AHRMA VINTAGE TRIALS COTOPAXI DAY 1
Marty Paulson’s gorgeous rigid Beesa
By the time we had finished viewing sections and got back to the start area a good crowd had already
arrived including Derek Belvoir, Len Sims, and Mike Parsley from Tennessee all going for the full week
of vintage trials and a bit of fun riding thrown in. The usual pre event banter around the fire pit and off to
bed and see what Saturday brings.
Another exhibit from Birmingham Small Arms
A warm morning with no wind and the place has filled up with the most noticeable thing being a very
good turn out from the big old bikes some of which are a true credit to their owners. By start time my
guess would be around 40 riders with some familiar faces missing, maybe the crunch or just too far to
Mike Parsley’s Cub on it’s good side
The event gets away on time with 3’s, 4’s and PI’s starting at Section 1 and the 1 and 2 line riders over
on the new section 5 to ease the bottlenecks. A nice warm up section with a large rock for the 1’s to
climb over while 2 riders drop down below the obstacle and take on a mini step into a loose left hander
followed by a wide right in more loose to pass either side of a little fir tree but inside a significant rock
before turning left again in loose dirt at the top of the hill to run out to the exit. I’m in no hurry as on
several of the sections I viewed yesterday there is a fair amount of “gardening” needed to get rid of
low scrub bushes and grass to establish the line. Nobody seems to be having trouble here and the
section is riding as it looks so in we go and get the first clean of the day on the card. Where do we get
these punches? Nearly everywhere we go checkers struggle to get a metal punch to do its job on a
simple piece of paper!
A bit of fun trail riding to shake out the cobwebs and over the back of the ranch to the solid rock section
of 6 which short of a hand grenade is not going to change in this lifetime. The only portion that could
change is the turn area before the line up to the first hazard. From the entry stay by the tape and drop
down a couple of simple steps and take a wide left turn to line up for an adverse slice of rock which will
take marks if you go too far right. There is a 3″ wide ridge that leads over it and thats where I hope to
place the front wheel. A squirt here and line up for another simple step onto a plateau and drop back
on the path to cross the big root to the exit. On form here and the ride goes to plan.
From 6 drop down through the woods to the farmhouse and section 7. A couple of pits with turns, a
climb out over some rocks and another drop before a tightish left turn to take on the crumbly uphill
adverse then ride round the edge before dropping back in down the wide crumbly gully and a left uphill
to the finish. No problems for the Cub but I do see Derek in a spot of bother being dragged up the hill
by the Velo and then Mike Buckholz, who had a clear lead in MC Experts after 2 sections, goof badly
when he missed his own split!
A pleasant ride back to the start and take on 8 at Wehling Falls. Mike has used the falls and the shale
bank to put in some extra traps. We drop into the lower pool then exit onto the bank for an up, down, up
series and then meander back to the lower pool crossing our tracks before climbing out the 3 step
steep exit. Plenty of possible zones for errors but again the Cub makes little of it so off to 1 to see how
that is going.
Up Wehling Falls for the first time
The main line is well developed, nice easy slow climb up around the rock, slip past the fallen tree
and then 3 choices of line through the rocks, or not, and then line up to cross the fallen tree and make
the exit. The line I’ve chosen doesn’t look quite so good when I arrive at the turn in point so I take plan
“B” with a direct assault on the rock pile and this rides nicely and sets me up for a good clean.
? where now…… ?
One of the lady riders on the 3 line
Ed slips by the fallen tree
Rick Wolff in fine form on the BSA
Section 2 which had all the mud last year has the same entry, without the mud, and we sail up onto a
plateau then bump through a tight left hander and back down over a solid rock, set up for an adverse
simple rock then a right, left uphill in the dirt to the exit. Would be great in the mud but today its dry and
easy for everyone.
Down the path to find section 3 which is part of the route and really should be a gimmee for 1 and 2
line riders as its only an uphill path with a kink for 1 and 2. As they say put a BEGINS and END card
anywhere and someone will screw it up! Today is NO exception with two noteable riders taking a dab.
Mike Parsley and……… none other than star rider Bailey Tucker!!!!
What were you thinking on Section 3 ????
Out of here and around to 4 which is my type of section. Today it has a very difficult start position but
looking at it I can just get the backwheel the other side of the entry slab rock if I lift it up a bit and that will
leave the front wheel spindle on the mythical line between the start cards. All looks good and I’m nicely
lined up, without the difficult turn and can do the uphill and into the left turn easily. Checker ready, off I go
……… but only about 2′ when she stalls! First marks of the day,……… stunned disbelief……. how did I do
that? Oh well, flick the shifter up for neutral to restart……. still in gear, back down, ……. still in gear, down
again, ……. still in gear?……. once more, now unless I’ve broken something this must be first! Yep, looks
like in all the positioning I must have caught something and got up into 3rd! Well that wouldn’t have been
a problem had I taken those few seconds are gone through my EVERY Section checklist. 1. Fuel on,
2. In the correct gear, 3. Glasses clean no sweat dribbling in, 4. Quick mental re-run of the walked section
and datum points to hit.
Seems I didn’t do ANY of that! and got the 5 to prove it. Gathering body and soul set off from the start
point and clean the section with ease.
So 5 lost thanks to stupidity on the first loop, out for loop 2 and stick with the wider entry on 1 and that
goes well although my line up for the fallen tree was not the best but I got a clean with a leap over the
log. 2 & 3 are no problem so back to 4 and go through the line up procedure again and this time try the
section in first gear which goes smoothly.
Through the first half of 1
The Leap of Faith Section1
Back to 5 which hasn’t changed so through here and onto the unchangeable 6 which rides well. At the
farm 7 looks the same and some of the loose has packed down. Round the last part of the loop and try
the Falls again which seems a little firmer too. A clean loop so with plenty of time out for the last one.
Stick to the plan B which has worked well and this time hit all the datums spot on.Sail through 2 & 3
and get lined up for 4 which rides well when you are in the right gear from the right start point. 5 & 6
present no moments so down to 7 which I don’t bother to look at and ride straight in, again forgetting
my Golden Rules, bump over the first hazard and find a large rock right in my path and have to take
quick evasive action as it is at my turn in point. Going further into the turn than I want I’m in the loose
crumbles and take a silly dab to get her lined up for the uphill. Score now on 6, and only section 8 to go.
Mike Parsley brings the big Matchless through the Falls
Dumb, dumb, dumb! Round the loop we go and back to 8 at the start where a big crowd has gathered
at the score table. I’m taking a different line to everybody else but stick with it and through the lower pool
and up the first bank and turn right, down the hill and line up with idle power for the uphill when there is
an almighty CLACK, BANG from the back wheel area. Up on the grassy area I can see the noise has got
the whole crowd’s attention and I’m looking back to see whats gone wrong. I still have forward motion
so ignore it and hope the chain stays on for the steps. Up and out and sail through the Ends cards and
now have a look for the mystery noise.
Down the ledge of 8
After the “Clack Bang” the chain is very sloppy!
Up the steps for the last time with the tensioner under my boot
Seems the chain tensioner spring snapped on the downhill and the tensioner just lay at the bottom
acting, fortunately as a chain guide. Well total for the day, 6 which on reflection should have been a clean
card with a bit more application. My main competition has lost 18 so another win and only one more
required for maximum points this year.
Scores are all in with MikeBuckholz getting ahead of Dave Lindeman despite his dumb 5. Bill Brokaw
took the win over Bob Strohman, in MC Int. Mike Parsley and Derek were riding together on the big
bangers finishing on 12 and 14 with Mike just getting ahead. Easy wins for Dan Straka who has his
Championship wrapped up and another win for Hugh making Casper the showdown with Fred. Len
Sims and Marty Paulson battled it out in Rigid Exp with Len getting by on the Lightweight. MC Novice
had a host of riders with Shane taking top slot. Bailey won his class despite the 1 on the gimmee
New tensioner spring fitted and now time for the Pot Luck which as always has some very pleasant
dishes with all the ladies swapping recipes.