With my season having finished at Tooele after Day 1 there are now 4 winters months of nothing until
2011 clicks into gear and another challenge begins. Time to think out any winter projects, imagine
things in the minds eye, and ponder on what to ride in 2011.

For a long time now I’ve been wanting to get rid of the frame undertube on the Cub. Not that it needs
any more ground clearance, but more of an infuriating issue trying to keep it upright on a workshop
stand with the SM bashplate. I need to fabricate something along the lines of the  perfect protection I
had made for the Enfield, a simple but very effective solution.

The undertube that needs to go

The bashplate that won’t sit still !

I need to copy this style for the Cub

The frame would also be nice if it was chrome or nickel but these days on limited funds that would
seem to be out of the question. But…………..

Locally there is a “powder paint” specialist and I have to say what they can do with that technique
these days is quite amazing! I had a look at some of his examples and I was very impressed so
perhaps that might be on Santa’s list if I behave myself. A sort of shot gold and black frame would be

Every color in the rainbow, and then some

The Gun carriage Enfield once again never got to show her worth and although being touted round to
all the events I rode, she sat on the bench and never got an entry. Shame on me!  Not much I can do
with the old girl as it was machined out of the solid and I can’t see any way of lightening the thing up
without going to the expense of a cheater frame in unobtanium.

Maybe I should put it on the “Nutri system diet”

Back to the Cub I could try something fancy and reverse the oil and fuel systems and make a fuel tank
where the current Sammy Miller oil tank is as the top frame member. I could persuade Ray Iddon to
make me an oil tank with full rear tire coverage and then using the current oil tank which is under the
tank, make one slightly bigger and neater as the fuel carrier, a bit like my old Ossamaha. Well food for
thought here. This in turn would remove all the frame carried oil tubes and tidy things up.

Ray’s concept oil tank

Neat and functional on the left side

Of course I have always liked the “Stealth” tank that Ray built for his “One Trick Cub”. Maybe something
a little thinner would really give the No Excuse Cub that “new look”.

One of these but a bit smaller and thinner maybe ?

….. and finally there is the engine? Do I really need any mods here? Never been lacking in power but
perhaps an upgrade to a 230cc or 250cc motor, and of course a new clutch cable. Another item I like
is this very neat and out of the way exhaust system.

Very neat exhaust system


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The morning run

Well it has finally happened and I’m now herding or driving school children to and from their place of
learning. A long circular route to get to this point but now I’m fully licensed and up and running. Some
of you may remember that last year I went off in pursuit of the CDL B for driving motor coaches and
RV’s as there was a tempting advert in the local paper looking for drivers with those qualifications. All
sounded very good but on closer inspection seemed to have a sprinkling of “scaming” in the offer.

So I did drive up to Denver and go to the CDL College to take the test, but true to form the pictures in
their brochure of motor coaches were only “examples” and I ended up driving a very vintage
agricultural school bus as the test vehicle !  Of course at that time I had NO intention of driving 50-60
children to school so I hadn’t taken the extra “S” endorsement.

About June this year Brenda meets a teacher, Kelly, who tells her that the Mancos School District
are in need of a bus driver. Phone calls are made to Wes, the Transport Director, and preliminary
contacts are made but  little seems to be happening as school is out until late August. However,
keeping the ball moving I get through all their bad weather driving quizzes and set off to take the
written part of the S endorsement. All good so far, now I just have to re-do the test again despite
having driven a school bus. Good thing here is Mancos are paying for it and the “where & when”
will be decided soon. Meanwhile Wes lays out cones for me to do some practice at the Bus Barn
and see if I can do some of the new skills tests that have been put in since last year which include
exciting things like parallel parking, a reverse serpentine weave, alley docking and garage
manoeuvres! Wes gives me a lot of useful tips (thank you) and we do a couple of road trips to make
sure I can actually drive the machine.

Back from Casper and time to go to Durango for the test. Nice sensible Examiner who just asks
what is different about this vehicle and what would I check in the pre trip inspection that pertains
ONLY to a school bus. Then out for the drive and of course Durango does have a railway so we know
thats coming in terms of the “crossing”.  As the “skills testing” was done on the previous CDL licence
he doesn’t want to do that again, but all the practice was good fun anyway. No sooner back at the
Barn and now out with Sara for an afternoon route run to learn same and they want me to drive it the
following Monday.

Sara’s bus is the oldest in the fleet and is equipped with the wheelchair lift but doesn’t have any of the
new fangled 4 stage retarders that people use in lieu of brakes and it is not equipped with those auto
flick snow chains. It has a manual door mechanism which I rather like. Off we go and lesson one is
where to park this bus so that the lift will mate up with a concrete step on the sidewalk. This bus
always parks at the end of the line.

Sara’s bus complete with the wheelchair lift

Time for the lift gizmo !  With it deployed and level the pretty little girl who is a spina bifida sufferer
spins her motorized chair into position and backs on. Up she goes and on signal she reverses
herself in and positions for lashing down. Lash the back down and she motors forward and tensions
the straps while I do the front ones. When the first bus of the four in the line goes we all follow and if
you aren’t on board then tough!

Parking needs to be spot on

Our first portion of the route is a square to get the bus going in the opposite direction, turn left at the
Gingerbread house then first right to drop off the wheelchair girl at her house. Again carefully align the
coach so that the lift will deploy on concrete by her house. While I set up the lift an “aide” unbuckles all
the straps and then when she is aboard the lift I gently lower it all to the sidewalk. Back to the school,
drop off the aide, and on with the route. This one seems simple enough providing I can remember all
the stops.

Monday afternoon comes and off I go with my first “load” of passengers. Well they were all duly
deposited by the roadside, nobody fell off the lift, and there hasn’t been a Police investigation for
missing children so I guess they all got home, or to somebody’s home.

Tuesday and now 3 more routes to learn. Basically as there are four routes each one covers a
cardinal direction and Sara’s was predominately to the South. Today I’m with Joe, and we will take in
the Eastbound route. I’m familiar with Joe’s bus which is the shortest of the four, has a good powerful
motor, the auto chains, and an engine retarder on the exhaust which sounds like a flock of screaming
birds when you touch the brakes. It is also the bus I did the test in.

Joe’s bus which I did the test in

The convoy leaves the yard at 0705 and we set off on our loop. I think the pick up run in the mornings
may be the easier of the two trips as your pax are standing by the roadside or waiting in cars with their
parents, the evening runs are more problematic as either a load more children arrive for in town drop
offs or others are no shows as they are playing sport or going home with someone else….. and to
further complicate things for the “new boy” some of the route order changes which I assume is to give
a more equalized student time on the bus.

With all the advice on NEVER EVER reverse a school bus, etc,  it seems that on all our rural routes
there are about 4 turn rounds which require some extensive reversing! On these county dirt roads I’m
already wondering what this will be like in the snow?  No wimpy snow days off here in this School
District !

I now need to do the Drug Testing, which in my case couldn’t ever be a problem as I have NEVER
seen a drug, pot or anything else. The same organization also does the DOT medical and again the
School district pays for all of this. A very slick visit and in and out in no time flat and now round to DMV
for another photo for the new all singing and dancing licence.

Wednesday and today I’m with Cathy whose bus takes the number 3 spot in the line up and we are
off for all the northbound students. Seems like a simple enough route until we get back into town and
pick up all the local children. Likewise the afternoon run has a lot more stops in it and some changes
to the route. Oh well I’m sure I will get familiar with it. Cathy’s bus is of the newer type with auto snow
chains, a four stage retarder, and the newer front end look with the more modern hood.

Cathy’s bus with the modern look

Thursday and the last day of route proving and I’m with senior driver Sharon on the fleet’s newest bus.
This bus motors! Again, snow chains, retarder, bells and whistles for everything, a more modern front
end and generally nicer inside with a modern dash and steering wheel. It is the longest of the four and
of course with a big coach on a standard chassis it has a lot of tail swing so I need to watch where the
back end goes on the corners. This route changes quickly on morning and evening runs so I might
need to go on this one again as with four routes to remember with only one outing on each the brain is
fast reaching memory overload!

We also have an array of cars for special uses and a smaller school bus for mini outings. The good
old Chevy Suburban is used at the moment for taking a “special needs” student to another school in
Cortez and I’ve been on this run a couple of times already. There is also a new Ford Aztec with all
wheel drive but I think the teachers drive this one themselves for conferences.

The Suburban for the special needs run

Eventually when I’ve been through the new boy routine I might get to go on some of the Activity Runs
and transport some of the sports teams to their opponents venues. For this we have two bigger
buses which are more akin to travel coaches and we do have runs to Denver and Albuquerque which
can be a good 400+ miles each way. At the moment I’m the “Sub” so I get to drive a route bus while
the others are away on activity schedules…….. but my time will come!

3 “Sub” runs this week and a look at Sara’s morning route. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of this eventually
but the knowing, who, when and where is a bit confusing as some only travel on certain days, and
might not be on the bus in the evening.

With the morning route run out of the way I’ve now seen all 4 routes in both directions so now its
trying to remember all the stops and the turn round points and who goes where. The afternoon solo
run is on Cathy’s route and by departure time I have 35 onboard. After the first 3 stops in town I’ve lost
about 20 so the noise levels are going down and one little girl is acting as my “aide” and reminding
me of who gets off where today. When she gets off another older boy takes over the duties and we
complete the route about 7 miles short of the full distance as he is the last. Quick reverse in a country
lane and regain the main road and back to the Bus Barn where I’m the first to arrive.

All lined up at the school for the afternoon run

Same route today so I’m better mentally prepared and everything should be a little slicker with all the
signals, bells and whistles! On the learning curve the door switch can be a problem as it is a rocker
switch and I must have touched it the wrong way about twice yesterday. What I discovered here is
that with all the 8 way ambers on as the door opens the lights change to red and the stop sign
comes out, but if fumbling “new boy” hits the door button the wrong way then ALL the lights go out and
I’m back at square one!

Homeward bound

The apprenticeship continues…………


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Tree huggers, tree lovers, and others, let me introduce the Cottonwood. Perhaps one of the nastiest
trees out there in the messy department, here we a have tree that delights in dropping things virtually
year round. I have two of the magnificent beauties which adorn the front of the property and over our
years of tenure here these two monsters have become a regal pain in the arse!

What does this arboreal menace do to upset? …… well it continually drops things and I’m perpetually
cleaning up after it.  If its windy it will shed branches, just small dead ones which it has thousands of.
Next when it comes into leaf it then produces “fluff” which blows around everywhere depositing seeds
on the wind which drift around rather like a spring time blizzard. Now as it gathers late spring/summer
time strength the seeds form tampon like clusters which fall everywhere in 3-5 inch long white mice.
As summer moves along the clusters become bigger and longer and now fall when they reach swiffer
duster size.

In the power lines

Meanwhile the trailing new branches get longer and longer resulting in a weeping willow appearance,
which of course requires continual pruning.  Around the property, thanks to all the summer
thunderstorms and afternoon monsoons the 1/2 million seedlings are germinating all over the park
and are now growing profusely having attained 2-3 inches in perfect growing conditions.

Cottonwood seedlings by the thousand !

To further add to the delights of this plant it now starts dropping branches about 2 feet long in any
windy conditions. ….and then of course we come into autumn or fall, when guess what it will now
generously deposit all it’s leaves. Yes, this tree really is the gift  that just keeps on giving all year

Everywhere you look……. Cottonwoods !

Over a few drinks this summer in the shade garden the fate of the Cottonwoods is discussed and
how to deal with the problem. A week ago having put ideas on a back burner the subject comes to the
fore as the Electric company deposit a “while you were out” notice saying that the trees are interfering
with their overhead power cables and either have to be extensively pruned or taken down. Flipping the
card it states “this will be done, including removal, at NO COST to you”

Rose shelter built, the action begins

The team duly arrive and set forth to do battle. Well I have to say I was very impressed with the
operation and the skill of the tree surgeons. They build shelters around the base of the trees and
anywhere I have plants and gently take down the tree branch by branch in small pieces. The junk and
leaves disappear into the chipper and anything that can be used as firewood is cut up and neatly
stacked ready for winter. Well even at this stage the tree misbehaves and becomes octopus like
sending out clouds of cat pee like vapor on every cut…… yes, it stinks as well!

Skillful use of the cherry picker

The last branch is removed, trunk to go

The team remove the first tree in a day and say they will be back on Monday to get rid of the bigger of
the two. They clean up and leave no mess and cut the first stump level at the height I desire for a later
feature in the rose bed.

Nicely cut and leveled

Monday and they are back at it and skillfully remove the other one branch by branch without causing
any noticeable damage to my rock, heather and conifer bed beneath. Once more the stump is cut and
leveled to my requested height, the logs are stacked as required and they clean up and leave. Now
thats service!

Monday, and now the Big One !

Nearly there……..

Ready for a “future” feature

The winter log pile for FREE


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Nice Trophy ! but, did you deserve it ?

In days of yore it was a simple enough thing to calculate who, all things being equal, would win any
given Championship.  99% of the time we could usually rest assured that “best rider & best bike”
would come out on top but now that is certainly not true and Ahrma is a classic case.

For the most part the rules (no ridiculous changes this year) are pretty simple. We have our National
Trials series with somewhere around 25 events scattered all over the USA. Your aim is to get your
best score from 7 events with scoring being 20 for the win 16 for second, 13 for third 11 for fourth then
10 downwards in 1 point decrements. You can of course get a first place score from Checking or
being a Trialsmaster.  Therefore your best possible score can be 140 from the 7 events, and in the
event of a tie, ie 2 people with equal points, then, after a tie break of most wins, seconds etc, if that
doesn’t resolve it then it will be given to the oldest rider as the winner. Where this is  perhaps a little
unfair is when several riders all tie for 7 wins and with 25 events this can easily happen!  It may well
be that many of these riders have NEVER ridden against each other in direct competition, or
conversely they may have been the ONLY rider in their class and scooped up an easy 20
Championship points without having to make any effort.

A couple of these Championships that WILL go to the oldest rider are Dave Dewonia in Premier
Heavyweight Expert with a good 7 wins with the big BSA over some very daunting and big bike
challenging courses but he will have ridden ALL 7 events WITHOUT any other rider at those events!!
Rob Poole has had some competition to get his 6 wins to date but will fall foul of “the old age rule”
even if he gets his 7th at Hollister or Milliken.

Dan Straka has done all he can on the Stealth Cub in Premier Lightweight Int but is up against Jeff
Smith with 6 wins on the other side of the country and a big age difference.

John Dowson might have scraped home in Modern Classic Int this season with 6 wins and one loss
to Fred Martinson and with 5 head to heads with Fred he put it over Fred at Terlton and twice more on
Fred’s home turf at Casper. However former Champ Fred looks certain to get his 7 wins with Tooele
and Milliken if needed.

I unfortunately have the same issue with Eugene with my 7 wins having competed against him 6
times this season. He beat me once this year fairly and squarely at Buckeye, and then I beat him no
less than FIVE times in direct head to head competition. All Eugene needs are a win on Day 2 at
Tooele and another at Milliken and my fate is sealed as he is ONE year older!


Perhaps we are due for point scoring on a more realistic basis, but how ? Clearly we can stick with
the current system, or even have dual or multiple Champions. Maybe the points could be reallocated
to reflect the number of riders thereby giving a well supported event greater credibility and better point
paying positions?  What do I mean by that you ask?  Well lets say every class must have 5 riders to
score a 20 point maximum, thereby making the winners achievement creditable. If there are only 4
riders then the top place would only be worth 16 and so on down the list until we get to 10 points
which will be the Winner’s points in an uncontested event.

Our two major classes, namely MC Int and MC Nov would normally not be affected by any change of
rules as they usually attract the greatest number of entries by far.

The overall season results would stay the same and your best 7 results would count including the
bonus “20 points” as a give away for workers, checkers, trialsmasters etc. So keeping the 20 points in
for your working duty you need your next top scoring points in the remaining 6 events, which would give
you a top score of 80 if the remaining 6 were uncontested.  Someone else might ride in your class at
another venue where 4 riders were entered and their scores would be 16, 13, 11, and 10 for the 4th
place finish, or with 3 in the class 13,11 and 10, and with only 2 riders, first would be worth 11 points
and second 10 thus giving a more realistic “value” to the points won. This would then mean you could
NOT travel the country picking up class wins at uncontested events and being able to then “ditch”
second or third place scores where you have been beaten.

Using the “names” I have listed lets see how it all pans out using the system I am advocating.

Prem Hwy Exp

Dave Dewonia             7 Uncontested wins at Cotopaxi, Casper, Tooele and a duty checking at Milliken
7 x 10 (uncontested wins)  1 x 20 (checker)   Best out of 7 events 1 x 20, 6 x 10  = 80 pts

Rob Poole                    6 wins, 1 with 3 riders, 4 with 2 and 1 uncontested. 7th event say checker or TM
1 x 13,   4 x 11 (44),  1 x 10  1 x (worker points) 20                            = 87 pts

Prem Lt Int

Jeff Smith                     6 wins, 2 with 2 riders, 4 uncontested, and of course a checker duty
2 x 11 (22),  4 x 10 (40), 1 x  (worker points) 20                                 = 82 pts

Dan Straka                  7 wins, 3 with 3 riders, 2 with 2 riders, 2 uncontested ( of course Dan was the TM
at Casper) and could have taken TM worker points and discarded 1 uncontested
3 x 13 (39), 2 x 11 (22), 1 x 10, 1 x (worker points) 20                      = 91 pts

Classic Exp

Eugene Waggoner  11 rides and 1 checker duty
1 win with 3 riders, 1 win with 2 riders, 4 uncontested wins 1 x checker duty
5 second places (all discarded)
1 x 13, 1 x 11, 4 x 10 (40),  1 x (worker points) 20                                      = 84 pts

ME                               5 wins with 2 riders , 1 second with 3 riders, 1 x uncontested  1 x Trialsmaster
5 x 11 (55), 1 x 11, 1 x 10 (discard), 1 x (worker points) 20                     = 86 pts

All this WOULD promote better head to head competition and perhaps reveal the better riders as
opposed to riders with unlimited funds, multiple events, and uncontested wins running away with
Championships. Of course it would also mean you had better select 6 rounds where other riders in
your class are present if you need or want top points. ONLY an IDEA at this stage but if enough of you
agree with me then it COULD be proposed and sent up the line……… let me know your thoughts, or
any others on the subject. Of course it might get rejected, like the Twinshock Class, but if we don’t try
it will be the same old, same old.


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  • 9/25/2010 7:22 AM Jim Crain wrote:
    Hi Tony,

    Good proposal. I have always felt like I was cheating winning a championship when I had done little more than show up.
    Reply to this

  • 9/28/2010 7:54 PM Doug Yeo wrote:
    An alternative may be to give the last place rider in each division 2 points with 2 additional points being awarded for the next best finish. Tony, with rider based points how would you like it if the east coast guys decided they would add non point chasing riders to the east coast events, thus buying a championship with riders that were not chasing national points.

    Better solution may be to have your 5 best finishes be qualifiers for National points. then have your national championship points based upon head to head events. Perhaps 5 national championship points events where your best two finishes count. Points awarded by the number of national riders in your division at each event. That would ensure that the true champions would be looking for national events with more competition. By having the championship events throughout the county the championship chasing riders will experience the chance to ride the varying conditions found around the country.
    Reply to this

  • 10/2/2010 3:11 PM Dave Rhodes wrote:
    I have seen this same sort of farce in Canadian Trials – One guy won a Championship a few years ago in Alberta by just being at all the events in a class that was specially created for him to ride by his son, who happened to be the Prez of the club. – My thinking is that if you don’t get 4 riders in a class, then no points are awarded – a bit hard maybe, but this is supposed to be a sport with a challenge. Cherry picking should only be done in the orchards.
    Reply to this
  • 10/22/2011 2:10 PM Bill Rogers wrote:
    Greetings. I had a thought: Why not award a season title, and also hold a final tournament at the end of the season?
    Bicycling holds its world championship races at the end of the regular season, and awards trophies for each title.
    Great blog!
    Reply to this
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Tooele, a great venue in 2008

After the return from Casper I had mentally resigned myself to the fact that Eugene will creep away with
“MY” title this year using the old age rule, with him being one year older than me! I know that this year
MANY championship will go the same way and I would see “whippersnapper” John Dowson losing MC
Int to a determined Fred Martinson and Dan Straka losing Prem Lightweight Int to Jeff Smith should he
ride one of the remaining rounds which I’m sure he will do.

Those Championships that look secure are Dave Dewonia on the big BSA in  Premier Heavyweight,
Bob Strohman in Classic Int with seven wins and as Mike Buchholz didn’t contest Tooele I believe Hugh
Campbell has stepped up for a win in Premier Lightweight Exp…….. which I might have a go at next year.
Rick Daniel looks fairly secure in the MC Expert Class on my EX Ossamaha which won the class last
year in the capable hands of Mike Buchholz. MC Nov is still up for grabs and has about 5 potential
winners trading places at every venue.

Well anyhooo, come Wednesday Brenda says “you need one more ride don’t you?”…….. Imagine my
surprise!……. so she suggests I slip over to Tooele for Saturday, sleep in the car Friday night and get
back here in time to pick her up at work and take the dogs out on Saturday night.

Obviously any trials man with a “pink chit” is going to jump at the chance so some feverish work begins
getting the Cub cleaned and ready after the Casper mud. Some new plugs are purchased, gapped and
fitted along with all the other “post mud” trial maintenance. Brenda supplies an air mattress and with
sleeping bag, pillow and an assortment of goodies I’m on the road at 1130 Friday.

Pulling into the venue at 1830 I note the track has improved over the last 2 years and how quiet
everything is ? Venture over to E & E’s and find everybody inside at the nibblies. Big surprise is to find
Eugene and wife present!!!!??????   Reason I’m surprised is that he made a point of telling me he
wasn’t riding any more events this year as his back was too painful. Of course he has 2 wins, from
Buckeye, 2 more from Terlton, which I didn’t go to, and a checker duty at Casper on the last day. With 4
second place finishes behind me at Cotopaxi and Casper he still needs 2 wins to get the magic 7
and win on age. I rather suspect he thought that as I wasn’t going to Tooele he could sneak a couple of
uncontested wins and make off with the title. Well when we talked at Casper I was convinced that my
season was done so my presence was not exactly a “pleased to see you” experience.

The “Miller Lights/Lites” from the car park

Friday night never really got going and by 2100 I’m in the back of the Cadi trying to get in the sleeping
bag and have a dog free night’s sleep. As nobody else is drinking I can look down the valley to see the
other Miller Lights from the motorsports park.

Start time

Saturday morning and about 25 riders are here with an awful lot missing from the last time we ran the
event. No sign of the Woodwards, Mike Buchholz, Lindemans, Rick Armstrong or Tom Maddux, no
shows from nearly all of the Californian riders with Derek Belvoir, Nick Turner, Rick Daniel, Len Sims,
Rick Wolff, Ralph Foster all missing. As we are also missing any checkers the event gets the go
ahead for a two half deal with the lower classes checking in the morning and roles reversed for the

All 1 & 2 line riders start at section one which, like many of the “Lipscomb” sections, could easily be
divided into 2 subs. We enter to set up wide in tall grass to make the first log crossing which is
securely anchored and is not going to move, no sooner over that then cross another log which I think
will fall to bits after a few riders, from there downhill adverse to make a triple log crossing into an
uphill “S” which could be problematic if it gets chewed up. From there over a blind crest into another
left, right flick to set up for the uphill and slip between 2 trees before an up down to the ends gate.

Dan, back on the Honda, takes on the “Triple Oxer” of 1

Now the uphill “S”

The final hill of 1

Most people are cleaning it with the odd dab an a few 2’s. A nice controlled clean goes in the books so
over to 2 to see what we have here. One thing about this place and perhaps my only criticism is the
amount of uncleared brush in the sections which can not only be distracting but is in some cases
unlucky and dangerous. In my opinion the line through any section should be clearly defined and
small saplings, prickly branches and dangerous obstacles should be cleared. Of course I’m not talking
about “hazards” which are clearly there as the test. 3 feet high sage brush bushes do not fall into that
category and should be removed!

John Clement, also on a Honda, takes the 1 line of 1

Through the extra gate of 1

Section 2 has a double log step into an adverse left, right and up around the tree before gliding across
a clearing for a double 45 degree log step to the finish. Hazards here are turning too early on the first log
step, too much power on the uphill turns and a wheel slip on the 45 logs. I cross the logs and I’m
comfortably established on the uphill when the engine dies for an exceedingly annoying feet on the
rests 5. Now I thought I had this “bug” sorted so a few more adjustments and on I go still fuming!!!

Passing two misnumbered Sunday sections we all arrive at Saturday 3. Another long Lipscomb
special. Trundle along the side of the dried up bog and meander uphill to the left picking a line through
the rocks and trees. Now a choice, either long and easy wide turn through stable rocks to the dry side
and then adverse 90 left uphill to the checker, or a much tighter downhill turn and then across the bog
direct to the checker. I elect the longer, wider route but the 90 gets me for a dab.

At 4 Jim himself is here. What does that mean, hard or just technical? Seems a reasonable section to
me, enter downhill, sharp right turn with a drop, recover and set up for uphill weaving blast through
some Aspens, turn through 180 left on an open ungated area and back down a steepish drop over
rocks,then trundle 7 yards to a little uphill blast on a bank around a tree. While I’m watching I see three
5’s here from people missing gates! All goes well here and straight into Rob Strickler’s section 5 which
is one we used 2 years ago in a no escape ditch filled with good size rocks. A bit like a Scottish section
on a dry day. Nice clean here so off to 6.

Up the banks of 4 in 2008

The rock filled ditch of 5

Section 6 is the most difficult by a long way with perils everywhere if you get it wrong. Entry into rolling
riverbed rocks, uphill right turn into downhill left/right severe adverse with rocks, roots and stumps into
further soft adverse with full right uphill swinger into down and out finish. Nearly right, lost one one the
adverse right, lost another on the uphill swinger. Elder statesman Knapp is in full control darting round
the section like a butterfly but NOTHING escapes his eagle eye!

7 can only be described as a disappointment as it had a lot of potential but due to some missing
gates was a very simple down hill over an awkward 9″ log then up a “no problem” bank and flat ride to
the exit. Looks like it was missing all the ups and downs in the Aspens that must have been in the
Trialsmaster’s eye.

Forgotten split cards ruined Section 7

Over to 8, controlled by the Arndt family, and an uphill pumice affair then off the rock into loose then
back on the rock again to start a meandering downhill amid rollers and loose dirt. With cleans on the
last 2 sections back to the start knowing the stalling 5 has cost me dearly in what is a clean card day
with more application. First loop scores are not up so out for loop 2 with a determination to “get it right!”

Pull in to the start of 1 and more fun as the clutch cable snaps!!!  Well this is turning into a frustrating
morning!!  Repairs completed and through 1 again for a nice clean and now as I predicted the second
log has become matchsticks. Pull up to Gene Medeco(something or other) and FM! the nipple lets go
again and I see the said item fall out of the lever and drop in the vegetation! Lucky for me Gene’s
glasses are on max and he retrieves the mini nipple from the deep brush.

Fred on the logs of 1 en route to another MC Int win.

Back to the start and try and rethread the cable with the mini nipple and by now the cable is coming
unwound and with my failing eyesight threading the needle is v difficult. With multiple crimps of pliers
the worn frayed cable is persuaded back through the orifice and I know this as odd stray wires stick in
my thumb and bleeding commences like being bitten by “noseeums”. Now taking the mini screwdriver
the little silver barrel bolt is inserted into the Domino nipple and as expected falls in the vegetation
somewhere close to my feet!

…….7,8, 9……10, smile sweetly, say nothing! A few minutes later the shining silver screw is found…..
my patience and enthusiasm are rapidly going out of the window but as we know in trials even when
you are having a bad day others are having an even worse one!

Try again and tighten it all up ……. it pulls straight off but I catch it before it falls. I have about 1/4 inch of
cable to play with and once more after more finger poking the thing is back on the cable……… but, as I
try and screw it together the bloody screw slips from my watch makers fingers and this time I hear it
bounce on the trailer rack. I search the channel where it landed and can find nothing!

Walk away in disgust….. so near and yet so far! Time for a ciggy and a drink and calm down. Back to
the “screw in a haystack” situation and carefully search the immediate area either side of the rack to
no avail. At this point Hugh turns up an offers his bike if I can’t get going. One more search of the rack
channel and there it is gleaming right up at me!…… Ziss time Zere will be NO Prizzoners!

The little screw is finally in and a few very determined extra turns seem to have it fixed. By this point I’m
needless to say last man and I’m delaying everything. I’m given the choice to ride with the afternoon
team but I elect to rush round as fast as I can …… and I mean FAST. At the scorer’s table I see Eugene
has finished today on 26 and I now have an 18 mark cushion so off I go.

With section 1 previously completed out to 2 and zip through there for the clean I should have had the
first time. At 3 no time to walk anything so blunder straight in, use the same line and now lose 2 on the
uphill 90 to the exit. Steve tells me the tighter turn is the way to go and where the cleans are coming
from. High speed through 4 and 5 and a single dab lost in the tricky 6 which is cutting up. 7 and 8
clean so high speed back to the start for a 12 minute loop!

Last card, still a 15 mark cushion, so try not to make too many dumb mistakes. Through one with a
lot of wiggling on the loose uphill after the triple log but safe.  Boot gets pulled off on a sage brush in
2 but I’ll take it in view of the speed. Take a tight turn on Steve’s advice in 3 and ride a nice clean.
Easy fast cleans in 4 & 5 and back to John Knapp at 6.  No time to look and as I round the tree for the
tricky entry into the adverse there is a large round river rock right where I want to go and as it wasn’t
here last time I guess it will roll if I touch it, elect to ride round it which puts me on the low side of the
adverse and now as I put the power on the back slides away speedway style for an unsaveable 5 !
Through 7 and 8 in a blur and complete loop 3 in 15 mins. Not the most stellar ride and 2 silly 5’s in
the 17 mark total but as they say a “Win is a Win” no matter how it was achieved.

Well of course I would have loved to stay for Day 2 and dispense another can of Whoop Arse but as
the “pink chit” has run out I’d better get on my way. Seems the Utah people don’t really care to much
for speed limits and the home run is completed in 6 hours and 20 mins for the 400 miles. Everybody
drives at about 75-80 here regardless of the posted limit.

The intention was to take a load of pictures but with the “other” incidents of the day best laid plans on
the photo front did not come to fruition!

My season is done!


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A splash of overnight rain but up a little earlier this morning and now the body is insisting on a double
dose of coffee before anything is going to come to life.

Day 3 then? only 10 sections and just the Vintage group wandering round so we should finish a little
earlier and be on our way around 1300 with any luck. Manage to get the show on the road a little
quicker this morning and either the body has given up in disgust or it has decided to get with the

Briefing over the Cub is a bit “spitty” on start up and seems a little off but then seems good enough
after it warms up. Today our 10 sections are on a reverse loop of Saturday and joy of joys, NO Lego
Land and perhaps a bit more mud and I hear the easy No 2 from Saturday is reversed and uphill so
that should be good.

0900, and off we go with the first section of “Island” where we drop in from the track, cross the water to
the island and then drop back in the river for a top turn in water, mud and rocks and cross over again
for the tricky uphill adverse exit to the track. I see a few marks dropped but overall with a bit of care it
should ride well on idle power……. and so it does for a good satisfying clean.

First crossing to the Island Section 1

The top turn of 1

No 2 is just off the track above one of our standard river crossings. Enter and slight downhill into uphill
45 degree slice at a soft grass bank, turn on top then wiggle round some trees to line up for a log
crossing before the exit. Another nice clean and this section should stay the same all day.

Through the river and down and round to the previously used mud hole. This has never really been a
problem and I don’t forsee any coming so I dive straight in without walking it. Complete the turns as
planned but on line up for the exit the front wheel climbs out of the rut and takes me by surprize for an
incredibly dumb dab. Somewhat similar to a dab on Town Hall Brae!!! (Not that I ever did, but I know
a lot who have)

No 4 is out on some banks which are grassy, muddy and some are also dry and loose. Two sets of
up-downs with left hand turns on the tops. All goes well here so press on to 5.

Section 5 is the reverse of a new one used last year and has one of those tree stump start gates that
are footrest wide. Through that into immediate left 90 then either reverse through 180 right and then
turn through 90 left into 10 foot drop and up the far side to the exit or take a longer looping downhill and
then power on in a long adverse left uphill which could get slippery. Mike Buchholz and I agree on the
straight drop and we both clean it.

Tree stump start on 5

A little further on there is a parking area denoting the start of Section 6.  A level start in some fast
flowing water with some gates to negotiate amid slippery rocks, fast flowing 9 inches of water with
grass and mud everywhere. Further up another gate with a higher crossing of a log for 1 liners and
something flatter for the 2’s. Mike and I watch Rick Daniel start well enough then get in an almighty
muddle on the log. Mike comes through next and all goes well until the log which is clearly much more
slippery than it looks and the bike goes sideways and shoots across the section into deep water and
a completely virgin line that had never been walked or even considered. Seems the log needs a
straighter attack!  I turn earlier after the first gate but the wheel sinks in the goop before it comes
straight taking me for an unexpected dab. Sail through the rest of it so need a “compromise” line next

Rick through the first gate of 6

Very slippery on that log

Out and enjoy the fast single track to 7  which is Saturday 2 in reverse. Now this should be good! All
3’s and 5’s here from what I’m seeing so plunge in and whip round the first goopey turn clean with
alternating power. Burst on across the very deep and thick stuff and then power off to roll out by the
turn ( God I love these!!) power back on to come across the easier stuff and creep round to the exit.
As I start the last turn the f88888******** *****8 thing whiskers a plug and quits!!!!!!!!!!!!! After all my
hard work the air is somewhat BLUE and that is saying it politely.

First uphill turn of 7 in the mud hole

Plug changed, on we go around the track and back down the meadow to 8. 1 and 2 lines are the
same here with a gentle ride across a hard bedded clear stream and then set up for a giant log with
no kicker or run up? Other choice continue past the log and go further down and attempt to turn round
in a brush and mud hole and then come back for a bit more of a run in at the said log. 5 after 5 seems
to be the story and those going by the log are getting stuck in the turn and can’t get any further. See
Fred (the master of the clutch tight turn) try the further past turn but this ends in tears losing three
before getting to the log. Dave Dewonia sinks the Bismark BSA in the same hole for his 5. I’ll try a fast
turn leap and see what happens???? Well I’m up on the log for 1 but 2 more go out the window in the
deep bog the other side of the log.

9 & 10 are back at the start and are today’s spectator sections. Alan Duke has 9 which is reasonable
until the exit gate which can catch you out with its groove and tight turn.  I’m good here with a little flick
of the bars.

Out of the slime on 9

10 is another Saturday reverse but having walked it there is an easy way out as there is no card this way
round for the big rock. Study the line and watch other’s progress to make sure I’m not going the wrong
way. Down in the water, cross to the far side and gently set up a path for the exit bank and run out to the
finish. It goes to plan and with the frustrating 5, ten marks lost on loop 1. Speak with Eugene whose
back is still playing up so he is doing his checking duty today for 1st place points.

Nursing it round the far bank of 10

Loop 2 and plain sailing through 1-3 and a little close to a blue wandering tape in 4, no problems at 5
so back to the tricky 6 which may have cut up. Well the improved compromise line works well and a nice
clean so lets see if I can do better on 7 where I had the whiskering 5.

Good line up through 1

This one has cut up but I’m going to use the same technique and it goes well enough with one prod to
keep forward progress. Over the top to 8 and have a quick look in the hope that the log has been
chewed up a bit. No such luck, so same attack and same result for another three. 9 goes the same way
as before with a final flick at the exit. 10 rides as before so only 4 lost this loop.

Coming out of the river at 10

Not yet 1100 as I set out for the last loop after a quick gentleman’s coffee break at the coach. Brenda
comes out for some photos so better not screw up looking at the camera!  Nice precise cleans on 1-5
so just the three problem sections of 6,7 and 8 to get through.

A bit of power on 1

Out of 1 for the last time

Where did you learn this technique John ?

Section 6 has cut up a bit more so try and find a dry line before the log crossing. Same result as the
first go but very close.

The mud hole at 7 seems to be bottoming out so I think I can ride it slower and use the 1 line as the
route. Nice balance and power all the way round for an enjoyable clean on my favorite of the day.
Congratulations from Rick and Ron who were watching and a chat on UK trials and Kentish mud. See
a few more dabs and two’s as we chat.

Over to 8 for the last time and the section seems a little wider, or is it my imagination? Jimmy and
John ride it well and I have to say  Jimmy is really doing very well on the Yam. I take it as wide as I can
and surprise myself by getting up on the log and just take a steadying dab to get out.

Still the tricky exit of 9 to deal with but I’ll give it the flick by the gate to get out.  Not sure whether John’s
technique is in Sammy’s book or something he is learning from moto-cross but it worked.

Little flick for the exit

Much improved riding from Jimmy

No problem……… yet!

Here it is again! (The Air Dab) Not covered in the “Sammy” book

10 goes well and the event is over with only 2 lost on this loop and a total of 16 including the whisker

Dazzling ! last time through 10

Loading complete, jacks up, awards presented, thanks you’s and farewells over, time to be on the
road by 1300 and see if we can make Walmart at Rifle tonight. Meanwhile whatever happened to
Raeph and Priscilla this year?

“Raeph darling, is it true? Have they really gone?”

“Yes, my sweet, but … they WILL be back next year!”


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Up early for Day 2 of the Casper Spectacular and today we are starting at 0900 which is a shade early
for us veterans especially as the body is saying you must be joking you did this yesterday! Well time to
suck it up, get the proverbial in gear, and go and have some more fun.

Today we are running up the hill after starting in the river and then into the “Fish Ponds” and other
delights up the top. Back down the side, through a modified yesterday Section 1 and then out across
the valley through 2 more stream sections and then regaining the track for sections 9 and 10 above the
start area. With all those done drop back into Lego Land by the start for our run at 11 sections and 3

Down to Section 1 which starts off the last turn of yesterday’s 10 and begins with an angled turn into a
largish log followed by a tricky tight left turn to position for the muddy climb out of the river into an uphill
“S” along the bank to the exit. All kinds of marks are being lost on the log and the following turn and it
seems that a flowing turn is the answer. I’m waiting with Jimmy Allison and yesterday’s star John.

John starts in but gets caught up on the log and although the back end is moving every which way the
checker scores him a 5 ! Well he is HUMAN after all !! I clear the log but the front slips on the slime
covered rocks and I exit the section for the loss of 1.

Up the hill and left today and into the woods to find the mud hole of fish ponds. Through here with a
clean and straight into the tricky number 3. This one has a simple enough start but then becomes
awkward in a hurry with a right turn on a moss covered slab rock to go either side of a big tree with a
nasty root system at footrest width. I see several 5’s with back wheels sliding off the flat rock and
others meeting the same fate being unable to get up on the rock. I’m going well but need a double
footer to get out of the root system but it is possible.

Down the path to 4 and 5 neither of which are by any way gimmees. 4 drops in off a gated rock into
a very tight left turn to pass around the end of a monster fallen tree then out to the tape and tight right
turn to attack the log on the 90. A little mini turn around another big log and out. A safety dab but again
not outside the realms.

Over at 5 a tight turn entry left then reverse in rubble in the wet grass and drop into a muddy flowing
stream and ride through to the exit. Must be stiff this morning as the muscles won’t relax during the
switch over turn and a shambling 2 gets punched but overall on what I had seen that wasn’t bad. 5
down and 6 lost so time to relax and rethink.

Nice run out of the woods and down the track to find 6 which is a variation on yesterday’s 1 coming in
the other direction. Downhill run on idle to get the widest line up in the water to cross 2 firm logs and
drop into a deepish pool but as far as I could tell without any underwater hazards. Now find a way out
using 4 choices on the bank and ease through 2 gates before a run down to the exit. All goes exactly to
plan and get the second clean of the day.

Section 7 is a tape hugger entry before a 90 right behind a tree crossing the narrow deep river
squirting uphill on the muddy bank and then stay high before dropping back in the river and powering
out up another gnarly bank by the checker. Ok here so follow the stream through all previous years
sections until finding number 8.

Cross the river at 90 and then minimize the rock hazards in the muddy grass and find a good entry
back in the stream for a narrow uphill exit wall of death style around a big rock and then trundle through
the muddy rubble to the exit. Good here so out on the track to find 9 and 10.

Just before 9 and 10 Eugene is in the grass and complaining of a bad back which was giving him a lot
of discomfort yesterday. Well I’m stiff but the show goes on. 9 has several choices on my line but the 1
line looks the best and smoothest even though it is higher up the hill. A good blast to get to the top then
idle round the big rocks taking care to position the front wheel out of the potential rollers before starting
the steep downhill. Another pleasing ride so move on to 10 which appears similar, and rides much the

Now its Lego Land again so lets see what the Trialsmasters have for us?  Big tight “S” turns through
the concrete and then out to the tape taking on the smaller repositioned logs. Now round the big
concrete drum tables and enter the upright Diamond and then on the exit take a leap of faith over the
biggest log and turn quickly for an up and over of the table top concrete. Cub behaves perfectly and a
clean on lego Land at last !  6 marks lost in the first 5 sections so maybe things will get better as the
muscles relax.

Zach Woodward on Lego Land

Danny Messmore on the little Hodaka this year

Out for loop 2 and a nice flowing clean on 1 where I lost the dab last time. Clean on 2 and 3 through
that root jumble. Section 4 starts well but dropping off the rock step the sump hits a little bit I hadn’t
seen and the impact on landing jars my hand and as I take the tight turn the fork leg tangles with a
rock and pulls the wheel the wrong side of the monster log for a “NO known recovery” 5.

I get the turns better on 5 but still need a prod to get it lined up for the muddy ditch. Good cleans on
6,7,8,9 and 10 so back to Lego Land where Bill Brokaw is sitting on a collapsed table. He looks a bit
out of it and is just sipping water and is covered in dirt. Seems all was going well until the giant log
after the Diamond where he went over the bars and didn’t get up. He fractured his hip and also had a
bit of concussion I think but he is now all plated up and doing well. I managed an exact replica clean
of my first attempt so finish the second loop on another 6 points. Ed has had enough for today and
Eugene quit after the first loop having lost 25.

Kenny Mosteller leaps the log where Bill fell

Out for the last loop, perfect log crossing on 1 but ran it too wide on the turn and lost 1 in the water.
Cleans on 2 and 3 again in the fish ponds and now for the huge log thing!  Much better drop off the
slab and spot perfect turn at the end of the log. Line up good and up and over for the clean. Another
replica effort in 5 with an extra long dab and out and back on the loop.

No problems this time on 1 for John

Jimmy takes the double wide line which might have been better

Cleans through 6-10 and into the man made stuff for the last time. All good until exiting the Diamond
when I let it run too wide putting me at the highest point on the log. Take a safety which I could
probably have done without but at least I’m safe with a 3 point loop total. Wonder boy John was
following me and got completely parked for a second but then heaved off into what looked like a
certain 5 but somehow manhandled it for a three!

Parked ! ……. but you should have seen what happened next……..

Well that was fun, 2 down, 1 to go. Time for some liquid refreshment and then go and watch the pro’s
this afternoon.

That was fun, now where’s the beer ?

Watch the Pro’s on Lego Land for a while as they decided what is the section they will ride and then
go up to the Fish Ponds for some apple picking and see how they get on in the mud pit. Back to see
the later loops at Lego land and then more refreshments.

Keith doesn’t like it this way round

US Teamster Sarah Duke gets up on the drum table

Nasty mud up in Fish Ponds

Difficult to hop/bop in deep mud……. 2 lost here!

Amazing !!!

Now what ?

Ed arrives to announce “nibbles” so we set forth and join the party at their place where all and sundry
are enjoying same. More of Molson’s finest and then John offers me a Boddies………. haven’t had a
Boddington’s since Scotland. Birthday cake and beer and another Casper day is over.

The day is done!


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After a 10 hour drive we pull into Walmart at Casper and join another 12 night stoppers also parked
for some rest. No wonder the RV business has been poor this year as people are free camping where
ever they can.

Pulling in, sun rise Saturday morning

Saturday morning and away early to complete the last 20 miles or so to the start. Weather perfect and
the track is hard and dry as we bump our way along the trail to the start area. Dan has kindly reserved
our spot and we are soon established and level. Usual questions at sign up and all the “when and
where’s” answered time to unload and prep a bike.

Ready for action

We will start around 0130 when the modern bikes have finished their first portion of the Mosteller Cup.
We have 12 sections today running a clockwise loop down and around the lower river. Section one is
being checked by Colorado star Keith Wineland and is not the “friendliest” opener for an AHRMA event.
Just up from the start about 100 yards into the meadow we get down into the river and have multiple
choices (a common Casper practice) either up the bed with mud rocks and water or swing wider and
take on either a single log or a double to set up for a 3-4 steep root infested bank which is already
covered in mud from the morning riders.

The tough opener of Section 1

Brenda will be late out as she is smoking a turkey for tonight’s pot luck so I sit and watch and take a
few pics. From what I can see the log crossings certainly give you a head on attack at the bank but
staying in the stream looks just as good to me. Marks are being lost big time with a lot of 5’s and a
sprinkle of 3’s. I see 2 good cleans here from Trialsmaster Fred and his main opposition young
(relative AHRMA term) John Dowson. Even big Dave’s BSA makes it through with a bit of assistance
but some of the modern bikes spin to a stop. I see Eugene spinning and legging the Bult so I need a
3 or better.

Dave crashes the Gold Star up the bank for 2

Modern bike rider spins to a stop on the roots

Hugh gets up the bank but takes a dab by my foot

My turn comes and I stay in the river and the Cub sails through making little of it. Back in the sunshine
and now up and over the hill to No 2 which is deepish mud but a very simple section and I would be
cross if I lost any here.

Down the path and on to find Alan Duke at 3. An adverse bank section in loose crumbles then downhill
sharp left to an “S” turn before the exit. One or two silly dabs being lost here and I make a simple
section look difficult but escape for the clean. Alan is a busy man this week riding the modern in both
days of the Mosteller Cup, minding for his daughter Sara for all 5 events this weekend then off with
daughter and the rest of the US teams to act as minder for both the women’s and men’s teams in
Poland on Friday. Good luck!

Around the loop to 4 which was a newbie last year. A sort of fallen tree that has regrown lying on it’s
side, enter and over the main trunk, 180 tight left turn then through two upright branches, tight right turn
onto grass and soft dirt adverse to the exit. No mistakes this year so on to find 5.

Section 5 is new this year and has a variety of lines for all classes. On my line I can enter and turn tight
left to go over a smallish log and then full power up the hill and ride along the adverse bank before
turning back downhill around the last tree and meander back to the checker, or take a lower and
perhaps safer line turning lower down on the bank and then being forced to run the slower uphill
adverse to the last tree and make a 180 around that. The lower line looks fraught with potential
problems so I go full bore on the upper line and it rides nicely for the clean.

Over at 6 I see several big names in trouble with Ed and Dan Straka both having a 5 ! We run in on the
uphill adverse and take a left turn to cross some tree work and then exit in a looping right, down and up,
adverse on soft dirt. The Cub does all that is asked and now half way round with still a clean card.

Ed lost in the tree maze

At 7, I see someone has picked all the apples! Never mind I’ll find some tomorrow. 2 starts here with
3,4 and PI staying up on the bank and 1 and 2 dropping into the river then positioning for a steepish
uphill gulley to get up on the bank to enter a downhill right left around the apple trees. Very easy to drop
a few here, either prodding on the uphill adverse gulley or going too fast prior to the tricky downhill
sweeping exit. All goes well here.

8 is a series of turns through the trees culminating in a final log crossing and then a full 180 left tight
turn to the exit. It seems the line up on the log crossing is critical……. all goes well.

Section 9 is back in the river and mud and has been an old favorite over the years. Today we enter on
the flatter side, cross the river including the slippery underwater log then into a tight uphill climbing turn
to the left and the checker. I see several mistakes here including a few 5’s on the underwater log by
going too slow. I think I have it sorted ….. but, as I cross the log I think I put the power on too early as the
back wheel spins which I compensate for with a knee out bit of body English. My knee hits the bank
and forward momentum drives me into it !  I’m stuck, I can’t get my foot off the peg for the dab as the
forward motion has my leg compressed and I can’t lever myself off with my elbow ?  A few expletives
and I resign myself to a dumb feet up 5 as I can go NOWHERE !

I fume my way back to the start area and find 10 down in the river. Another multiple lines job but
basically enter, cross the river and go around the big rock then either take on a direct attack on more
logs and rocks or pick a path in the river bed to finish on the mud area and set up for the final crossing
and uphill turning exit. Another nice clean to make up for the dumb 5 !

Mike takes on the logs and rocks line

Dan, complete with apehangers on the Ossa comes round the rock

Safely round the last turn

Out in the sunlight and time to see what “Lego Land” has to offer. Not sure what it is about man made
obstacles, or whether I have had bad memories of this one but whatever the reason I always seem to
get in a muddle here. Maybe just poor planning? Today is a right hand run crossing the steepish table
top just after entry then either out wide and turn back over a high log or turn tighter and take it on directly.
From there wander through the concrete making a mental note of your own tire track and cross a series
of three more logs before the exit. Over the table top and complete the turn but find myself at an awkward
angle for the log and need 2 to get over it. Poor position at the last log and there goes the last prod for a
classic 3.

Off the table top of Lego Land

The last section is my favorite from last year riding up the waterfall. Again I’m seeing people getting into
all kinds of a mess with Dan Straka pushing the Ossa (new toy) out followed by Ed doing much the
same. I rocket up it and for little known reasons take a tippee toe dab at the top of the hill…………. dumb!

Jim on the 3 line of Waterfall in hunter orange

A good line up the Waterfall

Loop one over, 9 nice cleans, 9 not so nice marks lost! ….. but it has taken nearly 2 hours to get round
with all the queues. Time to come out of Impulse and set Warp drive! Race round the first 7 sections
punching cleans everywhere. Nothing has changed at 8 but I manage to go too slow over the final log
but find I have nowhere to dab and the whole shooting match ends up on the ground for yet another 5.

At 9 I make it look easy and I’m still cross with myself for making such a mess of it last time. 10 goes
well again and now rethink Lego Land. Off the table top and turn tighter and over the big log, out and
turn and over the second log but perhaps too fast and I can’t make the last turn and I’m forced to take
on the final log with it’s branches up against the big concrete block. I make it over with a lot of legwork
for yet another horrid 3.

Too fast over the second logs ending up crossing by the red tape

Back at the waterfall I do exactly the same as last time and take another non required dab. Same
score as last time 9 cleans, 9 marks lost! Well that only took 30 mins so slow down and try a little

Mister “tippee toe” at the top of Waterfall

Last loop at 1 and need a correction just before the root bank so arrive a little slower and pay the price
with a castrating 3 on the bank! Man that hurt, but onward cleaning everything to 7. Forced to take an itty
bit dab on the gulley from an off line approach, but now clean 8 and 9 where I had previously had those
goofy 5’s. Clean 10 for the last time and back to Lego Land where I take a dab on the big log and a
safety just before the last one. This section has cost me 8 marks and I should have cleaned it all 3
times with more thought.

Rick Daniel en route to another MC Exp win

Nice safe line through the water

Turning for the exit

The waterfall for the last time and the checker says its about time I cleaned it so I oblige without the
dumb dab at the top. Well only 6 on this loop with 4 lost on sections I had cleaned twice. Never mind,
apart from the two 5’s I would have been reasonably pleased with the ride so after everything I finished
on 24 with Eugene back on 48. The star ride of the day was John Dowson with a CLEAN CARD !!!!!

The “clean” at last !

Pot Luck time and stories a’plenty, lots of good food and Brenda’s smoked turkey is gone in a flash.
Many, many beers later its a well earned bedtime and get the battered and sore body ready to endure
the early start while the modern guys enjoy a lie in until their lunchtime battle begins.

Pot Luck begins……, wine and stories flow


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Bikes tested, everything seems good, time to get ready for the off. Big plan leave Thursday morning
and a quick 200 miles to Palisade stopping at Russel Stover’s for some chocies and then park the
bus and get on the bicycles for a bit of wine tasting. My tasks are simple for Tuesday, finish the
weeding by the rose bed which looked awful, mow the lawn before departure, and load the trailer.

Catching up with the “12 hour behind schedule” the mower is dragged out and mowing begins. 4 cuts
done and then it stops! The last time it did this I threathened the Craftsman heap with replacement
and it then cooperated after some carb cleaning. Once more to the workshop and find all the AF
wrenches. To get where you want on this Harley designed mower you need to dam nearly dismantle
the entire unit. Take off the upper shroud, remove the starting puller assembly, take off the fuel tank
and now the lower engine cover. Finally remove the aircleaner and you have limited access to the carb.
Remove the Mickey Mouse choke springs and  get the wrench on the less than friendly flange nuts.
Last time it did this the inlet valve was stuck up and no fuel in the bowl. Blow everything through, inlet
valve working and slowly put it all back together. More threats about buying a Honda and it fires right
up !

Lawn finished, dogs walked and now time to load the bikes in the freshly swept out trailer. Getting
dark but the bikes are in so only tools, spares and the new addition of 2 bicycles to go in this morning.
Then its start the bus, check the tires and refuel all the other tanks with dilitheum crystals. In the
meantime Brenda will print out the bus departure checklist and be long gone into town to stock up
with vitals.

When she gets back drag the loaded trailer round the front and then back the Safari up and dock on
the trailer. At that point it should just be clothes and booze to go as long as I don’t forget the chairs, her
bar-b-q smoker thing and the gas tank…………all seemed to be going well, a little more coolant added,
about 4 pints of oil in the big CAT engine, bring the jacks up and start checking tire pressures. Some
topping up required so out with the compressor and up they go save for one inner rear which I can’t
get on the valve and have get another connector to get air in. Finally all done and off to get the diesel
and propane. Out on the road the God awful noise like the chasis has snapped is still there despite
having removed the flapping panel.

More crawling under the bus reveals one shock longer than the other! Could this be the problem?
Grab hold of the shorter shock and lo and behold it isn’t attached to anything!!!!!! Well that is not strictly
true as it was connected to both shock mounts only the upper one had broken in two. Seems the top
bolt holding the hanger on the chasis had fallen out allowing the unit to flex and eventually it had
fatigued and broken in two.

A big bracket !

Nice clean break!

“He isn’t  going to be happy”

Engineering are summoned to the bridge and starship guru (Howard) Mister Le Forge tells me that as
the fuel tank is in the way  (recently filled of course) we have to either drop the tank and front axle or he
can fabricate a tool to get on the back of the lower bolt. He says he can make one and we may be on
the road on Friday….. I of course am hoping it will be complete on Thursday. Data and Spock confirm
the mission can still go ahead but regrettably our diversion to the wine rich planet of Palisade is out
of the question.

“With a full tank we need to make a griplong gizmo ouja to get on the
bolt and then use trimaxagrite to weld it”

“We need to convert this Romulun Uni tool to a very slim AF”

“Are you f******* mad? it canner be done laddie!”

Captain’s log stardate 02092010, the Enterprise is started and using impulse power only is moved to
Howard’s shop where he can continue with his task. We will check in with him this afternoon and
failing any likelyhood of an evening departure the away team  (Brenda and I) will beam down to the
Hollywood as vitals are now all aboard the starship.

Locked in Dolores orbit

The away team beams down to planet Hollywood

Of course I’m feeling somewhat deflated as I had assumed the flapping panels were causing all the
noise despite my earlier thoughts that the chasis had snapped in two. Perhaps my investigation was
not thorough enough but other than the panel nothing else was obvious. Mean while over on the other
Enterprize the breaking news of Enterprize Safari’s demise reaches the bridge…..

“…… and then they are going to use trimaxagrite to weld it  !!”

Engineering annouce that we should be able to come out of Dolores orbit circa 0830 and new shocks
should be fitted by then. The shuttle arrives on time and the ship is ready to go but the shocks that did
make it were 2″ too long. Final loading is done and by 1000 we are all aboard and ready to depart.

” Helmsman, plot in a new course for Casper, WARP 6″……. “Mr Data
on screen”

“ETA Walmart at Casper 2200 hours”


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