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Old 11-11-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
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Location: near Danville IL
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Laugh Event Report - Trials Inc Round 1 of 2013, Taylorsville Trial

Taylorville Trials – Think 2013!
The weather was pretty crazy on Saturday, including a brief hail storm(!) - -so I exited the truck with trepidation…we haven’t had a single puddle of mud in our extensive 5 months of trials competition in 2012. But, to my great relief, the grounds were damp and small amounts of water were in the creeks, but most of the event was mercifully dry. It was a gorgeous day in a fabulous setting to ride.

The loop was wonderfully wide – much of it tractor roads up and down the shallow hills. The sections had an interesting variety to them – some were within rocky sheets of shale in shallow creekbeds; others were weaving patterns through trees in varied grass conditions. Two were on significant banks – one with most of the rock footing covered with leaves and loose greenery; the other was somewhat steeper, with blades of shale sheet sticking horizontally out of the bank. Downed logs were plentiful in today’s sections, but they weren’t the sole focus of the weekend either.

With a typically great turnout, the event was busy, but excellent event management kept the riders moving rapidly and there were few bottlenecks. As always, the checkers kept riders moving at a prompt pace, and several extra spectactors kindly assisted by punching scorecards.

It was great fun to watch the flock of former novices who had all moved on to intermediate class at this first event of the new season. The new intermediates had the impression that the CDs had made their lines a touch easier than normal for the newbies stepping up today. Young Elliott Key cleaned a loop, or was it two?

AnnMarie Cross, permanent Noob! & proud wife of "macattack"
Join us in 2014 at the 2nd annual Tilton Trials, Illinois!
Novice owner of "GheeGhee", '01 GG 80big & also '01 GG280 "TriXTer"
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:37 PM   #2
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Ramblings from a Rookie – Round 1, 2013 season
I’ve had several riders ask me to continue to describe the sections from a novice’s eyes. I hope at least some folks will enjoy the view….

To the Baumert brothers aka trialmasters of Taylorville, thank you for a fabulous loop. While it may not be as picturesque as Wildwood, it was infinitely more ridable than many loops we’ve seen. It had places for the upper classmen to play and be silly if they felt the urge, but I cannot think of a single segment at today’s loop that was even remotely intimidating. Even had it been muddy it would’ve been manageable. Given that this first event of 2013 included 3 new novices, I’d like to say an extra thank you on the behalf of all of us. I know that some events it is nearly impossible to manage an easy and safe loop; it deserves mention when it appears a CD has gone out of his way to do so. (It also is very much appreciated by our spectators!) THANK YOU!
So, let’s ride!

When I first walked section one, I was mildly worried. The rock step in this creekbed appeared to be at the limits of my comfort level. But as I walked it again, I found a line that let me ease my way up the creek, from flat shale-like step to small shelf, up a small V onto the flat above without having to really lift my front end. Then, I had enough room to route right into a little grassy paddock before sweeping left, uphill across a small root, narrowly between two trees, and out the gate. The entry line required me to pay attention and ride along a narrow shelf … but if I did so, I was rewarded with a very manageable route that didn’t require a wheelie. (I was afraid to try to lift the front end on the damp loose shale.) CLEAN! Immediately after my ride, I watched another novice, and found that he and his minder had found an alternate path – entering the section at an 80 degree line to the entry gate, shooting up the rough bank immediately inside the gate, weaving through the trees atop the bank rather than riding the rocks, and then out. I was told later in the day that I was the only rookie to choose the river route … since I’d succeeded in cleaning it on loop 1, I chose to stay with the plan. It was VERY nice to have two options open to me … yet another thank you, Trialsmasters!

And on my way to section 2! This was an interesting section built along a very shallow dried creekbed. We entered perpendicular to the road, stepping up onto the bank on the left side of creekbed, weaved through a few trees, then turned right to ease down into the creekbed, and had a manageable distance to prepare to ride -- not quite squarely across and over a pair of roots shaped like a retired steel workers’ massive and gnarled fingers; then a second pair the consistency of a sailboat’s rigging, sweep a 180 across some hiding loose wiggly rock to step back out of the shallow creekbed, along the bank and a hard 90 to exit. Thanks, gentlemen! Several pieces that were nice technical challenges, but very little fear factor and little chance of hurting your novices.

Then came my nemesis, section 3. Novices entered the section, weaved left across a stump (dang, I dabbed on that bugger twice!), along the length of a huge downed tree then a right hander past the end of the tree that led into a 180 in a tight spot…to a mixture of 3 small logs, cattewompus, with the 3rd log angled (and initially slick) toward the righthand ribbon. The first loop, I gave my best effort to commit and lift over the first 2 logs, intent upon carrying the front end to clear the 3rd – but with too little space for me, I slipped and slid, the front wheel skidding down the 3rd log to my right all the way until my right toe got caught briefly on a cut off branch still sticking back into the section. I muddled my way out of the section. The section had dried nicely by 2nd loop. No lift, no float, no carry. WHEW. I managed to clean it on loop 3.

Now to section 4. Time for technical as we return to a shallow dry creekbed, this time about 10’ wide. Roll off a thick root into the creek, stretch the left tape to maneuver a relatively tight right turn, roll over a loose log that didn’t require lift but did want a square approach. From there, novices had a wide open loose flat shale type rock road to the exit. I took a clumsy dab in the tight turn here each loop, but they were all driven by my rattled confidence. The line was VERY ridable, and could easily/confidently/safely be paddled through by a nervous novice. Thanks, guys.

Let’s go find section 5! Here we found Champ rider Chase Harker checking, standing on top of a MASSIVE downed tree – the top of the root end easily stood well over 6’ above the base of another dry creekbed. This section genuinely frustrated me, and also the other novice I saw ride it. We dropped into the creekbed across some roots, made a very tight right around the root-end of the felled tree, through some potholes large enough to swallow an electric Osset, up a slick little bank, a tight technical left that required us to roll through a nasty little ditch, then another technical 90 left that just provided room to square to a small downed log that was partially in the air – with the sportsman riding across the higher segment of the log that was also to the outside of the turn. The closest I managed to success became a 5 as I got all the way to the left just before the log, still clean, and tried to bring the bike in position to clear the log on my side of the markers but frustratedly wheelied across the novice/advanced marker pair for a 5. Another loop I fived by getting the bike wedged within the 2nd nasty ditch and falling off the bike. While it didn’t have a high fear factor, it also wasn’t simply a “paddle away if this is too hard”, and so it did have a high frustration factor that was outside my idea of novice, especially at the first event of the year where we had several young and/or new competitors.

Deep breath, shake it off. Let’s find 6! Section 6 had a fabulous ‘novice saving’ layout – there was an intermediate line that consisted of a very sharp right hand almost 270 degrees on and then up a mildly offcamber bank. This was the primary option for the novices as well, but we also had the choice to drive down to the flat below, complete our 180 down there, drive back up the bank and continue on without trying to balance on the offcamber ledge. All 3 loops, I rode down into the flat, swept a long right hander (sometimes with a dab), then up to the top of the bank. At the top, then, we rolled to a left hander going around the edge of a funnel-shaped sinkhole twice the diameter of a 55 gallon drum and about as deep. The line offered plenty of room and was easily a ‘paddle your way through’ for any novice who found their eyes being sucked into the vortex of the black hole (er I mean sinkhole!).

Section 7 was a really interesting layout. This was, literally, ridden on the hillside. The advanced riders had to blast up the steep creekbed bank to the offcamber hillside, do a fall off 180 back down into the creek and up again, then on to other obstacles along the way. For the novices, we rode into a shallow area of the creek basin, up an easy bank, swept a 90 degree around a large tree, and then started to work our way across the bank. While the section had a high potential fear factor of the 6’ bank back to the creek, the trialsmasters had generously provided us a large, wide open swath with just a single novice gate along the bank. Afraid of the edge? There was plenty of room to ride higher up the bank on a slightly steeper off camber, where you were more likely to dab but less likely to find yourself hypnotized by the irresistible allure of the seductive edge; if your relationship with your ride made you immune to the edge, then a smoother, cleaner groove was ground in with less loose rocks and hidden treasures beneath the leaves. My first loop I tried to go high and ‘safe’, and ended up pulling my clutch, dabbing all along the way and taking a 3; my second, I still stayed high but took a single dab while moving. My third loop, I chose to trust the road and, with the “look at the gate” mantra going full steam in my head (and coming out of my mouth!), I rode the lower line smoothly and CLEAN.

Section 8, likewise, was ridden on a hill side, but rather than starting and ending at the bottom, section 8 began at the top of the hill and worked its way to the bottom. Section 8, again, had a high difficulty level for novice. We entered the section by riding across the bank, a tight 180 and then some around a tree with not a lot of rock ledge to play with, onto a nice nearly flat ledge, then a hard 90 down the hill and thankfully a wide swath was again available but this time across the shale ledges that jutted horizontally from the steep bank by the dozen. Had the section been a straight shot from the entry gate to exit, it would’ve held fear factor for a novice, but would’ve been less intimidating.

It was a magnificent day at a great facility. The loop was fabulous, the weather great, the sections challenging. And as always the event was superbly managed by a GREAT trials organization in the Central USA!
AnnMarie Cross, permanent Noob! & proud wife of "macattack"
Join us in 2014 at the 2nd annual Tilton Trials, Illinois!
Novice owner of "GheeGhee", '01 GG 80big & also '01 GG280 "TriXTer"
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:13 AM   #3
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Awesome Trial report!!
Work hard. Play hard.
Team Dead End. The drinking team with a Trials problem.
2-Time winner of the coveted "Best Shenanigans" award at Capt. Rick's annual BBQ.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by brewtus View Post
Awesome Trial report!!
I'm confused, around here the classes go like this:

1 Novice (sometimes we setup beginner which would be easier than novice, do able on a regular dirtbike.)

2 Amature
2a Here we have a class split, for those above 45, that can not really risk challenges in intermediat anymore. Tough technical class, they get some wacky tight turns to same obstacles as amature class would ride usually...

3 Intermediate.
3a Sr Expert: Here too, we have a Scoring "class" split for Sr Expert in which you have to be above 45 years old to be in this class, or was it just 40... hmmmm, Anywho, some places handle it slightly different, in Oklahoma/North Texas Sr Expert rides "some" of the easier expert sections, while riding intermediate lines most of the other sections. in KS we make a split in sections for SR expert, & KC's MATT just rides the same sections, just scoring in different group)

4 Expert

5 Master

I want to know what the class list for that place you went, because going from Novice to Intermediate, is a NO NO for all my students, lol...
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:08 AM   #5
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Great write up Amcross - who needs video. I was riding those sections you described with you. Sounds like a fun time and someone really has the Trials Bug.

Hows the new bike?
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:17 AM   #6
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ti event class list:
senior A ( same as sportsman)
senior ( same as intermediate )
youth A
youth B
"One more day I find myself alive
Tomorrow maybe go beneath the ground"
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:16 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by laser17 View Post
Great write up Amcross - who needs video. I was riding those sections you described with you. Sounds like a fun time and someone really has the Trials Bug.

Hows the new bike?
thanks, laser!!! Glad you enjoyed it. I have fun writing them. the real high for me was at this Taylorville event, when a mom told me that her teenage daughter (who rode a novice event last year but is practicing more at home before trying again) reads every word I write and it is encouraging her to practice more ... and then again a super high when a husband told me that his wife got back on her bike (not having ridden in a few years) after reading one of my event writeups!!
AnnMarie Cross, permanent Noob! & proud wife of "macattack"
Join us in 2014 at the 2nd annual Tilton Trials, Illinois!
Novice owner of "GheeGhee", '01 GG 80big & also '01 GG280 "TriXTer"
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