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
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
$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
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
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
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.
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
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.