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Old 10-28-2013, 05:33 AM   #1
amcross OP
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Location: near Danville IL
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Phantom Leaves, Coal Hollow Day 2

Coal Hollow 1st Annual … Day 2

This morning dawned brighter and happily less chilled than Saturday. The ground was still covered in frost, but not nearly so thick as Saturday morning. I’d heard that the sections’ difficulty had been increased for Sunday, at least for Intermediates and above, after unusually low scores Saturday. I was determined to still go for cleans, and immediately hopped in line for section 8 – the stadium section just next to the check-in table.

This section was clearly more technically challenging than yesterday… We began with a “twisted lizzy” – a very tight figure S which required nearly full lock turns in each direction; we then rolled forward about 2 bikelengths, pulled slightly more than a 90 and in less than another bike length, it was time to pull a small wheelie over about 8” of log… a log on a slight uphill slant that added a small level of risk of bucking the novice to the left. Immediately after the log, we had to pull another hard 90 left or risk blasting through the section tape and taking a 5. We then rode to and around the end of the long felled log, across the section and across a diagonal to pulling a 120 around the end of a concrete pipe without breaking the tape or dabbing on the magnet-like-draw of the piping, then up and out! I was very proud of pulling off cleans 2 of my 3 loops on this section. The intermediates rode the same line as novice to start, but where we went past the end of the long log, the intermediates had to pull another hard 90 and pulled what was almost certainly a clutch wheelie to cross the 10” height. Where novice simply went up the far bank to exit, the intermediates had to drive back across the section, up a segment of bank with a thin pole across the ground; pull a perfect 180 with just 1-1/2 bike lengths to work in, roll back down across the pole again, then around the concrete pipe and out. Remember the roughly 5’ tall stack from yesterday? Today, with just a little concrete kicker, the champs were tackling this monster from the END rather than the side, slamming into the cut end of the massive log above the tractor tire.

Time to head down the loop toward #1. Yep, down the same unnerving 4-wheeler road; however, now that it had a full day of riders on it, the leaves were cleared and the nastiest segment had packed down into more of a manageable road. I managed to “clean” this segment of the loop all day as well – and was nearly as proud of that as of the section cleans I pulled throughout the day.

We’ve reached section 1. This section was focused on working back and forth across a shallow creek that was about 8’ wide. Novice rolled into the creek, zigzagging slightly to get a better approach to climb the 6’ far bank slick with the creek water. At the top of the bank, the novices had to prepare to cross a 6” thick downed “stick” – my choice was to swing far right, pull a clean 180, and nearly square the log. Over it, and a mild turn right to set a good position to pull a full lock 180 again, and then drop down the bank, across the creek, and climb out of the creek to the checker. My first ride, I got a poor entry line on the first bank, and had to dab to pull the corner for the log and took a second dab in the turn at the top of the bank again. The second loop, I hesitated on the power to climb the bank, clipping an unexpected rock that tossed me off line again..resulting in another 2. The third loop, I settled down significantly prior to entering the section; entered with my right knee as far off the tank as possible to ensure a good slow left full lock turn at the start of the creek. This let me position the fabulous little 80 perfectly for the creek bank. At the top, I was in a great position to rotate the 100 degrees, hesitated, pulled a nice clutch wheelie across the log, set the bike nicely for the 180 which I almost managed to pull off full lock, and down the bank, CLEAN! YEAH!

Out the loop and on our way to section 2 – a new section with the same entry as Saturday’s #2… even before it began with a 180 on the road to enter the section heading back the way we’d come. This was a difficult section for most classes. Novices dropped down a fairly steep bank about 6’ to the flat dry creek shoulder, and we turned right along the edge of the creek. At the end of the passage, I chose to take the option of using the climbing bank on our right to position myself with a bit more run room as I then dropped across the 4’ wide dry creek bed, and then it was time to CLIMB the steep 7’ tall bank, being careful to be in control so that I could manage the sweeping left turn that would keep me from blasting through the tape. Once the turn was successfully completed, I simply needed to exit the section and happily accept the clean, yippee! All of the other classes had to drop down the same bank, but turn between two trees and then manage a very challenging 90+ degree turn on offcamber rutted ground which was nearly impossible to do without dabbing or hopping.

And, on to section 3. This section was so incredible to watch the champs ride. We all worked our way down parts of a long bank. The champs went all the way to the creekbed, weaved through the bed, and then jap zapped up a massive rock wall onto a flat plateau, hopped about a bit, and blasted up another massive rock step again. We novices started down the off camber, pulling a hard 90 on a fairly flat little plateau; we then had to turn the rest of the 180, around a small tree and between the tree and a large rock plate that just barely allowed clearance for foot pegs. On the first loop, I tried to be ‘overcautious’, going around a small tree farther to the right in an attempt to set myself better for the edge of the rock ledge. Doing so, I took an overly tight turn to the tree and had to take a dab to correct the line.

The entrance to section 4 was just a few bike lengths up the trail. Another segment of the gorgeous rock outcroppings centered this section as well. Without a safe choice for novices here, the trialsmasters were kind and kept us safe, having us simply ride along the tape from entry to exit. The other classes climbed over and across the 2 huge mostly flat plates of rock in various lines.

Section 5’s entry wasn’t far either -- was up a short line through the woods, onto the road, and back into the woods -- the back edge of section 5 butted up against the edge of section 4. Novices rolled onto the mostly flat plane, working our way around the massive rock centerpiece. I was careful not to get sucked into the idea of following the ribbon again in this section – which would have put me across several tough segments of shark’s teeth rocks. Up a slight climb, across some rocks and loose chunks of large sticks, and we were out of the section. The advanced line was an eloquent dance down the right side, a sweeping 180, and then up the face of the biggest rock shelf, easing off its back edge without going through the intermediate gate, across another large step and out.

Until now, the loop had been challenging but fairly reasonable. Sadly, at this point the loop got dangerous. We had to climb about 75’ of a reasonable steepness, but with crazy outcroppings of smaller chunks of rocks pointing everywhere. There were so many ways to get sideways and in trouble for a nervous novice….and, as it turned out, for other riders as well. On the 3rd loop, I got a bit behind the little 80 as we got kicked sideways off a rock lip, and the bike bucked. When it was clear I wasn’t going to pull it together, I made an emergency dismount from the little bike before the messy situation got worse. Mike helped me get the 80 back on her wheels and walked her up the hardest segment of the climb for me – as I watched an intermediate rider crash 10’ earlier on the hill. I got her out of the woods and caught my breath resting before section 6.

Section 6 was another interesting rock outcropping with an awkward entry that added to the challenge. Before getting into the section, we had to step up off the road onto the loose dirt pack. On my 2nd and 3rd loops, I took Mike’s advice, moving the rear wheel of the bike a good 5’ over from my first entry line, and also moving the bike backward into the trees as far as I safely could, letting me get the bike moving prior to entering the section. The entry was a mild climb between a tree and the end of a small log, then rolling up a small rock lip, across some loose clumps of rock, around the edge of a massive boulder, across another step and out. My first entry had been at a poor angle and much too close to the entry gate, resulting in a 3. My 2nd and 3rd loops were clean. I had the pleasure of watching Karl Davis ride the massive rock outcroppings in this section…splattering up the rock cluster in each segment of the line.

Section 7 wasn’t far away. This was a really interesting section. The entry was off a dirt road, and dropped down into a ravine. The novice line was short yet still intimidating – enter parallel to the edge of the water-etched line; sweep a nearly 180 around a set of trees, and the path rode along the rim, across the edge of the road to the checker. The advanced line was a long path down into the narrow, deep gulley, then a tight technical turn around 2 trees into an awkward, tight little line within the clustered rocks. Mike hopped and worked the bike into position, then blasted up the steep, loose soiled wall to the top of this shoulder; he then dropped back into the ravine, up the face of the smaller of the 3 massive rock ledges, ease around the last outcropping, and out the gate. Mike rode an impressive clean on his very last loop!

Soon we were out of the woods, blasting across the hay field, and back to the pits. It was time to turn in our slips, catch a quick drink, and we were ready to continue our ride.

We had a great day at this amazing property. The Wentzel family and helpers obviously put a ton of work into the sections and the planning for this first annual that we all hope will have many more to follow. The land owner was so friendly and nice, welcoming to all of us. Love the people in this sport!
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AnnMarie Cross, permanent Noob! & proud wife of "macattack"
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:23 AM   #2
Choicecut
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Awesome write up and congrats on the cleans to both you and Mike. The new gasser seems to be sitting well with Mike. He let me test the heavier springs, and wow, the thing is like a pogo stick! I am pestering the wife to let me get a newer bike now. LOL!

I tried my hardest to get a clean loop in the intermediate line on Sunday. Best I could do was a 1 due to the insane turn on section 2. I just couldn't do it with out a dab after coming off the steep bank!


Edit: there was a woman with a nice camera taking pics in the stadium section. I have seen her taking pics at other events too. Do you happen to know if she puts those online anywhere?
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Choicecut View Post
Awesome write up and congrats on the cleans to both you and Mike. The new gasser seems to be sitting well with Mike. He let me test the heavier springs, and wow, the thing is like a pogo stick! I am pestering the wife to let me get a newer bike now. LOL!

I tried my hardest to get a clean loop in the intermediate line on Sunday. Best I could do was a 1 due to the insane turn on section 2. I just couldn't do it with out a dab after coming off the steep bank!


Edit: there was a woman with a nice camera taking pics in the stadium section. I have seen her taking pics at other events too. Do you happen to know if she puts those online anywhere?
COOL!!
yes, there were 2 people taking photos. one was royce's wife. the other was Mark Spring's wife. i'm friends with her on facebook. if you are on facebook find me and send a friend request...and i'll get a message going between you both!

congrats on coming so close to a clean loop! that's terrific. i wish i couldve managed intermediate, but there were 2 or 3 spots that were too high on the intimidation factor for me at this stage.
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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 10-30-2013, 06:17 PM   #4
Choicecut
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Originally Posted by amcross View Post
COOL!!
yes, there were 2 people taking photos. one was royce's wife. the other was Mark Spring's wife. i'm friends with her on facebook. if you are on facebook find me and send a friend request...and i'll get a message going between you both!

congrats on coming so close to a clean loop! that's terrific. i wish i couldve managed intermediate, but there were 2 or 3 spots that were too high on the intimidation factor for me at this stage.
Arrrg.. Facebook!

I deleted my facebook account about 4 years ago. Just not a fan of social media sites I guess.

I do use flickr for some of my photos. Do you happen to know if she uses that?
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:59 PM   #5
amcross OP
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Originally Posted by Choicecut View Post
Arrrg.. Facebook!

I deleted my facebook account about 4 years ago. Just not a fan of social media sites I guess.

I do use flickr for some of my photos. Do you happen to know if she uses that?
sorry! ;)
don't know. if you drop me an email to amc @ cwer . org (no spaces) - i will give her your emaill with your contact info and let her get bck with you, ok?
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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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