NEOTT MotoTrials

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NeottNews Monthly Newsletter

Issue #9 : Aug 2018
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Next NEOTT Trials Event - Sunday Sep 9, 2018 @ Camp Gruber
- Sign Up 9:00 - 10:00

- Group ride, 10 AM riders meeting

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

- Spectators are always free but please sign the waiver at the sign-in table.

Also remember that the Central Regional Trials Championship Series (CRTC) is resuming with two events in Sept.

-- Sept 15\16 Trenton, MO

-- Sept 29\30 Sedan, KS

July Night Trial at Grand Lake

Seventeen riders showed up for the 9 PM start time including two riders from Texas and one rider who was riding his first trials ever.  In short, the event was a blast and everyone had a good time and ready to have another one. 

There were seven sections and three loops.  The sections were set to the fun side of things with some tight turns and boundary ribbons to keep things interesting.  Riding in the dark creates its' own challenges with depth perception and timing.  It was bring your own lights night and interesting to see the various lighting configurations that everyone came up with.

Awards were handed out just before 1 am.  Class winners were Chris Johnson, Exp; Josh Evans, Sr Exp; Todd Duesterhaus, Int; Kevin Kight, Sr Ama; Scott Tipton, Am and Bill Kleeman, Novice.

There was also Sunday morning 9 am fun ride planned that 3 restless riders attended while everyone else slept in.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words here is a 30,000 word article on the night trial...hopefully we got at least one picture of every rider posted.

Thanks Jon Stoodley for taking all the pictures!

UTE Cup - Adventures in Checking - by Jon Stoodley

I really like checking a section and my all-time favorite event to check is the Ute Cup Trial in the mountains of Colorado each August. The event is organized by RMTA (Rocky Mountain Trials Association- ) and I think the RMTA is about the oldest Trials club in the U.S., having started in 1969. The Ute Cup began the next year in 1970, making it just about the longest running annual event in U.S. Trials. I first attended the Ute Cup 30+ years ago in the mid-1980’s with my oldest son, Jim, and I will be going back again this year just to check the event both days for my 10th year in a row (except for the year it was not held due to severe fire danger). If you really want to consider yourself a Trials rider, this event should be on your bucket list. The RMTA is a great club and a nicer or more dedicated bunch of Trials enthusiasts you will never find.

 The Ute Cup is an endurance Trial to a degree, with loops sometimes up to 25 miles but the loop is beautiful and not like the Scott Trial in the U.K. where the loop is sometimes a lot more difficult than the sections. It’s a wonderful ride in the mountains in some of the most beautiful scenery in the U.S. (the altitude can range from a little over 8000 ft. to about 13,000 ft. ) and the sections are generally  set for a NEOTT Senior-Amateur/Intermediate level and I’ve never seen any I wouldn’t at least try my hand at. There are no splits in the sections; all riders ride the same lines. Riders ride two loops each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon and the sections are usually different from Saturday to Sunday. The event is held in different parts of the state each year and this year it will be on The Rainbow Trial near Salida.


As it’s sometimes a long and arduous event you will want your bike to be in top shape, properly jetted for the altitude and the cooling system serviced as cooling systems are not as efficient at altitude. You will need a spark arrestor and a Colorado Off-Road permit (usually obtainable on site) and all-weather riding gear. First time riders don’t realize it can get really cold in the mornings at that altitude. I remember rolling out of bed one morning at La Garita to put on my gear and it was 28 degrees outside. Most riders carry a backpack with them on the loop with extra tools, parts and gas just in case.


I’ve had a lot of adventures checking the event. One year I was the last one down the mountain from my section at the Rainbow Trail and it had started to really rain. At one point, the single track trail had been washed out on the side of the steep mountain side (straight up one side of the trail and straight down the other side) so I had to gun it and loop up the side of the muddy wall so I would slide down to catch the trail on the other side but I made it! Happy to have survived, I pinned it down the trail towards a bush and tight blind turn and upon making the turn ran straight into a HUGE horse’s face, causing me to run up the side of the wall, burning my leg on the exhaust pipe in the process. I had run into the first of a four horse pack train. The horse rider behind the lead pack horse profusely apologized, saying that he believed that all the riders were off the mountain. I was more careful of what I might possibly meet on the rest of the way to camp.


Then there was the time I had a beautiful running creek section next to a great meadow at La Garita and in between loops, here comes a herd of wandering cattle that thought they would try my section out and ended up totally trashing it. After they all wandered off, I had to re-string all the tape and re-set the signs before the next wave of riders appeared. I gave all of the cows a “5”……….Oh, and then there was the invasion of the Marauding Black Bears at another Ute Cup that was a lot more comical than dangerous.


Pretty consistently, around 3 in the afternoon it is normal for a thunderstorm to show up, throw a bunch of lightening, thunder, rain and/or pea-sized hail around for a short time and then disappear. One time I had a first-time young helper with me and explained all the nuances of checking to him along with the forecast of a coming short storm that will be there at 3pm (which he thought was silly as it was clear and sunny). Sure enough, in the afternoon, a storm dropped rain and small hail all over our section and then evaporated and I told him to check his watch. “Its 3:10!” he exclaimed. After that, he thought I was a magician for sure.


The time I get to spend up in the mountains between loops is some of the most peaceful and regenerating I have ever experienced. The wind through the pines and the scenery are spectacular. I love meeting old friends from all over the U.S. that come to the Cup as well as some friends from other parts of the world that occasionally ride the event. If you can make Colorado the third weekend in August, you will have lifetime memories, trust me, I know……

NEOTT rides the UTE Cup - 2018

Over 60 riders were signed up this year including a large group from Pennsylvania on their way to California for the NATC Donner Nationals. 

Team NEOTT consisted of Annie and Jon as volunteer checkers and Jason, Eldon and Mike riding.  Jon also provided technical support, parts and labor as well as life advice and counseling to those in need. 

We were all camped close together at the Cutty's Hayden Creek Resort about a mile down the road from the event.  Also nearby was Scott Tipton from TX who came out and rode the night trial with us.  Gilbert Reed, OH and Kenny Zigler, FL were also close by and were great tour guides when riding out at Turkey Rock on Thursday.
Ute Cup Day 1 - 20 Sections and 17 mile loop
Day 1 The long loop required carrying fuel in addition to all the extra tools, food, fluids and such needed to survive the trail.  I'm guessing my backpack weighed in at 12-15 pounds of stuff.  There was a 4-hour time limit on loop 1 and a 3-hour limit for the second loop.  

The Ute Cup starting process is similar to a National where riders leave at one minute intervals and Eldon was out at 9:39, Jason at 9:47 and Mike at 9:58. 

- Early on Jason bent the heck out of his rear brake lever causing him to bump it in most all the sections and contributing to his elevated score on loop 1.  At the half way point, he was able to fetch a new one from Jon's hoard of GasGas parts (team GasGas is jealous of Jon's inventory of parts) and from that point on he was on fire for the rest of the event.

- Eldon finished the day despite riding 28-sections without a gas cap and running out of gas on his way back to the truck.  Afterwards he noticed his engine oil was milky colored and a quick teardown revealed a worn water pump seal.  Mr. Jon to the rescue again with a new seal and impeller and advanced technical support for proper reassemblage got Eldon all fixed up for Day 2.

- Mike was running a new lower gearing combination that provides better  response but also uses more gas so he was a little nervous the entire event about running out not really knowing how much the bike would use.  On loop 1 he did run out at about the 15 mile mark just 100 yards after section 17.  A quick refill from his MSR auxiliary fuel bottle got things going again.  Other than that not too much drama and he finished the day with a few minutes to spare in the 7-hour time limit. 

- Annie and Jon were judging one of the tougher sections of the day and were plenty busy handing out points to everyone including us.  If you could hop to get setup for the logs you had a chance, us non-hoppers were dragging it through.
Ute Cup Day 2 - 20 Sections and 8 mile loop
Day 2: The 'loop' consisted of an 8-mile ride up the mountain to around 9800 feet elevation with 20 sections between us and a lunch break at the top.  Eldon had his gas cap on and was out first at 9:26, Mike at 9:47 and Jason got to sleep in as he was the last rider out at 10:06.

- The day started out with some pretty wet sections due to rain the night before.  About half the sections were the same sections used on Day 1 so we didn't need to walk them but most had logs in them and were quite slippery.  Sections 19 and 20 were new for Sunday and were in a very cool  rocky stream bed with a little bit of water flowing through them.  They were plenty challenging and the judges were calling rolling backwards on the slippery rocks very tight to try to get some points from the top riders.

At the top, the aforementioned Gilbert Reed and Kenny Z posed with one of the two forest ranger dudes that were working the event in their official capacities as well as helping out the checkers and having a great time watching their first trials (they are both motorcyclists and were getting around on their taxpayer-funded dual sports - pretty nice gig I'd say).  

After everyone made it to the top we turned around and went back down and enjoyed riding the sections again on the way back to the start area. 

Sections 19 and 20 were now sections 1 and 2 going back down.  Section 1 was toughened up even more to try to separate the top riders leaving us mere mortals trying to hang on and get out with a 3 instead of a 5.  Once past the rocky creek sections the other sections had dried out pretty quickly since the morning and we zoomed down the hill.  In several places we were able to shut off the engine (to save gas) and just fly down the hill using gravity and giving us a sense of the future when we are on quiet electric bikes.

- According to Jason, "Sunday was a perfect day and being the last rider out took some pressure off.  I thought if I could stay consistent and finish the event without a 5, I might medal.  I rode with Jim Zuroske, IN and we had a blast scratching off cleans.   The 3rd place team award was the highlight of the event.   It was a total team effort with Jon working on bikes and Annie cooking us dinner Saturday night."

- Mike experienced a freaky five when the "L" shaped bite valve on his Ogio drinking system got hooked under his tether kill switch and pulled it off killing the engine while going over a log.  That extra 5-points cost the team a second place finish and kept Mike from getting an individual award.  (!@#$%^&*)  NEXT YEAR!

- In contrast to Saturday, Annie and Jon were judging the easiest section of the day and yet somehow both Eldon and Mike managed to take dummy dab points in there after cleaning it both times on Saturday.
- Jason on the other hand cleaned it both Saturday and Sunday and was rewarded with bonus points from the checker followed by getting married to the checker the following weekend - Congrats to Shack and Annie!!
Final Results: In the Ute Cup only the combined scores of both days count and in the end Jason was 13th overall with just 48 points, Mike was 23rd overall with 84 points and Eldon, in his first Ute Cup, was 31st overall with 97 points.  NEOTT also earned a 3rd place team award.  Unfortunately Eldon was already headed back to AR when the celebration photos were taken.  All the results are here

Pro rider Daniel-Blanc Gonnet was the overall winner with zero points dropped.  He tied with Pro Logan Boloque but won on the unique Ute Cup tie-breaker process - the oldest rider wins.  Daniel is 4-months older than Logan.

Huge shout out to Scott Jordon and everyone else in the RMTA club that was involved in putting this great event on.
UTE 2019 - Start your planning and preparation now  - August 17 and 18 is expected to be in San Isabel, CO

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:

- Central Regional Trials Championship Series resuming:

-- Sept 15\16 Trenton, MO

-- Sept 29\30 Sedan, KS

-- Oct 13\14 Camp Gruber, OK

-- Nov 10\11 Gilmore, TX

- NeottNews Sooner Cup Special Edition written by Rick Land (winner of the first Sooner Cup) will be out Oct 2nd.  You don't want to miss this one!

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

Take 5

No Take 5 photos from the Night Trial or Ute Cup but did find this video on YouTube and a good reminder that sometimes the minders have a tough job too.