NEOTT MotoTrials

Find Your Edge...

NeottNews Monthly Newsletter

Issue #8 : July 2018
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Last month Mike McCabe's SSDT story went global in the June Edition of On-The-Pegs

Well this month the story was immortalized on the TrialsGuru web site here.  If you don't know TrialsGuru is "The Premier Trial Sport Website for photos, articles, news and the history of motorcycle trials".  John Moffat, the man behind TrialsGuru, was able to add some additional details to some of the pictures in the article.  John Moffat also told NEOTTNews that the one and only Mr. Bernie Schreiber (America's first and only World Champion Trials rider in 1979 and overall winner of the 1982 SSDT) picked up on the story from the TrialsGuru site and Bernie said it was the first time he had heard of that story.
Next Trials Event - SATURDAY July 21, 2018 @ Grand Lake
- Night Trial !

- Sign Up 7:30 - 8:30 pm at Hogan's Campground

- Group ride, 9 PM riders meeting below the dam (see map)

- Fees: $20 for Members, $25 for Non-Members

- Spectators are always free but please sign the waiver at the sign-in table.
- Primarily we'll be based out of Hogan's Campground for sign-up, scoring etc  Sign-up is from 7:30 - 8:30 pm.  We'll have the rider's meeting at the "Pit Area" below the dam at 9 pm then begin the trial from there. 

- Seven sections and three loops.

- The 'Pit Area' would be a good place to drive a vehicle with some supplies (water \ batteries) etc if people want to bring a vehicle into the area.

A helmet mounted headlamp is all you really need to get around.  This picture shows the lighting with just a 200 Lumens LED headlamp and no headlight on the bike at 11 pm at night.
Things to know and do:

- Riders Meeting at the "Pit Area" at 9 pm - ** be there on time ** we won't send someone to go find you.

- The sections will be set such that the challenge level is roughly one class lower than you are used to riding to offset some of the challenges of riding in the dark and will be more techno than big.

- There could be some natural lighting available as the moon will be nearly full and as long as it isn't cloudy it will help some in the sections and on the loop.

- Bring spare batteries and expect to change batteries at least twice.  Ideally bring a spare headlamp.

- Consider putting your stock headlight back on your bike for the event.  Optionally consider going 'all-in' and getting a lighting kit from Chris Johnson and you'll be set to take the night shift during the Baja 1000.  (See below)

- Consider bringing a handheld flashlight for walking the sections and possibly providing additional lighting when your buddy is riding through.  Spare flashlight ... check - Spare Batteries ... check.

- Strongly recommend arriving during daylight hours and getting familiar with the loop and sections.

- Certainly there will be some play riding on Sunday morning as well.

Let there be light

-Chris Johnson has created a headlight for trials bikes to primarily be sold through RYP but he will have a limited number available at the night trial for those interested. 

-If you arrive early enough you'll get free installation and technical support - assuming your bike and wiring harness are spotlessly clean for Chris to work on it. 

-All the details and the evolution of the product are on an ADVRider thread here.  If you are interested in getting one of these headlights for the night trial contact Chris directly.
Now to feed your inner astronomical curiosity you'll want to know that:

- Civil Twilight Ends at 9:07 pm  (meaning the center of the Sun is 6 degrees below the horizon and artificial light is generally needed to carry out most outdoor activities.  This will be about the time the riders meeting ends.)

- Nautical Twilight Ends at 9:42 pm (the center of the Sun is 12 degrees below the horizon and it is becoming difficult to distinguish the sky from land or water.  Most stars and constellations are now visible to the naked eye.)

- Astronomical Twilight Ends at 10:21 pm (the center of the Sun is 18 degrees below the horizon and this moment is the official beginning of night time i.e. it is fully dark)

- Moon Illumination will be 74%.  The moon will be directly south (180 degrees) and at peak altitude (39 degrees) during the riders meeting at 9 pm and move to the southwest (220 degrees) and fall in altitude to 28 degrees by 11:30 pm

- Planets: Should be able to see Mars, Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter in the Southern sky and Venus to the West.

- This concludes the educational part of program now let's get back to riding !

 June Nationals @ Uniontown AR

Since there wasn't a June NEOTT event (so that club members could assist with the Arkansas Nationals) we bring you some of the inside scoop from the AR NATS.  80% of NEOTT regulars helped setup, ride and\or judged at the Arkansas Nationals (outstanding participation rate considering it wasn't our event).

Practice Practice Practice

Some of the Team Beta riders (Andreas Niederer (FL), Elliot Key (IL), Cole Cullens (CA) and Sadie Webb (NM) were in T-town area hanging out with Ron Lee in-between the TN and AR Nationals.  On the Tuesday before the AR Nats they went out to Gruber for some play and practice time on a lot of rocky ledges and as a bonus took some runs up El Diablo.  (For those that don't know, riding El Diablo is like riding five Scottish Six Day Trials sections in a row)  Some rain in the morning made El Diablo pretty slick and interesting.  Here's what everyone thought about El Diablo:

Andy (Pro): "El Diablo was a ton of fun! Ron Lee had told me stories about their fun trial going up and down it for time and points. Of course he won.  So he challenged me to go up and down it, without taking any points, TWICE!  In exchange he said he’d buy dinner and ice cream. After three tries I had made it up and down with 2 points total and the only prize I won was a friendly dose of arm pump and a good workout. The trials area had a bit of everything and it was great for beginners all the way to professionals. I would jump at a chance to get another chance to win dinner!"

Elliot (Expert 125): "El Diablo was very fun but very difficult! Ron Lee had told us about it and as soon as I heard about it I wanted to see it!  He said that there was a competition on it and it was based on time and points and he said that he got up it with just 2 points! So I made it a challenge to beat him! But it was a little more harder than I thought! I made it with exactly 3 points! It took a toll on my arms and legs! But I tried my best!"

Cole (Junior): "El Diablo was one of the craziest challenges I have ever seen.  At first I thought it would be easy, just ride down a creek but it some of the toughest terrain possibly imaginable and it goes on for what seems like forever.  By the end I was so tired I was failing over on flat ground and just wanted to lay there.  If you can clean the whole thing then you are undeniably amazing. Most of all though it was fun!"

Sadie (Women): "I thought El Diablo was awesome ... until you tried to ride it start-to-end on a hot and humid day.  Very accurately named  haha."

Kevin Kight's perspective from scoring section 8 on Saturday and section 7 on Sunday:

Saturday: The day started out as a perfect day in mid-June.  Departed my hotel in Van Buren, AR at 6:30 am to be at the 7:30 am scoring meeting with time to spare.  Met up with Chris and Todd who were both riding the event and fellow judge Penni.  Penni and I wanted to team-up in the same section but we quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen as Rob Toole could spare only one experienced judge per section.

I was partnered with a husband/wife team, Quinton and Heather from Hot Springs, AR who had never been to a trial.  I quickly found out that they were the type of people who are hardworking and extremely willing to help.  I gave them the best instructions I could then we gave scoring our best shot.

We didn’t make it through one complete loop until a rider (leaving nameless due to privacy) had a failure in our section, crashed and was severely injured.  He remained in our section for over an hour with many capable hands doing all they could to comfort him.  Ambulance arrived, loaded and transported him to a field where a helicopter crew transported him to a hospital. 

After the thirty minute mark with the injured rider in our section the NATC staff officially closed our section. Quinton and Heather had the remainder of the afternoon to visit other sections.  I attempted to assist Penni and her co-judge on section 9.

At six pm it was time for awards.  It’s always a joy to see our local riders receive recognition.  Todd Duesterhaus earned third place on Saturday in the Clubman class.  Chris Shellenberger got a second place in the SR-40 class.

A few of us found our way to the “Catfish Hole” in Alma, AR.  Not gonna say how much we ate, but let’s just say we ordered way-way too much catfish. 

Sunday:  At the scoring meeting Quinton, Heather and I were assigned to section 7.   I think we all learned a lot about scoring from our previous short day of judging sections so we regrouped and fine-tuned our strategy.  We had a section that was challenging to every class and added points to the scorecards. Each rider was interesting to watch and hopefully I picked up some riding tips.

I highly recommend riding a national event but if that’s not a possibility, scoring is the next best thing.

:Kevin Kight
Joel Honea's perspective from scoring section5  on Saturday and section 4 on Sunday:
(Note: Joel's article was also printed in the July Issue of On-The-Pegs!, page 124)

The Adventures of a MotoTrials checker


Saturday: I must admit the last few months have been arduous, fighting off ticks and enduring heat and humidity while whacking brush on rocky hillsides, but quite beneficial to my trials education.  I have been to several nationals and a couple of world rounds, but to be this involved with a trials national was enlightening to say the least.  I was willing to do whatever I could to support the Arkansas round.  And although I am quite familiar with a 5, (I collect them as if they would take me to heaven) I didn’t think I had enough experience to be a checker especially with so much on the line.  It was soon apparent that I would indeed be pressed into service as a checker due to the lack of response.

In fact, as it turns out, the qualifications for being a checker for an NATC national seems to be that you are ambulatory, able to see clearly for a distance of 50 ft , and have at least 5 fingers on one hand. I soon found myself at the pinnacle of this exclusive club and was unceremoniously named “head” checker.

With much trepidation, Jackson and I took off for section 5, otherwise known as “ Robmaniacs”.  We familiarized ourselves with each line and were looking forward as to how the pro’s would navigate their line.  It seemed fairly difficult.  My nervousness faded as we were invaded with an onslaught of Clubman riders.  We made a couple of mistakes, but were corrected and the profanity subsided and no one suffered any undue penalty.  Soon the experts were upon us, and the line that I thought would be challenging turned out to be fairly easy for them.  Finally the first of the pro’s showed up including Pat Smage.  They made short work of the black line.  However, after the 3rd pro blasted up the 1st boulder that was embedded into the hillside, and looked like it would be there till the Lord came back, (about the size of ½ a Volkswagen), became loose.  This prompted much concern, and as I tried to raise someone on the radio 3 riders pushed it off into the creek.  Eldon arrived and soon it was determined that the Pro’s would be skipping our section the remainder of the day.  Just my luck.  And although we were cheated by not getting to watch the best of the best it was a positive experience.

Sunday: I and my crew that consisted of Eldon’s offspring and his friend Brian, headed for section 4, otherwise known as Joel’s folly.  Yes the undisputed master of the 5 had a section named after him!  My reward for 2 & ½ months of toil and sweat.  It was an awesome section and a lot of points were sacrificed there, and YES Maddie Hoover, if you are reading this: that WAS a 2!  We had a couple of bad crashes, but fortunately no one was hurt.  And let me say this, after all we went through to provide a challenging course you would think Mr Smage could at least give us a couple of dabs instead of blitzing through like it was nothing.  I’m not convinced he is 100% human.  How else can he be immune to the deleterious effects of gravity?

Overall it was a great experience and I learned volumes about the sport of trials.  And I still am the undisputed king of the “5” by the way.  Maybe someday I can check a world round. After all when they cuss me, I wouldn’t be able to understand them!

: Joel Honea

Lastly, former NEOTT President, Scott Williams was spectating at the AR event and shot some great pictures posted here on the  ADVRider trials forum.  Here are a few samples.  Note, that all images are copyrighted and presented here with permission.  Left-to-right: Andy Niederer Pro, Maddie Hoover Women's Pro, Chris Johnson SR-60.

TX & NM Road Trip

After a couple of weekends of high temps and humidity in the AR woods helping setup for the AR Nationals NEOTTNews ventured West for cooler \ drier weather conditions and a couple of trials events hosted by other groups:
HPTA (High Plains Trials Association) ("An association of people that love to ride trials and have fun in the Texas Panhandle, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado areas.  (we're not picky about where we ride.") - Lake McClellan, TX. 3400 feet altitude.   Around 14 riders coming from Tulsa, Lawton, Albuquerque, Portales, Midland and other far flung locales, showed up on Saturday to setup the course for Sunday's event.  Since there had not been a trials event at this location in over 20 years the crew was starting from scratch but 4-5 hours later and after some chainsawing and weed whacking eight sections were created and temps were well into the 90's as the setup concluded.  Saturday evening 5-pairs of riders competed in a friendly buddy trial (two people on one bike) event riding two loops on the three cadet sections.  Looked like crazy fun.

Sunday morning over 20 trials warriors signed up to test their skills.  There were even a couple of newbies that had been riding trials 'for a few hours'.  The sections consisted of mostly log sections with two slippery hillsides and gnarly log-filled ravine thrown in the mix.  Everyone rode in groups and despite having temps in the 90's again everyone had a good time on a fun course and got lots of practice riding logs.  Conclusion: this group lives their motto "...people that love to ride trials and have fun"

Mark your riding calendars for Nov 10 & 11 for HPTA's first 2-day trial at Chris Johnson's Buffalo Dream Ranch, near Lawton, OK you will have a lot of fun at a great place to ride.
NMTA (New Mexico Trials Association) - Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort, NM.  Off to the mountains!  Elevation 8200-9200 feet and temps in the 40s-70s and after the high temps of Texas it felt good to cool down some (be careful what you ask for you just might get it).  Over 90 (yes Ninety) riders showed up to ride the summertime ski slopes at Sipapu. 

The morning riders loop didn't go quite so high on the mountain but they had plenty of elevation changes for their skill levels.  The afternoon riders started with some sections in the creek near the lodge then rode a great loop trail with lots of single track to the top of the mountain for sections 3-7 then shushed their way back down the slopes to the creek for section 8.

Saturday consisted of perfect riding conditions and Sunday was good too but the afternoon got interesting as some pretty heavy rain and hail moved through the area about the same time as everyone was starting their second loop.   Huge shout out to the judges that toughed out the very cool and wet conditions for a couple of hours while everyone finished riding.  Sipapu also has an awesome 20-hole disc-golf course on site, plenty of fishing in the creek and pond when not riding and good food in the lodge to refuel your body.  If you haven't ridden an event at Sipapu you need to put it on your bucket list.  Lots of great pics here.

Think you need a new fancy trials bike to ride but maybe $7000-$10000 is too much dinero?  Check out this video from down under of skilled rider on a 1986 Yamaha TY250 - trials is 95% rider 5% bike.

Here are some quick links for trials bikes on Craigslist in these nearby cities (Okay Denver not so nearby but they seem to have a lot of trials bikes for sale):

Coming Up in the Aug 2018 Issue:

- Night Trial Results

- CRTC Series resuming and Sooner Cup Update

- UTE Cup ride report

- If anyone wants to write up a short story or a tall tale send it to and we'll get it added.

Take 5

Here TeamNM rider Autumn Winkles shows that you can stylize your Take 5 moment after she had a slide out situation in Sipapu's Section 8 creek section.  Her previous ride through the section was one of the best AM class rides of the day but she had a spot of trouble on the 2nd loop.  Most of the AM riders had trouble in this spot as there was really no room to setup properly without hopping. 

Autumn and her husband Josh were also the winners of the HPTA buddy trials a week earlier winning the tie-breaker with bonus style points.

Warning the official NEOTT photographer has orders to take lots of pictures should you get a 5 at an event.  Who knows, you could be the next "Take 5" honoree.