Last weekend’s Dolores Escalante Days Trials are now in the history books, the event was ridden,
clean up completed, and reports written. A final site walk round and the return of the treasured keys to
the dump.

So what did we learn? ….. well it seems that locally there are quite a few trials and ex-trials riders
lurking in the Colorado woodpiles so I really need to get on this one and get them out for some
practice sessions in the coming months.

Secretary John sold his 76 pristine TY175 to local business man Casey who has a son and daughter
who both ride and although Casey rode the bike in the Saturday competition returning Best Beginner I
think he wants either a modern or a good TY250A model for himself. Walt encouraged his friend Steve
Olsen out for the Sunday event and local Cortez man Waldo joined the fun on his 4RT. Also running
was Kirtis from Mancos on his 2011 Gasser and he did pretty well in his first ever competitions and
now has a taste for it big time!!

Currently benched through a knee injury is our NEW prospective DA, Will Furse. He has a 2011
Gasser as well and has also never ridden a competition……… how many more are out there just
waiting for something local to come along ?

Maybe get the word out to all are other interested states…… UT failed to show with Travis booked in
but also benched with another MX knee injury, Jim Lipscomb sailing  the 7 seas and no reply from
Lee. AZ CAT had a trial that weekend in the AZ heat !! …. and most of NM seems to be wrapped up
in this Cannon Ball thing. Well we WILL keep trying.

The excellent articles that The Dolores Star and Cortez Journal produced attracted a lot of interest and
for a small event we were blessed with about 30 spectators a day, and as it turns out would have been
more if I had sign posted the place.

Amazingly we recieved TWO offers of land to use which I shall certainly follow up on and maybe run a
couple of fun trials or practice sessions in the near future before the snows arrive.

In the middle of a dull session of driveway weeding Stewart from the Chamber of Commerce drove up
and presented ITSA Mountain West with an award ! I’m thinking this must be a first for any portion of
ITSA ….. seems they like us were very pleased with our contribution to the Town Parade and want us
back next year.

I’m already mentally thinking of something a little special perhaps in the form of a giant low loader
from Casey’s rock company that we can ride over as it trickles down the parade at walking speed.
Just waiting for today’s Dolores Star to see if we got a mention and then I’ll reproduce all the local
coverage on here.

Vintage motorcycle event in Dolores

Escalante Days home to unique gathering of classic bikes

Tony Down shows off his 1964 English Triumph Tiger Cub, a motorcycle he plans on riding in the first vintage motorcycle trials event coming to Dolores Saturday and Sunday. Enlargephoto


Tony Down shows off his 1964 English Triumph Tiger Cub, a motorcycle he plans on riding in the first vintage motorcycle trials event coming to Dolores Saturday and Sunday.

When it comes to riding motorcycles, Dolores resident Tony Down never likes to do it the easy way.

“We ride motorcycles over terrain, you wouldn’t choose to walk over,” Down said with an English
accent and a smile.

Down, 65, has been doing exactly that since he was 17, riding motorcycles over very difficult terrain
and not only living to tell the tale but competing against others all over the world.

“The objective is to do it without putting your feet down,” he said.

This Saturday and Sunday, Down will compete in an event he has put together in Dolores, giving riders
from around the country a chance to compete and discover Dolores and a chance for Dolores residents
to discover a new sport.

In order to compete in the two-day Vintage Motorcycle Trial, one must own a vintage machine, circa
1955-1985. Down will ride his 1964 English Triumph Tiger Cub.

It’ll go over rocks, trees, mud, rivers, steep banks and fallen trees.

“You name it, we will go over it,” he said.

While the motorcycles at this upcoming event will mostly be classics, Down said the riders are classic

“Vintage bikes are usually ridden by vintage riders so to speak,” he said. Riders start in their 40s and
range up to their mid-70s.

The motorcyclists in this event will compete for the lowest score and bragging rights; no cash prizes
are given out in this event. A competitor is watched closely as they go over each 20- to 60-yard course.
If a rider puts down his foot, he is awarded one point. And if he puts down another foot he is awarded
two points. The maximum points in one section is five, Down explained.

The riders usually have about five hours to negotiate 12 different sections and they can ride each
section three times. When the dust settles, the rider with the lowest score wins.

“If you do a section perfectly, you get a zero,” Down said.

While the competitors aren’t usually handed cash prizes, riders compete in a circuit and at various
events across the country. Having this year’s event on Escalante Days just fits in with the racers’

Down said he is excited to host the first day of the event on Aug. 11. The riders will all be at the end of
the parade and will keep going down to the end of Central Ave., the location of the first day of events.

Down plans to use the parking lot near the People’s Cemetery to stage different obstacles for riders.
They will ride on land belonging to the Town of Dolores, the old BMX track and rocks and obstacles
near McPhee Reservoir.

“A lot of people coming are looking forward to Escalante Days too,” Down said. “Wives and girlfriends
who normally get bored can wander down and check things out.”

Plaques and photographs line the halls of the Cozy Comfort RV Park in Dolores, which Down owns
with his wife Brenda, commemorating the 40-plus years that Down has been in love with the sport.

When asked about his biggest accomplishment, English-born Down thinks back to the 1970s when
he rode in the Scottish 6-Day Trial, which was 1,200 miles, that’s 200 miles a day across the Scottish

“Since it’s Scotland, it is always pouring rain,” he said.

When asked how he did.

“I finished,” he said. “I finished all eight times I was in it.”

There are modern day motorcycle trials with modern equipment. The routes seem nearly impossible
and require gravity defying feats. Those that compete in the vintage motorcycle trials prefer the older motorcycles, opting for equipment they can work on, equipment they are familiar with and routes that
won’t send them to the hospital if a wrong move is made.

Another interesting fact: Most trials motorcycles don’t have seats. Riders stand up as they negotiate
the obstacles.

On Sunday, riders will compete across the highway for the Dolores Public Lands Office at the Town of Dolores’ materials yard; access is off Road T.5.

Down said the sport is spectator-friendly and hopes Dolores will turn out to watch.

Down expects about 20 to 30 riders to attend the event.

For more information, call Down at the Cozy Comfort RV park at 882-2484.

Tony Down competing in the Scottish 6-day trial in 1975. The race is 1,200 miles long. Enlargephoto

Courtesy photo

Tony Down competing in the Scottish 6-day trial in 1975. The race is 1,200 miles long.

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  • 8/22/2012 11:54 AM Rich wrote:
    The CAT event (Hualapai Mtn Trial) was good but I was quite torn about not being able to attend your inaugural event. Looked to be quite the success! I will attend, just give me another chance.
    Reply to this
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