….AND THEN IT DIDN’T
After yesterday’s survival training conducted up on the mesa and cliffs we now present the Escalante
Days Trial Part II for your added enjoyment. The weather forecast is good, anything is GOOD after
yesterday’s nightmare and as Monty Python used to say “Now for something completely different”
Today we are down on Lost Canyon Creek with “Honey I’m Home”, Section 12, as our start area.
3 loops of 12 sections with 2 novelty sections included. I think I’ve been over the Graded Hill enough
but if the message hasn’t quite got home then one more time. A difficult section is laid out with
numbered boards up the hillside and this is a “one line for all” section. You progress up the hill using everything at your disposal and your score is where the front wheel stops. Pass the “2” board and you
have a two and so on. Eventually, it is hoped, it will become easier and by the end can be ridden feet
up by a good number of riders. Definitely a section where, with a big entry, you would ideally want to
be late. Old maxims apply, be early on the mud and late on the rocks. Common mistakes are the
WFO technique especially if the hill has turns, failure to read the lines and the hill, and not enough
brute force, leg power, and ignorance.
Camp Boards you may see on your way up Everest
Sir Edmund’s handy guide map up the South Col
How it might look on the day
The other “novelty” section is “Honey I’m Home” which is a continuation of the bike rodeo buffoonery
from Turkey Rock. Today its actually in a house and after saying out loud “Honey I’m Home” you climb
the steps and enter through the front door and follow your line dependant ride through the house
exiting through the back door. Optional kit, as this IS an observed section, is a large dress, purse and
fluffy dog. Although not specified in the rules an exit wheelie is appreciated…. there are no extra points
for style of lack of !
Section 12 “Honey I’m Home”
We start with 4 sections of non stop rocks which should shake out the cobwebs, ride some picket
fencing, try our up down skills on Grassy Knoll, enjoy a rock classic at Tin Can Alley and then take on
the double sub of Bottle House & Podium. With 9 gone time for the Graded Hill then over the road to
Spuds and back to the start for the house attempt.
My group this morning is Bob Ginder, Bob Strohman and of course Dan Straka. I manage all 4 of the
Creek sections without penalty but by the time you emerge from the Creek you know you have been
on some rocks !
Best Beginner from yesterday, Corey, moves up to the Novice line
Jimmy still on the drip
John Dowson really wants that win today in Historic Experts
Group leader, checker, minder, Bob Strohman pushes on up the Creek
Rich Palmer with rain jacket didn’t trust my forecast
Visitor Bruce Clegg thunders the Thundesley Greeves up Yabba Dabba
Local man Walt should have an easy class win with John Holbrook not
Fast improving Peter won’t let Walt have it all his own way In Hist Nov
Serious precision stuff from the Guru
Section 5 “The Welder & Picket Fence” has a gentle left hand uphill hairpin and then set up for some
piles of picket fencing avoiding all the nails and other debris. Then a downhill adverse into a gentle
uphill left in soft dirt (now mud) to a mini “S” before the exit. The first piece of fencing …… and its like
soap and the front wheel slips out from under me for a VERY unexpected 5!!! I hope its not going to
be ONE of THOSE days ?
Bob is forced to dab in the uphill mud
Dan dabs in the same spot
A lot more slippery than it looked
Some minor loop riding to Grassy Knoll where we drop down a steep trail on what was loose dirt
(now mud), swinging uphill right and line up for a good squirt and roll across a huge flat rock. Nice
clean here so on to Tin Can Alley.
Jimmy on the descent
Bob lines up for a squirt and roll
downhill with Dan
Not quite so easy at the top for Wolfy
The 1 liners take a “time out” and are hanging back
At Tin Can we cross a large daunting grooved rock, swing right to line up for an uphill blast over
rocks into left hander and down to the exit. Another good clean, absolute peach of a section in my
opinion. I see Dan have a dab on the groove.
Bob in first…… is that a dab ?
Thats a dab on the other side
Guru and James clean
I think he liked it !
Now we are at the double of Bottle House & Podium. First portion easy enough then a choice of
lines over loose dirt and very tacky hillside mud before the turns to get back over the adobe wall.
Bob Strohman legs it along collecting mud on his tires. Not surprizingly a three here, and then same
story for Dan until the exit when his front wheel touches a bit of 4 x 2 and he ends up flat on his face
just like I did on the picket fencing. Seems old woodwork isn’t any different to sandstone when its
wet. My turn and the collection of dabs and mud along the adverse and a very cautious exit line where
Dan had come to grief for the 3. Line up for Podium and a perfect in balace stall on the top step which
gives rise to a series of expletives. I’m now on 13 with the two 5’s and a 3.
Bob sidehilling and collecting mud
Sure was tacky
Suspension on full compression …… now about that diet ?
Wolfy rolls over the dog kennel in Podium
Our group is very near the front and the Graded Hill hasn’t seen much action at this point. If I wasn’t
in a group I would be hanging back here. Bob Strohman works it and works it which is quite amazing considering his pelvic injury and without being unkind short legs. This is a section where big quads
have an advantage if you can control what might become a bucking Yamaha bronco ! Others are now
making the 3 board but that is the transition and where a little thought, skill and luck come into play.
Jimmy Allison enjoyed it and is determined for next time.
Spirited first run by Bob
Good enough for the first “2” of the day
Bruce with the Greeves
A smokin’ three !
Should have brought the 250
Thats a 3 …….. “Thanks Bob”
The Rooster from Roswell
“I’ll have it next time!”
Eventually its my go and after all the flack I’ve been taking I’d better get my proverbial together. Burst
of power up the first steep bank, cut back to just above idle keeping momentum going, semi balance
but ready to get footing ……. turn and point…… power coming on, fingers ready on the clutch to catch
the inevitable lifting front wheel….. keep her turning towards that blue tape…… reverse the turn as the
gradient slackens now leg it for all your worth reducing power to gain traction……. don’t get showy
keep on legging and here comes the end gate and a round of applause for the first ascent of the day.
Well pleased with my effort I know I have clawed back a few points here so 2 sections left on the loop.
The TRIALSMASTER’S “SOLO” First Ascent
Coming to the first turn ……slow down, weight forward, motorcross foot
stay low over the bars, turn for the blue tape, drive with the legs……..
swing for the fir tree, be prepared for sudden traction on the dry…. fingers
on the clutch ….. stay low, ….watch for a downhill slide……..
……..push, push, push…….(itsa boy) .. passing the “2” …… virgin territory
….here comes the “1”……..stay low DON’T be tempted to ride!!
…… passing the “1” boards ……. stay calm
At “Spud’s” the results seem variable. 2’s have the over the rocks choice or up the adverse dirt wall.
If you want the adverse a slowish speed line up is essential and then when line is established a
squirt and roll until the back wheel is up or it will slideslip into the rock face. There was a cheater line
here that I only saw at a very, very, late stage but nobody spotted it and all the 2 liners rode it as
planned. Up the dirt and keep the power on and you are doomed! squirt and roll boys and you shall
I liked it when I first saw it post Turkey Rock and then over the past week I’ve liked it less and less,
but today after the Graded Hill success I’m loving it again and it goes exactly as planned for a thrilling
clean. Some 1 line action at last from our Experts who the photographer has hardly seen
Bit of aviation from John up the rock face
Superb controlled ride by the other John
Just Honey I’m Home and thankfully no mistakes here even fooling around with that clutch thing
which often results in a disaster. 13 lost on loop 1 with two horrid 5’s but it can be done, lets see
how it goes second time around. Dan breathing down my neck on 17.
Bad error in 1 takes me for a dab as I struggle to regain the line and another going too fast out of the
first turn of Doorway. Yabba and Croc’s Back fine and now back at the Picket Fence where I had had
an up close and personal look at their carpentry ! Seems to have dried up and sail round for the
clean. Everything drying nicely and cleans at grassy Knoll and Tin Can Alley where Dan takes another
dab on that groove.
At Bottle House & Podium there is now a lovely main road where we had all been dabbing our way
over the adverse. Good cleans on both where I lost 8 last time. Now the Bobs are having all manner of problems with split cards…… wakey, wakey gentlemen !
Cleans on “Bottle & Podium” where I lost 8 the first time through
Here we go again at the Graded Climb and as expected several are up in the 3 zone and rotovating
dirt in all directions. I record another clean but she is gripping harder and lifting more so better back
off a little on the last lap.
Yes, I can make it again
Bob Strohman rounds the corner for the 3 but can’t get any further and takes a straight run back down
the hill until a bit of root stock jumps in the front wheel sending Bob over the bars in spectacular style!!
Thank God he didn’t hurt himself any more.
Looks promising for Casey with the Ty Stump Puller
……and then they grip !!
Hi-speed from Tony with the baby Mont
Determined attack from Big Walt
“Tip toe past the two boards”
The attack of the BSA
Don’t think John liked my hill
Guru and James puffing past the 2’s
Incorrectly seated Mr Palmer !
Kirtis gets unsaddled by the Ossa
Cleans again at Spuds and Honey I’m Home so only 2 for the loop on sections I had cleaned first
time round so now I have cleaned everything. Dan is equally back on form dropping only 2 as well.
BUT ! this is Trials so anything can, and usually does happen!
Loop 3 and we are all in the Canyon. I clean 1-4 but boy the non stop moving rock makes your
shoulders sore. Misjudge the line on Picket Fence and take a dab but clean and on line through 6-9.
Clean up the Canyon
Dan gets over his groovitis on Tin Can Alley and cleans it in fine form. Talk to some townsfolk and
by the time I’m at the bottom of the hill my group have all gone ? Upwards and onwards and …….
ah ha ! here they ALL are at the top of the climb including Casey himself which must have been a
fantastic and very satisfying effort.
Passing the 1 boards for the last time……. just the final stretch of rubble…..
…… ah, there you all are…… and Casey too !!!
Change nothing at Spuds to record 3 nice cleans and then the run through at 12 minus dress. Not
bad, last loop for 1 so a total of 16 for the day.
Here we are at “Honey I’m Home” where the photographer is encouraging exit wheelies, here come a
few. Meanwhile Jimmy and Wolfy are in makeup and wardrobe and Wolfy wants to know if he can ride
The Guru completes 2 Days at Dolores
Tony Gluec minus rear fender
My student from yesterday, Corey, moves up to Novice and records the
ONLY clean loop of the trial in any DIVISION …… Well Done !
Nice wheelie from John after colliding with the front door
Lots of grunt from the big Bult
With make-up and wardrobe nearing completion our dynamic duo of 2 liners are nearly ready for their
dose of mini lunacy. Some argument over dresses and color but all is well as they pose for the press.
“Does this dress make my boots look big ?”
Do you know how stupid you both look ?
…….. and now the crowd waits for the arrival of the 1 liners who for the most part have stayed away
from the press. Everyone is eager to see how you turn a mattress…… lets see what happens……
” Where have you been ? ……. you said you’d be home early”