ESCALANTE DAYS TRIALS DAY 1
ESCALANTE DAYS TRIALS DAY 1
ITSA Mountain West banner flies proudly at the Cozy
The ITSA Mountain West Banner flies proudly at the Cozy Comfort denoting a new home for Vintage
Trials in South West Colorado. Sign up begins in the Shade Garden with ITSA T shirts available for the parade.
John and Hazel in the “new” ITSA T’s ready for sign up
John and Dan model the new parade shirts
Up far too early, must have slept badly or had a dog on me as my back is very sore. I’ll try the duty
dose of Ibruprofen and see what happens. The body is slow to respond this morning so lets hope the
brain can convince everything else that I really want to do this. After two weeks of cutting brush, rolling
rocks, laying tape and hammering stakes into bullet hard ground I can see why a lot of Trialsmasters
elect not to ride on the day of the event.
Brenda’s TY125 is ready for parade action
The town goat takes breakfast at the Fire Station
It maybe today that I’m effectively running a 36 section trials school for the beginners, of which I think
we may have 4 !! 2 of the 4 elected to ride the 3 line but they DID have the chance to improve
confidence on the 4.
Getting ready for the off
0915 and we set off to form up in the Town Parade……. the usual shambles that you would expect from
an unrehearsed event but we eventually set off all wearing our new ITSA Mountain West T shirts. Wolfie
and John Clement ended up on the inside of the kiddies train that was going round in circles, a sort of reverse Indians and wagon train theme. A huge turnout from the town and a lot of people in for the
weekend from the neighbouring communities. Respects paid to the burnt down Hollywood bar we ride
on to our start at the Cemetery and the usual briefing ritual. With Hazel and Brenda manning the score
table the trial gets underway at just after 11 a.m.
Brenda all smiles as the parade begins
Yes, that “thing” is a Rokon
Big crowds at the town hall
The log stops here in front of the old Hollywood
My group starts at No 10 on the old BMX track and my 2 beginners, father and son Casey, get their
very first taste of a trials section. As I have said many times before it doesn’t matter how simple or hard
the section is as soon as you put up 2 pie plates with “Begins” and “Ends” on them chaos will ensue
as the mind sets all the nervous systems into full alert mode.
Now for those not really in the “know” all the 24 sections that have been set are NOT designed to be
cleaned by the entire entry, they should be safe, challenging, and realistic of what Vintage trials
machines are designed to do. Of course I can lay out a course that gives easy, safe, simple sections
that wouldn’t challenge anybody riding a push bike…… but that is NOT trials and becomes a farce very
quickly with many riders returning clean score cards…….enough said, and while the Editorial rant
continues perhaps when a trials school is offered then several souls should take advantage of it and
see the difference it will make to their performance and enjoyment.
At 11, which I envisage as the hardest section of the day, I’m not expecting more than a couple of
cleans all day on any of the 1,2 or 3 lines. Casey SNR makes it through on the 4, while son CJ comes
very close. The Cub sails up the big loose hillside but the final lefthander up by the fence takes me for
a dab, yes it is deliberately hard. The key on this one is INERTIA ! I see quite a few failures here as
many fail to get the power on early enough .
12 is right behind the start ( Jose please note) and has naturally drawn a big crowd. I wasn’t sure
how this one would go as after a gentle uphill lefthander in the trees on rolling river rock the next
hazard looked very daunting with the dark dried mud covered rocks. It actually rode much better than I expected but with that portion done the uphill S to the road on more river rocks caused problems for
those not on the line or using too much power!!
Kirtis in a spot of bother on the exit from 12
Young CJ was looking good at this stage
Father, Casey walks the Yam out of 12
1 line rider John “showboats” the exit of 12 as a crowd pleaser
Now a sequence up the double turns of 12 for the beginners to show counter weighting or as it is
otherwise known “Body English” …….. by a body english.
Knees wide apart as the bars are turned Left and body weight begins to
shift to the outside of the turn
With the turn established to the left the weight is to the right and the inside
arm should be nearly straight
Changing direction, and on a slight adverse, the weight transfers to the
left side and the right arm straightens
More “showboating” for the cameras and crowd but it does show the full
“body english” stance with a fully straight right arm
No 1 by the tow path at the start also had a good crowd of spectators. Downhill start, 4’s follow the
blue ribbon and Casey is through for a good clean and is clearly beginning to enjoy this new trials
sport as the nerves subside. The 2/3 line had been softened after layout with the cards placed lower
down to give the 3’s plenty of time to get on line and join the 4 line to the exit. 2’s complete a right 180
into rocks and uphill loose prior to the exit. It rides smoothly for me but I can feel the rear wheel
rotating stones behind me.
John makes the rocks of 1 look easy but takes a dab on the grass!!!!!!!!
Kirtis beginning to relax and getting to terms with this english body thing
Smooth ride through 1 from Dan as wife Colleen looks on
The 180 turn at the bottom of the hill in 1
Cresting the ridge in the rolling rocks
Simple turn out at the exit
Off to the farthest point on the loop which was our section under the bridge with the exit up a flight of
stairs. As I’m not hearing any complaints about it I assume its riding well and the only problem on any
line is just keeping the concentration going on the loose gravel and wide open turns. A photographer
asked if he could take pictures at 2 so maybe they will be in this week’s Dolores Star (Friday).
Section 3 is right beside the tow path and is all solid rock affair with 1,2,3 all following a common line
before turning through their gates to the exit. 4’s stay up top but do get a few rocks to ride over.. Good
and solid on my walk through and rides nicely for the clean.
Now time for the first group of “1 line for all” with the continuous sections 4 & 5. These took an age to
find a suitable line through and I must have spent nearly 2 days designing something rideable for ALL classes. Bouncing through 4 brings back happy memories of riding rocky trails in the SSDT. Through
4 with the clean but a dab on the corner of 5 when an unexpected rock from a previous rider appears
bang on my intended line.
6,7, & 8 is where I’m expecting on getting complaints about the severity of the downhill, but there is no
other way in. Casey is in, and cleans all 3 subs looking like a seasoned professional !!! My attempt
and another dab is in the books on entry to 8. Please don’t tell me its too hard if a first timer, first time
on a trials bike, no practice, and first trial can clean all 3. Brenda has moved over to 6,7, & 8 with her
supercleaned Nikon but after 1 shot the battery dies!!! …. it will be FULLY charged tomorrow !
Just before the battery died a great picture of Jose cleaning 6 and about
to enter 7
Only 9 left for our first loop and now as I walk it I’m thinking perhaps I did place the gates a little too
tightly. Casey cleans the 4 easily while I get in an almighty mess for a 3 doubling my total up to 6 for
the loop. 1 down 2 to go.
Loop 2 starts well with easy cleans on 1 & 2 and then a surprize on what was the solid path of 3 for a
double dab. 4 goes well again and this time a pleasing clean on 5 at last. Clean the 3 subber of 6,7 &
8 and now back to 9 and time for another look. Take a bit more care is really the answer here. Nearly
get the first turn right but forced into a safety dab, too late into the second turn so another lofted dab turn
for the 2 but still better than last time….. it can be done.
No problems at 10 but 11 is really cutting up at the top turn by the fence. Good line up, a little fast at the
turn, pull round dab and very nearly need another to avoid the cable !! Second loop 1 better for a total
of 5. Back at the table Dan had 10 on his first loop and also had 5 on his second. Better not waste the
4 point advantage today !!!
Loop 3, and another nice ride through 1-4 without penalty and 5 looks easier on this loop but a dumb
dab is lost on that infuriating turn. 6 & 7 good, dab on 8. Catch up with Dan on 9 who takes a 2 and I
replicate the same. Ok on 10 and over to the uncleaned 11. Fast up the hill, maybe too fast, looking
good …. the oh so nearly dab…… but it could be done !! Serious walk on 12 looking for rollers in the far
bank minefield but it is still solid and rides well. Total 5 for the loop so 16 for the day and Dan just
behind on 20.
End of Day 1
A review of the day shows Neal broke his thumb in a weird crashing 5, young CJ decided he needed
more practice after stumping his thumb nail, father Casey (nothing to do with the Church) finished as
best beginner showing a lot of talent and enjoying his new (ex John) TY. John Clement said 2 sections
were impossible on the 1 line….. I agree !! Bill Todd sheared off his footrest, my right side suspension
locked down …… do we have a rigid class ? and newcomer Kirtis romped round on the Gas Gas riding
the 2 line to finish his first ever event. Hist Nov had their usual battle with Walt edging John today…..
that class is VERY close.
Back through town, time for a lot of that DRB mild (it was hot and we were dehydrated, thats my
excuse and I’m sticking with it) time for awards and the good old pot luck.
Nearly time for awards
A talented ride from first time ever Beginner Casey
Bill Todd is looking for a welder ? Saturday evening in hodunkum Dolores in the middle of a holiday
weekend??? Fortunately for him (not me) I have the left side SM Tiger Cub footrest which has been strengthened but could be made to fit if I can drill through 1/2″ of steel and then cut off the original
hanger mounts….. about 2 hours later, covered in metal filings, hot ash and minus 2 Makita wheels
and a load of blunt drill bits the footrest is done !!
A lot of steel to cut off with the Makita
Footrest done!! you will go to the Ball
Its too late to look at the Cub suspension problem and after burning myself to a crisp with the Makita
I’m even thirstier than I was before.
The Right shock off the Rigid Cub