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.