Monthly Archives: October 2007

Event Report: Halloween One, Walker Valley, 7 October 2007

Whew! arrive at the park­ing area about 8:30am sun­day, got out of the truck, Holy Stiff Breeze, Bat­man! We’re at about 1900 ft. alti­tude, and up on an exposed hill­top where they’re run­ning a grav­el pit, and the wind is blow­ing pret­ty good. Get over to sign up, Sean (one of the Mar­shalls) allows as how we’re prob­a­bly going to do a Group Check event, where rid­ers go out in groups, and check each oth­er. It allows all class­es to run at once, which makes for a much short­er day, and giv­en the way the weath­er looked to be movin’ in, the right call.

That said, I’m not a big fan group check tri­als, for pure­ly self­ish rea­sons: i his­tor­i­caly haven’t rid­den well in group check sit­u­a­tions! I have a ten­den­cy to get into my own head too much, and psych myself out, espe­cial­ly after a cou­ple of bad sec­tions. When doing cross check events, I can take advan­tage of the clock, and give myself breaks, snacks, and re-group time where I need it. In a group check sit­u­a­tion, I always feel like there’s some­thing else i need to be pay­ing atten­tion to, and my rid­ing suf­fers, espe­cial­ly on the first loop, when things are often quite slow.

Any­way, enough whing­ing! We get our cards and punch­es, and away we go. Down the hill, up the road, into the woods, and there’s #1. A tricky ups­lope with an angled log in it, then a sharp turn, cross-hill over to a descent over a slick slab rock, about 8 feet long. Not too tough, but I don’t have con­fi­dence in the trac­tion yet, and get out of shape after the log, and pad­dle through. Oh well, not too bad, I think, and we go on. much of the first loop is like that, includ­ing a cou­ple of real­ly dumb 5’s, stalled the engine, hit a tree with the shift lever, that kind of stuff.

But as the day went on, I felt like I was rid­ing bet­ter and bet­ter, and it all came togeth­er pret­ty well on the last loop, I put togeth­er a loop of 17 points, low­est of any­one in my class, and had 2 cleans. Alas, it wasn’t enough, and I wound up with 78 points and 3 cleans, which was a sol­id lock of 4th place advanced. again. At least I feel like my con­fi­dence is return­ing, espe­cial­ly on the last lap sun­day, and my con­di­tion­ing work is pay­ing off, it wasn’t until the end of the third loop, after sec­tion 10, that i real­ly start­ed hav­ing fore­arm pump and cramp­ing prob­lems.

So, in short, it wasn’t the ride I’d hoped for, but I am still improv­ing. If I could make the time and moti­va­tion to prac­tice more, I’m sure it would advance my cause a bit faster.

Next event: Hal­loween Two, by Jon Payne, at Gold Bar, WA. See ya there, and keep those feet up!

black­dog