TAPING UP PART 1
One good thing about cliff, river and natural canyon sections is that it doesn’t involve miles and miles
of tape ! Remembering back to our first mission at Bull Hollow last year when Ed, John and myself set
out the “no splits” 25 sections a day ITSA style event we used over 8000′ of tape!!!! This should be a
8000′ of this used at Bull Hollow last year !
Difficult to find a “cheater line” on the edge of a cliff, who knows whats in the river ? and when you are
in a canyon you are IN ! Have to confess after 2 months work at this I’m really looking forward to seeing
the finished article. There have been highs and lows, sagas of misadventure, plans, replans, and a
host of issues due to the trials virginity of the land. Its not as though I’m turning up at a faithful yearly
used site and playing “variations on a theme” by using tested and true sections that require minimal
brush and branch removal and a well proven loop that all ability levels can safely negotiate. This has
been TRIALS IN THE RAW !
True, if you find something worthwhile !
O’head shot of Casey’s Can you see me ? I’m the one waving for help
Time to offload all the essential Trialsmaster kit from the Safari that I picked up from John at Sipapu
….. and no my wrist still hurts but no wimping! Haven’t checked everything but looks like I have more
than enough to start the operation. Still tidying up loose ends, a bit more pruning here and there, and
a last bit of the Day 2 loop to complete where we come back down from Casey’s Graded Climb.
A little over two weeks so I’ll chance my arm and start taping up and then be prepared for last minute
damage control. With rains and thunderstorms a daily occurence all the cards will be “bagged” to
avoid the soggy mess and if animals stop eating the tape we should be good.
12 days to go and 2 sections complete so 22 to go. Just one small piece of strimming left which was
planned for this morning along with a first ride round but along came the rain and put an end to all of
today’s wishful thinking. …… and then it rained some more! I’m sure the pundits will say we needed it
but it lost me a day.
A wet and soggy Monday morning with the forecast for more of the same and then better for the rest
of the week. 22 gems in the rough needing to be turned into fine jewels to be completed by this
Sunday night, well thats my plan. I will have run out of begins & ends gates but John will be bringing a
load more when he arrives next week.
The show must go on and despite the doom & gloom weather forecast its actually very pleasant today
so I took in Lost Canyon this morning and completed the last of the strimming through the jungle
grass down to Section 1. Some more touches on Honey I’m Home and still a few more to do but nearly
The start of “Honey I’m Home”, front entrance strimmed, swept and ready
The redesigned bedrooms await
……. connecting rooms
Over at Bottle House the tapes are up and a few cards set along with artifacts and that completed the morning before handing over the car for Brenda’s ladies luncheon. No evidence, as yet, that the
promised thunderstorms are anywhere close so maybe venture out on the Beemer for a standby
section to cover the contingency of losing my riverside section to the river which is well up today!!
The start of the double 8/9 at “Bottle House”
8 ends, 9 begins as we move into “Podium”
The afternoon changes with a few more alterations to Honey I’m Home as the last two doorways are
a little too narrow for riding through without removing knuckles and levers. They sure used a lot of 6″
nails in these doorframes but brute force and ignorance has them out.
Size is important ! so an extra 3″ for the doorways
The back garden exit at Honey I’m Home
Splits all in for Bottle House and Podium so only a little extra taping and those two are ready as well.
Tuesday and I have 2 riders coming out to put a few tire tracks down on Casey’s upper cliff area loop
and see if they can find their way round without any directions from me. While they are busy doing that
I’ll tape up Lewis & Clark, Woody’s and Power Lines. Might get to do Cat Face on the way home and
then if that all goes well I’ll finish off Podium at Lost Canyon creek this afternoon while Brenda is at
The planned 3 sections are all carded and ready, tire tracks on the loop and they didn’t get lost so we
should be able to get round in one piece. Total now stands at 7 completed out of 24 and I’m feeling
that I should be further along. Well I’ll console myself that the last 3 down along the river will not be set
until Friday before the event so that brings me down to 14 to go. I was down there last night and found
my “reseve” section should the river keep coming up, but that will need to be cut out sometime next
week if the waters don’t go down….. so a “Plan B” is up my sleeve.
Today looks like I’m going nowhere with friends turning up at noon so that gives me no worthwhile
time to get anything completed. I did manage to salvage some start gate panels from the plywood
walls and I can cut and fabricate those this morning ready to set out up on the cliffs. The more I look
at the cliffs I’m beginning to see other sections on the next lower level and Casey tells me he is going
to put in some trails for next year if we want to use it again. That would sure save an awful lot of time
hacking about in the undergrowth.
Carpentry skills today as the plywood gets sawn and out with the tenon saw to cut the bottom of the
stakes. Found a bag of nails so the whole project is a freebie with only my time which as we know is
Stakes are cut
Stakes and boards ready for assembly
So, Thursday will be humping and dumping day along the cliff edge to finish the 4 off up there and
with the long distance ones (all things are relative) out of they way I can complete some of the easier
ones where I can drive the car up to them.
Weather forecast 60% chance of thunderstorms and already overcast. Today’s mission is “Steps”,
Bear’s Den”, “See Forever” and “Horseshoe” then if that all goes well “Cat Face”. Need to pick up yet
more plywood from my wall demolition to make the last section boards.
Thursday morning mission
Section 2, “Steps” complete
The Bear’s Den
Cards go in
Coming to the exit of 3
Morning goes nicely to plan and 4 good sections in the books as finished and a couple of “cheater
lines” spotted and corrected. Storms stayed away so try for another couple this afternoon to get back
on track. No sooner had I finished Cat Face than it arrived with thunder and lightning and then the
monsoon downpour. Well no matter 5 for the day was good and that now makes 12 complete and 12
to go with three of those to be done next Friday morning so I’m looking at 9 to finish before Sunday.
Last hazard, the “Cat Face” can be seen