SETTING UP SANDIA
The Sandhill in 2005, this will be section 5After a very pleasant arrival party and a whole load of fun on Wednesday night its time to get into
action on Thursday morning and get the sections laid out for Saturday’s trial. Don has already
earmarked 4 for us and designated two huge rock piles for the modern riders to show their skills.
We are looking for 9 sections with Don’s 4 on the Motorsports Park side and then find 5 more
across the road by the landfill.
Bearing in mind this same team has set up trials across the country it is now getting a pretty
smooth and well oiled machine. A mule, and Ed’s faithful Honda are all loaded with, stakes, tape,
marker boards, route arrows, plastic rain bags, hammers, staples and gun, and the big black
By 0930 we are at the first section and follow Don’s instructions as to where he wants the lines
to go. A simple section for 3, and 4 lines and a sting in the tail for the upper classes with a big
deep hole to drop into, turn and then climb out of. Sections 2 & 3 will be modern only, and very
soon Greg and friend arrive to set up those sections on their own. The modern 3 will be adjacent
to our 4 and will be within walking distance from the paddock area which will be good for the
Section 4 is not going to be easy, mark my words! Simple entry to a graduated hill with 4 liners
to run around the base then turn uphill onto the upper track then meander to the downhill portion
with a couple of bumps in the soft crumbly dirt to the exit. 3’s have a higher route a wide gate
across the “crumble”, then a tight left into a rock gate before setting up for a couple of rock runs
to the downhill exit. 2’s turn tighter and 1’s could have lots of fun coming up and down the ridge
with lots of variations in traction between the soft difficult sand and dirt and the pumis type rocks
imbedded in it. A few test rides and then stakes and lines are agreed and in go the markers.
Section 5 as it was in 2005. Same technique required this year
Across the desert to 5 on the hillside in the “egg timer sand”, now this is one where I personally
excel so I’m pleased to see it in the plan. A difficult start off the path through some bushes, uphill
to a line dependant turn, drop back down for what will be the mark taker turn then uphill on
varying routes to the ends cards. We stumble up and down this beauty banging in stakes
everywhere and finally have it set so nobody can escape the mark grabbing turn.
A little ride down the top track to the area where nearly all our sections used to be before the
landfill area was acquired. Don has a monster here which in the past has been a double but today
is going to be a long one! In and up around the bush for everyone except 4. 3 goes diagonally
across the gully while 1 and 2 turn back to their gates and climb the other side. Along the adverse
and turn left descending into deep wash sand then a tightish left hander around a dwarf tree,
1’s go higher up for another bush while 2 and 3 drop back into the bottom before turning for the
exit. That takes us up to lunch so the jury will reconvene and knock out the rest this afternoon.
Same drop in this year, this was taken in 2006. This year “Mick” will be aboard “Superglitz”
The other side of 6 in 2006
Over the road to the back of the landfill we find what will be 7 which is fairly simple for 3’s and 4’s
with an adverse downhill right start then gently cross the soft shale and then power up the big
hill for the cards. 1 and 2 enter but then turn left into a downhill meander to cross the wash and
climb the steep bank, 2’s continue uphill and round another tree before a down and up to the
cards. 1’s drop back in the wash after their turn and then need to get the power on to climb up
the bank which is all crumbly landscaping granite at about 3/4 minus grade.
Two washes over and we come to the charming number 8. A bit more difficult to get into so no
4 liners here. This is a natural gorge cut by winter rains and of course is full of 3″ deep egg timer
sand sediment. A few wiggles up the gorge for 3’s before exiting up the right bank in the 3/4
minus granite to the right of a bush. 1 and 2 get sent to the left of the bush, turn through 180
and power over the gully to the cards. Nice one!
Easy ride back up to the main path and then 50 yards later come in for a gentle ride to the start
of 9 and 10 which are almost joined, but not quite. 9 is a variation on last year dropping into the
down hill wash with varying degrees of “get out” difficulty with a couple of sting in the tail finishes
for 1 and 2.
Turn through 180 after the ends card and straight into 10. An uphill wash with increasing rocks
as the climb continues up the hill. 1, 2 and PI’s get a hard start hazard going left and right to
their challenge then rejoining for an uphill in soft shale then, by their standards, an easier run up
to the exit. 3 and 4 just ride up the wash.
The Trialsmaster declares o’beer thirty so we call it a day leaving Ed and myself to find section
11 on Friday morning and finish off the route marking. Another party night and I actually get the
steaks right despite the grill blowing out on several occasions.
Friday and off early before the cross country crew get under way and following Ed’s instructions
I scout out a nice little finishing section. Starting by the fence with a soft sand wash wandering
between steep banks the 4 liners can stay in the wash, 3 can climb another soft hill then drop
back in while 1 and 2 take on a 2nd gear climb, turn and cross the gully into another full bore climb
in the loose. 1 and 2 go round a tree, cross again and then “S” turn to the finish. By 1030 we are
complete and all route marking is finalised.
Mick Andrews races round the cross country in the same consistent style that won him all those
Gold Medals in ISDT. After that Mick needs to set up his trials machine and then time for the trials
One lump or two ?
Ready for action, bars to HIS liking, throttle no tickover (same), pressures set, and the
Yes, you get to clean it afterwards
The one handed slalom
School over with some novice riders doing things that one hour before would have been out of
their league, that’s progress!
Mick and Jill join everybody for the Bar-b-q and drinking continues around the nomads tents
until insensible…….and tomorrow we trial.
Tony & Brenda