NATS #3 at the Trials Training Center
12 July 2008
Another year and another TTC event on the books. You know, every year rolls around and I get all hectic and busy trying to get things ready. Yet, no matter how much I might dread the preparation, the event itself never fails to satisfy me. There’s nothing better than reuniting with old friends, making new ones and just having some great fun in the woods with bikes. It’s the best.
I did do one thing this year that made it a bit easier on me. I don’t know why I never thought of it before. Just like every previous year, I put on a small, free event for the kids at the MotoTrials Youth Nationals the weekend before my NATS comp. I always set Beginner, Sport and “Advanced” sections that accommodate the younger ages. This year, I got smart and set the Youth sections so that I could reuse them for my NATS Beginner and Sport sections with only a few minor changes. This worked great! Friday came and I only had to set the six Expert/Pro sections – and I could take my time about it. I’ll be using this trick again.
I’ve decided that I also really like to run the Beginner/Sport group at a different time than the Expert/Pro group. This year I started the Beginner/Sport group at 9:00am. Since there were only four, they only took a couple of hours to ride and we were ready to start the Expert/Pro group. However, the weather wasn’t ready. Just as I was about the gather up the Expert/Pro group to head out to the sections from the pavilion, a massive thunderhead rolled in. I quickly pulled up the AccuWeather radar on my Blackberry (thanks IT job!) and found a dark red blob over us. All of the riders were anxious to get to riding but I suggested we wait about thirty minutes. It’s a good thing we did because the sky totally opened up and poured rain like I’ve never seen. The droplets were so big that it sounded like hail on the pavilion’s roof.
By about 11:30am the rain had subsided enough to start the competition. Unfortunately, the rocks had become ice. I had been watching the weather reports almost hourly for days before I set the sections to try to decide how and where to lay them out. Every indication was that it was going to be dry. In fact, just Saturday morning, the radar showed no rain in the area. So, I had put the sections at “Moon Rocks” and I set them moderately hard. However, after that massive storm rolled through, my sections became near impossible. These rocks are some of the stickiest, highest traction rocks you’ve seen – when they are dry. But, when they’re wet, there’s a thin film of dust and algae/pollen that makes them positively treacherous.
One look at the Expert and Pro scores shows just what I mean. I really have to give it to these guys. They all rode incredibly well considering the situation. I was especially surprised by Mike, Brian and Tom Ligon. You three made the impossible look reasonable. Bravo.
I really must thank everyone who came out. I know that gas prices, jobs and life in general make it difficult to get to comps so I sincerely appreciate that you made the effort to come to my event. I hope that this event was worth your while and that my future events will continue to be. I also want to give special thanks to my Mom and Dad for all of their help and donations of time, money and food; Dan Brown and the rest of the TTC crew for their continued support; American Bicycle Racing for their support; and Adrian at UniqueTrials.com for having the vision to support our fledgling sport.
|Beginner (4 sections, 3 loops)
|Sport (4 sections, 3 loops)
|Expert (6 sections, 2 loops)
|Ride-off: 2 points
|Ride-off: 3 points
|Ride-off: 5 points
|Pro (6 sections, 2 loops)