Columbia Cup Setup Weekend – Day 2 / 3

Much of Saturday and Sunday was spent helping setup sections for the upcoming Columbia Cup MotoTrials. The process is still new to me, this being the second time I volunteered to help setup an event.

Typically, either from the marshal’s prior experience or a pre-setup reconnaissance, a loop is setup. Ten “AM” sections and ten “PM” sections are located immediately off the loop. During an event, each competitor rides around the loop doing each of the ten sections three times.

“AM” sections are for novice, sportsman and intermediate riders while the “PM” loops are for senior intermediate, advanced, expert support and expert riders. They’re historical separated into morning and afternoon groups so that riders from one can score for the riders of the other. That’s referred to as cross-check. These days, we usually rely on people riding in our group to score each other, referred to as group-check.

Once the marshal, or in this case marshals, has located the area for each of the sections, volunteers help clear brush …

and then test potential lines through the section, looking for obstacles and challenges appropriate to the riders. Here is Dan testing an intermediate level obstacle.

And here is Jeff testing a novice line.

Once the line through the section is determined, ribbon and markers are placed for the riders to follow during the event.

Blue ribbon designates the left section boundary and red ribbon is placed on the right boundary. Additional signs designate “splits”, or instructions for a specific class of rider (e.g. novice or intermediate). A closeup of the above photo shows one such split.

Here the intermediate “A” class must ride over this obstacle, where the other classes ride around it.

For the Columbia Cup, a two-day event, some 40 sections were created this way. That’s ten AM and ten PM sections for both Saturday and Sunday. It’s a lot of work and it was a great learning experience to be a volunteer for this weekend’s setup adventure.

I drove back home to Seattle this afternoon after we finished the setup. I’ll post again this weekend with details of the event itself.

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