Our Summer Vacation in the Mountains

One of the things I love about our little sport is the relationships I have with my fellow riders. These relationships produce some incredible experiences. Last weekend my relationship with Martin Belair and Bill Hanson provided me with the most challenging and rewarding weekend I have ever had. Bill and I rode the 2015 Rocky Mountain Trials Association's Ute Cup Trial. Martin and USMontesa/Honda provided us with team and technical support and loads of encouragement. The Ute Cup has been ridden for over thirty years. It is formatted in the Scott trial format. There is only one line in the section. Everybody rides the same line. From the Nation’s best all the way down to me, we ride the same line. The loop is over 20 miles long with 20 sections along the way. Ridden twice. That is 40 miles and 40 sections. Its a two day event. So you can do it all again on Sunday. Different loop on Sunday. Same deal 20 miles and 20 sections except this day you ride the loop in one direction then ride it in the opposite direction and ride the sections in reverse (backwards) from the first loop. 40 discreet sections ridden once only. The staging area this year was at 11,000 feet of elevation and the event climbed from there to over 12,000 feet. The weather changes hourly. We had heat. cold, hail, and lots of rain. We were on the bikes from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon. We carried lunch, fuel, parts and tools. The event is limited to 100 riders. There were only 71 finishers. I am quite proud to say we finished. 

The scenery is beyond stunning. The terrain is a magical combination of rocks and bigger rocks in the trees with some very nice dirt in between. Unless its wet, then its quite slippery and difficult. On Saturday, among other things we had the joy of three, two mile long 2nd gear climbs between sections. Sort of like a two mile long Intermediate section with roots and steps every ten yards. Then ride a section and repeat the climb. Ride a section and repeat. Amazing! This event requires you to manage everything. You have to mind your time, energy, hydration, nutrition, fuel, and the mechanical state of your motorcycle. I could go on and on. My friend Bill Hanson has never ridden better and had solid rides both days. I struggled with newbie nerves and a case of the “yips” (or head in butt if you prefer). The overall level of riding is very high. Riders from all over the nation attend including most of the National Pro class. Team Montesa’s Max Nelson finished fourth with 4 points. Yes, four points! 76 cleans! That is an entire universe away from my 105 points and 25 cleans. Bill smoked me with his very disciplined ride to 87 points. I had so much fun riding this event with my friend Mr. Hanson including the herculean four mile,. 4th gear dogfight uphill to Sunday’s section 38. What a ride. Plans are already in the works to ride the Ute Cup next year. Make plans now to come with us!