OUT OF AFRICA

 

OUT OF AFRICA

OUT OF AFRICA

With the wiring mysteries of the Ducati E900 now solved the first one is all but complete so today will
be the Test Firing of the Blue one and see if it actually works? As neither machine was running on
arrival before Christmas I don’t have anything to compare it to so this could be interesting.

The Blue Beast has had new plugs, new v expensive battery, the supplemental lighting loom and the
heavy gauge starter wiring. Will it work? So in with the new battery and lets see what happens when
that key is turned and the starter button hit. Will there be fizzing and a strange burning smell or will she
burst into life ?

“BLUE LOOM” …. new headlight system in place

Big Red is still waiting for the battery strap which I see from UPS tracking is now in Durango so
maybe that will arrive today and I can put the frame back together. Plugs are already in along with the
new starter circuits so just the headlamp system to fit before redressing her with tank and fairing.

Red headlamp harness to be fitted…..after the refreshing beverage!

If all goes to plan (when does that ever happen?) I should have both up and running by Wednesday
lunchtime and as Brenda is now off on Wednesday’s that will be geriatric pool playing in the afternoon
so Richard can come on Thursday and collect these big machines and drop off the Jumbo for it’s last
few items.

Final check on the connections !

Battery in, all the new and old wires connected, cross feed open, fuel on, choke, ignition……… WOW !
those are some lights!


“I can SEE, I can SEE !”

Clank, clank, clank and it fires up and runs. Final panels on and the seat and it looks like a bike.
A little dressing from Armorall and some polish and its back to showroom. Just need to polish those
alloy wheels for the final effect.

Complete and working with just the wheels to polish

Still no strap for the Red one but it IS in Durango so I’m hopeful it will come today. The red wiring
system is a little more complex with extra bulbs in the headlights and another “switch” which I’m
assured is another Ducati “must have”. The switch is so small I doubt that anyone wearing gloves
could operate it and I have to devise a mounting point somewhere.

The new headlight loom on the Red machine

The new headlight loom is on and still no sign of the battery strap! Time for some wheel polishing
as for some reason I just can’t bear to see alloy not polished. Too late for any more work as its Wed
afternoon and more “Geriatric Pool” is on the horizon and I’m in the mood for some serious
drinking!!!

It just has to be polished

Someone cares

The front comes up well

With the wheels polished work has come to a standstill as the battery strap has still not made it the
50 miles from Durango! This is some NEW system with UPS in conjunction with the USPS and
doesn’t seem to be any better than either! Maybe today?

No excuses, so drill a hole in the instrument cluster and fit the micro switch and then sit back and
wait for Brown to deliver. Well at lunchtime the Strap arrives and is suitably modified to go on the
Ducati. Now rebuild the frame, put the exhaust back together and start dressing the lady. The tank
and side panels are on and the headlamp nacelle is fitted. In with the battery, fit the strap and snug
down all the new wires.

It fires up, the headlights work but one set of turn signals don’t which as I remember is usually a
blown bulb. A little bulb switching and now they are working fine…….. BUT…….. when I turn the ign on
all I get is oil light and neutral? Move the cut off switch to run and on comes the battery light and it
stays on with the engine running????   Now I see from Ducati correspondence that some after
market rectifiers have a White wire going direct to the positive terminal……. this one has nothing!
I also note that other after market systems state the “battery charge light” will be inoperative when
their system is used !

I will consult the “Ducati Guru” this morning as he does a rectifier kit as well so I’m sure he knows
all about the said problem. As of course I have no idea “who” modded this machine and some
“shadetree” type terminal fittings are present this could have been “fried” earlier causing all the other
problems including varying voltage, misfiring and whatever else. My battery tester and it seems my
circuit tester have walked! So nothing for it off to the big city and buy another tester and find out
whether the system is charging or not. Should read about 13-14 V above 2000 rpm if it is going to
charge…… anything below 12 and its toast! Of course if it IS charging then it maybe a connector from
the rectifier that has become unplugged.  On with the test.

Test results are in……. Blue starts at 11.35 and above 2000 returns 13.45 and of course all the
lights work correctly and in the proper sequence. Red starts at 12.35 and above 2000 sits at 12.37
with the red charge light on ? So if it doesn’t get up there over the magic 13 it isn’t going to charge
and will have to be replaced, but I’ll redo the  “nasty” looking terminals first and check the charging
white lead off the rectifier before spending Richard’s money.

Retests all done, same result, RED battery light still on and no change in battery voltage when
engine over 2000 rpm. All stripped down again and I see that this rectifier has never been changed
and is still an original Ducati fitment. New updated model ordered this morning so another week
before I get it and can fit same.

Sorry ! you are just going to have to wait

TONY DOWN

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ELEPHANT PSYCHOLOGY

 
 

ELEPHANT PSYCHOLOGY

ELEPHANT PSYCHOLOGY

 Over the years many manufacturers have used various Pachyderm names for machines in their
inventories but on reflection it does seem that nearly all of these bike builders are from Italy. Perhaps
it was an inbred fear of being conquered by Hannibal that these names came to the fore as Roman
defiance stood up to Carthage ?

Could this have caused the problem ?

My own experience of things Italian has for the most part been good as they make excellent shotguns
and firearms and I have always used Beretta for all my shooting needs. All my riding boots are Sidi
and once again Italians make excellent footwear. However, when it comes to things of an electrical
nature things are not quite so rosey !  Here I can quote from my short lived time with my, lovely to look
at, Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint. A truly beautiful car with elegant lines, plush cream leather interior, an in
line 6 with three carbs giving really sporty performance and all finished in metallic dark purple. The
beauty sat in pride of place on the Officer’s Mess car park and on foggy October mornings as I
ventured out to drive to the Squadron with everything covered in early morning dew that ******* thing
was never going to start ! Come back at lunchtime when all the moisture had burnt off and it started
first click of the key ! More recently my MV Augusta F4 1000 would be well behaved if the battery stayed
well charged but would get very sulky if it wasn’t left on the battery minder.

As I seem to have a lot of Elephant visitors to the surgery I decided to try and get to the bottom of it. Is
it the name ? What is the Italian fascination with the Pachyderm? Trying to think of other
manufacturers who used animal names I can only recall the AJS Porcupine (a nasty prickly beast)
and a whole load of birds from Honda with Blackbirds, Nighthawks and Firebirds coming to mind
and of course the Goldwing. Some other British offerings were the BSA Bantam and the Triumph
Tiger, Tiger Cub and theTerrier. Other than that Britain had mainly military names from James with
The Cadet, Captain and Commander, while BSA became intoxiated with the heavens with Shooting
Star, Gold Stars and anything else coming out of the skies.

Two Patients waiting in the Surgery Office

To continue this in depth research I sat one of the Elefants down to probe my thesis on Italian
electrics and see if I could discover where the problem lies with Ducati Elefants, Cagivas and of
course the SWM Jumbo.

“Jumbo, Dumbo, Fatty, Big ears…… I HATE it !”

My patient soon broke down in tears and told me all the woes. Didn’t like her name as it implied,
slow, clumsy and heavy… and robust was all she would go for. Found it difficult to start the day and
was gutless and after a long journey was reluctant to continue. Poor eyesight was frequently
mentioned as after running for some time the headlights would become very dim and a lot of
flatulence would occur with misfiring as a common symptom. Flatulence in an Elephant is to be
avoided at all costs!

“After 50 miles the lights dim and we can’t see a thing!”

So after all my research on the subject I have written a book, a copy of which is produced below with
a “Hannibal” flavor on how to get the best out of your Elephant.

Using my “A” initial for Antony in the title

From all the studies it would appear the guage of wiring used in most things Italian is of a too small
variety and insufficent current is going where it needs to due to all the added resistance. Remedies
seem to be a heavier guage wire for the starter system, a better battery and an additional wiring loom
solely for the lights. With regard to the flatulence problems a general lack of power won’t help and
neither will fitting OEM plugs straight out of the box without “gapping” them first !  New plugs from
NGK come gapped at 35 thou and these babies need 23 thou !!

Infestations of Elephants are rare, but if you are plagued with these beasts we do offer an
erradication service for a fee. No sprays have been found to be effective so we will gladly come and
collect them and dispose of same in a humane way via ebay.

….. And finally if you are going to use every color wire in the rainbow try and use a system that has
some logic to it such that only reds and blacks go to the battery! Your elephant will respond to some
TLC and given time, it too will think it is a motorcycle.

   

Early therapy, soon it will think it is one

TONY DOWN
 

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MEANWHILE …….. BACK IN THE ELEFANT HOUSE


MEANWHILE …….. BACK IN THE ELEFANT HOUSE

MEANWHILE….. IN THE ELEFANT HOUSE

Amazing how time flies and things start to slip. Another project that should have only taken a couple
of weeks has now drifted into the 6 months + category and is beginning to annoy me as all good
intentions to do the work get sidelined with other issues of a more pressing nature……. but today I
REALLY intend to crack on with the job in hand and get those monster Ducatis finished for Richard.

With the trials bikes still in the trailer I should be able to get the Beemer out of the shop, maybe an
excuse for a ride, and get the Elefants back to their work zones. One needs a battery so that will have
to be ordered, and no doubt both need new plugs. Although the bikes look the same I’m not sure if the
wiring harnesses are ?  Can’t be that difficult can it ?

The new raised bed all planted up

The bluey/purple roadside weed in 7th heaven with dirt and water

Some early morning weeding and planting of the new raised bed including a quick trip up the valley
road and a quick dig of three roadside weeds with the colorfull purple flowers. Compost dug in, plants
in and more from the drip master the bed is finally complete so off to the workshop. Beemer out, a bit
of a clean up and get rid of all the cottonwood fluff and battle can begin on the mighty Ducatis.


Off with the Elefant fairing !

Naked Elefants

All the fairing off the Blue model so now both are “naked” and ready to get the new harnesses fitted.
That will be today’s task unless Madam wishes to do something else ?  Time to open the box! Three
sets of cables various in plastic bags…..

Bags of wires ?

No paperwork or instructions so after spending some time looking at the original system I’m no wiser.
Nothing for it …… ring the manufacturer and ask. Turns out these systems are “supplimental” and not
replacements after all, so now I’m waiting for pictures and wiring instructions via email and then it
should be fairly simple.

Need to get a new battery for one, two sets of plugs, and devise a battery bungee strap for the red one.
Maybe some new plug caps and then have them all back together for the weekend. Might even clean
them for him.

Nice idea! In order to get the battery strap out the battery box has to be disconnected from the
swinging arm, and as I quickly discover will not come out due to the main rear shock!  Only way is to
dismantle the entire rear sub frame. One of these bolts was also looking to “escape” so a good safety
find while looking for something else.

Only way out….. undo the frame!

……and all because the strap broke

A quick hunt on ebay for a strap and eventually a Harley one is found at the right price and length.
Into town and plugs purchased for both bikes but the battery is problematic. Many manuals later…. the
sizes they give me don’t seem to match the box size, as although the box itself is wide enough there is
a grooved bottom so the battery must be a sort of “T” shape to fit ? I notice someone has cut these
pieces off the Red machine. More research in this department and see what the owner wants.

Expensive but it fits

Seems the best battery is a little expensive but if you are going to all this trouble then may as well go
the whole hog and get it right. A battery is found in Durango so a 50 mile drive to get same and it fits
perfectly in the box. A couple more questions for the maker of the kit and then all should be up and
running.

More Elephant/Elefant stories to come……..

TONY DOWN

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THE RALLY SPEEDS UP

 

THE RALLY SPEEDS UP

THE RALLY SPEEDS UP

 
With less than 2 months to go things of a Rally nature start speeding up! I just have the stretch from
Ridgway to Silverton to ride collecting “clues”  and then wander into the 6 bars on the route and tell
them what we have in mind for the big day when the Amazing Race style clues come into play.

Had another little mindless brainwave this morning and thought that with a “suitable clue” we could
have a couple of hidden “Immunity Idols” in the form of Travelocity gnomes burried somewhere
around the 250 mile route. These would act as a “Fast Forward” and the finder can by pass all other
clues and go directly to the Pit Stop and score a bonus Wild Card. Of course if I hide them too well it
might ruin the whole thing.

Immunity Idols ?

Next up is “acquiring” some of these Travelocity Gnomes. They come in 3 sizes, 8″, 13″ and 18″,
sounds like First, Second and Third to me! ….the big problem is getting anyone at Travelocity to pick
up the phone in their Corporate HQ and the airport hold music is driving me mad. All I have to do is
find someone in “power’ who rides a Hardley Ableson and I might be in business!

1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes

While out on the last bit of Census business one of my planned “Road Block” clues and tasks, which
took me a long time to find, has been dismantled maybe through winter damage and might have to be
deleted if it is not repaired in time. Another excuse for a ride to find a replacement. To that end the
Beemer finally saw day light again yesterday and is now outside the house waiting for a spit and
polish before setting off in pursuit of those final clues. Hoping to have around 40 for the
Treasure/Scavenger Hunt portion so about 10 to find.

Be prepared for a summer storm in the mountains

Even though we are a bit behind the posters need to be coming our way and get them to the
Dealerships and all the big touring clubs to get some entries. Every day I’m seeing masses of bikers
riding past so rather than just enjoying the scenery and the road itself the thought of a quest in the
form of a Rally should appeal to some of them.

So as we get closer, don’t leave it until the last minute, time to get on the phone and make some
reservations, we have RV sites, tentsites,  and the town has a handy motel for the non camping
fraternity.

Make those reservations

More news as it breaks.

TONY DOWN

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AND SO TO BED

AND SO TO BED

…AND SO TO BED

Having rebuilt the two dry wall rock beds after the vicious attacks from snow plow drivers the last of
these edifices has been conceived, but, as yet remains unbuilt. Remembering last year’s disaster
with the 500 lb Rocky Balboa and my crushed toes the enthusiasm to build another rock sculpture
was in the “less than keen” department.

“Rocky Balboa” who crushed my toes in round 1

For months I’ve looked at the giant rock pile where the developers had dumped all the excess rock
and envisaged many sections through it, over it, and around it. I have also had a desire to build
another flower bed somewhere close to the house where it gets full sun and at the time of all the
ground clearing behind us they said, “You can have ALL the rocks and dirt you want”.

The giant rock pile

Must be a section or two in here?

Anyhoo, yesterday the plan finally came into action and the area was prepped ready for construction.
First remove 2 dead Aspens which for some reason didn’t make it through the savage winter. First
was literally a push over and like most Aspens it broke off at the roots. No 2 was a different matter
and needed a little help from the saw and axe. With the dead trees gone time for yet more jungle
weeding and clearance and by lunchtime the area is deemed ready to go.

Aspens removed, ready for the rocks

The drip system will need a little house

Another walk to the rock pile and some mental selective sorting before attempting to lift some of
these mothers! Humping giant rocks may be all well and good if you are in training for The World’s
Strongest Man Competition and you wish to win the “Atlas Stones” but with unsafe footing this can
easily become a foolhardy task ! However, with a little prudence, rocks of various sizes and shapes
were manhandled to a suitable loading area and the all purpose Cadillac Escalade completed 3 trips
masquerading as a 10 wheel dump truck.

Time for some sorting

Yes, there are ….ing heavy!!

Always fun to wash the rocks and see all of nature’s brilliant colors coming through. By nightfall my
arms and shoulders are shot so the “Lego Land” building can wait another day.

Time for the dry stone walling expert

The rock sorting and placing begins and slowly but surely a design emerges and it looks like it will
work and all come together. I have to build a sanctuary around Brenda’s drip system and then the plan
is to complete the upper rows in river rock for a smooth finish and all the delights of fitting flat smooth
rocks together to show off their best colors…….. I’m already seeing foxgloves in the corners along with
the state flower and some ice plants spilling over the edges with alyssum and perhaps a back row of
lupines or something similar.

From my calculations I’ll be needing 3 cubic yards of dirt and compost to bring the level up to where it
needs to be. As Thursday is Brenda’s day off a late afternoon of pool and drinkies at the Hollywood
was on the menu, and as if by chance we bump into Brandon who has been landscaping the local
Firehouse and just happens to have 4 tons of left over top soil which he doesn’t want. So once more
the trials trailer will be unloaded and then off I go and shovel 3/4 of what is there into the back and
then wheelbarrow and spread same in the gaping bed. A lot of work here but it will save about $60
plus delivery.

Trailer unloaded, hitched on the Cadi and off I go in search of the magic clean dirt. Wheelbarrow after
wheelbarrow is humped into the trailer and at the 3/4 point I think I have enough. Very nice dirt and
hardly any rock or stone in it so I’m well pleased. Problem now is getting it in the raised bed so with
two 5 gallon paint buckets shoveling begins again and it all fits…….. and on rake out I’m 2 buckets
short! With the trailer swept out and bikes and tools put back  time to get those last two buckets and
some flat rocks from their discard pile. A quick stop at the Hollywood to see if Brandon needs a beer,
well he isn’t here, but I NEED one!

Dirt in, now what to plant ?

Another area project complete

Last of the dirt in the corner and all is level and by now after moving 6 tons of the stuff with bucket and
spade my arms and back are beginning to feel it. Overall the bed has cost nothing other than sweat
equity and even though I say so myself looks like a good addition to the front of the property.

While out and about on my travels yesterday I happened by a “hot springs” where one of the clues
will be for the Amazing Race style rally. Someone has removed the hot springs bath/hot tub, well
maybe it got cracked over the winter, …. hope it will be repaired in time for the event. However I got out
of the car and was looking in all the bubbling sulphur pools and I couldn’t resist some spectacular
rocks which have some fantastic blues/blacks and green shot through them……. they are now bedded
in the conifer and heather bed.

The new rocks around a “liberated” fir from the Lizard

Fantastic colors!

The last of the current projects complete, save for planting, and with knackered arms and back, and
the little hand on 10, the time has come………. and so to bed!

TONY DOWN

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  • 6/25/2010 7:42 PM jim wagner 602 866 7709 wrote:
    Tony call home Jim wagner
    Reply to this
  • 7/2/2010 5:28 AM A master stonewaller wrote:
    Dear Mr Down Whilst we admire the artistic content of your dry stone wall we feel that it’s longevity is somewhat questionable. We would highly recomend that you do not put your trust in gravity alone for it’s integrity, and that some form of a more permanant fixing be used. To this end we have dispatched 5 gals. (UK) of rapid set Araldite.
    Reply to this
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GO DADDY STOP


GO DADDY STOP

GO DADDY STOP !

Thursday morning and the author stumbles into the kitchen, and locates the life giving fluid called
coffee. The computer is coaxed into life from it’s slumber and the blog is consulted for “hits” on
subjects various. Very strange………. only 40 hits?…….. further investigation reveals last hits at 0400
and nothing since! V peculiar, ……. time to ring Go-Daddy and speak with someone.

Eventually get through the mindless babble and finally speak to customer service in Phoenix. Explain
the situation and the fact that “their” other stats pages don’t do anything for me and the page that I use
on a regular basis is currently not working and I would like to know why?

Lots of hold time, and many consultations with other technicians who tell me there must be a fault in
the server and anyway its only updated every 24 hours. Once more into the breach and explain, in nice
professional cool even tempered manner that this may be true for their other pages but this ONE
updates instantaneously on every read and that of course is why I USE the f****** page!!

Again more hold time, and service agent agrees with me and even knows something about trials but
every time he talks with a technician we get the same answer. Finally the problem gets the escalation
treatment and a number is given and I’m promised all will be well and it will be fixed within 72 hours.

By Saturday nothing has changed and once more time to check with the 24/7 customer service and
another round of button pushing to eventually get to a talking person. Best part of 45 minutes spent in
consultations, hold times and discussions about other niff naff that is of little interest to me. Try to
calmly go through the sequence with the rep so that WE are actually on the same PAGE and not some
other mystery stat which is meaningless. By now my service rep obviously has no idea what I’m
talking about as he insists that it is updated every 24 hours and my patience is now running thin as I
know this page updates as a reader hits an article.


One final course of action…….. SUPERVISOR !!! He follows me through the sequence and agrees that
all is not as it should be. At last I manage to convince him to re-write the escalation script so that we
are not chasing red herrings…….. and so on Monday the page is up at running again at 1100 and once
more I’m a happy camper.

There then follows an email explaining that this is part of the OLD stats system and I SHOULD be
using the NEW system ??? Excuse me ???  I’m the CUSTOMER and these ARE the stats that I WANT
not some other mindless jargon from web crawling bots or whatever other computereese crap they
are trying to feed me.

Have a nice day !

TONY DOWN

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FAST FORWARD

 

FAST FORWARD

 

 

FAST FORWARD

25c in the local yard sale

Spring, or the lack of it, came and went and now we are on fast forward and in full summer!  With the
delights of Cotopaxi behind me, the Census job grinding to a close despite lots of promises of more
work and traveling jobs, being on the road, nice hotels + expenses etc, etc.

So while upper management shuffle through their results and pat each other on the back the rest of
the workforce goes back into hibernation with a degree of mistrust of their superiors. Another
government  “mushroom theory” as no information is forthcoming …… some people have much to
learn in the management skills department. Interesting to note that 650,000 people were hired for this
last phase alone, yet the unemployment figures showed a decrease overall in the unemployed by
430,000 for May. In other words there is still no end to this recession even with the creation of these
false jobs!!!

Well for me its back to the garden and pick up the pieces. Much weeding has to take place, flower
beds and rock gardens rebuilt after snow plow drivers pushed them aside. More rocks from the pile
behind the house need to come forward for another raised bed and a whole load of planting and
digging and just maybe get some seeds in the ground.

The weekend had us purchasing some flats of pansy and dianthus at the 2 for 1 special and now with
temps in the 90’s its hard work getting the ground ready. While Brenda planted up her window boxes I
had the unpleasant task of weeding around the rose bed. The Fir and Heather bed got weeded on
Saturday and then watered heavily to try and get my heathers which had spent 6 months under snow
kickstarted back to life. Some signs of greenery pooping back at the bases but for a few they are toast!

Some signs of life

Brenda rigged a good looking drip system for all the boxes and hanging baskets which don’t like
being forgotten when the owners are out to play!

The Clematis has gone mad !

A Happy Hanging Basket on the drip

For me a whole day on hands and knees weeding the driveway and the relocated rose bed. Today
put the rocks back where they were supposed to be, remove the giant dandelions and trim the bush
back before planting and watering. Need to sneak back up the Lizard at some stage and “liberate” a
few firs that are clearly growing in the wrong place.

A lot of repairs and weeding after the “Snow Plow” attack

This could take some time!

One day later, minus the weeds

Done !

Yet more hands and knees weeding down the side of the vegetable plot and then a whole load of
strimming to get the side jungle under control. Another dose of heavy watering and then this morning
time to plant up and see how the delicate plants survive in the 90 temps.

The ice plants love the 90 temps in the Heather bed

Nice splash of color in the pool bed

A little more strimming this morning on the other side of the property and then maybe escape to the
mountains and set free some of those fir trees. As an aside while at the nursery last week I saw a
really nice fir and idly flipped the price tag over……$150 !!! This gardening job sucks…… poor pay…….
never ending……… management are slow with the drinks…….

Getting there !

TONY DOWN

 

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COTOPAXI 2010 DAY 2

COTOPAXI 2010 DAY 2

COTOPAXI 2010 DAY 2

Ready for the “off”

Still windy and a little cooler this morning but as start time comes the temperature is going up. A
quick review of yesterday’s results shows that competition will be fierce in Mod Classic Experts with
Rick Daniel, Mike Wehling and Ron Pocher going round together to make sure nobody finds a
cheater line. Mod Classic Int will be tight with all and sundry trying to knock Fred Martinson off his
perch. Mod Classic Novice looks like being an Arndt family affair while Mike Buchholz, whose Suzuki
isn’t ready yet, goes for his quest in Premier Lightweight Experts on his faithful Greeves. Having got
One back yesterday over Eugene I shall be trying for a repeat in Classic Experts.

One less section today and once again 1’s and 2’s will start at the Falls while everyone else can go
and chew up Section 1 named the Horseshoe. A fairly simple reverse of yesterday at the Falls
crossing the rocky ledge and then dropping into the lower pool  before climbing out at a new position
and then looping round the fir tree to the exit.  Clearly I didn’t give this enough thought and came out
of the pool too quickly for a poor position and a very silly dab to start the day. Very, very dumb!

Mike Wehling, on the Yam today, at the top of the Falls that he built

Rick Daniel follows on my old Ossamaha

Ron Pocher in the MC Experts group

At the Horseshoe many are wasting marks on the initial turn in the deep wash sand and if that
doesn’t get them then the off cambered slope on the loose dirt is taking it’s toll as many are dropping
in straight and losing the front wheel. It needs the front offset by 30 to follow the slope and then let the
rear slide down before turning straight. The 1 liners have a nasty tight turn after the slope in more
wash sand with a rock just where the front wheel would like to go. 2’s need to run the front round a
ledge and then squirt up a steep bank with rocks and dirt. My turn comes and the bike is on rails and
I slip through for the first clean. Well I needed that after the early morning dumbness at the Falls.

Out of the wash and up to No2 where Todd and Bill Brokaw are doing the checking. From what I’m
seeing 2 lines are useable with either a tighter right turn to a full on attack at the upper gorge or a
wider softer line around the steep rocks, but this requires perfect throttle control. Nobody seems to
be getting it right with lots of dabs on the turn and then losing others on the climb from poor entry
position and weight too far back. Mike B and I agree on the line and speed and it works well for me
for another “first” clean.Thats more like it ! Grief that dab on the opener is now becoming very
annoying now that I’m through these tough two sections.

Section 3 has a downhill drop over some big flat rocks then a choice of lines for the second hazard.
The tighter line takes you up a steeper sharp topped rock but puts you on a good line to make a right
hander around a big tree, however, misjudge the speed off the rock and the front will be airborne, or
not enough speed and you could ground out on the knife edge rock. I see all three results while I’m
thinking! The other choice is a less steep approach up the knife edge which has a handy “kicker”
rock at the bottom. I choose this option and it rides nicely for a good safe clean.

At the bottom of the hill lurks No4 and is a variation on previous year’s themes. Initial part of the
section is fairly simple but then the second hazard is where the fun starts!  1 liners take on a tight
turn into a rock pile, and I saw the “other ” Rick of the Daniels type take a 5 in this, before climbing out
over another pile of jumbled rocks. 2 liners have a choice of wide up a groove before turning, but you
run the risk of crossing your own line, or 2 directions through the more solid bed rock. One is a
tempting footrest wide approach or in my view ride the ridge . Mike B shares my thoughts. The ridge
line works well so off up  Tucker’s Hill to find 5.

Ed bumps over another ridge line in 4

A downhill meander in the granite ball bearings with lots of choices as to how to get out from the
bottom. Simplest line is straight up the dirt slot but  I’m told this didn’t work when they were laying out
as it was too soft. Choice 2, from the bottom cut back to the bed rock and then go right/left to the exit
or if you fancy  turn earlier on the downhill and take a more direct approach over the bed rock with a
little right/ left flick. I take the soft dirt line which is completely “virgin” and half way up hit a mini sawn
off tree stump which aviates the front wheel coming very close to the blue tape requiring the dab to
realign. Well its a good line and now I know about the stump!

Once more on the loop and over to 6 where Ed has put in those vicious tight turns where I might have
to play with the clutch which I don’t much care for. Over a fallen tree then around another log and
between an upright fir to set up for a downhill left to go over a huge round boulder. Out right and round
tree one, before setting up around tree two and against the rock face to finish with an uphill tight left
around tree three. I clearly take the first turn too tight and the wheel starts to slip which while easing
the brake puts me in a very awkward position for the big boulder………. safety dab ensues, and good
work through the trees to escape for just one point.

No 7 called “Nukin Futz”is a full bore climb up granite marbles into a series of turns to regain a steep
downhill back to the checker. Just a little care on the speed and it rides out well. First loop total 3,
which could easily have been clean so time to rethink the sections where the dabs were lost.

Out for loop 2 and pleasing cleans on 1 and 2 where Todd tells me Mike and I are the only riders
through with double cleans. Stay with the same line in 3 and that goes well too.

Back down to 4 where chaos is breaking out especially on the 1 line. Wolfy is taking the wide line
and using it well but I still like the ridge line in the middle. All goes seemingly well as I round the last
turn in the wash sand to set up for the rock ridge when the front wheel stops!!! …… perhaps I should
say it stopped rotating as a branch had gone through the spokes and locked up behind the forks,
fortunately I was still moving forward and an extra dab and a kick was required to break the branch
free and escape for a 2. Certainly an odd one there and a very annoying loss of marks.

Wolfy on the wider line in 4

Take the soft dirt line again in 5 and clean it easily  so on round the loop for 6 and the tight turns.
Once again my set up is not good and I arrive off line at the rock and take an identical dab to the
previous loop. The turns go well but I’m on another 3 for this loop.

7 is no problem and a much better attempt at the Falls and through for the clean.

A much better line through the Falls

Last loop and I see I have an 8 point advantage over Eugene after the first two loops. Sail through
1 & 2 again and a cheering Todd informs me that I’m the only triple clean as Mike goofed it for a dab.
Clean 4 without collecting branches and another clean up the soft dirt hill of 5.

Rewalk 6 and see where I’m going wrong. OK, take a wider line which gives me a much better
approach to the big boulder and I’m up and over it easily and now set up for the turns. Coming out of
the second I think I turned too early and even with the clutch and full lock I was tight on the tape and
forced to take 2 to stay in bounds……**** !!   Sprint through 7 and no mistakes on 8 to finish the day
on 8 points which on reflection I could perhaps have gone clean?

Through the Falls for the last clean

Back at the results table the scores are in and some interesting Championship developments !
In MC Experts Rick Daniel is on a mission with 2 fine wins to go with a win and second at Buckeye. He
is well placed if he rides Donner and Casper again. Dave Dewonia had an excellent weekend on the
big Gold Star with 2 wins in Prem Hwy Exp. Fred was in fine form with 2 more wins in MC Int to go
with his win in OK, and with only 4 more needed he has home ground at Casper, a couple at Tooele,
and Milliken where he always goes well…… sorry John but “old age” has it’s perks!

In the “Cub” section Dan and Bob are nearly home after wins at Buckeye, OK and another fine double
a piece this weekend.

Mike Buchholz is planning his assault on Prem Lt Expert with 40 points in the bag here, so with
Casper, Tooele and Milliken Hugh had better watch out !

Eugene and I are still at it with Eugene needing 3 more wins and I have to beat him in any head to
head event to score 4 wins or he will get it on the “old age” rule.

MC Novice is still wide open and while the Arndt family are swopping positions Steve Doyle had a
great return to form sweeping past both of them on Sunday for the win. Steve also goes well at
Milliken where he had a zero card last year.

Wolf Creek with a bursting river

As usual lots to think about on the drive home which was almost incident free until 2 miles from the
house when there was a horrendous BANG ! Sounded like the chassis had snapped in half or the
front end suspension had gone. First inspections reveal nothing but safety first the big rig is nursed
home at 15 mph. As it transpires just another RV thing, and a piece of alloy that acts as a part of the
driver’s front wheel fender had fatigued and was flapping about and over any of “the many” Colorado
bumps this thing was making the most God awful noise!

What’s that awful noise Daddy ?…. don’t worry Hayden it’s a “RV” thing!

Much as I’d like to be on the campaign trail Trials has again come to a halt until September although
I still fancy Steamboat and the Ute Cup…… we will see.

TONY DOWN

Full results can be seen at www.ahrma.org and follow icons to trials
/schedule/observed trials

p.s. Brenda didn’t take as many pictures as you lot aren’t buying them! 

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