THANKSGIVING OR CHRISTMAS ? ITSA TURKEY ROCK
THANKSGIVING OR CHRISTMAS ? ITSA TURKEY ROCK
Well if you like turkeys you will love this!…….. actually left on time! can’t remember the last time or if this
has ever happened before but at 0800 I had the ignition key on, the motor was running and we were
ready to leave.!!!!! Duly arrived before 1400 TR time and after a couple of wind down beers I’m ready to
go looksee at what Ed has laid out……. but then the storms arrive, more beer, less doing….. will I get
out for a ride? …. some how I rather doubt it but …..the rain comes down, more beer and then it clears
up and the ground is still dry !
Out for that look at Sat and Sun 1, 8 and 9…… there are 10 sections for 1 liners and only 8 a day for the
rest of us. It is of course stinking hot so 8 will do nicely. The sections are a variety of the very grippy
pumice rocks, loose dirt and rollers and a few random tree roots. The funny thing about Turkey Rock
is the sections always look a LOT harder than they actually ride so more often than not you can look at
a section and be left wondering whether, you, the bike, or both are capable of scaling the obstacles.
The primary thing about TR is LINE !! ……. stay on it and you should be OK, wander off and a surprise
is in store.
Saturday morning, hot, dry and virtually no wind. A good turnout for our growing Mountain West
Chapter of ITSA with a big turnout for a duel on the A or 1 line. Perhaps we are now offering the Expert
riders what they want to ride ? It’s Buddy Check so we are despatched in our personal groups to
sections various. Riding the Cub today (with no leaks) I’m with Dan Straka and Nick Turner.
Competition doesn’t get much keener than this with three equally talented riders all riding the same
make of machine.
I don’t think any of our bikes were running that well, just an impression …… they all seemed a bit fluffy
and wooly caused by the 90+temps up at 8000’…… but that being said it was the same for everyone
but they did seem to lack that crack and snap.
We start at Section 2 along with Historic Ints with Ed punching for everybody. A gentle uphill in some
loose rocks along with the solids and then a reverse S through the pines before turning downhill to
the cards.A good opener for our group with everyone settling down with solid cleans.
With a very well marked loop we are soon at 3 which starts with a bumpy pumice rock selection into
a right hander where you could easily hit a protruding rock and spoil your whole day. Uphill beside a
pine into a left hander coming down to make the tightish right hander before climbing back up some
adverse flaky pumice to the exit. A case of little knowledge dangerous and I inadvertently set off
(unbeknown to me) with the new petcock in the off position……. well that really makes things Fluffy……
but there was just enough fuel to creep through for the clean before it died…….. better remember the
Over at 4 a gentle start in around a solid boulder then cross the gorge for a squirt up a solid rock face
into a left hander in loose and then pick a line to go through the exit cards at about 45 degrees. 3
sections completed and all of us on clean cards. No problems for any of us at 5 where we drop in off
the main path and come back to it further up.
At 6 we descend in over a solid rock with a drop off and then continue downhill on an adverse in loose
shale and dirt entering a down an ever upward turn to the left into a right / left soft turn to the exit. No
problems here for Dan and myself but Nick took a dab on the bottom turn. We bypass 7 and move to 8
which for our group rides well with three more cleans.
9, which I had seen yesterday is clearly our hardest challenge with traps a plenty to fall into if the
wheels are not on that planned line. We all take the same entry through a gap in a solid rock
descending into some soft and loose before turning right uphill onto a narrow established rock path.
Just time to recover on the path before setting up for a tight left/right uphill on pumice to take us to the
high point for a very tight right where we descend through some nasty looking rocks to the exit. Nick
and Dan both go clean and I take a panic dab at the top when the fluffy Cub seemed to be running out
Final section of the loop is No1 back at the start and for our group does not look like any marks will be
lost here. A gentle series of ups and downs across pumice with a touch of adverse and as predicted
we are all through for a group “main road”.
The “Triumph Trio” on their first loop at No 1
The Stealth glides through 1
Nick Turner follows me through
Dan Straka brings the other Stealth through 1 en-route to a clean card
First loop complete with Dan still clean and Nick and myself both on 1.
Out for loop 2 with the Triumph Trio all showing good form and we all sail round for clean cards with
Nick and I rectifying our earlier scores in 6 and 9 respectively.
Nothing much has changed on loop 3 so try not to make a goofy mistake, but as we all know anything
can happen at a trial! 1 & 2 have bedded in so we put another 6 cleans on the cards and arrive at 3. I
think I went a little wider than planned and the front caught a small roller and took me for a silly inside
dab. Everyone clean through the rest so just the tough section at 9 to get through. Nick rides it well and
is therefore home on 1 for the day and I have a good ride too finishing on 2. Dan is last to go on his
“make or break” effort for a clean card.
Last loop action on 9, rather nice “momento” for everyone courtesy of
It doesn’t start well with an awkward exit through the rock groove putting him off line and lower in the
loose andmuch slower than he intended…… a lot of body weight and footpeg changes but Dan coaxes
the Cub up on the path……. more shuffling of feet on the pegs in the recovery zone and finally he has it
back under control for the final hazard and a very good clean.
In the other divisions our 24 riders had some fierce competition and some very good rides with Rob Rowland losing 2 on the 1 line in MTS. Historic Exp was won convincingly by an on form Rick Daniel on
the ex TD Ossamaha now with Yam forks, a later engine and Works Shocks. In the Int section Steve
Elms took the win on 3 with Rick Armstrong having a smooth ride to finish on 5. In Historic Nov
Secretary John romped home with the only other clean card of the day to take his first win of the series
after 2 seconds at Bull Hollow. The Newby’s completed the event, Neal’s new toy needing a little work
and June having completed her baptism of fire and her first event.
End of day 1 and first event for the “new look” Cub. I enjoyed it, and a big thanks to all the people setting this one up. We can’t do it without you!!