April 14, 2020 Torbay End of Winter Argo Ride (17 Photos)
17. Winter is rapidly coming to a close over the last two weeks here on the east coast. Warm temperatures, snow eating fog and warm winds have really cut down the snowbanks all around the house.
16. With a recent oil change, chain & axel greasing & inspection complete on project Argo I decided to hit the trails for what may be the last tracked Argo Rip for the season. All Canadians and most countries around the world are asking citizens to remain socially distant and follow government guidelines for being around other people as we try to flatten the curve of Covid-19. A 100% solo Argo ride was just the ticket for me to comply with this and get out of the house for the first time in weeks.
15. Although snow around the house was rapidly melting there was still a hell of a lot of snow in the woods. I suspect that there was an awful lot more snow drifted up here from our crazy winter of snowstorms, and sunlight wasn't hitting the snow especially on tight tree lined trails with the same effect as out in the open.
14. Conditions were beautiful with sunny skies and temps hovering around 10șC. Snow was sugary in consistency but quite sticky in the afternoon sun which helped keep the machine from sliding around more than it normally would have in these conditions.
13. The main trail around the airport fence was in great shape. A lot of it was widened out by heavy machinery last year which really helped open up the trail again which is great news for wider machines.
11. This steep rock cliff is normally followed by a huge puddle but right now it's all locked solid in winter's icy grip!
10. Side trails in Torbay were a lot more tricky for the Argo. Past this point the water logged path narrowed to about 4' which is just enough for a bike but too narrow for the Argo at just over 5' wide on tracks. The snow banks are still much too high to side straddle the path and only got higher from here!
9. Back on the main fence trail conditions were much better. Snow depth varied a lot, in places snow was about a foot deep, other times I was head and shoulders above the barbed wire of the security fence!
6. It's hard to pick out in these pics but the left side of this section of trail was rutted with a deep ATV tire track that would suck my machine and convertible top solidly into dense trees, a similar fate awaited on the right with a natural snowy drop off. Steady momentum and slow speed let me walk the machine through unscathed balancing on the center knob of hard snow at times only the inside edges of the tracks were making contact!
4. My last side trail adventure wound up much like the first except this trail was way worse with long narrow puddles bordered by even taller snowbanks over 4' high a couple hundred yards further in the trail. Of course it was much too narrow to turn around in the water holes, while backing out the machine wanted to stay hard left into the snow bank exiting this water hole.
3. Since I don't have a rear mount winch I carry a large ratchet strap which sure came in handy today. I used the strap to apply sideways load on the rear of the machine to help walk the left track up out of the rut instead of slipping back down on the ice. This meant a bit of working back and forth with the throttle in reverse then applying more pressure with the strap and re-rigging a couple times.
2. Patience won and I had the machine back on solid ground in no time and minimal effort. Work smart not hard!
1. With an afternoon of adventure under my belt I decided to head for home with the rest of the ride being relatively uneventful. All in all it was a great way to get out of the house, remain socially distant under this crazy Covid-19 situation we all are in, and remain safe.
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith