A gorgeous warm day with no wind and cloudless skies, 12 sections, which I feel are too easy
but we will find out when we get going. I’m on the RE today as Don Kelley is riding his new Dick
Mann Ariel and could easily pick up some quick points here if I don’t compete in the same class.
The problem for me here is that he is 3 years older than me and I can’t afford to tie the series on
wins and then lose on the “Age” tie break. Seems there are no entries in Classic Expert so nothing
will change in that class.

For some reason I’m a bit nervous but off we go to Section 1. A variation on a theme here and
always a good section with fast running water and slippery rocks. My line is in down the bank,
through the river keeping the tree on my left and then find any way out back to the ends card.
The 1 and 2 lines are more adventurous and also slippery and I see Bob almost come to grief
within the first 10 feet. My chosen line works well and the first clean of the day is in the books.

Section 2 is in some black mud but it does have a firm base so concentrate on the line and all
goes well.

3 is just across the way and the 1 and 2 boys have a good section here downhill, over some logs,
turn in the river the follow the river bed before another log and an up and out turn onto the upper
bank. The PI line just runs across the adverse then turns around coming back to the ends card.
Keep it simple on idle power and all goes well.

Through the brook to 4 & 5. 4 is a sidehill section with various heights depending on line to climb
before descending through, or round the trees to the exit. 5 has the 2 apple trees where I picked
a few lbs this morning while the modern boys were having fun. Brenda is now making an apple
crumble to go with the Turkey she is roasting. The section goes downhill to the river, round the
apple trees and then either, more river and logs for 1 & 2 or a turn before coming back up the big

The fun of 6 …..but they kept me out of the mud!

Back along the side of the valley above all the early sections and up to the infamous mud hole
fuelled by the fresh water spring. Cows and horses have cut it up for a super section for 1 & 2 but
3’s and PI’s hardly get into it with a gentle ride up the side. Half way round the first loop and still
clean lets see what 7 has to offer.

Section 7, about right for ALL lines

7 is on the path and is probably about right for all classes. A rock strewn entry and then a step up
some tree roots between some trees and into a small mud hole with a turn to the exit.

8 is an insult to the intelligence for 3, PI and 4 but 1 & 2 have a good and fun section.

Out of the woods and down to the other rivers and section 9. When we looked at this yesterday
it was all covered in algae but now after the modern bikes have been through its all gone. My line
takes me into the river around a tree stump and then a gentle climb back up to the ends card.
1 & 2 riders have bit more of a challenge with some goopy mud and a step to get back out.

Back to the brook by the start for 10. Down hill into the river between a stump and the big log,
over some slippery rocks then out with a “S” turn to the exit. Turn a bit close to the log but
recover for the “S” and all goes well.

11 is up the hill in the dry rocks and is a series of turns avoiding what you can before trundling to
the exit gate.

The last section of the loop is in “Lego Land”, the large collection of concrete shapes, and for the
vintage bikes this has been suitably detuned and is a gentle run round the obstructions which the
RE makes little of with its short wheelbase. Loop 1 clean so off for loop 2 and don’t make any
assumptions so remember to walk them all again.

Clean through the first 5 with a “moment” on 3 when the front wheel slipped on the adverse bank.
Up at 6 I hear a misfire and splutter from the old girl but she chuggs through on idle so I elect to
come back and see whether it’s a blocked idle jet or another sooty plug. Turns out to be the plug
so in with a fresh one and back out to 7 and then complete the rest without any problems. 2 clean
loops and off for the last one with 90 minutes to complete it in.

No problems and a clean day for the win. Nick Turner has had a great ride losing only 1 while Mike
Bucholz lost 12. Fred and Dan are tied on 8 in MC Int and Dave Lindeman was in great form in the
Expert Class. Forrest, Gene and the youngest Lindeman are scrapping for honors in MC Nov while
Hugh Campbell took another win in Classic Int. Len is liking the Cub and took another easy win.

As I leave the start the RE says “another plug please”….. I’m running out, but fortunately Ed has a
couple which he loans me.

The traditional “Bring a Dish” bar-b-q which gets better every year had some super food and I
don’t think anyone went hungry!!! The Turkey and the Apple Crumble went in a flash, burgers,
dogs and pies a’plenty.

Here endeth day one, well not quite as there was some “serious” drinking to get in.

A Scottish Thistle

Tony Down

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