Riding At China Hat OHV Area With Team Butthook, 4/13/03

By Tom Niemela

(click on thumbnails for larger picture)

I headed over VERY early on Sunday morning with Flying Frank Noe at O' dark thirty.  How early?  It was SO early, that we didn't find an open coffee shop until we hit Madras!  We darned near had the shakes once we got there. 

Once in Redmond, we hooked up with my old riding bud, Jerry 'No Morals' Morrell.  Also there were two other old riding buds, Mark 'Ruplee' Ruple and Stevie Ray Branstetter.  Heck, it was darned near a Team Butthook reunion!  We got the nickel tour through Jerome's new house and visited with his wifey, Tawnia, and tried to wake up their new kid, Jesse Arthur Morrell. 

From there we mule trained it out to China Hat.  Was gonna be a somewhat overcast, and dusty day.  I only wore two jerseys, while the others wore jackets.  A few miles into the whoops and dust and they were ready to toss their jackets - I was just fine. Right off it was obvious that Frank had his suspension set up way too soft (new WR450), so we worked on that for awhile and got him straight. His riding was much smoother afterwards.  The dust was very brutal in the lower areas, but we finally got up into the higher elevations and it was killer!  The tighter trails, although not as tight as they used to be, are pretty darned fun.  Throughout the day there were riders everywhere, getting themselves warmed up for the upcoming China Hat ISDE I presume also.  There were a number of MXers out there and some must only see one foot in front of their front tire, since we almost had head ones with a couple of them (I literally had to dive into the bushes one time!).  No more head ons for this boy.  A few times we stopped and low and behold, some more long-time friends showed up like Gary Forster from G&G Cycle, Mark Zertanna, Todd Heinle, Ryen Reid, Chris and JOE (twins 'Jason Or Eric' - I can NEVER tell the difference between them!) Ginsbach to name a few.  Was really great to see them all! 

We had a couple quick Kodak moments on the way back and called it a day.  We did around 55 miles, nobody got hurt or crashed and we had a ball.  Of course arriving back at the haulers, we all had to do front-wheel 'stoppies', as evidenced below.  Even Roop, who'd never done one before, finally got it up!  (no comment)  Thanks Jerome, ya ol' boot, for leading us around and see ya'll at the China Hat ISDE!

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Stevie Ray and Roop

Apr 13 2003
8:57:20 am
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No Morals

Apr 13 2003
8:57:33 am
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Frank doing his veterinarian imitation of horse birth

Apr 13 2003
8:58:40 am
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Ruple up to his old self and Jer laughing

Apr 13 2003
11:45:10 am
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Mark Zertanna

Apr 13 2003
11:53:38 am
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Gary Forster of G&G Cycle

Apr 13 2003
11:53:48 am
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Todd Heinle

Apr 13 2003
12:26:50 pm
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The Ginsbachs

Apr 13 2003
12:27:04 pm
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Ryen Reid

Apr 13 2003
12:27:10 pm
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Jerry about to flash Mark

Apr 13 2003
1:19:55 pm
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Flyin' Frank, flyin'!

Apr 13 2003
1:38:11 pm
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Roop in the dust

Apr 13 2003
1:38:32 pm
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Stevie Ray

Apr 13 2003
1:40:29 pm
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Apr 13 2003
1:49:14 pm
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Jerome doing a great wheely

Apr 13 2003
1:49:52 pm
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Markus wheelying

Apr 13 2003
1:50:11 pm
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Stevie Ray

Apr 13 2003
1:50:50 pm
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Yours truly!  I actually do get pix of myself sometimes (thanks, Jer!)

Apr 13 2003
1:54:54 pm
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Awesome stoppy by No Morals

Apr 13 2003
2:31:56 pm
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Ruplee trying to do a stoppy

Apr 13 2003
2:38:19 pm
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"I am the Stoppy King!"

Apr 13 2003
2:38:53 pm
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Jerome stopping my bike - proof he really will ride something other than a KTM!

Apr 13 2003
2:40:07 pm
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Frunk on the front end

Apr 13 2003
2:40:55 pm