Stillwater 500, 04-08-2012

Gary: I want to be on the road by 7:30.

Silver: 7:30!? Are you crazy!!!!!

But on the road at 7:15 we were. Heading to the Stillwater 500 trails for my first time out there. It had rained overnight so we weren’t sure how muddy everything was going to be but we were going anyway. Some texts with Noel and Cliff led to them skipping out as well. Noel to do yard work and Cliff to go fishing with a “Yeah, I’ll go fishing, don’t need any red mud today”. Also to add insult to injury Gary not only made me get up before the sun came up on a weekend but also made me listen to country music the whole way down there and most of the way back. ARG!

Heading out.

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We were actually the first ones to arrive at Stillwater that morning. Pulled back into the back by the track and unloaded. It had rained overnight so it was muddy but wasn’t bad enough to not go ride. While we were gearing up Adam and Kelsey pulled up. Both KTM 2smoke riders so of course they were super super cool. Also nice small world we live in they both know Cliff which was pretty cool.

Adam and Kelsey.

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After talking bike talk and trail talk for a while Gary and I head out and I’m on the Stillwater red mud for the first time. Now, my previous dealings
with mud haven’t turned out the best so I was riding like a Harley rider on a curvy road. REALLY REALLY SLOW. Also first time on the trail too so I had no idea what to expect. Blue trail was really fun and I bet it’s even better when it’s not muddy. My first biff and tumble came not from the mud but from a steep downhill that mid-way through had a 2 foot or so drop off. The drop off gonked out my right foot so it wasn’t over the brake anymore and I couldn’t slow down and then I met my other nemesis “the tree that likes to hit my left hand bar end” which sent me in a small tumble down the hill. Mud adds some serious pounds to your bike, but got it back up and started and caught back up to Gary who was waiting on me.

Now my second biff did come from the mud, but mostly my fault. Gary had stopped off to the right and I didn’t see him until I passed him, I had taken a different route to avoid a sizable water/mud hole and once I saw him I stopped. Instead of going back through the dry part I said “Eh, just go for it” and went through the mud hole I just avoided which I entered at an angle and it spun me one way and spun me the other and I ended up on the other side with the bike spun around and on its side and me on the ground with Gary going “Where’s the go pro when you need it?!”

After my tree biff and mud biff.

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The gonky mud hole I spun out and went all whoops on.

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We took a break at the mud hole for a bit and Adam cruised by us on his first loop as well. Back on trail we stopped a bit ahead and Gary showing me an exit point to get to the road in case I got lost or anything happened. I think we were on mile 4 or so by now. Kelsey shows up a bit later and we talk a bit about the mud/trail and whatnot, she asks us if we mind if she rides with us for a bit. Not a problem, and we all head out. When Gary takes off back on trail Kelsey motions me to go ahead of her, hahahahaha, noway and I shoo her on ahead. I’m slow and new and it’s MUD we’re riding on, I didn’t want to be slowing anyone up. I’m sure Gary was glad for the riding company as well seeing as how I was probably 50 yards behind them most of the way tip toeing through mud puddles and slick spots as if they were going to swallow me whole if I tried to apply any throttle through them. Well except I caught up to them for Gary’s biff off roughly a 3 foot drop, guess it was a good one. Of course I said “Where’s the go pro when you need it!” heh.

We finish our loop and I won because they took the rest of the blue trail and I took the road and got back to the trucks first SO I WIN OK. One of the funny moments was when talking with Adam and Kelsey she is thinking she’s probably going to move up to a 200 or 250 XC here soon. I tell her that’s she’s more than welcome to ride mine around for a bit and she advises “Well I don’t want to crash it” this was of course after I had informed them of my two meetings with the tree and the mud hole and Adam tells Kelsey “Go ahead, sounds like he’s already crashed it a few times today” which was true lol.

Kelsey rides it for a bit, likes it, I think I got a “Whoa that’s weird” about the rekluse clutch on it, which actually is kinda weird when you first ride around with it. After that Kelsey takes off on Adam’s 300 and tells Adam to catch up to her on her 150. Gary and I are geared back up and head out as well. This time instead of bombing down the 2 foot drop hill and smacking a tree I stop and assess the situation and find that on the right is a no 2 foot drop downhill and take that. Then I catch up to Gary, Adam, and Kelsey. Bummer though because I caught up to them because Adam’s bike died and wouldn’t start back up.

Where we ended up at.

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Adams bike off to the right. Luckily we were right by the road and Gary helped Adam get the 150 through the riverbed leading to it and up the steep part so that he could get on the road and go get the truck. We hang out and chat a bit and Kelsey calls Adam and finds out he’s on his way back with the trailer. Kelsey grabs the 300 and starts pushing it through the ditch and Gary and I are following here. Haha this is where Gary goes “This is when we need the camera, 2 guys following the girl pushing the dirtbike through the creek. We help with the bike over a few logs and then up the hill to the road. Adam and Kelsey thank us for the help but really no big deal. 4 people pushing a bike out of the woods is much easier than 2, and it also builds rider karma hanging out to help other riders.

Gary and I hang out and snack for a bit as the rain gets worse.

Photo time!

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We decide to head back and see how the trails are and if they’re too nasty then we’ll pack up and bail. Trails were extra mucked with the rain. Got to around the 3.5/4 mile mark and got to the road exit and headed back to the trucks.
When we get back to the truck we find that Adam has gotten the 300 back up and running and they are heading back out. Gary and I are pretty much done for the day and pack it up then head into Stillwater for Palaminos.

Quick picture before that though.

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Good times! Now, like I said we went to a restaurant named Palamenos or however you spell it authentic Mexican. Pretty sure that this will become our ritual stop after riding Stillwater from now on. Food was AWESOME. Pictures? No I didn’t take any.

HAHA yeah right.

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And finally, the end shot. Lots and lots of red mud. I think I washed about 20 pounds of it off into my front yard.

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Was a really really fun day. Definitely want to go back, we’ll just let it dry up a bit though.

Cheers!

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