Issue #10 : Nov 2018
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2018 Sooner Cup - written by Shack
Saturday featured a steady drizzle that challenged morning riders and plagued the afternoon classes. Novice, Amateur and Sr. Amateur battles were tight all weekend. Shane Howsley had just a single dab in the Novice class to take the win. NEOTT rider Fred Overstreet had five points for 2nd place. Robert Charvat finished 3rd with six points.
The Amateur class consisted of 11 riders including NEOTT legend Kirk Mayfield. Mayfield fought the good fight Saturday on a 70’s era Yamaha that he had just finished restoring. Jim Byrne was the top Amateur with four points, Jason Luster was 2nd and Bob Saathoff was 3rd.
The Sr. Amateur class consisted of five crafty veteran riders. Louis Belaustergui held off NEOTT President Kevin Kight for 1st place. Rick Rexroat finished 3rd with 30 points.
Sunday was damp but nothing like Saturday. Shane Howlsey turned in another one point
ride to win the Novice overall. Jason
Luster had a two point ride Sunday to win the Amateur overall. Louis Belaustergui won the Sr. Ama title by
just three points over Kight.
The afternoon session saw several lead changes including Terry Kuebler moving up a spot to win the Intermediate overall, nine points ahead of Duesterhaus. The Sr. Expert class had Malasek and King finishing with 99 points each for the two day event, Malasek getting overall win on cleans. Jeremy Cox had an incredible nine point ride on Sunday to win the Expert overall, Cox also had the low score for the afternoon session.
And a huge thank you to Kevin Kight
for all his dedication and effort. In recognition, he was given a special award for all his hard work - A new Airoh helmet with custom graphics. Graphics design by Shack and printed by Quinn Wenzel (NATC #7 Pro Trials rider) at Dynamic Designs LLC.
A campaign has been launched on Kevin’s half… 4 MORE YEARS!
If you missed out on these cool event T-shirts there are still a few left.
Suitable for the entire family, the prison suit orange is perfect for the fall season whether you are out riding trials, hunting, watching your favorite orange sports team or working on a chain gang.
Shout out to Shack for the awesome design.
Shirts will be available at the next event or contact Todd Phillips.
Just sharing some riding experiences from a recent East Coast road trip to visit my dear sweet mother in Virginia. One thing I learned pretty quick is that every trials club has their way of doing things that is slightly different than every other place. Trials is a constant search for balance and clubs find and adopt what works best for their members so subtle differences aren't a big deal to me and make things a little more interesting since I like learning about all the creative solutions out there.
Process wise the club event had eight all-ride sections and we rode four loops with a 5-hour time limit. Each section had one or two dedicated judges and all classes rode at the same time. Heck Ryan Young was a judge, Sam Fastle (Pro #6) was a a judge and many others volunteered their time both days to just judge. The club is pretty proud of their ability to have dedicated judges and not have to resort to other non-traditional methods of scoring. Since there were over 60 riders signed up it was a little bit like a mini-national. Having Ryan and Sam as judges seemed to amp up my focus a little bit as I didn't want to screw up in front of them (but of course I did).
The event write-up even made it into the November issue of On-The-Pegs (page 136) I'll save you a little time and copy\paste the most important highlight of the event here "The most amazing comeback was Mike Cramsey who finished eighth place on Saturday to an outstanding second place on Sunday".
Oh and Pat Smage was also there on Sunday - he rode pretty good too :-) Pat arrived an hour late, picked up one point on the day (Brad did have some special Pat Only lines setup) and he managed to lap the field.
The Carolina Virginia Observed Trials Club (CVOTC) was having an open fun ride at Bunn, NC on the Saturday and Sunday I was in Virginia. CVOTC is very similar to NEOTT all-ride sections, group rides with peer scoring and they even have a club member that has ridden the Scottish Six Day Trials (David Webster). Usually more riders with attendance numbers in the mid-20's ranging from kids whose age is in the single digits to the upper mid 70's.
The weekend before the club had an event there and all the sections were still setup so it was a chance to go ride everything. So on Saturday I did a quick down and back to Bunn, NC. Jim Ellis is the landowner and I had met him back in March when I was in Virginia for their gate trial. Old time (like really old) AVTA riders might remember Jim from when he was stationed at McConnell AFB in Wichita and working\riding some of the Past Masters events. Jim and 4 other guys were riding on Saturday and he was a great host as he gave me a complete tour of all the sections. Jim has been putting on events at his 100+ acre property for 29 years and it is a well developed trials playground.
Jim says that anyone traveling East that wants to come out and ride at his place can give him a call at (919) 455-0984.
Henry Hills 2-day trial. The hurricane rains had left GA and both the temps and the traction were ideal for trials. This was the same weekend as Sooner Cup and secretly I was glad to be in GA and missing out on the rains in OK.
I thought this was a great picture of the trialsmaster, Jamie Gourley, because he seems to be intense like this all the time - both on and off the bike. A very high energy guy that did tons of work to put this event together.
Other famous trials names in attendance, besides myself, included Andy and Alex Niederer, Alan Shirley and Aaron Thistle all riding the Pro Class. I also met Maddie Hoover and her dad Garry (who has 10 NATC titles) and talked to them a little bit.
Process wise STRA uses a system called 50\50 peer scoring for deciding who judges and who rides. In principle, every rider who is signed up to ride also judges the event. So no hanging around the pits with the umbrella girls while your competitor is standing on a hillside for 3-hours wearing out his legs while you sip Red Bulls in the shade.
About 20 minutes before the riders meeting the organizers look at all the rider entries and divide up the classes to try to have an equal number of riders in the morning session and the afternoon session. So Novice, Vintage A, Intermediate and Experts could be riding in the morning and Amateur, Sr Amateur, Vintage B and Pro could be riding in the afternoon - it all depends on how many people are signed up.
As a rider you don't know if you are going to be judging or riding until the riders meeting so you have to show up ready to ride and at the same time be prepared to go judge. With 60-70 riders there are at least two and usually three judges per section which most sections need 3 judges because of the length and the layouts.
The typical STRA event consists of 10 all-ride sections, 3 Loops and a 3 hour 15 minute time limit.
- The sections are as long and in many cases longer than NEOTT sections.
- There is a nice loop up and down the hills and
through the woods.
- You turn your card in at the end of each loop and the scores are put up on a monitor so you can check and see how you are doing versus everyone else.
- With 10 sections, a good loop and a tight time
limit there isn't much time to over analyze a section. You pretty much
just have to get after it.
- STRA events are well organized, well managed and the group has a lot of high level riders that can both entertain and educate you.
- When done you know you've had a full weekend of trials and you got your
So in summary it was a pretty cool trip and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Pretty neat that you can travel around the country as trials rider and be instantly welcomed by the local group and taken care of. There are local differences but one thing everyone shares is a high-level of enthusiasm and passion for this crazy sport. Special shout-out to Brian Sloggy and his Mega 4WD diesel pickup truck for towing my van out of a slippery situation in GA (a long story for another day).
- Central Regional Trials Championship Series has one round remaining Nov 10&11 in Gilmore, TX and our own Kevin Kight is in position to stand tall atop the podium in the Sr Ama class for the series.
- Another great article by Rick Land - this time a story about a decades long friendship and a vintage bike restore he did on a Fraser Honda TL250.
- Dec 18th at Grand Lake will be the last NEOTT round of the 2018 season and will likely be repeat of last year with a smackdown match between Eldon and Todd D to decide who wins the Intermediate class. The year-end meeting will be after the event at a location TBD.
- If anyone (that means you!) wants to write up a short story or a tall tale send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get it added.