On the way back from a much needed evening escape on the bike out into the countryside northwest of Portland, it started to rain. It was well past sunset and my faceshield was spattered and dirty from some of the messy roads I'd found. Wiping with my left index finger I tried to clear the grime and wet away. But I wasn't wearing one of those gloves. All I did was make it worse. The glare of lights twisted in the filth made it incredibly hard to see.
I pulled over in a small parking to the right of a fork in the road. "Damn it". I'd left my cleaning stuff at home. I did my best with my shirt and went to leave.
Rather than going out the way I'd come in, I decided to exit to the right since I had to take that fork anyway. I didn't see any cars coming, so I gave the bike some gas and headed up the little ramp up to the road.
It wasn't a little ramp. It was a steep slope never intended for any vehicle. And it didn't go out to the street, it was an odd paving job that led to a sidewalk above the road. Realizing that I was at terminal velocity, I decided to keep going. If I stopped, I had little chance of keeping the bike upright. I angled to the right a bit, hoping to keep the bike from crowning on the transition from slope to sidewalk. Some gas, up off the seat...and I was up on a slim gravel strewn sidewalk. It angled up and around a building hugging the steep hillside, following the road. But it was going higher faster than the road! And to make it even better, it ended abruptly ahead. I had no place to go.
Again, I was worried about crowning. It was a bigger drop to the pavement than I'd ever consider on this bike. Thankfully, the answer to most problems is the throttle. I chose my exit point, goosed the throttle and launched the pig to the road below. For a moment, I wondered if I was dreaming that I was Tom Cruise in some impossible action sequence. The bike bottomed hard, my legs and the suspension more than doing their job.
Whew. What a nice little ride.
Note to self: clean the damn faceshield.