18 WHEELS & A DOZEN ROSES

 

18 WHEELS & A DOZEN ROSES

18 WHEELS & A DOZEN ROSES

Make it SO!

 Wednesday and my partner is not feeling too sharp (I wonder why?) and we finally get under way,
mooring lines cast off, and Enterprise departs on another voyage into the unknown, to explore
trials venues in distant galaxies on it’s 3 week journey. Captain Slog, I always thought his name
was “Kirk”, takes the bridge, the course to Casper via Rawlings is laid in, impulse drive is selected
and Mr Zulu is told to “Make it so!”

A pleasant uneventful run and we make Rawlins and the Flying J before dark, refuel and now as
the wind picks up go and hide in the 100+ 18 wheelers who are also night stopping.

Thursday and on the road by 0800, only about 140 to go to the venue with a quick Walmart stop
for yet more food and beverage. Amazing wildlife everywhere and even more so coming down the
last road to the Ranch.

Antelope

A nice Buck too

Some Gophers

Turkeys everywhere

Remember to turn the generator off for the dusty drive in up the track and finally after nearly
getting bashed by the self closing gate we slip into our same berth from the last 3 years and this
will be home for the next 5 days. Several others have also made the trip early including Ed and
Evelyn, Forrest Bault, towing his Montesa behind the Vstrom and Derek Belvoir who thought the
event started on Friday.

All the layout has been done although the wildlife is eating all the ribbon! A quick ride round to
see what Day 1 has in store and, dare I say it, it does look ridiculously easy for my chosen line of
PI. Certainly can’t afford any mistakes on these sections as a dab could cost you the event. Once
again it is my personal belief that every class leader should lose between 10-20 otherwise the
smallest error can be terminal with other riders of a similar caliber.

By nightfall the place is filling up and there certainly looks like being a good crowd. Jim Lipscomb
has made it and Don Kelly also arrives to begins his 3 weeker! Stories, beer and wine flow freely.

Was it something I said ?

Don and Ed in training

Getting used to sleeping in! Anyhoooo….. time to get out there are size up the other sections for
Sunday and try and remember the Saturday ones. Well a section is a section and no matter how
easy they appear never be fooled as I have seen many top riders lose needless marks in sections
that most would be considered a joke…. Town Hall Brae in the Scottish is a classic and I won’t
divulge which WORLD CHAMPION screwed up there.

Sunday route looked almost as easy as Saturday and while Ed and I try and find section 8 the RE
starts playing up. The plug is as black as soot but in with another and it runs smoothly again.

Another evening of socializing and then a liesurely morning before we get under way at lunchtime
after the modern guys have finished the first part of the Mosteller Cup.

Night over Casper and the “tape eaters” arrive

Later in the evening the wild horses arrive to chew up yet more tape!

Tony & Brenda          getting ready ………

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  • 9/18/2008 10:13 PM Steveo wrote:
    Well if life is an adventure,it would seem that you are getting more than your share.I just returned from a 3 week walkabout,with bike of course.Made it up an 8,000 foot mountain with the lads to celebrate Outlaws 70th birthday,before heading into northern BC to do some exploring.Wonderful trip,new friends and now back home.Just finished building a new woodshed,now to fill it.It’s rumored that 3 or 4 of my dearest riding buddies from Alberta are talking about coming down to the island to check out my trials paradise,so I’d better start cleaning up the bachelors shack.Happy Trials
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3 WEEKS ON THE ROAD

3 WEEKS ON THE ROAD

3 WEEKS ON THE ROAD

Let’s GO!

 Time to start planning and getting ready for the Big One! Hopefully the coach will have had all it’s
little minor repairs completed and the last replacement panels fitted. We aim to leave on Thursday
along with 5 bikes in the trailer and a load of parts for delivery in Utah. A bit of work to do on the
bikes as all the Yams need to be drained, carbs cleaned and fired up prior to departure. The RE is
already checked and now running nicely on the 110 main jet. The Cub shouldn’t need anything, so
just a test ride before loading. Haul everything up to Colorado and then leave 2 bikes there while
we do Casper and Miller and maybe collect some other wrecks from various swap meets and junk
yards.

Halfway and Church Rock…….. must be some good sections?

When we get to Colorado I must order the new building which will become the workshop of the
future as before the vultures close in we need to get established up there and be ready to move
at the end of September so that we can manage the place through hunting season when we have
around 500 visitors in need of a shower! Covering yourself in deer/elk pee at o’dark thirty maybe
good for hunting (at least thats what we tell them …tee hee!) but by 5 in the evening you stink to
high heaven!!!

Down here the place is for sale and also lease/rent, furnished or unfurnished but of course housing
and poor planning seem to have been the cause of all the problems and a lot of people are still
waiting to see where the market will bottom out……… so the problems that were caused by the
collapsing economy are even harder to get out of when all your remaining assets are tied up in real
estate and vehicles. Maybe Donald Trump will bail me out?

The coach is collected on Tuesday and I drive her home and put on another 100 gallons at the
slightly reduced price of $4.09!!! Back at the house I start reversing to line up on the trailer and
now there is a massive air leak coming from the water tanks area. Nothing for it back to RV
renovators to investigate on Wednesday morning. Through the usual “despair to hope” routine a
we find that Monaco doesn’t have one, and if they did its a $1000 and they might not be able to
get it until next Wednesday? Then we find the manufacturer has it and they are in California and
can overnight it…. then “Super Bob” the tech says he thinks they have a similar valve locally….
2 hours later and for $93 the unit is replaced, the air leak has gone and we can use the toilet
again!

Loading goes well and 5 bikes including the choice of two for Mick should he choose to ride one,
are squeezed in along with ebay items that will close while we are on the road. Thursday comes
and up bright and early aiming for the 0700 departure. Well of course that doesn’t happen and we
are finally on the road at 0815 and enjoy a trouble free drive to Dolores and actually make it in time
for a quick cycle ride down to the Hollywood and a few games of Pool.

More Pool

…….and drinks….

Friday becomes a rest day with some shopping necessities and posting more ebay parcels.

Saturday and we have yet another party to go to which also involves a load more pool. This time
it’s Peggy’s party at a gorgeous mountain cabin. A truly lovely place but only accessible during the
summer months as the way in would be a no go in winter. The team are not too impressed with
the table so emergency leveling is completed and the game begins.

The Professionals level the table

All ready

Sunday and the last 2 puppies should be sold this morning and their new owners arrive and the
deals are done. Tessa who was the biggest and brightest finds her new home. Needless to say
Brenda becomes fairly emotional but the task is done, all 5 are away to their new homes. Well at
least you can now walk round without the fear of stepping in something! The pool gets yet another
new pump as the last one was totally unsuitable despite all the good advice. More Pool and Brenda
is banging them in like a pro! I won’t say what I was doing but they did have some boxes of free
peaches and plums.

Smoker’s retreat at the Hollywood

Brenda in top form!

A lot to do today with parcels, get that shed ordered and check the 2 Yams over for Mick who
remains non commital on what he wants to ride. All done on the “to do” list and the “Superglitz”
fires up after refueling and runs like a top. That really is a fantastic machine, just one of those bikes
where everything is perfect and feels spot on. It also has a very responsive motor and is without
doubt one of the best Yams I have ever ridden. The Ossamaha needs the petcock “unglued” as with
our crap fuel it is gummed up so that is the task of the day.

Tuesday and our last day in Dolores with just the Ossamaha to fix, a few parcels to send and strap
down all the junk in the trailer before departure. The morning goes well and the fuel cock works
again but now the Arizona heat has cracked the in line filter so that gets replaced. Now time for our
last visit to the Hollywood for GT’s and Pool. Frame 1, and with an open table I sink the first one
then one of those lucky days the cue ball does exactly what is asked and I move from ball to ball
sinking them all as planned including the 8! Boy was I pleased.

So tomorrow is the day and the “Quest” begins 2 more rides in Classic and 4 in Prem Hwy to see
if 2 of those $20,000 jackets can be acquired….. maybe I could sell them?

Tony & Brenda      back to 4 unruly beasts

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THE HORNETS NEST

 

THE HORNETS NEST

 THE HORNETS NEST

 Well with the initial rejection of the “Twinshock Class” by AHRMA I, for one, am left in a state of
dismay and bewilderment as to why any oranization devoted to any facet of trials riding would
want to reject such a strong proposal from the membership and for what reason. Seems very
similar to a well known General from France who in the 70’s had a one word answer to all
proposals that he didn’t personally like “NON!”

We are in an age of dwindling older machines, with part sourcing becoming more and more difficult,
increasing fuel costs in a backward economy heading into a recession and many riders to my
knowledge being unable to compete at National level due to increasing costs.

A Future US Champion ?

The Twinshock proposal sought not to change ANYTHING, but just to include the last of the
Twinshocks in a class of their own. They would enter in that specific class, thereby not offending
anyone in Modern Classic, and purely ride the 1,2 and 3 lines depending on their ability. As I don’t
have a machine from this period I have no real axe to grind in either direction but I’m purely
looking to the future when many events may not make ends meet if we don’t increase membership
and entries.

An EX Colorado Champion

Right now would be an excellent time to buy up machines of this period as they are relatively
cheap as currently if you own one outside of Tennessee or Canada you have nowhere to ride.

New or Modern it’s a demonstration of skills, Bailey on the 1 Line

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be able to compete with and watch the skills of a quite
exceptional young rider, Bailey Tucker, who was riding on the AHRMA 1 line on his TLR. Here is a
young man that competes in the Nationals on his Gas Gas but is prepared to compete on a TLR in
a 2 day Vintage event and enjoy it with the same enthusiasm. It would not surprize me at all if
Bailey went on to be US Champion within the next few years and I have also offered him one of
my bikes should he wish to have a “real go” at the Modern Classic Class. Let me put it this way,
if he accepts my offer there isn’t anyone that will come even close to him in the class!…… and for
those doubting Thomas’s that riders of his ability wouldn’t ride AHRMA sections he lost a mark or
two without anyone altering sections.

We NEED young men in the sport…… and if they can ride both……

It seems intersting that a lot of people assume that by allowing these bikes in that sections will
become harder and maybe impossible to Girder machines and those with a typical 50’s/60’s 6 inch
ground clearance. Where and why do they make this assumption? The only pandering to a “class”
that I have seen has been the 4 line. To be honest there really shouldn’t be a Beginner line at a
National event. Just ride the Novice line and improve. Leave all else alone just swell the numbers
would be my view.

We may have lost the battle, but we haven’t lost the war! Maybe next year we will send out a
survey and get the memberships view. It isn’t going to go away.

…..and for those that poo, poo AHRMA Trials and the sections considering them to be no more
than old men on old machines in a parade, perhaps those people might care to venture back
themselves and see, that just maybe, it isn’t quite that easy….. and some of the old men on
old iron can still get the job done and have FUN, FUN, FUN while doing it!

Tony Down

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  • 8/24/2008 7:39 PM Fred Martinson wrote:
    Well Tony, the fight to include the “modern” trials bikes has been
    going on for four or five years, I’ve
    submitted proposals since 03 or so. I don’t know what the reasoning behind their decision is, but they are missing the “golden” opportunity to bring more
    people into the sport.
    It may be that trials is the only AHRMA sport that the “modern” bikes haven’t gotten in, and the board wants to kept it that way, the way that it was back then, put your head in the sand and maybe everyone will just quit trying to change things.
    There will be a “modern” vintage class
    at the Wyoming Nationals. We may even allow the TY Yamaha mono shocks into the class.
    It may be time to approach a organization like the NATC, the modern trials national organization, about sanctioning a national vintage trials series.

    Fred
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  • 8/25/2008 7:57 AM Outlaw Dave wrote:
    Great article Tony (and pics) -At a time when rider numbers are down everywhere, it makes so much sense to look at every possible avenue to encourage people to come out and have FUN. – As an organizer, I would do whatever, to get the numbers up, and if the “Powers that be” had any foresight, they would maybe run a test of any new ideas at a couple of events before stamping a “NON” on the page. – You guys definitely have my support.
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  • 8/25/2008 10:05 AM Jim Solomon wrote:
    Tony, I agree with you 100% on allowing the twin shock bikes to compete in the AHRMA events. At this point, it is really about survival for AHRMA trials. There are serious dwindling numbers that are interested in riding the old machines. Certainly the younger riders are interested in more power and lighter bikes. It seems so obvious that if you look at the number of riders at the regional events we are losing our base of new riders.
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  • 8/25/2008 7:24 PM Steve Fracy wrote:
    Fred:

    Reading your comments tonight,I laughed to myself as today I was thinking that if Ahmra is willing to miss out on a good situation, then I think its a perfect fit for the NATC to step up and make a new class in their Nationals. I think it would be a great fit. Now we just need you to the same proposal to the Natc! I for one would love to have a place to compete on my Fantic 300 Nationally and see how I fare!

    Steve
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    1. 8/27/2008 8:41 AM robert cline wrote:
      The NATC meeting this fall would be a great time to propose a true twin shock or vintage championship.
      Reply to this
  • 9/5/2008 11:20 PM Steveo wrote:
    Well put Tony.The vintage bikes take a bit more skill’s to navigate ,hence the sections are a tad easier and in my mind ,simply more fun to ride.Less”degree of difficulty”(I use the other “D” word-danger)equals more fun.Its good to see so many classes for every level of ability in the US,allowing the newer twin shocks to compete can only mean that there will be more riders to share in the Fun.Its good to see healthy event turnouts and well-filled classes
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62 UP

 

62 UP

62 UP

Dolores Main Street

 That time of the year again and another candle on the cake and the decision is made to have my
birthday up in Colorado as for once Dolores has “Escalante Days” the same weekend as the clock
rolls over another one for me.

Birthday presents are despatched for arrival up North and this year I get my very first “Pool Cue”
as if we move up here Pool is a fairly big deal within the social fabric. The plan is to leave very
early on Thursday morning and see if we can make the Hollywood in time for a few frames and a
beer or two.

Both mountain bikes are loaded along with the Harley and we actually make it 45 mins late and
leave at 0645. The journey has it’s own entertainment with a fuel stop in Flagstaff. Brenda goes
to get a coffee and I refuel. CLUNK!……..???? Those nice dogs have operated the door locks and
yes, the keys are still in the ignition and now we have us outside and 6 canines locked inside!
Joy of joys! Thanks goodness that I have kept my on-star going so after a few phonecalls there
is another magic Clunk and the doors are unlocked via satellite! Lesson learnt on this one, always
take the keys with you when you have nice dogs inside.

The road from Flagstaff to Page has roadside reminders of tragic accidents in the form of crosses
and roadside shrines and on many occasions I have tried to count them all to our turnoff for Tuba
City. At the last check the numbers are over 50 on a 70 mile stretch of road. Today traffic is
reasonably light until we catch up with a resident Indian driving at 40 with a long tail back on the
straight 65 mph road. Impatience sets in with some drivers and we are treated to some more
lunatic driving and near misses.

Another “loon” attempts the pass but misjudges everything and as he or she pulls out  the
oncoming traffic takes to the hard shoulder! Well bad luck Loon, the first oncoming car in the dirt
is a Police car who doesn’t think much of this and immediately puts on his lights and starts turning
the wheel to start a 180 and set off in hot pursuit. I brake to allow this to happen but Policeman
pulls straight across the road and a tanker that was following him cannot stop in time and gently
collides pushing in the driver’s door! We leave them to it and now the clown that caused the
problems has stopped…… well he had his chance and could have easily been long gone.

The Hollywood with the “Gang” and MY cake

We make CC at 1500 and after unloading and dog walking we are at the Hollywood for a surprize
birthday cake, yum, yum, and a load of GT’s. My new Cue has made it but the carry case did not so
I’m forced to cart the new toy down there in it’s luxury plastic bag! A few shots are played and this
should be good for the future.

Friday take the Cadi to Durango to get the all singing, all dancing magic cable box that will actually
give us some channels that we can watch up here as the current ones are unbelieveable crap!
Out for lunch with Jim and Lucille at “Lotsa Pasta” which is very pleasant then back here for more
dog walking and then the bicycle ride to Hollywood for more pool with the new stick. Brenda plays
well but I’m having an off period and we lose 3 in a row but come back strongly when I wake up to
take it 6 to 5. While all this is going on a mini ongoing argument rears it’s head and senior citizens
nearly come to blows over complete trivia.

LOTSA PASTA with Jim & Lucille

About 7’ish it comes on to rain big time but we carry on drinking as we are marooned in the bar.
The youth of the town arrives as the evening draws on and as the noise increases a fight breaks
out, again over nothing and after normality returns the rain stops allowing us to get home. It was
just long enough and then poured down for the rest of the night.

Saturday after the Olympic Opening Ceremony let the “Escalante Days” commence. Well now as
the name is familiar with BMW rides in Utah it transpires that Father Escalante was a Spanish priest
who, when Spain originally had Colorado, wandered through Dolores and most points west.
Travellers who are not familiar with American history may note that all the names in this area are
Spanish. Thanks to Father Escalante and his team, an early day Lewis and Clark adventurer if you
like.

Candy gets thrown everywhere

The Parade goes on

So down to the Hollywood for a very pleasant breakfast and park the bikes. First up is the parade
which is led by cowboys and horses and now all the floats and marching teams have to paddle
through the horse****. With breakfast done outside the bar we have mens and womens
chainsawing competition and then the return of the mountain bike 35 mile race. Each to their own!

Ladies? arm wrestling…… there was only going to be ONE winner

Brenda gets her flat repaired

DUCK U

More drinks and now ladies arm wrestling, clearly there is only going to be one winner here! Brenda
gets a flat tire but the bike shop is open and they fix that while we watch the men’s event. Dog time
so back to CC before cycling back to another party and watch the finish of the 1600 rubber duckies
racing down the Dolores river. Thats enough partying so home again and watch some Olympics until
bed time.

1600 rubber duckies racing down the Dolores River

Red, Blue, and Yellow they just keep coming!

Sunday and the town is VERY quiet! Our gameplan for the day is to struggle through the morning
and then slide over to the Columbine in Mancos for some more pool with Jim and Lucille. The pool
goes well and then an older gentleman with only one arm plays a game. Well this I have got to
see!!! Amazingly he is very good ! How you can get the stability without a bridge or rest and then
control the force to hit the ball was outstanding. The highlight of the games was a shot by Lucille in
the last frame when she had 2 balls and the 8 left with just one of our balls on the table. With one
almighty strike she cleared her 2 balls and the 8 and sank the white to boot all in ONE SHOT!

Monday morning and after evicting one rude tennant from the RV park time to wend our way back
leaving the Harley, mountain bikes and pool cues for the next time. All goes well until about 3 miles
from Kayenta when a tire caption illuminates indicating the classic puncture! Oh, proverbial!…….
well not a cat in hells chance of undoing the superwheels and I know the unused spare may not
even be the same size ……. continue slowly on to the Indian town in hope that just maybe there
will be a tire shop somewhere.

Fortunately there is one at the traffic lights and regrettably the front passenger tire has a cut in it
and now having run flat its toast. Out with the spare mounted on a standard Cadi rim but of course
this is about 3 inches less in total diameter than the bright chrome 22 inch mother. Chief Running
Tread produces the world’s ugliest old used tire and when changed and balanced on it goes having
at least matched the pretty ones for size. $20 for the tire and another $20 to change and balance
and away we go again with the world’s ugliest wheel and tire. No more incidents and home by 1700.

The world’s Ugliest tire, courtesy Chief Running Tread

The other side

Now just over a week to get the last of the damages and warranty work completed before loading
up 5 bikes for the 3 weeks on the road, 6 trials, and 5 States. Looks like a lot of fun and stories
a’plenty I’m sure.

Tony & Brenda      now down to a 6 pack of dogs…. TWO PUPPIES STILL AVAILABLE

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