COTOPAXI 2010 DAY 1

COTOPAXI 2010 DAY 1

COTOPAXI 2010 DAY 1

Let Battle commence !

A warm but windy morning, but despite the blowing dust the wind is warm. A good entry with several
regulars missing with some finding the bite of the recession beginning to hurt. Ralph Foster from
California and Derek Belvoir along with Len Sims and Rick Wolff not to be seen. Marty Paulson, Mike
Parsley and the entire Lindeman family all missing but we still seem to have around 40 riders to enjoy
Ed’s efforts.

The Enfield was running yesterday and the top end seems clean and powerful but the bottom end off
idle was not as crisp as I would like it, so once again she sat on the sidelines as the No Excuse Cub
set off in pursuit of the Classic Experts Championship.

1 & 2 liners will start at the falls and then catch up with the rest who are starting at Section 1.  I watch
many riders through the falls and all seem to be coping well with just the odd mistake. I enjoy a simple
ride through clean but Ed wasn’t quite so lucky catching the shifter on the exit rocks, dumping him in
neutral and then a nasty crash into the hole to break the front brake lever!!

First time through the Falls

Section 1 rides the same as last year and if you stay on line is even easier for all lines as some of
last years rollers have either vanished or been beaten into the hillside. Stray off the line and the hill
will bite!

Up the first step of section 1

It will bite if its not spot on ! …..bad luck Rick

Everyone is called RICK today !

Dave trundles the Gold Star through 1

Out to “Split Rock” and see a few marks being squandered on off line hazards and even see Eugene
collect a 5 for missing a split. In I go, over the first hazard and idle turn left and then a right 180 to drop
off some rocks, reposition and squirt up the gully into an idle left turn to the cards. 1/3  of the way
round and clean so far.

Good fun track out to 3 and 4 with Mike Buchholz in charge on 3 and Todd Tucker doing duties on 4.
3 has a curving uphill in the granite marbles and then 3 choices of line from the upper plateau, either
straight on past the tree, or turn tight onto the lower ledge or a 45 left turn to slip behind another fir tree
before coming onto the ledge and then dropping off into a tightish right hander to the exit. I see some
of the Novices is trouble and one or two 5’s through a mixture of inexperience and inability. I elect to
take the last of the 2 line options and it rides smoothly for a nice clean.

4 has two options from the start but using a lower line will make the climb harder and add another
twist. I take on the more direct route with the dips and sail up the hill between the big rocks and keep
the power on until the upper trail. Idle and front brake down the steepish track to the ends cards for
clean number 5.

More narrow track riding to 5 appropriately called “The Maze”. Several tight lines through the pines
with a variety of traps for everybody and I see Dan Straka and Bob from Wyoming having trouble with
the PI line both mounted on short wheelbase Cubs ! The 2 line enters with a right, left into a downhill
right in the loose to an uphill tight right (my best side) between two more firs and then another left turn
to the flowing exit …… it goes well but I had to fight for it with weight/balance and power but its another
very pleasing clean.

Just 6,7 and 8 to go and 2 of these I had predicted would be the mark grabbers. A long look at 6 which
has people struggling with the first right hander and then a lot more rotovation has taken place at the
exit coming off the bed rock onto the loose dirt uphill turn. The first turn goes well, and now a twister to
get on a bed rock ridge to get up to a narrow top trail, still on line with no “moments”, now down and up
another angled piece of bedrock before a 45 cut at the exit cards. One less problem over so round the
cliff to 7 where I had not forseen any problems as nothing could change here unless you were riding a
backhoe!

Simple entry and downhill crossing a ditch before a turn in the ball bearing marbles of granite …… line
up for a solid ridge in the rocks then drop off into a generous wide right hander over rocks and a run
out to the cards. 8 cleans, just that nasty No 8 by the garage to complete the loop.

Spend a good time here watching this one and as expected marks are going everywhere! Every line
has rollers with very little leeway between the trees. Seems like the best line will be the widest entry
which takes you over the worst jagged rocks but might give enough room to turn and line up for the
upper cluster.  Several front wheel washouts and a lot of centipede threes. Ed takes a slightly higher
line on the smoother run but this makes the uphill turn tighter but he takes a planned dab which
was the best effort I’d seen and it looked to be going well until the front wheel rolled off one and his
front wheel went the wrong side of the exit tree.

My effort went well with a good precise turn, power and weight shift and a burst over the jagged pile
on the left side through the fir sapling and I’m out for the only clean of the first loop. A very pleasing
zero first loop so perhaps the lack of riding time is making me work harder ?

Entering the Falls on loop 2

Out on loop 2, but knowing the “roller” problem stop and walk them all and clean 1 through 4 using
the previous lines which had worked well. At 5, “The Maze” my traveling group are not having a good
time with some uncharacteristic 5’s. I walk the line a few times and apart from the dirt turn being
deeper stick with the same plan and it rides well enough apart from the front fork catching the tree on
the uphill exit of the tricky first turn which results in an off balance tipee toe dab for the first loss of the
day.

Over at 6 people are cutting up the first turn and the exit area is also getting chewed up. First turn
goes well with a little work to get to my line and I take the exit higher and faster coming off the
bedrock which worked well. No changes on 7, so back to 8 to see what sort of chaos has taken
place here.

Yet more rollers, and more loose dirt and it seems everyone is still struggling with this one. Eagle
eyed checkers are not letting any “gardening” boots come into play so having considered several
other lines stick with what worked first time round and all goes well until the back wheel skipped off
one just before the jagged cluster and another foot down doubles my score. No problems with the
Falls for a 2 loop total of 2. Certainly within the realms of possibility to have gone clean but 2 isn’t
bad.

Loop 3 on the first step of 1

Hugh Campbell on the second turn of 1

Final loop and sail through 1-4 again having walked them all just to be on the safe side. At The Maze
take a slightly wider line and glide through with perfect chuffing power. A spirited ride down the steep
track to the ranch and back to 6 to see what has happened here. Looks to be the same but on that
first turn I don’t get the weight right and pay the penalty with an inside dab taking my total to 3 for the
day.

7 for the last time and back to 8. Things have got worse here, and now any of my planned routes are
littered with boulders and lots of loose dirt. It would be easy enough to use the slightly higher line and
take a planned dab but having almost cleaned it last time I elect to go for the clean. Bad mistake on
my part as everything moves where I want to go and I have to fight to get through for a three! That
doubles the day’s total in one go! Oh well, thats trials as they say.

Through 9 for the last time to complete a very enjoyable and testing event.

Last time through the Falls

With the first day trial over time to think of the evening festivities and much cooking is taking place on
the barbie which has been repositioned behind the start area out of the never ending wind. Another
good spread of food and pot luck surprises.

Ahrma jackets and No1 plates are handed out to those that didn’t make the DD’s Banquet and it
looks like the Rocky Mountain regulars took home a good haul of the prizes. I think we made more
National Champions than any other region!!

MC Experts                                        Mike Buchholz

MC Intermediate                              Bill Brokaw

MC Novice                                          John Dowson

Rigid Lt Expert                                   Len Sims

Rigid Hwy Expert                              Marty Paulson

Rigid Hwy Intermediate                   Rob Stickler

Prem Lt Expert                                  Len Sims

Prem Lt Intermediate                      Fred Martinson

Classic Expert                                   Tony Down

Classic Intermediate                        Dan Straka

Prem Hwy Expert                              Derek Belvoir

So it looks like if you want to get one of these prizes you really should come and ride all the rounds
in CO, WY and UT !!!

TONY DOWN

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