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"DUDE! Look at the penalty for failure" My mountain bike friends will recognize that phrase.

Now it is clear what has happen to my line. It disappeared. The flat trail tapered to the drop to the never never land on the left far below. The locals call this the Devil's punch bowl. Reports conflict but numbers like 13 and 17 are reported to have died traveling this passage over the years. I saw evidence of impossibly irretrievable vehicles to support the reports.

It is not yet obvious but this is so steep that when I finally get the KLR upright I can not hold it on the hill with the front brake. The clutch is inoperable. I must straddle the bike and use one foot on the rear brake and inch back down the hill backwards. The correct 90 degree angle is simply not possible with the drop on the left. The rock steps on the right are such that I must find a narrow notch for my tire to grab to avoid a repeat of what just happen. A couple inches will be my margin for error. I see no alternative other than leaving the bike. I weighed that idea for a bit while I waited for the clutch to cool. I decided to go out with guns blazing.

I am still hyped on adrenalin. I prayed. I launched.

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