Hollister Hills – Training for Elsinore GP?


October 21-22 We decided to ride the whole weekend (okay, two half days) so that we can get in better shape and possibly race the Elsinore GP next month.   Shawn bought new suspension for his CRF450R and he adjusted mine to be a bit lower in the rear so I can possibly kick start if I need to before or during a race.  Or I fall over and he is no where around.  It is not like I am going to have a tree everywhere I go, or a downhill area to bumpstart.  Besides, it is redsticker season, do we really need an excuse to go ride??

Saturday: The first day we did the usual, I like to start on Lower Field.  It is really bumpy and a good route to warm up your suspension.  I had two crazy headshake incidents–one from plain old acceleration and one nasty one from bumps.  More like craters, but whatever.  So we made changes and went back out and it was a thousand times better.

We would up going up Lake Rd and then Shawn mentioned that we go up High Road.  My old brain forgot what High Road was for a second, until I was on it and though  I hate this road.”  But the changes were solid and I didn’t lose the front at all.

BTW we now know that I have both an oil leak and a coolant leak–separately.  That was the weird green and oil stuff that was sitting in the gasoline when I had the fuel leak.  Yeah.  But not together, not a frothy milkshake.  That’s what happened when I (rather TABI) blew a gasket in my KX–twice.  So that’s more crap to fix.



Shawn was taking forever messing with his new camera set up so I took off to ride Lower Field by myself.  It was fun.  Still rough, though.  I came back and he was finally ready! so we went back out and did Lower Field again and the changes were great once the suspension was warm.

Video of Lower Field Ride 10/22/2017

Then went to San Andreas Drop.  I have only ridden SAD a few times, but this was the first time on my YZ and it is both a plus and a minus.  A plus in that it rides over whoops more easily.  A minus in that I cannot touch my feet on the ground unless I hop partially off.  I fell over, or rather kinda-crashed, no less than 5 times.  The more I fell off my bike, the more exhausted I became and the more likely I was to crash again.  And crash I did.  Otherwise known as getting used to riding a bigger bike when you can’t touch the ground.

I jumped off the right side so I wouldn’t fall of camber.  Because that hurts.


But then I get up to pick up my bike, it rolls back and falls on top of me.  Which did hurt. 


But it gets better.  I then have gas pouring on me and I am stuck. The handle bar is into my thigh, I am off camber, and this thing is heavy.   That hurt, too.


I practically had a tantrum since apparently I forgot how to ride a bike.   I have bad case of potty mouth. Sorry.  I did try to bleep it all out, though.


Tantrum Time

I finally make it to where Shawn is waiting for me and he has turned around and was coming to find me.  Well he needs his valves redone (AGAIN) and he couldn’t really start it so he was pushing it up a hill to bump it again–or at least try.  I tapped out, and went back the truck and laid down on the picnic table seat to rest while he went and did a loop on High Road.

Video of the Meltdown I Had on San Andreas Drop


The (Fun) Carnage That Is Twin Hills

twinhillsMy favorite place to stage at Hollister Hills is right in front of the far end of TT track.   It has a great view of said TT track, a partial view of the MX track, has its own restroom facility, AND has a glorious view of Twin Hills.  Twin Hills and I have a “relationship” — I stare and admire at it from afar, having only been on it once, and dream of the day when I no longer have apprehension about going up it on a whim.  My favorite pastime when I am not riding, is watching people attempt, fail, attempt, fail, attempt, succeed to go up this hill.  I can do it all day long. I have seen people make it up with pit bikes, quads, two strokes and four strokes.  I have watched people almost not make it, almost make it, wheelie at the last section (which is what happened to me), traverse all the way up, ride up the side for a second, ride down, help their buddies, roost their buddies.  I have seen it all in the last several years we have been coming to Hollister Hills. It is all in fun, I have never seen anyone get hurt.  And I am not the only one!

This past weekend there was group of ladies and kids watching their very large group go up and down. I, too, was spectating along with them!  This was the best spectacle yet.  One guy was so tenacious.  He tried three different times in the span of 45 minutes and had to be rescued by his buddy once; who walked up the hill almost halfway and rode his bike down for him.  The rider actually was able to just slide on his but down the hill with a slight little push to with his hands to propel him faster.  I think I would compare it to the top of Heavenly ski resort for the degree of grade.   I have heard it ranges from 65-75% grade, if anyone knows, let me know.  It is a mixture of loose (decomposed) granite (DG) and hardpack. If you have ever ridden on DG — which if you ride in CA, then you have – you know it is slippery.  When it is dry as it is now, after the long summer.  Even more slippery.

So this group is taking turns going up and around and reclimbing with a lot of success. And as evolution would have it, with others’ successes comes the growing ambitions of others to do the very same.

So this one (ambitious) friend tries to make it up.  He fails.  So the other friend (in the red) rides his own bike up there to help him, puts his own bike on the ground and finally has to ride the lesser rider’s bike down the hill and walkback UP the hill to ride his own bike downhill.  That’s a true friend right there.

He is exhausted after that hike and pops a squat near his bike to rest while his other “friend” proceeds to dust him out.  Tip: Get new friends 😉

SO the guy (lesser rider) tries AGAIN and crashes in the same place.  Tries to ride it down himself, crashes again.  This time his buddy on a quad comes to help him.  The guy on the quad was really good.  He could spin around and point back downhill and had great grip and brakes!  He had really good skills on that quad.  He could literally do doughnuts on that hill without flipping it.

Attempt #2

And so pack mentality has it that when you are in front of your friends, you have to try it over and over again until you succeed.  I know, I have been victim of this myself 😉  Third Time was not a charm either.   He tried to ride it down himself this time, but fell back down.

I applaud his detemrination because I was too afraid to go up with my YZ.  I did it back in April on my CRF and that was interesting  But the grip is great in April.

All in all it was A FUN day!  But we have to decide, Elsinore or Cowbell, Elsinore or Cowbell.   Cowbell is harder, but I get to camp!  Elsinore is just plain fun, but far away.

My niece/adopted daughter is coming in next weekend and we are going to have a girl’s day ride.


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