Event Report: Halloween II, Gold Bar, WA, 28 October 2007

A won­der­ful day greet­ed a fair­ly large turnout of rid­ers for our last event of the year. Not too cold and we had nice sun­shine all day. A bit of warm­ing up and pok­ing around, inter­est­ing sec­tions, looks pret­ty tech­ni­cal, with lots of turns with obsta­cles in them. Lit­tle did I know.

Got signed up, and con­fered with the oth­er Advanced rid­ers; we are doing group check, so we had a quick dis­cus­sion of whether to split the 5 of us up to make things go faster or not. the dis­cus­sion was incon­clu­sive, the 5 of us pret­ty much rode togeth­er the entire day.

out to sec­tion 1, start look­ing around. whoa, nel­lie: imag­ine rid­ing up the right front wheel of a mini-coop­er, turn­ing left, and then rid­ing down off of it at the left rear wheel. that’s kin­da what the first rock obsta­cle looked like. Many folks had trou­ble there, some went over the bars com­ing down, some didn’t make it up, and some if us just had a case of the hee­bie-jee­bies once we got up on to and were look­ing down into that drop-n-turn as you come off. nev­er did get through there with bet­ter than a 1 all day. On to the next sec­tion, which real­ly summed up the tri­als. It had a chal­leng­ing-loook­ing rock step at the entrance, and then looked like a tight trail ride through some rocks and up the hill­side. The entrance was the easy part, it was the slimy rocks in the turns, no good place to put the back wheel, and the decep­tiv­ly slick leaves that made it real­ly tough. All 11 sec­tions were like that, in one way or anoth­er. It took us over 2 hours to ride the first loop. Over­all, I felt like I was doing OK, but being a lit­tle bit too timid. This was not helped by going sky­div­ing off the rock in sec­tion 3; made it up, but was too far right, and when I need­ed that dab, my right foot found only air. wheeeeeee, smack! right on the rocks with my right arm and shoul­der. But no last­ing dam­age, just a nice bruise on the elbow. By the third loop, I’d gained some con­fi­dence in the bike and knew a bit more about where the trac­tion was, and had a few good rides. There was gen­er­al agree­ment, though, that this was a tough event. Many of the cor­ners seemed impos­si­ble, at least for Advanced rid­ers.

Fin­ished, back to truck to lick the wounds a bit. Then got around to tal­ly­ing the score. Wowsa, that­sa lot­ta points! 105, with 2 cleans. But this time the 1-point score dif­fer­ence went in my favor! 3rd place! Hey, I made the podi­um!

As a final event of the year, it was a good end­ing. I think i’m get­ting some of my con­fi­dence back, I have a win­ter plan of a few things to take care of on the bike (front brakes need some atten­tion, and i’m going to see if i can get the clutch to have a lit­tle soft­er engage­ment point), and I’m going to be ready to go in 2008!

see y’all on the loop trail! keep those feet up!

black­dog