“Is this bloody thing made by Lucas ?”
With 2010 Ahrma Trials behind us, and a lot of the Championships decided on age, time to get the
Crystal Ball out and see what predictions can be made for “The Year of the Rider” in 2011. With 21
possable events it would seem that less people will be able to walk away with the prizes without
actually coming into “head to head” competition at some time through the season. Well at least I
hope so !
Crystal of course !
In 2010 we saw a lot of the old classes uncontested with nobody riding sufficent numbers to qualify
and even if they did they were for the most part unopposed in their quest. However, rigids and girder
fork machines seem to be a dying breed and unless Marty Paulson and Len Sims enter a few events
the only other riders who ride rigids will walk away with the prize in 2011 for just 4 rides. So my first predictions from the “ball” are;
Rigid Lightweight Int Jim Lipscomb
Rigid Heavyweight Int Rob Stickler
Of course in these hard financial times you never know who will be able to keep turning up and flying
their banner in their chosen class. The “Three Amigos” from Wyoming fall into the same dilema I had
back in 2008. All of them are Tiger Cub mounted in the Premier Lightweight and Classic divisions but
also like to ride Modern Classic on their other machines. All are perfectly capable of riding their Cubs
on the 2 line, but if they upgrade their Ahrma cards to Expert then they are forced to ride the 1 line in
Modern Classic, which clearly they don’t want to do. Maybe one day Ahrma will let us have our card
stamped by Line Number.
Amigo 1, Bob Strohman 2010 Classic Int Champ
Amigo 2, Dan Straka with a 140 point season and 2nd place in Premier
Amigo 3, Fred Martinson 2009 Champ on the Cub in Premier Lightweight
Int and a switch back to the Yam for another title in Modern Classic Int
Bob Strohman ran out an easy Champion in Classic Intermediate while Dan Straka would have
certainly won Premier Lightweight Int had it not been for a severe age disadvantage to Jeff Smith who collected his 7 wins on the other side of the country. Fred Martinson, who was riding the 1 line a few
years ago changed back to the Int division but clearly found the PI line not challenging enough on the
Cub and rode his much modified trusty Yam to yet another victory in Modern Classic Int. He didn’t
have it all his own way and John Dowson pushed him all year until it became obvious that John
couldn’t get round the age barrier either. Fred as we all know has been fighting this “C” bug thing for
the last few years so I’m not sure where he will be for 2011. I rather suspect he will have the Cub all
modified to his liking and take on Classic Int which I think he will win with ease.The Ball predicts…….
Classic Int Fred Martinson
So what will Bob and Dan do? My Crystal Ball goes a little cloudy here (probably needs an oil
change!) but I think they will both contest Modern Classic Int for the first half of the season and then
switch back to their Cubs to grab some wins and points in whichever class is more open. I know
both of them as fine riders and they both would dearly like to win the Modern Classic Int Title which
they have come very close to in the past and if Fred isn’t contesting it, and John moves up to the 1
line, 2011 could be their time. ….so the ball says……..
A bit cloudy but……..
Modern Classic Int Dan Straka
Staying with the Modern Classic class and starting with our Expert division what do I see here? Well
my old Ossamaha has now won the title two years in a row, this time in the hands of Rick Daniel.
John Dowson says he WILL be riding this class and Mike Buc has a nice newish TY 250D or may get
round to finishing his Suzuki. Other contenders are of course Rick himself, and good friend Ron
Pocher who gets better with every outing. Possable challenge coming from Ralph Foster, now fully fit,
and if he can find the resources he could rise to the top of this class. Absent throughout 2010 Dave Lindeman could easily upset the applecart if he comes back on the scene narrowly missing out on
age back in 2007 when he had his 140 points in the bag!
John Dowson set to move up to the 1 line for 2011
Will talented Dave Lindeman be back in 2011 ?
Current Champion Rick Daniel will be pushed in 2011
Fast improving Ron Pocher
Iron man Mike looking to regain his title
Ralph Foster has the talent, does he have the resources in 2011 ?
After much debate, and further review, the Ball predicts a close affair and says……
Modern Classic Expert Ralph Foster
In Modern Classic Novice there are a host of potential winners and some who COULD win but do not contest enough events. Messers Doyle and Richter could win at any time and then I felt sure that Gene
would win in 2010 but he just fell short. I was equally confident that a member of the Arndt family would
be sporting the Champion’s jacket but that didn’t happen either ! The Ball became confused and
shattered at this stage but after much super glue predicts……..
Too many winners but……
Modern Classic Novice The Arndt Family !
The Ball says all the other Novice Championships will be retained by the 2010 winners.
I only typed in “Big Bangers” !
The Big Banger class of Premier Heavyweight looked to be won by Dave Dewonia but it seems as
though Rob Poole is the older rider and another tied result goes to the elder statesman. I rather think
this class will see more competition next year as Dave will be hot on the trail and looking for some
“head to head” competition but I think Derek Belvoir who has won the Championship on numerous
previous occasions has decided only to ride local events rather than follow the Ahrma circus. Others
who may well be in there if travel funds allow are Graham Foster on his beautiful Ariel, although
looking at it I’m NOT sure it is class legal, as the front end looks a LOT later than the 1974 cut off!!!
Travelling companion Mike Parsley could be in with a shout on his big Matchless and who knows if
there will be a newcomer in the class on a Royal Enfield ????
2010 Champ on age, Rob Poole
Dave Dewonia out for revenge in 2011
Multi Champ Derek Belvoir won’t be doing as many rounds in 2011
Graham Foster with his gorgeous new toy…… but is it LEGAL ????
Mike Parsley with the Matchless
New boy on the block ??
The Ball is pretty confident that Don Kelley won’t be moving class and predicts another easy victory in
Prem Heavyweight Int but became very confused in the Expert Class even though we managed to get
Don to do the prediction, as he is a soothsayer (part time)……. and the winner is……
2009 & 2010 Premier Heavyweight Int Champion Don Kelley
Soothsayer Don (in his other helmet) predicts……….
Premier Heavyweight Graham Foster (disqualified!)
“Sorry Graham, under Ahrma regs you must use a Dick Mann machine!”
Well assuming the Montesa forks (circa 1980) really caused the Rules Committee to give
Graham the big “D” I asked Don to look again and after much beard stroking he came up with
Premier Heavyweight Dave Dewonia
The Ball I was using, by now was changing color and I have to think there just might be something
in that as an omen ?
Looking a bit PURPLE to me ?
Premier Lightweight Expert is an interesting affair with current Champion Hugh Campbell at the top
of the Christmas tree. Other potential class winners of Graham Foster, Mike Parsley and Bob Ginder
have all dropped out of the class apart from the odd appearance and Mike Buc decided not to finish
off the 5 wins he had as he knew he would lose out to Hugh on age. Previous “winner”, and I use the
term advisedly, Len Sims, did not compete in 2010 and the only other top rider not there was
California’s Nick Turner. Another entrant might emerge with “No Excuses” having failed to win in 2007
by not doing a checking duty which would have wrapped it up.
Current Champ Hugh Campbell
A determined Mike B, difficult to beat in any class
It might be back in 2011
The Ball says…….
Premier Lightweight Expert “He with BIG hands and no gloves?”
The Classic Expert Class and I are having a bit of a problem, as after 3 years in the class and 25
wins and 1 second place finish I only have one Championship to show for it !!! Year 1, 8 wins =
disqualified, as my Ahrma card was stamped “Int”……… so NO Championship points!!! They took my
entry fees quite happily though! Year 2, 9 rides, 9 wins and a checking duty for the Championship.
Year 3, 7 wins and a 2nd to lose on age to someone I had beaten 5 times on my way to 7 wins? Like
Mike B I couldn’t afford to continually defend 1st place at the remaining events. This could be an
interesting class in 2011 especially if I decide not to ride as James Smith, Rick Wolff and Eugene can
have at it all season long. Biggest wallet wins! Ball says BALLS!……
2011 Winner Eugene Waggoner, “The Grinch” who stole the title
Rick Wolff who took all my 2008 first place points!
Anyway without more ado time to gaze in the ball and see if there is a clear winner? As I suspected,
this will be decided on bankroll…… and the winner is…….
Classic Expert Wallet Waggoner
Well, it will be interesting to see if my predictions come true, but then on a final note as I was about
to put the Crystal Ball away I noticed something very strange…………..
I don’t believe it ! ……….. its a TIE !!