“What news ?” cried the King, for he was bored and much vexed with USPS ……..but today they did
proclaim that the said Stealth Tank had made its way to their enclave in Dolores. Being only 800 yards
from the King’s palace the said offering would still take another 5 hours to arrive as it was
“out for delivery”

“Summon Shadetree, and tell him to bring Autosol and much elbow grease for Today is The Day !”
The King was not to be trifled with in these matters, and despatched a Knight to the Post Office rather
than wait the extra hours.

“Look Shade, this is where we are at,  Candy Apple needs a good polish,
and if you do a good job I’ll reduce your lashes from 40 to 10, itsa win win
situation, Oh, and by the way put that f******  hat on the right way ! ”

 Other loyal subjects were charged with other Stealth matters and pursued the King’s wishes with
much diligence rather than face the fate of others that had incurred the King’s displeasure.

Merlin had done well in California casting more magic spells on the tank and it was given to Shade
for his task of much polishing. Other items not pleasing the King were to be addressed on the fitting
and prepping of all matters Cub.

Sir Antony was greeted by a hand maiden from the court on his return from the Post Office and was
told in no uncertain terms that the riding of Candy Apple would require much attention to the new dress
code that the King had imposed for those riding this new charger.

“Prithy Sir Antony, but I only convey the King’s word and I am charged to inform you that the King thanks you for collecting the Holy Grail from the Post Office but henceforth the new Candy Apple may only be ridden
by Knights in Green…. so no more of this red shit !”

Candy Apple is brought from her stable, the tank is refitted, and Shade covers the entire beast with
a layer of Autosol as the “no touchy crowd” could not resist. Very soon the King’s Charger is ready for inspection and all is well at court.

Candy Apple awaits her tank

All covered in autosol

Strange how the King’s wishes from history follow our current path, as while we had no intention of beheading anyone, seeking multiple divorces or anything else our progress is similar to the Tudors.
We split from Rome (Ahrma) formed our own Church  (ITSA Mountain West) and welcomed other
previously outlawed religions of SWM, Fantic, Armstrong, Italjet, Honda TLR and Reflex into our fold.
We are free of Cardinals (trustees) and are no longer bound in a sacred union for ever more with VMX
or forced to use their limited real estate for our pleasure.

“I’m telling you itsa going to be GREEN so there !  ……. and what’s that
bloody frenchman doing in my court  ?”

” He is a baker m’lord and has the breakfast baguettes”

” If I can wear bloody British Racing Green so can they !”

Meanwhile back at court the King reviews the “Green” policy  and Wolsey is ordered to sign Robin
Hood as he is always in green and failing that get that Emma Bristow girl as she is wearing green
for Ossa.


“Sire, like the Sheriff of Nottingham we can’t find Robin Hood either and
the Bristow girl says we don’t pay enough”

 Back at the stables Candy Apple is ready to go and after a few minor adjustments is out for a test ride.
Seems very compact, the snowshoe pegs are comfortable, and it turns well….. Now about that 270cc
motor……. when do we expect to get one of those ?

Nice job on the polish Shade

No leaks !

Seat pins removed

Testing complete

 The King is impressed by Candy Apple and considers a ride on the Beginner’s Line after a little
instruction from Sir Antony.

“Why do they stand up ? “

Back at the Palace Wolsey seeks an audience to discuss Sir Antony’s terms for riding in Green and
also the King’s desire to “have a go”.

“Highness, Sir Antony would be happy to use the new Clice clothing if the Royal coffers can afford it ……. now about this Beginners ride, I have to
advise against it”

Candy Apple outfit by Clice

 While the King ponders yet more expense and the possible cost of an all singing and dancing 270cc
engine other requests to put money into the coffers are coming in but Wolsey has some yet more reservations about the Monarch’s test ride.

” I have to ask Sire, is that really a DOT approved helmet ?”

 The King follows the instructions and is soon out checking lines and walking the sections. Wolsey
gives helpful guidance in his role as “minder”

“Line is everything M’Lord,.. Red on the right, and Blue on the left, and no splits”

  Very soon the King is bored with the 4 line and tries something more challenging but has to step off
in the dust when he loses control. The King is not happy with the commoner’s “High Five”

The King steps off in the dusty ruts of a 2 line section

 ” Sire, if I might explain …. the raised digits from the crowd does not
convey treason it is an internationally recognised symbol for failure in a section, be it Ahrma or ITSA”

 The King is consolled by Wolsey’s explanation and now as he is becoming grossly overconfident he challenges Sir Antony  on the 1 line with disasterous consequences!


The King, on Candy Apple charges down the 1 line but meets Sir Antony
on Superglitz and soon learns the maxim…     “Old age and cunning will
defeat youth and skill”

“Oh crap, I just knew that was going to end in tears ! ”

Henry gets another 5 and a  “Royal Arse Kicking” but no matter, one of
the many wives is on hand as a paramedic

 Suitably comforted, bathed and dressed, and with Sir Antony in the stocks for the evening the King
talks to Wolsey over dinner.

“I say Wolsey, apart from the two 5’s I rather enjoyed today……. how long
will it take us to get to this Turkey Rock place ? “

 Meanwhile Candy Apple goes through her paces to get ready for the next event at Turkey Rock Co, on
28/29 July and then two weeks later another double header here in Dolores.



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  • 6/30/2012 11:38 PM Jose Bustamante AC wrote:
    Candy Apple is beyond belief.Really nice. I feel better about the beat-up std. tank on my TY 175. But the ex-Wolfy Sherpa T will have to have an alloy tank, since it too, is starting to sweat.
    Reply to this
  • 7/2/2012 6:19 PM Scott wrote:
    As always an entertaining story line and another superb looking trials bike!Well done Tony!!
    Reply to this
  • 7/4/2012 8:00 PM Sally wrote:
    Good job dad, enjoyed the Tudor twist very much! The bike looks great, cannot go wrong with metallic green, wish my car was metallic green now I think about it!
    Reply to this
  • 8/3/2012 12:41 AM Chris wrote:
    You might want to look very carefully at rubber mounting that alloy tank, as I would guess cracking may be a problem if you simply bolt it to frame.
    Reply to this
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We can’t fix it until you get some more copper washers

With the rocker tubes on the Cub having come off and on like a whore’s whatnots the copper washers
were on their last crush and I succumbed and purchased a full set of the coppers as I don’t want this
becoming another weepy drippy oilfield.

4 washers and $4 later I can now replace the said items, get the boat shipshape, and when the tank
comes back get some full testing done. The tank was redone, submerged, and pressure tested so it
can now run with its full 3/4 gallon, time is moving on and Turkey Rock is only 5 weeks away.

All buttoned up on the “gusher”

….. and then just two weeks later I’m back on center stage again as we go headlong into the Dolores
2 Day event over the town’s Escalante Days (Aug 11/12). To that end I’ll be trying to tie down all the
loose ends this morning with Ryan our Town Manager. I need to go over the whole plan again and
look at the town maps and get the final permission to use various areas as there has NEVER been a
motorcycle trial here and nobody really has much idea of what we can, and wish to do.

Currently I’m thinking 15 sections on Saturday with 5 of them being Scottish style with a single line for
the entire entry in a 3 subber and another 2 subber. Sunday at the Town Dump for either 10 or 12 in
the traditional split format, and for those that saw the previous pics its not  ALL huge pieces of broken concrete! ….. I have a few loose banks, some tricky rooty turns, and your old friend egg timer sand.

A good meeting with Ryan this morning, a check on town land boundaries, keys to the dump area,
town’s requirements and a request for a full written proposal for the town board by Wednesday next.
A walk on the Town Dump and reassurance that we would not be anywhere near the CDOT piles
and that seemed to answer all questions on both sides.

The afternoon produced a good “9” sections for Saturday and I can see a further easy 6 up on the
hillside behind the town’s new equipment building. So as I intimated earlier 15 sections for Saturday
and 12 on Sunday.

Here are a couple of today’s new finds. An interesting bunch of uphill lines through this one with
everyone turning right around the fallen tree. From there, line dependant crossings of the rocks to independent exits on the far bank.

View from the top end of the fallen tree

Another gem in the rough, I’m seeing 4 lines are you ?

Right beside the parking lot we have the lake boundary and an easy track leading to 6 sections that
will form a single (4 liner) and then a double (same line for all) coming up from the shoreline followed
by a triple continuous sub from the bush area to test everyone’s ability to “pick a line”

From the shore up through the gap in the trees for 2 subs

Current thoughts are the “line” about center frame turning below the
green bush and then………

Green bush is now top left and we enter the third sub for a “wiggle” up to where I’m standing

Monday, the Dolores Town paperwork is in but trouble finding Ryan this morning so persistent
checking to see where the busy leader has gone. I must admit that I thought this was all a “done deal”, seems I was wrong……..

USPS tells me the tank should be delivered this afternoon so all being well the sulky Cub can be
finished and out for a ride before nightfall….. need to get some time on the little beast as its the No 1 campaign toy for this season although I have SG who will also want some rides as well. The poor old
Enfield never seems to get used and common sense is telling me it might be time to let her go……
anyone interested ???   Test rides at Turkey Rock for those who are not tire kickers!

 USPS lied again ! No real surprize as they never deliver anything on Mondays, it left Denver last night
and should have been through Durango early this morning but I expect it will be here tomorrow. Lets
hope so as frustration levels are on the rise again.

Ryan drops by at cocktail time, says he likes the proposal, and has another town form I need to
complete, hopefully the last of the hoops ! ….. then I can use Wednesday to locate the last 6 sections
andI will have Saturday mentally planned. As it looks like I will be doing this event single handed I
need to get them laid out well ahead of time and complete any “gardening” before the last week.


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  • 6/26/2012 6:44 AM John Holbrook wrote:
    Some good looking sections, we will be in Dolores early in the week of the event to help mark sections.
    Reply to this
  • 6/30/2012 11:43 PM Jose Bustamante AC wrote:
    Does ITSA always have 13 million sections? What happened to 8? or 9?
    How about 19 sections for you Inters and Experts and just the 9 for us Novices?
    Reply to this
  • 7/6/2012 6:54 AM Bill Todd wrote:
    Tony will spark arrestors be required for your city trial?.

    Reply to this

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Corn on the Cob or Crap in the Tank ?

The saga of awful fuel continues, the idiots on Wall Street and the other World Markets continue to play
and juggle the futures market on non existant fuel shortages while fuel companies, the dreaded green parties, and other gnomes keep adding dangerous chemicals to our ever worsening fuel quality.

No doubt the worst of these additives is the Ethanol mix which given time will eat and destroy all things
of a fiberglass, rubber or plastic compound. In terms of its dangerous capabilities the crap ate through
my BMW fuel line connectors spraying pressurized fuel all over my foot and could have easily gone the
other way over the engine with disasterous consequences.

From a trials rider’s perspective not only does our 2T mix go “off” with a marked loss of power but all
our after market pretty fuel tank units made of fiberglass all get eaten by this stuff with bubbles in the
paint and a soggy mess inside the tank gumming up everything from fuel cocks, carbs, reeds, pistons
and rings. All the known tank treatments from what I can see are only partially effective and eventually
break down themselves…… so surely there must be a better way ?

The Sammy 1 piece from Superglitz drained in 2008

Bubbles and blisters just starting

Bubbles just above the logo

The number of TY Yams I see that used to sport the classic tank and seat unit have now been
converted back to bashed and unsavory looking old tanks and their $500 replacement units are sitting
in workshops decaying as more and more blisters appear.

What then is the answer ? Elementary my dear Watson, fabricate the style and shape the customer
wants and do it in ALLOY ! Now as Yamaha owners know the SM tank and seat unit was a pretty good
design for the TY250 but  perhaps the TY175 one was lacking as there wasn’t and still isn’t any rear mounting as the seat which is bolted on covers the forward mounting hole on the frame.  The only way
to attach at the rear is a couple of small holes and finish off with cable ties.

Standard TY 250 unit from SM

Redesigned TY175 unit from SM  but still no rear mount

Latest TY250 unit, filler now on left and rear side panel removed? 

The new “Majesty” style ones made by Shedworks in Yorkshire DO fit the standard TY frame but again
they have a design flaw in so much that the tank portion goes back further than the mounting hole
meaning that yet again a rear mounting point has to be found.

The “Shedworks” offering with the waisted Majesty style to fit standard
TY250 frames

This one is mine, the tank is still curving where it should bolt onto the

Great shape

Improvised rear mounts through the mudguard

The following tanks are ONLY for Majesty frames and WILL NOT fit either standard TY 175 or TY 250
frames. They of course had the pleasing and distinctive “waisted” design that other Yamaha riders
craved but until Shedworks made one they were not available.

Majesty tank for Majesty frames

Mini Majesty or 200 one piece unit for Majesty frames

Majesty only tank in alloy at last !

So the thoughts are these, if interest is high enough to make it worthwhile WE, (well Ray actually)
could make a series of tanks giving several options. Firstly we could make tanks in the above alloy
Majesty style to fit both the standard TY175 and 250 frames. A rear section similar to that currently in
use would slip over the rear tank mounting bracket on both models or a total one piece unit could be
built, but here, other than looks, I can’t really see any benefit.

The tanks can be produced in polished alloy, or primed and etched ready for the customer to paint.
Finally a slightly cheaper option might be to produce a slightly smaller alloy tank whereby the current
bubbly blistered unit can have the underside cut out along the fiberglass side seams and slip over
the new tank acting as a shroud similar to the Honda designs on RTL’s and TLM’s.

Honda RTL tank shroud

If interest is high enough a prototype could be available at Turkey Rock (Jul 28/29) or Dolores for all
to see ……… however you need to GET IN TOUCH with me. ASAP


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A refreshing beverage after a windy Sunday at Bull Hollow

With Bull Hollow done time for some forward thinking for the next event that I’m involved with namely
our Dolores 2 Day.  Original plans are having to be adjusted as the USFS portion of land that I wanted
to use is proving to be too problematic with worries that we might trample some minor Indian artifact
that has fallen down the cliff where they may, or may not, have lived circa 1100 AD. The mentality of this
is beyond  my limited comprehension as the lake edge is used as a highway for people going fishing
and we wanted to use the rocks that are covered by water during the spring run off.

Looks like I will be substituting more town land to make up for it of which there is plenty. This event
WILL NOT use the 50 sections without splits (we can’t afford the tape) so it will either be 4 lines in the sections or adjacent sections, with the same number, but with different entries and exits.

The proposed Vintage Trials School for Beginners has now got the CNX due to a lack of interest but
at least I can get some much needed personal practice in myself. That lack of practice has been very
evident this season and I’m just coming to terms with some set up issues on the bikes. The change
to the longer Magicals on the SG was perhaps not the way to go as it lifted the rear end up using the
Majesty mounts. I have swopped the shocks back to the conventional settings and see how it goes
from there.

All cleaned up after Bull Hollow

Magicals back on the standard shock mounts

The New front brake cable that snapped three sections from home was repaired on the spot when I
took it in and on refitting I noticed it never really released fully so an old TY rear cable rod spring was
fitted on the lower end and that now gives the desired action.

The little extra spring aids the return action

Performance wise the motor runs very well so now time to swop over to the OKO carb and see what
that can do. The blunted SM pegs seemed to work well with no “bites” or boot hang ups although
those Talon pegs look good……. better sell the SM Cub frame and ask SM if those pegs fit their other

The answer is “Yes they do”

With that news time to clean up the old SM Cub Trials frame and get her on the bay ! A modified front
frame that has the wider front mount so that the engine can be offset to match up with the sprocket
spacer if fitted. A PVL mounting bracket is on the top tube for the coil.

The rear sub frame is also modified from the standard being wider at the SA fixing point and has the
flat angled cross member between the seat rails removed. Another cross tube is added further back,
and extra brackets are welded on to take the SM universal Pre 65 seat.

I did see that there was a standard Cub frame on the bay for a BIN price of $400.00 !!!!


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Practice, Practice, Practice ! ……. and boy I sure needed some so the Outlaw provided a good pre
season warm up with 62 sections and 50 miles of loop riding to activate those remaining grey cells.
So apart from old age what did I learn and come away with ?

A1 Crashing sucks and in some cases hurts !

A2 Sammy Miller footpegs are cheap nasty things and hurt !

A3 Treat the wife to a wine tasting or two and “your” away day event will go a lot more smoothly.

A4 Don’t ride the Cub with a broken oil line or it will become an Enfield.

A5 Chains, “my babys got me locked up in chains!”

A6 Its not your leg muscles, its the position of the kicker

So to review all of the above and give some remedies lets start with crashing,  DON’T ! If you are
going to complete the A over T be prepared for some loss of confidence, severe ego bruising and in
some cases physical discomfort. Don’t get cocky and get some Carnegie practice.

Might have cracked a rib in this fiasco

Next up the dreaded SM peg. Design would look reasonable but I have noticed on several occasions,
and twice in Canada, when I needed to use my booties they have become locked on the pegs as
those shark like teeth had sunk into the soles. That’s about as much sense as using cleated cycling
shoes on a mountain bike !

Dangerous, and they bite !

Not only are the points too sharp the brackets they come on are cheap and nasty and bend causing
them to move back and down and droop….. needs a gusset !

2 days in Canada and they have bent again 

and the other joy of course is you now have two “pitbulls” riding round with you, either vice like grip on
your boots or biting when you least expect it !

Now that hurt

The answer is either get some nice Talon pegs, providing  they fit, or get Ray to fabricate a better set
of peg mounts but in the interim  Miss Makita is going to give them the Joan of Arc treatment

Now consider this, 6 loyal friends and a cat don’t really care where the road trip goes as long as it
goes. Other members of the travelling party may become disenchanted with 5 days of motoring  with
10 hours at a stretch and a couple of extra days in the itinerary doing what they like to do may provide
the required harmony for you to enjoy your chosen sport.

Gentlemen, this will win a lot of prizes

….. now add, good food, no cooking, or washing up

If you would really like to experience the joys of owning an Enfield or Royal Oilfield as they are often
called but can’t afford one then a Tiger Cub will do if you break the rocker oil return pipe. This should
provide hours of countless fun mopping up and watching the oil dripping on the red hot exhaust.

However, Webco do make a much more robust item which looks like it would be more at home on a
Harley and I was lucky enough to find one on Ray’s recommendation. It duly arrived but was missing
the connecting piece and once more Shade is thrown into confusion and misery wondering if and
what can be found that goes in the hole.

Is this off a Harley ?

Ray briefs me on the phrase to use and after carefully rehearsing it I venture into ACE hardware.

“Brass pipe fittings please ?” I say in a loudish voice    “Huh ?”

I repeat phrase and add  “with a 1/8 barb”      “You want  Barb, she doesn’t work here anymore ?”

Is it me ????

I found one and it fits

The chain saga !! Some moons ago with ample time to spare and plenty of ebay cash on hand I
ordered 2 DID chains, a 428 for SG and a 420 for the Cub. They arrive without hassle and are put in
the spares box.

Now when I came to fit the 420 on the Cub, having now removed the wheel and engine spacers I saw
the DID chain is a bit wider than the original, about a fish plate wider, and although it could be used
it will clatter on the chain guard. In the spares box I have another 420 chain by RK but I know this was
bought on impulse and I then found it was about 6 links too short, but nonetheless it is the size I need.
E bay here I come and once agin my lucky day someone is selling off  “New old stock” and wants $5
for this chain. I email him in the hope that I can pay the extra and get it sent priority mail in time for
Canada…. no answer !

The new DID is about a fishplate wider

It arrives, with tracking, after we leave but no matter I can fit it when we get back.  Back home and in
the Post Office lady hands me a Priority Box which is all ripped open. Inside is the chain box but no
chain ?????  Questions ? Who would steal a 420 chain ? and how would you know it was in the box,
and why didn’t they take the chain box ? Did this ebay seller really send me an empty box ???

Its beyond me !

So naturally back to ebay and buy a 72 link piece at a reasonable price and will cobble it all together
in time for Bull Hollow. A week has gone by and then they email to say they haven’t got any in that
number of links. I explain I don’t give a FF how long it is just send SOME !!!

…… and as one last desperate measure I have ordered yet another from a different source and I hope
that arrives in time.

And now the Kicker ! Yes indeed blog followers may remember that when I fitted the big bore WES
exhaust system on SG the kickstart fouled the center silencer and would clearly wear a hole in it in no
time flat.

Standard kicker position for the old pipe

The remedy was to cant the kicker a few degrees forward and that seemed fairly elementary….. but
those extra few degrees mean you must move your body forward a bit to get over the fulcrum, I was
thinking it was me running out of leg power until I remembered what I had done in the build phase.

Those extra few degrees make a big difference to starting technique

Chief designer, Ray, did not like my first go round on Cub decals so they have been removed and
once more I patiently wait for things to arrive. With gardens, and weeding chores all complete I can get
at the bikes again today. New fuel line for the Enfield, as the other one had gone hard and was starting
to drip.

The Blackcat Triumph Stealth with new decals

Footpegs on SG got ground down so time for a quick carb clean post the Outlaw and Bull Hollow
section finding……. and in the fullness of time maybe even try this OKO thing.

SG pegs after their trip to the Dentist

The Cub needs the new Harley bit fitted, new decals, the snail cams and the long awaited chain or
chains depending on what everyone sends. I know one is in the post, just don’t know how long it is,
or where it is ?

The new rocker oil feed thing

Snail cams and a whole new chain

Now with another riding session on SG done over at Bull Hollow I’m coming to the opinion that the
Magical rear shocks might be better fitted on the Cub, or on the original shock mounts, as the back
end of the bike appears a little tall……. or move them to the Cub and get shorter Rockshocks for SG.

With all the updates to the Cub the new snail cams had to be put on the other sides as they will foul
the brake actuator. Then I still have to fix the oil leak from the rocker returns as I think the copper
washers need replacing which can be done while a weep in the new tank is fixed. Always something
when you are trying new parts.


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  • 6/19/2012 9:22 AM Dave Rhodes wrote:
    Hey Tony – Another great article, glad to hear your recent Trial was a success – We certainly lucked out with the weather for the Outlaw, as it’s been raining on & off ever since.
    Keep up the good work & Hi to Brenda.
    Outlaw Dave
    Reply to this
  • 6/23/2012 5:20 AM Miguel wrote:
    Hey Tony, great blog! Very interesting articles. Keep the good work!
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Saturday morning and for once this week I’m up bright and early with a ton of things to do before our
1100 start time. Would I run a 50 section event in the future ?  Answer not sure, but this weekend we
will give it a try and see how the riders like it.

Talking of riders, how many of those “interested parties” will show ?…. a few drifted in yesterday
afternoon, there have been several in the “yes box” and also many with the “prior committment” so
always interesting to see what actually happens come the day. The Trialsmasters are having a
sweepstake to see who is closest to the final number and with anything new you can never tell. For prospective Trialsmasters, apart from the 1.5 MILES of tape that we used,  over 80 MAN HOURS has
been spent to this point and we still have the route fine tuning to do before that 1100 go……… and of
course post event the tear down and clean up.

The jungle telegraph tells us there are some on their way, fact or fiction ? 20 would be a nice number
for an opening event but of course there will be some who are waiting to see “how it went” before
joining in the fun at the later rounds.

Something we haven’t seen before at the start with a new creation and entry into the Twinshock class
in the form of a converted Yam TW200 ?  Just see what you can do to one of “these”

A standard Yam TW200

Now rethink it, get a different set of forks, a front wheel with a drum brake, a few frame mods, some
rear shocks, and you have converted your 4 stroke “sheep herder” into a modern TS  trialer, not
forgetting a SM seat unit to really confuse everybody.

A “Baker Award” candidate ?

The groups are formed, punches issued, route briefed, let the fun begin. I’m riding as Trialsmaster,
travelling marshal so lets see some of the action. A few sections close to the start soon get everyones
attention as the first few nervous dabs are squandered on some loose dirt adverses.

5, 6, and 7 look daunting but ride easier than they look while 9, a D section, causes mayhem for the
Nov class. A big V entry between two bluffs into a gentle right hand uphill adverse turn caused the
problems. Too high and too far left for the right turn had the front wheel trying to climb out of the loose
and then the bank and dead grass crumbled before a decent line could be established.

3 more sections behind the tricky 9D and time to see how 10B rides with Ed at the helm. The section
rode better than it looked with Jim Lipscomb taking an unusual but effective line while Woolfy and Ed
chose the more conventional attack.

Ed drives the Fantic through the lower rubble of 10B

With 11 and 12 to finish the group time for some loop riding to the furthest offerings somewhere close
to the main gate. 13A  was Experts only while 14B had tempting left and right lines and here we see
Tom taking his “winter rebuild” through to good effect (I think he’s been practicing !!)

Woolfy at the turn on 14B, now high or low ?

Low it is

The Historic Experts are having a nip and tuck battle similar to this year’s SSDT and after 2 loops are
tied on the same score and the same number of cleans! At 15A which was their hardest section John
and Travis do battle for the last time with Travis just getting the upper hand.

John tries the planned dab ……. doesn’t go too well !

Travis gets to turn two but the real fun begins…..

   I follow the Int division into the deep loose of 18C which rides a little easier on loop 3. At 20B (our
pipeline) a criss cross in nasty loose shale type rocks rounding another loose right hander before
setting up for a straight attack along the red ribbon or a centralised attack up the rock steps. Both runs
worked and once again rode easier than they looked.

Ed prefers the steps route

Woolfy follows

20 done, just the last 5 down at the start so a bit of a breather here and surely no-one can get lost on
this part of the loop. There were a few trying to stake an entry for our special award of the
“Vasco da Gama Cup” for the rider with the worst performance following the loop.

21 is an “A” so the Ints tackle 22B with a fallen tree crossing into an uphill rock step followed by a tight
left hander in pine needles, and with the Experts already through some new rock debris on the line.

Ed takes a “tippey toe” in 22B

Tom looking good on 22B but……… pine needles for a few marks!!

23C I now think I made too easy at the first turn and should have made it tighter although the Novices
probably think it was just right. Everybody clean here with Jim Lipscomb finishing the loop and day 1

Smooth controlled run up 23C for Jim Lipscomb

The day is done, results very much as I pedicted, Experts winner on 29, Int just under par at 12 with
Tom Maddux, and an inspired ride by Neal Newby for 17 in Novices. Awards done, cook out by John
and beers all round wrap up day 1.

During the night the wind got up and I mean up and I would guess 70mph gusts as we were all
woken by rocking RV’s !!  I’m thinking 3/4 mile of red and blue ribbon everywhere and a ton of work to
do early morning.

The wind blown Rv’s at the start are checked for damage, …the trial goes

About a 50 min delay while route marking and section setting and repairs are done for day 2. I had to
make a new “E” section as enthusiastics had torn down a section I was planning on renumbering. I’m
3/4 way through taping when I hear a familiar “ticking”…..?????   Is it the wind blowing through the
dead sage ? …… No, its a Rattler advising me of his presence and I see the 2” thick monster under a rock…….. the section became a little narrower at this point !!


One more coffee and I’m nearly under way on the Cub for her 2012 debut………. but having filled the
new tank for the first time it is leaking and too hazardous to ride. Rather than change cards I elect to
ride with Ed and Jim and take SG out on the Int line which is what I would have ridden on the Cub.

Tom Maddux (Woolfy) has elected to mix it with the big boys today and is riding Expert. Everything else
is much the same. …….. Well I did notice that yesterday’s 4A is still up ?

We make it round the simplified loop to section 3 and after that the fruitless search begins for 4B !
Obviously 4B fell victim to the storm or from over zealous clean up from yesterday and may account for
yesteday’s 4A still being around. No matter we ride 9 and that will do.

Six of the nine are all clean as Ed and I arrive at our number 7 which is 16C. When we came to lay
this out I wanted a right turn half way up the climb and then a gentle, but loose long left hander to the
exit. That got poh-pohed and 2 v 1 said straight up and out. OK I said. The Fantic took Ed up for a 2 but
I eased off for the blind turn and ended up with a spinning jumping 5.

No problems over at 20C a double left right sequence through the trees over rocks and now we are at
22B a fairly nasty downhill on a cliff edge to a right turn out up a steep rock groove. No wheel tracks at
the top so our experts didn’t find this to their liking. Ed takes a 5 and I end up with a scrabbly 3 but it
can be done.

First loop totals show the Experts on 10 each with Woolfy right there on 14. Ed is on 7 and I’m right
behind on 8. ( Don’t you just love competition) Equally tight in the Nov group with yesterday’s winner
Neal on 13 tied with Walt,  and Sec John only one behind on 14.

Out for loop 2 and I take a very dumb line on 3 for a dab and almost a second but I don’t quite touch
and the “air dab” doesn’t count. Ed dabs the next while I’m clean and Jim calls it quits after dropping
the bike on his knee outside the section. Ed and I cruise round cleaning all until Ed dropped it in the
sand of 13C. We both have a 5 in that horrid 16C but we are getting closer. Over at 22B I nearly make
it for the dab but the result is a 5 which Ed shares as well. Loop 2, 11 for me and 16 for Ed. Travis has
crept away in Experts losing only 7 while John and Woolfy both lose 13. The Nov group are still tied in
battle with 6 points blanketing all 3 with Walt holding the advantage.

Final loop goes pretty well for me with much better rides on most, until the new front brake cable
loses the nipple after 5 sections in. Ed had a scrabble in 5C when a rock moved badly and created an
unwelcome 2 and 3 more on the wall of death sand at 13C. At 16C I have a better run but it stands up
at the end and dumps me gently in an oak thicket. Ed nearly made it but did manage to walk out with
both feet on the same side. Both clean on 20C, no braking required, and now 22B for the last time.
Well I can’t slow it down down the steps so I try and walk it down and creep through for a 3 but over
shoot the turn for the 5. Ed fairs no better so we finish on 10 and 15.

In Experts John takes the loop on 9 with Travis on 10. The Novices are still battling with John and
Walt both on 8 with Neal slipping back on 12. Overall an interesting group with Walt and Neal
swopping wins and thirds with John on 2 solid second place finishes.

So that wraps up 2 days of ITSA Trials with a big thanks to all involved, namely; Ed and Evelyn, John
and Brenda and to Joe Barton for the free use of his land.

Now you have seen it, smelt it and it some cases eaten it, pass on the WORD and lets double up
at every event as we go through the season.


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Last minute attention to details to get ready for our opener. More ink in the printer, forms up the wazoo,
reams of fresh paper. Lots to do but I think we have it all together. I need to pick up score cards Wed
a.m. fuel the bus with liquids various then load up and get on the road. Aiming to arrive 4-5 at Bull
Hollow and after salutations with John and Hazel, and of course Ed and Evelyn who rang yesterday to
say they were either leaving today or tomorrow. Quite a work party !….. well a party anyway as we don’t
usually work past o’beer thirty.

E&E are bringing the workhorse ATV which doubles as a bike stand so we should be able to ribbon
and plate in fairly short order not withstanding 50 sections is a mile of tape. I’m sure we can get a
head start on Wed evening and at least tape up the 10 I have by the start, which are all easy walking
distance, without having to drag bikes out. Just thinking of that, that’s 40 pie plates!! Better get my
pens out.

The day nearly goes to plan until a disgruntled rose owner says if we don’t come and rescue her
roses they will be tossed. Having spent a few hours preparing our rose bed for these new arrivals
they are dug up and brought home. Not sure if they will survive but they are soaking in water until
after the event when they will get replanted.

Lawns mowed yet again, edges cut, sprinklers on so time for a couple of quick rides on the Cub and
SG. Cub feels good, chain needs a bit more tension, other than that all seems well and no oil leaks.
Yamaha has tons of snap and may also see a lot more use this season, thoughts on new pegs and
maybe some shorter rear shocks ?……. what else can I sell ?

With people coming and going I’m suddenly running behind time so over a shade garden beer or two
time to get the checklist out and get back up to speed. Boxes of spares are loaded, tools, pumps,
compressor, long leads, fuels, riding gear are all lined up in the workshop for lunchtime loading.

Back in the house time for Trialsmaster stuff in the shape of the mass of forms now all through the
copier, punches, pens, boards, ribbons and pie plates not forgetting staplers, cutters, saws, and the
big rubber mallet. A quick test run on the “plates”…… should I buy another packet this morning ? Do I
need more marker pens ??

All morning chores completed on time, bus checked over, one soft tire, everything else good, loading
begins but for some reason I’m running late even though nothing is wrong. Finally I leave 1.5 hours
behind my planned time. Arrive Bull Hollow just before 6 p.m. and everyone is very keen to get going.
By 7.30 we have 10 of the 50 taped so I’m well pleased.

Which way ? there aren’t any splits !

Today, after a wonderful nights sleep, out and on with the job and by nightfall 47 sections were in the
bag with just three beginnner sections to tape first thing Friday morning. As soon as they are done,
the section cards themselves can be added and then the loop marking to get everyone round in the
correct sequence on both days….. and put a few wheel tracks through the sections to show they can
at least be ridden.

Knock one over itsa FIVE

Another lie in for me, all this walking is making me very tired but finally like the generator I fire into life
with the aid of numerous cups of coffee. The three beginner sections at the start are done and the
show moves on to carding and directions to get everyone round the loop. This in itself can take a lot
longer than you would think but eventually Saturday is complete and now time to card up Sunday.
Usually best not to slam a second route up as it will confuse and riders will be at Sunday sections
a day early ! Well we start at 1100 so time to run the route on a bike on Sat morning and see if I can
get round without collecting points for the “Vasco da Gama Cup”

Ed puts the finishing touches on Sat 4A….. what a cracker !

Beware Bulls, the steak/stake man cometh

So far everything has gone very smoothly …. haven’t even got a bike out, but I have walked quite a few
miles up and down rocky hillsides. As I  said before the sections are challenging without being stupid
or ridiculous and I think they should be ALL doable with good riding and the correct line. The results
will tell. What I’m hoping for is our Historic Class Expert winner to run out in the 25-35 numbers, Pre
HIstoric Expert and Historic Int around 15-20 and about the same for all the Novice riders from any

Friday night and I’m feeling pretty tired to say the least. Between the three of us John, Ed and myself
have laid out over 8000′  or ribbon to complete our 50 sections for your entertainment. So prospective
Trialsmasters consider that we have laid ONE AND A HALF MILES, yes MILES of tape and pie plates
us the wazoo.

Lets hope the initial interst which got this movement off the ground is reflected in the turnout. We
have the PIE PLATES in our CHINA SHOP now all we need are a herd of BULLS to come and do

Keep going its only a Three so far


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Here we are

They know we are coming……

Suddenly time has rushed on and the first event is upon us and I’m running it. Bull Hollow, UT is the
venue for our opening endeavour and the plan is to use the ITSA 25 section a day format with no splits.
So with a 2 Day event I’m looking at 50 sections unless I re-use some of my favorites on Day 2.

A quick refresher on how this all works. The basic idea is fun and devising challenging safe sections
as trials riders want them. Our classes are many and various and are as follows:

Pre Historic: Machines made pre 1972, no 5 speed Spanish, and sub divided into a Heavy section for
non unit engines on the big 4 strokes.

Historic: Machines from the 1972-79 era

Modern Twinshock: 1979- and specials so all those banned Ahrma machines, SWM, Fantic, Honda
TLR’s etc  have a class of their own

Modern: Anything else can ride our events, no Championship points, just a fun day out.

To cater for all the above classes, and of course ALL of them are further sub-divided into the normal
ability levels of EXP, INT and NOV we need 25 sections a day. The 25 sections are in FIVE type zones
A, B, C, D, E. and are clearly marked on the START card as to type.  Other than Pre Historic, Experts
ride 5 x A and 5 x B and 3 loops for their 30 sections. The INTs will ride 5 x B and 5 x C while the NOV
take 5 x C and 5 x D.

Pre Historic  EXP ride 5 x B and 5 x C with INT on 5 x C and 5 x D and the NOV work the 5 x D and 5 x E

Beginners from any class are of course welcome and they too will ride 5 x D and 5 x E

Red on the Right, Blue on the Left, start here, finish there, the section is all yours enjoy !

This is the way ALL trials were run in the past when it was all single line sections and no pandering
to ability levels or machine type and age. In those days the winner and top riders would probably get
round a trial on single figures while the Novices would lose anything from 50+ upwards, but that was
the way it was and as you gained more and more experience you found yourself edging ever closer to
the second class awards.

Last Saturday then I’m off on the quest for 50 but its windy. As I approach Monticello the wind is about
30-40 but I can see the Mountain and the supposed Butch Cassidy Hideout. When I came back I
couldn’t even see the Mountain !! The wind was now as easy 50 with gusts to 70 !!!!!

Nice !

Being as windy as it was I didn’t unload the bike and elected to go walkabout to see what I could find.
Amid the raging duststorm I located 23 very useable sections within 2 hours and at this point  called it
quits for my first visit.

Really nice !!

OK, I’ve had enough

The drive home was interesting with flatside trucks being blown about and travel trailers wagging the
dog ! Giant sections of those irrigation systems had been rolled on their wheels across farmer’s fields
and were now all broken apart and in the ditches, carnage at home with the gazebo severely bent after getting airborne at some stage.

Oh crap, she isn’t going to like this !

Time out on bikes was called and all my attention directed to damage recovery on the Gazebo,
waterfall rebuild and leak checking, and to finish off a whole load of weeding and picking up of fallen branches.

Waterfalls up and running

Everything completed to “her” satisfaction and many points won on the Gazebo rebuild which I
honestly thought was outside my skill sets.

It’s a miracle !

Today an in town visit for big marker pens, pie plates and a trip to the printers for pricing of score
cards. Yes, we can reproduce the ITSA card locally at less than 1/2 the price.

Friday back to Bull Hollow and time to find the other 27 sections, only this time I should be able to see
them without stumbling around in a 70 mph dust storm. Once I have the 50 then when the daily route
plan is done some loop marking can get under way. I’m thinking I may re use all the sections by the
start (8) on both days as they should be good for spectators.

Today I can see the mountain

Very productive morning after a quick chat with Joe the owner. Enough sections now found, I hope I
can remember where they all are when we come to lay out ? A lot of pie plates to prep with letters,
numbers, and begins and ends. I hope my thought processes were not too ambitious on some of the
sections after the Outlaw experience and I’ve tried to keep them “in the raw” without having to do a ton
of gardening, lumberjacking and landscape  design. No doubt brothers in arms will correct me if my
plans draw gasps and McEnroe “You can’t be serious!” comments….. I think they are ALL “doable”
….just not by everybody.

Finding them was the easy part now the task is to connect them with an easy riding route that the
groups can follow, and being the first time at this,…….. ride the sections they need to and bypass the
others not on their list, with 50 out there you can see confusion already unless it is very clear.

Other news, the permit for Turkey Rock is done, insurance in place, so Rounds 3 & 4 are a go for our
July dates 28/29 and Ed will be the Trialsmaster and using splits in the sections as his preferred

Then back to Dolores where once again I’m in the hot seat and I think I’ll also be using splits for this
event, perhaps 12 sections a day with 1234 split numbers for the lines. The original plan for a
Beginners Trials School once again did not get much response so unless interest picks up at this
weekends event it will get the CNX. If you want it then you must commit and not sit on the fence.

Just out of interest the original article published via Trials Central called “Ahrma Section Ends” has
had over 5300 views, so if there really is that much interest I hope to see you ALL this weekend.


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  • 6/9/2012 4:53 AM Mike wrote:
    Tony, This all sounds cool. I would like to get back into observed trails. I lived in Sierra Vista Az. and start riding trails in 74. Do you still sell bikes? It is interesting to read the blogs.
    Reply to this

    1. 6/13/2012 9:53 AM Tony Down wrote:
      Mike, No longer selling bikes, building yes. Should be plenty for sale in AZ. See Mike at Hard Rock Trials on Indian School. Then come and join the fun.
      Reply to this
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Somewhat sore and battered from Day 1 the vintage trials rider summons the strength for Day 2.
Chest is sore, the bear trap footrest bite hurts but its Canada and unlike Scotland its not raining. Time
to try the all new XC-Ting riding kit to match the SG livery.

XC-Ting !

The Cub was out for a little handling check and seems to perform well including the “snowshoe”
footrests and obviously my balancing act was copied by our passing humming bird.

Balances nicely

“Anything you can do, ….. I can do  …….”

Start  time and a really excellent turnout for Dave’s 25th, a tribute to all his efforts and hard work, and
I can assure you as an organiser it is always gratifying to see a good response and feel that the
countless hours of planning challenging but safe sections has been appreciated.

Well here I am ready to roll on Superglitz again and as I gaze at all these new modern bikes I can’t
help but notice I’m the only soul Yamaha mounted ? As I rebuilt this bike specially for this event and
Dave’s Yamaha Class I had better get round with no wimping !

I’m riding the same 31 sections that I did yesterday so a good opportunity to see if the memory banks
have improved. Cleans on 1 & 2 same as yesterday but much better on 3 & 4 with just a 3. Can’t
remember the section number on this one (below) but I sure struggled yesterday and ended up with
a  5 but today the proverbial is together and I sail through for a clean.

Yesterday’s shambles

The resultant 5 !

On to Steve Richardson’s Apollo launch pad and a clean here so things are looking up.  Next another
sad result on this relatively easy section (below)  where when going well I needed a dab but my boot
was firmly stuck on that ghastly Sammy bear trap peg so instead of the pivot dab I had a pivot 5 !

Yesterday a 3 at this point, clean today……. but couldn’t get my boot off
that SM peg !!

A silly dab on the easy log crossing but then some improvement on yesterday’s effort at what I
thought would be a breeze on an uphill rock jungle into a right turn and down over a big rock having
rounded the fallen tree. Yesterday it span to a stop in the rocks while today it sailed round for the

5 yesterday, clean today.

Now back at my Waterloo from yesterday…… looks simple enough, oh well try a little further to the left
today. First part of the double and my right boot gets squeezed between frame and rock for a feet up 5
stall. I elect to give the second sub best and move on.

A good series of rides,a clean “off the path section” and another on the uphill right left into a big step.
A silly dab on the next and then another double where I actually had a good ride yesterday. A left, right,
left sequence which I did for a dab yesterday but from that position it was hard to make a good entry
into the second sub which ended up with a three. Today it gets away from me in the first sub but with
a decent line up the second sub is a fine clean.

The start of what I called “The Path” section

The “Path”section, dab yesterday, nice clean today

A good ride on both days on this one with the big step

Perhaps my best ride from yesterday on the L/R/L for a dab, but the dab
at the transition to the 2nd sub put me in a poor position. Today a 5 at
about this point but a good clean in the upper section

With memories of yesterday I elect to bypass the two log sections, and take a rolling 3 at the next
when I stalled it trying too hard to clean the beast having collected a bunch of tape yesterday.

The next 2 double subs only cost a dumb dab on the entry and another good clean on the steep uphill.
We seldom get anything this steep in the US for vintage bikes but I LOVED it !

Out of the first sub, adjust posture, stay on the line and give her some
biscuit !

Double cleans on the 2nd sub, this is yesterday with the front coming up,
a lot better controlled today

On the way home now, the double in the shale pebbles for a double clean. Then a clean on the
downhill, a two on the next, then clean at Birdbath and the “gimmee” at the start area. Overall a much
better effort but still aways to go to get back on form for our ITSA series.

Clean both days on the “Birdbath”

No sign of the Outlaw, well we will converse via email, time to load up and get across the border and
see what hoops and hurdles USA customs have in store for us ?

Many thanks to Dai, and all his helpers, fellow riders and spectators, a wonderful event in which you
made us feel very welcome. It’s another tick off the Bucket list and another 2500 mile round trip.

Thanks again everybody.

Special thanks to Dave, not forgetting the use of all his pics 


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