Who brought home a trophy? This guy. 1st place in Premier Lightweight Novice. The best part was, I had a blast. Fantastic group of people, who were caught off guard by my choice of vehicle, but not a single person gave me crap for it. After a while, I even had lots of people admiring it, cheering for me, and giving me pats on the back after getting "zero" scores through sections.
I'm too tired to give a full recap, but here are several pictures Susan snapped while she hustled around the site to meet me at the eight different courses.
Who's the only guy not decked out in full Trials clothing? Notice the pants legs tucked into my socks, and the old school M95 helmet complete with OR-SCCA tech stickers:
Getting ready to line up for my first run. Luckily, I had some help from a veteran that took a couple of novices under his belt:
Ok, here is how the event is organized. There were 8 "sections" spread out over the facility. Each section has multiple "lines" from 0, 1, 2, 3, 4. 4 being the novice line. Everyone starts and ends at the same points, but as you navigate the course they use little markers to split the lines based on the terrain. Line 0 goes over giant boulders, Line 4 is usually very simple, and typically shorter. Running a section involved riding to it, walking the line a couple times, then making your run. you run section 1 through 8, then turn in your score card, and get a new card. You "loop" through all sections 3 times.
Me actually on course, no feet down. Every time you put a foot down, you get a point. If you stop completely, put two feet down or have a mechanical, you get a 5. The goal is to zero the section. I had quite a few zeros, a few 1 foot downs, and a few "5s" too. One particular section was very rocky, and the cleanest I got through it was with a 3.
Note the fierce concentration:
My second loop score card. A person punches your score at the finish of each section. Note quite a few "0" scores. Please to ignore the "5" on section three:
Getting through all three loops took about three hours. You're not on the bike riding the entire three hours, but you do have to ride to each section, walk, then ride the course, then ride to the next section. Basically, I got hot, super sweaty, and have a sweet blister. My helmet sucked big time as it was way too hot, and my mechanix gloves wore through on two fingers:
That's right, wood!
And finally, a video. Now, before you laugh at the fact I put my foot down three times, this happens to be my first ever section. I later cleaned this up to a zero run.
A few things for next time:
-replace the footpegs, as the old Honda rubber pegs ripped apart mid way through the first loop. Bless you electrical tape.
-move front brake handle to left side. I simply cannot modulate the throttle and use the front brake with the same hand. I had to use the rear brake, which also caused me grief on course leading to a "5" score. The top of my work boot got caught under the kickstart lever, so midway through a section I hit a rock and my right foot jammed on the rear brake, stopping me instantly. arg!
-I should pay attention to the fact that some locations might be at 5,000ft elevation, and maybe, just maybe, a stock 45yo carburetor might need some jetting changes. I was running a bit rich the entire event, which caught me off guard a few times after some uphill power sections. I would crest a hill and it would load up. Or, it would be hard to start after running a few sections back to back.
-this is not a spectator sport for a spouse. In fact, I think Susan walked about 5 miles today. While I could ride from section to section, she had to walk. And since I'm a retard, I didn't think about wearing a small backpack to keep my own supply of cold water.
Time for grub and the DVR'd Nationwide race.