Sunday, January 29, 2017

Driveway V Truck-n-Trailer = 1 : 0

Having missed our scheduled 12 mile ride at the weekend due to rain/sickness, I opted to work from home on Wednesday and get it done then. Had pft feed the pones for me and worked from 8:30 until 1:30, and then took Fergus to Cool.

This was a section of "better footing" at Cool - i.e. we didn't feel like we were going to slip over

As it turned out, trying to ride on the trails was a complete blow out. We went out two miles with me scared to death to do more than trot 10 ft very occasionally. It was so slick that Fergus' feet were sliding 18" at a walk. Finally abandoned the trail option and returned to the trailhead and decided to try and finish our ride on the Dam Road.

Our saving grace - the verge alongside the Dam Rd

Fergus' bars were long and his feet soft enough from standing in slop that he refused point-blank to trot on the asphalt surface, so we were reduced to trotting along the verge on the side. My adductors got a work out pushing him over since he wanted to trot in the softest stuff and I was worried we'd go off the side of the bank. He was cheerful enough for the first out-n-back, but decidedly petulant when I turned us around and made him go back and go again. We finished with 11.7 miles total - not the most exciting ride, but at least we got some decent trotting in.

The part to the north was our attempt to ride on trail.
The part to the south was us riding back and forth alongside the dam road, much to Fergus' disgust

Back at the trailhead I decided to trim his bars and shorten his toes a little - if I waited until I got home, it would have been too dark.

Finally got home after dark and set forth up the driveway... only to get stuck about a quarter of the way up. pft came down and took over while I hand-walked Fergus up and fed everyone. Unfortunately, he didn't have any more luck than I did, and ended up slipped slightly sideways on the driveway such that he couldn't even back down the hill without ending up in the ditch (3-H goosenecks need a run up to start turning and at that point he didn't have enough traction to go up). We abandoned the situation until morning, came indoors and I worked until midnight.

Trouble with photos is that they don't really show hills - or how steep our driveway is.

Sent my boss a "dog ate my homework" type excuse, citing "unable to come to work due to my own truck-n-trailer blocking my driveway" and worked from home for a second day in a row (thank goodness what I'm working on was perfect for home-work).

Despite waiting until later in the day for the driveway to "dry out some", we still couldn't get the truck-n-trailer moving, so we fetched the old white truck. It may have dubious qualities*, but it comes in mighty handy every now and again.

(*electrics are dodgy, lights work intermittently, driver's side inside door handle no-longer works, it has a short that drains the battery so pft installed a disconnect switch on it for when it's not being used, etc...)

White truck to the rescue

Pulled out the yellow nylon high-line rope and used the white truck's nudging tow-powers to give the little extra that the rig needed to get it out. Success! Huzzah!

* * * 

Fast forward to this weekend. Yesterday pft fetched a yard of 2" road base and this morning he slowly drove the truck up the drive while I frantically shovelled the rock out the back. pft then used the truck to tamp it down - and the final result was quite good.

... and yes... it's wet 2" road base, meaning it weighs more.

Unfortunately, I still have to wait a while for everything to settle, so creative routing will be needed tomorrow to get in the scheduled 15 miles. I see lots of repetitive to-ing and fro-ing on the local lanes in Fergus' and my future.

And although we had enough rock to get the immediate problem area fixed, it wasn't enough to cover areas further up the driveway that are going to need some remedial care in the near future, so it looks like I'm going to have to shovel rock every weekend for the next few weeks.

Note: By peculiar coincidence, I read on FB that today in 2011 we had two transfer loads of gravel delivered for the driveway. Unfortunately, the ground is too squishy right now to do this, so it looks like I'm going to have to shovel rock every weekend (to fix the bald areas further up the driveway) for the next few weeks.

* * *

Edited to add: creative routing R us. Fergus and I managed 14.22 miles from home today - we could have finished with over 15, but I promised him that if he trotted all the way to the top of Becky's hill, we wouldn't have to do Brumarba ( = 1 mile) for the third time. He did, so we didn't. Finished in the dark having both had a good workout.

Thwarted from continuing on my hoped-for route by a downed-tree - hah, got around that one... only to find a second one just up the trail.

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