On the Road again 2008 begins

 Tuesday morning and we set off fairly close to the scheduled time with the plan of 665 miles to
cover to the night stop in Pecos TX.

Ostrich ranch outside Tucson

The run takes us South on I10 to Tucson and then across the bottom of New Mexico and into
Texas. A very windy leg with lots of blowing dust but it does enjoy some fast freeways of 80
mph so we can keep the average up. On the way to Tucson a phone call from an old friend,
Sheldon Hefler, who is going to be there for the event and maybe next year will be making a
full attack on the Modern Classic Expert Championship, and quite honestly if he does I can’t see
anyone beating him.

Sheldon in top form last year

A bit of roadwork in Tucson (must be an ongoing project!) refuel in the wind and push on to
Walmart at Pecos. An incident free run and now we have slipped through 2 time zones so a bit
of TV and then a good sleep.

Doof ready to reverse after refuelling

Day 2 and another 107 gallons of fuel goes in and away we go on the 80 mph freeway of I 20.
Our navigation system decides to take us along I 30 and then back on I 20 so we follow the
instructions and after another refuelling the other side of Dallas we are left with the last 150
miles to Jefferson and the swamps!

Arrive in daylight and find we have a reserved slot (very nice) and after parting with $240!!
(damm these AHRMA events are getting expensive!) we drive round the hard road to our
assigned slot which is very close to Ed and Evelyn Peacock and nearly all the berths have fresh
broken pottery to stop everybody sinking in to the hubs. Duly docked, power on, time for a
couple of beers and then some chili courtesy of Evelyn.

Thursday morning join in with the layout party and see what the team of Trialsmasters, Don
Kelly, Rob Poole and Ed and Evelyn have designed and set off to finish up the sections and check
for those “cheater” lines. Section1 is more or less the reverse of last year and looks simple
enough in the dry but might change if we get the expected downpour tonight. Section 2 is very
close and a new one going over some fallen moss covered trees and then a series of turns
before a daunting criss-cross of more trees leading into a tight left hander round a tree just
before the ends cards. Trialsmasters abound with yet more tape to seal off more cheater lines
that personally I would not have seen as being a help to anyone!

Between the walls in the ruins of section 4 last year

Over the railway to 3 which is a reverse of one of last years and should ride well in this
direction unless it gets a lot of flood water in it. All the way round the road to Section 4 in the
ruins with the “little mice” on top of all the concrete bollards. A tricky entry downhill turn
between the walls, the up and over the berm for 1 & 2 liners and then around the tree with
the gnarly roots. A bit more room than on previous years but then its up onto the big concrete
block with a 90 turnoff into a choice of through or round a bollard. I did see a very easy cheater
line here and we closed this one off with the stroke of a pen!

5 was our last one for the morning and had a whole series of adverse banks that could go either
way in the wet from, padding in and being very easy or very slippery verging on downright

After lunch we meet up at 6 which is a new section and should ride well and comprises a couple
of tree crossings and an uphill climbing exit. 7 is way down on the levee and is a variation on one
used in previous years. A long twisting downhill in the pine needles before the narrow adverse
back up into a right hander in the needles before a run to the exit. The natural line would put you
into another turn but closer inspection shows there is another way out.

Down to the end of the property an old favourite, No 8, with its up and downs in the trees by
the railway line. Looks “doable” but the last uphill might be interesting after a lot of rain?  Back
on the lower track to 9 in another pile of ruins and where I “blew” it last year on the last lap!
This time we are coming the other way round and in dry conditions it is technical and if wet????

Finally up to the last section which is a new one and the way it is I can’t see many marks being
lost so I would call this the AHRMA gimmee. Just some route marking to put out and the job is

Back in the pleasant RV parking area things are getting busy as all and sundry arrive. Now I
personally have nothing against moto-cross riders but, they sure are a different breed. It seems
they must all be on top of each other and on arrival there is much shunting of vehicles to get as
close together as possible. Then when the trucks,trailers and RV’s have formed up its time to put
up the “easy-up” bike canopy. Now drag out all the bikes and start them up in turn making,
seemingly, as much noise as poss to advertise your arrival, a bit like a dog marking it’s spot.

This ritual continues until around mid night when Ed’s new neighbors arrive and make camp all
round him blocking every which way! Prior to this Brenda wants to put out all the new black and
red chairs and carpets which I make comment that it might not be a good idea as it is forecast
to rain…… however the chairs and rugs go out and the moto-cross guys ride all over them!

During the night the train wakes up everyone with it’s whistle which went on for a good 20
minutes. Now that was at 2 a.m. and then at 3 a.m. it starts raining and storming. 4 a.m. and
a noisey moto-crosser takes a ride??? is this for real? 0600 and I’m up and it’s still raining and
the forecast is for more. Lakes all round us, thunder and lightning and lots more people riding
over Brenda’s rugs……. all this all we haven’t got to the trial yet!

Tony & Brenda and 4 wet and muddy dogs, not forgetting the carpets.

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  • 4/18/2008 8:50 PM Steveo wrote:
    Nice comment,comparing noisy bikes and dogs,marking their spots.Hard to beat the quietness and skills required to competently ride a trials bike!Weather sounded a bit challenging,I sure would like to see that venue some year,Steveo
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