It all matches, and its clean!

At last! Departure looms, the revamped bus and trailer are ready, not quite so sure if I am, but they say
the Elephant never forgets although the last go was the end of May we will find out come Saturday
whether that is fact or fiction. While I’ve been out of action the Ahrma scene has not changed too much
with Len Sims only winning 1 out of 3 of the rounds in Classic Expert. It looks like he has won Premier
Lightweight without ever having competed in it which seems a hollow victory to say the least but thats
the way the rules are this year! For my part I need 2 more wins from the last 5 events so I’ll be trying my
best without over thinking it. Second Sucks!

Today’s routing takes us through Durango to Pagosa Springs and then up the monster Wolf Creek
Pass where we will find out if the grille modifications were worth the effort. From there about 100 miles
cross country across the high plains to Poncha Pass and then down to Salida and the Arkansas River.
A pretty, but slow drive along the bendy river gorge before arriving in Cotopaxi and then the 5 mile uphill
run to the start area. This coach is about 4′ shorter so it might go round some of those dirt road corners
a little easier than the Beaver which was pushing things last year. The nomadic Peacocks seem
unable to stay at home and will probably have been there since late Monday or sometime Tuesday. If
all goes well I would think we should arrive mid afternoon Thursday as its only about 260 miles from
Dolores. About a 5 hour drive including the difficult road into base camp at 8000′, not exactly the
“death zone” but getting low on oxygen up here. The shorter coach should go round those tight bends
easier and we don’t have a rear ladder to get tangled with the trailer so I’m hoping for an incident free

Rolling, rolling, rolling,……….

The 0900 departure predictably became 1000, but we are on our way and by 1100 we are in Durango
and onwards to refueling at Bayfield. I must have filled up here last time on the return and only get 20
gallons in. Full of fuel, LP gas, dogs and everything else the Starship rumbles on for Pagosa Springs
and new worlds. First thing to note is the “louvrectimy” achieved the square root of diddly squat and
engine room report the reactor going critical on any of the big hills. Wolf Creek comes, and goes very
slowly as we are down in 2nd and 3rd and struggling to make the 10,000+ summit. Down the other
side with Jake helping on the braking and back to flatter going and for once as we turn North on the
285 its not blowing a gale over the high plains. Onwards and upwards towards Poncha pass at 9010′
but now the big climbs are done and the motor can cool off on the descent to Salida and the Arkansas

Wolf Creek Pass and still overheating!

Here we go ! ……..the “fun” road in

Tight and bendy, but very pretty we dawdle through the little settlements, passing the turnoff for Turkey
Rock in Howard its only a few more miles to Cotopaxi and the horrors of the dirt track to the start.
A yellow straight on sign shows us to be on the right road and eventually we crest the top and are at the
turn off. A steep entry and then an upward wiggle to that “Bend”. One chance here to get it right as there
is no second bite of the cherry with this one, but the 60′ rig makes it round and we creep up the
crumbly track to the next set of hazards and take a better line through the downhill right hander where
the trailer wheels went over the edge on a previous visit, and finally the last steep uphill into the start
area where as usual Ed has marked out our birth for the next few days.

Here comes that turn, you can just see the rock wall coming……….

Pretty tight on the rock wall

Made it!

Salutations and leveling complete, not much on the agenda tonight so just relax and reserve
tomorrow for section viewing.

Friday morning, and by now we have several riders and helpers drifting in so time to take in the route
and enjoy the scenery. The 2 days are using a common route and the sections have been laid out in
pairs, where possible such that the Sat and Sun numbers are in the same location.

The numbers 1’s are just down from the start with the Saturday opener beside a disused travel trailer.
A gentle uphill to get everyone in the mood then turn left and meander back down through the rocks to
the lower grass, cut up through a potential footrest grabber at the end of a fallen tree and line up for a
choice of line either around a rock pile or through it. After that a 90 turn into an up and over log
crossing and the exit.

Sunday’s first is a little further down the trail and has a lot more challenges! A continuous uphill turn
over a crest into a steep descent amid some large rocks turning left then right before a small recovery
zone to get set for the real testing uphill into a 90 left turn on some nasty gnarly embedded rocks by the
tape, this could be where its won and lost.

Sunday 1, with the path up the right, around the big rock, and down tight
against the rock wall before turning right

The second half of Sunday 1 with the 90 left behind the card and big rock

The 2’s are variations on previous years but are much simpler than before and very doable. 3’s are
fun with Saturday’s being part of the route being an uphill with a little kink for 1 & 2 riders around a rock.
Sunday has a little more meat in it with some potential hazards for those not paying attention.

Sunday 2, not so tight as last year

4’s again are variations on previous sections and although tricky can be cleaned with a bit of effort.
A nice run round the tracks to Saturday 5 which is a new one but again shouldn’t cause any grief if you
stay on line. Sunday’s 5 is down by the garage and providing you don’t stray off line or catch a roller
should be easy enough.

Over the back of the property to 6 which is almost a reverse of last year and is definitely a line critical
section. 7 is another reverse of last year and should ride easier than it looks.

8 will be at the “Falls”, by the start, on both days and Mike Buckholz the trialsmaster is busy laying this
one out, plenty of traps here if the mind wanders or the line and power are not spot on.

Overall these events will take a few marks both days but are possible to clean every thing if an “A”
game can be selected! We will see how it goes tomorrow.


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  • 9/17/2009 9:28 PM Steveo wrote:
    Ah,adventure and it’s challenges on the open road!I had an older unit that had an overheating problem once.solved it by adding a wired on air scoop(piece of 1/8 plywood)under the front bumper,forcing more air into the rad.Not pretty,but it sure did work!
    Reply to this
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