Wow. Now THAT was an adventure ride. And a pretty awesome trial as well.
More later, but:
1. Adventure ride to a crashed military fighter jet.
2. Late night rescue of some of our own riders- BIG thanks Mike Jenkins, Don Copeland, Pete Croft!
3. Todd Bennett taking a whoops near the waterfall.
4. Great buddy-check, 9 section trial, on all NEW sections.
5. Pete (again) helping fix my busted bike, miles from camp.
6. More later, we promise!
-SCTA web guy.
Wow! 27 riders for the trial!Thank you all for the support. I wish I could of been there. Below is Pete Crofts story on how hw spent Saturday afternoon. Thats our Crafty Crofty.
WOW! Is right, a great weekend, I don’t think I have ridden as many miles on a trials bike in a long time and my legs certainly feel it today. I thought I would get the record straight on the "Pete, Mike & Don" to the rescue story, as I caused the predicament we found ourselves in, what can you expect form a Kiwi that’s used to looking at the Southern Cross in the sky vs. the big dipper.
....Once upon a time there was a little boy ... nah really, the Merritt clan arrived fashionably late and wanted to go to the Jet Fighter crash site too, I stepped up to help lead the way as I had been there earlier in the day and also once before with Don, Paul & Jon. We set off with Bill & Shaun along with a new to trials Ian (Yarpee SP) South African, all fully gassed up, some water & off we went about 4:15PM. By 6:00PM after only having to help Shaun on a few of the big uphill sections we arrived at the crash site and started the usual pecking around. I decided & felt confident that I could navigate us back to camp using the easier route on forestry trails that we had ridden earlier that day....
We reached a point at which I lost all confidence in my ability to read the terrain and having only the gas we started with we had a quick discussion of whether we should continue blindly off along a path that seemed to be familiar but had so many new non-trials tire tracks on it that I was not comfortable doing so, besides by this time is was nearly 7:30PM and the sun was dropping fast along with the temperature. Thankfully cool heads reigned and we decided to head back the way we had come in as this was at least known to all of us. We arrived back at the jet fighter site and then due the darkness setting in decided it would be better to transfer gas to my bike and let me ride back & get more gas and support.
You can only imagine what the three amigos huddled on a carpet of pine needles near the swampy stream a little ways back down the trail from the fighter jet site waiting for me to return and not crash so they wouldn’t have to spend a night in the open were thinking as I roared off into the dusk..
My ride back to camp at the start was at a good pace in 4th but after a few hairy off trail excursions & some serious tree limb - bush whacking I found I was talking to myself to slow down, because it was obvious if I crashed there would be no rescue.
By the time I reached the gnarly part of the trail (loose uphill off-camber, where Mr. Cooper left his TY front mudguard in the tree) it was dark and I could just make out the shape of trees and the trail dirt was light enough to be distinguishable, the large rock ¾ of the way up was also a contrasted color and I saw it as I rocketed up the trail wide open in 3rd, determined to not crash and waste precious energy heaving my bike back on the trail, it worked, but not without me exiting the top of this section on the rear wheel with the front wheel brushing the trees that lined the top portion, a wild ride to say the least.
I finally made it back to camp with questions being shot from just about everyone who was there. Thanks to Todd for the handy LED pen light on the front mudguard plus an el-cheapo (Harbor Freight) LED light duct taped to my handlebars, plus Zach for his handy backpack to carry the gallon gas and Damon for the light glow sticks which we taped to the rear mudguard, and the moral support for the rush to help prepare me for the ride back out to perform the rescue.
Extra jackets for the stranded trio and two layers for me, I must say with Don Copeland’s riding skills keeping right up my bum on that big 525 KTM on the hairy part of the trail in total darkness but of course with good lights from both Don’s and Mike Jenkins big KTM’s made all the difference in the world.
We found all three a little closer than where I had left them, filled the tanks of both Ian’s Gas Gas and Bill’s new Fuel Injected OSSA and with a short bump start down the hill in 5th she fired right up (Good to know after a total fuel drain), we decided to leave Shaun’s bike at the base of a big tree and come back in the AM and Shaun rode on the big KTM with Don – wow what a ride eh Shaun..?
All six of us rode triumphantly back into camp with big smiles on our faces and calls for cold beer. No I didn’t want wine at that point just something cold to quench the thirst. Huge thanks to Don Mike and the rest who helped prepare the rescue; it will be with me forever as a great memory and with no injuries. The rest of the night was spent consuming some good wine and of course a few stories for good measure – see what you miss when you don’t do the Piutes BIG FEET Ride!