PASS ME THE “BLUE” PILL

 

PASS ME THE “BLUE” PILL

PASS ME THE “BLUE” PILL

And so at last it can be told! Entries are now out and the first little “blue” pill is in as the long term
excitement begins until the finish is in sight on 2 May 2009. 31 years since my last jaunt round
Scotland on my eighth ride and finish back in the 70’s. Unless you have ridden the full Six Days the
thought of 2 more days perhaps does not sound too appealing but let me assure you the flavour is
definitely one of “nostalgia”.

Reminding myself of the magnitude of this event I’m trying to conjure up mental pictures of the many
sections I rode over those 8000+  miles around Scotland. I’m also assured that now it’s only 25 miles a
day compared to the 200 we used to ride, but nonetheless 5 miles across some of the “nastier” moors
can seem like an eternity especially if it is raining or the snow has already melted and is now down as
run off.

Blackwater on a nice day !

As a”new boy” in the Pre 65, I shall be asking all the usual questions and I believe I shall be honored to
be riding in close company with none other than Big John, who is without doubt the “Sage of Scotland”
on all Trials matters, the Pre 65 in particular.

My warhorse will be a 250 James from the Spanish stable of  Javier Cruz, who now has three of these
machines, and of course I’m very much hoping that the Black Beauty he sent me pictures of is now
repaired and running strongly.  I consider myself extremely lucky and fortunate in this respect so a pre
advance “thank you” to Javier and of course John who persuaded me to “have a go” this year.

Javier on the James…….  Many, many thanks

Big John on a BSA …….. thank you !

The time will pass very quickly and I can almost taste those Mallaig Kippers again. Our plan will be to
get to the Onich Hotel by Wednesday night and enjoy a liesurely Thursday with a test ride to see how it
goes with any personal adjustments before the Thursday night weigh in. It will then be downhill drinking
from that point on until Sunday morning when I will elect to drive down the other side of UK before
climbing on the flight at Heathrow.

C’mon Kippers

The Onich Hotel

Si habla Espanol

Without doubt the best Christmas present, and now the mind tries to recall the sections in and around
Kinlochleven. “Pipeline” of course, was in during my 70’s rides and was for the first couple of years,
“The” section and was a mighty beast that struck fear into the heart of the first timer. Looking at U Tubes
and later year’s pictures it looks to have mellowed with time although it still takes a lot of marks. I seem
to remember it being a fairly open hillside with the 3 subs starting off at the bottom by the pipes but now
it looks to be overgrown with trees lining the rock strewn path. Well I did get out of the top a couple of
times back then so I look forward to renewing the challenge.


Pipeline 1970 with Peter Gaunt just creeping in the frame

A lot more trees today and there is a BIG step up near the top

About 1/2 way up, doesn’t look too bad in this shot

Others in the area were Callert, Callert Falls, Cnoc a Linnhe, Garb Bheinn, Sleubhaich, Mamore,
Caolasnacoan, Altnafeadh, Grey Mare’s Ridge, Loch Eilde Path, Lieter Bo Fionn, and that Friday horror
Caillich! Callich was approached across a rotten narrow bridge about 10′ above a fast flowing gorge
and then as you climbed up the goat track the sections started. All very similar with loose brown rocks
and shale amid a series of hairpin turns and heather on both sides. The toll of drinking and riding
nearly a 1000 miles at that point had put just about everything on “autopilot” and walking those
sections seemed an energy wasting effort as they were only rocks, after all, and by now you had
had your fill of most things with a rock in it.

Caolasnacoan 1972

The great thing about riding back in the 70’s was that once in a while you got a “confidence booster ”
when you achieved something that a Superstar had stumbled on, most noteable for me were a clean
on Altnafeadh when Bill Wilkinson had a “5”,  a dab on Caolasnacoan when Rastus had a “3”, and
watching Martin Lampkin reduced to a series on threes on the slime covered rocks of Callert Falls
when our group was running at the front of the pack.

Even though it’s a much shorter route the same number of tools and spares will need to be humped
round the course. A spare universal lever, chain link, spare throttle cable, plugs, tubes, screw on cable
nipples, some cable ties and a selection of nuts and bolts. Add to that the essential plug spanner, tire
or (UK tyre) levers, pump or Co2 bottle, the duty selection of spanners and grips, and a roll of tape.
Question now is the bum bag, or a Camelback Back pack ? Not sure whether they reverse the order for
the second day or whether we just run in order again.

The Start

It will give you more than wings! Up, up and Away….

TONY DOWN

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  • 1/11/2009 10:20 PM Steve Fracy wrote:
    Tony:

    Congrats on getting an entry in the Scottish Pre-65 event!!! I had the chance to ride the Scottish in 92, and spectated the Pre-65 that year at Pipeline. It was very special! I hope to return to Scotland in 5 yrs to ride with my son! Have fun, we will be rooting for you and watching your results! Good luck!
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  • 1/28/2009 6:59 PM Steveo wrote:
    Wow,what a trials holiday!Javier’s James looks so sweet!Is there another color,better than green with envy?Even the kippers look great,do everyone proud Tony!Looking forward to seeing you at Buckeye and get away from this darn white shtuff.
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CHRISTMAS IN THE WORKHOUSE

CHRISTMAS IN THE WORKHOUSE

CHRISTMAS IN THE WORKHOUSE

The Chef is ready

Christmas Day, and once again I’m the Head Chef for all things British & Lunchtime. Many moon ago,
post divorce, I decided to see what all the “mystique” over this Christmas Lunch thing was all about. As
a child I had lots of fond memories of the said day when of course eating really featured pretty low on
the list as did the enforced silence for the Queen’s Speech.

My Boss for 30 years tells the Nation “How it is”

As we grow older our tastes and habits change including those surrounding this special part of the
year. Family rituals as a kid would always be to go to “Uncle Tom’s” of Arter Bros fame and of course I
would spend most of the day playing happily with my cousins Tom and Cliff. In our teenage years bikes
entered the fray and the luchtime food became more significant with second helpings being the norm.
Then there was the “pudding ritual” with Grandad slipping extra coins in, so after the first busted tooth,
a bit of ploughing and harrowing was required unless you wanted to swallow a treasured silver 3p bit.
By the time we had, “Queen’s speeched”, washed up, and laid out Christmas tea I can’t remember
anyone wanting sandwiches and Christmas cake although Granny always insisted we had a slice of
bread and butter with the cake as it was too rich for our systems. Home with toys around 10’ish and
then repeat the whole process again on Boxing Day over at my Auntie Madge’s, but at least Auntie
Madge would let me smoke at the table after lunch from the age of 11 onwards!

Well I remember the stories of those Christmas chores and having to be up at some ungodly hour of
the night to get that 30 pounder into the oven to hit the 1 pm deadline. Then, post breakfast, the prep of
vegetables to feed the hordes and cauldrons of water on the kitchen range and of course all the
steamed up windows while all this was going on. As life progressed and after the arrivals and
salutations of Christmas morning, the next ritual of “helping” begins…… and then “what time are you
serving?”…… and the quick departure to the Pub for a couple of pints of Guiness before the mad sprint
back to hit the table time.

Then its offspring and all the delights that that brings with miles of scalextrix or railways to assemble
while everybody else walks on them or falls over the track. Then the hours of amusement building lego
models that are too advanced for the age group that wants them. Moving on, as Christmas evening
comes round and the duty games and films are completed time to think of the fun of Boxing Day when
one way or another it will either be a Trial or a Pheasant shoot.

So with all those memories time to try the “Lunch Thing”. First attempt in USA was an unmitigated
disaster as after preping bird and preheating oven I placed the monster in the oven and then closed
the door latch. Well…… nobody told ME that doing same puts the oven into AUTOCLEAN!  Some 2 hours
later when I return to the kitchen expecting lovely warm smells of roasting bird I discover it’s cold and
the oven is off! Time for more cocktails while the two hour delay passes by.

Finally when I’m familiar with my kitchen I try again and now, with 4 years of cooking Christmas lunch I
can honestly say it is a breeze.

1000, Start the preheat of the  oven, 350F, and now having washed and dried the bird time to make
and stuff the critter. 1 large onion, some celery sticks and a handful of nuts and now add the
“Mrs Cuthbertson’s” as Paxo isn’t usually available and pour in the Swansons stock. In to the elbows
and it absorbs all the liquid and forms the familiar soggy cement texture which is stuffed up the neck
and in other vacant holes. A serious dosing of salt into the skin and then lightly oil same with a good
“fork oil”, a further dusting of salt and the bird is ready. Now take that clever little roasting bag and flour
it and slip the bird in and if you are lucky the stuffing will stay where it was put! A few 3″ slashes to the
bag and into the oven for it’s 3 hour time for a 20 lb bird.

It’s in the Bag !

1030, Time for the first round of the DANGEROUS Christmas cocktails, take 2 sugar lumps, splashed
with bitters, a cherry, and cover same like a wreck with brandy. Allow the sugar to partially disolve in the
brandy and then fill with a medium cheap champagne.

1100, Now prep the veggies, spuds, parsnips, sprouts and leeks. Time for the bullet hard swede or
rutabega and after peeling time to cut up into 1″ squares and get these on the boil. They take forever to
boil and soften and they are going to be mashed so early rather than late is the key here.

Veg ready

1130, All cleaned up and with the swede boiling away time for another cocktail! Now that’s TWO………

Secrets to success means that the bird will take 3 hours, it needs to “rest” under foil for about 20-30
mins, so plenty of time here for cooking the sprouts and leeks as they don’t like over cooking and are
much nicer crisp than soft. The potatoes and parsnips are going to be “roasted” so they can be
par-boiled for around 10 mins at some stage then finished off to the lovely golden brown in the deep
fat fryer, and if you fluff them in flour just before the deep fryer they are wonderful!

1200, Time for another cocktail ……….

1230, better beat the crap out of the swede with lots of butter and salt & pepper and just a dash of
nutmeg.

Swede ready for beating

1300, hows the bird?…… not bad just time for another cocktail…… and where am I ? …. and what am
I doing ?? Oh yes, cooking, … time to get the bird out and let it rest……… veggies on, spuds and
parsnips to the preheated deep fryer…… get gravy boat….. where’s my cocktail?

Santa helps with the bird

How’s that ?

1330……. all done, start carving, plate up, and use all that leek/sprout water for the gravy.

Let’s eat

1430…….    SLEEP !

1630….. take out dogs, relight fire,…… crack a couple of beers…… so endeth Christmas lunch

1700….. what’s for Tea ?

TONY DOWN

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  • 1/8/2009 5:00 PM Outlaw Dave wrote:
    Ah ! what a great story – and great piccies too – Brought back a lot of English memories
    Reply to this
  • 1/8/2009 7:11 PM John Cranmer wrote:
    Hello Tony, I am just writing to say how much I enjoy reading your ramblings .We moved to St George, Utah 10 years ago from Derbyshire .All my spare time was spent with motorbikes ,I rode a bike to work and down to the Manchester 17 club for club night .Club night was great,Dave Rowland was our secretary what a great guy ,he was a real enthusiast even after m.s gave him a five he would show up at our trials and help in any way he could .we also had Jack Mathews,boy what a star,but so noisy.I spent many happy hours standing in the rain in some great places trying to keep my observers card dry and being questioned about every point,they would turn around when they got through the ends card and say ,how many was that, and I would pretend not to here them and look the other way ,next minute they are looking over your shoulder ,what fun it all was.I even saw you flash past way back in 75 at the ISDT ,but I couldnt concentrate on the Riff RAF on those Monarks,(just joking Tony) I was waiting for the bobbies on the mighty cheney Triumphs. To see Dennis Glover on that bike is something that will stay with me forever,I think two of the policemen finished and on the final speed test they all did several laps of part of the TT course ,my brother and I were in the grandstand at the start and finish on Glencrutchery road,and what a sight when the pack came round after the first lap they were flying and the sound,Jawas ,Mz ,Ktm ,Penton,all on knobblies and right in the middle of them was Dennis glover in a sporty boiler suit completely prone on the Cheney his great big coppers feet sticking out behind him .That must have been his plan to stay ahead,they couldnt get past his feet,what magic moments.Well Tony,cheers for now and if your ever coming through St George stop in for a pint. John.
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“TIS THE SEASON”

“TIS THE SEASON”

 “TIS THE SEASON”

“Tis the Season”. well not quite, but its not that far away so almost time to start planning and working
out how to do it, and on what, and in what? The Santa outfit and sleigh have been put away and the
spikey snow tires for landing on roof tops have been replaced with Michelins on the Triumph.

As soon as the snow melts, and I believe we get respites between the “dumps”, then the old Safari
which has been permanently parked will have to come out of hibernation and be fettled as the 2009
transporter. A bit of a come down after the decadent opulence of the 2006 Beaver Marquis but still a
very nice coach nonetheless.

The 2009 Transporter ?

Having sat for nearly 3 years all the tires will need replacing so there goes the first big expense.
I expect all the batteries will have to be replaced and then when all thats done a full engine and lube
service to get her ready for the road. As she still has an Oregon title that will have to change over to a
Colorado one. No slideouts and fancy clever awning retractors but it is very liveable inside and can be
made to work for 2009.

It only had about 29,000 miles on it when I parked it so hopefully the engine service won’t be too bad.
As I remember it didn’t much care for the big hills and always put the “overheat” light on when tackling
some of these mountains as there wasn’t enough airflow over the engine.

Assuming that all goes well then we should be on the road again ready for AZ Cycle Park at the
begining of Feb. Of course it might just be easier to find a Cruise America vehicle for the trip and leave
it in hibernation until the spring and do it then.

2009, The Year of the TIGER

So this will be the year of the Tiger Cub having been denied the spoils of victory last year I will not be
playing Mister Nice Guy and will be after an unquestioned result in the class. If finances permit then it
will be a switch to the Enfield for the second half of the season and see how many points can be
racked up on the monster. Of course if I didn’t change my AHRMA card….. I could go head to head
with some of those nice friendly people who didn’t get a Christmas card this year ……. but No, what is
done is done and I’m very pleased to see that their complaining achieved nothing and although I
didn’t get the Title neither did they!

One day Glasshopper they will learn the Fruits of Karma

Next thing to do is find some “gainfull” employment on a part time basis to pay for all this expense
especially as trying to sell the Rothmans Racing Honda isn’t going too well with snowy roads. I’d
better sell that gorgeous KTM and then the baby Glitz TY 175. Could even be forced to let the 77 Yam
go which is such a cracking bike along with her sister my 74 Scottish replica TY 250A.

The 74 Replica might pay for the 2009 ride ?

So here we are in 2009 and some very good personal news re the European trip, time now to put
lethagy aside, get the proverbial in gear, stop dreaming and get on and do something positive!

Monday will be the “How much?” day to ressurect the old RV and also time to start looking at how to
fund the operation. I think the melt levels on the snow are now down to where I can clear a path to the
workshop and finish off all the pre Christmas tasks and get more junk (nice junk) on E-Bay.
Let, BATTLE COMMENCE ! Beware the LEMON & CORKSCREW !

….and just to add to the fun its started snowing again.

TONY DOWN

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COZY COMFORT CRAZY CHRISTMAS

 

COZY COMFORT CRAZY CHRISTMAS

COZY COMFORT CRAZY CHRISTMAS

“Deep and crisp and even,….”

Up to our armpits in snow with 12 inches on the ground my learned colleague has decided to have
our first Christmas Party on Sun 21 st or Soltice Day …… no there will be no dressing up like Druids or
sacrifical virgins (damm it!) but the party will no doubt get out of hand as drinking and driving up here
do not seem to bother the locals as they walk, ride bikes or snowmobiles or in some cases horses.

Nice Henge!

How did “He” get in this ?  ….. I claim the reward

Having dug the place out this morning so that the small dogs could go for a walk the snowplow has
now arrived to clear the driveways so that the guests can come and go and we can get out for
provisions. Strangely GMAC have not yet come to collect “their” car, good luck to them when they do!….
and have fun guessing how fast you are going as the speedo (known fault) just goes up and does
not return so is currently showing about 140 when stationary.

Making a path for a 6″ dog in 12 ” of fresh snow

The Plow arrives

All the Christmas cookies are baked and some very mean Christmas Cocktails have been designed
although we have discovered that Brenda is allergic to one of the main ingredients Ouzo! Her voice
went very deep, lips became swollen and she came out in a bright red rash all over her back. Nice
stuff ? No trips to Greece for her!

The fires are lit

Final preparations are complete with plates of nibblies everywhere including the devilled eggs and
other delights. The annoying musical Santa is switched on and fires are lit in both grates. Shortly after
noon the first guests arrive and before long those “Corpse Reviver” cocktails are in full swing and
having the expected results. I can’t say that Ouzo and I have a love affair, anything aniseed and I don’t
seem to get on, but it does bring back memories of many Greek weddings that I used to go to on my
first tour in Cyprus back in 1966. Traditionally after drinking a ton of Cyprus “parafin” brandy it would
then move onto Ouzo which for those not having sampled this fine delight goes “milky” when water is
added. The next day aftermath would always be to awake with a raging thirst and naturally several
large glasses of water were required to deal with the problem! …… again for those not in the know all
this does is to seemingly mix with the substance in the system and within no time you are right back
at the party you left some 10 hours ago! The gift that just keeps on Giving!

The “Corpse Revivers” take effect

Banter moves along with Christmas Day plans and subjects various and then in a blink of an eye the
poker chips are on the table and the games begin.  Talk moves through all subjects including
Saturday’s Pool Tournament where I picked up third place and now find myself with an automatic
entry in the End of Season Competition sometime next year. Skiing and Ice fishing are covered along
with this years hunting, gardening and all other small town pursuits. Seems Cozy Comfort won the
Chamber of Commerce Christmas Decorations prize and we therefore get a break on the next
electricity bill.

Dealer’s Choice

Brenda nearly out of chips

Downstairs Santa set up his venison stall and then brought some “Elves” in for a little pole dancing.
After the guests had departed another red sliegh arrives in the form of the tow truck and GMAC claim
their prize and the Cadillac EXT departs for destinations unknown.

Time to clean up…….. HUMBUG!

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Tony Down

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WHAT’S IN YOUR STOCKING ?

 

WHAT’S IN YOUR STOCKING ?

WHAT’S IN YOUR STOCKING ?

Well with the World in recession and this year Santa has had to cut back and myself I’m like the
Alabama Toothfairy and on very limited funds. However if funds were not an issue I could have a good
list but this year I regret it’s more wishful thinking than reality.

Only 1 left

Of course I have to have my traditional Christmas and as I do the cooking there will be all my favorites
of leeks, parsnips, mashed swede, brussel sprouts and Christmas pudding. I’m down to my last one
in the store cupboard and better get some more shipped in… might even have a go at a Christmas fruit
cake….. damm I used to love those with all the icing and they would last all the way through January at
Trials or local farmer’s pheasant shoots.

So what’s on the Wish List ?

1. An entry in the Pre 65 Scottish, I don’t need the “New” bike but a ride on the James would suffice
2. AHRMA gets their act together and put ALL the Trials rules together in ONE section this year.
3. The AHRMA Trustees get a video professor disc on computers for Christmas
4. Alice gets elected as a Trustee next year after all her good work.
5. I bump into O. Bin Laden and claim the reward.
6. Ed and Evelyn get their Alaska vacation

1.   Entries closed on 12 Dec so now we wait until mid Jan when the results of the ballot are
known and then the real planning or otherwise can begin. Due to limited funds this year I’m
currently thinking that it will have to be a one weeker in the UK and Europe will have to wait
until next year.

Santa’s NEW bike for the Pre 65 ?

2.   The mysteries of the AHRMA rule book are resolved and everything goes into one section for
trials so that we can see what we are up against and what little quaint rules are missing from the
main text.


3.   If I was feeling generous then maybe I would send all the Trustees their copy of Video
Professor’s “How to operate the Computer and reply to E-mails”


4.   Considering all the excellent work that Alice did for Vintage Views and especially Trials,
where we actually got some articles reproduced in a timely manner, I hope she DOES get
elected as a Trustee which may then show “The Old Guard”  just what the membership feels
about her dismissal and their actions in general re: this and other matters. However she can
count on a couple of votes from this neck of the woods and I’m sure she will get plenty from her
road racing colleagues to boot.


5.   Perhaps I’ll bump into him on the slopes at Telluride, trouble is up here in the mountains
there are an awful lot of bearded gentlemen who could easily double for him but I haven’t seen
too many dragging a dialysis machine around with them. How much is the reward anyway ?

6.   Will they, won’t they ?  Ed & Evelyn do so much for the Trials fraternity both at National and
Regional level and almost take it personally if things don’t go well even if they were not at the
event. Knowing them very well I can almost be the fly on the wall as they thrash over the
“Can we, Can’t we ?”  decision. They desperately want that extended Alaska Vacation but I’m
sure they won’t take it while they are holding down the Trials Co-ordinator position….. so maybe
the position will have to take a “Locum” for 2010 so that they can fulfill their ambition.

Personal stuff ?

1. Some Tecnica Mega 12 Ski booties
2. All the latest Xc-Ting trials wear, pants, gloves, jacket and helmet
3. A snowplow.


1.  The Tenica Mega 12 boot, the most comfortable boot I have ever tried.


2.   Some really nice stuff from Xc-Ting and I have used a lot of their products in the past and have
to say they are first rate. The jacket might be a “must” if the Pre 65 is a goer.

3. One of these would be fun and would pay for itself in a season

To all the many readers and those that regularly comment, MERRY CHRISTMAS,

and have a safe and prosperous   NEW YEAR

TONY DOWN

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SNOW, SNOW, QUICK, QUICK, SNOW!

 

SNOW, SNOW, QUICK, QUICK, SNOW!

SNOW, SNOW, QUICK, QUICK, SNOW

Santa gets a few “Nose Wheelies” in before it starts

Last week’s timely dump of 4″ has nearly melted but the forecast for the next 4 days is Snow, Snow,
Snow and then more Snow! great for the local resort of Telluride but could be difficult down here
although having adopted the “mountainman”  lifestyle I think we can survive without venturing out.

Forget the reindeer this is fun!

Sure enough having lit the fire in the Lodge room the fire is burning “Blue” and now it has started
snowing with the forecast for 5″ overnight…….. Tonight the townsfolk are on the winter Poker Run going
round all the local businesses collecting their cards and partaking of goodies at the checkpoints of
which we are one.  Awoke to the said 5+ inches this morning with plows skidding along the main road,
it’s still windy and snowing and the forecast is for about another 3 inches this morning with more snow
for the next 5 days

A quick walk with the pack resulted in an untimely “5” when Doof gave a big tug and the legs did a
“Yogi Bear” spin and I ended up flat on my back in the snow…. now I know why the splows were
skidding so I’d better shovel it all off around the building before the daily log splitting begins.

I seem to remember as a kid we ran trials in the snow and of course in those days you still had all
the roadwork to contend with. If you could get to the start then the Trial was on! Nobody said it was
going to be easy but you had better push on and get to the front before it either polished up like glass
or turned into a quagmire!…… and we always had our club “Boxing Day Trial” regardless of conditions
and I can never remember that one ever being cancelled.

Boxing Day in the UK

I see Santa is in yet more bother with a law suit along the Don Imus lines and then this morning on
the slippery roads there was a major disaster when the lights changed color and Rudolf had to brake
quickly.

Oh Deer!

Snow shovelled, logs split and the brief respite with blue skies is now long gone we are in more heavy
snow and with no wind it is piling up so light the fire and time to think of other things.

What would I like for Christmas ????

Yet more snow! 8″ or so overnight so we are thankful we are all snug and cozy, pity we can’t get
up the hill to enjoy it but unless there is a major thaw we will be having a WHITE CHRISTMAS.

TONY DOWN

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  • 12/21/2008 10:36 AM Outlaw Dave wrote:
    Happy Holidays Tony to you and your family We have been in a deep freeze up here for the past few weeks only -20 today!! but snow storms all across Canada even on Vancouver Island
    I too recall the Boxing Day Trials in the UK – always enjoyable with a “Pint” in the pub after the event.
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IT COMES BUT ONCE A YEAR

IT COMES BUT ONCE A YEAR

IT COMES BUT ONCE A YEAR

One turkey down, the mysteries of the traditional “green bean casserole” revealed, we now move into
the next phase. Can’t help but think how lucky those early pilgrims were having Campbells around to
make that mushroom soup……. but I digress.

Friday being a rest day the Saturday morning looms with boxes everywhere with all the Christmas
decorations to go through, lights to check, and where it will all go this year? Having made the move
from Phoenix daughter Sally took the 9 foot tree, associated lights and baubles as up here we are
somewhat limited on space. We have two other trees with all their bits and bobs so now time to see
what’s worth keeping, what we have here, and what can be junked or sold at a spring yard sale.

Lights are gone through and tested and as always despite all working last year when they were
carefully put away there is the standard 50% failure rate, but never mind they seem to get cheaper
every year. 8 sets find their way to the dumpster and the rest are ready for stapling in position. No this
is not going to be a Chevy Chase extravaganser but we do have a “little competition” in the town.

Friday was Brenda’s birthday so she decided she wanted a couple of those outside ornaments so a
trip to the local Walmart was priority one for an angel and some sort of deer with a motorized head.
Thereafter a trip to the Hollywood for birthday libations.

The Birthday girl in fine form at Pool

Saturday morning and both trees are up and suitably decorated and some other things are placed in
the Lodge Room downstairs which will be my main project after Brenda has finished with the tree.
The 2 new outside monsters need bases to stand on up on the balcony or it will all end in tears with
smashed bits as they get blown around in the high winds. A few visits to the hardware store and the
new decorations are firmly attached to their bases and screwed onto the balcony as per Madam’s
instructions.

Upstairs

Downstairs in the Lodge Room

We have a seemingly endless number of Wreaths collected over the years and two are placed
inside the building with two more outside and this years new boy gets the new lights and giant
colored red and gold (shatterproof….Ho,ho, ho) balls along with the huge red bow.

A Wreath

Another Wreath

One more for good measure

A Coloroado Santa in thick coat

Downstairs a few idiot touches to the “dead animals” with Christmas hats and other trimmings
including snowmen and mini stockings. Mustn’t forget the mantlepieces so yet more of the old curtain
hooks and up go the stockings and now we are getting the vibes of the overall effect.

Harley gets dressed up

Bambi joins in too

Sunday and now time for all that outside lighting and with stapler and staples at the ready let battle
commence. By 4 in the afternoon all lights are up and the balcony poles have their twirly lights
ascending the poles. Fires in fireplaces and time for the big “Reveal”….. roll on the drums please
Russ!

How many more ?

I’m running out of time

LIGHTS ON!

It works, my work here is done and now Brenda prays for snow and a lovely crisp night to take some
photos…… she gets her wish. A quick trip to the Indian reservation and with a little dance around the
tree ……. the fire starts to burn blue (granny’s old wives tale) and the snow begins to fall.

Silent Night

“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas……..”

Tony & Brenda with a few Elves and Santa

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WET CONCRETE FOR 2009

 

WET CONCRETE FOR 2009

WET CONCRETE FOR 2009

Now that’s a FIVE !

Now let’s try this again! yesterday as I was finishing off this article and adding the last pictures to the
text…. booooof! I lost everything so you can imagine how pleased I was having religiously saved it as
I went along. As the article says it is basically the provisional program for 2009 which is in the
“WET CONCRETE” stage.

Only 9 weeks to go assuming AHRMA hasn’t self destructed in the next 2 months and we will be at it
again starting off with the Awards Banquet and then the opening 2 Day at Buckeye. Well done to Ed &
Evelyn getting the off road festivities co-located with an event that many can now attend, so book early
and and come along and pick up your trophies and $20,000 jacket,… of perhaps ONE OF MINE!

$20,000 at 2006 prices

So let’s have a look at what Santa has in store in the AHRMA stocking.

Xmas stockings although AHRMA prefers the Sack

Ed plans the Season

Buckeye or AZ Cycle Park has plenty of land and we should be able to find 12 different sections a day
without repeating ourselves, although you can expect to see a “Graded Climb” again and maybe some
variations on a theme from last year.

The Graded Climb

I see several events have got the chop from last year either from lack of entries or interest and one or
two are really no surprize. Diamond Don’s has fallen off along with Perris and Marion, but if you don’t
turn up or if Trials doesn’t really feature in your overall weekend then its really no wonder that people
won’t come back. Personally I will miss the train ride round the Bayou and the Po Boys but if you can’t
keep the cross country course out of the trials loop then there is something wrong. Perris I can
understand, which was a good enough trial but very limited in real estate and has little scope for future
events. I have not ridden Marion but I have heard all the discontent from previous years with late starts
and more chaos with cross country.

No more bayou train rides

On top of the MX course at Perris

Another event missing, and I hope it creeps back in, is the 2 Day at Tooele which I thought was a
cracking event with a lot of potential being well organized by Jim Lipscomb and the Utah team.

Toogood Tooele

Well that’s whats missing so let’s move along and see what we have.

Feb 6/7/8 Az Cycle Park for the Banquet and 2 Day Trial to make it worth coming to. 3 weeks later and
the circus moves back to Florida at Gainsville to open up the East side of the operation.

With the loss of Diamond Don’s and Perris we have a bit of a blank through the rest of March and April.
Time for some regionals and club events?

After the snow melts we find ourselves in Colorado for May with the Milliken event, which this year
I will miss, if the “Trials Viagra” of the Pre 65 Scottish and the Robregordo in Spain comes to fruition
and then a NEW VENUE at Turkey Rock, Howard, which my map tells me is just down the road from
Cotopaxi so the terrain must be very similar.

Missing Milliken

Nothing on the National front until my favorite at Donner in mid July. What can you say about Donner?
It must rate as the “Near Perfect Trial”. The end of the month is Mid Ohio for those on the other side of
the country.

Dreaming of Donner

The Chehalis event stays as a 1 Day at the beginning of August and although I won’t be there this
event just gets bigger every year and we really do need to offer more in that region for the North
Western riders as they always have the biggest turnout of the year.

Yes, you can stick it ! ….. Chehalis

At the end of the month the pace picks up with oxygen masks on as we climb back up the
mountains to Cotopaxi Co for the 2 Day at Tucker Ranch. Wow, what a place with unlimited terrain,
fantastic scenery and a welcoming attitude. Just time to clean the bike and then we are into
September.

The Ascent to Cotopaxi

Are the “Ends Cards” up there ?

Cotopaxi on the lower slopes

Yippee! the Wy team are keeping the 3 Day Spectacular and I have to say I just love the place with
it’s  variety of dry turns on one hillside or the lego complex and the rocks, mud and rivers. The social
scene gets better every year and last years “free” bring a dish was better than a $40/a head
meal out!

Lego Land at Casper

Only 5 days later and if you like sand then its Sandia for you and this is an event that improves every
year as more and more land opens up. Later in the month the Southern riders have the chance to
sample the ITSA style sections at Bob Ginder’s ranch. If you haven’t tried this then you should as the
event is well run and gives you a chance to meet up with a bunch of like minded individuals enjoying
the fun of trials riding.

October and a double header with Hollister in the West and Barber for the Southern and Eastern
fraternity.

The season wraps up at Aonia in November and I can only hope this gets more support and
perhaps with the reduced fuel costs this year we will see more entries at many of our events.

Now living in Colorado I might get to see some of the Rocky Mountain regionals that have been just
too far away and although Bull Hollow and Moab (both on my trials doorstep) are not in this year there
is one about 100 miles away at Grand Junction and then a couple in June with Jenny Ranch at
Steamboat Springs and Lyons Quarry just to the north of Denver. Of course if my Number one desire
of the year of  the Pre 65 Scottish and Robregordo falls through I might just slip over the border and go
and see Dave Rhodes and team for the Outlaw 2 Day trial up in Canada.

Santa in a spot of bother on the 2 Way section of the loop

Let’s hope we have a trouble free and safe season….. hope to see you all again on the circuit with my
new, “REGRADED”  AHRMA card.

TONY DOWN

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