February Issue of On-The-Pegs
It all started for me when I was seven years old, when my Dad had a friend that worked at the local Honda Dealership and brought home a shiny silver Honda MR50. I bet I made 500 laps on that bike in one day. I was forever hooked!
My passion for motorcycling from then on has never stopped.
The only one I question was when my Dad brought me home my first Italian motorcycle, a Benelli 125, the reason I say that is the shifter was on the right side and rear brake pedal was on the left, talk about messing with a kids head! I won my first motocross race at the age of 14 on a '83 Suzuki RM250 and I still have a '83 RM250 that I occasionally vintage MX race.
Just a little short story about how much I lived, slept and ate motocross. I was 17 when I had my wisdom teeth removed, thus I have no wisdom LOL, by any how they get ready to knock me out and the anesthesiologist said think of something you like to do and you will dream about it. So when I woke up and still half under the anesthesia, I told my Mom I finished 2nd at the Ponca City Nationals. I'm sure she just laughed, because she still tells the story now and then. And little did I know it would take to the year 2010 when I did finish 8th Overall in the 40+ A-Vet class.
I'm sure most of us have had the broken arm, baseball size knot on the shin, but the one that got me thinking about taking up trials professionally, LOL, was I had a pretty good wreck at River Valley MX in Silom, AR. Missed a triple jump broke five ribs, cracked sternum, punctured lung and was in ICU for a few days. I still ride motocross but as the great philosopher Toby Keith says, "I ain't as good as I once was", that's the cold hard truth.
So I searched the World Wide Web (craigslist) and found a GasGas 280 in Wichita from a guy named Wes Jordan. I bought it and he invited me to one of the Ark Valley trials meets and then I became ate up with this. Then my son Cale got on it and he liked it so I bought him a Sherco. I let Todd Phillips ride mine and he liked it so I sold him that one and bought another GasGas. Then one of us let Chris Shellenberger ride one of ours and he was hooked. Then I coaxed the love of my life Penni Taylor to give it a try and I will let her tell you in her profile why I called her my little Whiskey girl, but not anymore, I got her the right sized bike now.
So I can say I have brought in four of the closest people in my life, besides my Parents and Grandchildren, into trials . And we already have bought Gunner, our first grandson, an electric Mecatecno T8 and I'm sure our little Journey Bug will be on one soon.
40 years later I'm riding my second Italian motorcycle, a Beta 300 SS, and wouldn't you know it the damn kicker is still on the wrong side.
I have truly met some of the friendliest people in trials, even at the Nationals this past year, which was my first, the competition was tough, but everyone, the competitors, officials and spectators want you to succeed. Like I said, I have raced Motocross, Dirt Track Oval and drag raced. There are no better people than trials enthusiasts. I have won several track championships in auto racing and motocross, but trials has been my most challenging and rewarding. I hope to be riding trials till the day I can't swing my leg over it to start it.
Last Event - Jan 21st Grand Lake Shakedown
For the event, 13 riders in attendance on a warm day in January and a great day to ride trials with temps in the 50's. A little breezy at times but otherwise you couldn't ask for a better day this time of year. The icing on the cake was Mrs. Trialsmaster provided plenty of home made chocolate chips cookies for everyone to enjoy.
There were a couple of firsts to kick off the New Year:
1. There were four first-time Intermediate riders who did great for their first time in the class. The points were close and any one of them could have won the class. It looks to be a good year in INT class.
2. Also a first time Expert (Shellenberger) and an experienced Sr. Amateur (Anderson) rider get their first class wins.
Spectator wise there were two experienced riders from other moto disciplines that came out to watch expressing an interest in starting to ride trials - hopefully we didn't scare them off with our crazy antics.
Lastly a blast from the past Rex Gibson was out riding around, not competing, but dusting off his GasGas 321 and he had a for sale on it if anyone is interested.
So lots of changes and new experiences to kick off the New Year.
TrialsMaster Mike put together 8 sections and 3 loops with a nice mix of rocks, logs, hill climbs and off-cambers on terrain that mostly consisted of loose roly-poly rocks and\or slippery rocks.
Exp: Shellenberger (58), Shack (64), Cramsey (67)
Int: Malone (41), Cogburn (49), Duesterhaus (53\7c), Phillips (53\5c)
SrAma: Anderson (14), Kight (18), Gudgel (n\c 21)
Nov: Taylor (11), Kleeman (15)
The official scores and year-to-date standings are on the web here.
Thanks to Kevin for helping set the trials and to everyone that helped pick up afterwards. Also Stacey and Todd P for running the sign-in table and Jon Stoodley for taking all the pictures.
January's Trials Trivia Game Answer
Answers to Last Months trivia questions (In Jeopardy format):
- Who is Malcolm Rathmell? - The rider on the original NEOTT patch, designed by Mike McCabe - Rob Toole was our winner
- Bonus Question: Who is Ron Lee? - The rider on the current NEOTT logo, designed by Jon Stoodley - Mark Cope was our winner
Looking for a bike? Of course you are - here are some quick links for trials bikes on Craigslist in these nearby cities:
Coming Up in the March 2018 Issue:
- Shake down and break down of the Feb Event
- Getting geared up for the March Dam Gate Trial - once-in-a-lifetime chance to get your name on the cup next to Pat Smage's!
- Rider Profile - Eldon Malone
- If anyone wants to write up a short story or a tall tale send it to [email protected] and we'll get it added.