As 2011 draws to a close it also heralds the END of many things on a trials front. Sadly for all of us
on the vintage trials circuit Ed and Evelyn Peacock decided to resign after a long tenure of office as
National Trials Coordinator for Ahrma. Well we have all profitted from their stewardship and enjoyed
a lot of seasons with excellent trials laid on by trials riders for trials riders.

Looking at the 2012 calendar of events things are not looking at all good unless you are a “multi
discipline” rider who likes to ride VMX on Saturday and Trials on Sunday. I wonder who this might
be? For those of us who have ridden most facets of motorcycling but decided our prime interests
were in one aspect of the sport we are now left out with ONLY two 2 day events in the whole season.
Also rather surprizing is that there is NO announcement of the incoming Trials Coordinator and
clearly this “program” has been made by the trustees without any reference to the membership as to
what they may like or dislike. Worthless events with entries less than TEN are back on, regardless
of the previous turnout, and like 2011 there will be more “worker points” than actual competition
scores and results!

Well as the “board” once again failed to listen to reason for the introduction of the Twinshock Class,
but there again if trials is not your primary interest why would you?  Instead of working for the
memberships interests it is once again clear that “they”, our unwisely voted in trustees, have their
own agenda and wish trials to become less of a  true competition and more of a parade showcase
for old Brit Iron.  They will only have themselves to blame as the trials membership will undoubtedly
fall with this non existant program and their failure to listen to the membership. If this is the best they
can offer I’m afraid there is no point in renewing my membership for 2012.

2012 may well be the death knoll for Ahrma trials as after reviewing the season there are not 7
events that I, or anybody else for that matter, could realistically travel to and thus go after any
Championship. I’m sorry but 1 day events over 1200 miles away don’t crack it no matter how good
they maybe, and very few Ahrma events ever fall into that category.

3 fun and proud years as Trialsmaster at Buckeye AZ

The year starts off at Az Cycle Park in January and for the first 3 years of its running I was
Trialsmaster and thoroughly enjoyed setting up 12 sections a day for the 2 Day event. I was very sorry
not to be there last year but financial circumstances were to blame. This year it is down to a 1 Day
event and I certainly will not be volunteering my services for layout,  nor will I be dragging the Safari out
of hibernation to go down there for just one day. No doubt the “one day Dick Mannites” will enjoy riding
the easier old sections I devised from previous years and all finish on a zero score!  No more deep
wash sand, major tree roots, the barbed wire fence or the graded climb.

No, they don’t like deep wash sand!

Not keen on tree roots either

….and they really hated this one by the fence!

Never heard of a “Graded” hill !

Well, here’s another one

……… and this is how you ride them

Diamond Don’s has sometimes been a great trial as it often rains in Texas and can make trials
riding like it used to be in the bayou mud. Don has always said he would like a 2 Day but this has
never come to fruition and the Trialsmasters tend to use old sections over and over again despite
800 acres of prime trials land.

With no trials, let alone 2 day events in AZ, CO, UT, OK or NM the only thing on offer is the Donner 2
Day in CA  which was always a good event in a near perfect setting. So another 1200 miler won’t get
ridden as I can’t make the magic 7 events from the current total of only 13 compared to previous years
20+ offerings. I suppose if you really want a Championship then buy a rigid or a girder machine and
go and compete by yourself at the minimum 4 events!

The back end of the year doesn’t look any better with old friend Chehalis still there as a 1 day, but
again too far to travel, despite its excellent turnout normally in the 80’s. I have always thought if you
have that many riders in one location why not give them more events ? …… You might even attract
some of the Canadian riders down to compete.

……. and then we come to Casper! perhaps the best trials venue in the USA and for the past few
years 3 days of excellent vintage trials…….. so why then has this event been reduced to 2 days? I
believe the organisers haven’t even been consulted.

My favorite Ahrma section “The Waterfall” at Casper

On line for the clean

Same section, different year

A proper trials section!

TTC and Milliken don’t feature but while you can argue, purely from a trials stance, that Milliken is not
the best terrain the same can’t be said for TTC ! On a regional basis, as yet, I haven’t seen what the
RM region is planning.

A new beginning ?

I would imagine the RM region may well combine the best of Wyoming with those run by New Mexico
and a 2 day at Cotopaxi along with another organised by the Oklahoma trials riders. This would
indeed make for a very worthwhile Championship for dedicated  trials men. We will see ?

So to sum up the Ahrma “disgrace” a great program if you like VMX and Trials at one venue but if you
are a Trials only man time to look elsewhere for your chosen sport. With that said I think I will be on the blower to Bob Ginder and see about setting up a CO/UT/AZ chapter for ITSA where we can promote
Trials for Trials by Trials   …….. and at least we CAN have all those gorgeous post 79-85 twinshocks riding……… the more I think about it the more I like the idea and I can easily see 4 two day events on
my backdoor.

Without any difficulty we could run 2 days at Alto Pit Prescott in AZ, or Holbrook again in AZ on I 40,
Tucker Ranch, Cotopaxi and or Turkey Rock in CO, Tooele in UT and also Bull Hollow lend
themselves to trials and right here in Dolores land is or could be available. I shall be interested to
hear comments.

Prime trials land bought for trials use by Cliff Tucker

Tucker Ranch Cotopaxi CO

The Mayans calendar stops in 2012, maybe an omen for  Ahrma Vintage Trials in the USA……Until
then as far as Ahrma Trials go its  “OBSERVED SECTION ENDS !”    R.I.P.

The END of vintage trials as we know it , thanks AHRMA and in particular
the Trustees that we naively thought were looking after our interests.


What did you think of this article?

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  • 12/11/2011 9:36 AM John Holbrook wrote:

    Great post, I am in total agreement we need a CO, WY, NM association under ITSA. Count me in to help set it up, will due what ever I can.

    Email or give me a call at 575-430-2079.

    Reply to this

  • 12/11/2011 2:44 PM Steve Elms wrote:
    You have some great ideas to help vintage trials. How about, instead of leaving the AHRMA, you work toward incorporating those ideas into the AHRMA trials program.
    I think you’d make a great coordinator.
    Steve Elms
    Reply to this
  • 12/11/2011 6:23 PM shawn willis wrote:
    Great post Tony.
    It’s a sad day for vintage trials. Sad that Ed and Evelyn will no longer be heading up the trials. That is what happens when members representatives do not listen. As for Steve’s comment. Why would Tony want to volunteer his time and thousands of dollars to take on a position that the previous coordinator left open because of the lack of the organization listening to its members ideas.

    Shawn on my “MODERN” 1984 Fantic
    Reply to this

  • 12/12/2011 12:49 AM trev wrote:
    nice one tony, you always tell it like it is. i thought particulary these days, classic and vintage trials were well, like the old days….when there was no bullshit and hidden agendas.looks like times move on and not always for the better. stay true to the cause, best wishes from new zealand.
    Reply to this
  • 12/12/2011 10:25 AM Bob Ginder wrote:
    Hi Tony,

    Ed and Evelyn deserve a big thank you for their efforts.
    I had that job for 16 years and know the time and dedication it takes.

    ITSA would welcome a chapter in your area. Feel free to call me and we can discuss what is needed to get you established.
    Anyone interested ITSA’s web address is: www.twinshock.org

    Bob Ginder
    Reply to this

  • 12/12/2011 4:24 PM Donnie Schmutzler wrote:
    You are right! My brother and I had decided to come out of retirement in 2012. But it appears that there isn’t anything to un-retire to.
    I guess that now I am in the market for 2 modern bikes. Or do you think that a Gold Star would make a good bike for the local district’s vintage class? I guess not!
    Reply to this

    1. 12/13/2011 7:10 AM John Holbrook wrote:
      Donnie, Gold Stars would work great, we have several in use and they do as well as I do on my TY. So un-retire and join in the new adventure.
      Reply to this
  • 12/12/2011 8:46 PM Jimmy Allison wrote:
    tony, I think you pretty well summed it all up. Please don’t forget new mexico. We can setup as many days of trials as you need for the series.
    Reply to this
  • 12/13/2011 1:48 PM Robert Cline wrote:
    I would like to know why the trustees will not allow a twin shock class.
    Reply to this

    1. 12/14/2011 10:16 PM Shawn Willis wrote:
      Most of the AHRMA board members no nothing about trials, so they rely on the suggestion of Matt Hilgenberg, who tells everyone to vote against adding the “twin shock” class. The same Matt that owns Speed and Sport, the sponsor of the AHRMA Trials Nationals. I was actually involved in a very heated email debate with Matt over the “twin shock” vote before the board voted this year. All the members were copied in the emails. Believe it or not, the vote in the past was always 2 to 10 and this year it swayed to 5 to 5. I think some progress was made, but like Tony said, it may be to late.
      Reply to this

      1. 12/15/2011 3:24 PM Robert Cline wrote:
        Thanks for the info.
        Reply to this
  • 12/13/2011 11:17 PM Lee Robison wrote:
    Thank you for your efforts on the Black Cat website, Tony. Fun stuff and informative!

    I too want to give a big big thank you to Ed and Evelyn for their work in AHRMA. They are champs!

    I see that the latest Trials schedule posted by AHRMA has a more appealing calendar of events for 2012. The screams must have been heard, eh?

    Interesting how AHRMA has evolved to meet the market interests for the RR DT and MX members (I was one of the early members back in the mid 80’s so I know how it all looked back then. Aint even close today!) AHRMA is missing the boat not to evolve with Trials too and meet the members interests. After all is said, the members are the ones that should be driving the organization, not the board. The board is supposed to be listening to us and effecting appropriate changes to help the org/sport grow…etc.
    I think adequate talking has been done over the past few years to get meaningful changes in AHRMA’s approach to Trials. Perhaps its time to stop talking and just go do what WE see as the most beneficial action for our sport.
    If you are interested in ITSA events in Utah, I would like to help in any way needed. I know of several awesome sites with easier access than Tooele. Sites as fun and interesting as Donner, Turkey Rock and Mostellers. Lemme know.

    Lee Robison
    Reply to this

    1. 12/14/2011 5:50 PM lee robison wrote:
      OOPPPS. Silly me. The schedule posted on the AHRMA site is still the 2011 Schedule…..”Your honor I wish to retract my earlier statement in the third paragraph, about the screaming finally being heard”.
      Sorry for my confusion. I fived that section, eh?

      Reply to this

  • 12/16/2011 9:01 PM Scott wrote:
    As long as Matt Hilgenberg has a say it will not change.Him and his ego DO NOT help AHRMA!!!Great article Tony and I believe you,ve gotta do what you,ve gotta do to keep it vintage trials aliive.
    Reply to this
  • 12/18/2011 9:59 PM Jose Bustamante Alvarez C wrote:
    Thank you Tony. As always, a keen insight. Since you mentioned it; I do happen to have a Girder Lightweight, and I have thought about preparing it for Competition. I want to do it for myself, not because it is a popular class.
    Having acquired Wolfy’s 350 Sherpa T, I also look forward to riding that machine. If AHRMA doesn’t receive enough money from our Trials events in our Region, ( They plainly do not), and if they ONLY want to support combined TR and VMX +VMX; it will be their loss when we migrate to other associations.THAT IS WHAT I AM PLANNING TO DO. However, to be clear, I am anticipating the 2012 Team Bultaco event in Missouri, which combines EVERYTHING, and has a separate Track for Classic and Premier MX. I have machines for all of the above. INCLUSIVE is always going to gain ground over EXCLUSIVE. From the submitted comments, it looks as if our region will certainly come out of this crisis very well indeed.
    I regret that , due to circumstances, you could not participate in the 2011 Competitions. Ron Pocher missed you, and so did I.
    Reply to this
  • 12/19/2011 12:13 PM Jay Lael wrote:
    I think your statement is unfairly biased. I ride regional events in AHRMA and sleep quite well at night without an AHRMA national championship on my wall. The regionals provide me with all the fun and excitement I want and all the travel time I can afford, or vacation time I can get. Perhaps a nice old scrambles bike would suit your needs. If you need two days of riding, join the club and ride some mx. I am certain the quality of people involved in AHRMA will never be surpassed elsewhere. Those SWMs, Italjets and Can Ams will continue to rust away for all I care. I like English bikes and I like AHRMA.
    Reply to this

    1. 1/4/2012 7:05 PM John Dowson wrote:
      It is not a case of wanting to be riding every other weekend, some of us dont have many vintage events in our areas, regional or national. Being from New Mexico our season opener was a 14 hr drive to Buckeye, AZ. However is it worth it for one day? The next rounds within reach were the Colorado rounds… not this year, then Diamond Dons on the Louisiana border, finishing at the 3-day Casper event…now 2 days. I also ride VMX but still cannot justify the costs and time involved in one day events so far away. I also like AHRMA, it got me back riding after a 28yr break from trials, but as for your comment on letting the non-british bikes rust….no comment.
      Reply to this

      1. 2/11/2012 8:47 PM Jose Bustamante AC wrote:
        Hi JD:
        Last time I saw you we had a nice chat at Mosteller. Very long drive for you indeed. I rode 2 days , because the third day was my travel day, anticipating a work day the following day.
        Recently, another chap and I drove to Phoenix, for the 16th annual Duel in The Desert. And it didn’t disappoint. Rode the Bultaco in Trials on the Saturday, (Feb 4) and the VMX on Sunday. The atmosphere was fantastic, the venue was totally professional, you felt like a “Factory Rider” ! The driving took us from Denver to Santa Fe on the first stint, and from there to Phoenix on the 2nd day. IT WAS WORTH IT. What a way to break up the winter! I can’t recommend it enough!
        Reply to this
  • 1/2/2012 8:17 PM Graham foster wrote:
    Hi Tony,
    I hate to see the negative comments re AHRMA. They have chosen not to allow the later twin shock bikes for their reasons, be it good or bad. Regardless, the events I rode in 2011 were excellent and should be supported by anyone who enjoys real vintage trials. The severity of the sections will always vary depending on the terrain, trailsmaster, and weather conditions, but overall the idea of AHRMA trials is to have fun on old bikes, some of which would be relegated to museums were it not for their events. I ride ITSA events too but some sections just don’t work on the old “British iron”. So ride whatever suits you but don’t bash the other camp, out sport is small enough as it is.
    Graham Foster
    Reply to this

    1. 1/2/2012 10:45 PM Tony Down wrote:
      Subject: Ahrma


      I am in no way bashing Ahrma, rather showing annoyance that our trustees failed to support the memberships wishes for the inclusion of those last twinshock machines. To have a “schedule” designed purely for the multi discipline rider does not help the interests of the trials only brigade. Over the past years I’ve been able to enjoy some excellent Ahrma events and indeed wished to continue this year and hopefully for many more to come. Regrettably with the distances involved for one day events and a four day driving round trip it just doesn’t make any sense.

      To come down from a 25 round series where all parts of the country, other than the north west, could reasonably have a crack at a championship is in my opinion some what short sighted and certainly doesn’t get my vote. Fred and Dan have provided us with 3 super days of vintage trials riding at Casper for the last few years but this year were not even consulted and are naturally rather annoyed at being told its a 2 day and thats it !  For my part I have been Trialsmaster at Buckeye AZ for many years and was likewise somewhat miffed to see it had been reduced to one day without consultation. We have the willing workhorses who will spend hours out there laying out for the enjoyment of others but when we are not consulted it really is a slap in the face.

      As you are aware I’m one of the lucky ones with two pieces of “old Brit iron” at my disposal and I would dearly love to compete on both through the season but the current limited schedule doesn’t make that feasable. There will soon come a time when there just won’t be any more old pieces to rebuild then what?  If Ahrma fails to recognise that and refuses to let all the best examples of the twinshock era into competition then I’m afraid the trial faction will become a thing of the past and become what some of the trustees want, a parade rather than a trial.

      I too rode a few ITSA events and couldn’t understand the hidden animosity that seemed to exist between the two factions. Surely it MUST be possible to have a uniformed front in Vintage Trials ?

      Well I was approached by several interested Trials men in the formation of an ITSA West Chapter so with no other events available I have agreed to join them and hope we can get some good events up and running for all, no matter what they ride, or what org they are members of.

      Best regards


      Reply to this

  • 1/16/2012 6:19 PM Dave Wilson wrote:

    The most direct way to help the situation is to step-up to the Coordinator job (even just the Regional Coord. position) instead of jumping ship.

    Also, you might consider the reason that Chehalis has so many trials riders – hint many of them are MX riders first. I, like lots of AHRMA riders was not a trials rider until I noticed the fun being had. I started riding trials on an old Bultaco when Steamboat was big and now I ride Premier heavyweight. I was never a trails rider before AHRMA (and some say I’m not much of a trials rider now , and I know many riders who started in AHRMA MX and added trials later. Some drop MX later due to health or age, etc. So from my view one of the best pool of new trials riders are current AHRMA VMX riders.

    I have nothing but respect and appreciation for Ed and Evelyn and all the work they did – why not continue what they started?

    Dave Wilson
    Former RMR Regional Coord. MX and Trials
    Reply to this

  • 2/12/2012 2:52 PM Debbie Poole wrote:
    Tony, all
    I am no different than any of you in having respect and admiration for the work Ed and Evelyn Peacock put into the position of AHRMA national trials coordinators. My posting here has nothing to do with discounting any of Ed and Evelyn’s efforts.
    I’d like to address some statements appearing in posts here:
    This is true, nor should a trustee have a primary interest in ANY discipline over any others. Ahrma is not exclusively an organization of any one discipline.
    Even if this were true, how does anything most of you take issue with (multi-discipline events, fewer events, etc.) reflect this? The claim is made, but it isn’t really backed-up with what Ahrma does specifically to make it so. The NW region in which Jay Lael mentioned he participates, and one of the strongest in Ahrma (and which curiously is discounted in an observation by Tony that everyone else EXCEPT that region’s members would have found it easy to get an Ahrma national championship under the 25-event schedule) does have more British bikes competing, but these bikes/riders aren’t catered to at the expense of any other classes. This is evident by the number of event entries we get; everyone seems to be happy with what’s offered.
    ONLY ONE DAY. This has always puzzled me because of all the disciplines, trials riders get more riding time than in any other discipline. MX riders riding 3 classes might get 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours or riding including practice. Would it be justified if Vintage MX riders began to demand 2 days of Vintage MX because it wasn’t worth the drive otherwise?
    CASPER PROMOTERS NOT CONSULTED ABOUT GOING TO 2 DAYS FROM 3 DAYS. This is absolutely not true. National Off Road Director Fred Guidi spoke to Fred Martinson before Christmas and asked if he was amenable to 2 days instead of 3, and he approved doing so.
    ACP TO 1 DAY. With Ed and Evelyn’s resignation and subsequent developments and comments from others it seemed unlikely that they or Tony would want to be ACP trials masters; even if a 2 day was to be planned, there was no one apparent who could devote the time necessary to set it up. The new format of one day trials in conjunction with a MX was followed, and the results showed that the per day turn-out was similar to last year. We had 20 entrants (would have had 21 but one rider opted to check when his bike didn’t start) to the 2011 total of 22 each day.
    None of us who are still in the Trials Trenches at Ahrma wish any ill-will to anyone who feels ITSA is a better fit for them than is Ahrma’s philosophies of history, preservation and providing events for ALL members. ITSA has the luxury of putting on events FOR TRIALS RIDERS, BY TRIALS RIDERS, and that is one of the huge distinctions between Ahrma and ITSA. It’s not a bad thing, and neither organization should be labeled as “wrong” for being what they are.
    Debbie Poole
    Ahrma Western Region
    Reply to this

    1. 2/22/2012 6:27 PM Ed and Evelyn Peacock wrote:
      ACP TO 1 DAY: “…With Ed and Evelyn’s resignation and subsequent developments and comments from others it seemed unlikely that they or Tony would want to be ACP trials masters; even if a 2 day was to be planned…” “The new format of one day trials in conjunction with a MX was followed…”
      Having already resigned as AHRMA trials coordinators, we did not identify the trials master(s) for the ACP event anticipating that the new coordinator would make that determination. Based on the “new format of one day of trials in conjunction with an MX, it was not AHRMA’s intent to schedule a 2-day event at ACP.
      As previously stated, one of our reasons for resigning was because we did not support the new format of scheduling only one day trials events at MX tracks in conjunction with the other racing disciplines. The majority of the trials riders do not participate in the speed events and do not want trials events limited to MX tracks.
      ”The new format of one day trials in conjunction with a MX was followed, and the results showed that the per day turn-out was similar to last year. We had 20 entrants (would have had 21 but one rider opted to check when his bike didn’t start) to the 2011 total of 22 each day.”
      I would have to disagree; the 2012 results from ACP do not show a similar per day turn out when compared to 2011. In 2012, 19 riders were reflected on the scoreboard and also on the AHRMA website in the posted results. In 2011 the rider total each day was not 22. On the first day in 2011 (Saturday) there were 25 AHRMA riders and 1 support rider for a total of 26 riders. On the second day of the 2011 event (Sunday) there were 28 AHRMA riders and 9 support riders for a total of 37 riders. Bottom line for the promoter there were 63 trials riders in 2011 compared to 19 riders in 2012, a difference of 44 trials entries.
      Reply to this
  • 2/12/2012 6:13 PM John Holbrook wrote:
    As a Trials only rider I have to agree with Tony, “Surely it MUST be possible to have a uniformed front in Vintage Trials”. The real issue is not AHRMA vs. ITSA rather the promotion of Vintage Trials. When an organization excludes some twin shock bikes it limits the number of riders who may compete. If the shoe was on the other foot and all Brit bikes were excluded it would make about as much sense. This reminds me of the big flap in the UK over pre 65 bikes vs. modern twin shocks, all most of us want is to ride good events with friends without all the politics.
    Last year I road seven of the AHRMA National events and enjoyed it very much. I will say that the two day trials only events were the most challenging due to much better terrain. Of the seven I would rate TTC and Turkey Rock the best with TTC coming out on top only because the terrain was so different from what I am use to out west, Diamond Don’s comes in third and ACP last.
    Like a lot of Vintage riders I also ride my twin shock in Modern Trials events, and if the Modern Trials Clubs held their events at MX venues and depended on the crossover rider to fill out their entries where would Trials in the US be?
    So for me it comes down to Trials, Trials, Trials. I will ride all events I can no matter who the organizing group is. Just wish the rules were the same.
    Reply to this
  • 2/12/2012 8:03 PM Debbie Poole wrote:

    I think some of your reasoning is apples to oranges as in the cross over question, using modern trials events as an example. In my view the purpose of a modern trials event is principally to attract those interested in TRIALS, specifically modern trials. People are attracted to these events because they most likely have trials as their main interest. AHRMA is nothing like that and the cross-over theory works well among all OR disciplines.
    However, we are in agreement on two points, and I couldn’t agree more with your attitude as stated when you said you would ride all events you can no matter who the organizing group is. THAT is a great attitude and all any organization can ask of the available pool of riders.
    Your statement regarding twin shock machines that “all most of us want is to ride good events with friends without all the politics” sounds good too, and as twin shock machines can be ridden in Ahrma events in the support class, would accommodate that aim.
    Reply to this

    1. 3/26/2012 8:24 PM Moe Herbert wrote:
      Many who have replied here I have met and I know have given so much of their personal time and dedication to the vintage competition (such as Debbie). I feel honored to have met some of the legends of the sport and am surprised they are easy to relate to. I personally think that AHRMA is not British bike parade, but there appears to be some resistance to allowing newer classes that will attract younger riders. Whether it be twin shock trial or newer motocross classes, some forward thinking should be included. I know at times however this requires painful choices as to classes, tracks, bikes, etc. I still love racing the Premier and Classic classes when I can. I have heard from quite a few vintage friends in the rocky mountain area that they are just “Looking for a vintage race” (or trial) and don’t understand how sometimes these things become so complicated. Thanks for listening.
      Reply to this
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