THE BEST OF 7 IN 2011 ?

THE BEST OF 7 IN 2011 ?

THE BEST OF 7 IN 2011

With several of the AHRMA Trials Championships for 2010 having been decided on age, rather than
merit, next year has a slightly different flavor as there are less events available. So if you want a Champonship, and the $20,000 jacket, then you had better be prepared to compete on equal terms.
As we know the organization resists change like General De Gaulle so any proposals to rule changes
would either get the “Non” or be put on a back burner for further review.

For 2011 a few old favorites didn’t make the “A” team and I’m very sad to see Cotopaxi, Tooele and
Jordan Ranch getting the axe, both professionally and personally, as they were all 2 Day events with traditionally strong turnouts in the 40+ numbers on most occasions. The event tally is down to 21 from 26, assuming the TBD mid west venue is a 2 Day.

Perhaps with the tightening of the belt in the number of events this might provide a greater showing at
some of last years more dismal affairs that are still on the menu. In my opinion Elkhart Lake with a 15
turnout and Mountainfest with only 7 entries really have no place in a Championship and if they get a
repeat performance then for the rest of us we are playing best 7 out of 19.

Well enough of the bitching, lets see what we do have for our pleasure. First up is the 2 Day in
January on 22/23 at Buckeye AZ otherwise known as Az Cycle Park. I will be Trialsmaster for this one,
again, and hope to have 12 sections a day as long as we get the all important checkers. I’ll be hoping
to run a Beginners/Novice Trials School all day Friday providing there is enough interest, and to that
end either contact myself via the web or Ed Peacock. Cost will be $30.00 per rider for the day.

A great section “Ironwood”

Hoping to find some more rock sections for 2011

Well, as I can do “these”, there will be at least 2 deep ones a day!

Also at our Buckeye affair we will once again extend the time limits for those riders competing in the
other disciplines and will ride “buddy check” when they have completed their racing activities. Yes, it
CAN be done! For those that haven’t been there yet, excellent level parking on hard core, good weather
factor of around 70 degrees with a reasonable variety of sections but obviously very sandy. I will be
trying for some new ones, and depending on winter rains those graded hills may be back.

The Day 1 Graded Hill which could just be a straight section

Day 2 Graded Hill, but again might be a section this time

With the opening rounds for the West coast over, time to switch sides and for the East coast its back
to Florida on 25 February for the Gatorback Cycle Park offering. Only 22 riders last year so if you want
to see this one continue turn up and enjoy all the hard work that others have put in for your pleasure.

Nothing in March, but then South & Central for the Friday event at Diamond Don’s on 15 April which
did well last year with 44 entries. DD’s has so much potential and Don has told me he is quite happy
to have a 2 Day on his property which I think would be fantastic. In the past, despite 800 acres of
prime trials terrain, we have always been screwed  with the Cross Country and can only hope the
planners get together to ensure their routes don’t cross. I very much like DD’s with all the fun of other disciplines but I’ve seen Trials ruined here with childish behaviour and a lack of thought by all
concerned. If the numbers keep increasing I’d be happy to run a 2 Day there and use some of the
land we don’t often get to use and maybe see a “real” trial in some good old mud !

Always fun riding through ruins

Plenty of seldom used terrain at DD’s

As it warms up we are back in the mountains of Colorado  for Turkey Rock on 21/22 May. Another
venue I enjoyed with shortish loops all around the big hill which I know Ed wants to find an “all levels” rideable loop over. Last time we used this place entries were up in the 40’s and we had some
excellent sections for all riders.

Steep downhills on the pumice

Good fair sections that don’t change

Into June and Road America gets another go on the 12th despite last year’s poor showing of only 15
entries.

Then we have the mid west TBD which could be Marion ? but we will wait and see.

The second half of the season starts will the Donner 2 Day which I have always rated as the “Near
Perfect Trial” and 2 fun filled days on the rocks for 16/17 July. Great temps for summer riding with 70
by day and about 50 at night. Excellent parking right by the friendly ski lodge and some easily watched sections close to the start area.

The “daunting” sections usually ride easier than they look

Plenty of sections for spectators by the Lodge

The “near perfect” start area

Also in July on the 29th we have Mountainfest with a four discipline weekend and last year only 7
riders attempted the trials. My own view here is we can’t afford to have worthless events like this
when we have other areas of the country where we can get a meaningful entry and even make it a
2 day.

August and again the Northwest has the Farm at Chehalis on the 13th and although always getting
the biggest entry, 87 last year, it would never rate as a favorite for me! The NO RIDING rule, before
or after, was strictly enforced by some very surly individuals who made the event less than enjoyable considering the 1200 mile drive, and of course after that there is NO WAY I would ever go back
despite the great old style trials terrain that I grew up with.

Moving into September we have 3 days at Casper on 3/4/5 with excellent sections to suit everyones
tastes and for me this venue has it all. My favorite of mud, glorious mud, rivers, more rivers with rocks
and banks, rocky hillsides and twisty turns through the trees, and still a ton of unexplored terrain if you
fancy something new. After 3 days here ANY trials rider will recapture the “bug” if any thoughts of
retirement were coming near.

Mud & rivers……. YIPEE!

Perfect setting for Vintage Trials

My favorite  Ahrma section, the “Waterfall” at Casper


The turn into the cliff

Up and out !

Still in September on the 17th we have Two Rivers at Milliken Co which can be an easy but technical
event especially if they don’t use the mud holes. The last few years have seen this one get a little too
easy in my opinion and a silly dab can often be the difference between winning and losing. I would
like to see some new sections and the event toughened up a bit.

This was a tough one in 2007

Always in use “The Pipes”

I loved the “Mud Hole” when they used it

October kicks off in TN at the Trials Training Center on the weekend of 1/2 and after all Ed’s hard
work this one only got 21 entries last year which is a big disappointment considering the number of
vintage riders in the area. Well if Bob and ITSA don’t put on an opposing event perhaps it will get a
better showing in 2011.

One week later and its back to Barber which had a surprizingly good turnout last year with 44
participants so we know the riders are there!

The season wraps up on the 15th at Hollister in CA. This is a good venue but I have always thought
the sections were again leaning on the too easy side. The terrain is good, and plenty of variety, but the section planners seem to go for the easy tried and true sections rather than provide good new
challenging safe sections from the vast array of available terrain.

With finances where they are and seemingly no end to the Recession it is difficult to plan the magic
7 but we can only do what we can do !

Maybe next year I’ll run a 2 Day at Alto Pit in AZ just outside Prescott. This was always used, and still
is, by Central Arizona Trials. It is a decicated 2 wheel off road area beautifully laid out for camping,
RV’s and 5th Wheels. Toilet facilities already on site, park rangers for security and a host of natural
sections for all lines from Beginner through Champ. Everywhere you look is a natural section and you
can easily run 25 sections a day with 2 loops through the woods. Certainly an area that would lend
itself to ITSA style events with 5 each of the A/B/C/D/E severity sections. Of course I might throw in a
few “one line for all” type sections, which is after all what it always was back in the “day” we are
trying to create.

Tricky turns between the pines …. and watch those needles, they move!

Firm set rocks

Giant rideable boulders

A maze in the rockery

Perfect sections for ALL ability levels

You need to plan your line

Scottish type rocks and sections

Big hills, up and down, seldom used by the modern bikes

TONY DOWN

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Comments
  • 12/7/2010 3:06 PM Dave Rhodes wrote:
    Hey Tony – Good to see you are still keen as ever, although the distance between events will likely be a financial challenge for many in 2011
    All the Best for the Christmas Season – as you might have seen on my site we have already been out “Playing” in the snow, as cabin fever started to set in.
    Reply to this
  • 12/8/2010 5:16 PM Donnie Schmutzler wrote:
    Wow, I hadn’t realized how far entries for AHRMA trials had dropped.My brother and I put on 3 AHRMA trials a year thru-out the 90’s here in Illinois and always had at least 40 entries. By the late 90’s we were getting upwards of 70 entries at White City, Peoria and Casey. Steamboat always pushed 100 entries.
    I might have to get back into Ahrma and see if we can get the Midwest jump started up again.
    Reply to this
  • 12/8/2010 7:51 PM John Holbrook wrote:
    Tony nice preview of next year. Just a comment on Donnie’s post, when a two day event such as AZ cost $120 in entry fees, gate fees & camping its no wonder the entries are down. And that does not even count the cost of getting to the event. I can ride a local NMTA two day for $45 no gate, no camping charges.

    Having had my rant, I am going to give the AHRMA a go this year, so will see you in AZ.
    Reply to this

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