The Simple Simon Dualsport Ride, 5/18/03

Story and Photos by Tom Niemela

            Days before the event, it had rained and, driving out in the morning of May 18, fog was still lurking low in the coast-range mountains.  Pulling in at my customary Tom-standard-time (about 30 minutes late), I found Flying Frank’s EZ-up and trailer, so made my way.  Frank came around the corner of the camper with his usual grin, when low and behold, Walt Koch also appeared.  This was a surprise, since I thought Wally was still down in the boiling hotbed of Palm Springs.  Cool, we’d have quite the riding party!  Rick “Gunny” Claypoole was also there with his boy, Nick too, so things were looking fun.  There are just not many things better than going on a fun ride with your best buds. 

            I unloaded my XR650 and meandered to the signup tent.  The Mt. Scott M/C had used the Trask County Park (just out of Tillamook, OR) as the staging area, which was well spaced out for everyone.  I got the usual ridiculing and verbal abuse from the club members and was ready to gear up and ride.  After making a monumental effort at flooding my poor, defenseless XR, Walt finally kicked it to life for me.  I’m gonna have to rename Wally to “Mr. Electric Start”. 

The usual last-minute checks, a pull of cards at the start checkpoint and we were on our way.  The group of us consisted of Mike Cardenas, Frank Noe, Walt Koch and yours truly.  Gunny decided to hang back with his boy who was having bike problems.  The course started up the Old Toll Road for a ways and then caught the first trail section at Bark Shanty.  After a couple missed turns by some of the group, I ended up being the leader.  Wow, they must have low requirements.  The course slithered, slid, and surfed its way around over to the first checkpoint at the bottom of Zig Zag Road.  Dan Newman was running the game of spinning a Hula Hoop as many times around your waist as possible: one point per hoop.  Since I have no rhythm, of course I did horrible, but created some major laughs.  Embarrassed at my pathetic body English with hoops, I lead everyone up to the Zig Zag Road.  Did I mention it had rained a couple days before?  Zig Zag was like riding on your kitchen floor after your Ma had poured 20 gallons of Crisco oil everywhere!  Thank God I had a relatively new set of bumpy tires that were hooking up fairly well, so I was skimming past the random riders that were slipping and sliding along the greasy hardpack.  Then some guy on an XR400 railed by me and roosted me in a big way.  I would remember this, I thought to myself, hehe.  About three-quarter of the way up we stopped for a break.  Low and behold there was George Flanagan, Jim Loveall and David Butt.  We of course had to stop, harass them, take some snapshots and tell them they were lost, just for grins.  That’s when I realized that the knobby-infested XR4-hunny rider was Mike Cardenas.  I would be in search of mud puddles throughout the day to get even!

At the top of Zig Zag we hit Smith Bypass, on over to Hembre Ridge, down Jordan Creek to Spauer Creek Trail, back up Jordan Creek, went wayyyyyyy around Jordan Creek to Archers Road, where Mike did a cross-rut surf into the goo.  From there we made our way down the old Trask Trash Trail, which I hadn’t ridden since the late 80s.  It rocked!  Forgot how much fun it was.  That trail eventually led us down to Lee’s Camp Store for another checkpoint, lunch and gas.  This game was a golf game, of which I sucked as usual on.  The Scotters had a great deli selection of sandwiches, fruit, soda and chips to feed the starving hordes.  Also on hand was Bob Lanphere Junior’s small bus that had gas for the bikes.  It worked like this: someone would pump the petrol into a five-gallon jug and then pass the jug around to each bike.  This was NO CHARGE, baby!  Very cool.  Out of the sea of bikes and riders walked my old buddy, Daryl Reid, with a gas can and started filling my bike.  What the ????  Daryl had merely been in the area, saw all the bikes and walked over.  What a small world!  Thanks Daryl!  Was great to see Richard and Ryan Clay, Chuck Hodsen, Bert Basset, and Mike Medic.  As we were eating our chow, Gunny came off the tarmac for lunch as some old cornbinder (International) truck almost ran over him.  As we were eating, I couldn’t resist and turned off the fuel petcock for Mike Cardenas.  To this day, I don’t know if he knows it was me. 

From there we went up Diamond Mill Road to North Fork Road and made our way to Triangulation Peak.  We, of course, had to do the obligatory Kodak Moment from there.  Then we regrouped and came down Kilchis Road and made our way through various trails that brought us back down to Cedar Creek Road.  Just before the pavement was another check that involved a slow test in a box, where you had to balance your bike.  Again I sucked, especially when George, Jim and Dave all had their cameras on me.  Those three kept haunting us like a bunch of ghosts all day! 

After that fiasco, we crossed the highway onto a short bypass trail that I about kissed a tree, which then brought us up to Roger’s Road.  Whoa baby was it slick!  Mikey took another major soil sample there, but was okay, except for ego.  At the top of Roger’s we took a few trails and I realized it was getting late and I had to get back, so I left everyone to their own rollchart guidance skills (a questionable endeavor!) and took a shortcut back to the finish by way of Fox Creek and Bobcat Cutoff. 

I had only been to the finish for about five minutes when the others came rumbling in to the finish too.  Evidently, there was only one more small trail section and the course came straight back.  Oh well.  At the finish was Steve Simon running the Simple Simon Game.  I rocked it with a 12! 

            Overall it was a very fun event!  The rollcharts were mostly accurate, the area was sweet, no dust, great weather the day of the event and everyone was happy!  Heck, I even got a 7th place trophy. This also happened to be the maiden voyage of me using a GPS.  Fun, but frustrating at the same time!  When it got reception, it was very cool.  But when it got poor reception, which was often in the canopy of trees, it was a drag.  At the finish I had probably about 50% of the course recorded.  The Mt. Scotters would like to thank Oregon Department of Forestry and Beaverton Honda-Yamaha for their assistance in this event and hope to see many more riders next year.

(click on thumbnails for larger picture)

Click to see IMG_2512.JPG
Scenic overlook on Hembre Road with Frank, Walt, Mike and Shane.
May 18 2003
9:17:48 am
Click to see IMG_2513.JPG
Mike Cardenas after taking a major soil sample in the mud on Archer’s Road.
May 18 2003
10:10:03 am
Click to see IMG_2515.JPG
Taking a break on the classic Trask Trash Trail.

May 18 2003
10:23:13 am
Click to see IMG_2517.JPG
Another scenic shot with Mike, Richard Clay, Chuck Hodsen, and Frank.

May 18 2003
11:34:52 am
Click to see IMG_2521.JPG
The Three Stooges (Dave, Jim and George) joking with a Mt. Scotter.

May 18 2003
12:22:51 pm
Click to see IMG_2524.JPG
Frank balancing his front wheel in the box as long as possible.

May 18 2003
12:24:12 pm
Click to see IMG_2527.JPG
Walt doing his best balancing act too. 

May 18 2003
12:26:04 pm