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Three dirt bike riders say they are lucky to be alive after being stranded in rugged terrain off Highway 88 in El Dorado County.  It was supposed pleasant afternoon ride on Saturday.

“I thought it was going to be a two hour ride, which turned out to be over a 24-hour adventure,” Mike Page said.

They went off trail down a ravine so steep their rear wheels nearly left the ground.  Then they found it impossible to ride back up through dirt softened by previous fires.

“Maybe the ashes were mixed in with the dirt, with the pine needles. It made it so soft that our tires started digging holes and we couldn’t get traction to get back up,” Mike Posvar said.

Sweaty and tired from wrestling their dirt bikes, they finally ran across a miners camp with a makeshift shelter, firewood and food.  They still had to endure 20 degree temperatures, which prevented Page from sleeping through the night.

In the morning, they pushed their bikes uphill for four hours before deciding to abandon them and go on on foot.  They had a lot of motivation to get back to safety quickly.

“The night we stayed there, we weren’t really worried about ourselves, we were worried about our families and what they were going through,” Posvar said.

They finally reached a road where and walked to within reach of a cell tower to call 911 and their families.

“It was the happiest moment, I swear, next to my kids being born and my being married, the weight was lifted off my shoulders, you know?” Page said.

As for Posvar, he says they were very lucky to run across the camp.  He says he would do things differently after going through the ordeal, and want to let others know.

“I wouldn’t want anybody to go through what we did,” Posvar told FOX40.

The three decided to ride in a different area, but neglected to let their families know.  An initial search by friends and Sheriff’s searchers began in the wrong area.

And the riders say they would take more food, water and survival gear no matter how long the ride is expected to be.

“You got to be smarter than you think you are. You have to be overly prepared,” said Page.

Posvar is now thinking about putting on survival training for motorcyclists who ride off road after his ordeal.