Saturday, November 15, 2003

My Trials and My Dozer

This past summer I did something that I have wanted to
do my whole life but never did - motorcycle competition. Finally after 30 years of riding, improving, contemplating, aging and watching my skills dwindle, I became a competitor.
Observed Trials, the form of competition that I entered is not the typical scene that one pictures when you think of motorcycle racing. There is no bike-to-bike combat for first place at the finish line, the noise is not as much loud exhaust as it is frames and engine cases bouncing off of rocks. The object of this sport is to ride through a pre laid out section without putting your feet down (dabbing), stopping, going out of bounds, or falling over. There are judges (checkers) watching from the middle and end of the section to see if you dab, go out of bounds, or commit some other infraction of the rules. Most of the sections are sloped, rocky terrain with some downed trees and streams to pass over and through. The checker watches you through the section and adds points to your score for each infraction, lower points means higher place on the trophy board. Speed is useless except for getting to and from different sections; generally one rarely gets out of 1st or 2nd gear, and in those 2 gears, the motorcycle is so slow you can walk beside it. The motorcycle looks entirely different than the typical motorcycle, there is no seat (you never sit down), the bike is so compact the frame doubles as the gas tank and the whole motorcycle weighs 175 pounds, 10 pounds less than me!
About a year ago, I purchased a used trials motorcycle and started practicing (something that I can never stop doing!). I then entered my first competition in June and totaled 32 points running in the novice line. I was ecstatic, smack dab average! No trophy but not last place either. Then in July I entered another competition, I guess I should have quit while I was ahead, I scored a 59, which may have been last place! When people ask me how I did, I tell them enthusiastically “I finished!”
Though I didn’t break any bones, I did incur a few cuts and bruises, but I will try again. I’ll let you know how it turns out. See some trials practice pictures by
clicking here.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I have a really decent John Deere 450G, 1998, with only 1516 hours that is ready to go to work. See some pictures and details by clicking here.
Thanks for reading, Ken

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