This story is an excerpt from Ed’s Book, “A Casual Traveler“
I had been following a storm in the middle of Nebraska, so the roads were a still a bit wet in spots. I came upon a barricaded bridge that was impassible. The problem was I didn’t recall seeing any previously posted detour signs; I had no choice but to turn around.
I retreated all the way back to the previous town and took the first crossroad, figuring I’d out flank the bridge by crossing the river further west. It was a lovely detour through cow country, but it brought me right back to the same closed bridge. Crap!
I formulated plan B and headed east along the river until I found another crossing. The road eventually veered away from the river, but then I came across a good road heading in the right direction that looked big enough to have a bridge on it.
Before long the road took a few turns, going into the middle of nowhere. Then I saw a sign that said, “Paved road ends ahead.” No biggie I thought, as I slowed to the appropriate speed and continued on the gravel. I thought I could see the river ahead and I hoped for a bridge.
Just when I was getting comfortable riding on the gravel, it disappeared and the road became dirt. It had been raining earlier in the day; you know what happens to dirt gets wet—it becomes mud.
I’d never ridden on a mud road before, but I had little choice. I immediately tried to gear down, but dared not brake; I was already sliding in the mud and doing a low-speed wobble. The front wheel only plowed and the wobble got worse. I knew I was going down; it was only a matter of how hard and where.
I slid closer and closer to the big creek on my left; that’s the way the road sloped. There was a grass shoulder, where I thought I might get some traction, or at least have a softer landing. I really didn’t want to crash in the creek.