Sadly Brenda’s accident has closed the door on any trials riding for the next 6 weeks or so as she will
be on crutches until she can put weight on her foot. I will therefore be missing Steamboat, but I’ve
never done it anyway, and of course one of my season favorites the Donner 2 Day.

2007 Donner Section 1 behind the lodge

Looking back at Donner I have always had some great rides there even if the sections and event is on
the easier side. The sections always look daunting but tend to ride a lot better than they look. Over the
years, 2006  being the first, it has always been very close on the scoring and a single mistake can often
mean the difference between success and failure.

2006 was the first go and I was riding against some stiff opposition with Rich Palmer and Dan Straka
all after the MC Int Championship. It had been a “nip and tuck” season but I was holding the lead after
the first 3 rounds at Wittman and Perris. At Wittman I rode the Ossa and had a good ride beating Rich
by a couple of points on one section that the Ossa was in it’s element on.

On form at Perris 2006

Moving to Perris for the 2 Day at the old site we all had “clean rides” on Day 1 which resulted in the
Age Tie Break rule coming into effect. With 4 of us putting in zero cards it was decided on the age rule
with me having a 10 year advantage. Rich and Dan were both 49 so it then came down to the month
with both of them born in May. Still tied so down to the day! Turned out Dan is 2 days older so a big
7 points Championship wise between first and third with a ZERO score.

Where the “dab” was lost Day 2

The second day at Perris was the same with Rich and I once again level on 1 point. So with the tie
break in force again I leave the event with 40 points and Rich and Dan with 29 a piece.

The magnitude of the sections at Donner

At Donner I managed a very clumsy dab in the very first section but then rode the rest of the loop clean
and see Rich drop one on the last section by the lodge so we are equal going into the second loop
where we both go clean. Third loop and still clean coming to the last. I’m no sooner in the section
when the back wheel finds a roller and I take a miserable tippy toe dab……… Rich enters and hits a
rock with his front wheel nearly stopping him dead but miraculously manages to shoot over a
completely untried and unwalked line and fights his way through for a very well earned clean.

Day 1 where it was won and lost

Day 2 and on about section 4 Rich goes the wrong way and misses a split which the checker was on
immediately. Dan and I clean the first loop and all of us get through the first 9 of loop 2 without incident
until Dan stalled the little Honda on the last section. So going out on loop 3 I have a 5 point lead over
the others which as it transpires I don’t need as I end up with a clean card for the day. Rich and Dan
are tied again on 5 points and once more the tie break drops Rich to third with that 2 day difference.

Day 2 and a zero card 2006

2007 and the first year on the Cub having a crack at the Premier Lightweight Expert Class. The Cub
was still in the development stage but on reflection had no bearing on the results here, so all goes
well until a two line section comes up and I can’t make up my mind  having cleaned both options on
the earlier loops. Take the “wrong” one and the front plows losing a silly dab. Nick Turner has ridden
well for a zero score so second place today on 1 point! The next day the tables are turned and I secure
the win.

2007 and the “one point ” day

2008 and with all the Cub mods now done I sail round 3 loops for a zero score then take the big
Enfield out for another faultless ride on the easier PI line. Day 2 and the Enfield completes 3 loops
for the loss of a single point. With 7 rides at Donner and only having lost 7 points in all those rides
I’m somewhat peeved I won’t be there this year.

2008 and another zero card

The big Enfield still on a zero run

Next event for me will be Cotopaxi at the end of August and then the Casper 3 Day Spectacular, and
then depending on how the Sandia debacle goes maybe a 1 Day there or a 2 Day at Bull Hollow on
my doorstep and then all being well the trip to Napa and finish off the season at Hollister Hills in

The last of the current round of garden projects is now underway with the creation of the front Heather
and Conifer bed. Its been a while but I’m getting there!

Let’s all hope she doesn’t break anything else.


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  • 6/29/2009 11:12 AM rich wrote:
    What a difference a day makes!

    Sadly I will miss Donner (again) -this time to attend the MotoGP at Laguna Seca.
    Get well soon Brenda – good wishes to all.
    Reply to this

  • 6/30/2009 7:42 AM Jim Beville wrote:
    Hello Tony, Have recently found your blog and am enjoying your writing immensely. I recently got back to offroad riding after a 20 year hiatis. I rode motocross and vintage motocross for many years and then quit to mess with antique airplanes . Just started riding vintage trials with Mid- Atlantic vintage trials this year on a 1981 SWM. Sorry to hear of your wifes’ health problem, hope she recovers quickly. Since you have some down time, would you please do a article about bike controls(bars,levers,ect.) and the best way to set them up for vintage trials.Thanks, Jim Beville, Linden ,Va.
    Reply to this
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