The Introduction for a group of VERY LUCKY students! with none other
than Mick Andrews as Chief Instructor

Many riders currently taking up the sport of Vintage Trials do not seem to appreciate the differences
between the older machines and their current counterparts and the differences in techniques and
skills required to ride both.

To ride any motorcycle there are some basic skills required and of course to ride either vintage or
modern there are some fundamental ingredients which are common to all. When Trials Schools are
run many Novices and Beginners arrive expecting to be able to ride away after 2 hours and compete
with their new found knowledge and skills. Well life, and Trials in particular is not like that! All that can
be achieved in a 2 hour limited school will be little more than a few pointers and little or no progress is
likely to be made due to the time frame. Learning the art of trials riding takes time and for most riders
there is an apprenticeship, or the school of hard knocks. Good balance and stance are fundamentals
as are smooth handling of controls. While there is a desire to clean everything there should also be
the reverse attitude of not to 5 anything! Let’s work backwards in our training and progress from the 5
to the 3 and onwards until, as my mentors used to say, “stay on one section until you clean it 3 times in
a row, then move on or tighten it up”

Mick takes the students through fore and aft weighting

To run a REALLY worth while Trials School I personally would want my students for a minimum of 3
days, or in these hard financial times 2. How would a course for beginners be designed? Apart from the
riding there are many aspects that need to be discussed and demonstrations given, here are some;

Phase 1. Machine knowledge and Trials Bike Preparation, choice of riding equipment.

Phase 2. Pre trial work, conditions, altitude, terrain.

Phase 3. Post trial work, washing, cleaning, servicing, + the to do list.

Phase 4. At the trial, paperwork, timing, fees, membership etc

So if I plan a School I would want my students for the night before where, over a few beers we can
cover Phase 1 with a nice clean bike as the demo model.

The First Day

Basic warm up, machine examination for individual suitability, stance, posture, 1st & 2nd gear
exercises and figure 8’s.

Break and Phase 2 over coffee.

Uphill/Downhill, posture, braking, throttle techniques and control.

Slalom turns, then one handed Slalom on the flat.

Mick demos the “one handed slalom”

A Basic Section, walking the line, hazards, recovery zones, choice of gear, what ifs.

Walking n’ Talking the line through a basic section

More walk n’ talk

Now YOU try, and remember EXAGERATE Everything!

A solid clean on something that this rider had mentally deemed as

Continuous Section practice

Graduated Sections, more practice

Beers, Phase 3, tire change demo, carb cleaning demo, brake cleaning demo

The Second Day

Figure 8’s  the Tight Turn, The Lofted Turn & Planned Dab, when to use the clutch?

Looking through the turn

Knees, counterweight (body English), bar and peg pressures

Adverses, logs and steps, drop offs, rocks, sand and mud, where to lOOk !

The “Do’s & Don’ts”…….. debrief, “what have we learnt?”

Where do I want my front wheel?

Mini Trial

Beers, results, Phase 4

Debrief the students

It also seems that if you offer a FREE school very few turn up but if you charge $30 for a 2 hour
session you get about 12 riders! So I’m thinking as we move into spring/summer I might just run a
couple of courses up here in Colorado and then finish off with a 2 Day ITSA style event.

Plenty of room for Big rigs at our RV Park and several little Motels in town with plenty of parking and
all within a short walk of the bar so all I need is some convenient “Trials Real Estate” nearby and we
could be all set.

Still upbeat re the Pre 65 Scottish, although funding is still a key issue, so if you can help please do
not delay and any contributions can be offset against one of these future Trials Schools. Time as
they say is of the essence and the cutoff is 3/31/09………. God, I would hate to lose that entry, I seem
to have lost more than enough in the last year.


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  • 5/10/2009 3:07 PM Jose Bustamante wrote:
    I am definiyely interested in a 2, or 3 day school Training in Colo. Agree that if you have a fee, they’ll sign up. Noticed my friend J8im Solomon in the pix. We need more women! J.B.
    Reply to this
  • 9/4/2009 3:48 PM James Roberts wrote:
    Tony: I was a spectator at the Arizona Cycle Park AHRMA meet last winter. I hope to compete next winter with my Tiger Cub. I’m interested in your Vintage Trials school. I will be a snowbird in Green Valley, AZ, from Nov. thru April. I’m looking for some places in the area near Green Valley (Tucson) to practice. Would very much appreciate any sites you would suggest. Also, would like to talk to you on the telephone. Regards, Jim Roberts p.s.: I do the website for my local camera club.
    Reply to this
  • 3/20/2010 5:42 PM Mark Kurth wrote:
    I’m just looking for an excuse to spend 3 days at a riding event. A vintage trials school is an excellent idea! Please consider offering one.
    Reply to this
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During the Dolores Blizzard of 2009 a seriously wounded “Wooly Ossa” was seen lurking near my
workshop. Some say it wandered off, some say my shovelling demon tenant covered it, or perhaps it
fell into a crevasse where it has remained frozen in time?

So now it must be found, recovered in it’s snowy state, thawed and it’s contents put on e-bay where it
may be enjoyed by all. Archaeologists have been found who specialize in these recoveries and very
soon the “Dig” will commence. Sniffer dogs are also on hand should an unwise felon have attempted
to make off with it and unfortunately met his or her demise.

Last seen in this area

With favourable conditions in the Mountains and no forecast of snow Ski Patrol and Doof the dog have
been called upon to scour the area for any traces and CSI are also on hand to investigate any wrong
doings at the crime scene should we discover anything we weren’t expecting……… more news as it

Could this be it ?

Initial survey of the area located a “Stars & Stripes” possibly a last feeble gesture before it succumbed
to suffocation. Gentle prodding of the snow proved too difficult as there were layers of ice between
snowfalls and tenants demonic shovelling in the area. Nothing for it, better call on the services of Doof
from Ski Patrol. Doof investigated the area and in a short while discovered evidence of motorcycle or
ski clothing but little in the way of human remains. More frantic digging with a little help from a snow
shovel to help save the cold paws and the tip of an antler/tusk/clutch lever came into sight. Further
light digging revealed the decaying side of the monstrous beast. No sign as to what might have
caused its passing but the dig will continue in slow time tomorrow.

DOOF looks for leads (clues…sorry!)

“Over here lads……I think I’ve got something”

Relentless digging from Doof reveals some goggles

Regrettably no sign of life

“I need a brandy…. wheres that bloody St Bernard when you need him?”

Could this be it ?

Yes, it’s an Ossa….. but what Mark ?

As night fell the team retreated from the glacier and returned to base camp where plans were made to
continue the excavation and recovery op tomorrow. Being frozen we can only hope that damage is at a

Inclement weather caused another digging delay and once more the intrepid team ventured out on the
glacier. Soft spots intermingled with solid stretches of ice have made recovery difficult and caused
much annoyance but progress has been made and yet more debris has been excavated showing
what little remains. The heart of the beast has gone but the skeleton remains along with the heart and
lungs. Front and rear legs are still there and may be salvageable.

Well its a 1972 Mark 2 Ossa and it will now be dismantled and sold on e-bay in another attempt to
FUND the Pre 65 talking of which  you can now send pledges/donations to Paypal

Thank you for your support, I will wear it constantly!


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 (or upmarket begging!)

Pre 65 Entry to support….. “will ride for cleans”

Here I am at a crossroads and looking to raise funds for the Nostalgia of the Pre 65 Scottish Trial.
Many years ago when I was Captain of the RAFMSA Trials Team I was able to fund our efforts from
personal contacts and of course the Trade. The RAF enjoyed support from Duckhams Oils, Shell,
Dunlop, Renold, Girling, Champion, Griffon Helmets, Sidi Boots, TT Leathers and in the latter years of
the 70’s, Ossa Motorcycles.

In truth I never expected to ride in the Scottish again after 8 successful rides in the 70’s but as any Trials
rider knows “it’s in the blood” and enthusiasm never dies. This year I was persuaded to “have another
go”  and so far I’ve been lucky to get an entry (which I believe was at the discretion of the Organizing
Cub) and also the use of a fantastic 250 James from the stable of Javier Cruz.

Of course an event like the Pre 65 does not carry the same clout as the full SSDT and indeed many
machines, and their manufacturers are sadly no longer in business, so a direct approach in that
direction will be as much use as walking around a graveyard. I therefore need to explore all sources
within the next month to fund this “one off” or I will be forced to give up my entry.

2008 saw, on the personal side, a close down of my Grading Company and the walk away from my
former home and possessions in Arizona thanks to the Construction Industry dying a death in New
housing. Selling remaining assets to live has become the norm in these hard financial times and
while I should no doubt accept fate and say “No I can’t achieve my ambitions and will have to let it go”
that is not the way ….. a bit like settling for a 5 when with a bit more effort you could have pushed on for
the 3. So now in much earnest I’m looking to source around $5000 to fund this venture. Several
machines are on E-bay to try and pay for it in the shape of my SSDT Replica Yamaha TY250A which
will be a sad loss but it just has to go. Also on the trials front the recently revamped TY 250C with alloy
tank guards and polished cases. Finally the heart wrenching “For Sale” of my Rothman’s Racing CBR
929RR which is a joy to ride. Still sitting in the stable there is the ALL chrome TY175 and the 520EXC
KTM. None of these, even at “giveaway” prices seem to be selling which I suppose is all part of the
ongoing problem with our failing economy.

The 1974 Scottish Replica

The Revamped Alloy 77

Rothman’s Racing 929RR

If only we had be given these for the ISDT

The Baker’s 520 EXC….. what a machine!

If I had 5000 friends and they all donated $1 the game would be done, or 500 friends with $10 they
don’t want or perhaps 100 friends with a spare $50 ? The brain can conjure all possibilities at this
stage but none seems viable. I know I have given generously to support others in the past with $200+
donations to fund kids going to the TN Trials school so now I will be asking for something back as it’s
my “turn”. Begging ? yes I suppose it is, but as we always said when looking for support “If you don’t
ask you don’t get!” ….. and “They can only say NO”

It didn’t seem embarrassing back then to ask for things, but there again then I was doing it for the good
of the team and others less fortunate, but now the situation is reversed. Perhaps another avenue will
be to go for “Pledges” whereby an individual can pledge whatever they wish but starting at $1 per
section cleaned. Ok, there are 60 sections total and realistically I would be pretty pleased if I clean 20
of them which by today’s standards would be a fantastic achievement. Should this prove an interesting
challenge, and/or more money was raised than required then the excess could be given to some
sporting charity such as a Rider’s Benevolent Fund or maybe set up another for anyone wishing to
compete in some other major event.

Ok, that sounds better and less than a direct gift for the needy (ie me!) Let the FUNDING begin!

So now the begging starts in earnest as I really can’t turn down a ride on this gorgeous bike, I think
I will have to row across the bloody Atlantic if push comes to shove….. it just has to happen if there is
any Karma in this World.

I drool every time I look at this

How can I turn down a ride on this machine ?

If you are reading this and see any of the above bikes, and now OSSAMAHA, give me a call or e-mail me
with an offer: 970 882 2483 or

Should have a link to the “Pledge Form” for anyone who wants to support the cause, thats with a BIG


Seems I can’t get the link to work, so I have reproduced it in a simplified format which you can print off
or e-mail me with any “pledges”


Phone No:                                                               E Mail:

Pledge:  $1  $2  $3   $ (       )=other    CIRCLE ONE     X  Cleans up to 20

Please Return by   3/31/09           To: Tony Down
1501 Central Ave
CO 81323


P.S.   At a reader’s suggestion  funds, gifts, grants or pledges can be sent to Pay Pal

Thank you all once again.

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It starts to rain

Monday morning and the forecast from Buckeye to Dolores is a mix of good and bad with the possibility
of snow showers in Flagstaff and Kayenta becoming snowy in Dolores later. Ed and Evelyn have
decided to stay south a little longer and are off to investigate the Mystery of Quartzite.

With the Starship critically low on liquids time to reload LP and water and remove others at the Flying J.
Around 11’ish we depart Phoenix and start the Northbound portion up I17 to Flag. Initially not too bad
with a little sprinkling from an overcast sky with dark scuddy low clouds floating by in the gloom, in many
ways it reminded me of Glencoe.

Dark and dreary, reminds me of Glencoe

Approaching Flag the weather goes down and very soon we are in snow which is accumulating and
closing off one lane. Now unless you have never been to Arizona you will have no idea just how stupid
Arizona drivers can be! The onset of snow or pouring rain does not deter them and tailgating continues
as if we were in 90 temps with dry roads on a NASCAR circuit (left handed of course!). People are
passing me in the partially closed lane at over 70 mph and clearly this will soon end in tears. Around
the Munds Park area there are several sets of flashing lights from Highway Patrol as the loons have
now crashed into the median and we pass 2 sideways in the ditch and another upside down on it’s

Up the big hill into Flag and the snow starts

By now the snow is pretty heavy with about 6″ on the fir trees in this winter wonderland and I now have
a build up which has formed rime ice under the wiper blades. We are also reminded of our earlier
exploits with Starship Safari as the heater doesn’t and the windscreen rapidly mists over. No matter
“Scottie” is on hand and attends to the problem as we wend our way onto I40.

It gets worse !

The plan is to refuel the other side of Flag at what was the cheapest diesel we saw on the way down.
Refuelling is completed in blowing snow and its bitterly cold outside yet there are some dumb ****s
refueling in shorts and teeshirts!! On we go again and as we climb over the last ridge and descend
into the Reservation the roads are clear and dry with not even a hint of snow. Speeds rise along with
the temps and soon snow and ice are flying off the Starship like Columbia heat tiles.

Out of Flag, all clear…… but Black as Hell up ahead

Up ahead its getting darker again and not looking good. Now the wind picks up and is over 40 and right
on the beam and very soon the blizzard begins. Well I know I’m turning right for Tuba City in 3 miles and
then it will hopefully be coming from behind us. We make the turn but now its blowing and snowing
every which way. Speeds are down to 30 as we pick our way along and by my calculations we will be
home around 7 pm at this rate which should be just about dark.

Engineering report that the generator won’t start so the Transporter room is out of action. Mr Data tells
me the Gene is behind the wheels and probably covered in slush and ice. Kayenta looms out of the
whiteness and we stop once more to clear the ice and snow from the wipers. Now the parking brake
has fozen! so the helmsman sits with brakes on while engineering clear the screen and defrost the
blades. Only 130 miles to go!…… well we can’t stop, we don’t have parking brakes and the generators
frozen, apart from that it’s great.

Lovely !

Onward through the blizzard and constant wind the “Andria Gail” pushes through deeper snow as
darkness falls and conditions are less than pleasant in the wheelhouse as we try to work out where
the road goes and if we are still on it. The headlights are getting dimmer as snow and ice is building
up and the speed drops off to 15 as we ease our way trying to find wheeltracks and taking appropriate
action when we meet an oncoming convoy.

“Captain to crew, Rig for slow running

One more stop to get the ice off the wipers but now Scottie tells me the steps won’t come back in with
all the ice build up. After several attacks with a kitchen wooden spoon they come in half way so on we
go again into the gloom. At last we are in Colorado but now there is less snow but the roads are slick.

More ice on the blades

Having left the main reservation we join a convoy on the main road into Cortez but this is being led by
a very nervous woman who keeps tapping the brakes every 50 feet or so and we are only travelling at
20 mph so its becoming very annoying. At last civilization (some say) in the shape of Cortez appears
and with the clock showing 9 we only have 10 miles to go.

9.30 and we finally dock at Cozy Comfort and now survey the damage! No brakes (parking) no
generator, and no steps. 50 amp power refuses to co-operate until we find  the CB has been pulled. In
the flashlight the shine of ice from the wheelwells is unbelievable and I’m honestly amazed that the
wheels would even rotate as the ice packs are touching the tires and on the driver’s side the rear wheel
arch has been pushed out about 6 inches by the sheer volume of ice and I can see electrical wires
broken and detached and now suspended  and encased in the blue ice.

The morning after

Broken rivetts as the weight of Ice pushed out this panel !

How did the wheels go round ???

….and I could still steer ???

Never , ever  again! Moral of the story don’t travel in a big rig in the middle of winter and if bad weather
is forecast then stay where you are until it blows through. We learn, but painfully slowly.


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  • 2/23/2009 11:42 AM Outlaw Dave wrote:
    Hey Tony – Having done lots of the “White knuckle” driving up here in the frozen North – I can appreciate what that must have been like – I’m just glad that now being semi retired I can say “Stuff it” when the weather channel tells me to stay home. Amazingly enough, although I have logged at least a couple of million km over the past few years in sometimes atrocious winter weather, I have never been in the ditch.
    Good driving – good luck ? – probably a good deal of both, but my hair has gone white !!!
    Reply to this
  • 2/24/2009 6:44 PM John Cranmer wrote:
    Hello Tony ,glad you made it home in one piece,but you should have parked up and got the bike out, that would have been great practice for the Scottish. bye John.
    Reply to this
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(AHRMA Vintage Trials 2009 Round 2)

On the exit of “Grand Canyon”

Shortly after the Saturday trial had finished and I’d been out checking for the late MX men it was time to
set the Sunday Graded Hill which required a bit of spade work on a couple of the stages. No sooner
had I finished this than it started to rain, and then it rained and then it rained some more !

In fact it continued nearly all night and by dog walking time in the morning there were puddles
everywhere. During the course of the evening Rich and Jim dropped by and once again the beer flowed
until bedtime. A little tired probably best describes Sunday morning but being Trialsmaster there is no
peace so into the saddle once more and off to check the course and route marking. Sections 1-3 are
down in the MX arena at the far end and when I get down there it appears there was a “micro burst” as
all the markers have been ripped off and are decidedly soggy. I repair the 3 sections and close off a
couple of cheater lines and make it through the rest of the loop which seems to have fared a little better.
Regrettably all this rain has transformed the powder dirt and eggtimer sand so I rather fear it will be a
low scoring day.

The trial eventually gets under way having finally got the incessant MX commentator to give his jaw a
break so that we could brief our event.

1 liners are starting at No 1 so I’ll slip down there and take in the action. Seems a fair section through
the concrete rubble and with a little mud being dragged in a few early marks are being lost.

Over at No 2 “The Asphalt” riders are taking their time but the PI men who started at 11/12 are now
joining us and soon quite a crowd has developed. The Wyoming crowd are travelling together and Fred,
Dan and Bob all go first followed by Don Kelly, looking very much at home on the Ariel. Derek seems
more awake this morning and is keeping his feet up but a few others are still sleeping and missing
split cards as though they didn’t exist.

2 wins for Fred Martinson on his “new toy”

2 wins for Dan Straka on the “One Trick Cub” with the Stealth tank

Bob Strohman on “The Asphalt”

Don Kelley looking at home on the big Ariel

Derek Belvoir exits “Asphalt” on the Velo

Eventually the 1 liners are ready and Ralph is through first for a good clean followed by Rich and Jim
and then Coops and Mike Salsman who seems a little off song on the trials bikes this weekend.

Ralph Foster having a great second day

Jim”Body English” Wagner with 2  second Place finishes

A better day for Mike Salsman

Over at 3, “The Rand McNally” everyone is sailing through as the soft loose dirt is no more and there is
a ton of grip everywhere.

Round the loop to No 4 “Ditches 3” I see no problems here and so onto 5 today’s Graded Hill. Last
night I could hardly walk up this as it kept breaking away but this morning it might as well be part of the

Through the gate and here we are at 6, “The Stumps” and this is causing lots of problems for the 1 & 2
men with the tree crossing, even with the ability to cross your own tracks in this section. A generous
observer here perhaps erring too much in riders’ favor as I saw a couple of solid “5’s” escape with a
gentleman’s 3. Not only was the tree causing problems but a little rooty thing in the brush which looked
like it could be ridden over was acting like an aircraft carrier arrestor wire, and although it bent
conveniently as the front wheel touched it it would suddenly spring back under tension stopping the
rider dead in his tracks. I saw some nice rides here and some equally hard luck stories. Nick Turner
ended up rocking on the crankcase for his 5, while Rick Wolff sailed over the log with the BSA but then
shot into the bush for his! A great clean by Shawn on the 2 and Rich on the 1. Eugene Waggoner was
having a little machine trouble with a sticky throttle cable and having to control the engine with the clutch.

Right next door at “Stumps 2”, our No 7, the 1 liners had a lovely footrest wide branch to get through
before rejoining the mainstream section. Rich Palmer rode this brilliantly but on landing couldn’t stop
the Mont from crossing the red tape. Rick Wolff looked good jumping the BSA again for his clean.

Rich Palmer on the big Mont,
perfect through “Stumps 2″…. but don’t ask what happened next ?

Rick Wolff flies “Stumps 2”

8 & 9,  “The Rockery 1 + 2”, didn’t seem to be causing too much trouble and Derek was looking very
confident in his ride until a checking Ed informed him he had missed another split.

Unfortunately the same line for everybody “Not More Sand!” section 10 had become ridiculously easy
so much so that the checker had left the punch in a holster by the Ends Card. Next Year I’ll get it RIGHT.
…….bloody rain!

11 & 12 were the reverse of yesterday’s 1 & 2 and despite the 1 liners finding a cheater line they were
taking the odd mark on two.

Last Loop action on 11 with Mike Salsman

Rich on the same line

Jim in action with my daughter Sally looking on

A much easier day for all so all that remains is to finish off the late MX men, close the course and then
give out awards and all the thank U’s. Back at the start I discover that Len Sims has done a “press to
test” on the NEW STUPID rule and has entered Premier Lightweight Expert and Classic Expert on his
rigid Cub. Whichever ride he was “supposedly” on he only lost 5 which is then used as his score in both
classes!!!!! I have no alternative but to present him with TWO FIRST PLACES for ONE RIDE. Clearly
this ridiculous rule must be revoked or there will be mayhem.

“That’s It, we’re done!”

With a beer in hand and my daughter and boyfriend, Shawn, here it was time to wrap up the weekend
and after they left we joined the MX Team at Diamond Don’s for the post venue supper and campfire.
Fortunately the Off Road Director was still on hand and I appraised him of the Rule situation before we
attacked the excellent food and libations.

For those who may be interested Diamond Don is happy to have a 2 Day Trial at his place in 2010.

Hope you enjoyed the event.


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G’morning !

Saturday morning and our 12 sections are ready to go with a forecast of a pleasant day. A reasonable
turnout with 29 riders and about another 6 who prefer to ride motorcross and some doing both. We
have a very generous time allowance, as nobody is going anywhere and any late starters or finishers
will go round with me at the end and I’ll check for them and that way we can keep everybody happy.

I’m riding the Cub in Classic with my new EXPERT card! and with the new goofy rules I could also
enter for Premier Lightweight Expert, and Premier Heavyweight Expert which all run on the 2 line.
Whatever I score is then applied to ALL the other classes that I entered. Now if you have ever heard of
anything more ridiculous in Trials Rules then I need to hear about it.

AZ man Shawn Warner getting x-threaded in 1

Ralph Foster now on a 175 on the steep hill of 1

2008 Prem Hwy Champ, Derek Belvoir, brought the “Footing Boots” today

Section 1, (No Prisoners this year) now ride the next few sections with me………..

Section 1 is a variation on last year using the natural bumps and swales in the Pit. 1 liners have a
nasty little kink to negotiate and the soft sand of the turn is grabbing a few dabs. Section 2 is also
relatively simple for 1 & 2 with a series of “woopsies” and then down into the pit where 2 goes up the
gully and 1 tries to clear the uphill embedded log which caused all the grief last year.

“Showboating” the exit of 2

Over to 3 “Arizona Mud”, a long blast through 6″ deep wash (eggtimer) sand that saps the strength just
walking through it. A series of “S” turns, dependant on line over a sand bank and then more soft sand
to the uphill exit. I watch several attempts at this in 2nd and 3rd all resulting in 1,2, and 3 prods and
then the sit down screw it ride to the finish. From my experience riding this crap a steady, just up from
idle approach with front wheel weighted, but light, try to keep handlebar movement less than 20
degrees and use knees and wiggles to power the grip. This works well and I record the first clean. Ed
follows me and escapes with a dab and looks to be riding well today.

My best section, the soft eggtimer sand of 3

The Rocks & Barbie Fence of 4

Crossing the “Grand Canyon” at 5

4 & 5 are variations on a theme with the Rocks & Barbie Fence as 4, which drew all the whinging last
year, and The Grand Canyon of 5. Slip through both clean so now time for the new continuous  6&7. 6 I
love as it has a natural perfect skill level 4 lines and I believe will be where the event is won and lost. A
drop off entry and then cross the soft sand wash to line up for a left hand idle uphill turn, 4 goes straight
on while 3 and PI traverse the adverse to the top. 1 & 2 drop down to a very soft righthander with 1 going
straight up the cliff and 2’s turning back across the adverse before a left hand turn back. Some awful 5’s
on the 1 & 2 lines while I watch until Ed, still having his inspired ride, makes the lower turn look easy
and nearly makes it back across until he gets dangerously close to the tape before taking  a clever lofted
dab turn. What a great ride! Everyone has found a “Cheater line” in and around the Palo Verde tree, and
after all our work here laying out we missed it!

My turn comes and a miserable 3 prodder goes in the book but it is doable !

A short ride to 8, the Big Ironwood where Ed has already zipped through for the first clean. Cross the
wash sand and in and up the first bank before coming face to face with Ironwood. 1’s drop in to the left
over the big root and then a tight turn in soft sand before uphill and back over the root, this will take
some marks. 2 goes around the right side of the tree before dropping down over the root and then the
soft sand turn before the uphill. 3 and PI can try a tricky adverse or drop down and then turn back up.
I arrive in the sand with weight just a smidge too far forward and the turn takes me for 1.

No 9, the Graded Climb, has no backlog so I guess I still have it set TOO easy! Sure enough it’s still
loose but will pack down and I need a few prods on the way up but for see this being rideable for the
clean after a few more riders.

Ed Peacock working his way up “Tony’s Terror” en-route to a 1st Place tie

Derek “Boots” Belvoir

Double World MX Champ and SSDT winner Jeff Smith hits the top

Thinks….. I should have made this HARDER/SOFTER?

10 & 11 are the Ditches up on the top of the MX course and these are not stoppers but will catch a few
silly marks. I clean 10 but make 11 look incredibly difficult and come close to riding over the Ends Card.

The “Ditches” No 10

A gentle ride around the top ledge of the MX basin and we are at 12, The Cliff. Choices of entry lines
and various gates, line dependant before the right hand exit. Get the power wrong and you will be in
trouble. No problems for me but others are not fairing quite so well. 4 lost on the first loop, an Ed had
a brilliant opener on just 2 !

Loop 2 and clean through 1 & 2 and now see how the wash sand has developed.  I see 1 liners giving
up with this for sit down 3’s including Mod Classic Expert Winner, Ralph Foster who tells me he has no
clue on this stuff (Hm mm, thoughts for next year) I use my same technique and sail through for another

A disgusted Ralph, and the checker’s fingers tell all

Clean 4 & 5 and re-walk the tricky 6 & 7 where Rich Palmer and Jim Wagner are still sizing things up on
their first loop. It does not go well ! My turn comes after much walking and I almost make it until the very
top where I can’t stop the dab. Cursing I drop into 7 and still fuming over the “dumb dab” lose 1 here
while not staying on the line and going too fast.

If you didn’t know, Jim Wagner having already lost 2 on No 6

…..and there goes another on Palo Verde No 7…is the stand outside
assistance ?

Back at the Ironwood Jim and Rich are taking a few dabs and I correct my last mistakes and score a
good clean. No other problems on the loop as the graded climb has become a very ride-able main road
and 10,  11 and 12 were not supposed to be overly difficult. Score 3 which should have been 1 but a
good loop nonetheless.

“She flies through the air….” Rich Palmer leaps the root at Ironwood

“Going down.. roots, soft sand, ribbons…..”

“Going Up”

Sail through 1 & 2 but can’t quite maintain my form on the sand in 3 and lose a safety prod to keep her
on line. Ralph has given up on this one and goes for the centipede three. 4 and 5 punch 0 and now
another attempt at 6&7 but try as I might I’m not set up well at the turn and it all goes to pieces again
with three quick prods in that soft sand. Clean to the finish for another loop of 4 and a total of 11 for the

Bill Brokaw beats Ed by 10 years on Ed’s No 2 bike. I hope I can ride that
well at age 76 !

Results are in and generally it seems the scores are close to what I was hoping for with most class
winners between 10-25. Tough at the top in Modern Classic Int with Ed on 15 and tying with Bill Brokaw.
Going through the tie breaker they are equal in all losses and so its down to age with Bill holding a 10
year advantage over young Ed at 66 !!! Second place in Classic Expert went exactly the same way
between Rick Wolff and Eugene Waggoner both on 33 points and even that couldn’t be broken until age
came into play with Eugene taking it.


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  • 2/17/2009 7:42 PM Robert Cline wrote:
    Glade to see Bill Brokaw riding vintage trials, he is one of the great people that made trials so much fun.
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What would become “Not More Sand !” a Sunday Section

A new road has been built around the entrance to AZ Cycle Park so your’s truly who thought he knew
where he was going missed the turn off and ended up going South for another 10 miles before 60′ of
rig can be pointed in the right direction…. never mind by 1200 on Tuesday we are on our jacks and level
in what will be our home until next Monday morning.

Saturday No 2 “The Pit”

Ed and Evelyn along with Hugh campbell and his wife Jan are already here and they have looked out
about 5-6 sections already. A few arrival beers later and the Cub is dragged out topped up with fresh
fuel and a little oil and amazingly bursts into life on the first prod which pleased me no end as the last
time I’d swung my leg over the little beauty was back in September last year at Sandia.

Our NEW Saturday No 7 having removed a ton of branches “Palo Verde 2”

Within 3 hours we have laid out and taped 5 sections including a NEW double which needed some
major lumber work to unearth the little gem from under the dead branches of an offending Palo Verde.
It then became “5 o’clock somewhere” and a beer call was announced and with temps just cracking 80
there was no dissent. I took a little ride around and think we have a couple of good NEW sections in
some broken concrete and another pile of dead asphalt which must have come from the old
road /turnoff that I missed! Further investigation has provisionally found this years “Graded Hill”……. yes,
I’m determined and this will certainly be no AHRMA gimmee, although with sand it could go either way,
but now they are forecasting rain and showers for the weekend so it could change dramatically.

Saturday No 4 “Rocks & the Barbie Fence”

Saturday No 5 “The Grand Canyon”

Saturday No 6 “Palo Verde 1” with the very soft sand and bank

Wednesday and the team are hard at work laying out and putting in the splits now that more stakes
have arrived, by o’beer 30 we have 8 of Saturday’s 12 taped and splits done and 6 of Sunday’s taped
and ready for the split cards. The ladies put on Feast 2 as dark comes and after more beers and tales
of daring do the camp is quiet once more.

One of the 3 sections called “The Ditches”

Sunday No 3 “The Stumps 1” 

Thursday and today I test the Graded Hill or “Tony’s Terror” as it is now called, while Ed and Hugh
attend to the splits on the 3 Ditches sections. With that batch wrapped up we find a couple of rock
sections for some extra variety and after lunch finally get the splits in the Ironwwod section which will
be Saturday No 8.

Last year’s favorite “The Ironwood”  with the big roots, this will be
Saturday No 8

More of “Ironwood” with the soft sand turn at the bottom

“Arizona Mud” which will be a mark grabber as Saturday No 3

Just across the wash we lay out “Not More Sand!” a charming little “same line for everyone” blast in
eggtimer sand finishing with a sweeping uphill adverse. By 5 we have 23 done and ready to roll and we
need just one more to replace the provisional Hay Bale section which we can no longer use. Ed and I
completed the first day loop marking so things are ahead of schedule for the event.

“Firm Concrete” the No 1 for Sunday

Friday with just one Sunday section to lay out and then the Start & Ends boards to be stapled on. Some
maps from Google to be printed for the people with a good memory but with Ed’s route marking you
would have to be really having a bad day to get lost. I may change the second Graded Hill for Sunday as
although it is “doable” I have the feeling it will actually become TOO easy after a few riders have been
through it, and just in case some of my “theoretical friends” have any thoughts of questioning my
RESULTS, yes I have ridden some of the sections to prove the course but I have ridden the other 3 lines
that I PERSONALLY will not be riding….. so carry on eating those Grapes!

By afternoon banqueters and riders are arriving and we look set for a reasonable turnout. The last
section for Sunday is done and the route maps are ready. I’ll ride Saturday then attend to Trialsmaster
activities all day Sunday…… looks good!

So the final Game Plan is:

Saturday        1 & 2         The Pit
3                Arizona Mud
4                Rocks & The Barbie Fence
5                Grand Canyon
6 & 7         Palo Verde 1+2
8                Ironwood
9                Tony’s Terror   The Graded Hill
10               Ditches 1
11               Ditches 2
12               The Cliff

Sunday           1                Firm Concrete
2                Asphalt
3                Rand McNally
4                Ditches 3
5                Tony’s Terror
6                Stumps 1
7                Stumps 2
8                Rockery 1
9                Rockery 2
10               Not More Sand !
11               The Pit Reversed
12               The Pit Reversed

Have Fun and let’s see how they ride ?


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The AHRMA opening event at Buckeye is on 7/8 Feb and with the RV finally all put back together and we
hope running nicely No1 cheerleader says “As we are leaving on Monday to go and set up the event with
Ed and Evelyn why don’t we drive down on Saturday, park at Harolds and take in Superbowl there?

Well Harolds is the biggest Pittsburg Steelers bar is Arizona and as they are playing the AZ Cardinals
(who would have thought?) you can imagine what this will be like!

The Starship “SAFARI” ready to explore again

They coach comes back from Howard the, RV fixer, late on Thursday and Friday I take it to refuel and
sort out the ride height for the trailer. Eventually adjust things to my liking and then find we have no
lights to the trailer and Howard, who fitted the new plug comes along to correct the arse backwards
wiring. Meanwhile the 850lb BMW K1200LT is unloaded and of course is too wide to get through the
doors into the building. Well that means it will have to go into the workshop …… but small problemeee
here! 3′ of snow bank + ice which has fallen off the roof so out with the shovel again. Howard fixes the
lights and finds a few more odd ball wiring items.

By 1800 I’m having major reservations about everything but I do have 3 bikes loaded along with all the
tools and spares. Several runs up into the loft for all the stored trials gear. I was planning on loading
my Scottish Replica  (53) and the 77 Yam in the hope of selling them but time and tide wait for no man
so they will have to stay put.

Dig a big enough hole to turn the mother round

The BMW problem still remains and after unloading all the supplies that Brenda has just returned with
time to see whether I can ride a touring bike on ice! It actually starts and is nursed to the door of the
shed but there is no way it will go up the ramp so another one is hauled into place which is steeper but
shorter so at least I can get the front wheel on it inside the limited space available. A series of “3”s and
“5”s and lots of spinning result in the call for 3 of our residents to come and help push 850lbs up the
ramp. Finally it’s in!

Short & Steep

Mexican/Brenda power and she is IN!

Enough for tonight and so all the chairs, bar-b-q stuff, dog fences and other assorted junk will be
loaded in the morning along with all the clothes and remaining food and beverages.

Time WE were leaving

Game plan to leave around 10’ish but with most things RV that slips backwards and we finally pull out
around 12. It seems to drive quite nicely and we don’t have any problems on the run to AZ and even the
lunatic driving as you approach Phoenix is fairly low key. Arrive at Harold’s at around 7 and they are
expecting us and have a good berth up on the hill which is both navigable and relatively flat. Time for
dog walking and wining and dining.

Saturday night meal at Harold’s

Superbowl Sunday dawns and it’s warm and sunny, (what a nice change) and after a very leisurely
start we slip down the hill to the bar and find our assigned table and enjoy some cool beverages until
the game starts. Being a Pittsburgh bar the place is a sea of Black and Gold with only the bravest
turning up in anything red. Out of nearly 5000 people attending the function I think we only know about
12! …. and we have only been gone 4 months.

Perfect slot

Somebody explain the Duck ?

Still no wiser

The game begins with Steeler fans well oiled and Cardinals keeping low profile. I have my own views
on “game plays” and it never ceases to amaze me how the Cardinals fail to use their major assets
11, 15, 34, and 81. when they do,…. they score, when they try the old and true plays they go nowhere or
backwards! Nonetheless a great game and one perhaps the Cardinals, could and should have won.
It certainly went very quiet with 3 minutes to go when Cards got into the lead. However credit must go to
the fantastic Steelers touchdown at the very end. Well done Steelers and very bad luck Cardinals, but
you came very, very close.

Brenda slips into something appropriate

Now we have a quiet day with a few people coming to visit and then refills or fuel, water and propane
before another night stop at one of Brenda’s gardening friends and then tomorrow into the boondocks
of Buckeye and time to get into the Trials mode for 2009.


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