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Old 06-20-2014, 04:33 PM   #1
phoenixfire OP
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Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Urbana, IL
Oddometer: 18
The Mountaineer-Round 10/11 of Trials Inc, Grafton WV

What do you get when you cross an old motocross track, the hills of West Virginia, a beautiful sunny weekend, and a group of trials riders?
You get the Mountaineer, Round 10 and 11 of the Trials Inc schedule of course!
If you’ve never been out to the trials at Grafton, WV, you’ve missed a spectacular site! Located at the Pleasant Valley Raceway, the trials is a mix of wide trails through the woods and rocks in the sections. Of course, like so many this season, the week before had been plagued by rain turning the trails muddy and slick. Yet the Trialsmaster (David Nuzum) had done a wonderful job mixing tricky and technical without making it too hard or dangerous, even in the mud.
Both days riders could start at either Section 1 or Section 4 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. This was nice as it helped relieve the unavoidable pile up that always happens on the first section on the first loop. There were 10 sections the first day and 9 on the second, using most of the same loop. The loop itself was a set of wide trails, weedwhacked and trimmed so you could ride without fear of running into a bush or a hidden stick. In the shade of the woods they were unbelievably slick with mud, but no matter how much you try some things are out of a person’s control. Yet even in the slick the trails were cleared of logs and rubbish, making the only real challenge having to navigate around and over the ever present rocks and making sure your rear wheel had traction all the way up.
The sections were hard, but for all the right reasons. Even in the mud, lines were technical and required riders to be on their game. Yet they all seemed achievable, without a lot of fear factor. The mud did up the difficulty level of the lines though. In one section, novice riders merely had to ride a straight flat line through a section. However it was at the bottom of a slope and the rain had turned it into a muddy rut filled with water that threatened to suck your wheels to a stop. An easy enough line to ride with momentum, but the thought of getting bogged down created a mental block that possibly would not have been there before. Another line was a ride down into a ravine, crossing a 2 to 3 foot long pool of liquid mud that was probably about a foot deep, with the rider immediately having to accelerate up the opposite bank that was just as slick. It required the rider to carry momentum before the puddle, and commit to keeping the momentum up and giving the rear wheel all the weight you could get on it to suck every ounce of traction out of the muck.
The loop also made it easy for spectators to come out and watch, providing easy paths between the sections for those walking while giving room for both walkers and riders to share the trail without forcing one or the other off into the brush. On Sunday, the organizers were even giving rides, allowing them to see more sections than they could have on their own. Even for the more adventurous that walked the whole loop, it was doable without overexertion.
While points were somewhat high because of the mud, the crew that gathered at the end of the day seemed to be all smiles. Annmarie Cross took first place in Novice both days, while Mark Pullman did the same for intermediate. Gwen Conley and Barron Coffman also sweeped the weekend, winning Youth A and Youth B respectively. Travis Daniels and Jim Zuroske traded first and second in expert both days. Saturday’s Advanced winner was Fred Ellis, with Sunday going to Gilbert Reed. Sportsman awards went to Eric Harsanye on Saturday and Daniel Berry on Sunday. Senior A first place riders were Chris Lohrer and Joseph Clark. And the Vintage class also had a strong showing with Bob Wentzel coming out as top of the class on Saturday and James Niebrzydowski on Sunday. The weekend’s lone Champ rider, Quinn Wentzel, had some great scores with 71 and 56.
For more complete scores, go to http://www.trialsinc.org/?trigger=res&year=2014
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Liz Jeffries
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No matter the challenge, Bring it ON!!!!
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