So I found myself out in Malibu Creek State Park this morning to participate in a Mountainbiking Skills Class, as part of my requirements and preparations to be an inaugural member of Glendale’s Trail Safety Patrol program. As an off-road rider for coming up on 23 years now, it was a bit unnecessary, but it did provide the opportunity to meet the other volunteers with whom I’ll be working.

After the class was done it also provided me the opportunity to cruise around the park — not as far as I would’ve liked thanks to the very sloppy conditions of the trails that I discovered first hand as pictured above (click it for the bigger picture). Opting to head up the 1.5 miles to the site where the TV series “M.A.S.H.” was filmed, I didn’t even make it a third of the way before my front and rear tires had picked up and packed in more than enough clay to literally grind me to a complete and utter standstill.

Seriously. It was so bad, I couldn’t even walk the bike back downhill without having to stop every few feet and clear out the crud, only to roll a few more feet and have more stuff picked back up and jammed back in. I wound up having to shoulder the bike a few hundred yards until I hit a drained enough stretch of trail that I could ride without reacquiring more of the sticky stuff.

Eventually we made it back to the parking lot for the drive back home where I then put my trusty bike under the hose to keep the caked on crap from becoming a permanent fixture.