drops of moisture can have on hardened estuarine mud! 10 meters after crossing the open drain which separates the clay from the bog I discovered the amazing sticking properties of slightly moist mangrove moosh! The peddling got harder, mud gathered around the front brakes and packed against the forks... peddling got heavy, very heavy.... the whole rig came to a sliding halt!

I couldn't believe it! I was stopped dead by a few drops of rain! While I could peddle it the bike was slipping and sliding all over the joint! When it stopped the full weight of the seized bike and conglomerate of mud made it nearly impossible to move! I tried walking on across the marsh grass but every time I stepped on the ground my thongs gathered a ton of gloop which wouldn't come off, in the end the bog sucked my thongs clean off my feet! 

Front brake cable zero clearance

I couldn't believe it. My one opportunity to go exploring foiled by a 5 minute rain shower. I turned the bike around and trudged back, dragging the clogged up mess sideways across no man's land while the black kites looked on eagerly, knowing fools make good pickings for a cunning bird perched and waiting in spiky wetland spiralis Pandanus.... 

Hot and sweaty from my slippery struggle I washed the bike in the creek... surrounded by long grass in an area where crocs are known to wander.
'Another tale from the tangle(d mess)

1 comment:

Chandra@GreenComotion said...

Wow, Peter!
What an experience!
I once had a similar experience in a clover field in Missouri, but the mud wasn't very sticky like in your case.
Glad to note all is well Down Under :)
Peace :)