A GNOME, A GNOME, MY KINGDOM FOR A GNOME

A GNOME, A GNOME, MY KINGDOM FOR A GNOME

A GNOME, A GNOME, MY KINGDOM FOR A GNOME

“Ok boys, time to pack your bags and get over to Dolores”

With the Rally only one week away the call has gone out to the four corners of the realm to bring the
gnome army to Dolores. Here the massed hoards of gnomes will assemble ready to face the
onslaught of many humans who have a passion for this motorcycle thing.

“I’m a resident miner”

“Bags packed, I’m on my way!”

“I forgot mine……. not so ducky!”

“Eye protection too”

“Got mine” The MSF Beer Goggles…… try them!

“I prefer shades”

“Anything to drink up there?”

“Dolores River Brewery does a nice pint or two”

“Any fishing?”

“Sorry we can’t make it this year, on holiday”

“Look Bigears, I’m going to Dolores and thats that !”

“It’s not Rio, …….. it’s RICO !”

Today the might of UPS brought the two Kings of the gnome world who stand an impressive 18″ tall
along with their sires who only aspire to 8″. The two 13″ Queens are en-route as are another six of the
sires who will adorn the various pit stops around the route. Three minor dwarf gnomes will join us as
the Immunity idols and then the festivities can commence.

“Can you find me ?”

The Day 1 Treasure hunt/Scavenger hunt clues are complete and ready for printing, all 35 of them, to
keep rider and passenger busy as they wander through alpine pastures and bendy curves. Plenty to
see on this one and hardly a dull moment as the miles speed by.

Although Day 1 gets us off to a good start, Day 2, or Gnome Day, is the one I’m looking forward to and
it will be interesting to see how it is received by the motorcycling community. 8 Amazing Race style
clues, a Road Block and the fun Detour all in 230 miles of some of the best riding there is, assuming
it doesn’t get stormy…….. and then there is the search for the Immunity Idols who just love warm water,
or so I’m told. I wonder where they might be? Perhaps we should enlist the help of Survivor Russell?
but of course he may have found them already.

Russell knows gnomes like warm water!

Yes, he found one already

Following our two days of riding, the town of Dolores has it’s own “Escalante Days” which are in honor
of Father Escalante (of Spanish origin) who roamed,like the gnome, through SW Colorado and Utah
giving everything a Spanish name.

For our delights we kick off with the standard town parade, which we have all been invited to ride in,
followed by the chain saw competition and then the fiercely contested ladies arm wrestling.

“Many horses come this way Kemo Sabe”

We get to ride too !!

Advanced logging for beginners

No quarter given here!

Later on we have the Duck Race on the Dolores river! Thousands of plastic ducks crashing down the
river to big money prizes, and one some months later for last place.

The finish of the Duck Race

Meanwhile the two Gnome Kings discuss where to hide the Immunity Idols. First they need to get
into their wet suits (as if that wasn’t a big enough clue)

“Better put the Idols in their wet suits”

NB: the map is NOT a clue

TONY DOWN

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OUT OF THE DARKNESS

 

OUT OF THE DARKNESS

OUT OF THE DARKNESS

3 new looms, sure getting busy in here!

I have always considered Lucas as the “Prince of Darkness” but Ducati with their wiring prowess has
also put in a major challenge for the title. Finally the mystery switch with 3 reds and an orange is now
back where it should be and won’t give any more problems now that the find the two hot wires game
has been won!……. and then get them the right way to their fuses.

The “fun plug” with 3 apples and an orange

Flush with today’s success its time for a breather and then put the rest back tomorrow and see if the
system will charge as it should.

Charge baby, charge

Nearly ran me out of cable ties!

Assuming no other major issues apart from those awful fairing allen screws which were obviously
designed by every manufacturer as a “once use” item in so much that you can undo them once but try
and refit same you will find the center has magically turned out as though you were using a torque
wrench. Very clever, and of course expensive if you can find the required set.

Like all motorcycles the Ducati and I are now familiar with each others quirks and this time I hope to
see the charge light extinguish as we put on the revs. As I’ve said in the past most things Italian are
temperamental but today the sun is shining, the birds are singing so all should be well ……..

Time to try the “New” birthday hi-tech camera which is nearly everything proof, not sure if Idiots are
included in the list ? The last one, which had served me well and taken many of the photos on this
blog finally succumbed to the author’s stupidity having placed same on the garden seat after a flower
shoot and then proceeded to put on the lawn sprinkler for a couple of hours. Result was a non
camera but very, very clean!

Phase 1, tank back on, crossfeed pipe connected along with fuel supply ……. turn key, run switch on,
bit of choke and pleasant clanking begins and Ducati’s monster Elefant roars into life …….. and THIS
time the charge light goes OUT !! Well yipee do! Shade has triumphed once more over petulant Italian
wiring. All that remains are side panels, headlights and seat bits and then a road test after checking
tire pressures. Might have to get my Italian Sidi road boots out to celebrate.

Ducati DONE!

Well not so fast the right front flasher doesn’t again ! Change the bulbs left to right and still nothing
on the right but the other bulb works fine in the left so again not much wiser other than a poor
connection somewhere. Off with the headlamps and recheck the old nasty wiring, quick brush up
and terminal clean and it all works again so unless there is something I don’t know about
MY WORK HERE IS DONE !

Ducati with flashers

With the red one complete time to ring Richard and see if he is back from his Laguna Seca trip and if
he wants his herd back from rehab. Next up will be the other pachyderm in the form of the SWM Jumbo
that needs new boots, a decompressor thing, the kickstart spring and the associated oil seals on that
single shaft.

The weather turned nasty at lunchtime and rained for the rest of the afternoon so not a day for test
riding Ducatis after putting them back to showroom condition. My Sidi boots have now gone into an
Italian sulk.

The 2 Ducatis back in “showroom”

OK, Hannibal come collect your herd and see if your happy Elefants can cross the Alps under their
own power this time and actually see where they are going.

“C’mon Dick, it’s been fun but we want to go riding”



“Somehow I’ve come to like Dolores”

TONY DOWN

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OUT ON THE LOOP

OUT ON THE LOOP

OUT ON THE LOOP

Closing in on our 2 day All Bike Rally so time to check everything over and make sure it runs
smoothly. The last clues have been collected, the rubber stamps are here, so just the reluctant
travelocity gnomes to find their way into deepest Colorado…….. and then of course it would be nice
to get some riders!

The Gnome Army gets ready to go to Colorado

Day One plan to ride the Ouray Loop in a clockwise direction solving the 35 clues and collecting a
few “tie break” items en route. About 230 miles of fun riding but be aware that if DOT has put up
corner arrows then they mean it! As always any riding in the mountains at this time of the year can
be subject to some vicious thunderstorms or you can slip round never seeing a drop, let’s hope
for the latter. Don’t forget your rain gear!

No guard rails……. and a few drops!

Ouray-Silverton

Day 2 goes the other way round and this time you only get the first clue and then you are on your own.
As you solve the clues you will be given the next one and fairly obviously they will be at selected
“watering holes” around the course. There will be a couple of “Immunity Idols” out there and these will
act as “wild cards” for the poker run.

Hello, I’m an Immunity Idol

When all the required pieces are here I will be off for another personal run round the course to deliver
the clues, stamps, and gnomes, not forgetting to hide the Immunity Idols somewhere………… Where do
gnomes hide? from what I’m told there are outside fellows with a passion for water!…… usually warm!
……. but of course not all gnomes sit by fish pools and here I offer up a picture of an old friend and
RAF team mate doing his impression of the said garden gnome complete with fishing rod.

Garden Gnome by pool courtesy Dick Clears

Gnome Home ?

Gnome Changing room clothing optional !

So almost a done deal lets have a look at the road from the rider’s position or more correctly from
the helmet cam when the passenger was feeling condfident enough to take the pictures.

Dolores to Telluride on the SE VROD

Rico to Dolores

Off the mountain coming down to Silverton

?

Nice bit of road



Mancos to Dolores

Some great riding and a lot of fun so hurry up and make those bookings!

TONY DOWN

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  • 7/27/2010 8:24 AM Dick wrote:
    Hi Tony, Hope all your riders have a memorable weekend, sounds like it will be a great event. I’m really envious of all those sweeping bends and fantastic scenery, what a great place for a ride. I would love to be there but distance and age prevent it. And yes the fishing was for real. 20+ overbreeding Rudd caught on maggot and returned to the river. I had tried netting them but they were too quick, fishing prooved the answer but was too easy.
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OUT OF IDEAS

OUT OF IDEAS

OUT OF IDEAS

Donner 2007

Well,…….. as the title would suggest not much happening! Busy yes, but not much of interest going
on and with the crap economy a very sad time for the long distance Ahrma Trials Rider. This weekend
WOULD have been the Donner 2 Day in California had finances and other events permitted but once
again I just have to dream.

Mud & Rivers

Donner has always been one of my favorite events and one where I have always ridden well and I
was very upset to have missed it last year and now 2 in a row is really not pleasing me. There is
something about Donner that I really enjoy and as I have said in the past it comes very close to the
“Perfect Trial”in all respects. Hard reserved trials only parking, excellent watering hole at the Ski
chalet, very well organised event on both days. Superb prizes ( so I’m told ) with a good Cab for 1st
and 2nd places….. as they are usually consumed by No1 supporter on the drive home while I watch!
Perfect trials weather at 6000′ with temps in the 70’s by day and a cool 45 at night. On the section
side they always look challenging but tend to ride easier than they look or maybe I like it so much
that I ride at my best.

Trials ONLY parking

Nice prizes

Tough looking sections

One of the prime reasons for not attending was a 3 day visit by Brenda’s son, Phil, who she hadn’t
seen for over 18 months and they certainly squeezed every last bit of fun out of the visit. Phil arrived
Wednesday and was straight into a Hollywood visit for some geriatric pool and then a little rest before
dinner at the Brewery and then over to Kareokee which of course I love! Phil is an accomplished
singer and put them all to shame finishing with a duet from Grease with Megan which was almost
as good as the real thing.

Thursday and off around the Ouray loop collecting the last few clues and briefing a few of the Poker
Run stops on what we have in mind. Through Silverton and on to Durango for a sushi supper in
temps way up around the 100 mark. Back home and more partying in the Shade garden where Phil
entertained all with guitar and vocals from his CD’s.

Hidden ! But it does exist

Ouray-Silverton

Rider’s dream bends

A souvenir from Handlebar’s

Another clue ?

Richard popped by to check on Pachyderm progress and collect his wiring harness for his third
Elefant which he is taking to Laguna Seca for next weekend….. I’m jealous! A lot of admin work on
the last phase of the census which I expect to finish this week and Lucille’s party at the Columbine
on Sunday.

Last piece for a Ducati

Finally the last part for the red Ducati has arrived so that should be quickly fitted and then they can
be given back and the workshop refilled with trials bikes. So back to the Elefant wiring with fingers
crossed that this is the last piece in the jig saw.

TONY DOWN

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  • 7/20/2010 3:57 PM Mike Crenshaw wrote:
    Sooooo, if there’s not much going on have you ever considered giving some trials schools? Might be a good way to escape this incredible Texas heat for a few days. -Mike
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