TIME TO THINK TRIALS
TIME TO THINK TRIALS
On the 1/2 pipe section at Cotopaxi
Watching the Scottish and Pre 65 goings on and all the Ahrma events I have missed this year I’m
feeling somewhat left out of it. Looking back I’ve only had ONE ride since last September which was
at Casper. This is a far cry from the way it was when money was no object and I could zoom off to
any event I wished and take care of business over the phone.
I’m really missing all the winter CAT trials in Arizona which would serve as my practice for the Ahrma
events, and now here we are in May and finally it looks like it might have stopped snowing at last!
Beginning to wonder what a trial is all about and certainly looking forward to getting out there and
having a go again.
The bikes are ready, although neither has been started since early Feb, much of the trials gear is still
in the loft and here I am only 2 weeks away from Cotopaxi and still undecided as to which bike to ride.
In theory the weather forecast is reasonable for this weekend although wife has just informed me its
Well, some fence repairs to kick off the day after the howling gales of last week but maybe then ……
a little sneak into the workshop and trundle one out for a test ride? Well that didn’t happen, maybe this
week if the weather warms up.
Not sure who is setting the sections for Cotopaxi but I seem to have had some good rides there over
the last three years and all of them on the Cub. The first year was in the pre development stage with
the other carb and the Miller hi footrests so not the best performance wise although the marks lost
were of the “stalling” variety the first year with 3 unexpected fives when it refused to pick up. That is
now thankfully in the past and the second visit there was a vast improvement in performance and
handling even with some crunching ego brusing fives on a few very tough sections.
Two “5’s” going through the mud to the big rock, wider line and up by
…..and it worked!
Last year, as I remember I should have been clean on both days but ended up on 6 in each event with
a five on each day and a dumb dab for good measure. I remember the Day 1 five as it was a departure
from the norm. The section was a downhill entry against a big rock and then a tricky right hand uphill
adverse straight into a very tight left hander. On the opening lap I could see the best line was to get up
on the big rock as the start point and thereby be pointing directly up the hill avoiding the adverse
camber, but this meant having half the front wheel in the section and the axle just behind the starts
cards. I manouvered the bike into a good spot humping the back wheel up on the rock and in the
bushes while everybody waited to see what the English clown was doing. I then failed to go through
my own “pre section checklist” ……. fuel on, mental ride, in the correct gear, nothing in the wheels, look
up, observer ready?, final check of gear and GO! …….. well go I did but not very far as in all the set up
humping and bumping I had the little girl in THIRD!
The Day 2 five was another first lapper when I had all but cleaned the hardest hazard of the section I
ended up very close to the tapes and tried to hang on at idle but it stalled. However that was the
incentive and I went clean from that point for the win and tie break.
Overall I very much like Cotopaxi with all the natural rock sections even if some of them can be a bit
ambitious for old bikes and I look forward to seeing what will be in use this year. No doubt there will
be some of the old favorites, and Wehling Falls by the start I’m sure will be in both days as will the
groups over by the ranch and the ones leading in on the side of the dirt road. Usually all cleanable if
you can avoid the rollers that seem to take the marks so always worth walking the section on every
Up the steps of Wehling Falls
Being up there in altitude at around 8500′ there might well be some snow or some run off muddy
sections out the back in some of the rock streams and if they use the land above the ranch there are
real fun sections off the top road. These were not in use last year as the trail up from the ranch was
deemed too hard for Beginners and Novices, although the trail itself would make a great section.
Having so much prime trials land any Trialmaster is spoilt for choice as to where to go and what to
use. I’m hoping for some new sections as it is all too easy to just use what we had last year without
trying something new.
Ultra tight turn with the Clutch ????
…… and for those that haven’t been there then there is always the drive in to test your ability with a big
rig and trailer! There are some VERY tight turns, a few drops, and some crumbly corners, all of which
are blind before you finally arrive in the upper plateau and the start area.
Sign up, Awards, and the evening bar-b-q by the “Falls”
The start area itself has a nice purpose built area for sign in, awards, and the Saturday night pot
luck barbeque which is set right beside “Wehling Falls”. The Falls is a great piece of landscaping
with pumps and pools and some huge rocks which I believe was built on Cliff’s instructions and
must have been gorgeous to see water cascading over the boulders and filling the lower pool. I have
never seen it in action as the Tucker family now tend to use it as a practice section and Bailey Tucker
and Kieth Wineland normally show us their skills on the modern bikes after the Vintage event.
One day they may have the water running….. until then a great section
With the current phase of the Census now wrapping up I might just be able to get there on the
Thursday and get myself some desperately needed bike time. Anyhoooo, whatever goes down I’m
sure I’ll enjoy it. Full reports when we get there.