DAY 2 FINAL TOUCHES

DAY 2 FINAL TOUCHES


DAY 2 FINAL TOUCHES

All sections identified and cleaned so only some minor loop clearing and marking and then both days
will be up and ready for tape and cards. The town complied with our requests for a NEW trials rider’s
bar to replace the burnt down Hollywood and is nearing completion after 3 months of steady work.

Day 2 takes place on the lower portions of Casey’s land on CR30. Spectator wise ALL sections are
within very easy walking distance of the road with Lost Canyon Creek bridge as the focal point. Section
12, “Honey I’m Home” will be the start area and there is plenty of parking for all.

The line up of brand new sections for Day 2 is as follows;

SUNDAY

1.    A  BRIDGE TOO FAR

2.    LOST CANYON DOORWAY

3.    YABBA DABBA DOO

4.    CROC’S BACK

5.    THE WELDER & PICKET FENCE

6.    GRASSY KNOLL

7.    TIN CAN ALLEY

8.    BOTTLE HOUSE

9.    PODIUM

10. CASEY’S GRADED CLIMB

11. SPUD’S

12. HONEY I’M HOME

Day 2 Section Nameplates

Friday 19th July and time to finish off the Day 2 loop and add some tape. First a visit to the hardware
store as the sooper dooper brush saw handle came off in me hands m’lord!! Can’t work without one
and a bit annoying that such a good tool should break.  I have a couple of thick branches and trees to
remove and a load more saplings to pull up or trim to link all the loop together. Well its my lucky day
and they have had some more in and although I don’t have the receipt she remembers me, and it
does say “Lifetime Warranty” on the box  which should last longer than 3 weeks.

“It came off in me hand m’lord”   ……. however it says “lifetime warranty”
and they had another one

After lunch and a morning’s worth of weeding the skies go ominously black and the wind starts to pick
up so common sense says wait until the morning. I’m also told the Cortez Journal is out, but so far I
haven’t seen it. Better go and buy a copy and see if the new reporter was as accurate as last year
which pleasantly surprized me. Tonight being Friday I shall partake of a few well earned beers to toast
completing the 24 section mission.

Saturday morning and time to get out there and attend to details for my own satisfaction. Some more
sapling removal in Lost Canyon Creek and then remove some trees on the loop to get out of the river
bed.

Sections 1-5 now all linked together and out of the Creek and good path cut up to the Grassy Knoll.
The way back down might be too intimidating for some so I’ll be rethinking the loop across to Tin Can
Alley.

Another hillside path hacked out of the jungle up to the “Grassy Knoll”

Sunday off as a rest day but this morning the printer has been busy at it churning out 24 section name
plates for your amusement. You might not remember the names but one or two might give rise to a
chuckle.

A few minor touches up at the top of the Graded Climb for those that make it and some tall branch
removal down in the parking area. I expect I’ll be out again with the strimmer for some more grass
cutting up at Spud’s and down the thicker parts of the loop……. but first duties on the home front with
mowing and yet more weeding.

A quick afternoon look at the remainder of the loop and what is required up at Spud’s or section 11.
Some debris removal, some bush trimming and a few rocks to roll to make it doable for the 1’s and
2’s. I think my first look was a little too ambitious!! May also need to trim the corner walls of the main
corridor in Honey I’m Home. I could take Superglitz in and check the bar width to see if it will or won’t.

First job get rid of the big branches down at the start and then bigger rigs can drive in so today I’m
armed with the long handled lopper and its friend with a saw on the end.

Branches block the way in for Rv’s

Task 1 complete with two big piles on the right

Up at Spud’s there are some changes to make and since I was last here some 8 weeks ago on my
initial survey the vegetation has been in full growth mode so my 30 mins became 2 hours, but the job
is done, and all the loop marking is finished on that side of the road.

Cut out, and a few “adjustments” at Spud’s. 3’s and 4’s exit over the bank stage left, 1 & 2 take on the trench

There are some choices of line when you get there

Over at the Grassy Knoll the loop has to be changed and all the previously cut and stacked brush
and branches all have to be relocated to allow the loop to bypass the section. An easy run down past
the 4 line start to the section and over to Tin Can Alley. An up and down loop cut and I’m nearly done
and now tape along the track to Casey’s Graded Climb. Another tree removed along the way but time
has moved on, I’m soaked in sweat as usual and its o’beer thirty again!

Tomorrow the Graded Hill exit and some personal touches on a few sections. Well a exit path was
found but I’d like something better so yet more work up there if time permits. Back down in the main
arena time for some entry and exit gates using the previous civilization’s debris

The Start gates at “Bottle House”

Section 5, “The Welder & the Picket Fence”

2 weeks out, and today one more look to see if I can find a “nicer” run back down from the top of the
Graded Hill. There has to be a way, its just that I’m not seeing it at the moment.I walked some likely
looking avenues yesterday but they ended in dense undergrowth with nothing rideable on the other
side.

A very good afternoon’s work. Initial taping of “Spud’s” completed, but it will need a session with the
strimmer to clean it up. An alteration to a bedroom wall in “Honey I’m Home” done, and the Oregon
Trail discovered from the top of the graded climb.

Saturday mission after strimming the shade garden and weeding the arsebine creeper out of the
main front bed will be strimming Spud’s and carding same. More strimming on the loop to Honey I’m
Home and a bit of sweeping up glass where the vandals have smashed all the windows. Should be
able to card it while I’m there and then some branches to saw coming off the Graded Climb and toss
in some marker tape for good measure.

Everything completed as planned this afternoon. Spud’s becomes the first finished section of the
event, all the long grass removed, tapes, cards and fun artifacts added for that little “extra” touch.

Start gates of Section 11

Left side

Right side

4’s and 3’s leave the trench and go over the strimmed hillside

4’s stay low by the Sage and Rabbit Ears, 3’s have an adverse, then
between the cards

1’s up the rock, 2’s anywhere

Strimming along the loop down to Honey I’m Home and all the internal cards set. Need some outside
boards for the house frontage but just about complete.

Another climb up Casey’s and should you make it to the top and be ready for the descent you will see
these boards on the way down. Marking for the downhill is red/yellow and this is the ONLY place
where I’m using this. Perhaps this is a good place to re-explain the mysteries of a Graded Hill. We
don’t see them very often in this day and age as everybody seems to want to leap up 12′ vertical walls
and leap from one rock to another. Back in the 50’s and 60’s these were popular but as we didn’t have
2’s back then the marker boards were 1, 3, 5. Here is a picture of one I laid out at AZ Cycle Park when
Ahrma trials WERE very well attended.

Somewhere down at bottom left is the start gate and the name of the game is to get as far up the hill
as you can using everything you have. The score is determined by where the front wheel stops. So
from the start until you get past the “3” boards you are on a 5. As you ascend the hill and pass a gated
number that is your score. Make it all the way out through the End gate and you have the Clean no
matter how many times you have dabbed, scrabbled, or worked those booties like a centipede. Some
hills like this one in sand can pack down and get easier, loose rocks and shale can get worse.

This is it, with a climbing “S” turn just out of shot



When you have your breath back you will see this

Left turn into a short steepish bit

Once down to here its plain sailing

Easy run out

TONY DOWN

WRAPPING UP DAY 1

WRAPPING UP DAY 1


WRAPPING UP DAY 1

With the jungle clearance completed in Lost Canyon Creek and all the Day 2 sections identified and
cleaned time to move back up on Casey’s Mesa and cut out sections 1-7. Compared to what I have
been dealing with in the Creek this should be relatively easy.

As I work my way back in some trail widening will be the order of the day and hopefully, sooner or later
some of the locals will come out and sample the goods and burn some tire tracks through the booney.
Locals are still keen so maybe next weekend for some riding and a mid week meeting to explain what
ITSA does and how it works.

I estimate over 150 man hours have gone into the mission at this point and there should be another
50 to go in the coming weeks with the final tuning. It has been a challenging affair but the land recce
and knowledge will be invaluable for future events and no doubt reveal some other cracking areas in
the brush that I haven’t yet stumbled into.

Overall every section will have a “name” and people might just remember them if we use them in subsequent events. Right now I need those local riders to ride them in so that I can assess if they
are the standard I’m looking for. So here are the names;

SATURDAY

1.    LEWIS  & CLARK

2.    STEPS

3.    BEAR’S DEN

4.    SEE FOREVER

5.    HORSESHOE

6.    WOODY’S

7.    POWER LINE

8.    CAT FACE

9.    DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE

10.  ENCHANTED GARDEN

11.  4th BRIDGE

12. THE  ROCK

The Day 1 Section Nameplates

Today’s plans got the big VETO with a load of black cloud and then the expected thunder and a huge
downpour to follow. So no branch cutting or tree felling today. Try again tomorrow and get out there a
bit earlier in case it does it again. Still raining at 2200 last night but clear this morning so out I go
again and might just tape a few as I go round.

Reasonably successful morning, no bear encounters, and 3 sections cleared with some loop & trail
widening. If the weather plays ball I might get to finish the others this afternoon. The afternoon works
out well with no downpours and 2 more get cut out. I have to say the new brush saw is a superb tool
and gets through some pretty big branches with absolutely no effort…. and it got quite a workout today.

Day 1, Section 1, “Lewis & Clark” enter between these two trees, 4’s over
the log to the left, 2 & 3 cross behind the bush, 1’s over the log towards
the end 

With the branches gone everybody round the tree in descending right
hand turn 

Out of the turn, 4’s straight on just left of the log, jink to the left for 3’s

2’s straight up the rock, 1’s over to the left by the dead tree

Here we are at “Woody’s” or Section 6

Over the dead tree by the friendly piece of sandstone, then left around
the pruned tree. Cross the log somewhere near my bag then bad luck for
1’s crossing the big one! 

Last hazard of Woody’s, ……. no, I cleaned it up with saw and a well aimed
trials boot

4’s to the left, 3’s to the right

2’s left on the multi, 1’s right on the big bit

Above Woody’s is the last section in Casey’s wilderness called Power Lines and this gets the saw in
full action removing some serious limbs as the building unravels.

The start of Section 7 “Power Lines” which will need a lot of clearing and branch removal to make it rideable

Straight up shot for 4’s, 3’s jink to their right after the tree

The 1/2 jink by my feet

1’s come back from the jink and come in front of the first tree and then onwards and upwards. 2’s and 3’s go between the two big trees

Just the final 2 to clear and a little bit of the “improved loop” to finish so if all goes to plan Day 1 will
be complete before the weekend. The sections under the bridge will have to wait for final taping and
cards as I’m sure the schoolkids will tear it all down if I put it up too early.

Met with local man John Hamilton this morning who maybe the link to the Cortez group. John who
has a 76 TL250 and a 2010 Beta came for a looksee around the Saturday sections and a few of the
Sunday offerings. Seems keen, I hope they come out to play and swell the numbers.

Need to get back out there this afternoon and put the finishing touches on the last 2 and some extra
portions of the revised loop as this morning was only a walk round and nothing got done. The post
lunch session goes well, no rain, and the last 2 cut out. All that remains is the intermediate loop from
section 3 around to section 4 where we change direction and then perhaps a different loop exit back
onto the Mesa as my first attempt was a bit bendy.

Another afternoon session on the loop and the first issue is to straighten out the exit portion and find
an easier run out without all the twists and turns. Remove 4 strands of rather nasty barbed wire and
connect the new with the old. Looks good!  Back down to the main sections and try for a simplified
way to avoid 2 way traffic. Sections 2 and 3 run east to west and then 4 and 5 which are also on the
cliff edge run the reverse direction. Another hour of hacking and crashing through the undergrowth
and the tunnel of light finally connects everything…… so well done to me !

The once clear and crystal Dolores River is now a brown muddy mess thanks to the monsoon rains
and mud slides up towards Telluride. The river has come up about 8″ in the last few days so I need
another spectator section just in case I can’t use “Down by the Riverside”

Having improved the way out I think I now need to do the same for the way in. Also need to string
some loop marking up the road and around the mesa. Red tape all the way in and out and a much
better way in after another 5 strands of that wire were cut and removed. Back down to the riverside
sections and despite all the recent rain and run off things still look good.

The new way in

Follow the red !

Time to start putting some ribbons and flags up and get the show ready to ride.

TONY DOWN

.

IN OTHER NEWS

IN OTHER NEWS


IN OTHER NEWS

As the Town readies for the upcoming Escalante Days things are moving along nicely. The new bar is
nearly ready in all respects and people are warming to it and the numbers are on the up and up. Today
the old kitchen gets ripped out and relocated. Pool tables will be installed in the vacant area ready for
the start of the Fall competitions.

The Riverside extensions are nearly complete

The all new “trials” bar we ordered looking good

The door behind Brenda leads out onto the deck

The extensive new deck

An evening beer by the Dolores River ……. and all this 100 yards from the
Start !

The Chamber of Commerce has its “running order” finalised so the events should follow along these
lines:

 Flanders & Joe Rowell Parks

Parade Theme: “Dancing in the Streets”

Citizen of the Year Scott Clow- Grand Marshall

       Live Remote by KKDC “D’Crow” 93.3FM

4-6pm Live music Friday featuring Louis Edwards

and Yesterday

6-8 PM SAT.   Live Music/Street Dance/Beer Garden

featuring Vanishing Breed
ITSA Mountain West Vintage Motorcycle Trials Sat & Sun
Call Tony at 882-2483

SOFTBALL TOURNEY- ALL Weekend long sponsored by the Dolores H.S. Wrestling team call Leo Duran 749-3718

FRIDAY, AUGUST 9TH

               12:00 PM    Vendor Booth set-up in Flanders Park

             5:30 PM    Kiddy Parade Line-up at Dolores General Store

             6:00 PM    Kiddy Parade sponsored by 4 Corners Character Council

             4-6   PM     Music by the Louie Edwards and Yesterday

             6:30 PM    Kid’s Bicycle Rodeo behind Dolores Medical Building

                               Sponsored by Dolores Rotary Club- bike give away

             7:00  PM     Ice Cream Eating Contest sponsored by Dolores General Store

                                   

SATURDAY, AUGUST 10TH

             6-10 AM   Pancake Breakfast at Dolores Doghouse by K-9 Search and

                             Rescue                                                                                                                        8:00 AM   Registration for Rotary Club Mountain Bike Race in front Dolores
Medical Center. Pre-registration is available.

             9:50 AM   Start of the Rotary Club Mountain Bike Race

           10:00 AM   Parade – Line up at DHS at 9:30am VFW Color Guard          

                             out front. Sponsored by 4 Corners Character Council

           11:00 AM   Free hourly Galloping Goose rides until 4:00pm

           11:00 AM   Chain Saw contest – Riverfront Pizza and Bar

              NOON    Watermelon eating contest – Mountain Stone

           12:30 PM   Water Balloon Toss – Ponderosa

             1:00 PM   Arm Wrestling – Riverfront Pizza and Bar

             1:30 PM   Penny Hunt – The Dolores State Bank

             2:00 PM   3 Legged Race – Dolores Liquor

             2:30 PM   Stomp Rockets – Traditional Charm Antique Mall

             3:00 PM   Egg Toss – Dolores Food Market

             3:30 PM   Duck Race – Kiwanis Club of Cortez

 

Please keep your dogs at home

SPONSORED BY THE DOLORES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 882-4018

First editions of our event reportage were published last week in the Dolores Star and we did make
the front page. Usually it gets republished in the Cortez Journal which has a much bigger audience
and then the phone calls will start.

Motorcycle ballet

Vintage trials back for Escalante Days

Peter Slothower maneuvers over rocks along McPhee Reservoir in the vintage motorcyle competition at last year's race.Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Peter Slothower maneuvers over rocks along McPhee Reservoir in the vintage motorcyle competition
at last year’s race.

To say vintage motorcycle trial racing is a passion for Dolores resident Tony Down would be an understatement. His love of competition and beauty of a powered ascent over obstacles most people
would not walk over is beyond the pale.

“It’s really a pure sport; my wife calls it motorcycle ballet,” Down said in an interview at his Dolores
business, Cozy Comfort RV Park. “It is true balance of machine and body.”

Down has teamed up with local landowner Casey McClellan to create two challenging trials courses
on the outskirts of Dolores. A “full-blown competition” designed to be spectator friendly will be held
over Escalante Days on the weekend of Aug. 10 and 11.

The Dolores Escalante Day Trials is part of the Mountain West Vintage Trials race series, operating
under the umbrella of the International Twinshock Association (ITSA).

The second annual event was so wildly popular during its premiere last year, it caused a rush of
entries and inspired new devotees to the sport.

“Casey bought a trials bike and earned the best beginner during last year’s race,” said Down, a
professional rider who had a successful racing career in Europe.

Down still races with enthusiastic vigor and usually wins his expert class. But now he competes more
for the pure fun and camaraderie of it, and to promote the thrill of the unique sport.

“Bear in mind these are old men on old bikes,” he chuckles. “We’re still brilliant riders, but we’re not in
our twenties, even though we may think we are. We’re carrying on with various injuries.”

For purists, the more historic vintage trial bikes (up to 1979) are sacrosanct, but various classes allow
for some modern upgrades. However, ITSA has specific guidelines designed to limit technology for its competitions. Bikes must stay within the confines of air-cooled, drum brakes, and twin shocks.

ISTA’s website explains it this way: “Limiting the technology we can use will somewhat restrict the motorcycle’s capabilities. In doing this, the severity of the terrain the bikes can safely negotiate
becomes more reasonable. This, in turn, opens the door for more riders to safely compete, making
for a more interesting championship.”

On Saturday, after participating in the Escalante Days parade, competitors will run a trial course
beginning at the Fourth Street Bridge. There will be several convenient spectator sections, including
from the bridge.

Sunday is a longer race, with riders utilizing a steep, switchback road accessing the mesa top south
of town and negotiating cliff areas. Sections down Lost Canyon creek will be particularly challenging.
Each day’s race utilizes three loops, with 12 sections on each loop.

“The objective of the rider is to maintain forward movement without incurring penalties,” Down explains.
“A normal course will have rocks, tree roots, fallen trees, steep grades, you name it. It is all about brake
and throttle control, staying in balance.”

A foot down is one penalty point; “centipeding” through an obstacle, three points; going the wrong way
or out of bounds, five points. The rider charged with the least penalties is the winner. Classes and
course lines are subdivided into beginners, novices, intermediates, pre-historic experts, and experts.

The old abandoned house in Lost Canyon will become an obstacle in an optional, and sure to be
hilarious, denouement of the Sunday race event. Riders will be challenged to negotiate narrow
hallways, ride around bedrooms with old mattresses, and then through the kitchen and out the back
door, or some variation.

One such preposterous event is called “Honey, I’m home!” where riders don summer dresses and
carry purses while powering their machines through a race course in the house.

While competition can get fierce for the veterans, motorcycle trials are more of a “gentleman’s sport,”
Down said.

“There is not animosity, we applaud each other’s brilliance, and laugh at our mistakes when we lay in
a heap with the bike on top of us.”

Last year, 25 racers participated. Organizers are expecting up to 50 this year. For more information on
the race and how to sign up, contact Downs at (970) 882-2483 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (970) 882-2483 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

A SIP OF SIPAPU

A SIP OF SIPAPU


A SIP OF SIPAPU


The supply truck pulls in

Thursday 4th of July and time to get loaded ready for our morning departure for Sipapu NM. Another
new venue for me and Superglitz as the Stealth Cub is still under construction. John Holbrrok has
been there since Monday hobbling round sorting out sections for our delight. I wasn’t aware that this
weekend we clash with a Wyoming favorite the Medicine Bow Cup so our attendance may well be
down as the Wyoming and Denver lads will have split loyalties. Hopefully our southern contingent
from Texas and NM will turn out in force to swell the numbers.

Essential loading of goodies

We actually left on time, a quick visit into Cortez for some personal admin and then off we go with a
1530 ETA .  All the Safari work made not one jot of difference and I’m now left believing its a crap
design and maybe all that can be done is to rip out the radiator and clean the inside face which must
be full of grot.

Arrive on time, a few beers, no internet so Brenda is not happy and then it rains ! Saturday and very
warm so off we go with an early start. This morning our group is Dan and myself with Bob and John
making those lovely 4 stroke noises.

Section 1 is interesting with a gentle downhill in the pines, soft dirt and needles, right hand turn into
increasingly steep turn with an angled turn to another upper tree for a tight left into another tight right
uphill on the side of some wig wam construction into a simple series of turns to the exit. Around the
first turn and some rapid body weight changes and power to save that inside dab but this takes me
off line for the second turn which now needs the big dab. Awful line up on the wig wam and a panic 3
goes in the books, but a little more application and a clean is feasable. Dan has the same fate with
a scattering of dabs.

Section 2 and all this is vaguely reminiscent of my youth riding in the Kentish woods. Drop in down
the hill into left turn to line up on fallen tree and once over that take care to stay on line for a smaller
log. Out left for a flatish right hander and set up for a fairly simple exit. Cleans here so on we go.

3 has another fallen tree but by taking a tightish left hander from the entry you can ride back along
side the tree with just enough room to line up to cross it without crossing your own tracks. Over this
jink right and back left to cross a series of branches that look worse than they ride and then set up
for the exit.  Cleans here as well so up the hill to 4.

A couple of 4″ bouncing springy logs to start then a gentle wall of death on some vegetation covered
rocks into an uphill left 180 with a small log which has a firm rock kicker. Backdown in the gulley for
a 180 right hander to climb back up the hill into a gentle right hander into downhill exit. A little too fast
into the rock kicker and and now wide making the right turn about a 210 and too close to the wall and
a shambolic three prodder to get it sorted. Lack of saddle time beginning to show !

At 5 the first left turn looks problematic in loose dirt and wood chips but rides nicely. Natural line
through a right hander to set up for either a direct attack across some rocks or take a right/left jink
onto a smooth path to get up onto a large smooth embedded rock to turn downhill for a log and then
the exit. Alls well until the jink when I catch my shoulder on the tree tossing me left and forcing a rapid recovery 3 dab affair to regain the line. That really was dumb and thats two 3’s in a row which is very
annoying as I was expecting to clean both of those.

Spent a lot of time looking at the wrong line in 6 until I saw the way. A large lump rock with the marker
at the base, a sort of side crossing to put the bike in a good position for the right turn and then careful
riding to the exit over an assortment of logs.

7 looks like the first easy one of the day, downhill into left hander through rocks and logs and then up
the hill across embedded rocks for a jink exit by the tree. Maybe not so easy as it takes Dan for an
unexpected dab.

At 8 we have a dip into the first right uphill turn, into a 45 left with an angled tree root and then a long
curving uphill amid rocks and leaf mould finally turning right back downhill to the exit. Dan rides it
slowly whereas I go a bit quicker, results the same and both return nice cleans.

Right beside the path is 9 which is a straight shot uphill on a rock path, small dip at the top then
downhill over a series of steps on very firm rocks. No problems here for the 2 line but John and Bob
are in all kinds of trouble on the supposedly easier 3 line.

Down a ski run to the lift and lodge and section 10 across the river from the patio bar and restaurant.
Enter on the top of the bank and over a big slab rock about 15″ high, off that then through the trees and
line dependant gates to the river. Out of the water and up the bank across a nasty looking double set
of rocks in the trees turning back down to the water for a climb out on some softish gravel rock. The
front slips on a wet one in the river but the rest rides well.

Overall I’m enjoying it, I seem to be riding quite well and the two 3’s that were lost were rider error!
Dan has been very consistent and only lost 4 to my 10. Lets see how loop 2 unfolds.

Back at 1 nothing much has changed, perhaps it has bedded in a bit. Dan eases through for a well
earned 2 and I’m clean coming up to the wig wam thing. I take a dab but don’t make it count and i’m
forced to tippee toe for the 2…… silly! Make ‘EM count!!

Another dumb dab going too fast over the log in 2 and clean again on 3. Stick to the line on 4 where
I previously lost the unexpected 3 and it goes round clean without the slightest glich. No hassle in 5
where I hit my shoulder and a smooth clean here. Too fast over the lump rock in 6 needs a recovery
dab and then plain sailing through 7, 8, and 9. Back on the river the back skids on the big rock for the
dab but the rest rides well. Dan and I both record 5 for this loop and I think I could have been round
for just a single dab with a bit more effort.

Collect the cards and then ………. BOOOM !! the thunderstorm arrives, it goes dark and pours down
with some pretty hard rain. At 1 Dan comes through the turns with perfect line, speed and balance
and records the only clean of the day… a great ride! My effort looks good through turns 1 & 2 but  I’m
wide at wigwam and its a frustrating 3 prodder. Section 2 isn’t much better with another prod for
balance coming off the log. No probs on 3 but at 4 I’m late into the bottom turn and need 2 to get
away from the wall.

A nice string of 5 cleans from section 5 through 9 despite the miserable conditions but by the time
we are at 10 the storm has moved on. 1 goes out the window in the river and another tippee toe on
the exit. Got to stop those!! Dan has a superb loop after that magnificent clean on 1 and slips round
for just 2 dabs. Well done.

Usual evening festivities and cook out. ………. and then it starts to rain again so the retreat is
sounded and time for a quick film and bed.

Sunday morning and an early start is planned which would have been fine if we had kept to it but as
I’m having breakfast at 0855 the riders all come past the RV indicating we have started even earlier!!!

Off to 1 down by the river and it seems the fir trees have kept everything dry despite all the rain. Enter
towards the river then immediate left up a bank for a 180 right to come back parallel to the river for a
180 left off the adverse to set up for a root cluster and rocks. The 1 liners have quite a ride here with
some tricky turns and a huge jumble of rocks. I watch John Dowson through and he has a superb
ride for a clean……. very stylish and clearly been practicing to good results. Dan and I are out of this
one with a dab a piece but clearly its doable.

Today Dan and I are joined by Jimmy who is getting better and better on the Bultaco. Over at 2 the
first hurdle of a big rock is causing some grief and Bob and Wolfie don’t much care for it and are even
asking if we should remove the large broken piece off the top. It should ride OK in my opinion and I’m
more concerned with the final corner which has a choice of two lines.

Dan gets through with a dab and I set off and get to the first big rock. As the bash plate strikes I ease
off as I’m expecting the bike to go over but it STALLS……… well if thats not enough and annoying the
plate rotates sideways to line up with the angle of the rocks and without the aid of a crutch, stilts or
an extending leg I’m about to do a “Honey I’m Home” out the side window !! Its a long drop and I take
the full force on my right wrist and then in this 45 down posture the bike lands on top of me trapping
me to terra firma. Well that HURT!! Its not broken but bloody painful

Clean the next one which is a fairly simple uphill climb with some extra turns then find I’m having
trouble steering in the next. Can’t maintain my line due to the pain and stall it again over the big log
as my wrist doesn’t like the throttle twisting.

The next one starts nicely enough over some rocks and then two choices of line to approach the last
hazzard of a tree lying downhill at about a 30 degree angle. There is however a bit of a kicker of wood
chips and a knurl on the top of the log which should stop the rear wheel sliding. Well it doesn’t and
I’m doing a repeat performance of section 2 on a steeper bank and a lot further to fall. Once again I
land on my right hand and tweak the wrist even more before impacting with helmet and shoulder.

Try the next one and escape with a dab as the pain shoots up the forearm. Next section after an easy
start into right turn I can’t apply the front brake and can’t turn the bars either……. OK enough is enough!

Punch through the rest and do some photography and notice that the camera view finder is cracked
thanks to my tumbling routines.

Jimmy as smooth as silk in section 8

Dan takes a “sneaky” in 8

Full cry from Jimmy on the logs of 9

Good control over the last hazzard of 9

Dan on 9

Steady dab from Jimmy on the exit of 10

Good controlled line up the exit of 10

……. and from a learning point of view I can safely say “You can’t ride a Trials bike ONE handed !”

13 days later and it still hurts!

TONY DOWN

CUB IN A BOX

CUB IN A BOX


CUB IN A BOX

With plate spinning in full flow and Escalante Days Trial taking shape it looks like I might finally get
round to rebuilding my faithful Cub. She has sat in the workshop since about Thanksgiving. A respite
from weeding at last, and as my non stop endeavours continue I can at last see a time frame for a
good bout of uninterrupted spanner wrenching.

A Cub in waiting

For those who have not been reading the blog the situation was the redesigned 2012 edition suffered
from bash plateitis and gave me some very sudden an unexpected “5’s” as I wandered down trial’s
highways and byways!

Also at some stage some nice kind soul knocked my bike over resulting in the cheap nasty Betor rear
shock rod bending. These were replaced by the identical set off the Enfield so that I could ride last
year’s Escalante Day Trials but had to go back on the Enfield for its upcoming sale. Over the winter a
new set of Rockshocks were ordered and duly arrived in 5 days from the UK.

The dead Betor

New custom Rockshocks from John Bull

Meanwhile Ray cut out the offending lower tube from the frame, fabricated some forward engine plates, rebuilt the footrest adjusters, made a bigger hole for the coil to fit in and reshaped the bashplate.
( see Hell’s Kitchen 13 )

First go at the rebuild resulted in disaster with a self inflicted hole in the crankcase but that has been
subsequently beautifully welded by a local expert after a trail of tears through about a dozen welding
and fabrication shops who all told me it was in the too difficult basket.

Ooops !

So thats where we left it……… now read on:

Saturday 29 June and a thunderstorm rolls in, so no section cleaning this afternoon, the Safari gets a
quick look but too wet for rolling around under the engine so into the workshop and first attempt to fit
the motor after refreshing all the oils.

The transfusion is underway

Close but not acceptable

Suffice to say it “nearly fits”…….. one of the bash plate bolts just touches the crankcase so something
has to be done here. Choices are either use a smaller locking nut or reposition and redrill the plate
and bracket to a point where it is well clear. First I’ll cut down the bolt and nut insert and see how that
is and what clearance I have.

2nd attempt

The engine is refitted and all looks good this time around but now I’m informed guests are coming
for drinks so my plans to complete the front end are slim. Better loosely assemble the back end and
try and line up frame, swinging arm and the rear sub frame and get the SA bolt in to stabilise the
show.

Taking shape

Guests arrive, mission terminated, but with the monsoon season nearly upon us and afternoon rain
I should be able to fit bits and pieces slow time during the coming week, not forgetting more section
cutting for the Escalante 2 Day, lawn mowing, work on the Safari and if I ever get round to it time to
swing a leg over Superglitz for this weekend’s 2 Day over in Sipapu NM.

Another lowish achievement day; shade garden lawn strimmed, radiator on Safari blown out and
hosed several times and another major louvrectomy completed on the upper door. Time to put it back
together and test drive.

Back in the workshop and time to add some more parts starting with the footrest hangers, SA nuts
and the freshly reoiled fork legs. Legs in handlebars on, clutch system all connected and back in situ.
Lower fork leg clamps, fork stops and front brake lever and cable back on. Mudguard and front wheel
would have gone on but…….. more guests arrive for drinkies and today its my old favorite Gin & Tonic.

Plans change again as I needed to get the Safari up and running for the Sipapu event this weekend
and I needed to sort out the rear tire on the bus which leaks ever so slightly. I rang the company that
fitted the tires some 2 years ago and they immediately sent somebody out to sort it out at home! What
a fantastic service and totally unexpected. With that done I went and topped up the LP gas and diesel
so I’m ready to load Thursday night.

Not enough time to go section cleaning so a bit more on el Cubo. The front wheel gets changed to
the old wheel from Superglitz but this needs a slight adjustment to the brake arm as it has new
grooved shoes. It gets fitted and the front end is all aligned and tightened up. The back wheel is
added to give some balance.

Close of play 7/2/13

  My game plan for the day never came to fruition as I had planned more section cutting as the primary
mission with a back up of the Cub if the monsoon dropped by. Brenda goes into town for the weekend
shopping so I’m going nowhere and its back to the Cub for a few more components.

A bit of tightening on the back end stuff and some measuring of bolts for the footrest hangers. Need
a couple of new bolts here to tidy things up. A quick polish of some of the units pre fitting and then the
task of fitting the square coil in the round hole game. Things line up reasonably well but I make a
couple of cuts on the left side to make life easier. All back in and connected and ready to test…………
NOTHING !!

Always frustrating when you reassemble something that was working perfectly when you took it apart
so time for some problem solving and question asking. Could the TIG welding have buggered up the
electronic ignition ? Did the system get fried with all the voltage going through it ? Good contacts ?
Good plug and cap ? and perhaps the most simple a good earth ? Everything off again and clean up
all the terminals, a gentle squeeze on the connectors, cut back the HT lead and reseat the KLG rubber
plug cap, and try a different earth point which in this case is the seat post where I had to file the hard
powder coating off. Connect it all up again and success SPARKS !

During the course of all this old friend Forrest Bault drops in as he now lives up at Ridgeway, 120
miles up the road. Several beers later and no further progress, but at least I have sparks and don’t
have to strip out the electronic ignition system so the day finishes on a high and not a low.

With weekend shopping and loading for Sipapu underway just time to fit all the oil tank pipes and
seating assembly. That seems to be it until I’ve been into town for some longer bash plate bolts to
secure the footrest hangers.

Not much left to fit now

Having injured my wrist and with other things stopping any progress on the Dolores 2 Day I’m at it on
the Cub. So far the back end has been finished, bash plate and footrest hangers secured, footrests
back in place, chain on and brake reconnected.

Back end complete

Another clean on the carb which is back on leaving just the tank and exhaust. Exhaust is needing a
mod as with the repositioned front engine plates the front exhaust bracket is now way too long so that
needs cutting down and redrilling.

With the new engine plates the exhaust bracket is too long

Needs shortening and redrilling

With any luck, as section finding is on hold, the Cub may get finished this afternoon. Exhaust bracket
redone and a good fit with even a bit more room up front as the engine is tilted back slightly. Time to
tidy up all the ancillary bits and bobs on the top of the frame such that the slimline tank will fit. Cables
and pipes all seem free. Only area of concern is the crossfeed fuel line which is a bit tight on other
parts. All buttoned up so just polishing to do on Thursday before the reporter arrives to do another
article for the local papers on the upcoming Escalante Days Trial.

Outside for the final photo shoot …….. and then I notice an ERROR !!!  I could not believe my own dull,
dumb, stupid incompetence…….. must have been a “Senior Moment” or maybe the onset of Alts, altz,
homer, heimer whatever…… see if you can spot it ?

With work completed on the Cub and the reporter due to turn up shortly better get the stablemate of
Superglitz shined up in case the camera comes out.

TONY DOWN


CUB IN A BOX


CUB IN A BOX

With plate spinning in full flow and Escalante Days Trial taking shape it looks like I might finally get
round to rebuilding my faithful Cub. She has sat in the workshop since about Thanksgiving. A respite
from weeding at last, and as my non stop endeavours continue I can at last see a time frame for a
good bout of uninterrupted spanner wrenching.

A Cub in waiting

For those who have not been reading the blog the situation was the redesigned 2012 edition suffered
from bash plateitis and gave me some very sudden an unexpected “5’s” as I wandered down trial’s
highways and byways!

Also at some stage some nice kind soul knocked my bike over resulting in the cheap nasty Betor rear
shock rod bending. These were replaced by the identical set off the Enfield so that I could ride last
year’s Escalante Day Trials but had to go back on the Enfield for its upcoming sale. Over the winter a
new set of Rockshocks were ordered and duly arrived in 5 days from the UK.

The dead Betor

New custom Rockshocks from John Bull

Meanwhile Ray cut out the offending lower tube from the frame, fabricated some forward engine plates, rebuilt the footrest adjusters, made a bigger hole for the coil to fit in and reshaped the bashplate.
( see Hell’s Kitchen 13 )

First go at the rebuild resulted in disaster with a self inflicted hole in the crankcase but that has been
subsequently beautifully welded by a local expert after a trail of tears through about a dozen welding
and fabrication shops who all told me it was in the too difficult basket.

Ooops !

So thats where we left it……… now read on:

Saturday 29 June and a thunderstorm rolls in, so no section cleaning this afternoon, the Safari gets a
quick look but too wet for rolling around under the engine so into the workshop and first attempt to fit
the motor after refreshing all the oils.

The transfusion is underway

Close but not acceptable

Suffice to say it “nearly fits”…….. one of the bash plate bolts just touches the crankcase so something
has to be done here. Choices are either use a smaller locking nut or reposition and redrill the plate
and bracket to a point where it is well clear. First I’ll cut down the bolt and nut insert and see how that
is and what clearance I have.

2nd attempt

The engine is refitted and all looks good this time around but now I’m informed guests are coming
for drinks so my plans to complete the front end are slim. Better loosely assemble the back end and
try and line up frame, swinging arm and the rear sub frame and get the SA bolt in to stabilise the
show.

Taking shape

Guests arrive, mission terminated, but with the monsoon season nearly upon us and afternoon rain
I should be able to fit bits and pieces slow time during the coming week, not forgetting more section
cutting for the Escalante 2 Day, lawn mowing, work on the Safari and if I ever get round to it time to
swing a leg over Superglitz for this weekend’s 2 Day over in Sipapu NM.

Another lowish achievement day; shade garden lawn strimmed, radiator on Safari blown out and
hosed several times and another major louvrectomy completed on the upper door. Time to put it back
together and test drive.

Back in the workshop and time to add some more parts starting with the footrest hangers, SA nuts
and the freshly reoiled fork legs. Legs in handlebars on, clutch system all connected and back in situ.
Lower fork leg clamps, fork stops and front brake lever and cable back on. Mudguard and front wheel
would have gone on but…….. more guests arrive for drinkies and today its my old favorite Gin & Tonic.

Plans change again as I needed to get the Safari up and running for the Sipapu event this weekend
and I needed to sort out the rear tire on the bus which leaks ever so slightly. I rang the company that
fitted the tires some 2 years ago and they immediately sent somebody out to sort it out at home! What
a fantastic service and totally unexpected. With that done I went and topped up the LP gas and diesel
so I’m ready to load Thursday night.

Not enough time to go section cleaning so a bit more on el Cubo. The front wheel gets changed to
the old wheel from Superglitz but this needs a slight adjustment to the brake arm as it has new
grooved shoes. It gets fitted and the front end is all aligned and tightened up. The back wheel is
added to give some balance.

Close of play 7/2/13

  My game plan for the day never came to fruition as I had planned more section cutting as the primary
mission with a back up of the Cub if the monsoon dropped by. Brenda goes into town for the weekend
shopping so I’m going nowhere and its back to the Cub for a few more components.

A bit of tightening on the back end stuff and some measuring of bolts for the footrest hangers. Need
a couple of new bolts here to tidy things up. A quick polish of some of the units pre fitting and then the
task of fitting the square coil in the round hole game. Things line up reasonably well but I make a
couple of cuts on the left side to make life easier. All back in and connected and ready to test…………
NOTHING !!

Always frustrating when you reassemble something that was working perfectly when you took it apart
so time for some problem solving and question asking. Could the TIG welding have buggered up the
electronic ignition ? Did the system get fried with all the voltage going through it ? Good contacts ?
Good plug and cap ? and perhaps the most simple a good earth ? Everything off again and clean up
all the terminals, a gentle squeeze on the connectors, cut back the HT lead and reseat the KLG rubber
plug cap, and try a different earth point which in this case is the seat post where I had to file the hard
powder coating off. Connect it all up again and success SPARKS !

During the course of all this old friend Forrest Bault drops in as he now lives up at Ridgeway, 120
miles up the road. Several beers later and no further progress, but at least I have sparks and don’t
have to strip out the electronic ignition system so the day finishes on a high and not a low.

With weekend shopping and loading for Sipapu underway just time to fit all the oil tank pipes and
seating assembly. That seems to be it until I’ve been into town for some longer bash plate bolts to
secure the footrest hangers.

Not much left to fit now

Having injured my wrist and with other things stopping any progress on the Dolores 2 Day I’m at it on
the Cub. So far the back end has been finished, bash plate and footrest hangers secured, footrests
back in place, chain on and brake reconnected.

Back end complete

Another clean on the carb which is back on leaving just the tank and exhaust. Exhaust is needing a
mod as with the repositioned front engine plates the front exhaust bracket is now way too long so that
needs cutting down and redrilling.

With the new engine plates the exhaust bracket is too long

Needs shortening and redrilling

With any luck, as section finding is on hold, the Cub may get finished this afternoon. Exhaust bracket
redone and a good fit with even a bit more room up front as the engine is tilted back slightly. Time to
tidy up all the ancillary bits and bobs on the top of the frame such that the slimline tank will fit. Cables
and pipes all seem free. Only area of concern is the crossfeed fuel line which is a bit tight on other
parts. All buttoned up so just polishing to do on Thursday before the reporter arrives to do another
article for the local papers on the upcoming Escalante Days Trial.

Outside for the final photo shoot …….. and then I notice an ERROR !!!  I could not believe my own dull,
dumb, stupid incompetence…….. must have been a “Senior Moment” or maybe the onset of Alts, altz,
homer, heimer whatever…… see if you can spot it ?

With work completed on the Cub and the reporter due to turn up shortly better get the stablemate of
Superglitz shined up in case the camera comes out.

TONY DOWN

LOST CANYON CREEK …. DISCOVERED!

LOST CANYON CREEK …. DISCOVERED!


LOST CANYON CREEK …. DISCOVERED!

“I found it, I found it, honest I found it !!”
Stumbling through brush, treading on slippery rocks, where no feet have been, Nirvana opens up to
reveal the wonders of Lost Canyon Creek. Nestling quietly alongside CR30 the rushing waters of the
winter runoff have now subsided and all is revealed for the upcoming Escalante Days 2 Day Trial.

Curtains of saplings will be removed, dead tree debris will be pushed aside, lines established, and hopefully some marks lost when the Green and Reds are suitably placed. Scottish in concept hardly
any red or blue tape needed as once you are in you are in!

The mission is to find 5 good sections in this river bed and then the deal is done. The Day 2 loop is a
lot shorter and shouldn’t take very long to connect with tape and flags. I’ve already seen 3 sections so
I need to convert my 3 into a 5. Not going to happen this week as attention now switches to Sipapu
and rounds 7 & 8 of the Mtn West ITSA deal. It seems we are clashing with Wyoming this weekend
which is frustrating as I’m sure a good number of our riders will go to the closer event.

Now Tuesday and Sipapu has come and gone although I still have the minor wrist injury to contend
with. Hopefully that will ease off with time so as I’m left handed it should not cause any grief to saw
work or operating a set of secateurs. Once more then into the Canyon and start the search for the
final 5.

Thursday and time to get out there after my interview with the reporter from the local rag. He says we
might even make the front page !!! Stinking hot and a thunderstorm seems to be coming in. No matter
the Canyon calls.

The opening section for Day 2 will be on the West side of the bridge and it takes me about an hour
to hack and prune my way through the foliage but the results are pleasing and we have a good safe
section for everybody.

One hour of hacking and pruning and we have the start of Section 1,
“A Bridge Too Far” for Sunday

All cleaned out and finishes up by the start of the next piece of jungle

Midway hazards of Section 1

Coming up to the Ends cards of Section 1 with a lot of clearing required
to get under the bridge

Next problem removing fallen trees, saplings and who knows what to get under the bridge which
takes a lot of time but eventually the one man band is through and I’m in the clear and ready to sort
out sections 2 & 3 which will be of the continuous variety to remind me of Scotland.

Through at last !

A natural pile of rocks immediately gives me the first challenge for 1’s and 2’s and then its clipping
and sapling pulling like a madman to open up the entire river bed. There will be minimal red and
blue down here as “cheater lines” hardly apply !  You can’t get out up the banks so don’t even think
about it.

Start of Section 2 “Doorway to the Canyon”

Interesting first hazard for 1’s & 2’s

Coming round the bend in 2

At about the changeover to Section 3

Section 3 in all its beauty

The springy log denotes the end of Section 3

By 1800 I reach the end of section 3 and I can walk through the sapling maze to the start of the giant
petrified pre historic crocodile which will become Section 4 but more of that tomorrow after a LOT of
liquid refreshment !

The view of the jungle from the end of Section 3. More clearing tomorrow

This is where I’m starting today to cut through to Section 4 “The Croc’s Back” and then onward to find
the last and elusive Section 5 to complete Day 2. I would like something with deep wash sand if I can
find it.

2 hours of pulling, pushing, clipping and sawing and the “Crock’s Back” is done and a really good
section it is too! However by the time I had finished it I was cooked, sweating like a pig, and getting
seriously dehydrated. Well nearly there and still plenty of time to find the last one. Try again tomorrow
then back to cleaning the last 7 sections of Day 1 which should be easy by comparison.

The jungle is cleared to the start of “The Croc’s Back”

Section 4 “The Croc’s Back”

Standing on the scales of the Croc …………  Did it MOVE ????

All cleared, the sting in the Croc’s tail can now be seen

More riverbed clearance up the canyon and then into an inpenetrateable mass of fallen trees, new
saplings and really nothing that stands out as being worthwhile. Next problem is going to be getting
out of this Canyon. Several walk throughs up the bank to find an acceptable exit for all levels of riding
and then a heart pounding moment when bushes start moving and some deers erupt from cover…..
we have had some bears in town just recently so with only a brush saw as a futile weapon I was very
pleased to see deer !

With the route established, which I’ll clean later, time to find the last of the 24 new sections for this
epic event. Up on the top my enthusiasm for hacking much more of this stuff is beginning to wane so
perhaps a slightly more gentle test is on the cards. It won’t be a “gimmee” but it won’t take me 2 hours
of clipping and sawing either.

Whatever level of civilization that ever lived here as we have seen previously they were not master
builders when it came to mortar and adobe but they did like their picket fences. Seems they didn’t
have trash cans either.

Section 5, “The Welder & the Picket Fence”

3’s & 4’s get a break and turn out left while 1’s & 2’s go down the adverse
and turn out finishing up by the welder’s table far left

 That completes the sections for Day 2 and all I’m left with is 7 Day 1 sections to make user friendly
by removing branches and nasty prickling things! Certainly a wide variation of sections and hopefully
something for everybody.

TONY DOWN 

STRUTTING IT’S STUFF

STRUTTING IT’S STUFF


STRUTTING IT’S STUFF

One of the joys of an RV from the female point of view is that you can ask to take almost everything on
tour. Garden chairs, visitor’s chairs, a lawn mat, barbeques, smokers, fire pit, boxes of firewood, extra
liquid refreshment, bicycles, fishing rods, Uncle Tom Cobbly and for the way home bags of trash! Well
where does all this STUFF go ?
Answer; in the lower bins which stretch down both sides of the coach.

It all goes in here

Loading and unloading this cavenous area is quite easy with a series of 3′ x 2′ bin doors along each
side until it starts to happen. Yep, the dreaded strut failure….. little by little, these struts either don’t hold
up all the way or slowly leak down while open. Sooner or later you as the humper dumper of all things
RV will have one hit you on the head. Next phase is to take along a set of poles to hold  them open
while loading or unloading, but in the process of getting them out you have to take the weight of the
door on your shoulders. Eventually, like interrogation, you are forced to give in and buy a complete set,
which in the Safari case is 12.

What we currently have

These vegetable slicer Guillotines hurt when they drop down !!

These arrived the day after we got back from Turkey Rock and now its time to fit these before we set
sail on our future missions. Might actually be able to clean everything out with the doors up without
being chopped in two by the razor sharp edges coming down like a vegetable slicer. I wonder whats
in there ? No doubt things I’ve been searching for and given up on.

12 newbies arrive

The new struts in black ready to go

First set replaced, 5 more bins to go 

During the “Rest Day” from the punishing weeding I researched this overheating problem that  just
about all Safari’s suffer from. Of course during the years of ownership I have heard many many stories
and in just about all cases a load of expensive part changes which never solved the problem. Yes, I
have been through many from changing thermostats, radiator flushes, washing the radiator, new air
filter etc, etc. …….. and of course all this to no avail!  Any major hill and the temp climbs until it hits 220
and then the RED light comes on followed shortly after by the engine derating and you are left
crawling up the hill. The temp never goes above 220 but its pretty embarassing nursing the old girl
until you hit the summit when as the load comes off the red light flickers a couple of times and then
goes out as you go down the other side. Here is one of these stories;

Posted 29 June 2011 – 08:00 AM

I’m going to share this story with everyone in hopes that perhaps it might save someone else the
extremely expensive repairs we endured.

We purchased a 2000 Safari Zanzibar Diesel Pusher in April of 2011. It proceeded to spend the major
of the time since in the shop for a number of repairs.

We were finally ready to take our first trip in our coach. From Denver to Phoenix for my little brothers
wedding.

We left on a Monday morning and broke down about 30 miles from home. Check engine light came
on, engine derated. We pulled over and started looking for the problem. I noted that I was loosing oil
out of the bottom of the oil pan. This issue was supposed to be corrected (I have the receipt saying it
was) by Windish RV.

We drove back to the shop we had it in originally and ended up spending $1,200.00 for a new oil pan.
Our Star RV warranty would not cover the repair.

Tuesday afternoon we pulled out again and this time we made it all the way to Monument Colorado.
Where, the check engine light came on again, the engine derated. We pulled over, fired up the
internet and proceeded to call 32 different diesel repair shops before we found one that would wait
for us to get there. (It was 5PM).

We got to Allens Auto and Diesel Repair in Colorado Springs. They hooked up the computer and
tinkered with the engine for about 3 hours. They weren’t able to diagnose the issue. So we spent our
very first night in our coach parked behind a diesel repair shop. At the end of the run way for the air
base. Let’s just say it wasn’t a peaceful nights sleep.

The next day Allen’s Auto and Diesel Repair proceeded to continue their diagnostics. They stated that
the auto tensioner was bad and the serpantene belt needed to be replaced. Then they determined that
the Electronic Control Module was bad. The part cost was $1,800.00. Star RV denied the coverage. I
got on the phone and raised a stink and finally got them to agree that the ECM was indeed covered.
We took the dingy and drove 40 miles to Pueblo and got the new ECM, had it programmed and
returned to Colorado Springs. They installed the ECM and called everything good. Total for repairs: $2,800.00. Star RV Warranty paid $1,900.00 we paid the balance.

We got back on the road at 6PM on Wednesday. You guessed it, at 7PM the check engine light came
on and the engine derated. Allan’s Auto and Diesel repair did not answer their emergency number
that we were given “just in case”.

We limped to a KOA site in South Pueblo and set up for the night. Thursday morning we called
Wagoner CAT repair center. They said they would work us through. We drove back from Pueblo South
and on the way… You guessed it again! The check engine light came on, the engine derated and we
literally limped into the Wagoner repair facility.

They did their own diagnostics and determine it had to be the thermostats. They offered to work us in
and have us back on the road by 4PM Thursday. The wedding was at 6:30 Friday afternoon…..

The thermostats were replaced. The engine coolant replaced. We took it for a test drive just to be sure.
And it overheated again.

We were told that the only other issue could be the radiator. They had checked the water pump. They
had installed probes and confirmed coolant flow, coolant pressure etc.

We abandoned our coach and drove the dingy through the night to make the wedding on Friday
afternoon. We made the wedding and returned on the following Wednesday to “Pick up our coach”.
Only to find that Star RV Warranty had once again denied coverage for the repair. We authorized the
repairs and returned to Denver in the dingy.

We went to pick up the coach yesterday (Tuesday)…We arrived just before the mechanic returned with
the coach after his test drive. We drove right past us and straight back to the garage area. Clearly, this
was not going to be good news.

The mechanic was scratching his head and was visibly upset. With a new set of thermostats,
confirmation of pressure and water flow and a new radiator, the coach was still overheating, the
engine still derating…..

While studying the issue, I put the coach into high idle. I went to the back of the coach, and started
feeling for air flow out of the back of the engine compartment. It was pretty minimal…. I opened the
louvered doors and was overwhelmed with hot air….

I instructed the mechanic to remove the lourver doors that covered the back of the engine compartment.
Then we went for a drive. The engine did get up to 220 degrees on inclines. But quickly recovered and dropped back down to 186 to 199…

I instructed them to remove the doors and the lower louver on the bumper. We then drove the coach
200 miles from Pueblo back to our home in Denver without issue.

After $5,500.00 in repairs, (None of which were apparently needed), we figured out that the louver
doors on the back the coach along with the louver cover over the radiator was preventing any air from escaping the engine compartment. The design of the doors was forcing the hot air right back into the
engine compartment and preventing the engine from being able to take in fresh air to push over the
radiator.

Back to me
All seems the same as what I have been dealing with all these years so I’ll take mine off and take it
for a test drive and see what happens. The louvres are set at about a 45 degree down angle which
when I think about it really doesn’t make much sense as hot are rises so why would it want to go
down ? At someone elses suggestion I took every other one off a couple of years ago and even after
the “louvretectomy” the results were the same.

The 2 problem doors

I removed every other slat from the lower door …… achieved nothing

 Everything pulled out of the lower bins and a lot of rolling about with the Dyson to remove a fair deal of
bits of the unknown. A new start with things put in boxes and reloaded in an eye catching manner. Next
will be taking off the doors and trying a test run without.

Now I can get in, time for a clean up

Thats better! now repack and load



Need to try myself as a panel beater to rectify the damage done by snow
and ice during “The Perfect Storm

Airline blowout of the radiator and multi wash and then another louvrectomy on the top door removing
2 slats, leave one, etc. I think I’ll remove every second one on the lower door and then call it quits. All
done so now just the tire problem to deal with. Telephone the people who fitted the tires about 2 years
ago to see if they could have a look tomorrow……. surprise,  surprise,they will send somebody out this
afternoon! Now thats service. Turns out the problem was the extension valve system that comes off
the valve stem that ends up on the inside between the two rear wheels. It hadn’t been fitted correctly
so all is well now and my Safari work is done.

The final solution….. stay cool my friend

With the tire fixed and the rest blown up to 110lb spec I fill up with diesel and propane so I’m ready for
Sipapu departure come Friday morning. With the engine running a quick walk round the back and ……
my God there is HOT air blowing out like an oven!!!

TONY DOWN

PIECES OF EIGHT

PIECES OF EIGHT


PIECES OF EIGHT

Ha. Ha, Matey, fe, fo, fi, fum, bottle of rum, and other ridiculous nautical expressions. Pirate booty it
might have been, dubloons and pieces of eight. Well in this context the pieces of eight are the last 8
sections for Day 2 of the Dolores event, and some are indeed burried treasure!

They tell me the temp is around 96F which must be a Dolores record but having had a day off the
trials front yesterday I’m determined to get something done despite the heat. If it all gets too much I
will return to the shade garden for a refreshing beverage and might even get a nut and bolt on the Cub
machine. Could also try my luck on some panel beating on the Safari as thats parked in the shade.

Today I would like to look at Lost Canyon Creek on the west side of the bridge and also link Bottle
House and Podium together and complete the layout for those two sections. Depending on how that
goes then I could get “Tin Can Alley” done as well but that might have to wait until the weekend.

Looking over the bridge I can now see my next section! More on that one when I’m down there with
saw and clippers. Today then, onwards and see the home makeover edition of Bottle House. First up
difficult to imagine who lived there and what they did. Clearly they drank a lot and were fascinated with
masonry and adobe although it seems a longer apprenticeship would have been beneficial.

The side wall of “Bottle House” a lot of drinking required!

Well into their garden area and remove the dishwasher and other miscellaneous junk and then saw
branches off the fir such that we can complete our turns and get over the adobe wall. This is going to
be a bit like the Dambusters WWII raid as after the first few bashplate strikes the wall will be breached
and it might become a ride through.

The Adobe Wall which reminded me of the Dams raid, 16 May 1943, and I
think after several bash plate strikes it will be breached

…… a bit like this after 617 Squadron had been with their Lancasters

…… and yes, this is me enjoying 8 years of display flying with Lancaster
PA 474 The City of Lincoln

Enough nostalgia, and more sawing and trimming and Bottle House gets the seal of approval for all
lines. Lets see it from the rider’s perspective. The section opens with a quick climb into a left turn on
the loose adverse and then tracks along behind the roof. 4’s turn in early while 1,2, & 3 go across an
adverse descending around the small fir tree and all my cut branches.

3/4 stay low, 1/2 up higher and all turn left

Everyone down the back of the house with 1/2/3 straight on and around
the fir and my cut branches

4’s turn left down the hill where I’m standing, 1/2/3 around the tree and
cut branches. 1 goes over the Adobe Dam to the left, 2’s to the right while
3’s take a wider line 

Ends & Start cards at the corner as we move into “Podium”

For those that want to get on the podium this weekend, here’s your chance! We exit Bottle House and
are straight into “Podium” on level ground. 3 & 4 ride around the rostrum and enter via a hole in the
wall while 1 & 2 mount the steps.

1 & 2 up the steps, 3 & 4 around the end

3 & 4 through here, 4’s over the lowest portion of the wall, 3’s over the
next level

1 & 2 come down over the dog house, 2’s over the wall by my feet, 1’s
over the bit closer to the trailer 



Simple run out to the thistle over the block rubble

Two more sections complete and ready for tape and cards so with 30mins left before o’beer 30  time
to make a start on “Tin Can Alley”. Here it is in the rough and will need a lot of pruning.

A lot more pruning required but now you can see the 1st hazard and the
line over it…… more next time

A few days away from clipping and pruning so time to get back at it today and make a few more ready
for taping. The second phase of Tin Can Alley to finish and its friend on the hillside. The sage gets the
heave-ho along with branches various and at last we have a sporting clear run at the section.

 

The other side of the first hazard for 1 & 2



From the top and a birdseye 1/2 view. 3’s around the rock and up to my
bag and saw inside the big sage. 4’s around the sage

Up the pruned hill

1 & 2 straight up, 1’s to the right. 3/4 exit stage left around the beautifully trimmed juniper tree

On to the next which was originally called “The Grassy Knoll”……… here it is in the rough.

Complete with all the brush

The big rock on the left with all it’s sage and vegetation

The start for 1/2/3 without the brush

3’s straight down the dirt for a left 180 on the knoll. 1/2 across the rock

Just seen a “cheater” line for the 1’s so now 1’s come across this rock

Straight up for 3 & 4.

TONY DOWN

SECTION OBSESSION

SECTION OBSESSION


SECTION OBSESSION

Not quite sure how you get it but clearly its an advanced stage of the dreaded  “Trials Bug”  disease
that afflicts so many. You can be your own Doctor here and by answering a few simple questions you
can determine whether you too are suffering and need help.

When at a neighbor or friends are you mentally planning a route through their rock garden ?

While driving or riding do you see a rocky hillside as just Mother Nature’s beauty or a group of hazards
that need linking together ?

Does that babbling brook look good for fishing or would split markers give 4 lines and a double
section?

Will that pile of fallen trees be a good source of winter firewood or better as multiple log crossings?

A babbling brook ? Or 2 sections with 4 natural lines ? 

If you answered YES to any of the questions then sadly my friend you are DOOMED to be a future
Trialsmaster so you had better get used to the idea ! The concept of “up there, round that, down the
rock, over the tree, across those roots, in and out of the mud etc and finish up there” is with you for
life.

Over the years I have met many who had suffered from this and even taken it to manic off season
situations. Good friend and Trialsmaster Supremo, Ed Peacock, could not stop during the winter
months and laid out a section for Santa after his front garden had been re-landscaped before
Christmas.

Ed can’t resist a Christmas section at the house

Up in Canada, Dave Rhodes , The Outlaw, is out nearly every day in a continual quest for new safe
challenging sections……. reminds me a bit of an old UK chocolate ad where an unknown in burglar
suit completes all sorts of “daring do” to deliver a box of chocolates

“……….. and all because the lady loves Milk Tray”

“………and all because they love a proper trial”

My latest section for The Escalante 2 Day is “Up to my Arse in Grass” so I’ll be being Mr Nice Guy and
going round with the strimmer so everyone can see whats coming up rather than finding a lurking
nasty amid the foliage. The joys of virgin land.

Well I’ve seen them left like this and sure after 20+ riders its not too bad
but I think they should be cleaned so everybody gets a sporting chance without a surprize
!

With a host of other things needing attention my original plan of a quick strim got pushed back and a
simple task only got finished at 5 pm.The results however were worth the effort and I rate this section
as one of the best I have laid out in a very long time. Of course the true test will be on the day but I think
it has a challenge or two for every line.

It now becomes an enchanting walk through the gardens



The final climb through the undergrowth to the exit

Strimmed! as Grandad used to say “Now the dog can see the rabbit”

The last climb to the exit

TONY DOWN