IT LIVES

 

IT LIVES

 IT LIVES

A special tool for everything!

 Now here’s confidence as I bash the keyboard one more time with tales of “daring do” in the
hope that just maybe, today will be the day when the Oilfield will burst into action. If it doesn’t fire
today then I’m lost and will have to strip the thing down and check for rings, valves and holes in
pistons as I’m fresh out of clues on this one!

What gets me was that IT WAS running and then stopped (on my command)……. since then we
have discovered the Magneto was bad, we have changed the decompressor just in case it wasn’t
sealing and that’s it. So why, oh why won’t this thing start? I have sparks, I have fuel but I don’t
have any ideas! A new plug is about all I can do at this stage and then I might have to bring in
the experts! I am  feeling very humble at this stage.

The 4.5 metric allen key for the timing chest

Again it’s gone 4 by the time I get to the workshop and have freedom to attack the beast. Can’t
help but notice that the fins look a little wet?…..could the head gasket be blowing? well that
would account for the soft compression. Enlist the help of “Sparky” my faithful assistant to check
for “blow”. She suggests some soapy water and a spray and I douse the Oilfield in same…….. and
LO, it blows Me Lord! Even with the freeplay on the decompressor the spring is just off center and
leaking. Now of course having rectified that the force on my thumb, stuck in the plughole, like the
little dutch boy and the dyke story, is HUGE.

BOOM! Now that’s a SPARK

EUREKA! thanks Sparky I think I can take her from here. Change the petcock, but again the
routing is not good but it will suffice for this operation and out we go, confident, but still with
fingers crossed. Choke on, find the stroke and SWING. Very nearly, try again, try with the choke
off……. DUGGERDY, DUGGERDY, DUG!

Yes, I’m afraid he HAS gone completely mad!

Well at least it runs so now just a few cosmetics and re-routing tasks for the fuel line and back
to the 90 degree fuel cock and I think I can wrap it up.

That will put me back to where I was in the first week of Februay this year when I was about to
get Brenda to take some action shots for the article “Testing the Oilfield”, perhaps I should call
the next one “Testing my Patience”.

One Day ON! Today the decision is to take it to Cotopaxi and do some testing. The new changes
go well and I take her out. Fuel on, find the stroke, choke on….. first kick and it starts! Now all I
need are some carb adjustments and it may well be a winner once more. The balance and turning
are good, brakes work, it will wheelie if it is given some advance notice. Not sure where I need to
be with the main jet on this Mikuni. The Majesty 320 motor uses a 290 and so far I’m at 190 but it
seems to be suffering from starvation/or over fuelling in the upper zone…. must consult the Carb
Guru.

It stops

It balances and turns

Wheelies on demand

I think it was worth it

……. and so it will go to a trials venue, and it will go through some testing on the Sat sections
after the trial is over, that should be a fair test and we will be able to judge the results.

Maybe some “training wheels” as it’s so heavy

Tony Down

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THE PIT & THE PENDULUM (CAT)

 

THE PIT & THE PENDULUM (CAT)

THE PIT & THE PENDULUM (CAT)

CLOWN ROCK opposite the entrance to Alto Pit

 The CAT season is in full swing (excuse the pun) and yes you can swing a CAT around at ALTO
PIT. Due to a load of circumstances, blow-out on the coach, Rossi giving birth etc, etc I will be
doing this one as an early morning out and back with the Cadi and rack. I was thinking of giving
the Ossa an airing but I’m just loving the Tiger Cub and after last weekend I’m eager to get on
her again.

My main rival in the Twin shock class is Rich Palmer who is having a great season at the moment
but says he won’t be at the “Pit” due to social commitments (second time). So far we have
swapped wins and Rich has a 3 point advantage after the first trial at Kingman so it could be an
interesting season.

Rich and I take a breather last year at Alto

A whole load of fooling around with the RE with no result other than a thundering backfire.
Methinks I timed it going the wrong way! So after a few phone calls I pulled it all apart again and
follow the specs again, reglued the cases and we will wait for later. Then a frantic rush to load
everything in the dark finishing around 2030 and then a nice dinner and bed minus the labrador
as the puppies are in the bedroom and too much protection and growling = no sleep for anyone.
I have to say without a 70 lb dog on your feet you can really enjoy the night.

0500 and the show starts and I’m away on the 2 hour run to Alto Pit, seems a bit windy and by
the time I get to Prescott it’s 55 and blowing a gale. The Start area is a bit chilly so I elect to wear
a jacket but this gets discarded after the first 4 sections as the temps are rising and the wind has
gone.

Not a big turnout today, maybe because it was a short notice event but, a trial is a trial. I’m riding
with Jon Mills on the Fantic and we set off for No1. Bob Pennington has this one and really it is too
easy as all that is required is a simple up onto a big smooth rock then back down to the path
leading to the exit. Some discussion about moving a split plate to make it a bit more challenging
but it stays the way it was laid out and should be a certain clean for everyone.

Hacking our way through the timber, as logging is in progress, we get to 2 which has the Miller’s
in charge. Same old rock that gets used on most “Pit” trials and today the theme is downhill. Start
up by the tree, wiggle through the crevice, or up and over the bigger slab, downhill then a squirt
up onto the plateau, drop off and tight lefthander over the rocks to the exit. My line works and
through for the clean.

Just over the way to 3 where Mike Carlton has another old favorite and today we are coming at
this the other way round. Simple uphill into the rocks before a “s” turn with a couple of immovable
outcrops, back in the crevice for a wiggle then stay line perfect for the last jumble of rocks before
the exit. Clean this one and now for a pleasant run round the loop down the gulch the other side
of the fence to a good steep uphill in the pines and over what will be loose rocks after a few riders.

Section 4, variations on a theme, last year

A couple of turns in the trees before coming back downhill through some tight twisty turns on
either loose adverse or loose rocks. This is going to require clutch and both brakes but all goes well
and I steer her through for a pleasing clean. 4 out of 4 could this be my day?

A bit more on the loop to the continuous 5 & 6 controlled by the Saum’s. Up, down, up is the order
of the day on 5 with a choice of lines in some very loose dirt, wash sand and pine needles before
the last Up. Proves to be very loose and takes me for a 2, but with a bit more thought, and speed,
it can be done! 6 is another downhill twister in the loose dirt and pine needles through the trees
and is another both brakes and clutch affair. Not one of my favorites and another 2.

Through the felled trees to 7 which looks a little intimidating but actually rides a lot better than it
looks. Several choices of line over the first hazard of a big rock. I elect to turn first and take a
straight line at it but the back wheel slips and sends me off over the rock at it’s highest point. Not
the line I had planned but it worked.

Retrace our wheel tracks to 8 on the well used gulley. Today it’s fairly simple drop in from one
side, straight up and turn round a rock, back down again, and up the other hill side into a couple
of gentle wiggles before the exit. I see Brian Crawford struggling for grip so worth a second look,
and indeed it’s difficult to walk up the first hill, but the Cub makes it with some bodywork back and
forward for the grip. So first loop total of 4 with the double 2’s on 5 and 6.

No problems with 1 & 2 but a dumb dab on Mike’s in section 3. Over to 4 and its getting chopped
up but I have a good confident ride for a nice clean. Now for those problem children of 5  & 6.
Clearly the wider line on 5 must be the way to go and I was just a shade late on the power but
get away with a dab (poor planning) and then improve a bit on 6 for a single dab.

7 and 8 ride well on the correct line this time, so I finish the loop on 3 but there is still room for
improvement.

The last loop with 75 mins to complete it in. Through 1 and into 2, just a little fast and on the
drop off I’m going to be close to the tape so take a dab to prevent the disaster. Again poor
planning on what had been a good section for me. Rewalk Mike’s and ride it like I mean it for the
clean. Round the loop for the last time for 4 which is getting torn up and could have problems.
A good crowd here and I see great rides and horror stories alike. My turn comes and the uphill
over the loose rocks goes well and then after the turn I smack my head really hard on a branch,
thank God I’m wearing a helmet! Down the hill and now I clout my shoulder on another tree, but
struggle by and make the last turn to a good clean. Now Greg and Smack are giggling and saying
it was a DAB? I’m not seeing the humor in this and do a McEnroe. Anyway after dismissing the
Head and Shoulder as being a dab a clean goes on the card. Is this trials? You can be stationary
with one foot on the floor, bike in neutral, taking a lunch break and lose 1, or you brush past a
hazard, cut yourself to ribbons and also incurr a penalty?

A few extra turns this year on the downhill

Back to 5 & 6 and this time I know as it’s even worse, get the power on quicker! this I do and
enjoy the clean I had been looking for on 5. Nearly through 6 but take a dab towards the end.
Cleans on 7 and 8 finish the loop with 2 and a total of 9 which could have been 7 with a bit more
thought. Jon finished on 17 and I saw young Mike Carlton had a pretty good ride to finish on 11.

So the last 4 trials have been low scores of the day shared by Rich and myself, just shows the old
bikes can still do it with a bit of willpower and management. No more CAT events for me until the
middle of July after Donner at Jones Crossing, but after today and last week at Perris I’m feeling
good for Cotopaxi which I really enjoyed last year while learning to ride the Cub.

No pictures today as the photographer is with the puppies.

Tony Down

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THERE’S A HOLE IN MY BULLET, DEAR LIZA, A HOLE

 

THERE’S A HOLE IN MY BULLET, DEAR LIZA, A HOLE

THERE’S A HOLE IN MY BULLET, DEAR LIZA, A HOLE

Ready and waiting for the Mag

I spoke to Dave Lindsley in the UK 2 weeks ago and he said they would send the remanned
Magneto out on the Friday post. Believe it or not it arrived here in AZ on Monday lunchtime! I can’t
even get a check posted on the other side of Phoenix here in 3 days!! However the Mag arrived
faster than a speeding Bullet, which of course is what it is for. Every time I try to get out there to
fit it something comes up and I’m thwarted at every attempt. Enough of this I say, tomorrow come
what may, we will have her running.


These Platinum points are not cheap!

Here she is all refurbished

Saturday morning and something of a lie in for me until 0730, now having read everything on the
trials front time to get the proverbial in gear an attack the RE. First things first the cables, well It’s
a good three inches too long so it will have to be shortened and the nipple resoldered, assuming
I can unsolder it as of course it is a little tiny flat sided thing! I suppose I might use a domino
throttle nipple and do without the solder… now there’s a bright idea.

All back together…… the first time!

Find the correct plug cap and fit, now get the timing tool and see if I can find the magic spot on
the correct stroke. I line up the markers, find TDC and select top gear and slowly rotate the wheel
until I find the “11” before and then every which way until we get it on a forward stoke. Now
rotate the mag until points are just opening and put on the cog and gently tighten the nut. So
far so good, now fit a plug and give it a kick….. good sparks, lets hope they arrive when they
should.

The new gasket, looks about right

Close but no cigar!

Now to fit the timing chest case, or not in this case as the new gasket that they sent is obviously
for a Bullet, but not mine!! It’s the right height, the holes are all where they should be, but it is
wider in certain areas…. well down to ACE as I can’t find the “ultra blue” gasket maker.

But before we get into this the bolts securing the case come in 3 different sizes so I’d better
determine which one goes where before I end up with an almighty “Horlicks”. Currently dog sitting
but I will get back to it as in theory I’m closing in for the kill.

Coffee time before the “Reveal”! Chopped the advance/retard cable and used the domino throttle
barrel filed down to allow the cable to turn round the retard winch. All cables back in place, timing
chest back on, all screwed up and drying. New petrol pipe cut and filtered and a quick rerouting of
the plug lead. Finally on with the tank and seat and all I need now is the fuel and we will see
whether my efforts have been applied in the right direction.

Ready for the first kick

WRONG! absolutely nothing! apart from a massive backfire after 10 kicks. Back to the drawing
board, could be I timed it on the wrong stroke? I think I might have the correct stroke but might
have assumed the mag rotated in the other direction. Once more into the Bowels of the Oilfield
and start at the begining.

Consult a “Guru”

I thought I might get to it today after the Alto Pit Trial but I have to say I’m feeling very tired
and the brain is not up to thinking too clearly or resolving simple mechanical problems so another
day will pass before the neighbourhood reverberates to Britain answer to the HD.

Another day and try once more, and again the beast refuses to fire. I’m begining to doubt my own
engineering abilities at this stage. More consultations with “Gurus” of the 4 stroke kind and back
to the drawing board once more. Check the thing is actually on the compression stroke (ICPE)…..
yes, it is, and go through all the calculations once more. Looks like I set it up on 8 graduations
instead of 11 which equates to 5/16th instead of 7/16th. Difficult to set that cog exactly and then
tighten it up, but this time  I’m pretty close at about 10 and a half if I didn’t get the full 11! If it
doesn’t work tomorrow with a new plug then I GIVE UP AND ADMIT DEFEAT.

Today I’m looking for “Divine Inspiration”

Tony Down

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  • 5/12/2008 9:46 AM Glenn Swanson wrote:
    Hi , Tony ; I’ve got a ? and your the only person I can think of that will know off the top of his head ! About 2 months ago I bought a how to ride trials by Mick Andrews (my hero !) from steve goode in the uk . today after sending the 2nd one back to him cause it will not play , I have to ask , are uk dvd’s formated differant than the ones we can buy here ? Or do you think some terrorist scanning device is just wiping out the disc ? And do you know where I could find a copy of it on this side of the pond ?
    And this was the only way I could think of to contact you to ask …
    KEEP YOUR FEET UP …
    Cheers , Glenn
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  • 5/12/2008 9:53 AM Glenn Swanson wrote:
    And does the bullet breath on it’s own yet ?
    Reply to this
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THEY COME IN THREES

 

THEY COME IN THREES

THEY COME IN THREES

I’ve never been sure about the old wives tale of “They come in Threes” but over the last couple
of weeks that certainly seems to be the case!

First part of this tale is a friend of mine, Ray Iddon, who makes the “One Trick Cub” had been a
little tardy in replying to some e-mails so I rang him to see if he was going to Perris for the AHRMA
Trial. He said he was feeling much better NOW as he was recovering? I naturally asked what the
problem had been and he told me he had some chest pains one evening and then still had them
at breakfast time the following day. He thought it was a bit odd as he doesn’t get indigestion so
went to the Emergency Room…… and within 2 minutes he was on the table and off for open heart
surgery and multiple bypass ops. ONE!

Another friend of mine, both business and motorcycling, was on the call list last week to find out
when he was coming to sign some contracts. They tell me that on Thursday he went into hospital
for a routine check up and was undergoing multiple bypass heart surgery that morning! TWO!

 After setting up the trial on Saturday at Perris we give Jim Wagner a call to see what time he and
Rich Palmer are arriving at the event. I had seen Jim only two weeks ago and he seemed very
congested and appeared to be suffering from some sort of cold malady. He answers his cell and
says he too is in hospital. He had been feeling pretty low on the energy scale and then woke up
to dizziness and profuse sweating and could hardly make it across the room without a rest. Not
surprizingly he too went along to the Emergency Room and they had kept him in for observation
while they do a load of blood work to determine what he has. First indications seem to be Valley
Fever, but we are still awaiting the final word. That’s THREE!

By now most of you will have read the Perris Trials articles and may remember the incident when
a 18 wheeler was joining the freeway and as I was passing the vehicle he suffered a double blow
out on his inside tires on number 2 and 3 axle. ONE, TWO!

Monday morning after the trip back from Perris the coach is due to go in for the panel repairs so
after all the unloading of bikes and tools etc it’s time for me to set sail for Mesa and RV Renovators.
Brenda will follow on and pick me up after I have done all the signing in. Down to the 101 loop and
after about 10 miles we have the duty roadworks with all those concrete blocks forming a wall on
both sides of the road to protect the workers. Traffic as always, is fairly busy and I’m driving at
around 50 mph. With absolutely no warning the front passenger Steering tire EXPLODES with all
the 120 lb pressure it can muster! ****! and other expletives immediately come to mind as I fight
for control of 20 tons of coach which now has a mind of it’s own ……… somehow I manage to get
it back under control and let it slow until I can get to an area where there is a hard shoulder. I can
hear the tire flapping around and the grinding from the rim but I only have to drive like this for
about 150 yards before I come to a stop. That’s the other one for the  THREE!

The damage to the coach doesn’t look good, but obviously it could have been a lot WORSE if I had
hit the wall. First look shows the steps have deployed and won’t come back in. The flapping tire
has scraped the bodywork around the wheel well and while rotating inside has ripped out some
of the wiring harness to the Vorad system, the steps and who knows what else. It has also
severed the airbrake line and ripped out three structural bars holding on the wheelwell panel.

A fair bit of damage but it’s driveable for Cotopaxi

I mentioned this to Ed Peacock and he said perhaps as I’ve just got the first win in Classic maybe
I’ll win both the Cotopaxi rounds for THREE.

Yesterday morning little dog Rossi gave birth to her second litter. The first being a single pup last
year just before Milliken who we elected to keep and call Millie. First two pups are the same color
as Millie and the Father (Hayden) and that makes THREE  tri-colors. Then as a total surprize
THREE black and tans arrive just like Rossi.

After THREE days of attempting to get the RE Magneto back on the machine it always seems that
something comes along at around, guess what time? Yes, bang on THREE and today is no
exception as Rossi is clearly distressed, maybe the call of the wild and with  THREE other dogs to
contend with who just might get at her puppies, we have to take her to the vet just in case. As
suspected just stress and all is well.

Back in the workshop I had fitted the Mag but the Advance/Retard cable seems a bit long and I’m
not sure but at the moment it looks like THREE inches too long on the free cable unless it has come
off it’s mounting in the Mag.

Another early morning call to the UK to unravel more mysteries of the Lucas mind. No, it’s too long!

More reports from RV Renovators, the tires are on, the brakes are fixed, the struts back in place
and the steps are working……. fantastic, but the Vorad system is on order and maybe the fender
panel, the alignment is booked for Tuesday, these boys are GOOD. However, comma, the new
panels are a lighter shade…….. will we come in and decide if we want them fitted……. doesn’t
sound good to me so I rather suspect Monaco will be getting them back and have to
remanufacture the whole lot again. Maybe another few weeks…. THREE?

Yes the panels are lighter but they tell me they will darken with some daylight on them, we will
see. The coach will have an alignment on Tuesday and then we will take it for Cotopaxi and drop it
back for the panels before Milliken and maybe they will have the other parts by then and be able
to finish the bodywork. While I’m there the Expert Fitter says “You were lucky”….. “You should see
this one that came in on Tuesday”

Not so lucky, Driver’s  tire “blowout”…. lost control….. it rolled!

Nasty business! $150,000 to repair

Having seen that it makes you think?  I did ask “How many of these do you get?”
About THREE a year was the reply.

Addendum: This morning the ultra expensive fridge freezer is at 68! Well great, I had
forgotten about these other mundane items. Last week the little fridge out at the fish pool
bar had also failed (11 months old) and prior to that an older one up in our Colorado Cozy
Comfort RV Park had also quit…… another THREE!

Tony Down  (just 1)

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  • 5/8/2008 1:46 PM Forrest wrote:
    Man you’ve got some bad luck! On my way back to AZ from Perris I some how lost my top bag with all my camping gear on I10!! I got as far as Moab and figured to sit out Cotopaxi since it looked like snow at 9000ft. I should have some gear by Millikin. See you there, Forrest
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  • 5/10/2008 4:27 PM Fred Martinson wrote:
    Is the motor home going to be repaired in time for Two Rivers?
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AHRMA VINTAGE TRIALS PERRIS 2008 PART 2

AHRMA VINTAGE TRIALS PERRIS 2008 PART 2

AHRMA VINTAGE TRIALS PERRIS 2008 PART 2

Perris Section 4

 Sunday morning and some early morning low cloud drifting in but pleasant and no wind.
Everything goes to plan, the sign up is quick and simple, the rider’s meet on time and we start
without any delays, what more could you ask for? One word answer here SUPPORT. A lot of
people put a lot of effort and time into running these events for others and it is always
dissapointing to see a low turnout even in these times of ridiculously high fuel prices.

So 18 riders enter the fray with another 2 or 3 taking their 20 points for checking in their
respective classes. Off we go to section 1 and I’m pleased to see that the wayward rider from
yesterday did not come back and all my retied tapes are still in place. This section has a simple
run up a cleft between the rocks with one liners just riding the rock itself before coming onto a
gritty plateau. 1 goes back over the rock while 2 and 3 have a groove to ride down. A gentle right
hand turn brings us back to the plateau before a big outcrop for 1 and 2 with 3 going round it for
a downhill in the loose and a turnback to the ends card. All’s well for your truly here, and a nice
trouble free clean, I actually had more problems walking it!

Section 2, I’m nearly ready to ride, when I realise there is a much simpler line than the one I had
planned on.  Basically it’s a big, big rock and we are crossing over it then coming back from the
other side with a series of turns. I try the newer line and it goes well setting me up for the wall of
death over the second rock and then into a left, right,  left and back over the big rock to the exit.
Another nicely executed clean.

Section 3 and Earl Burrows is checking this one. 4’s have a straight ride through, 3’s a difficult
adverse uphill which looks like a mark grabber but then an easy ride to the exit. The 2 line has a
few problems with a soft uphill into a left turn, crossing and trying not to get the back wheel in a
soft sand gully, then a right turn on hard ground if tight, or soft sand if wide, before a run down
to an up an over rock just before the exit. 1 liners go around the base of the hill to a pretty nasty
uphill and then an adverse descent to the exit. My plan goes well and I’m in good shape to take
the wider turn on the top and all goes well for clean number 3.

2nd Gear attack on section 4

Section 4 looks like the “gimmee” and consists of an uphill blast with a little turn at the exit.
Second gear here and another easy clean. I can’t see many marks being lost here although I did
hear Rob Poole say he should have put another couple of splits in.

Section 5 looks fine with various lines either side of a rock, this should ride well unless some of
the rocks get rotovated! Another clean here.

Entering the Sweeper on 6

Section 6 is quite difficult with a “S” turn on the hill between several rock outcrops with lots of
loose crumbly granite. To my eye after the first turn it’s drop back down to the bottom and take
the wide sweeper turn with a gentle increase in power. It all goes to plan but I have to work for
grip on the sweeper and I’m all over the bike but I make it for a satisfying clean. Hmm, 6 out of 6,
things seem to be going well this morning.

A lot of “bodywork” looking for grip on 6

Section 7 with Jim Crain’s wife and her brother checking. This is a great “natural” section and the
lines are just right for all abilities. 1 liners have a nasty drop and turn after the entry and then
join the 2 line to finish going up a big rock with a narrow, but rideable ledge. 6 inches further over
and the rear wheel will slide away to certain DOOM!

Getting up on the Ledge at 7

My line is perfect and it rides very well if you stick to the plan but I do see other riders getting into
all sorts of trouble.

Off the Ledge and over the Rock on 7

Sections 8 & 9 are continuous up and around a giant slab rock with the “Monster” sign close to
the start. I’m told one of our lady riders in the MC Beginers class rode into the sign!! Rick Wolf and
Wade are checking here and we are close to the moto cross top straight so riding this will be a
good test of concentration as the moto’s hammer past WFO!

It goes where YOU look! … and yes, she HIT it head on!!

The start is on a large dirt mound but really needs a run up to get organized, a couple of turns
through some rocks before dropping into a loose dirt and rock gorge to take us up to a couple of
“sting in the tail” turns before the exit of 8 and start of 9. The 1 liners have a little detour into some
rocks before rejoining the main path while 2 and 3 follow a loose dirt filled groove back down the
hill before the last left turns to the exit.

Rich Palmer on the 1 Line detour Section 9

I elect to run the front high round the first turns and this puts me on a good line for the loose
uphill which takes a bit of wiggling but I get up and out for the clean. Soft braking in the loose
downhill goes well and now the last turn with a bit of thought to position the front where it needs
to be and I’m through for a double and a clean first loop!

The first turn on 8

A narrow ledge takes the event back along the top of the moto cross track and below sections
6-9 and then back to the pits. A quick break and out for loop 2. 1 rides the same with no change
and I see a new line on 2 as the 1 line riders have persuaded the checker that a marker must
have been from a “previous” event??? This means that you can now dispense with the last left,
right, left set of turns if you are brave or skillful enough to ride straight up the big rock. I see Rich
Palmer, who was really riding well, take the challenge and the little Yam makes nothing of it. I
follow suit and it also goes well.

At section 3 I must have turned a micro second early at the top of the hill and the back wheel
slipped into the groove throwing the front towards the gate card which I nudged with my boot
and in the bullet hard ground the flag, which was difficult to anchor, fell over ****! I got my “5”
and this was similar to watching Len Sims do exactly the same thing on Section1. He got away
with a dab after I told the checker that sometimes you just can’t get the stakes in far enough.

Cleans on 4, 5, and another great ride on 6 for another satisfying hard work clean. 7 has
obviously had a lot of problems and the ledge towards the exit shows all the wheelmarks of
certain fives! I nearly make it but take a “safety” dab to avoid the slip away 5. No problems on
8, but I had to  work for it, and another clean on 9 for an annoying loop total of 6.

Coming onto the “Critical Ledge” section 7

Loop 3, and sail through 1 and 2 and take a good look at Earl’s problem child. Perfect line this
time with a bit of work at the top for the clean. Clean on 4, and didn’t look at 5 so sail in but on
the final turn the rock group I had initially been worried about has indeed been rotovated! Sure
enough the wheel slips and another dab goes out the window.

Great action on 8

John Hart on the 2 line at the bottom of 8

Forrest Bault taking his first win in MC novice

You know who

Dick Mann shows how with a lot of “body English”

A great ride from Trialsmaster Rob Poole on the Ariel

Nearing the top of 8

A very pleasing third clean on the Mann’s section 6, and time to rewalk that awkward 7. Looks
like the ledge is just a little wider than last time. Make the ledge spot on and through for the
clean. Not much change on 8 and 9, and they ride well for a double clean to give a third loop total
of 1. Overall the low score of the day and the only clean loop on any line. A class win for me in
Classic (about time!) a great win for Rich in MC Exp with a 20 point margin, Randy Ressel rode
well for MC Int and young Forrest Bault, who towed his Montesa behind his Suzuki GS all the
way from Oregon, taking MC Nov. Rob Poole had a great ride on the big Ariel losing 11 and only
1 on the last loop.

The Spoils of Victory

Tony Down

Don’t forget if YOU rode YOU will be on film www.trialsphoto.com

<a< a=””>href=”http://www.trialsphoto.com” target=_blank>www.trialsphoto.com

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AHRMA VINTAGE TRIALS PERRIS 2008 PART 1

AHRMA VINTAGE TRIALS PERRIS 2008 PART 1

AHRMA VINTAGE TRIALS PERRIS 2008 PART 1

 

Finally under way
After 3 attempts with the metal polish I finally get all the “DD” brown bayou stains off the alloy
and the Cub is ready for battle once more at the next event of Perris. All the usual pre departure
checks are done including a generator service on the Starship, which goes well until on the
homeward run the the driver’s sun visor drops off it’s mountings will an almighty crash!

Another RV surprize!

Are we ready yet ?

After a very unusal busy week I’m all prepped and ready to go on Friday morning. Brenda isn’t
quite so ready as her schedule was interrupted earlier in the week but finally we up anchor and
set sail at 1230 just 30 mins behind time. The Captain explains that the weather is good and we
should have a pleasant flight and our ETA, barring any holdups at Riverside, should be 1830.
Mr Zulu puts in the destination, the route is calculated and the Captain says “make it so”.

I wonder where this is ?

Hammering down I 10 all is well and I see a 18 wheeler pulling on the free way from the joining
ramp, I ease over and allow him to enter and accelerate, as I pass him and I’m about 20 feet
from his tail, 2 of his truck tires explode throwing huge pieces on tire all over the road…….
fortunately not one piece hit the bus but I think the people behind were not quite so lucky. No
traffic jams in CA and apart from the lunatic driving we arrive on our planned ETA.

Perris Friday night

The hardest part is getting into the site with a 60 foot rig as they have placed two enormous
boulders right in the perfect spot to sideswipe the trailer or take out the front after you get
through the gate. We make it and handover $90 which I feel is a bit of a rip off for just parking
for 2 nights with no services whatsoever!

Established for 2 days

Eventually find Earl Burrows in the gloom who tells me they have found 5 sections and put the
ribbons up. True that was all that was done and now Rob and Debbie are both racing motocross
on Saturday. Earl and I will meet at 0900 and go and find 4 more sections and do the route
marking.

0900 and now Earl and I are waiting for a driver for the mule (insurance reasons). 1000 we have
the driver, and the mule but no keys! 1030 and at last we can set off. We are up on the hillside
above the race track and here the terrain has changed quite a bit thanks to some “rock crawling”
competition, difficult to say whether its better or worse but still some good terrain to lay out in
and without too much difficulty we find a tricky little fellow to be our number 6.

The End of 9 with Earl and our Mexican helper

Section 7 is a nice natural up down up affair finishing for 1 and 2 men with a ride over a big rock
with a crumbly ledge approach. 8 & 9 we decide to make continuous up and around the Monster
Board and this develops into a really good section. The route back takes a bit of thought to keep
everyone out of the motor cross track but again it will work.

The start of 8 with the 9 cards at the top of the hill “The Monster”

With our 4 new sections complete time to go and peg 1-5 which doesn’t take too much time and
by 1530 we are all wrapped up with 9 sections complete and the very short route marking in place.
Time for some lunch then out again to just follow the course acting as though I had no idea where
we were going. Get to section 1 and find both the red and blue tapes broken! OK, tie up the tapes
again and then some kid comes flying through the setion on a monoshock. I point out the error of
his ways, and explain that these areas are laid out for “our” competition and it is a no riding rule
until the competition begins and that if I see him anywhere near the sections I will take the bike
away from him. Section 2 has suffered the same fate, as has 3, but the tapes are retied and all the
others are undisturbed. Rob Poole goes out and changes a few markers on the earlier sections
just to get them the way he wanted and we are done! Let the drinking commence.

Jim Crain and his brother-in-law

Party time in the bus and then a good sleep without being woken by noisey moto cross bikes at
0530, maybe that’s just at DD’s ?

Tony Down with Brenda and the pack.

Don’t forget all those “Scottish” stories in ARCHIVES it’s that time of the year.

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THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY

THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY

THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY

Let me tell you a story………

For some its the 4th of July, Bastille day, Guy Fawkes, Cinco de Mayo, or in the “Trialsrider’s”
bible it’s The First Week of May. As they say “If I have to explain you won’t understand” I refer
of course to the once advertized “Sporting Holiday in the Highlands” which it indeed was for
many years when I rode my “8” back in the 70’s,…… the one and only, Scottish Six Days.

All ready to go, stickers everywhere, the start of the 1975 SSDT

With the prospect (fingers crossed) of just possibly going back for the 2009 Pre 65 my mind is
already racing with memories of all the famous sections I once rode that, for the main, are now
Scottish folklore. The mind fills with all the admin details that had to be done and finally checked
in the last 3 weeks leading up to the trial. Some of the planning had taken place in the previous
year’s aftermath wrap up as only a fool makes the same mistake twice.

Clearly the “first” go is a mind opener as no amount of breifing and tales of the moors can
realistically prepare you for what is to come, of course it will help……. but the only way is that
VERY personal experience with you and the Highlands.

My first year was 1970 and I’m on the Montesa and I’ve been good and followed all the advice.
Spare cables, tubes in my bag, spare coil mounted on the frame, lever blade on the rear
downtube and bicycle pump on one of the engine downtubes to pump up between the sections
and for the roadwork. I’ve even managed to get a spare chain under the bash plate, and a
length of petrol pipe through the bars to do some syphoning if needed.

Like a child I’m taken round the Cattle Market collecting bits and being introduced. Tyres from
Dunlop, box of plugs from Champion, racing chain in the purple box from Renold and some tins
of spare links. Duckhams for every oil and grease you could think of and a fistfull of stickers
from all our sponsors. The RAF has very little to do as all our bikes are ready and we watch the
mayhem of tyre fitting and almost total rebuilds going on while others struggle to fit number
plates and then paint those famous yellow numbers.

Saturday and Sunday nights at the Edinburgh Clubhouse and a lot of smiling as you tried to
understand what people were saying…..perhaps Hadrian had it right after all?

The Baptism of Fire, Pipeline 1970

Monday morning and we pack up at RAF Turnhouse where we are staying and off to the start.
All nerves and fingers , don’t screw up and follow the route without getting lost in town and at
last here we are on the Forth road bridge so stick with it. The morning goes well and then
Pipeline for a mega disaster! Then bad to worse, up to the tank in a bog, flooded engine in a
river, near crashes with no brakes in the dark but I made it! The fun of seeing those Castrol
films and the drinking all night socials on the staircase of the Highlander stand out in the
memory. The game plan was half a pint a section, and on the first year I think I knocked up
12 hours sleep for the six days until we completed Blackford Hill on Saturday afternoon. What
a week! The highlight was the dab and applause on Pipeline when I rode over a spectator and
escaped with just 1 point lost.

1971 and I’m back again on another Montesa with the small hubs. For whatever reason I don’t
have much recall of this event and I think it too was another drunken haze. However I was
better prepared and don’t remember making the same mistakes and this time anything that
could unscrew or undo was drilled and wirelocked! Only memories of this year was a poor soul
who hit a cow in Fort William highstreet  and another guy who got the throttle stuck as he
went into the first turn on the Devil’s Staircase. The bike shot off the cliff and landed in the road
below somehow missing all the cars and people but it did break the frame! As we said at the
time you bought it in “Kit Form” so what was the problem?

I even look like I know what I’m doing! 1972 on the Bultaco

1972 and we managed to get accommodation in the Highlander and I’m on that lovely 1972
slimline Bultaco which seemed just perfect for Scotland. I actually looked like I knew what I was
doing and had a very easy incident free ride and wrapped up my 3 in a row wins of the
RA Castle Trophy to go with the RAF’s 3 consecutive wins of the John Bull which we all shared
for 4 months each. I do remember accosting the Manager of the Highlander one evening and
giving him a piece of my mind while under the influence of some local libations. I believe I told
him I expected a personal early morning call and tea in bed with my morning paper. Imagine
my surprize when there was a knock on my door and a maid tells me it’s 7 o’clock and puts
down a silver service on the other bedside table. I’m lying there thinking how nice and smiling
to myself so I roll over, put some milk in the cup and then pour the tea. I can only think that
after about 600 miles on the moors and 2 hours in bed I got a cramp as I pressed down hard
on the cup and the entire contents of the tray took off in a giant arc coming down in the middle
of the bed. I can visulize those sugar cubes flying through the air like an expert juggler and
then with bleary eyes watching them disolve in the hot mess which was once my bed.

1973 and the year of massive overseas entries and very annoyingly I get my entry returned
marked oversubscribed! Now that I find less than acceptable as I can neither defend my trophy,
nor can we enter a team in the services team competition so 2 out of the 13 named trophies
will not be competed for this year. Something of a managerial oversight here I think!

The Pre-Production 1974 TY250A

1974 and this year I’m in charge having taken over as the Secretary of the Royal Air Force
Motor Sports Association. I’m riding a pre production TY 250A Yamaha and this is flewn in
specially from Japan. It gets picked up at Heathrow by Brian Leask of Huskie fame and is
delivered late at night to me at RAF Finningley in Doncaster Yorks. The robotic welder didn’t
manage to weld the rear downtubes from the seat to the lower frame so RAF workshops have
to do the work.

Ted Thompson on the SM Hi-Boy Bultaco

The 1974 Team

This year I have applied for a “grant” from military funds and also tried to get more sponsorship.
We look a little better with Blue/White TT leathers, a lightweight paddock jacket and some free
helmets as this was the first year when the helmet law came in. Not the best helmets but they
were free. I do remember a little old lady who served me those wonderful Mallaig kippers all
week. She must be long gone by now as she was over 60 then and she only ever served
breakfast, wish I could remember her name.

Ben Nevis 1974

I had a trouble free ride but lost out on the RA Castle to my protege Martin Widman and I can’t
remember why we didn’t win the team trophy but I think Dick Clears broke down and retired.
Saturday on the way back to Edinburgh. I stopped and washed the bike and had a lot of trouble
with the officials at Blackford Hill who were convinced I hadn’t ridden the event!

All Ossa mounted. The Last Edinburgh Start 1976

1975 and the last start at the Cattle Market. We are all on Ossas and are fully equipped with
a large support team to deal with about 40+ riders and all the factory Ossa teams. We have a
lot of support and some fantastic new Blue/White helmets from Griffon, even got Sidi boots and
the whole operation looks a lot more professional. Yours truly has a “moment” on Rannoch on
day one and shortens the wheelbase by 2 inches in an Evil Knievel jump over that “black hole”
on the track that didn’t come off! I did drag this badly handling machine around Scotland and
made it to the finish despite everything. What an experience that was! I was somewhat
dismayed when I got to the finish on Friday afternoon to my find my good friend Ted Thompson
holding a press conference telling all and sundry about his crash on Mamore Road. Well Ted
broke his arm and the team prize was gone and after his story was out “gamesmanship”
couldn’t be used! A bit sad to ride 5 days and not be able to get through the last ride back to
Edinburgh. ……. and I could have retired on Monday and spent 5 days drinking!

Edramucky 1975, about 40 mins before the major CRASH!

As Martin Lampkin told me one year on the staircase at the Highlander after I asked him why
he had stopped on the Forth Road Bridge “Eee, gotter seize ‘ker ooup int first m’ing, thent
p*** ont motor, ant if ‘ker frees off thent  ‘ker woount seize agin!….. and if ‘ker woount then
f*** it! means some good suppin, aint nay point int ridin 5 ‘king days oop here and hav
f***** quit ont Satday”……….. and there we have it straight from the factory riders manual
of how to win and go on to be World Champion!…… THOSE WERE THE DAYS !

1976 the first year that the trial starts and finishes in Fort William. The RAF is fielding 2 full
teams, all Ossa mounted, this year and are very determined after the unlucky 1974 and 1975
events. Martin, Ted and myself make up the A team and some of the lesser lights are getting
their first look at the SSDT in the B Team. More money is required this year with the extra 3
nights accommodation in Fort William as in previous years we had always stayed at RAF
Turnhouse just outside Edinburgh. One piece suits are all the rage in a Blue/Black colour
scheme and some lighter pale blue suits for the warmer days, all our other sponsors are still
on board but we are back to rubber wellies as the Sidi boots let the water in.

1976 at Edramucky in the one piece suit and rubber wellies

At the start there is an American woman doing handstands and headstands on her TY175.
I nearly goofed here as she was riding close to me, and nearly offered to show her the way
across the moors. I’m glad I said nothing as it was all I could do to keep up with her! Debbie
Evans was to lady, now married to Lane Leavitt and currently on the mend after a “stunt” that
went horribly wrong last November. No major incidents this year, and we win the John Bull
again.

1977 and now I’m on the Suzuki by Beamish. Looked fantastic but in reality was an evil
handling little beast and didn’t like Scotland or the rocks. However, the trial is now getting
harder and harder and the running scores reflect this but we press on and take the John Bull
for a second year.

A warm day and cotton SM Overalls on the Nasty Beamish

1978 and once again mounted on the Beamish Suzuki, all tin & tinsel ! Just one of those
machines that I never really got on with. This year the sections are incredibly hard and in some
cases verging on downright dangerous. It has become a “World Round” and is definitely not a
Clubman’s event. This is not “A Sporting Holiday in the Highlands” this is Endurance and not
really enjoyable. It reminded me of 6 x The Greensmith which was always the hardest UK National
and the last time I rode it there were only 56 entries! Any 3 was good in that event.

At night the bars are empty by 10, the results room is equally easy to walk round as everyone is
in bed trying to summon enough strength to get round the next day. There is also a big change
in attitude, very little laughter, hardly any drinking and seemingly bad manners out on the course.
You would often be ready to tackle a group of sections only to have some rider blast past you
and park his bike on the line within feet of the start card. These same riders appeared to be
carrying little with them in the way of spares or tools, and one could only assume they were
expecting others to donate to their cause  if they got into trouble.

A regular result in 1978!

Well I finished just like all the other 7 and we were rewarded with the John Bull to complete
another hatrick. A very hard year with Martin Lampkin losing 99 and yours truly losing that many
on a daily basis.

So 8 rides and 8 finishes in the greatest trial there is.  With the passing of time, the advent of
the modern monoshocker and the “pogo stick” jumping around, the Scottish will never be the
same. The small tanks and unstoppable abilities of the modern rider and machine have changed
the event for ever. The Pre 65 does offer a wonderful piece of nostalgia…… and thoughts here
what would a revamped  6 Days be like on the old bikes one year? No doubt too difficult and
too many heart attacks and medical problems from us old geriatrics, still just a thought.

If I’m lucky enough to get in next year in the Pre 65, then 2 days may be more than enough,
we will see.

Tony Down    Still dreaming of Scotland

150 Articles find them all in ARCHIVES, and of course several on the SSDT

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  • 4/29/2008 7:17 AM Outlaw Dave wrote:
    Great reading Tony – I’ve only ever been to Scotland to watch, but your brief account of those years certainly bring back memories – I still remember standing at Fersit in 1992 with horizontal rain, bitterly cold, waiting for Steve Fracy to arrive – he was cold and ready to quit – luckily I had a hip flask filled with Crown Royal, and that warmed his insides enough to press on. ( He had hit a car earlier in the day)
    Reply to this
  • 5/23/2008 4:21 AM Dick Clears wrote:
    Tony you old —, glad to have found you. Recently back from watching the pre 65. Most of the old troops are still around and still wondering what happened to you. My suggestion that you had succumbed to a surfeit of alcohol was very wrong!as you are obviously doing extreemly well in all departments. Thoroughly enjoyed your slick and professional website. A long way from the six of us staying in the council house in Corpach! Must take issue with the reason for not winning the John Bull trophy in 74. It was because your key rider had left the R.A.F. in Dec 73. Technically I suppose I could have been described as retired, but NEVER broken down. Pleased to see you are active in both building smart looking bikes and riding testing looking sections, I’m rather envious!
    I’m still managing the occasional succesful ride in easy pre 65 events on a rather special lightweight 350 Matchless which I have built from scratch. Some mutterings from the purists, but I don’t win that much, problems with arthritis. Did get in the comics last year as “70 year old celebrates birthday and 50 years of trials by winning event” They did’nt add it was the pre 65 class and few riders, but it looked good.
    Jon Tye has ridden his last pre 65 Scottish this year. Sadly he retired on the first day, bike troubles on Blackwater, and not too well. Sad also because he featured on the cover of the programme and inside, reminiscencing on winning the 150cc cup 50 years earlier and happenings since. Also on a sad note Ticker Ted Thompson is no longer with us,having died of a sudden heart attack last year.
    Ted Heather and Jack Knoops are begining to compile a contact list of former RAF riders, perhaps you would like to be included?
    I would be very pleased if you would make contact with me as I would dearly love to catch up with news, bikes, and the secret to sucess!
    With best regards Dick.
    Reply to this
  • 3/31/2010 2:13 PM Martin Widman wrote:
    Tony. I was browsing the Internet tonight since my night out at Kings Lynn speedway supporting my lad was rained off(beautiful English weather again),and came across your wonderful website. Thought it was a bit self centered being all about you!!!! but then the more I looked, the more I unearthed a wealth of memories and faces from the past, regretably some no longer with us.
    Not sure how you are doing over in the USA since I haven’t quite unravelled the story but hope that you are keeping well. From the pictures you don’t look to be doing too badly.
    One delighful story that I had forgotten was when you shortened the wheelbase on your MAR in the SSDT to make it turn quicker, soldiering on for the rest of the week, valiantly keeping the team intact only to be let down on the 5th day.
    Stay well and keep the website going. I still have hours of reading left!!!
    Reply to this
  • 1/21/2011 4:39 PM Nadine wrote:
    Oh my goodness, I was searching the internet for photos of my Step_dad when he was in the White Helmets & I just can’t believe I’ve found this site. Ted Thompson was my Step Dad. It’s wonderful to see these photos of him, thank you so much.
    Reply to this

    1. 1/21/2011 5:38 PM Tony Down wrote:
      Nadine,
      I was very sorry to hear of your step dad’s death. Ted was one of my best motorcycling friends in the RAF, and although I could normally just beat him at trials he was much better than me in the enduro events. We always shared a room when we were on the big events and I’m sure you will find several pictures of him in any of my Scottish Six Days articles or our many visits to Jersey and Guernsey.

      Ted was a great friend of mine especially when he was a Chief Tech at RAF Waddington on Vulcans and I was flying Phantoms over at RAF Coningsby.

      I hope you enjoy the other stories, he was a great rider and I too have many fond memories of him.

      Best regards

      Tony
      Reply to this

  • 1/22/2011 10:39 AM adrian thompson wrote:
    great find dene – although “white helmets” was a swear word to dad. they were either the army or navys display team – the raf motorcycle display teams arch enemies when it came to the royal tournament as they would never have both crews in the same tournament lol
    still not seen any more vids other than the one on youtube though. there must be more out there somewhere!
    Reply to this
  • 1/23/2011 6:48 AM carole thompson wrote:
    Hi Tony, like my daughter Nadine and step son Adrian.. I have really enjoyed seeing these photos and reading your stories…. Ted would have loved to have seen this and his stories were endless….. many many happy memories.. x
    Reply to this
  • 1/23/2011 12:17 PM Nadine wrote:
    Oops- sorry for blaspheming Ted… you know what I meant! xx
    Reply to this
  • 5/28/2012 2:56 PM Martin Widman wrote:
    Tony,
    I have been rumaging round the house trying to find some photos of my work and came across a whole stack of press cuttings. I have scanned a couple and in time will scan some more for you. If you can send me your email address I will send them to you. Nothing incriminating!!
    Hope that all is well in the States and I just love the website but the problem is that I don’t have enough time to read it all. Well not yet. Next year maybe seeing as I am being made redundant when the airline closes in December.
    Martin
    Reply to this
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BACK TO THE PIT

 

BACK TO THE PIT

BACK TO THE PIT

The 74 SSDT Replica complete with “Goofy” hat

The “Real Thing”  Edinburgh Cattle Market  May 1974

First ride for the “Rep”

 Central Arizona Trials has just thrown another Trial into the schedule, although of course you
never quite know what is going to happen until it happens! Not much point asking as only the
“Elitist Few” ever know the workings of the club, that never has an AGM or question time or any
input as to what is happening. Officials become Officials and elections or otherwise are not even mentioned……ssssssh you know WHO!

While I was away in Texas at Diamond Don’s CAT ran a trial at Oak Flats and I see Rich Palmer
really handed out another can of Arse Whup to all the morning riders! Well done Rich, good to
see the Yam and the Cub can still beat all the modern bikes on the same line.

Testing “Poofy”

Poofy going well!

Alto Pit just outside Prescott, is always one of my favorites with some great natural sections
which, no matter how many times you ride them always have a different flavor every time an
event is held. This would be a fantastic place for a 2 Day AHRMA National as it has everything
and lots of it to boot, I had better suggest it to Ed for next year.

So a full calendar, next week the AHRMA Trial at Perris, then Alto Pit the following week and
the AHRMA Cotopaxi 2 Day and Rocky Mountain region opener one week later. Busy, busy. Not
forgetting the Lucas Racing Mag might be here next week but I think that may need a little work
on the technical side to get the timing organized.

By the parking area testing the Majesty on Section 10

What makes Alto Pit so good? well as a facility it has good parking and overnighting if you take
the RV for these 0830 starts. It also has an abundance of fantastic natural sections amid rocks
and natural pines. Throw in a couple of wash/river gulches and you have a perfect mix along with
some good climbs if the Trialsmasters ever choose to use them. Being Arizona the only thing it
lacks is MUD, but you can have some good deep wash sand which can be just as difficult.

A Fantastic day on Superglitz

Obviously having a great time

Alto has a special place for me as it was the first trial in AZ that I went to watch and the reason
I came back into the sport after 23 years. It was also the place where I tried the first of my many
rebuilt Yams and the one and only ride for the SSDT Replica. Other memories are Brenda turning
the TY250 upside down and scarring herself for life when the footrest went deep into her inner
thigh……. left a scar like a bear trap!……. also seeing her rocket downhill,a steep downhill at that,
when she forgot which side the front brake was on!

Superglitz in the rocks

A super bike on a soooper day!

Only problem this year is that little dog Rossi is due to give birth around then so it may be an
out and back for me with the rack and Cadi…. we will see.

Ossamaha going well too

The other thing about the “Pit” is that it has always been my “testing” area for new bikes and
again for this one I just might take the Ossa as its such a long time since I last rode it and it
could be a lot of fun with the big steamroller engine.

Tony Down

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THE MYSTERY OF QUARTZSITE

 

THE MYSTERY OF QUARTZSITE

THE MYSTERY OF QUARTZSITE

This is IT

  For several years now as we have rocketted through Quartzsite Arizona en-route to events in
California and other west coast venues I have always been puzzled at to what, if any, is the
attraction for Rv’ers to this desolate location in the middle of nowhere. Is it the RV religion’s
Mecca? Why do thousands, yes thousands of RVs make their way to this awful place in late
January? Is it the RV “Haj” ?

Only one way to find out, …. go take a one time look see! Brenda does her research on the
various RV forums and after many comments on threads and a few real life phone calls we are
going to join a group for our duty weekend in the desert.

First outing of the year and we start setting up the coach only to discover that since our last
trip back in October a lot of our beautiful woodwork is starting to come to pieces as the inlays
are peeling! Much negoiating with Monaco takes place from the initial “It’s your fault”…… to
“OK we don’t want a class action law suit and we will reman and replace 14 panels at our cost”

Peeling?
An easy drive to the middle of nowhere and we eventually find our host and expedition leader,
Bruce who gives us the instructions and will meet us at the entrance to some piece of BLM land.
Off the freeway and now we are in the thick of it with loons walking into the road and others
making unannounced reversing moves in front of us. People everywhere and all for what?
Still no wiser!

The BLM site with RVs as far as the eye can see

Arrive at the BLM and get the lowdown and Brenda departs to get the tickets and eventually
an official arrives and sticks something on the coach. Follow the leader to the appointed spot
and we park nose in forming a star with all the coach fronts around a fire pit and a seating area.
We have the trailer to cope with all the adventures, whatever they may be with 2 trials bikes
and 2 mountain bikes should we wish to go drinking and pedalling.

All docked and set up complete with all the introductions to the new group made we have to
ask the burning question WHY ???  What is this all about??

Nobody has a satisfactory answer other than it happens every year. Oh well, suck it and see.
The evening continues with some drinking (surely not!) and just for a change I’m on the
Gin & Tonic after 3 weeks of no more than 2 glasses of wine following the nutri system diet which
at this point had lost me about 10 lbs. Various visits to everyone elses coaches are completed
and the gang arrive at ours for the evenings festivities. At around the 7 GT mark I’m having
trouble focusing on all and sundry and then as I’m told some time later maybe at the 9 point I
went to the bathroom where I fell asleep (this of course is all hearsay and not admissable in
court). I am informed our guests left circa 2100 and eventually I was persuaded to go to bed
which I nearly made unaided but failed within sight of the ENDS card!

How I saw the party at GT 9

Nearly made it

The following morning all is well and after breakfast we decide to take the mountain bikes for
the 3 mile run down to the tented display area. The ride is pretty scary as it’s single track road
with huge RVs whipping past with little or no consideration for cyclists. Passing parked Rvs
everywhere we end up at the display area and start wending our way through traders and an
amazing assortment of crap!

The Tent

Find a way in

Worthless crap abounds!

Today we do no more than buy “wonder polish” and some cooking things which Brenda just had
to have. Time to go to the bar and be meet all the other RVers……. NO BAR!    Well what do we
have for entertainment?     NOTHING!

…..ED comment: It is Sunday morning and 0630 and I look out the window, as is my want, and
lo…. there is another Heron up on the top pool. I get outside but before I can get in position he
takes off and then a SECOND HERON takes off from the other side of the pool and they fly off
in formation, do one lap of the property and depart to the north. Now this is very strange as
yesterday morning a work colleague who also has a pool said he was visited by not one but 2
of these HORRID BIRDS….. WAR IS DECLARED ONCE MORE!



“OK so what IS the attraction?”

“We don’t know but have some nibblies”

Maybe they DO know ?

I give in, let’s light the fire

 Back to the mystery, so with thousands of RV’s in the middle of nowhere we have no focal point,
no bars and no entertainment….hmmmmm! We therefore ride the 3 miles back to our Starship
and try and get a further explanation……. No, there isn’t one but now we sit around and
everyone produces nibblies and good things to drink and then the camp fire is lit and we sit
around drinking in the desert looking at the fire like druids!

Sunday we take the trials bikes back to the tented area and explore the other side of the
road which is actually a flea market with precious little in the way of things RV. We end up
buying a couple of bird houses at very reasonable prices and that completes the morning.
Return to camp enjoy a light lunch and set off for home convinced that, maybe, just maybe we
have missed something…….. or if not then this is a MYSTERY that only  Sherlock Holmes can
reveal.

I give up, it’s beyond me !!!

Very interseting Watson!

Tony & Brenda        Very Confused of Cave Creek

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MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF THIS

 

MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF THIS

MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF THIS

Not sure how high up the hill we can go ?

 “I love Perris in the springtime……..”

 So, once again we have another new venue which is co-located with a moto-cross track.
Looking at the terrain it appears a bit limited but as always difficult to really get a feel for it
until you get there. This is Perris Raceway and not the fabulous facility that Bill Markham had
called “Perris Trialsland”. Unfortunately we lost Trialsland when it was sold out from under Bill
who had put a lot of work into it for Youth Trials and was a superb facility for holding a 2 day
vintage trial. The land itself was just a jumble of various size rocks, either static, or loose and
rolling, and everywhere you looked was a natural section.

Similar rocks at the Old Perris Trialsland

Old Perris, sections everywhere

As a piece of land it did not appear to have any commercial or agricultural value and was
literally in a “land that time forgot”. When you left the main freeway within 3 miles it was like
you had gone back 100 years in time with ramshackle buildings, single track roads and
inhabitants scratching a subsistance living….. and all this just 25 miles south of Riverside CA.

Not sure if we can go beyond the fence?


From Google Earth and various other pictures I have seen of this venue it seems the
moto-cross tracks have used all the available land and we are left with some hillside areas
which could be outside the scope of our vintage machines and the people that ride them.

Maybe some scope here?

A lot of brush to clear

Still as we know you can make a trials section out of anything but we all prefer a natural
hazard that stays in the mind’s eye rather than a series of tight turns defined by tape on the
ground. I don’t envy our new NW regional Co-ordinator, Rob Poole, the task of being
Trialsmaster for this event. I am willing to help on Saturday but won’t be there until 6’ish
Friday night assuming we make it through all that Riverside rush hour traffic. It would seem
we need a lot of brush cutting to find a loop through all the giant boulders, and finding 8-10
sections with 4 lines in this lot could be a real challenge.

Maybe something around this rock

Must be one here!

Another view of the “Hill”

Must try to be optimistic but from past experiences National Trials Events are better run
without other disciplines running at the same time. As we saw only last week at Diamond Don’s
with 400 acres of property to play with the the cross country event even went through our
section 1, and with all the rain and their delay we lost out on 2 sections and were late starting
at 2.15 in the afternoon.

“Why, oh why… do I love Perris…….”

From all the correspondence the track owners are very willing to accommodate our needs so
I look on the “half full” principle and look forward to yet another trial.

Tony Down    with the glass half full!

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Comments
  • 4/23/2008 5:38 PM Fred Martinson wrote:
    How did the trials come out, your
    pictures looked alot better than the aerial photos of the area.
    Reply to this
  • 4/23/2008 9:15 PM Steveo wrote:
    Hi Tony,one of the things that I enjoy most about traveling to new trials sites,is how they seem to be “best kept secrets”.I’ve a fond memory of traveling to a trial site in a place called Trochou,S-central Alberta,with my son Jay.We were very close to the site just driving through rather boring rolling farmland saying to one another that it didn’t look like we would have much to look forward to riding on in this farmland,when we dropped into a valley.Rounding a corner into the badlands and massive amounts of cactus covered hoo doo’s,we both said “Holy S– T!” at exactly the same moment!Another best-kept-secret.I’ve had the pleasure to ride some very challenging sections on what looks like poor flat land,so much of a good section,is a combination of a good trials master’s eye,experience and tape.good luck with this trial,sounds like a decent challenge for a man of your skills.One of these days,I should love to see you at Dai’s Outlaw Trial!All the best to you and yours,Steveo
    Reply to this
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