09 April, 2011

Trials day: Trophies 0, Crashes 5

What's that old saying? A bad day racing is better than a good day at work. In my case, it was a bad day of trialing. Well, sorta. The day itself was beautiful. 65 degrees, sunny, light breeze, and a fantastic facility just west of Orland called Rocky Ridge.

I had decided to jump up into the #3 line today, after riding the easier #4 line at my first two events. For the most part, I made the right decision. I actually rode quite well on the technical stuff, manging to bound over boulders, wheelie over stumps, and keep my balance on tight turns. But what killed me was the hilly terrain.

At the PITS facility I've ridden on, most of the sections are more rocky, without much elevation change. Out at Rocky Ridge the terrain isn't as rocky, so many of the sections are built on top of little knolls, or in a gully, or up a hill side. So in many ways, the #3 lane was pretty easy, as the obstacles weren't as bad. But I couldn't get my fat ass up several of the short but steep hills. Apparently 4.5hp is a limitation. Who knew?

I found this out after having to bail on a steep hill on the second section. Followed by a steep hill on the third section. Oh yeah, and the fifth and sixth sections too. I would get through the first 80% of the section, mastering the boulders and trees, only to find myself powering up a smooth, clean hill screaming my little 4.5hp monster away. I would almost get to the top and just flat out run out of steam. Which meant both feet down, which means a "5" score, which is essentially a dnf.

I took five spills, three rather epic ones. Part of my problem was the fact I knew I had to keep the throttle pinned up the hills, so if I got offline at all, look out. I got loose on a section while powering up a hill, got turned a little, and just flat out took a screamer off a #1 line boulder resulting in me and the bike tumbling down a hillside. I also managed to loose steam up a hill, get crossed up trying to save it, and somehow did a wrestling federation style move off the top ropes straight into a creek.

I got through two full loops, but just didn't have the gumption to finish my third loop. I was the only one in my class, so I decided to dnf so the club didn't have to give me a sympathy trophy.

In between the spills and chills, I did manage to have fun. Section 7 and 8 were a blast. Both quite hilly, but with the pull of the moon's gravity, I could just crest the top of the hill at about 0.0001mph with the front tire off the ground, get the bike turned, and then finish the stage. I rode the technical stuff very well, and the changes to the bike (suspension stuff) worked great.

Luckily the rest of the events I'll be going to this year are at the PITS facility, so hopefully I won't have to worry about these damn hills! Or I'll try to find a Trail 90 or Trail 110 engine to put in the bike. Or both.

Oh, and I forgot one very interesting part of the day! Rattlesnakes. I saw two of them. Little guys, trying to warm themselves on the rocks. Luckily by the time the bikes got going, most crawled down into their holes.


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