AHRMA VINTAGE TRIALS WITTMAN 2007

AHRMA VINTAGE TRIALS WITTMAN 2007

 THE VENERABLE SAGE & THE VENERABLE STEED
The year rolls over and it’s time to think AHRMA 2007. So far the calendar doesn’t look too good
with nobody actually getting a handle on the events. “Tentative” appears to be the excuse for
“I couldn’t be bothered asking, so I just threw it in!”

 A couple of weeks ago AHRMA asked me what size jacket I would like, so I e-mailed the
organization for chest sizes and received the following reply;

“I have an extra large and it fits just fine!”

 Well the plan for 2007 is a little ambitious and will take a lot of effort to achieve if only we could
firm up some dates and get the event planning organized. Once again, despite volunteering CAT
has seen fit to virtually abandon its own website and trials info is now available on AZ Trail Riders
site, and we wonder where the members have gone?
Last year, having sunk most of Mother’s money into the business some time ago, it was time to
pull a little of my meager inheritance out for a special project, the HMH Sammy Miller Tiger Cub.
It arrived fresh and shiny from the UK around March time but by now I was already in pursuit of
the Modern Classic Intermediate Crown so the plan was to save it for this year.

 Over the last year I replaced the front end with Yamaha TY forks, triple trees and wheel and a
¾ inch stem beautifully machined by Brian Crawford. The new front end handles nicely but puts
an inch on the wheelbase, maybe some changes coming here. The Cub had her first outing just
before Christmas and although winning her class the Sage was not happy with Mister Amal’s
finest. Amazing 1960’s technology (which I remember well) no choke, just hold the tickler until the
fuel pours out everywhere and away you go. Don’t open the throttle violently or it will stall. Which
it did TWICE! However, the Sage did not retire in disgust but tried to master the alien Steed. Just
keep the throttle cracked a little and work the clutch (Excuse ME?) what is this foreign language
you speak? And where is the rear brake?

 Well 2 fives and a rabbit three on the first loop along with the duty dumb dab for an unimpressive
14. Loop 2 and British explorer tames the Tiger with a single dab and then with Steed beaten into
submission a clean lap to finish.

 So the Amal has to go!  The First replacement is the Kehlin which certainly gives it a mighty punch
off idle but cracks a wild bang as you drop to closed again.  Now I have found a Mikuni which I will
try after Wittman.

AHRMA VINTAGE TRIALS WITTMAN 2007

       Jim Lipscomb accepts our invitation and arrives in the rain on the Wednesday to lay out the
Trial. It rains all day Wednesday and Jim is trying to get some mud in the event while others are
saying NO, NO, NEVER! Thursday and there is a change in the weather, it gets worse! Jim reports
back that the Mud is in and now they don’t like his famous box turns, but neither do I.

Rich Palmer giving her some “biscuit” on the Mud Hole

 Friday morning armed with a bankroll of used notes its time to get ready for AHRMA once more,
let’s see….. $200 to get in, the official AHRMA watch +/- 2 hours, AMA and AHRMA cards, and 2 on
the number board.

 Load the bikes and turn the trailer round only to find the trailer tire has hit something in the yard
and gone bang. A great start but panic not and the spare goes on and off we go. Arrive in good
time and $95.00 later we are signed in and ready to go. Check the tires and throw fuel
everywhere trying to top up the tank. Start the Steed and now the new rear tire on the bike is
flat. I hope this isn’t the way the day is going to go. The flash Union Jack valve cover has a little
rubber grommet in it which has turned in the cap deflating the tire.

Bruce Sandground looking good on Section2

 The 1 and 2 groups start at section 1. Well this is different with a log to cross before a gulley full
of Scottish type rocks into a right and left tight turn to a climbing exit. Watch the progress of
Rick Wolf, all good until the left turn which results in a 5. Nick Turner is next and suffers the same
fate. My turn comes and I end up with a rabbit three to get out of the corner, but that’s 2 better
than mes amis. Section 2 is the mud hole and is fine for the 3 line but 2 has us in up to the hubs
as you go down the side of the pit then a climb up to a pyramid bank and back down to the exit.

A Roaring Tiger Cub

 Rick is already stuck and taken the 5 so I guess he is getting suitably annoyed with 2 maximums
on the 2 openers. I glide through the mud destroying hours of polishing but enjoy the feel of 4
stroke power in good old mud. Up the bank, and try and turn, but both wheels are covered in the
stuff and slide on the dry surface. Another rabbit three ensues. The score does not reflect the ride!

Phil Dury  Section2

 On to numbers 3 and 4 which are a continuous type wriggle through the trees and a nice Palo
Verde bush with a tricky adverse climb before rolling down to the exit. No problems here apart
from the bush ripping my arm apart.

 No 5 and its Jim’s famous box, Yuk! The sign says Premier Exp ride 3 but nobody told Ed Peacock’s
wife Evelyn who wants to give me a 5 for riding the 3 line. 6 is a variation on a theme over the
concrete walls but goes well for another clean. No7 drops down the concrete and has some turns
and boulders before a climb leading to an adverse exit. The cub takes it in its stride and another
clean is in the books. Turn in time to see eagle eyed checker give Nick a 5 for riding on or over a
tape.

Shawn Warner out of the mud and on the Pyramid

 No 8 hasn’t seen the 2 line used much, or if it has then 5 must be the only score as there are no
wheel tracks where I am going. The plan goes well until the turn into the last climb when too
much power causes the front wheel to lift and 2 marks go down the drain for a total of 8. Loops
2 and 3 are virtually identical losing 3’s on sections 1 and 2 and cleaning the rest. Only regret
was I wanted the best score on that mudhole, I rode the mud well but couldn’t deal with the
bank and mud on the sidewalls. Still, a great event, with unheard of scores by Wittman standards.
I finished on 20 which took the Premier Lightweight Class and I believe the 2 line. Thanks to Jim
and everyone else that laid out and helped.

The Quest is On!

Tony Down, along with faithful photographer Brenda, who now has her own web-site where you
can buy event photos: check it out you just might be there!

www.trialsphoto.com

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AHRMA HOLLISTER HILLS 2006

AHRMA HOLLISTER HILLS 2006

AHRMA HOLLISTER HILLS 2006

More repairs to the RV, and its collected on Monday afternoon and we are leaving for a few days
in Wine Country before the trial at Hollister. I’m busy loading when screams come from inside the
coach and we have NO WATER! Sure enough during the insta hot water repair the main pump has
now failed. Anybody want a RV?

 So now I can’t load the bikes and this time the Harley too boot. It’s been a VERY long day and
now it’s time to DRINK HEAVILY!

 Tuesday morning while I brief the crews on the weeks work Brenda rips Holiday Motorhomes a
new one! When I get back they are open and will fix the pump while I wait. So a 40 mile drive in
the wrong direction but they are good to their word and 20 minutes later I’m on my way back.
Finally exactly at 12 we leave and after one refueling stop we pull into Calistoga, at the Northern
end of the Napa Valley, at 3 in the morning! BUT WE ARE HERE!

 Wednesday morning and the plan is RELAX! Get the V-Rod out and a quick ride to the bay area.
Ride to San Francisco and have the duty lunch of chowder, take in the Chocolate factory and then
the long haul back via the Golden Gate Bridge. By now I have discovered California drivers and
Horny squirrels have a lot in common, they are both f…… nuts! However I remember the California
bike rules and no stopping in traffic jams, just ride straight to the front of the queue same as in
the UK. Eventually back up the Napa Valley and its getting COLD!

The Perfect Line!

 Thursday and it’s the wine tasting day and well worth every penny. The driver and limo turn up
on time and we discuss the gameplan. Our driver knows everything about the place and is a wine
buff himself. Several tastings later we at Rutherford Hill and after sampling their goodies find
“the bottle of the day” which is consumed with some wonderful cheeses in their picnic area. A
wonderful day and some great memories, the bad news for the wallet is that this looks like being
a yearly pilgrimage!

 On Friday we set sail for Hollister a mere 130 miles south. Today’s plan is find the venue and
then take Harley down to Clint Eastwood’s “Hogs Breath” bar in Carmel.

Find the first clue at the Park Rangers shack who tells us “teams must take the road up the hill
to the motorcross track”. He forgets to tell me it’s on the right and not on the left!! Having missed
something, which could have been the entrance we proceed for another 8 miles down the single
track before we can turn 60 feet of fun around.

 The effects of wine tasting have taken their toll and Brenda is not quite so keen on the Harley
ride and is considering a little sleep. I take the Yam out for a look at the sections which all look
simple enough and I’m torn between riding and doing the sensible thing and checking to
guarantee the Championship.

 Back at the bus I’m still torn with indecision but eventually common sense takes over. It’s been
a long season and I can win a National Championship simply by checking, or I can ride and take
a chance that things go in my favor. Brenda tells me I will be a pain to live with on the way home
if I have a bad day! Ed Peacock and his wife Evelyn are at the venue and really getting into the
AHRMA thing and have been on the road since Albuquerque and join us for drinks and stories.

 Saturday and I do the checking thing. Boy, this is no fun when you would rather be riding. I get
my 20 points and first ever National Championship and Ed wins the MC Novice class.

 Back home and the Don Morley Royal Enfield Bullet is arriving, so now I have 2 choices and
classes to ride in 2007. The Bullet is going to take some work and the challenge seems a bit
daunting but I’m sure that Brian Crawford can machine me some new parts to make her
competitive.

 One last AHRMA event to cap off the year up at Moab and one last outing for “Glitzmobile”
before concentrating on the Tiger Cub.

The Results came in! …. and the $18,000 AHRMA jacket is mine!!

Thanks to all my faithful support crew of Brenda, Doof the dog, and Rossi. Thanks also to the
people at Monaco for all the laughs and entertainment provided by their RV!

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AHRMA SANDIA 2006

AHRMA SANDIA 2006

AHRMA SANDIA 2006
The RV now has A/C restored and a new DVD, still waiting on the insta hot, but the alignment is
done so we are in good shape. A pleasant easy drive up 17 and along 40 and we are there in
time to position in daylight. As I’ve volunteered to run a beginners trials school set off to find the
organizers and tell them I’m here. Amazingly its cold and windy and not what I was expecting for
late September.

 Friday morning and eventually the class of 06 is assembled and I run through some basics on
set up, maintenance and some do’s and don’ts. Off to a section and go through how to approach
the problem areas and what line we should be looking for. Having talked it to death lets see if we
can ride it. See all the usual problems, knees too close, death grip on the bars, stiff arms and
white knuckles! As the students relax performance improves and now all they need is throttle
control and we will be closing in on the clean!

 Having sorted out the basics and learning the differences between old and new trials bikes
everyone is improving and we move from the 4 line to the 3. The ducks are lining up and they are
taking to it like water! Now let’s try the 2 line…. Hey that’s my line!!

Yes, it’s a bit more difficult and now we need more precision with the throttle and brakes but
they are getting there. All too soon the class comes to and end and now its time for the checkers
school and some dumb arse demos.

Now its time for the trial and I’m riding regardless of who’s here. We start at Section 3  which last
year was really tricky in soft egg timer sand. However this year a lot of grass has grown on the
bank and it surprisingly firm and an easy ride for a clean. Section 4 has some twists and turns
downhill before an interesting uphill adverse right turn to the exit. Lose a silly dab here so no zero
score today! A little cross country to 5, which is causing all manner of problems to everyone. I take
a dab on the downhill off camber entry, get round the left hander and uphill in the loose shale,
then take another on the tight lefthander which Jim has laid out on level ground (damn I don’t like
these ultra tight turns on the flat) and then take another at the exit for a clumsy three!

 Sections 6 and 7 are continuous and are also causing problems. No 6 starts with a drop into a
gulley and then an awkward step and uphill around a bush. Needs a burst then roll off and let her
pull on idle with body well forward. Around the bush, and a steep descent into the gulley then up
and out uphill to the start of 7. Into 7 and a steep downhill criss cross the gulley, around a tree,
back into the gulley and a tight right hander across the roots and a wriggle uphill to the finish.
Surprise myself by sticking exactly to the plan and line and it goes perfectly for a double clean!

No 8 is close by and is easy enough if you stay on the line. Lost a couple on this one last year,
but today it goes well.

A great run back to the start area and I’m in the mood for a bit of this enduro nonsense. Find No1
where we were practicing with the beginner’s school. Well, I talked and walked a good section so
let’s see if I can ride it. No 2 has some tricky bits but a nice idle turn close to the blue ribbon gives
a perfect line for the clean. Not bad, only 4 on lap 1.

 The second lap goes well cleaning 4 where the dumb dab was replaced with a good clean. 5
went well with the first clean on the 2 line and now I’m 4 better than the last lap. Lose a dab on
6 on the tricky uphill turn but clean the rest and 7 as well. Back to the start and only the single
dab on lap 2.

 The last lap and everything goes well and I clean them all.
Championship wise, I now have 5 wins 2 seconds and the awful 3rd. As it’s scored out of 7 I can
now throw out the 3rd which gives me 132 points. Dan still has 124 so unless he goes to Dickson
and wins both he can’t catch me. Well he could finish with 132 but I have 5 wins and if he won
both at Dickson he would only have 4 wins. Well what about this Rod Villand fellow? He has
always ridden at Dickson and that’s this coming weekend, well if he were to win both he would
have 4 wins a 2nd and a 3rd and with 2 events in his area he could get 6 wins and a second for
136. Better check those results to see how he gets on.

 Results are in, Rod takes a second and another win! So, now he has 3 wins, 2 2nd place finishes
and a 3rd for 105….. very interesting, so if he rides the last 2 events in Alabama and Georgia and
wins both he could finish on 5 wins, and 2 seconds for 132, and if we both finish on 132 its down
to age, and I don’t know how old he is?

Tony Down

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AHRMA CASPER 2006

AHRMA CASPER 2006

AHRMA CASPER 2006
The end of August approaches and excitement builds with fond memories of last year’s event.
The troublesome drivers AC has been fixed and we are ready for the 2600 mile trip. The usual
Glitzmobile, 320 Majesty and Brenda’s 125 are loaded and off we go on Thursday morning with a
700 mile leg to Raton NM. All goes well and this year we don’t miss the exit and arrive in good
order.

 Friday it’s an early start as we have to detour off  I25 at Colorado Springs and go along 24 up
into the mountain to a little village called Hartsel some 65 miles off the beaten track. The purpose
of this crazy mission is to pick up the 79 or 80 350 Cagiva which I have won on e-bay for the
princely sum of $182.50! The bendy road would be fabulous on the road bike but is a bit fraught
with mega bus, but we finally make it to the village and meet up with mountain man Vern. Vern
sees us coming and fires up the Cagiva and actually rides it to the trailer. “You mean it actually
works?”

$182.50 0f Cagiva…. Are you quite mad?

 Now a little detour north and the downhill run begins, taking us just to the north of Denver.
Another motorcyclist’s dream road but a nightmare with a 60’ rig! Those arrows on the bends
mean what they say. Eventually back on I25 and now it’s blowing a gale as we pass the Milliken
turn off signs (one year maybe) and continue north to Fort Collins.

As we approach Cheyenne the wind drops, and so does the cloud, and by the time we are
through the capitol its low cloud full headlights and continuous drizzle! Great for trials but a real
pain as we find the new wiper blades (Napa again!) don’t stay in contact with the screen so it’s
a bit like being a mediaeval archer looking through an arrow slit. Onward Sir Tony the Holy Grail
of Wyoming trials is just ahead.

 With 50 miles to the turnoff the weather breaks, the skies clear and the temperature is on the
way up. One final stop for fuel, 2 stroke and LP gas and we are ready for the weekend Navigation
system running the 60’ rig rumbles the last 6 miles to the entry to the ranch. Don’t **** up!

 Somebody with bike on back passes us so problems over and our guide even opens gates for us.
He joins in behind but is not enjoying life as the generator and ac units are blowing dust
everywhere and we look like a hovercraft crossing the channel. Without too much pin striping we
pull into our reserved berth at the ranch which will be our home for the next 2 days.

 Arrival hellos, sign up for the fun not forgetting to buy the tee shirt before they all go. A few
beers and time for food and Fred arrives just in time for the duty steak. Now the house AC is
playing up and the DVD player keeps stopping and going back to the start. All part of the rich
tapestry of life in a RV!

 No phones, no computer, but morning is good with under floor central heating but now the insta
hot water has quit. Just put it on the repair list. Coffee in hand, dogs walked, time to get the bikes
out and get them ready. Just love this slow leisurely start to the trial.

 Start time comes and off we go into round1. It’s an easy starter as a confidence builder and on
to today’s second challenge. A fairly easy entrance then proceed around some rocks, through a
marker, then out wide for a right and left through an awkward hole and out to the finish.

 No3 has some tricky parts, so it’s worth a second look. While waiting get to see some amazing
feats by Keith Wineland as he bobs and hops over everything. Can anything stop these guys?
My turn comes, so in I go and gently over the two log steps, power off turn and down into the
river and the little squirt up the bank. Not quick enough transferring the weight so fly round the
right hander at about 45 degrees of lean, could have been a FIVE but a big handful of power
resolves the problem and for those not in the know it must have looked pretty neat.

 No4 has a multitude of lines but I find one to my liking and wriggle through the trees and mud
for the clean.

The loop is good and we could have had some good sections in and out of the stream but soon
I’m in the clearing at the start of No5. Time for the sponsor’s cigarette as the survey of this little
jewel is carried out. No 5 starts with a gentle drop into some muddy 6” deep slots and on to the
river for a left hander in the water and rocks before setting up for the right hander to the uphill
finish.

A little further and 6 appears, up the rock face, across the adverse, drop into the river then a
squirt across the mud to the checker.

 So far, so good. Half way round and still clean. No 7 has a nice simple entry with a left and right
followed by a turn into the river to line up for a double log step. Over the logs, into some deeper
water, and then change lines to get up the bank.

 Back into the sunshine and a blast up over the hill to No 8. Almost a reverse of last year’s section
and a little tight in places. Through the trees uphill to the round the tree top, with some nasty
rocks exactly where you need to turn. I get to the turn and the wheel bounces off the big rock
sending me outward into more rocks and now I have to turn quite hard to get back into the gully
to stay in the section. A few nasty moments but the result is a clean despite playing to the gallery.
 Now for the infamous No 9 that “Trialsmaster Extrordinaire” Fred, has said will get NASTY! Well
it seems it’s gone the other way and is actually a breeze, even though its mud all the way.
(Though I did see SOMEONE take a dab…..Fred?)

 No 10 is a relatively simple climb through the trees and then the sting in the tail mud hole around
the base of a big tree. I follow the checker’s advice and promptly lose a dab for my trouble! Thinks,
there has to be a better line.

 Eventually find 11 and this looks nasty for the 1 line boys but has shades of 70’s Scotland written
all over it. No problems and on to Lego Land at the start for another clean. So just the one dab on
the first loop which keeps me up with Dan on 2 and the last event double winner, Rod Villand, also
on one.

 Loop 2 goes well all the way until No5 where I plunge straight in without looking and find a log
lying parallel in the chosen rut which swipes the front wheel away losing a dumb dab! 6 through
9 are no problem and a much better controlled line in 8 has me feeling pretty good. Climb up to
the top of 10 for a look at that mud hole and decide on the simpler line. The bike comes to almost
a stop as the power goes on and the eagle eyed checker is hovering over my front wheel like a
hawk watching for any cease of rotation so caution is thrown out the window and I settle for a
centipede three.

 Back at the start Dan has ridden well for just a dab, but Rod has had a disaster on section 3
when the log rolled and stuck under his back wheel so he has lost 10 for the second loop and
to all intents and purposes is out of it.

 Loop 3 and some sections are getting a little more difficult but I sail round clean until No10 which
seems to be the deciding section of the day. I watch and see first Rick Armstrong crash in the hole
for 5 followed by nemesis Rich Palmer, who is riding the 1 line today, also suffer the same fate in
exactly the same spot. Tom Sharkey takes a nice wide line with the fork leg (underwater) just
brushing the tape and rode round for what appeared to be an unnecessary one.

Well that’s the line, now all we have to do is execute the plan! Back in the sunshine at the base
of the hill, and still with sunglasses on I don’t realize quite how dark it is in the wood. Sail in only
to find I can’t see much in the gloom with the shades on and promptly run into a tree for the loss
of 1. Brilliant! Next time I will bring a white stick. Onwards and upwards, and back in the sunshine
for the mud hole. Take the planned line but can’t quite wriggle it in time so lose another for a 2.
Well never mind a good section, that I should have cleaned but didn’t. Meet up with Brenda at 11
and on the easy run out manage to lose another dab while posing for the camera.

2006 Modern Classic Champs, Bob ginder EXP and yours truly INT.

 Back at the start the results are up and Dan has had a great ride to finish on 5 for the day to my
8. Congratulations to Dan, the best I’ve seen him ride and once again second SUCKS!

  The usual Pot Luck evening and Brenda has cooked that Turkey again and it disappears faster
than a labrador dog bowl. The evening turns a bit chilly so its back to the bus with Bob Ginder,
Graham, Mike Parsley, Jim, Travis and Rich Palmer. Beer, wine and stories flow freely and fun is
had by all.

DAY 2

  Sunday and it all starts again. No1 is just behind the RV and I’ve looked at it while walking the
dogs and it looks like another gimmee. Off we go, walk it quickly and just stay on the line, little
gentle step, line her up and up and round the big rock and trickle down to the ends. Not so fast
smarty pants, must have been something I said last night as the fickle finger of fate clefts the
heavens and strikes. As I take the power off and turn the right footrest clobbers the rock and
with my foot still firmly on the rest the bike stalls against the rock! Well unless there are some
real super tricky sections that has ruined the day and we have only just started.

 No 2 is down in the river and shouldn’t cause anyone too much bother. 3 has some tricky rocks
but no problems for me. No4 could get slippery on the long green grass but stay exactly on the
line and all will be well. 5 has some interesting turns which look harder than they are and No 6
doesn’t have a problem on the 2 line.

 So here we are at 7 and this looks a little more ambitious. Several minor hazards on the way to
the top of the section where there is a very tight turn round a protruding tree. As I turn by the
tree some branch gets in the swinging arm operates the brake for me and stalls the motor. What
a fun morning this is turning out to be! Cross the field to 8 which was my favorite last year, but
regrettably it’s not quite so muddy and everyone is cleaning it.

A great clean on 9

 No 9 is a great little section with all sorts of problems but a good ride here for the clean.10 has
a difficult entry with a right hand downhill to an adverse camber, turn left into the river and run
wide to clear a slippery log on the far side, then back across the river to turn through 180 and
back up the other side. Not my best attempt and three single dabs tell the score. 11 and 12 are
the same as yesterday and do not cause any more grief to a disastrous opening loop.

  Getting the proverbial back together I slip through sections 1-9 without loss wondering why I
had made such an awful mess the first time. Section 10 takes me for a 2 but that’s the only loss
on this lap.

  Loop 3 and again clean through the first 4, then take a dab on 5 when enthusiasm overtook
ability and I turned too tight. No’s 6, 7 and 8 all good and then at 9 someone has disturbed the
big log making the entry bloody difficult. Amaze myself by cleaning that part but take a dab on
the exit. Now for 10! Get the entry right, squirt along the adverse, great! Into the river, nice easy
turn, sit back, power over the log, fantastic! Cross the river, turn Ooops! There she goes for1!

  So yes it was cleanable but the dab was pretty good too. Throw away the 2 fives and it would
have been a good ride. Boy do those FIVES suck?

 Dan had another good ride and Rod just managed to get ahead of me thanks to the dumb fives.
It has made the Championship quite intriguing with all sorts of possible outcomes. After 7 rides I
have 125 and Dan has 130 after 8 rides so he must discard one third place of 13 points which
gives him 117. However he is working at Milliken so that gives him another 20 and puts him on
137, but he now has to discard his other 3rd place of 13 and that gives him 124. More news on
this riveting story as it breaks.

 Rod, who dropped back from expert class, has 2 wins, a second and a third for 69 points. So if he
were to ride the Dickson TN events and win both and work at another then he could finish with 129!

 Man, this is not easy! So I have Albuquerque where I can ride, as I like the sand, or check. If I
check I can discard my lamentable 3rd and the score goes to 145 minus the 13 giving me 132.
If none of the opposition are there I could ride and hope for 1st or 2nd and worst case scenario
that would give me 128.  Of course if Dan is in hot pursuit and he were to win then he too would
have 128, but my 4 wins to his 3 would clinch it for me. So, I must see who is at Albuquerque
before the game can be played, and then keep Hollister up my sleeve for a checking 20 if required
and a total of 136.

 With just 5 rounds left and only 2 within driving distance it’s very close and definitely requires a
little gamesmanship.

Damm, that was a lot to think about on the uneventful 500 miler back to the mosquitoes in Raton
NM. Monday morning and away bright and early with hobo pies of scrambled egg and lots of coffee.
These RV’s are the way to go. 400 miles in and well past last years blow out zone its time to take
on gas.  Brenda takes the dogs while I refuel and debug the windscreen. I now commence the
duty walk round (years of aircrew training) and WO! What’s this? The TAG axle tire (American) is
now the shape of a threepenny piece (English) CASTELLATED to the rest of you and is going
nowhere. Fortunately this is a Truck Stop and they have a tire shop which has the tire. 20 mins
later and $350 poorer we are back on the road to Flag. No more incidents and we are home for
once in good order with a major shopping list of RV repairs before Albuquerque.

Tony Down

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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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