AHRMA DONNER 2006

AHRMA DONNER 2006

AHRMA DONNER 2006

The long awaited 2 day trial approaches. All bikes loaded and with some emergency work
completed on the bus generator it’s off to California. It just has to be the hottest day of the year
and everything, including the driver, is operating near its critical limit!

 We arrive at the scheduled night stop only to find the 50 amp service is not on our slot but of
course is on the one next door occupied by the duty Winnebago! If he had connected 50 amps
he would have gone up in flames. Nothing for it but to keep the generator on for the ac. Shortly
after arrival security arrives and tells us we can’t run the generator after 10 pm. Tell security what
“is” going to happen if it stays around the 100 mark and invite him to rearrange a sentence
containing sex and travel!

 The following morning Brenda makes all the duty complaints to the less than friendly and surly
RV Hostess and gets the money back. So off we go up I5. Is this a real Interstate? It’s more like
a cart track with potholes, idiots, and a very poor surface. Further up the route we are in the
farming area and are overtaking truckloads and trailers full of tomatoes. Every now and then the
road and embankments are covered in red as tons of the fruit have bounced out of the trucks and
been squashed by high speed motorists. Now the produce changes and its truckloads of onions
and the road has white splatters to go with the red. As we approach a blind hill there are cars
everywhere parked at crazy angles and the road is covered in onions, but these are mostly in 40lb
bags and the demented California populace is busy looting the precious cargo! You would have
thought they were Spanish Dubloons!

 Now it’s Sacramento, another town to avoid on the world cruise! The traffic is amazing and the
roads are atrocious. About one and a half hours spent here as we filter down from 8 lanes to 2
with all the feeder roads bringing yet more fuel and clowns into the log jam. By now we have 30
miles to go to Donner and as we pass minor towns the elevation is still only 450 feet and we have
6000 to climb before we get there. Sure enough the climb begins and then suddenly grinds to a
halt as a horse trailer has broken his axel and there is no hard shoulder. 18 wheelers have all
stopped behind him while the 70 mph club and lane changers anonymous create mayhem
everywhere until everybody is now stopped.

 Eventually we grind our way to the summit where the road surface becomes a series of large
rocks embedded in the concrete. Must be good for traction in the snow but brother its hard work
to drive on. The duty turnoff arrives and we leave the less than pleasant I80 and climb the last 3
miles to the Ski resort. This is really nice and when we get to the lift parking lot it’s all been
reserved for the trials gang, fantastic!

 Well this is divine, a pleasant 80 degrees, solid tarmac and everything on hand. Say hello to
everyone and then it is time to explore the bar. Very pro bike area and a good turn out. Enjoy
the hotel meal as it’s been a very long day and along with Jim Lipscomb and Travis return to the
coach for stories various.

 Saturday morning and the parking lot is filling up. Fred and wife have made it along with Dan,
and as promised Rich Palmer is on hand for the 3 way fight again. Lots of bikes to look at, and
some to avoid like the plague.
 The trial starts on time and off we go for 3 loops of 9. Section 1 has a little drop off a ledge
followed by a left hander into a small step. Run through a minor boulder field, up a down an open
rock to an easy exit. Looks simple, should have been simple, everybody else found it simple, but
yours truly decides TO BE simple and takes a giant dab on the step. Oh well, that’s trials and on
we go. No 2 just have to stay on the line, 3 goes round a pond then over some steps into an
uphill camber across a solid rock outcrop.

The Climb on 3

At number 4 we are nearly at the top of the hill with some spectacular views. The section has its
hazards but I don’t see any us of losing marks here.5 and 6 are a couple of AHRMA gimees so it’s
on to 7 which is a full lock set of turns in the trees.No 8 has all sorts of traps for the unwary
culminating in a descending turn off a bank into a largeup and over rock with multiple lines and
traps. Finally back to the lodge for No 9 which has been laid out for the hotel’s benefit. Uphill, in
and out, of a tight gully of loose rocks, to a tight uphill right hander out of the final ditch. I watch
several riders struggle with this one and walk it a few times to be sure. I please myself and have
an easy, but satisfying clean especially after watching Rich take a dab on the final turn.

All the Way to the Tape on 9

 So, 1 a piece, at the end of loop 1. Loop 2 goes well with cleans all the way and I see Rich again
on section 9. He gets completely off line, hits a huge rock which looked like the end but somehow
he got the bike back in his hand and set off on a whole new line and despite numerous
unexpected hazards managed to wriggle through for a great clean.

 Loop 3 went well with no mistakes until No 9. By now I know we are still both on 1 and if I clean
this last one then the old age rule will come into play again. Well I’ve cleaned it twice so walk it
one last time to check that all important line. Off we go and before I get to any of the problem
areas the back wheel starts spinning on a few loose rocks. OK I know what I should have done,
wished I done but I didn’t and with the lightest touch of the ballerina’s big toe I cast away the all
important point! Well never mind it was a great fun trial. SECOND SUCKS!
DAY 2
Another gorgeous day and the temperature is perfect! A few extra riders today and we are
starting earlier. Today we are on the other side of the mountain and once again the last section is
by the hotel for the spectators benefit while enjoying a morning libation.

 Up the hill and into the woods for Section 1, which has some gentle turns, in and out, of a dry
riverbed. Everybody seems to be through here without problems so take my time and escape
without doing anything stupid. 2 and 3 are continuous and vaguely reminiscent of some of the
early Seventies Scottish sections. Problems usually occur when going too fast or not fast enough
so set a nice steady pace with legs wide apart and sail through for a double zero.

 Further up the hill 4 lurks with all sorts of problems with loose dirt, and adverse cambers. Very
easy to lose a dab here so must be spot on with the power through the loose stuff. That goes well
and a fun ride through the woods to No 5. This one could be tricky with an awkward little wiggle
around a rock outcrop where there is a dividing marker. A turn on some gnarly rocks then a drop
into a right hander up onto a flat rock to a left handed descending  turn to the exit. Rich starts
well but then went the wrong side of the card at the outcrop. Eagle eyed observer immediately
shows all 5 digits so Rich suffers the dumbest score. Well we have ALL been there and done that.
On to 6 which is another gimme and no problems here if you just follow the line. No 7 is in the
shade and has a tricky turn after a descent and then uphill in some loose. Take a nice wide line
on idle power and all is well. Back in the sunshine and No 8 pops up on the top of the ridge. A
sharp descent followed by an adverse uphill across some solid rocks to a simple exit. Enough
room for turning at the bottom and a squirt up the bank does the job. Now let’s see what No 9
has to offer at the clubhouse! Another Scottish section Yipee! A tight turn in and around the split,
keep it tight to avoid the crumbly edge then downhill through the rock pile. Dan has an unfortunate
5 as the motor stalls and I guess he was unable to paddle it out with the dead engine. So with
Rich and Dan both on 5 all I have to do is not make any silly mistakes, for which yours truly is
famous! Loop 2 goes well and all 3 of us are clean.18 down, 9 to go. Walk them all, even number
6, so that just leaves the last 3 which have their own problems. No7 is getting softer on the turn
but sticking with the game plan and it sails through. No 8 now has some slippery bits where
vegetation has got crushed on the rocks but a big squirt pushes the Yam up the hill a bit quicker
than was necessary but all’s well. Now for number 9, and even if I score a five here it will be the
3 way split again and old age will prevail. Those in the know will be aware just how difficult a
clean card can be, so walk it again, check for the unexpected, fuel on, first gear selected, stand
up, no branches stuck in the swinging arm and in we go. Round the first turn without touching
markers or tapes, nice wide stance, a little light braking, then just off idle power to keep her
straight through the rocks to that all important ENDS card.

A Shady ride on 7 with the Ski Lift above the Lodge

 So a clean ride, and Rich and Dan go through the age thing to decide 2nd and 3rd. Rich must be
getting mighty annoyed about a 2 day age gap!

 Overall a well organized weekend with a host of very friendly people in a lovely setting. Also
some very nice awards although the co-pilot tells me the wine was very good and I can now
have the bottles!
 Back on the road and we take the Nevada run despite some people’s advice that it is a very
boring drive. All I can say is they must have been asleep or live for NASCAR and the thrill of
bumper to bumper driving on some atrocious California roads. Crossing into Nevada the road
surface changes and becomes silky smooth, and everybody seems to be driving sensibly. What
a joy, super roads and hardly any traffic. Through Reno and take up the southerly route to Vegas
and tonight’s stop in the middle of nowhere in Mina. No I hadn’t heard of it either. Pull into the
RV park and connect up to 50 amp and no Winnebagos! Despite having most of the Coors Light
brewery on board we walk the 200 yards to town. Now this is like a bad Clint Eastwood movie,
past the Assay office, a few dead pick-ups, the blowing tumbleweed and the barking dawg!
Find the correct door to the bar where we find a whole town celebrating but we feel a little self
conscious as we haven’t put our “Billy Bob” teeth in. Seems the dentist left town on the one
and only horse when the silver ran out. Reckon’ So!

Order a gin and tonic and an Absolute and Cranberry for Brenda. Sorry Hun, ain’t got no Vodka
but we got Vanilla Vodka. So in the middle of Mina (nowhere) Brenda finds her new drinking love
quite by accident. Fortunately they have plenty of it. Well, the fun begins as the howling from the
roof heralds a police raid for illegal teeth or it’s the end of the old air conditioner. Luckily for the
patrons it’s just the air system and with one clout the bar lady’s son kills it stone dead. The
Handy man also left when the Assay Office closed. Well no matter another gin, and then the bad
news.

“ain’t got no more tonic!”
“Coors light please.” Much talking to friendly, toothless crowd and
time for another beer.
“Coors light please!”
“Ain’t got no more Coors”
“Miller light then, please.”
2 more miller lights and then its lights out, “we only got MGD until next year when the vitals truck
comes.”
So MGD it is to round off the evening. Back to the RV and bed.

 The following day its gorgeous driving on super new roads and virtually no traffic, and I for one
found the journey quite scenic. So now, another 6 weeks, and then Wyoming, which we
thoroughly enjoyed last year.
 Tony Down and Brenda Vanilla

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AHRMA PERRIS 2006


AHRMA PERRIS 2006

AHRMA PERRIS 2006

Decide to take a collection, the Ossa and 2 Yams, “the glitzmobile” and “the Majesty”.

Now the Majesty! What a beast! This has a 320 piston and barrel with the crankcases machined
out to take the bigger cylinder. The cases, barrel, piston and spacer are acquired and now a donor
engine has to be split to put everything in the new cases. In the cool of a January morning I
carefully split a 74 motor and with parts carefully laid out on the workshop bench and various
trays we come to the withdrawal of the patient’s transmission. Up to now the operation has been
a success but the arrival of Cadbury with stick in mouth is where it all ends in tears! As I withdraw
the two meshed shafts the labrador’s enthusiasm gets the better of her and she jumps up and
lands both feet on my arm and I toss the entire contents of the 30 year old gearbox all over the
workshop floor….. brilliant!

 Painstakingly I become the retriever and pick all the cogs, wheels and washers various. However,
despite MENSA intelligence I have no idea how it fits together. No problem, into the computer and
TY Transmission page is faithfully printed and back to the workshop I go. Well perhaps old age is
setting in as I can’t make head nor tail of it. So another engine is split and used as a template to
correct Cadbury’s misdoings. Finally I have the crank in the new cases. New bearings and seals
are in place, and the reassembled transmission is in the correct holes and apparently functional.
Case jointing compound is applied and the cases tapped together. All screwed together its
enough for one day and its left to set overnight. Dawn, and the kick start shaft is fitted, or not in
this case as the giant spring has come off its spigot. Guess what, yes I have to split the cases
again! Well that was easy and now the spring is correct and the kick start works. The Clutch is
next, but as I scroll down the page on the computer there is the fateful word I was hoping not to
see.

WARNING! Remember to fit the push rod before jointing the cases.

 By now I am rapidly becoming an expert on splitting Yamaha engines so despite the annoyance
we split again! Rod fitted join it all back together and go and have a beer, or in this case several.

The rest of the rebuild is fine after gaskets are cut, spacers found and a head bolt helicoiled in.
A new Carb and exhaust system purchased and the now chromed modified frame is back. Assembly
can begin! But I have one large washer left in the tray? More of this later!

The Carb is re-jetted from 150 to 290 and new S Miller, rear and back footrests are fitted. The rest
of the build goes well and I only have to fabricate an exhaust rubber and a final muffler stay to
complete the job.

All completed in 2 days, including the finishing decals, and the test firing is done. A success or so
it would seem at this point and I still am no wiser about that big washer. More test rides and every
now and then the kick start locks up. Not good but after taking the clutch out once more I find
where the mechanic should have put that washer!

The Big Yam takes a local win but I still like “Glitzmobile’s” handling so she will be the 2006
Primary machine.

PERRIS ROUNDS 2&3

Arrive on the Friday evening and a complete change from last year as it is dry and we don’t look
like being stuck. Park and level and the duty chin wag with many familiar faces.

  Saturday morning is cool and sunny, with a few clouds, and the prospect of near perfect
conditions for the trial. By now Rich has arrived and our local lad from ASU, Jubal. Fred and Dan
have made it from Wyoming and all the local California riders make up the numbers.

 Off we go for lap 1 and many of the sections look much harder than they are and this is borne
out when all the results are in with 4 of us all on a zero score! This brings the AHRMA old age rule
into force with oldest man wins, so at 59 I take first place with Rich and Dan arguing over 2nd
and 3rd. Well they are both 49 so it now goes to month and the tie continues as they are both
born in May and it is finally decided by the Day! So Dan gets 2nd and Rich has the 3rd. Jubal who
was over the moon with his first ever zero score ends up 4th as he is only 19! You have to feel
sorry for the lad but as it says on my helmet,“Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill”.
His day will come! Beer and burgers are provided for all who pushed us out last year. Then it’s
back to the RV for some stories of yesteryear and yet more beer.

 Day 2, and it’s colder and might just rain. A lot of overnight talk about easy sections, and the
organizers have tightened things up for Sunday. Once again they look harder than they are. No1
goes well as long as you stick to the line but No 2 has some real tricky bits and it is imperative to
stay on the line and have precise throttle control. It starts with a wiggle through some big rocks
then a drop off into a sandy area followed by a step up onto a big flat rock where a 180 turn must
be made, without crossing tracks. Drop back off the rock then line up for a double step to the exit.

Good clean here and on to No  which has potential for disaster everywhere. Enter, turn right, then
left adverse tight uphill turn into a descending right turn to an uphill right turn through a boulder field,
then down again into a left and right  to the exit. Whew!No 4 is a “jewel” all round a huge rock
but relatively simple. No 5 I really like with 2 full lock turns before an uphill gully to the ends card. 6
and 7 don’t cause any problems but require a lot of concentration to stay on the line. No 8 is a real
problem with an uphill turning entry followed by a steep descent into a choice of lines which has me
puzzled for a little while as I eye up the problem adverse turn before the exit. While I’m pondering
choices Rich comes through and takes a line I hadn’t even considered and cleans it beautifully. Well
I’ve seen it but I’m not convinced I can do it! Believe boy, believe!

I take the same line and escape with a clean also. 9 and 10 are “gimme’s” so no problems and a
clean first loop. Clean loop 2 so things are looking pretty good as I clean the first three of the third
loop under darkening skies. Section 4 on the big rock doesn’t need a look as nothing can change
here, but it helps if you switch the brain on before entering the section. As I crest the second ridge
I have no idea where I am going and get completely off line and I’m forced to dab to put the bike
back where I should have been! Now that’s Dumb with a capital “D”. Console myself by cleaning
the rest and see Rich make an awful dab on 9. So it’s 1 a piece and that old age rule comes into
play again.

 3 events done out of the required 7 and now a fairly long wait until the next 2 which are at Donner
Ski Ranch in Ca. Scores now, Me on 3 wins = 60 points, Rich 2 Seconds and a third = 49, and Dan
with a second and third = 29.

Looking Good!

Tony Down with faithful supporter and photographer Brenda

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AHRMA WITTMAN 2006

AHRMA WITTMAN 2006

AHRMA 2006
So 2006 arrives and looking at the AHRMA calendar there are quite a few events that I can get
to. We have 5 events in California, 1 in Arizona, the same 2 in Wyoming and 1 in New Mexico,
providing Brenda doesn’t get fired for taking all that time off. Only need to compete in 7 events
so could even throw a couple out if we have a bad day. Lots of new bikes are prepped for the
season, including the 72 MAR Ossa, a 320 Majesty Yamaha and ready for 2007 the “Tiger Cub”.

The Ossa came together nicely and graced Wittman for the 2006 opener. I rode Ossa’s back in
1976 and 77 and they suited my style with their big heavy flywheels and ability to get grip when
everyone else was spinning to a standstill. However, after getting used to the snappyness of the
reed valve Yam I am not sure about using the Ossa above 6000’. Wittman, of course is ideal for
the Spanish machine so the decision is made and I don’t even bother with a spare bike.

WITTMAN 2006

 Amazingly the AHRMA clock is on time and after buying another chunk of real estate to get into
the venue all is well for the first event of the year. Section 1 is a simple “stay on the line” affair
and up and round a bush to the adverse exit. No 2 has some tricky turns on the loose and looks
like it will get worse as it gets chewed up. Arriving at No3 on zero I spend some time looking at
the problem of the first right turn into some loose but awkward dirt ripples. The Ossa steers like
dream and holds the selected line and I only lose a dab to most other people’s threes. 4 is a
steepish downhill and a ride around the edge of a muddy puddle. 5 we have seen on previous
years and is up and down on the concrete wash outs with embedded rocks. No 6 is similar to
before with in and outs of the trees and up and down that concrete wall.  No 7 has an adverse
run in, followed by some tight turns, dropping into a pile of wooden railroad ties and a downhill
exit.
 Finally we are back at the start for No 8 which is a series of tight up and down turns on a bank.
A good first loop with just the 1 lost. Lap 2 starts well and I score the first clean on section 3.
However, No 5 gets me for one, as when I drop down a ledge there is a “new” small rock in my
path which someone else has just disturbed. I should have ridden round it, but elect to let the
Ossa bulldozer do its thing. Clean the rest and with the score on 2 set off on the last lap which
I clean. Mister Palmer lost 1 in the railroad ties and 3 more on that tricky section 3.

 Yipee! The first round goes to me and the Bulldozer from Spain.
THE QUEST IS ON!

Tony Down

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS MOAB 2006

ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS MOAB 2006

  MOAB 2006
Up to Colorado for the weekend and leave Brenda and dogs in Dolores while I sail off to Jim
Lipscomb’s event just north of Moab. Some problems with land but resourceful Jim has found a rock
pile right beside the main road. I am surprised the Police are not there but what the hell let’s go for it.
 Well these sections are not easy and I waste a lot of time looking at them while previous day’s
hangover takes time to abate. I start at 4 which several people are having problems with but
manage to clean it with lots of work. 5 has more problems with the exit but I try a different line
and escape with a dab. Clean 6 with a different line thanks to one of the girl checkers giving some
good advice. A dumb dab on 7 and then over to 8 which is another Lipscomb tight turn affair and I
don’t like it and lose 5 more. Eventually find No1 and ride well for a 2. No 2 is causing problems but
I get to grips with it and don’t panic for a nice clean. No 3 looks harder than it really is so clean here
for a first loop score of 9.The second loop is much better and continuing from 4 again I clean 4,5,6 and seven and improve
on 8 with a three. A great clean on 1 and cleans again on 2 and 3. Thisgives me a 2 round score
of 12. Dan Straka is already on 18 but is riding well everywhere I see him.

 Let’s plan this last loop before we blow it!  Section 4 clean again and catch up with Dan on No5.
He takes a very different line and makes it look easy for a super clean. I try the same but lose a
silly dab. Clean 6 and 7 again and nearly get a 2 on 8 but settle for the working mans 3! Back to
No1 and get in all kinds of trouble but survive for a single dab. Get the proverbial back together for
two good cleans on the remaining sections for a total of 17. Don’t know where Dan is losing his
points but he finished back on 25 with the rest of the class nowhere to be seen.A great trial, in some unusual surroundings and a wonderful AHRMA season to remember. Must
join the Rocky Mountain Region next year.

TONY DOWN without the aid of Brenda and Camera

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS BULL HOLLOW 2006

ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS BULL HOLLOW 2006

ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS BULL HOLLOW 2006

Arizona seems to have given up trials this year, can’t think why but a bit depressing for those
people who have spent a lot on a new bike only to find there are no events to ride in!

 Searching everywhere for the elusive trial to ride in I find AHRMA Rocky Mountain has one in Utah
which is only 50 miles from our place in Colorado. A trip to the Mountain Retreat is planned for
some exciting flower planting and it gives us the Saturday to go to Bull Hollow.

 So 3 June and we leave the dogs behind and cross the border into Utah and arrive safely without
being taken out by any deers. It seems a lot hotter than expected and eventually we all set off for
3 laps of 10 using the “buddy check” system. Good in so much that you can see how everybody is
doing but it does make the event go on forever.

 Section 1 looks easy but I turn with too much weight on the front wheel and take a stupid dab.
No 2  was a wander through the bushes and very simple. No 3 was a series of tight turns and then
an up the bank for another turn to the exit. Should have done well on this one but took another
dab for good measure. 4 started downhill across some loose rocks followed by a ride through a
sandy gully into a left turn up a steep but grippy rock hill.

  Section 5, this was where the trial was won and lost. A downhill entry into a line critical turn up a
rock and then round a fir tree before descending into an awkward rock and dirt left turn leading to
an uphill series of steps. Dab by the fir tree and another on the turn but then a great ride through
the rest to the finish. Everybody else lost threes and fives.

 Section 6 was another series of up downs on a dirt bank with a couple of adverse banks thrown
in. No problems here and on to 7. A steepish descent then a choice of lines, either across a difficult
adverse or a looping turn off the bank, turn through 180 at the bottom and then straight up to the
adverse line again. Drop off the bank, up a ledge then a 6’ climb out to the ends card. Elect to go
for the looping turn but I turn too sharp and too much front brake results in a very spectacular over
the bars down hill. A perfect 5! With the score on 9 I am beginning to think I should have planted
more flowers but on we go. A long ride to No 8 and No 9 and no problems here for 2 more cleans.
Section 10 however is another matter and this one is another won and lost section to my advantage.
A descending entry down the path, cross some rocks into a left uphill turn to a series of steps
followed by a tricky little left exit in the loose dirt. I take the duty dab, but everyone else is twos and
threes. Well that’s the end of the first loop and despite the dreadful 5 I’m still in with a chance.

 Back at the start its time for liquid and time to open a can of arse whoop! Lap 2 starts well with a
clean run to section 3 where I now take a dab at the exit. Should have had that one! No problem
with 4 and the same double dab on 5, but once again they are having threes and fives.  Maybe it
was fitness, the heat, the sections or a combination of all three but my opposition is coming
unglued with multiple errors everywhere. 6 is the same and 7 where I had the arse over teakettle
is an easy clean. 8 and 9 are the same and I clean 10 where the opposition can do no better
than 2. Back to the start for more Gatorade and another tin of arse whoop! Lap 3 goes well and
clean number 3 while the opposition struggle about with threes. No5 has me in the mood and I
get by the fir tree clean but have the dab at the bottom of the hill again. Never mind the best the
rest can do is a three. 6,7,8, and 9 are all clean and I clean 10 again against threes and fives.
So 10 lost on lap 1, 3 on lap 2 and a single dab on the third loop for a total of 14. My main
opponents have all cracked on loops 2 and 3 and have scores around 30! Here endeth the arse
whoop.

 Now we have another 6 weeks to wait until Donner. Fred e-mails me from Wyoming and he and
his wife are going along with Dan. Rich has also said he may give Donner a go this year so unless
someone else turns up it should be a 3 way duel in the California Mountains.

Tony Down

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MORE OF THAT AHRMA MEDICINE SANDIA 2005

MORE OF THAT AHRMA MEDICINE SANDIA 2005

MORE OF THAT AHRMA MEDICINE SANDIA 2005

THE RETURN TO ALBUQUERQUE

  One day in early September, for no reason other than curiosity, the fickle finger of fate hits the
E-Bay Motors button and up comes a RV page, and lo here is a super deal at Earnhardt’s! Too
good to resist we go and look at same and despite eager salesman’s desire to sell us a brand
new one we insist on looking at the 2001 Beaver Marquis. Well in all honesty there was NO
comparison!

All the new ones we looked at were ok but nothing that really stood out and said “buy me”. The
Beaver, however, was another story. Open the door and it’s an instant WOW factor. Everything
is just beautiful, the engineering, the woodwork, the lighting and the attention to the smallest
detail. Like the ad says “if I have to explain you wouldn’t understand” Seldom in life can two
people be smitten by an inanimate object, but brother we were smitten!

So the Beaver now becomes the transporter and her maiden voyage will be Ahrma Albuquerque.
She is duly prepped and all the goodies purchased for the upcoming weekend. No problems with
the trailer wiring, but the RV does seem a little bouncy on the highway, and there is a high pitched
whine which is a bit annoying. We load up and are on our way with Brenda experimenting with all
the new gadgets. For entertainment we have constant Sat TV, regular TV, DVD or tape and music
from XM radio all with surround sound and of course sat navigation which we haven’t got to yet.
 En-route, Brenda collects up all 13 hand controllers for gadgets various and stows them in this
beautiful roll top compartment in the center console that also houses the navigation system. With
the bus still bouncing and sports bras required for front seat occupants we hit some road works
on I40. Bump! It says but it subsequently turns out to be more like the continental divide where
two of the Earth’s plates have ridden up over one and other.

When we land there is an almighty CRASH and after eyeballs had been replaced in sockets we
discover the hand controllers have been airborne in the roll top and we now have a log jam!

Eventually arrive at the venue, food, beer and bed.
 It’s Friday and the place is filling up with flat trackers, motor crossers, and road racers, as well as
a sprinkling of trials and enduro bikes. Meet with a lot of guys from the Casper event and Sheldon
as well who is the photographer for the weekend. Wonder where the trial can be as this place is
as flat as a pancake?

 All is revealed and loop 1 starts with a little switchback in and out of some holes in loose dirt.
The next two sections are on a sandy bank with a few tufts of grass and desert vegetation. A
right turn followed by an uphill left, then a wide right hander into a deep loose sand gully to the
uphill exit. Lots of time deciding on the gear to use and eventually go for first and a lot of blipping
throttle. This works quite well with a dab on the wide right hander and another just 2 feet from
the card. Section 3 starts downhill and then has some tricky turns in the soft sand to the uphill
exit. It goes better than expected with only 3 dabs but we can do better here!

The Sand Hills Lap 1

 On we go to the next group. Number 4 is a wiggle around a tree and a couple of tight turns
finishing on a ridge. Good clean here and that’s followed by a nice ride on 5 for another clean.
6 looks tricky and I lose a dab when I don’t turn tight enough and the front wheel is getting
dangerously close to the tape. Well 2 left and they are back at the start and don’t cause any
problems. So, 6 lost on lap 1 but as most people had been struggling in the soft sand I’m feeling
reasonable confident.
 Loop 2 starts on a different section as my class had actually started on Section 2. Having just
cleaned the opener I’m straight in again, but go a little too slowly across the adverse camber and
the front wheel breaks away in the soft dirt losing a real stupid 2! The next isn’t much better as
I lose another 1 by going too fast. The student gets a sharp reminder to get something other than
the transmission in GEAR!!

The “Gorgeous Dab” on the Sandhills

 Back to the sand hills which I had had a pretty good effort on last time. Same line, the sand is
softer and deeper but I stick to the plan and amazingly get some grip and sail through for a
gorgeous dab. I see my nemesis, the Rich Palmer sitting down?  Different but the technique
doesn’t work and he gets a 5. The next one is another unlucky 3 single dabs. Well, so far this lap
I’ve lost seven, but then I’ve just seen Rich lose 8. Clean the rest so must be in with a chance
despite those silly mistakes.

 Loop 3, no problems with 1 & 2 and on to the sand hills for the last time. By now it’s a real mess
and despite a valiant effort I can’t get close and lose a three. The next section has cost me 3 on
each previous attempt and now its difficult to even get into the start. Somehow I get it all together
and whiz through for the only 2 of the day. I’m well pleased and by now I’ve worked out that Rich
has lost 20 on these 2 sections to my 14 and allowing for my dumb mistakes I should be 2 ahead
minimum. The next one has that tight turn on the bank and once again I make the same mistake
turning too late and lose another dab. Oh well, that’s 19 but the rest should be OK. Wrong, exiting
the easiest section I ride the back wheel over a little root stump and it flicks the wheel sideways
for yet another dab. So I finish on 20 and so does Rich and of course he takes it on the tie break
with the greatest number of cleans.

 The evening is spent entertaining in the new bus and on Saturday we are en-route to Cozy Comfort,
our RV park in Colorado. If you have 2 RV’s you might as well have somewhere to park them!

Well that wraps up the 2005 AHRMA season for me as the remaining events are all too far away.
So I finish with 3 wins, two seconds and that dreadful fourth in Texas. Overall it earns me 3rd place
in the National Championship and the desire to do much better in 2006.

Tony Down  with RV Specialist and Photographer Brenda

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MORE OF THAT AHRMA MEDICINE CASPER 2005

MORE OF THAT AHRMA MEDICINE CASPER 2005

MORE OF THAT AHRMA MEDICINE
2005

With no events to ride within a light year, May through August, were somewhat Spartan on the
trials front. However, promises had been made to try the Wyoming 2 Day, and so the Safari and
trailer were duly loaded and off we go on another voyage into the unknown.

Day 1, a quick 700 mile jaunt to the Colorado border where the first night stop is planned. The
drive is fairly uneventful until it gets dark and we are coming down a hill in the mountains when
suddenly in the headlights there is a green thing …… BWWWOOOOFF!  a bale or two of alpha-
alpha explodes over the front of the RV in best Hollywood stunt driver scene, but the RV rumbles
on to our planned turnoff. At the turnoff we diligently follow the Mapquest instructions and get
nowhere! So, now we have to turn the 60 foot rig around. 9 miles later, with steel barriers on both
sides of the road, single track of course, we eventually find an area where we might just get this
thing pointing the other way. It just makes it and back the 9 miles we go to try again. Stop and
ask, usual waste of time as anyone serving in a gas station after 6 pm has a single figure IQ.
Eventually find the RV park and settle down for the night.

  Day 2, only 5-600 miles today so off we go again and once past Denver the drive becomes a lot
more pleasant. Stop for some gas but they don’t have any LP gas for the generator so another
stop is going to be necessary. Gas stations are now becoming a bit sparse so when a huge LP
GAS sign comes up we duly follow same until we find the place some 4 miles off the beaten track.
Park the RV by the huge LP gas container and walk inside to find 14 year old filing nails and
chewing gum.

“I need some LP gas please”
“Huh?”
“LP Gas please”
“Nobody here can do that, we ain’t been trained”
“Obviously not”

Back to the freeway and eventually at our exit there is a big station that has it all so panic over
and we refill for the weekend.

  Follow the directions and creep through farmyards and along mountain tracks until we come to
the start which is on a lovely grassy patch in a wooded area. Fred Martinson has allocated us a
smashing spot and the RV slips into its new berth for the next 2 nights.

  Saturday morning, and there are lots of people everywhere, and friends from previous events.
Bikes are duly unloaded and Brenda makes friends with Jim Lipscomb’s granddaughter who is
learning to ride on a TY175. The morning passes very quickly and it is start time before I know it.

  The first couple of sections are in water and mud! This is going to be good. No 3 is more mud
with a little turn on a bank where I take a dab. No 4 is simple and then up the hill to No 5. A spring
bubbles out of the mountain and its green grass everywhere and made delightful by a herd of
cows who have paddled in it, amongst other things, and chopped it all up…..its like a REAL section.
Yo ho, 2nd gear for once and mustering up all the memories I fly through it for a great clean. No 6
is a twister in the trees (nadgery they are called in the UK) and then some rocky ones to finish the
loop of 11 sections. I try the non scoring section, which is just like something out of the SSDT and
clean that for good measure. Two more loops and 2 more great cleans in the cow pasture finishing
with a total of 3. That was a great trial and well worth the trip.

  Back at the ranch Brenda has been cooking a large Turkey. Amazing what you can do with the RV.
A great evening follows with good food, a little too much beer and many stories of yesteryear. ……
and so to bed.
  Sunday and another nice day, and we have invited Fred over for breakfast so after a quick drag
with the Labrador its back to the RV with Fred to the delightful smell of coffee bacon and eggs.
The trial starts on time (boy these Wyoming guys are good) and despite having a second blue Yam
to ride today I decide to ride yesterdays mount. Sections 1&2 are the same as yesterday and I
clean them both despite the engine seeming a little fluffy, which I put down to being a bit cold.

Section 3, a climb followed by a left turn over a big tree root and then a drop into a wall of death
right hander followed by an adverse left turn to the exit. The climb and turn goes well but on the
slow speed wall of death the motor doesn’t pick up and a dab is lost to get things moving forward.
Oh well, that’s trials but by now the alcoholic fog is lifting and I know that the lost point was down
to engineering and not the engine driver. Section 4, and we are back at another mud hole where
the cows have been. Two lines at the entry in deep mud, then a blast over to a log, turn through
90degrees, then 10’ to the ends card. Well that’s better and another good clean. Section 5, an
AHRMA “give me” which I would expect everyone to clean causes more problems than I had
expected as the motor fluffs and dies on level ground. **** ! and other choice expletives can be
heard echoing through my helmet. Sure enough we have some of that expletive in the slow
running or pilot jet depending on what you call it. The decision is made and back to the start we
go for the reserve bike, now that’s an AHRMA rule I can really get to like.

 So now with “Baby Blue” working well it’s off to section 6 Rocks here, and through for a clean.
No 7 has mud, water and some tight turns but I score the first clean of the day so morale is
improving. Section 8 has a turn followed by a climb and round the tree with a descent into a tight
turn in leaves before a footrest wide wiggle between two trees. 9 is another “give me” and then
onto 10 which is the section of the day for me. Looks familiar to so many of my childhood sections,
slow entry, turn into the stream, maintain the natural line, over a root tangle, stabilize
everything, then a gentle right hand climb up a tire wide gully. Oh, so close but there goes
another 1. Numbers 11 and 12 are the same as yesterday, so with 2 more cleans finish the loop
on an annoying 7.

 Loops 2 and 3 go the same way losing 4 points on each. The killer, “5” on lap 1 dropping, yours
truly into second place. Still they say it’s good for the soul! Rubbish second sucks!

Goodbyes said, the 60 foot rig rolls out and we now have a 500 miler to the night stop, but it’s
nearly all downhill. No problems finding the RV Park this time, so by 10 pm we are berthed and the
first beer is in hand.

 Monday morning, Labor Day, and we are quickly on the road around 8ish but that LP needs
topping up again. Ask the questions and get all the wrong answers! Come close to getting stuck
in a parking area at the first place we are sent but they do tell us WHO has this magical substance
and after more off the beaten track work we are refilled and on our way back on the Freeway.

 Brenda is busy coloring in the map as we hammer down to Albuquerque, but this is too easy,
so just to add to the fun one of the new trailer tires blows out and by the time I have made the
exit we are down to the rim. Joy of joys! Labor Day, and a blowout in New Mexico. We grind our
way into a KOA and they suggest WALMART, who amazingly have a tire in that size and they are
open. Borrow a jack and off with the old, unhitch the trailer and set off in the RV to the one and
only Walmart in New Mexico some 10 miles away. Clearly there isn’t much to do in Albuquerque on
Labor Day and everybody and their dog is at Walmart! Brenda goes shopping, Cadbury guards the
RV in the no parking  area and I hump the dead tire to the Tire Shop. I now have to QUEUE! So
there I am standing in a line of cars with a wheel under my arm and eventually a gnome greets me
and asks me what I want. Told him I wanted the rest of the car that the wheel went on but I guess
he didn’t understand the humor. 1 hour later when my turn comes I get a new tire and 2 hours
later we are back on the road again heading to Flagstaff.

 By now 2000 miles of RV driving are beginning to tell on the crew! The dog has eaten all the
brownies that were cooling, the driver’s right foot has cramp and the stewardess has had enough
and is making a noise reminiscent of the rim. It’s dark, we are all tired and Brenda is hungry and
wants someone else to cook for a change. At around 9 pm we pull off in Flagstaff and amazingly
everything is either closed or closing. Try a bar, CLOSED, try Denny’s, just make it for an awful
meal and settle down in their parking lot for a couple of hours shuteye. Back on the road again at
2 am and home at 4.30 ready to get the company up and running for the 6 o’clock start. Another
great trials weekend and a few more RV Lessons learnt the hard way.

Tony Down, with Support Crew Chief Brenda and Cadbury as “Doof the Dog”

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS BULL HOLLOW 2007

ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS BULL HOLLOW 2007

BULL HOLLOW 2007

No Photographer this year but here’s my Favorite Section

On with the rack and off to Dolores. The run is fine with great fuel economy not dragging the
trailer along and despite being proverbially….. over backwards by the payroll company we are on
the road at 0930.

The planned planting goes like clockwork and we have all the beds and boxes complete by 4 in
the afternoon with just a little rebuilding of the mini fish pool and waterfall. An evening with friends
and cheese and wine completes a perfect day apart from the wind. I HATE WIND!

  Saturday morning and the pool is fixed and I set off on time for Bull Hollow with all the memories
of last year’s ride. On arrival the place looks a little deserted but you never know. Meet Jim and
others from Utah and park by Ed’s truck where the sign in will be.

9 sections, all well thought out and marked by Ed and crew.

 We start on time and the “2’s” start at 1 for a change. This is the same as last year with a little
twister thrown in on the downhill. This was one of the “trial won and lost” variety and rather like
last year the Steed comes through with a great clean. Section 2 is a variation on a theme from last
year and was “my” section of the day. This year the start is easier but it has a soft dirt/rock turn
before the climb up to the step and awkward turn in the crevices. The plan goes well and Steed
does all that’s asked. Tom, my riding partner has not got his “A” game going and is having a few
problems. No3 was used last year but now has a turn at the top and return downhill to the exit.
Another clean and on to 4 which again is similar to last year with a few up and downers across a
wash with some nasty soft spots but again Steed sails through. Hey, I’m beginning to enjoy this
Cub animal with the big Renthals and the slow action throttle. Back to the start area for 5-9 and
a much shorter loop than last year. 5 has an easy uphill start to a left turn into a step with an
awkward recovery area if you get it wrong. Steed takes it in her stride and that’s five in a row.

On to 6 which looks a little ambitious but eventually a line appears in the mind’s eye. Riding it was
another thing and after the first bounce it was a determined centipede 3 to the ends card. Pick up
the GPS and the Sherpa guide and set off into7! A series of ups and downs with some difficult
climbs, a gulley crossing, and tricky descent. Well, the first couple of climbs are good but the third
needs 2 prods to gain the summit but I’m pleased it got up there. 2 will do! Over to 8 which has
plenty of traps. Uphill start over a rock step then a choice of lines, I like the high line, over another
step by a fallen tree then turn over some broken branches before a log (which rolls) to the downhill
exit. All goes well until front wheel slips on the broken branches for a dab. Back down the hill to 9
in a wash with lots of turns in the loose and up and down some crumbly banks. Plenty of choices of
line here so plan an easy route which works out well. By now we have been joined by Rick
Armstrong who seems to be riding very well today.

 Back to the start and Tom and I wait for Rick to complete his first loop before we set off again.
Just the 3 mistakes on loop 1 for a total of 6.

 Loop 2 and an awful start when the wheel slips sideway off the desired rock taking me sideways
into a tree with the usual result of battle scars and pouring blood, and a tacky 3 to open the
account. HMMM! Section 2 takes a dab and Tom has the same 4 but the other way round. Through
3 and 4 without penalty and a dab on the tricky turn of 5. So 5 lost already compared to the
previous clean card, not good!  Look at 6 again and decide to stick with previous plan and this time
it works for a great clean. A quick look at 7 but it looks the same but with a determined effort I
clean it YIPEE!! Back to 8 and an identical ride for another dab. Rick is still riding well and beginning
to psych out Tom who is coming unglued on some sections. Everybody cleans 9 on 3 very different
lines. Two loops down for a loss of 12.

 More drinks, and off for the final loop. Hit the needle edge rock spot on and Steed sails through for
a nice clean making up for the blood loss of loop 2. Section 2 and a little more care gives another
zero. 3 and 4 go well and 5 just needs the same attention on the step and becomes plain sailing.
No6, which had to be the most difficult, has me in a few body lean predicaments on idle power but
Steed persists and I just get through for a dab. Another trudge through 7 reveals nothing different
and the better line from loop 2 has the same success up the second climb putting me in a good
position for the last uphill, but yes, there’s always a but, as I come forward at the top of the hill
the kicker swings back and lodges in the Velcro of my boot and takes me from bush to bush as a
couple of frantic dabs are taken to save the day. Over the gully and I’m free! So just the saving
double dab here. No 8, and another check of those branches and I’m in and nearly miss my ideal
line but recover well for a nice turn in the wood pile. Just the log to cross and I give her a good
squirt as this beauty is beginning to roll about. Finally my first clean on 8 so just 9 to do which
stays the same and we all clean it. Pretty good last lap of 3 for a total of 15. Overall a good
confidence building ride and I feel I’m riding Steed about as well as I can so ever hopeful for the
rest of the season.

 Back to Cozy Comfort and the party is still going but I have a little catching up to do!
Not doing Steamboat as Edward arrives from Florida, and also missing the Beemer Do in Panquitch,
so no more RM Trials until Lyons in August as the Grand Junction 2 day is now cancelled. More
reports in a couple of months.

 With the changing scene and being unable to park the monster RV at Lyons we skip that event
and do the joint RM/AHRMA rounds in Casper. (See AHRMA) and then onto Sandia which was again
a joint RM/AHRMA affair and also reported under the ARHMA banner.

 Moab gets cancelled and that wraps up the season with a Second place to Mike Buckholtz….. try
again next year.
TONY DOWN   ……second sucks!!!

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS MILLIKEN 2007

ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS MILLIKEN 2007

MILLIKEN 2007

  Rossi gives birth on the bed sometime between 1 and 2 a.m. and Brenda with all her surgical
equipment is woken by the soft mews of newborn all fresh and clean after copious washing from
Mum. Single puppy same color as Dad and as she was due on the trip, she now rejoices as Milliken
or Millie for short.

 Thursday arrives and we slip from our former glory and leave one and a half hours late, but at
least we are on the way. Stop at Winslow for RV things and the bus is taking on water at only 2
gallons a minute and that’s not right! Because we are late we slip through Albuquerque after rush
hour so things are relatively pleasant apart from the gale force winds. The winds have been taking
their toll on the Starship and the driver’s deflector shield keeps rotating causing much annoyance
and a lot of stopping for Brenda to adjust. Finally, in a fit of peek a Rothmans packet is jammed in
it and secured by America’s finest tape, looks real good on a $625,000 coach! Very soon it
becomes clear that Trinidad is out of the question and Las Vegas (NM) is looking like the place to
stop. Tired, thirsty and hungry we arrive in LV bouncing off curbs, yes the helmsman has had
enough!

 Friday back on the road with 375 to go and its all plain sailing and we arrive in good time to get
a first class slot on the upper level. A bit cold and miserable with a chilly wind and the forecast of
rain YIPEE! Brenda spots some bushes and shoots off to get a handful of blooms and bugs for
the bus. Doof the Lab thinks it’s marvelous as she gets some free range running in the pit area.

 Meet up with Evelyn and soon after set off to find the section builders. The Steed seems to be
running well and I’ve changed to my favorite Renthalls and gone back to a slow action throttle to
try and prevent these feet up FIVES! However the fork oil seals are leaking and although I have
a spare set elect to leave well alone just in case a simple job turns into a pre trial nightmare.
Have a look at junior Glitzmobile, and as expected the awful noise was main bearings and you
can lift the flywheel up and down about ½  an inch. Something else to fix when we get back.
Find everybody down below the farm laying out in the mudhole which looks and smells nasty!

 Friday night and time for a few beers, diner courtesy of Evelyn and that’s fine by me as its
starting to rain so more stories of yesteryear a film and so to bed. It’s a 3 p.m. start so plenty
of time to do nothing which is fine by me, especially as we are hemmed in by these motor cross
people who seem to swarm like bees!

What do they know that I don’t? Section1

 Start time comes and we are starting conventionally at no 1. This has a lazy turn then gently
along a bank before a straight 3 foot drop to a 180 turn and back up the bank, turn again
Wittington, and back down the bank to the exit. It looked like the bank would crumble away with
multiple attacks but it didn’t happen. A 2 on the first go, then a clean, and a very long dab on the
last attempt. No 2 where I had seen the mud on Friday should be a favorite for me. First attempt
results in a dab on the exit, loop 2 takes a 2 with one in the deep mud and another on the exit.

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud! Section 2

The last lap sees Mike take on the pit of goo before me and he grinds to a stop in the stinky
slime. I gun it through the mud and she responds like a rocket with a wheelie (under control of
course) up the bank, drop back in and really try for the clean, wiggling and powering through,
and exit at high speed landing on observer’s lunch box, but he said he didn’t mind as the clean
was worth watching, and though I say so myself it really was a shit hot ride!!

Hugh on the Box of Pipes Section 3

Fred lines up Section 4

 No 3 seems to be another of these tight turn box affairs and I can’t get the first turn so 3 dabs
here. 4 is a series of log crossings and I take this in my stride for 3 easy cleans. 5 has us turning
round Christmas trees by the fence then drop down the hill for a tight uphill turn to the exit. Very
consistent with this one and 3 more zeros on the card. No 6 has a few hazards but right speed
and throttle control do the trick for 3 more cleans.

Section 5 and a lot of “BODY ENGLISH”

 But, here it comes, 7 lucky for some, but not for me! A difficult section but one that I should have
done right every time. Up and down a bank, back up and turn into a ditch then a tight right hander,
recover on a narrow path, then an uphill tight left hander and from there simply follow the markers
to the exit. First attempt all is well until entering the ditch, my weight is too far forward and the
front wheel clips a root and goes backwards underneath me as the power comes on and I dive
head first into the ditch with the bike on top of me! Expert?  Regaining composure, I then ride the
rest flawlessly, so no problems in the mind for round 2. Second try and with the weight correct I’m
through the ditch but on the uphill right as I move forward I inadvertently apply the back brake
for another excellent 5! Well this becoming a disaster zone. Loop 3 and I take a silly dab but at
least I’m through this horror.

Wolfy getting dizzy on the Slalom of Section 8

 Section 8 seems somewhat pointless with a long series of turns up a hill that was little more
than a beginners outing, but after getting dizzy there was a sting in the tail finish turning uphill
in the loose. However 3 more cleans are on the scorecard and it’s on to the last section No 9.
Uphill start, turn downhill under braking then uphill turning on a loose, but grippy adverse. Lose
1 on the first loop but clean thereafter. Overall a memorable trial for the disasters on 7 and the
excellent rides on section 2 and 5. I must lay out some flat box turns which I’m losing points on
every time.

Ed Wins! 6 more to go!

 The long run home goes without incident! New incentive BEAT MIKE!!!

Tony Down

Brenda took those Trials Photos!

Don’t Forget ME I’M MILLIKEN or MILLIE to you!…. and I’m Cute

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS COTOPAXI 2007

ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS COTOPAXI 2007

ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRIALS-COTOPAXI 2007
  Well the decision was made back in Jan when AHRMA and the local CAT could not get their act
together, so here we go head first into 3 Championships. This is going to take a lot of driving and
should be a lot of fun providing I don’t take things too seriously.
So with the 2007 Steed of the Tiger Cub we set off for rounds 1 & 2 at Cotopaxi . Steed is now
sporting the B50 forks, Yam front wheel and the Del Orto Carb, only problem seems to be getting
used to slow speed recovery and pull away on the 4 Stroke compared to the “come again” bite of
2 Stroke reed valve Yam. WE PERSIST!

  Thursday we are out of the gate on time (we are getting better at this) and off up I17 and onto
I40 at Flag. Arrive at Albuquerque in afternoon rush hour (brilliant) but we are soon through
there and on our way to Trinidad for the first night stop. This leaves a short hop on Friday to the
ranch in Cotopaxi. On the road again after a Walmart stop for eggs and batteries (strange choice
for breakfast?) anyhoo now time to drain the tanks replenish the Starship with water, fuel, and
dilithium crystals. All done, and now the saunter down the Arkansas River watching fly fishers
trying their luck and amazingly we did see one fisherman with dinner in his hands.

 Into Cotopaxi and turn over the river and proceed up the hill to the Ranch entrance. Now we try
section 1 and the co-pilot is flipping her lid as the track suddenly becomes tricky! An uphill left on
full lock into a full right which has to be taken right to the edge (a bit like Devil’s Staircase in the
Scottish)… round we go onward and upward. Road narrows but Mr Zulu follows the Captains
commands and we “Make It So!” Only problem comes on the downhill right hander where Starship
Enterprise is 6 feet longer than the curve will allow and so the trailer wheel slips over the edge
and Warp Power is selected to continue the turn dragging the underbelly down the track. Over
the top and here we are in the parking area which is delightful with snow topped mountains all
around. Ed and Evelyn have selected a space for us and we slip into it and the Starship
commences leveling and all is well.

THE VIEW FROM THE START

  A little lunch and off to help with the laying out which seems to have been well thought out and
now only requires taping and direction cards. Wow, an awful lot of thought and work! Of course
this simple task is now made increasingly difficult with the arrival of yet more so called helpers
who seem to be spending more time riding the sections than actually doing anything useful apart
from trying to change the sections to suit individuals preferred lines? I’m surprised Ed kept his
cool under some VERY trying circumstances. Amazing how time flies and now with the time change
it’s almost 7 pm.

R.I.P.

  Start time and quite a good turn out so off we go in small groups for a standard buddy check.
Section 1 has split for 1 & 2 riders up around a path and then down a ledge to a turn. The 2 line is
actually harder! I get through here for a dab but then take another at the exit, no clean card
today. Brenda is competing today but the baby Yam is gutless and just won’t pull if it comes off
the boil. Very upsetting but she struggles on for a few sections before doing the wise thing and
calling it quits.
Section 2 has a tricky turn and then a rock pile to cross before a turning descent to the ends card.
A touch of nerves and 3 single dabs for an unimpressive ride on something I should have cleaned.
We end up at section 5 by mistake but ride it anyway. Now this should have been a gimmee but
for no reason at all I struggle and take a 2! So far my less than stellar performance is becoming
annoying and some one needs a talking to. Eventually find No 3 and this one looks tricky as well
but finally Sage and Steed get the proverbial together for a good and satisfying clean. No 4 has
some twisting uphill turns after a rock step start and I creep through for an unneeded dab, yes
we CAN do this one. 6 is one of those sections that I don’t much care for and another dab is in
the books. 7 & 8 are more to my liking and now things are going a little better and the enjoyment
factor is creeping in. So 9 on the first loop which should have been 3!
Loop 2 and find a better line on Section 1 and sail through for a dab up by the exit. A much more
thoughtful ride on 2 scores a clean and another good clean on 3. Same old dab on Section 4 but
ride 5 the way I should have done the first time. 6 takes the planned dab and clean on 7 and 8.
That’s better 3 dabs for a total of 3. Back at the start I see Mike Bucholtz is through 2 loops on
ZERO! Now that’s some ride!
Loop 3 and I see superstar take a crunching 5 on the opener and then I sail through for a perfect
clean. Well he is human after all and trials is a funny game so never give up. I take a safety dab
on 2 but should have ridden it for the clean. Clean 3 again and at last clean 4 and it feels good.
Please don’t ask what happened on 5 because I might throw up, down the hill squirt across the
rocks and up the hill, a little closer than desired to the tape so close the throttle and then try
again only to get the CHUFF and the motor dies 2 feet from the ends card, man am I sick? Still in
shock the planned dab goes out the window on 6 and an awful 3 dabber is on the card. I should
have been round this loop on 1 but I’m on 9. Mike also had another 5 so his loop was 10.
  Was it possible? Maybe, I cleaned everything except 6 so could have been round for 3, but there
again Mike cleaned laps 1 and 2 so could have ended with a Zero.

DAY 2

Day 2 and a whole new set of sections which of course I had seen on Friday when we were
setting up. Again it’s buddy checking which I enjoy as being more sociable it can be a lot of fun
and sometimes a little more lenient on the beginners “good try”. Our group changes as some
people come and go but of the constant trio it’s Hugh, Ed and myself with guest appearance from
others racing on or who have lost their starting group.

Ed on Section 1

Section 1 has its major problem with an adverse turn uphill from soft dirt into a loose rubble mix.
3 good cleans here and Ed does well riding a mix of 2 and 3 lines. Section 2 is a nice
straightforward uphill around the tree and down a gulley to the exit. No problems here and on
to No 3. An uphill turn to the right and along a rock and bush filled track, over a fallen tree and
then turn right to the winding downhill. 3 more cleans, although problems for several riders and
by the second loop the fallen tree had gone?

A Determined Hugh on 4, The Halfpipe

Ready for another 180? Section 4

Over to the half pipe of section 4 and just a series of 180’s, no 360’s, 540’s or backward flips
and 3 more cleans. The contentious Section 5 has had all sorts of changes and much discussion
about the severity of the 1 and 2 lines. 2 different lines on the “2” after the first split, either turn
tight back down the hill for an easier approach to the second hill, or an easier turn at the split
but a tighter turn at the bottom to line up on the uphill. I choose the latter and it works well for
3 more zeros.

Section 6 is the tricky one of the day with a soft sand uphill turn fraught, with problems unless
it’s just right, before the uphill rock infested gulley. Well it catches me once out of three but I’m
well pleased with the other 2 cleans. Section7 has several choices of line and I pick a good one
for 3 more cleans. Over to 8 to complete the first loop and this section has changed from what
I saw yesterday. Now we are up and over a big imbedded rock into a tight right turn, wiggle
through a couple of trees and then turn to a log step and a gentle ride to the exit. Over the rock
OK, turn OK, power on CHUFF! 5!!!

Jim Looking GOOD on Section 8

Hugh makes the step look easy Section 8

Wolfy catches us Up. Nice with the Knees …. but that HAT has got to GO!

It took 4 more sections to get that one out of the system, had another safety dab here on the
last lap for a grand total of 7 which should have been a solitary ONE. Anyhoo, it wouldn’t have
mattered as Mike was in top form and finished on a clean card.

So 2 second places in the RM Championship with a lot more rounds to go.
The Way Home: Leaving Tucker Ranch we have the horrors of the way in, revisited!  …someone
has filled some of the holes the trailer bottom created as it got dragged round the corner and
today we have 2 trials riders with us as escorts. A lot of action in the wheelhouse, until the final
downhill turn which requires a back up and reset maneuver. Back on blacktop once more and as
the weather is nice and all the passes are open we decide to trundle over “the road less
traveled” with a planned night stop in Walmart Durango.

Over The Top Wolf Creek Pass

IT’S BIG HORNED SHEEP  HONEST!

We make good time and delight in the variety of wildlife as we come over Wolf Creek Pass.
Very soon we are tucked up at Walmart having had a great weekend and looking forward to an
easy non-stop 400 mile run across the reservation back to home… Ho F#*$%*^$ Ho!

Early morning start and Brenda gets catering to send up breakfast to the flight deck where we
are joined by Doof, Hayden and the soon to burst Rossi. Leaving Durango it’s a bit black and
overcast and as we make our way to Cortez we blunder through the odd snow flurry which of
course we think nothing of as it is Colorado.
Over the reservation we go and in the far distance there are the anvils of some vicious looking
thunderstorms which look like they are in the Flagstaff area. Approaching Church Rock as we
come over the crest and start the downhill run to Kayenta things are looking seriously nasty up
ahead and shortly after the traffic lights we are in snow which is coming down quite heavily.

On go the wipers as we slow Enterprise to less than Warp speed, and for a few wipes all is well
and then the Monaco Corporation plays it’s JOKER once more and the driver’s wiper flies off the
screen for the umpteenth time! The snow gets heavier and visibility decreases as does the
speed.

Soon the road is completely covered and the windshield is following suit….. S#$%^! This is
Arizona in late April! We grind to a halt with no knowledge of who, or if, anyone is behind us and
as Brenda, now playing Scott of the Antarctic, dresses for the blizzard the Captain searches in
vain for the Hazard Flashers. Some time later, the mystery flashers are found…. Now wouldn’t
you think something as important as Hazard Flashers should be on the truck driver’s wheel?

Brenda departs for the spacewalk and we wish her a fond farewell as she departs the airlock
and reappears to move the errant wipers to the park position and clear the screen as best she
can. Amazingly the wipers didn’t blow the fuse and with the weight of snow on them they
continue to work as we continue and drive our way out of the storm. Some 20 miles later we
emerge to blue skies and fairly clear roads and within another 10 miles it’s all back to normal
save for the astonished looks from oncoming drivers seeing a completely snow covered coach
rocketing towards them with chunks of ice flying off in all directions. Other than that,
Mrs Kennedy did you enjoy the drive?
Tony Down

Not forgetting the Trials Photographer  BRENDA (pictures for sale on her web site, more news later)

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