Low cloud drifts through the start area

Awake to a very different day with cloud coming through the mountains, and as I’m later told quite a storm and downpour overnight. Obviously all news to me as I had slept well and heard nothing. Overcast, spitting with rain, but mildish and the soaking rain has really only kept the dust down.

Same loop as yesterday with today’s sections in similar locations and there are a ton of sections available so its only Trialsmaster’s skills putting in some new challenges in old pieces of real estate.

Section 1 is a hillside affair where one of my personal all time favorite pictures was taken, now all sadly lost along with the other 4000 odd that the Go Daddy screw ups caused ….. despite their assurances that all would be well!!

Today its up the left side through the first rock cluster then turn across the hill into a lefthander, more rocks and upwards for a wiggle through the trees to the exit. No problem yet but rain might change some of it if it pours again.


The “wiggle through the trees” part of 1

Down to 2 where we drop into the wash with a left right sequence in the wash sand which is bedding in nicely with the wet conditions. On the exit of the right hander I must have positioned badly and the new front tire decided to try and climb up the bank causing an outside dab which completely fooled me! Concentrate boy!!!

Round to 3 which actually had a really good piece of loop that could have easily been the section as many riders were legging it through the downhill and uphill weave to get to the start. Nice balance of hazards and linking trail finishing through some solid rocks.

4 was the well used outcrop and you can read the Trialsmaster’s mind as you walk the section. Through the dip, up the damp rocks into long left 180, either tight or wide with solid embedded rocks and the odd roller, reposition and adjust for a right hander and then take on your line for the exit. Always a great section.


Pete comes out of the dip and up the hill into the 180 left of 4

Yesterday’s 5 has now become part of the loop so its round the trail and then through the old 6 to find today’s 5. Keep looking for more splits but can’t find any. This must surely be the “gimmee” so ride on for 6 which is a fair way down the loop.

6 drops in at the base of the hillside and has a host of jumbled rocks littered all along the area. With not many wheel tracks around as clues its another “read it, ride it”. I stick by the blue and then take a 45 cut up the hill through the rocks to get above the tree. Rides nicely but others could move the rocks so need to check it on all attempts.

Back down the single track which is slippery in places and one or two corners have seen rear wheel lock ups dragging rocks out of holes! Take a bit of care and find 7 behind yesterday’s 8. Well this is interesting ? an error? or a Trialsmaster’s joke? We have Ends cards at both Ends of the section? Use the Red/Blue principle and ride it that way.

8 has a downhill start over root steps into a right hander which rides well as the camber is perfect in the turn, some wiggles around some rollers on the uphill and an easy climb to the exit.

Nearly miss 9 down by the garage but its a goodie and almost a single line for all and very reminiscent of a Scottish section with big rocks and mud where the overnight rain has flowed down the hill. It rides very well.

Now back to the start and see what Ed has come up with on his placement of the cards. Seems he laid it perfectly to catch me as I was too quick coming out of the lower pool and had to take a well used dab to get “No Excuses” back on line and out of the mini fir tree! Total for the first loop 2, which of course should have been clean all the way.

Second loop and safely through 1 which has stayed the same, and over at 2 a better line in the turn stops the wheel climbing up the bank and gives me the clean here. 3 & 4 are good with a little more mud on the rocks but ride nicely. 5, has a different line now through a bush and loads of loose rocks on the line I used before.  My line on 6 doesn’t seem to have changed as others are going high up on the bank just after the start gate. Stick with my plan and all is good.

7 & 8 are “main roads” so a quick look at 9 might be in order as I thought it could change. More mud, and some looser rocks but it rides well so back to 10 and see if I can beat Ed’s card. Not so fast this time and well thought out turns work this time for the clean loop.

Last loop and I catch up with Torben at 1 who is having all sorts of problems with his fuel tap on the TY Mono……. didn’t know anything about his toes at this stage!! Zip through the first 5 in good order and catch up with a group at 6 who are all using the higher line. No, I like my line better and through for the clean.  7 & 8 same, 9 has cut up but still rides well and back to 10 and repeat the second loop plan for the last clean and second clean loop.

2 total for the day, same as yesterday, and should have been another clean card. Despite the annoying leak from the rocker feeds the bike ran well in both engine/power and handling and will now get my attention over the next few weeks to resolve this bloody leak. I can only think that these copper washers are not as “soft” as they should be and are stamped out of mega hard sheets in the far east where other alloys have been added to reduce costs.

Well, an enjoyable weekend, no problems, other than the oil leak, my shoulder injury hasn’t got any worse and confidence is building after 2 trials in 3 weeks. Many thanks to John and Mike for laying it out and of course the scorers for all their work ….. hope we are going back next year.












Beautiful day for a trial

A warm morning at nearly 8000′, hardly any wind, blue skies and temps near 80F. Usual format of 10 x 3 and buddy checking. Everybody starts at 1 so unless your group pushes on this will take some time.

Adverse run across the rocks into a wide sweeper around some big mothers looping back to the last turn to the exit. It rides nicely and shouldn’t change much unless some rocks get rotovated in from other lines.

2 is on the lower side of the loop and has been used before with many variations. Downhill entry in soft sand, a few turns to cross the wash then set up for the uphill with a turn in the looser rocks to the exit. Rides well but will be worth walking each loop to check for new unexpected hazards.

Round the loop to 3 and several choices of entry and lines but elect a rock plateau start and a direct attack up the gorge. Again rides well and should not change.

4 is close at hand and comes in the backside of an old “tried and true” selection from previous years. Soft sand turn which could cut up but OK now before a squirt up the hill and ride round the camber to the exit. So far so good, but its still leaking oil from those rocker shafts and the start up ticking is very annoying. Performance wise its good and the handling is fine with the new Rockshocks which are working well.

Fun single track riding into a steep downhill to the start of 5. Good test of the brakes and the extra work on these paid off with no locking on problems. 5 itself was a steep uphill having crossed the wash into a 90 left and then adverse to the exit. 1/2 way round and still clean we now bounce out onto the main track by the garage and come back towards the start for 6.


Pete in control on the climb of 5


Low in the saddle from Clinton on 5

6 has many choices and I have ridden most over the years but today its a simpler version and shouldn’t cause any grief if you can stay on line with idle power.

Nice loop ride out to 7 on the North side of the property passing many good sections from the past. Today’s 7 is a series of ups and downs crossings of the soft dirt wash and needs good balance and control or the front will wash for the dreaded dab.

More of the fun loop and now the narrow winding downhill where with too much speed a crash is quite on the cards. Always reminded me of the many single tracks up in the SSDT. Once down the bottom and over the main ranch road and into the big moon rocks in the pines to find another old favorite in the shape of 8.

Tempting groove to ride up and then left turn on the path between the big boulders. Follow the natural path and pick a line through some brush. Second choice is a slightly wider start and turn before the big fir and then cross some gnarly rocks before getting on the path from this straighter line. I go for the “tempting” and pay the price when the left peg clouts the top of a rock as I start onto the path. No clean card today!

Short ride to 9 which starts with a steepish downhill into a wide right turn and then picking up a suitable line amid the loose  for turns up the steepening climb to the exit. I can feel the rear wheel searching for grip as it climbs.


Bob eases through on the B line


Bailey shows us what can be done on Ed’s TY175 trying the new Master Line ….. yes, up that one!!!


Unreal !

Back to the start for 10 in the Waterfall. Cross the lower pond after dropping in then exit up a 2 step into left/right/left sequence around the mini tree and then hug the outside tape to the exit.


Dan on the B at the Waterfall, section 10

First loop took a little over 2 hours but will ride a lot faster now groups are taking drinks and food. Clean the first 7 as before and now re-walk number 8 and look at the other entry line. Its gnarly but solid and rides nicely for the clean, wish I’d used it the first time! No changes on 9 or 10 and a clean loop.

That took about 50 minutes so out for the last go. 1 rides the same but 2 has been rotovated up the exit but rides as before. Over to 3 for the clean and then get caught out by the wash sand turn which, was blind from the start point, ….. yes, I should have walked it and paid the price with a dab! 5 & 6 are the same but 7 is taking marks and become quite tricky with the loose dirt. A bit of concentration pays off and a good clean here. The gnarly line at 8 is the way to go and no changes on 9 or 10 so a grand total of two single dabs for the day which of course could so easily been the clean card!











275 miles then ?

One week away as I sit and type and I’m looking forward to going back to Tucker’s Ranch after not having been there since AHRMA days. MWVTA for some reason has never used this venue in our 3 years of operation which, in my opinion, has been a great shame as the land was purchased for Bailey and his brother to practice on.

Only 275 miles for me via Wolf Creek Pass and then down the Arkansas valley through Howard (Turkey Rock)  and then left over the river and up the steep road to the turn in at 8000′. Some perilous corners to get round with a 60′ rig on a narrow crumbling track but once in the venue is gorgeous!

Time moves on and now its Wednesday and I’m nearly ready with the old oil system back on the Cub and hopefully no leaks. Brakes were all cleaned out post Casper and the cams and pivots all greased as the rear was just starting to lock up. Still not 100% sure about the head as on start up there is a ticking and on closer inspection of the inside of the exhaust rocker cover there are some hit marks from the tappet but after the initial first revs it stops unless the noise is coming from the rings ?

Machine was finally glitzed and polished and the spark arrestor adapter fitted just in case. So, unless there are any other defects I haven’t seen I think the “No Excuses” is ready!


The plan will be Friday getaway around 8-9 which should see us there circa 2-3 and able to have a ride round during the afternoon to view the sections before o’beer thirty gets called.

Thursday and loading day is here again with all it’s rituals.  Yesterday’s plans got the heave-ho with a sudden afternoon storm so more to do this morning if time permits. Non stop action after the morning bus run, move trailer, refuel water diesel and LP, connect bus to trailer, start loading and perhaps finish the rose bed weeding ?

Friday and I’m tired but eventually get it in gear and complete all the last minute stuff. Only 1 hour late leaving and the bus behave well even getting up Wolf Creek in 3rd at 38mph!!!  (with No overheat!!)


Approaching Pagosa Springs


Coming down Poncha after the accident


The Arkansas Valley

Huge accident on the way which was in the final stages of cleanup when we got there but a 5 mile tailback on the other side which was not pleasing the driving community who were all out of their cars wandering around trying to see what was going on. On our side two flatbeds were just leaving and a third being loaded. Ambulances had all gone and one piece of mangled metal must have been a sedan but was now a cabriolet as everything above the window line was missing and one can only imagine what happened to the occupants.

Make the way in without incident and finally into a parking slot that I can just make the ship level in. O’beer thirty has already been called and there will be no section viewing today save for the Waterfall at the start area.


I don’t often drink when travelling ………….


……. but when I do its Vodka Cran !

My its as dry as a bone here with dead weeds everywhere.



With Casper now behind us and a full trial finally completed time to tidy up and get back on the right track.

The Safari ran well with all the improvements to the cooling system and no problems from the axle bolts. Steps fully functional and all Brenda’s work on internal units seem to have paid off. The generator ran smoothly and quietly and all that Safari needs now is some greasing to reduce the squeaks from the chassis.

Cub wise I didn’t enjoy riding a bike with potential problems so that will be attended to in the very near future. The parts from Ray NEVER turned up despite having a week to get here and I eventually got them from e-bay and ordered them on the Thursday before departure and they arrived on the Tuesday after the holiday which was excellent.


Lets try this again

With the weekend on me time for some serious gardening with lawn mowing and strimming as the No1 priority followed by the next round of intensive weeding.


Lawn gets the “Wimbledon” look

2 weeks to Tucker’s where we haven’t ridden for 3 years which is another super piece of trials real estate.  The Cub WILL be ready for this one …. that I guarantee!

Once back from Tucker’s it will be time to start the quest for firewood and 12 loads to be collected and stacked in front of the building. Trials bikes will be put up for the season and fall and winter will be just around the corner. Well it will be a NAPA year in October so one more big outing for the Safari and some Beemer riding on those new tires.

Then as we move into October the Saturday afternoon Pool comps begin again and I get the chance to try out my new custom cue.

Sunday, and a weeding day having suckered the little devils with a load of refreshing water last night. They fall for it every time so they should come out complete with new roots especially as I’m using a new weeding fork!


Looks like I was ready for a new one as the old shows a bit of wear



A whole lot of weeding required

Interspersed with the weeding will be the start of redoing those Cub nuts and bolts and readjusting tappets. Quick look at the front tire which has the cracks in the sidewalls …… NEW one on order and should be here in time….. they don’t last forever and a far cry from the days when Mister Dunlop gave them to me FOC.




Time for a NEW one

Tank off, grease and oil everywhere, not a pretty sight but nothing some serious cleaning won’t remove. Tappet covers off and those nasty stripped domed rocker nuts. Yes, a muddy trial with oil leaks takes a bit of cleaning!



Another bout of rain sweeps through but mild by comparison to the havoc in Phoenix !!! No excuses for not working on “No Excuses” then so more clean up and refit the top end parts once more.

Not a great deal achieved during the week other than to refit the rocker studs and the correct locking nuts and reconnect the Webco rocker shaft oil system with washers and the new nuts.


Webco back in place

Thursday was a bit of a surprise only to find that some nasty bunch of bastards had stolen ALL FIVE of our hanging baskets and some other pot plants from the shade garden. Clearly they had this planned as they would need a pick-up and you can see the tire marks in the mud where they had loaded up and some tell tale branches and foliage where they had been loading. ……. the mind boggles ??? Which ever way you look at it ITS theft,  ….. clearly the baskets only had about a month left before the frost would have killed them but they were OURS and worth about $300. We hear that some local Indians were going to a funeral and may have “borrowed” them. Very little else makes any sense.


As it was with 5 hanging baskets in full bloom


A nice basket in the Shade Garden that also went walkabout !



All gone! ……… I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I had walked out when they were being STOLEN ?

On the good news side of the house the new front IRC arrived on Thursday so now as we roll into another weekend I can get the Cub finished this morning and get some more weeding done that got pushed back due to the rains.


NEW IRC ready for fitting

The front of the house weeding gets finished and a start is made on the rose bed area but its bullet hard again and needs yet more water to loosen things up.


A start is made but its bullet hard again

Just as I start work on the bike the party club arrive and nothing gets done as the drinks flow.

Sunday and now I’m behind schedule so I need to do what I NEED to do without any INTERRUPTIONS !! Wheel out, tire off and clean up the brake plate .



New tire on, these IRC’s can almost be put on by hand, wheel back in and all is good.

Webco unit back on and start it up. Well, ^&*% !! its still leaking and no matter how tight I get the nuts it still leaks?  Nothing for it but to change back to the old system which never ever leaked.  In the middle of all this fun I noticed the back brake was sticking on so out comes the back wheel and sure enough some of Casper’s finest has got in and the cam is pretty grotty and needs a full going over and relubing.

All back in one piece again with original rocker fittings. Still leaking a little but better than before …… a little more persuasion and maybe it will behave.

I also noticed that  Tucker’s requires spark arrestors ??? Can’t imagine why as its private trials land and we never used them in any of the events that I’ve ridden there.

Hopefully I’m now ready





My favorite section from Saturday

Vintage is on early this morning so up and at ’em and check all the leaking parts and see if I can nurse it round another day. This is not the way I usually ride trials but I’m up against it this year.

Same format as yesterday, 11 sections, 3 loops and I bypass the crowds at 1 and move on to 2. Cross the river, up the muddy bank then select a line to drop back in the river for the exit. Clean No1 punched and off on the pleasant trail to 3.

Simple enough entry into left right uphill sequence around a nasty gnarly rock and then right turn to a path for a downhill run to the exit. I notice the 2 line looks pretty tough on this one.

Close at hand is 4 where we start from the path but then there is some confusion as to where the line goes. Knowledgeable checker says how he wants the section ridden so comply with his instructions and take a uphill burst over the rough and rocks to the blue tape. Stay close to the blue and start descending over the rock with the arse backwards split card. Down to the rock jiggle and back on the path to the exit.

Section 5 is above the start complex and is a simple uphill S affair and I can’t see many mistakes being made here.

6 is equally simple with a splash in the river and back down the sand bar to another water crossing to the finish.

7 if I have my numbers right, was a big U turn with a ducking move to get under a low branch before the exit.

Section 8 however had a bit more meat in it and was getting slippy from last night’s rain. Straight up by the blue into a left right with a root step in the right, flick back left for a 120 uphill right to the top bank and trundle down to the exit. Back wheel skips on the root with a touch too much power and a dab goes out the window as I fight to get back on line.

Section 9 looks very easy but I turn too quickly and clout my shoulder on a tree while lining up for the exit path which knocks me off the path and into an unseen hole…… another very dumb dab!

A great ride round some single track before coming out on the field above the start. Cross the field to 10 which was a great section before the fire and flood but is now much altered. A long downhill and a drop off step onto a narrow sand bar for a tight turn in loose rocks and then uphill through some trees to the exit. This rides nicely.

Section 11 has the log crossings and at least will be a test for the redesigned bash plate. No problems for an easy clean.

Having missed 1 the first time round its now cut up a bit and muddy in places but still has plenty of grip. A variation on a theme which we have ridden many times. Initial downhill into a left 180 and back onto a rocky bank going into the river and firm sand bars. Back out and a squirt up the bank and through the trees and turn along the red to the exit. First loop total of 2 very dumb dabs!!

Out for the second loop and still murky and looking like rain. Clean the first 7 and now a re-walk on the root corner. Not quite so much power and a much better effort.  9, where I’d hit my shoulder rides easily from a wider turn and makes you wonder how I could have made such a “Horlicks” of it the first time. Nice ride on 10 and no problems on the logs of 11 for a good clean loop.

Rain is still in the air so time to press on and think getting out of here before problems appear and the grassy bank from the parking area gets wet and greasy.

9 cleans and now back to 10 which I had ridden well on my first two visits.  A bit slow with weight transfer on the bottom turn and maybe try to turn too tight and another dab is lost. No problems with 11 so just a 1 to add to the score giving a total of 3 which again should have been another clean card.

Get loaded very quickly and leave before the downpour arrives which is only minutes away. Make it up the grass bank with a bit of wheel spin and we are on the track for the gate. No sooner make the road and the downpour begins…… as we drive around Casper the giant black cloud is stationary over Mostellar Ranch and I can only imagine how the afternoon will be.


Made it to the road ……. but here it comes!!

Great weekend as always despite the Cub’s oil leaks but I have at last ridden an event and enjoyed myself. Many thanks to Dan and Bob and all the checkers and helpers. Still the best Vintage Trials venue in the USA.





Saturday morning at the beautiful start setting. My Safari is in its normal position mid picture stage left

The two phases of the annual Mosteller Cup mean us geriatrics ride Saturday afternoon and then again Sunday morning so we can have a bit of a lie in after the 580 mile drive and then a gentle practice before doing battle.

First up at sign in, secretary John, says  he has been reading the blog and has a NEW president in waiting …………….. so with a traditional handshake John Clement takes over as your President.

The Cub is brought out started and begins a mini leak from the stripped rocker nuts! Only to be expected but not desirable. A few miles running in and I notice the rubber oil line is slipping off the rocker banjo….. great, that’s all I need !

Frantic spannering ensues and its getting all too difficult and the tank has to be lifted, and after much thought the only way I can get this to be secure is to remove the assembly ….. and those stripped nuts, and then use a very tight cable tie or I risk losing ALL the oil overboard and maybe seize the motor.

Put it back together and hope the nuts will just get a hold on the shafts. Seems to be holding so don’t push it… and keep an eye on leaks.

Most people have started at Section 1 so I elect to go round the loop to 2 which is along the creek. Very tame little section, over a bump, through some water and mud and up and over a log to the exit.

At 3 the hardest thing is finding the line amid all the marker split cards. As far as I can see its up and round a rock and back down to the exit right beside the start cards. Have a word with the checker and see if I’m on the right page. Another clean is punched but I’m told quite a few riders came back out the start gate and collected a 5 !

Section 4 has an off camber descent and ride below a big rock and then requires a gentle increase in power for a simple uphill S and on to the exit. No problems for the Cub with nice pick up from the new jets.

5 is right above the start and a favorite section for all lines which ever way it is ridden! Today my line is either left or right of the huge rock to take you to the middle plateau. From here a weave to get above a rock pile and then run out to the checker. I take the left option and it works fine for me.

The loop now takes us down to the creek and a fairly open section with many choices of lines, and the one I chose worked well.

Section 7 is an old well proven piece of real estate but for my line I search the acreage without finding a single split card ? Ok, I give up and ask the checker  “It’s open” he says “any way you like from start to ends”. I elect a 45 opener to the right and cross the creek to the central rock ridge which takes me to a small mud hole and then up the grass bank to the top path for a turn to the exit. Good clean which I enjoyed.

With plenty of ribbon everywhere I end up taking on sections out of sequence but clean 8-10 in good form. That just leaves 1 and 11 at Lego Land.

1 is interesting with multiple lines off the top bank above the creek then descending to the water for a loose rock right hander and a squirt up the bank. What looked like a nice firm rock rolls just as I start the last turn pushing me wide and the dab is taken to get back on line ….. no clean card today!

Say what you like about Lego Land but over the years I’ve lost marks here nearly every time. Today has me inside a fallen tree and then running around the blue tape crossing a log before what looked like a simple turn over another log embedded in the concrete maze. Not a good line up and the front bounces and the second dab of the day.

Total for the 1st loop of 2 which with more thought should have been a zero but that’s trials. Quick splash and dash and off on loop 2 in sequence this time.

Coming inside the roller on 1 the section rides smoothly for the clean and no problems all the way round until 7 where a bit too much power up the bank puts me in an awkward spot in loose dirt and I pay the price with another tippee toe to escape. Cleans all the way back to Lego Land. Same line same result!! So that’s 4 for the 2 loops.

No more mistakes on 1 and clean again at the tricky 7 and continue clean back to Lego Land for the last time. Good crowd but time to rewalk and rethink. Need to go deeper into that turn and square cut it back to the log. It works and the elusive clean is achieved as well as the clean loop.  Total of 4 for the day with the next best on the same line back on 16.

So how was today?  Frustrating,  not having an A1 bike with oil leaks and stripped nuts, but my shoulder didn’t give me any problems so overall a pleasant return to riding even if the sections were a lot easier than I’m used to. I’ll be back on the Expert line next year but for right now this is good enough.














So I’ve done all I can now with “No Excuses” until I get some more of those domed rocker feed nuts and of course time has not been on my side to get any “running in” time or practice.


Due to the total lack of riding since Mosteller’s last year I may have to consider dropping down from Exp to Int for the remainder of this season. Sounds hard I know but if Jeff Smith could do it in AHRMA then with advancing years and lack of everything else I may just have to follow the trend of others and opt for an easier route and reintroduction to my favorite sport.

After all as I clearly don’t know what constitutes a “good” section I’ll be able to find out from some “hands on” time, and no doubt some riding tips from those that chastised me 3 weeks ago.

More rain this week and only a substitute driver for Friday so this year will be a one day dash with an o’crack of sparrow fart dawn start in the wee dark hours. Busy day on Thursday loading and getting refueled amid 7.5 hours of school bus driving.

Casper as many of you will remember has always been my favorite venue for Vintage Trials in America, it truly has everything with sections that remind me of my youth. Some great rides and of course some less than stellar performances which may have been the product of alcoholic night ramblings into the early hours during yet another WFO drinking session.

Last year Dan and Bob’s sections came up trumps again after a lot of rethinking amidst the remnants of the previous year’s fire and then the great flood! The place just has a ton of potential. I wonder if any of those apple trees survived ?

Thursday, and here we are at loading day so plenty to get on with once I’ve filled with water and diesel….. LP should be full as it was topped up prior to the Sipapu trip when the generator decided to quit on us. First bring the trailer round and get that in position so that we can hook up out front on my return from the gas station.

Two bikes for this weekend with Cub as No1 and a run in and round on the Int line which for Pre Historics is the 3 line ….. first time I’ve ever ridden the 3 line in competition ! Better be careful and not screw it up….. and watch those split cards.

Safari filled and ready, trailer on and swept out and unbelievably a spring clip from the needle that I tried to change and lost at Sipapu magically appears in the sweep out dust and trash. Now time for bikes, boxes and bits along with the ITSA Trialsmaster kit which moves to Tucker Ranch for our mid September outing.


Loading completed on time with just the last minute stuff on Friday morning  and hopefully on the road around 0600 ?  All goes to plan and only 5 minutes late the anchor is weighed and we leave port with  580 miles to go.


One refueling stop in Rawlins WY and we make it to our reserved slot at Casper by 1730 and all is well in the world. Ed and Evelyn are here but generally a lowish turnout from the Vintage Community ?

A few drinkies and as the temps go down time for food, film and bed at last. Looking forward to all the fun tomorrow!