The Championship standings are complete, the Most Improved Rider ballots have been counted, the Best Event of the Year has been determined, the 2019 Awards Banquet has been scheduled for February 22rd and a Fun Trial at the TTC the following day has been confirmed. The 2020 Rule Book has been updated and the 2020 schedule is set. That about concludes my administrative and scheduling duties for the year as the Association’s President. This post will be my last “President’s Announcement” on our website.
The annual STRA business meeting held on November 5th included a review of the season in regard to participation, a summary of the recently held NATC meeting and the proposed 2020 STRA event schedule. The meeting also saw rule changes for the 2020 season voted in by attendees. These changes addressed riders changing classes and the delegation of Championship points; the ability to remove a hand from the handle bar when a foot is on the ground; promoter leeway to alter event start times; and various other small modifications to existing rules in the attempt to make them more accurate and succinct.
The most essential part of the meeting however, was the election of officers for the coming year. At first there was a lack of volunteers to take over the Youth Director and President positions for 2020 when Curt Comer and I resigned. After discussion amongst the forty plus attendees, a plan was developed to help the association continue. Current officers other than the two noted above will remain in their current posts with the exception of Francois Saint Laurent, who will move from the Vice President role to a Media Coordinator role. Ray Peters will step into the President’s role and Alex Niederer will become the Vice President. A shout out goes to Kim Bronstein who stepped up and volunteered her services to be Secretary/Treasurer, a position that has been vacant for the past two years. Nick Smith and Alan Shirley also volunteered support to aid Ray and Alex throughout the season so don’t be surprised to see them running the show when the President and Vice President are unable to attend STRA events due to National and Pro trial commitments. 2020 STRA Officers President Ray Peters Vice President Alex Niederer Secretary/Treasurer Kim Bronstein Administrative Aids Nick Smith and Alan Shirley Competition Director Dawn Shirley – to be assisted by volunteers in exchange for event work credit Media Coordinator Francois Saint Laurent Sporting Steward Eric Mattson Youth Director Vacant – duties are to be carried out by the promotor and volunteers for work credit
A stop gap plan to continue the youth program was proposed and will be developed as the season approaches. The plan is to have each event promotor set up youth sections and have events scored by STRA volunteers in exchange for work credit. The idea of exchanging labor for work credit was also extended to assist with rider check-in and pre-event operations under the direction of Dawn Shirley.
As I sign off as President I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity and the support over the past three years. Together we accomplished a lot and implemented many new ideas to expand our sport, improve rider participation and heighten the STRA experience.
It is often said that reluctant leaders make the best leaders. I have no doubt that this association will continue to develop and prosper under Ray’s direction and with the talented support of the other officers. A heart felt thank you for everyone for stepping up and continuing to lead the Southeastern Trials Association, truly making it a premier trials association.
I hope to see you at the 2019 Awards Banquet on February 22nd and the pre-season Fun Trail on the 23rd. We have some special things planned to officially end the 2019 season and to welcome our new officers for 2020.
The Executive Board and Competition Director have reviewed the performance of STRA competitors for 2019 season in order to create a list of candidates for the Most Improved Rider Award.
STRA members please click on the link https://www.stratrials.com/most-improved-rider-poll/ and review the candidate’s accomplishments listed in alphabetical order and cast your vote at the bottom of this page (please only one vote per STRA member). The award will be presented at the 2019 Championship Series Banquet on February 22nd, 2020.
VOTING ENDS DECEMBER 15th, 2019.
The following proposed rule changes and ideas for enhancing our association were submitted by members of the STRA. The following items will be voted upon at the 2019 business meeting on Saturday November 2nd following the Mark Moon Memorial Ride and be implemented for the 2020 riding season.
Additional items may be added to this list if submitted to the President (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than noon October 30th, 2019. Only items pre-submitted for peer review will be eligible to be voted on at the business meeting.
For The Championship (Rule Changes)
Proposal 1: Section 3.4 states “A Rider wanting to compete in a class other than their normal class may do so by indicating to the Competition Director that they are riding for “Exhibition only”. This allows the rider to test their performance in another class. An exhibition rider will not be eligible for series points but may be eligible for the awards of the day subject to the discretion of the promoter.”
Proposed change: “A Rider wanting to compete in a class other than their normal class may do so however, they may only qualify for points in one class per season. Riders competing outside their normal class will be considered to be riding for “Exhibition only.” This allows the rider to test their performance in another class. An exhibition rider will not be eligible for series points but may be eligible for the awards of the day subject to the discretion of the promoter.”
Reason for change: This change will prevent the potential for riders changing classes towards the end of season from effecting season long point battles among the regular competitors in that class.
Proposal 2: Section 5.4.c states: “Rear dampers may be replaced with gas filled units. Rear wheel travel (not shock travel) is limited to four inches. Front wheel travel is limited to seven inches.”
Proposed change: “Rear dampers may be replaced with gas filled units. Rear wheel travel (not shock travel) is limited to four inches. Front wheel travel is limited to seven inches.”
Reason for Change: Rule seems unnecessary and submitter suspects that all the air cooled monoshock bikes have more than 4 inches of rear wheel travel.
Proposal 3: Section 8.0.b.5 states: “The rider does not have both hands on the handlebar when footing while stationary.”
Proposed change: “The Rider removes their hand from the handlebar and uses their hand to reposition the motorcycle or perform mechanical adjustments to the motorcycle when footing while stationary.”
Reason for Change: To be consistent with current NATC rules.
Proposal #4: Rule 10.1 states “Promoters should start events no earlier than Eleven O’clock Local on Saturday and no later than Nine O’clock Local on Sunday. There will be 30 minutes between the end of the morning event and the beginning of the afternoon event. Youth events will be held at the Promoters and Youth Directors discretion.”
Proposed change: “Promoters should start events no earlier than 11:00 a.m. local time on Saturday and no later than 9:00 a.m. local time on Sunday. Promotors may alter that time if warranted (e.g., available daylight, land use restrictions, etc.) and given the President’s permission. There will be 30 minutes between the end of the morning event and the beginning of the afternoon event. Youth events will be held at the Promoter’s and Youth Director’s discretion.”
Reason: Each year one or two events (most notably the Mark Moon Memorial Ride) occurs where daylight is limited because of Daylight Savings Time. Due to an early sunset Promotors and riders are hindered and sometimes put in a position where it is not safe to ride due to lack of daylight. The proposed change would give leeway to the Promotor to alter the start time under the guidance of the association’s President.
Proposal #5: Rule 12.3 states “Each rider’s championship score for the year shall be based on the points earned in ½ the total number of events plus one. Each rider’s best scores in this number of events shall be used in computing the total championship score for the year. (See Novice exception (page 5, item 4, #4)).”
Proposed change: “Each rider’s championship score for the year shall be based on the points earned in ½ the total number of events plus one. Each rider’s best scores in this number of events shall be used in computing the total championship score for the year. (See Novice exception (page 5, item 4, #4)).”
Reason for change: In 2015 Rule 4.4 was introduced to encourage Novice riders to remain active in STRA events by allowing them to qualify for year-end awards after only riding and working three events. Their Championship points however are tabulated the same as all other classes. Elimination of the wording in Rule 12.3 would help clarify this point.
Proposal #6: Rule 13.4 states “Thirty (30) layout points will be awarded to the Trials Master and one additional worker per STRA Trial. Layout points can only be earned one time per year.”
Proposed change: “Thirty (30) layout points may be awarded to the Trials Master and up to one additional worker per STRA Trial. Layout points can only be earned one time per year.”
Reason for change: Provide flexibility in awarding points. Some Trials Masters do not want the automatic points to go to their championship score and the current rule mandates the giving of 30 points.
Proposal #7: Rule 13.8 states “All STRA riders competing in the Florida Trials Association annual Fun in the Sun 2-Day event will be given work credit for that day’s event provided the rider finishes the event and was not given the opportunity to work in a scoring capacity.”
Proposed change: “All STRA riders competing in an event for which the Promoter provides checkers will be given work credit for that day’s event provided the rider finishes the event and was not given the opportunity to work in a scoring capacity.”
Reason for change: As evidenced by Hollytree this year, Promotors beyond Fun in the Sun are able to provide checkers for events. This proposal “officially” broadens the scope of events for which people can get work credit.
For Member Consensus
No items submitted at this time
For The Promoters (What we want Promoters to do for us)
No items submitted at this time
The first event for the second half of the 2019 STRA Championship Series was sponsored by Hollytree Off-Road Park and the Huntsville Trials Club. We must say what a great way to end the three month break from competition. We had 58 riders competing Saturday and 41 on Sunday. We lost a good many people on the second day due to fatigue, bumps and bruises from day one, bike malfunctions and other commitments.
Sections were not overly hard but they were not easy either. They seemed just right to challenge riders of all skill levels over rocky ground and through trees. The weather was hot (in the 90s, which is atypical for September, even in Alabama), clear and dry. Traction was great and the overall course was challenging. The loop transverse from section six to seven was considered an extra section by many riders and kept things interesting to say the least.
No one at the event could recall the last STRA competition held in Alabama. We are sure glad it was back on our schedule this year and hopefully will be in the years to come.
The second event for the month of September was another hot one at Henry’s Hills in Cornelia, Georgia and it, too, was a great outing. 67 riders on Saturday and 54 on Sunday participated on sections that were technically laid out by Jamie Gourley, emphasizing off-camber turns, short hill climbs, well placed logs and creek bed riding. The prolonged dry weather in the area made the course extra challenging because the footing was as fine as talcum powder in some places. We thank Henry and JW for taking the time to use a water hose to wet down the staging area in an effort to keep dust at a minimum. We had a lot of new riders take part in this event. It was great to see new people become excited with their exposure to the sport. We hope to see them at our next event on October 19th and 20th at the Trails Training Center for the 58K.
As mentioned during the announcements at Henry’s Hills, the yearly STRA Business Meeting will follow Saturday’s event on November 2nd at the Mark Moon Ride in Ringgold, Georgia. The agenda will include voting on rule and operating changes and the election of new officers for the 2020 competition year.
Most of the current officers are willing to stay on in some capacity for 2020 but they are open to giving up their administrative positions with the STRA if someone has a desire to take over their duties. Those officers are Dawn Shirley, Francois Saint Laurent, Ray Peters and Eric Mattson. The positions of President and Youth Director, however, will become vacant and an election will be held to fill those roles. If anyone is interested but is not sure of the responsibilities, please contact me and we can discuss what the roles currently entail. Vice-Presidents note: Francois Saint Laurent is available for any position except that of President as he will be out of the country for an extended period. We really need someone to express interest in taking over the Presidents role.
The other item scheduled on the Business Meeting agenda is modifying the current rule book and current system of operation. We will follow the same process as we have the past two years: any potential change to be discussed at the meeting must be submitted by noon on October 30th to email@example.com. All proposals will be posted on this page for members to review.
Proposals should resemble this example.
“Proposal: Amend Rule 13 – 4 states “Thirty (30) layout points will be awarded to the Trials Master and one additional worker per STRA Trial. Layout points can only be earned one time per year.” Propose change to “Thirty (30) layout points may be awarded to the Trials Master and up to one additional worker per STRA Trial. Layout points can only be earned one time per year.”
Reason for the Change: Provide flexibility in awarding points. Some Trials Masters do not want the automatic points going toward their championship score and the current rule mandates the giving of 30 points.”
I hope to get a lot of suggestions about how we can improve our association so they can be discussed at the Business Meeting on November 2nd (firstname.lastname@example.org). I also hope to see large turnouts for our last two event weekends for the 2019 STRA season at the 58K on October 19th and 20th and the Mark Moon Ride in Ringgold, Georgia on November 2nd and 3rd.
Until then, keep riding,
Our luck with great weather ran out for our STRA April and May trials events! For both events we had downpours in the morning, clearing rain as we rode and both were great.
Championship rounds five and six at Hickory Hills, March 13th and 14th had 57 riders Saturday and a hardy 37 on Sunday. This allowed us to split score the first day but we peer scored the second day due. Papa Joe, Ross Walls and Eric Mattson did a great job setting up the sections and loop. It was well marked and the difficulty level was just right for the conditions. There is no better venue on our schedule to ride in and after a rain than Hickory Hills. Papa Joe’s ground perks great and overall the event can be best summed up as was wet, slippery, muddy and fun! Another high point of the Hickory Hills event was that we had 16 youth riders at Saturday’s competition. The youth program is Papa Joe’s passion and Dewanna Comer (Curt was off doing his newly assigned AHRMA duties) provided a great experience for these up and coming riders. A big thanks to her for her solo effort!
Three weeks later we had The Spring Splash on May 4th and 5th, rounds seven and eight of the Championship series, at the Trials Training Center. The forecast of heavy rain hindered the typical attendance and we had 59 riders each day. In the end people’s caution was wasted because the weather worked out great for the adult riders. The youth did have to brave a monsoon to ride Saturday morning but they did so with smiles. As the weather cleared we had two beautiful days of creek and hillside riding set up in typical Charlie Roberts style plus cleaver and unique trophies to top it off.
The Spring Splash ended the first half of our Spring STRA season. The season resumes September 14th and 15th at the inaugural Hollytree Offroad event in Hollytree, AL hosted by the Huntsville Trials Club.
Despite the lack of STRA events over the summer, some of our members did not stop riding. June is typically the American Motorcyclist Association / North American Trials Council (AMA/NATC) Nationals month and we had a strong showing by our members in national competition. The AMA/NATC Eastern Championship included two rounds in Nebraska and two in Minnesota. We had five current STRA members compete and the highlights were Blake Bronstein taking fourth in the Jr Expert Class, Eric Mattson getting sixth overall in the Sportsman Class and Laura Peters becoming Eastern Champion in the Women Clubman class.
The Western Championship was hosted in Colorado and Oregon. We had five current STRA members compete in Colorado and six in Oregon. In this series Blake Bronstein again took fourth in the Jr Expert Class and Scott Jordon took third in the Senior Clubman class.
The climax of the AMA/NATC series was the PRO competition which includes all the Eastern and Western national events. Of the twelve riders competing in this class, three are active in the STRA (Alex Niederer, Andreas Niederer and Karl Davis, Jr). This competition saw Andreas taking ninth overall in the class and coming down the last event, he edged out Karl by one point in the final standings to claim second to Karl’s third. What a great representation by all the riders who took part in the AMA/NATC Mototrials series!
There is still riding going on in the region so look at the area clubs for some tire time competition. An example of this is Alan Shirley’s Fun Trial at the Chert Pit in Ringgold, GA on the 20th of July. His first event generated a lot of fun memories for people so we hope to see a great turnout. Please go to the STRA Facebook page for more information.
Hollytree will come sooner than we know, so keep riding!
What a great beginning to the STRA year! It started with a good turnout for the 2018 Awards Banquet on February 23rd at the traditional site of the Western Sizzlin’ in Jasper, TN. We had about 65 people attend which was surprisingly good given the record setting rain, flooding and flu all around us. The high water did unfortunately cancel the Fun Ride scheduled at the TTC on Sunday. February is never a predictable month. The banquet night was about all the riders and our ten Champions: Alexander Niederer, Nathan Glinski, Tim Cone, Jamie Gourley, Jay Estes, Gary Holbert, Doug Raney, Dennis Simoes, Steve Glinski and Jimmy Sharp.
Other highlights of the night included Randy Sharp being inducted into the STRA Hall of Fame for all of the contributions he made to the STRA and to the sport over the years. He is the eighth representative and the first person to receive this honor in ten years. Sherman Smith III won the Most Improved Rider for 2018 and Frank Alexander won the Best Event award for Trackrock. This was very fitting since it was the last time that we will be able to have an event at that venue. The Glinskis (Steve and Nathan) competed head to head in the Champ Games of stacking cups while Jamie Gurley showed everyone how to flip a bottle. We have already submitted an order for better weather for next year so we hope to have a real blow out at the Western Sizzlin’ and Fun Ride at the TTC for 2019.
Our first Championship competition event of the year, Fun-in-the-Sun, was held on March 8th and 9th at Hardrock in Ocala, Florida. What a great event this was! Alex Niederer’s Florida Trials Association really did a terrific job. It was an event of FIRSTS in many ways for the STRA. It was the FIRST event to use colored gate markers; the FIRST to combine Vintage A, B & C with Twin Shock A, B and C into Vintage Novice, Vintage Intermediate and Vintage Sportsman. It was also the FIRST event to have official podiums for the awards ceremony, which was an idea put forth by Jose Rivas and Andreas Niederer at the end of last year. We had exceptional weather of eighty-seven degrees, no humidity and a light, cool breeze with sunny skies. What a refreshing environment compared to the weather we endured all winter in the southeast. The weekend was capped off by a large number of riders (66 Saturday, 56 Sunday) coming from the southeast region but also from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Quebec! We all rode four loops of eight, well-planned sections checked by FTA members. A big thank you for that! Another big thank you goes to Sadie Thompson who was at the event with Nathan Glinski and volunteered her time and expertise at sign-in/score keepers table on Saturday. No one realized she was doing the job of four people until she wasn’t there on Sunday!
Rockcrusher, rounds three and four of the Championship Series, came two weeks later on March 23rd and 24th. We again had a great turnout (74 riders Saturday and 71 on Sunday) and great weather at our new, north Georgia venue. Frank Alexander did a wonderful job of finding and orchestrating a replacement for his own Trackrock venue which we are no longer able to use due to land use restrictions. It was enjoyable to see everyone discover the area and ride the new terrain. Frank did a great job with section setup, limiting gates and promoting flow. This is an objective we are asking all promotors to adhere to this year to standardize our events. This event also added a few more FIRSTS for the STRA. This included the FIRST Shadow Program overseen by Alan Shirley. The program is designed to have Champ and Expert riders work with lower level riders, “shadowing” them as they ride the competition, providing support and coaching. The goal is that every novice, intermediate and even sportsman rider has the opportunity to ride with a higher level rider at least once during the year. So far the Shadow Program has received great feedback and it will continue to be developed as the year progresses. The event also saw the FIRST use of a new rule which expands how tie scores are handled. It was a good thing we added this verbiage to the rule book because every scenario in the rule was used to break ties between six riders on Sunday! Vintage Sportsman riders Gary Holbert and Mark Sturtevant’s places were determined by first point dropped; Sportsman riders David Barber and Tony Lee’s places were determined by the greatest number of twos scored; and Sportsman riders Hunter Grim and Adam McCluskey’s results had to be ruled a tie because the they had the same number of points, cleans, ones, twos, threes and all of their 24 points came in the exact same places. It was a weekend of FIRSTS in a few different ways and great memories were made.
Both Fun-in-the-Sun and Rockcrusher are not events to be missed next year!
Next up on the event schedule before our summer break is Papa Joe’s Hickory Hills on April 13th and 14th in Lenoir City, TN and the Spring Splash at the Trials Training Center on May 4th and 5th. We hope to see a continued high turnout at each of these events.
Until next quarter, keep riding and enjoy rounds five through eight of the STRA Championship Series.
It is always hard for me to sit down and write a President’s Announcement during our winter break when there’s a lull in the competition action. But things are now revving up – behind the scenes anyway.
The year of 2019 begins with the official close of the 2018 Championship Series with the annual banquet on February 23rd at the Western Sizzlin’ in Jasper, TN. Championship awards will be distributed along with trophies for Most Improved Rider and Best Venue. We will also unveil the colored gate markers for the upcoming season and have some great raffle prizes donated by the likes of Beta, Gas Gas, and RYP.
The following day, February 24th, there is a fun trial at the Trials Training Center thanks to the generous donation of time and energy by Charlie Roberts and crew. See the posted announcement on the STRA Facebook page and in the schedule section of this site for more details.
A few of the behind-the-scene things happening right now include Ray Peters finalizing the design and printing colored markers rather than gate arrows to be used at all STRA events this year. The markers will coincide with the markers used at national events but be specific to our six classes. Ray has also been involved in a project with our Sporting Steward, Eric Mattson, to prepare guidelines for Promotors and Trialsmasters on STRA trial design. The goal is to standardize each trial of the 2019 STRA Championship, allowing each event to run smoothly from an operational stand point and equalize competition within a class from event to event. The set of guidelines will be provided to each promotor/trialsmaster along with the promotor’s pack of gate markers, tape and loop arrows.
The 2019 season will have more events we than have seen in a while. The season will be split, four venues in the spring and four in the fall, including two new venues. To foster maximum participation, we will again have our annual business meeting the weekend of the last event.
Many of you know that we lost Trackrock as a ride site but most don’t know why. It was due to land use issues and while it was a great site, Frank found another great location close to his property. Tony Paul and the Huntsville Trials Club are hosting the first trial in the second half of the season. I think this is their warm up to holding a National event on the same grounds in 2020.
For as long as I have been a STRA member, we have talked about getting our schedule published in the AMA magazine but financial considerations precluded it. This year we were able to pay the AMA in advance for all of our sanctioned event s and you should soon see the STRA 2019 events posted in the AMA magazine.
I look forward to writing and posting the next president’s message because it will be all about great events and skilled riders. ‘ Til then, keep the rubber down and your feet on the pegs!
The Executive Board and Competition Director have reviewed the performance of STRA riders for 2018 season in order to present the Most Improved Rider Award at the 2018 Championship Series Banquet on February 23rd, 2019. We tried to select five riders for the ballot, but were unable to do so because the pool was too deep.
STRA members please click on the link https://www.stratrials.com/most-improved-rider-poll/ and review all SEVEN candidate’s accomplishments listed in alphabetical order and cast your vote at the bottom of this page. VOTING ENDS DECEMBER 26th, 2018.
We had a great turnout to the 2018 STRA Business meeting on 11/10/18. Approximately 60 people discussed and voted on proposals to help advance our association. The following are items approved by the group and will be implemented for the 2019 season.
For The Championship (Rule Changes)
Change #1: Rule 3.0 Rider Classification was amended to reclassify Vintage A, B, C and Twinshock A, B, C into one class each, referred to as “Vintage Novice,” “Vintage Intermediate” and “Vintage Sportsman.” These three classes will include all years of air cooled monoshock and twinshock motorcycles with drum brakes.
Change #2: Rule 8B-12 Failure Definition was amended to be more descriptive and will now read:
“The rider fails to pass through all designated gates for the rider’s class. Competitors may ride where they choose where boundaries are not marked by either split gates or tape. The rider may not pass backward through a gate of their own class or in either direction of another rider’s class (which equates to any tire contact patch breaking the plane of the gate).”
Change #3: Section 8.0 of the STRA Rule Book will be amended to include a process for breaking ties which reads:
“In the event of a tie, the Rider with the most cleans, and then ones, twos and threes will win. If still tied, then the first point dropped will be used as a tiebreaker. If still tied the riders will be considered tied for the event and receive the place and the same number of Championship points for the higher of the two positions being contested. “
Change #4: The potion of Starting Time Definition Rule 10.0-1 indicating the time allotment between morning and afternoon riding events during a trail has been changed to 30 minutes between sessions rather than 45 minutes.
Change #5: The portion of Starting Time Definition of Rule 10.0 – 1 regarding Youth events was changed to give more flexibility in hosting an event to read:
“Youth events will be held at the Promoters and Youth Directors discretion.”
For Member Consensus
Item #1: A rider taking part in the Shadow Rider Program where an experienced rider (typically from the Champ class) rides with them to assist and teach about navigating the loop, sections, scoring and competition tactics will be able to ride for place and Championship points without penalty .
Item #2: The STRA will donate marking kits, including boundary tape and gate markers, to the promoters for each event rather than have the promoter purchase these required items.
Item #3: The STRA will submit application to hold a NATC National Event in 2021.
Item #4: Inclusion of a one line Cherokee Cup trial in conjunction with a 2021 NATC National event hosted by the STRA will be explored and may possibly be a night trial.
For The Promoters (What we want Promoters to do for us)
Item #1: Loop arrows at events will now be marked as to which section is next on the loop.
Item #2: A colored gate marker system (a specific color represents a class) will be implemented for the 2019 season. This will deviate from the current system using arrows and class letters to indicate gates. The colored marker design will be similar to the NATC’s new marking scheme
Item #3: The possibility of a promoter hosting a night trial at some point during the year will be investigated.
On behalf of the STRA I would like to specially thank Dawn and Griff Shirley for the use of their facilities, table set up and organizing dinner for all those who attended this year’s STRA Business Meeting.
September has been a very busy month for STRA riders demonstrating their skills apart from the STRA Championship.
The NATC/AMA National Competition was completed the first weekend of the month in Donner, CA finalizing the series. The STRA made a strong showing in National and Western series. Nationally we had Alex Niederer placing third out of seven in the Pro Class even after fracturing his pelvis the first day of the Arkansas event in June. Andreas Niederer made a very impressive showing in his first year as a Pro finishing fifth. Alan Shirley was also recognized for his national completion in the Expert Class. Maddie Hoover was crowned National Champion in the Women’s Pro Class. In the West Coast regional events we were represented by Laura Peters and Scott Jordan taking second and third in their respective classes. As motioned in the last President’s Message the East Coast events were more populated with STRA riders and again a big THANK YOU to all of those people who committed time, energy and resources to hosting the National event at the TTC.
STRA Riders took to the world stage competing on September 22nd and 23rd in Sokolov, Czech Republic at the Trial des Nations. Our STRA riders Laura Peters and Maddie Hoover helped the women’s team finish seventh out of the ten teams competing in their class. Laura commented it was the hardest trial she has ever ridden in the rain and fifty degree weather. The event was advertised boasting wooded and man-made sections. The men’s team at the TdN finished on the second step bowing to the Czech Republic. The Tdn is often referred to as the Olympic of Trials because this year it fronted 26 national teams competing for international ranking. Events like this do not go without support. Our STRA members again stepped up to the plate raising money for our riders via a fund raising clinic hosted by Laura and Ray Peters at Papa Joes’ Hickory Hills, purchasing of USA/TdN T-shirts and donations made like the ones by the Saint Laurent’s, Deasons, Shirleys, Yanks, Harts and Estes via our STRA website.
On the home front our season is about to begin again. On October 13 and 14th we will resume competition at Henry Hills in Cornelia, GA. This is going to be a special event hosted by our trials masters Jamie Gourley and Sean Parker because is celebrates the 20th year running of the Henry Hills competition. The weekend following Henry Hills will be the 58K at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, TN on October 20 and 21. If you need a warm up to these events our Alabama contingency via the Huntsville Trials Club is hosting an event on September 29th in Hollytree, AL. Go to the STRA Facebook page and look for their posting for more information.
I look forward to seeing everyone soon at Henry Hills for the beginning of the fall half of the 2018 STRA Championship Season!
While there hasn’t been any head to head completion in the STRA in the past two months, our members have been busy in other venues in the trials world. The last message posted was a “call to arms” for help with the STRA hosted AMA/NATC National event at the Trials Training Center on June 9th and 10th. What a response from our members! I had planned to recognize all of the people in our organization who spent time working at the TTC to clear sections, cut a loop, manage the grounds, making awards and working as technical inspectors, section observers and runners during the trial, but there are just too many! A “shout out” to all who helped make this event what it was. Everyone in the STRA should be proud of the event that Francois Saint Laurent organized in conjunction with those at the Trials Training Center and the NATC. It had an overwhelmingly positive response from the riders and the sanctioning body.
Not only did we have people representing the STRA on the organizational and operational side of 2018’s first East Coast AMA/NATC National event but we also had a good showing of riders. At the Trials Training Center we had twenty-three riders representing the STRA across all the competition classes. The following weekend (June 16th and 17th) at the second East Coast event in Arkansas (Oklahoma really) the STRA again had a presence with twelve riders competing.
A special note must be made that two of our riders, Laura Peters and Maddie Hoover, were recently selected to represent the United States at the Trial des Nations (TdN) event to be held in Sokolov in the Czech Republic on September 22nd and 23rd of this year. Ray Peters was also selected as team manager and minder. As described by the AMA website, “the Trial des Nations (“TdN” for short) was conceived in Europe in 1983. The intent was to bring the best trials riders from each country together to compete as a team rather than individually. This TdN is the pinnacle of trials competition and is held after the last round of the World Championship Trials Series.” It is an honor for our association to be represented at the TdN and this year we will be represented by three people! The participants are responsible for helping to raise money to cover the cost of the trip so keep an eye out for fundraisers for the riders.
Another “shout out” that I have not had the opportunity to do formally goes to Curt and Dewanna Comer. They have taken it upon themselves to put together a Youth Program, providing instruction and competition at two trials events (Breezy Hill Farm and Hickory Hills). Curt and Dewanna’s approach to this group has been very well received and we are working on avenues to grow this program even more.
Currently we are in the midst of summer break for the 2018 STRA Championship Series. Total point leaders for each class are listed in the Results section on this webpage. There are six events left for the season. Our next scheduled competitions, Rounds 9 & 10, are to be held on October 13 and 14 in Cornelia, GA at Henry Hills.
Until then, keep riding and be safe (while still having fun),
As the identified Organizer and TrialsMaster I wanted to update everyone on the status of the National level NATC Moto Trials event coming up at the Trials Training Center on June 9-10, 2018. The STRA is the host club for this event, and at several of our STRA events I have pleaded for volunteers to help us get set up. I want to thank those of you that have stepped up and donated your precious time, travelled hours and hours, and come to the TTC to help us get ready. I can proudly report that at this point we have successfully identified all 24 sections needed for the event, they have been cleared of all debris, weed whacked, marked with perimeter ribbon, and all the splits have been labelled! Without the hard work of all the volunteers we wouldn’t be on schedule. Thank you!
At this point we are still looking for several more volunteers for the two days of the actual event. Most importantly are checkers/observers. We need 36 checkers each day. If you volunteer to check, you will receive free admittance to the event, and free primitive camping. As a checker, lunch will be provided and you will get a special T-shirt identifying you as a volunteer. When you volunteer as an observer, please take the time to review the official observer video issued by the NATC, located at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPeZ9H-OdWc&feature=youtu.be . This is a must. You MUST watch and completely understand the scoring in the video.
I also need a few volunteers for other duties during the event itself, so if you can help out, it would be greatly appreciated. Please email me at email@example.com and provide your contact info.
It feels funny sitting down to write a President’s Announcement so late in the month, but life has been busy and it has been all about trials. What a year so far! We started the season at Trackrock with Frank Alexander hosting 142 rides on March 3rd and 4th (88 riders on Saturday and 54 on Sunday). There was concern when we scheduled Trackrock so early in the year that we might have to deal with rain or possibly snow. Despite the area being hammered by rain the week prior, conditions were ideal for rounds one and two of the 2018 STRA Championship Series. Sections were long and the loop was great. Saturday’s ride concluded with Frank’s annual awards presentation combined with a spaghetti dinner. We had special visitors to the event on Saturday including a local newspaper reporter getting the story on trials (you will have to ask Frank how the article came out) and a photographer from National Geographic Magazine. Bill Land happened to be in the area visiting friends and saw the event posted and wanted to come check it out. He conveyed that he used to work for Yamaha and loved trials. He thought the pictures on our website needed an update so he shot a few complementary photos to add to our collection (look out Rob Fox, you have competition!)
The very next week on March 10th and 11th, the Florida Trials Association (FTA) hosted their annual Fun in the Sun event. Rounds three and four of the Championship series again had a good turnout and the weather was ideal. The sections for this event were traditionally challenging with the winning scores for each class as high as the age of most of the baby boomers riding. STRA members made up an average of 65% of the riders at this event which was a great showing for our association. The Fun in the Sun had its traditional T-shirts and handmade trophies which always make this event memorable. There was also a raffle held to raise money for one of the FTA’s young riders, Mika Lonsdale, in order to buy him a pair of trials boots. Our very own Jimmy Sharpe was the raffle winner earning a new pair of Hebo boots for his five dollar donation.
Results for each of the rounds of the Championship series can be found on the STRA Facebook page and the current Championship point standings are in the Results section of this site.
As a product of great turnouts for the first two events of the year and the large number of annual STRA membership renewals, I am pleased to announce that we are now in the black financially as an association. This is a great thing and we are building up the funds to host the eastern NATC/AMA National event at the Trials Training Center June 8th to the 10th of this year.
Speaking of the Trials Training Center, Trials Training Days are coming up this weekend March 24th and 25th. It is not actually an STRA event, but it takes place at the Trials Training Center and is hosted and organized by Charlie, Catherine and now Carey. The fact these people do so much for the STRA and a majority of the instructors happen to be STRA members, it is an event we like to endorse. It is good for our sport and association. So if you are not instructing, go ride it! It will only make you a better rider for the STRA.
The next event on the schedule is at Breezy Hill Farm in Maryville, TN. This is a home venue for me and one of the reasons this letter has been so delayed. The time and energy it takes to set up a trial makes me appreciate what all the promotors go through to allow us to ride and have great the weekends like we have had so far this season. With that sentiment, THANK YOU, Frank Alexander and Alex Niederer for getting this season off to a great start.
I hope to see many of you soon April 7th and 8th at the Breezy Hill Farm event. Until then, keep riding trials!
We are half way through February and the STRA events for the year have begun. The 2017 Championship Awards Banquet was held on February 10th in Jasper, Tennessee at the Western Sizzlin’. There was a good turnout of approximately 75 people including STRA members, family and friends. The banquet recognized the accomplishments of the association for 2017 as well as key people making contributions. It was also announced that the Secretary/Treasurer has been relieved from his duties by the current STRA officers due to a history of inappropriate use of STRA funds and delinquent AMA duties that were discovered in our pursuit to evolve the STRA towards a not-for-profit organization. Proposed rule changes pertaining to membership dues and trial time limits that were tabled at the business meeting in November were voted upon by the 40 members that were present at the banquet. These changes are reflected in the STRA 2018 rule book posted on this site. Championship awards donated by Randy Sharp and RSD Laser were presented to each of our eligible class finishers and champions (see the Results page for final 2017 Championship standings). Most improved rider (Sean Parker) and best event of 2017 (Mark Moon Memorial Trial) awards were also given. Once again we had an overabundance of raffle items provided by the Trials Training Center, Beta and Ray Peters, Trials Store USA and the Niederers, Ryan Young Products, Rod Overstreet at Gas Gas and Jim Snell at TRS. One of greatest highlights of the evening however was the presentation of the Curt Comer Award which is given to the best rider in the STRA (i.e. winner of the Champ Class). Curt Comer, Sr. for whom the award is named was one of the founding fathers of the STRA in 1973. He was also President of the association in 1977, 1982 and 1983. Sadly, Mr. Comer passed away on January 31st of this year. We had the honor of his son, Curt Comer, Jr. attending our banquet and presenting the trophy in his father’s name to Alex Niederer.
A fun trial hosted by the Trials Training Center put together by Charlie Roberts was enjoyed by 30 riders on the Sunday after the banquet. The torrential rains from the day before made the course so over run with water and slippery that only six of the nine prepared sections could be used. It was a great time had by all however and a terrific way to prepare for the upcoming season which begins at Trackrock in Blairsville, GA on March 3rd and 4th. Due to scheduling constraints we head directly to Ocala, Florida the very next week (March 10th and 11th) for Fun-in-the Sun. See the event flyers in the Schedule section of this website for more details.
In closing, excitement should be brewing for 2018. The schedule is posted on the website and flyers will be available along with online sign up appropriately timed for each event. The STRA also has a National event to prepare for and host at the Trials Training Center in June. This is the perfect opportunity for STRA club members to step up and volunteer, to ensure that the event is as successful as possible.
Good luck to all in the upcoming 2018 events. I hope we are able to award a new batch of Class Champions at next year’s awards banquet.
‘Tis the season for nostalgia and resolutions. With that in mind, looking back, 2017 was great year for the STRA Championship series!
- We started the year in Ocala, Florida with the “Fun in the Sun” Alex Niederer, Maddie Hoover, Kris Gilreath and Sean Parker all were on the top step that weekend, demonstrating why they would eventually become the 2017 Champions for their respective riding classes.
- Trackrock in Blairsville, Georgia followed the very next weekend. Frank Alexander always puts on a great event. This year there was no snow or rain but you could sure see your breath Sunday morning because of the chill. Frank’s spaghetti dinner for all the riders after Saturday’s event is something that always makes memories.
- The Hickory Hills event in Lenoir City, Tennessee hosted by Papa Joe Terry at the end of April, sticks in the mind because of the rain. Boy, did it rain, and boy, was it fun! Eric Mattson’s section design was perfect for the weather conditions. Champ Class Sunday morning was highlighted by Laura Peters teaching Women’s Novice rider Kelly Vermeulen how to do a wheelie.
- The next week Robbie Hawkins offered a Ryan Young Trials School on his property in Cookeville, Tennessee. As a fund raiser, Robbie generously donated a riding slot to a STRA rider. Raffle tickets were sold online and at the Hickory Hills event and Doug Raney was the winner. He was a good student because in his first year in trials he placed fourth in the intermediate class, achieving two first place finishes and two seconds during the year.
- The Spring Splash in Sequatchie at the Trials Training Center was aptly named this year and had the largest turnout of any of the events for the 2017 season. Charlie Roberts always knows how to put on a good show!
- Another fundraiser was held a week after: organized by Alan Shirley in Ringgold, Georgia to raise money to assist STRA riders who participated the FIM World Trails Round in Kingman, Arizona July 29th and 30th. A big thank you for all of Alan’s efforts and all those who participated, helping to support Alex and Andreas Niederer, Maddie Hoover and Laura Peters – all of whom were bold enough to ride with the big dogs of the sport.
- After a long summer break we resumed riding at Cornelia, Georgia the first weekend in October. Henry Hills is always a fun ride put together by Jamie Gourley and this time assisted by Sean Parker, who laid out the sections for the rainy Sunday event. Jamie’s loop is always one to be remembered and the weekend also celebrated Alex Niederer and Gary Hoover’s birthdays.
- The 58K at Trials Training Center was a 25th anniversary celebration along with Ray Peters’ birthday (however, not his 25th). Charlie and Catherine organized an excellent dinner after Saturday’s awards ceremony to commemorate the event.
- The memorial ride in Ringgold, Georgia, remembering Mark Moon, our friend and STRA president who passed much too early in life, was a great way to conclude the riding season in early November. Randy Sharp made his first appearance at a trials event for the year after stepping down from a five year reign as club president at the end of 2016. Randy has done great things for the STRA and serving as Trials Master for the Ringgold event is now one of them. He organized two days of terrific rides, over obstacles that only Griff Shirley could put together with his construction equipment.
- The night after Saturday’s Mark Moon trial, the STRA business meeting was held. Dawn and Griff Shirley allowed us to use their workshop and organized an incredible feast of food for this affair. The schedule for the business meeting was changed this year to enable more people to attend and be involved with the direction of the STRA. The conclusion of the meeting saw an update of the official STRA rules, namely to objectify and clarify previous sections with proposals on how to structure the time limit of riding. This point generated the greatest debate and was tabled until alternative wording could be proposed. This change will be voted upon at the 2017 awards banquet, which will be held February 10th. The current STRA officers were voted back into the same positions for 2018 with the exception of Tripp Almon as Youth Director. We are sad to convey that Tripp is leaving the southeast, moving to Colorado early this spring. To date the Youth Director position remains vacant.
- The next scheduled STRA event is the 2017 awards banquet (February 10th) which will be followed by a fun ride to rekindle our skills, fulfill our resolutions and most importantly, reconnect with the great people involved with our organization as we enter the 2018 season. Please see the Event Schedule portion of this website for more details as they become available on both the banquet and the 2018 STRA season.
My best wishes to all. Make a trials resolution and let STRA help you keep it. Keep riding and keep making it fun!
In an effort to involve more club members in determining the direction of the association, the annual club business meeting will take place after Round 13 (The Mark Moon Memorial Trial on November 11, 2017 in Ringgold, GA). Dinner will be provided by the Shirleys but donations will be appreciated. This is in lieu of the usual meeting date in January which made attendance a challenge for many. This meeting is not to be confused with the Awards Banquet, which will be held on February 10, 2018.
The meeting agenda is posted below. Each member is encouraged to submit items for discussion and vote by 11/8/17 via email to me at STRAMAIL@CHARTER.NET. If you wish to submit a proposed rule or operational change, please be as specific as possible. To that end, please note that the rules are available on this website under Riding Rules. Here’s an example of a submission:
Rule Section 7.0, Item 5.
“Each section shall be adequately marked throughout to show the required path and boundaries for each class. The sections shall progress through gates of an appropriate width marked by 2 gate markers. Sub sections shall be ridden in preceding ANY order unless noted by numbered gate markers. Ribbons should be firmly placed 4” to 12” above the ground where possible. Any color ribbon may be used. Once the event has begun, the sections must be ridden as is and as they develop, changes to a gate cannot be made after having been ridden by a single competitor.”
Change the word preceding to any. The goal of the proposed change is to clarify what order gates should be ridden in each section.
Please note that to keep the meeting on schedule, only items pre-submitted will be guaranteed for discussion. Also, the topic of changing the STRA’s 50/50 peer scoring system will not be entertained unless the proposal guarantees checkers for the promoter at each event.
STRA Club Business Meeting Agenda 2017
- President’s Report Year to Date (What we have accomplished)
- Treasurer’s Report (Where we are now)
- Plans for 2018 (Where we want to go) Rule Changes Operational Changes Change Club Status to Not-for-Profit Club 2018 Schedule Officer Elections
- Items from the Floor
In closing, 2017 has flown by and I appreciate the opportunity to have served as President. It has been a steep learning curve and everyone’s support and suggestions has been much appreciated. I am excited about what 2018 can bring. Remember, this club is yours and it is only as strong as your participation and involvement. Thanks in advance for your submissions and attendance to the meeting.
This letter’s lead in was going to be “here we go!”. The month of October is upon us and the summer trials break is over. But I am slow in getting this to print, so now the lead is, “What a fun start!” Jamie Gourley and Sean Parker put on a great event at Cornelia on October 7th and 8th. It was Sean’s maiden venture as a trials master for the Henry Hills event, setting up the sections for Sunday’s riding. I don’t know if he planned for hurricane Nate to add running water through most of his sections or not, but he did a great job. It was a fun weekend and memories made for the 64 riders. We also used the weekend to recognize Gary Hoover’s 65th and Alex Niederer’s 24th birthdays.
Sunday morning we took advantage of the group to judge interest in changing the timing of the the STRA business meeting where rule changes are proposed, state of affairs is presented and officers voted in. The idea is to hold the meeting after the Saturday Mark Moon Ride event in Ringgold, Georgia on November 11th. The thought is that this would allow more people to attend rather than holding it just before the annual January banquet . The group was in favor of this proposal so mark your calendars and we will work out the location and post details. The 2017 awards banquet will still be held early next year to coincide with a Chattanooga Trials Club event at the TTC.
The group also deliberated interest in hosting a NATC/AMA National Event at the TTC in May of next year. Again, the group was in favor of this proposal. Lastly, a preliminary 2018 schedule was finalized and is now posted on the website. We tried to structure it so we did not have any back-to-back event weekends, but couldn’t overcome the hurdle between Trackrock and Fun in the Sun events being back-to-back as the availability of their venues dictates dates. This year consideration was made for Trials Training Days at the TTC in March as well as Vintage Days at Barber Motorsports Park the first weekend in October. Breezy Hill Farm will host another event early in the year because of the loss of the Spring Splash at the TTC due to the national event being held there. If another promotor speaks up and offers a venue in North Carolina or Alabama (hint, hint), we would love to add it the schedule.
In closing, I would like to publicly thank Francois Saint Laurent for tenaciously working through computer language to institute another update to the website. He was able to eliminate the pop up menus and newsletter solicitation. Both advertised an obligation that was not being and could not be fulfilled. He also added a link to the old STRA website in the History tab. This link makes some great history available such as 2011 rider rankings where Alan Shirley won Sportsman and Maddie Hoover was second best in the Intermediate class. Boy, have things changed! The website update was done to further our commitment to the members of the STRA for better communication, consistency and comradery.
We can’t wait to see you at the next event at the Trials Training Center on October 28 and 29. It is to be a big celebration weekend due to the 58K’s 25th anniversary. As part of the celebration a free meal is being provided Saturday night, but you really need to sign up before noon Central on Wednesday the 25th if you would like to be there for the meal! We have to be able to tell the cook how much food to get! Help us out and register early.
Please see the flyer posted on Facebook and on the website for more information.
Keep riding and we will see you at the 25th Anniversary of the 58K!
STRA trials was quiet in the month of July other than our four representatives competing in the FIM World Round in Kingsman, Arizona: Maddie Hoover, Laura Peters, Alex Niederer and Andreas Niederer. Please see http://trialgp-results.com for their impressive results.
The dog days of summer are on us for August and September as well. We hope you have been able to ride a trials bike more than a mower these past few months to keep your skills tuned for our return to the Championship series in October.
As noted on the STRA Facebook page, the 2017 STRA competition schedule changed due to the unfortunate cancellation of the Alabama event in September. Also, due to a schedule conflict with the AMA/NATC annual meeting, the 58K at the Trials Training Center has been pushed back a week until October 28th and 29th (Halloween weekend). Riders are encouraged to refer to this website’s Schedule section to view the remainder of this year’s events.
Our goal for next year is to have the events scheduled soon and secured so it does not change. We will secure dates around the TTC non-trials events and the final AMA/ NATC Mototrials national championship series (Eastern rounds 1 and 2, tentatively scheduled for May 26-27, 2018). While the official role of the STRA in that event is not yet clear, volunteers for setup and operation will definitively be needed. We also hope that we can get the Alabama crew more involved in hosting an event since we have a good many riders from that region. We will also strive not to have such a long break in the schedule over the summer.
Until the schedule is completed and we resume our STRA Championship Series for rounds 9 and 10 in Cornelia, GA, Greg Hales, one of our current STRA officers has made concessions for STRA riders at his event in Sanford, NC September 10th. The trial is an official Carolina Virginia Observed Trials Club event, but Greg worked out a reduced rate ($10) for STRA members to cover the required CVOTC membership that is mandated for insurance. Please see the flyer on the STRA Facebook page for more details. Our thanks to Greg for helping STRA riders get back into a competitive mode before our series resumes.
With that in mind, we are looking to see a strong showing of riders on October 7th and 8th. Jamie Gourley has been putting in a lot of work at the Henry Hills site and I am sure it will be his best event to date. Until then, keep riding trials!
Another STRA event has come and gone, and it was another successful event! The Spring Splash (emphasis on ‘Splash’) was held at the Trials Training Centre with over 60 riders Saturday and over 50 on Sunday, with 29 people taking advantage of the online pre-registration.
Charlie Roberts out did himself again setting up the sections. As Trials riders we all dream about competing in events like the Scottish Six Days, and Charlie hoped that several of us would be able to cross that off of our bucket list after riding the Spring Splash, which had water in pretty much every section. From a safety perspective we probably should have posted a “No Lifeguard on Duty” sign at several of the sections, but a few members decided to go for a swim regardless.
This coming weekend, June 3rd, is the “team trial” fundraiser event at the Chirt Pit in Ringgold, GA. Alan is creating this fundraising event to support our STRA riders (Maddie Hoover, Alex and Andres Niederer) who will be participating in the World Round in Arizona in July. This will be a really fun event fostering camaraderie and skill development for all. Riders will be grouped in a team of three, with one rider from a lower, mid, and upper skill level on one team.
The flyer is posted on the schedule, and pre-registration is also open for this event. If you can’t make it, but would like to support these members and your STRA club, there is a provision for that on the pre-registration page as well.
I hope to see you all there!
March gave us good traction to have a great trials month in April. We only had one STRA event but a growing number of STRA riders took part in the AMA/NATC West Coast National events.
It was a rainy weekend at Hickory Hills, in Lenoir City, on April 22nd and 23rd for rounds 5 and 6 of the STRA Championship. Raining in the morning and clearing in the afternoon, we had 51 riders participate Saturday on sections primarily created by Eric Mattson, Ross Walls and, of course, Papa Joe himself. Sunday was pretty much a downpour all day. In spite of the wet, the 33 riders that did ride had a great time! Even in the downpour we had five new riders turn out to give trials a test for the first time. On both days the sections were challenging (especially in the wet), safe and fun. There was one section each day that became the nemeses section because of the slop.
Dawn Shirley worked with a new computer registration format at check-in, in hopes to make sign up quicker and more efficient for both riders and administrators. The test will be if it passes Ashley Jacksons’ (who was unable to attend the Hickory Hills rounds) expectations at the next event.
Thank you for all that participated in the Ryan Young Clinic STRA fund raising raffle. The winner, announced at the Hickory Hills event was Doug Raney. Doug rode his first event at Hickory Hills, winning the Novice class on Saturday and the Intermediate class on Sunday. Robbie Hawkins generously covered the costs for the STRA for the participation fee for the clinic that he held on his property on April 27th and 28th.
As previously mentioned, we had a good showing of riders that participate in STRA events compete at the National level in the month of April. Maddie Hoover was the brightest star, winning four events out of four in the inaugural Women’s Pro Division. Alex Niederer, Andres Niederer, Aaron Thistle, Ray Peters, Laura Peters, Tim Cone, Karl Davis Sr. and Scott Jordan also displayed their skills in their respective divisions. Go to http://www.mototrials.com for more information regarding how each one of these riders scored and to get information about the East Coast Nationals that begin June 17 and 18 in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Spring Splash at the Trials Training Center is just around the corner. May 27th and 28th will be the last STRA Championship event until the summer break. Go to the Schedule section of this page or the STRA Facebook page to view the flyer for the event.
A week after the Spring Splash, June 3rd, Alan Shirley his holding a fund raising “team trial” in Ringgold, GA. Alan is creating this fundraising event to support our STRA riders (Maddie Hoover, Alex and Andres Niederer) who will be participating in the World Round in Arizona in July. This should be a really fun event fostering camaraderie and skill development for all.
The year is going by fast! Enjoy each event as you can and keep riding,
March was the kickoff of the 2017 STRA trails Championship Series, hosting the first four of the sixteen scheduled events for the year.
The season began with a great event in Ocala, Florida with “Fun in the Sun.” The weather was perfect for the event, consisting of four loops of eight sections that was challenging for all riders. Alex Niederer and the Florida Trials Association did a great job with the course layout and provided checkers for the event which saw 37 riders compete on Saturday and 35 on Sunday.
Trackrock, hosted by Frank Alexander, followed the very next weekend and was our first fully sponsored STRA event utilizing the 50/50 checking system, online sign-up and early posting of ride times. It also was the first event to implement the newly established “Champ Class.” “Champ Class” was held Sunday morning before the event and was a mini-clinic with some of our top riders working with participants from the Sportsman, Intermediate and Novice classes on their skills. Thank you to Alex Niederer, Alan Shirley and Tom Fraser for working with the seven riders who participated in learning techniques to ride off-camber turns. This was very appropriate for Frank’s event and we hope to continue “Champ Class” at future events throughout the year.
Weather cleared in Blairsville from a light rain on Saturday morning into two beautiful days. The event gave 60 riders on Saturday and 66 on Sunday a chance to enjoy themselves and earn Championship points. The event was traditional for Blairsville, consisting of three loops of nine sections with off camber turns, short hill climbs, creek and rock crossings. The event had a wonderful pasta dinner organized Saturday night which was a great way for riders from all classes to get together and socialize.
The outcome of each event was posted on Facebook as soon as possible, as it will be throughout the season for the remaining events. The total accumulation of Championship points for the year is currently listed in the “Results” section of the STRA website and will be routinely updated after each event. To date, riders excelling in the Championship thus far include Alex Niederer in the Champ class who posted three firsts and a second, splitting the series at Trackrock with Ray Peters.
Maddie Hoover is riding exceptionally well and is leading the Expert class, representing her Gas Gas sponsor well. Jeff Hensley, moved up from the Advanced class and looked to be in his element, riding against his new competitors at Trackrock and picking up a second and third place finish.
Kris Gilreath, moved up from Advanced Sportsman and is currently the rider to beat in the Advanced class. He has posted a second and three firsts for the year thus far. Gary Garrison rode very strong with high technical prowess posting two seconds place finishes behind Kris at Trackrock.
Trackrock set the stage for a close race in the Advanced Sportsman class between Alan Hensley, Jamie Gourley and Mike Dalmaso. Mike rode well at Trackrock on Saturday but didn’t have as good of a day on Sunday after switching bikes to his Beta 125.
As usually, Gary Holbert is dominating the Vintage A class with two firsts place finishes at Trackrock.
Sean Parker rode very well in Florida and at Trackrock and leads the Sportsman point battle ahead of Griff Shirley. Kenny Haynes has been consistent with two silver metal finishes at Trackrock.
Kevin Smith has a big points lead in the Intermediate class thus far, having competed in all four events. There is a race building behind him however, between Talon Smith, Charlie Roberts, Jay Estes and Brian Fore.
There is currently a tight race in the Vintage B class between three riders who have competed in one event each so far this season: Steve Glinski, Dennis Simoes and Bill Long.
Good competition is developing in both the Novice and expanding Women’s Novice class thus far. David Heath is leading Tommy Justice by just one point and Emily Black is leading Megan Almon, Neely Almon and Kelly Vermeulen, respectively.
Vintage C and Offroad have had a limited number of competitors thus far with the only competition occurring on Sunday at Trackrock.
As we look to April, our next STRA event is at Hickory Hills in Lenoir City, Tennessee hosted by Papa Joe Terry on April 22nd and 23rd. Section and loop design will again be supervised by our Sporting Steward, Eric Mattson, to ensure consistency between events. We also hope to host another “Champ Class” for our riders in the Novice, Intermediate and Sportsman classes on Sunday morning before the event start. Thanks to François Saint Laurent, online sign-up is currently available in the “Schedule” portion of the STRA website.
Apart from our STRA events, please support and follow our fellow STRA members who are riding in the first rounds of the American Motorcycle Association/North American Trials Council National Championship Series. The first AMA/NATC Western National event was held last weekend in Amarillo, Texas. There is an event in Sedan, Kansas scheduled for this weekend (April 8th-9th). Results can be found at www.Mototrials.com.
Keep riding and we look forward to seeing you at Papa Joe’s!
March kicks off the 2017 STRA trials season in a big way! A lot of riders have made great strides in their skills and this season gives them the opportunity to show case those skills. We expect our class champions to move to the next level and it will be interesting to see how they progress.
Aside from the conclusion of the Chattanooga Trials Club (CTC) Winter Series, in which a large number of STRA members participate, Carolina Virginia Observed Trails Club (CVOTC) and Florida Trials Association (FTA) day events, March starts with Trials Training Days at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, TN. This is a wonderful teaching/learning environment for all levels of trials riders. Charlie Roberts and crew do an outstanding job hosting this event and a number of STRA riders will participate or instruct. The very next weekend (March 11 – 12) the STRA Championship Series begins in Ocala, Florida. “Fun in the Sun” is hosted by the Florida Trials Association under the direction of Alexander Niederer. A week later we have an event in Blairsville, GA at Trackrock (March 18 – 19) with Frank Alexander serving as the Trials Master. Please see the Schedule section of this website for more details about these events.
Our goal of online membership application / renewal and event pre-registration has not gone as quickly as hoped but we continue to make progress. Unfortunately, we will miss the Florida deadline and if we miss the Trackrock deadline, it will be implemented shortly thereafter.
The Facebook change was important to create a communication friendly form. Despite the change from a “Buy and Sell” to a “Club Group,” posting items for sale is strongly encouraged as it helps everyone in the trials community. The only difference is that posted items will not permanently stay at the top of the page but will scroll along with other posts as new items are added.
In closing, I hope that you are excited about this competition season and feel like STRA is here to support your participation.
After a slow start, we have started making changes to this website! Changes thus far include:
- Updating the contact information for all club officers with links to their emails
- Posting of 2017 riding rules with updates from 2016 noted
- Adding a description to each class level
- Posting the 2017 schedule
- Adding links to the schedules of regional clubs that support STRA
- Archiving the championship results from 2014 to present
Our next round of changes on the website will focus on on-line registration and payment options for both STRA membership and event sign-up. After that is completed, during the season our ambition is to post individual event results along with ongoing standings in the championship series for each class.
On a related note, the goal of the STRA Facebook page continues to be to facilitate near-real-time communication and drive readers to this site for additional or detailed information which is more static in nature. We have additional work to do to make the Facebook page less about items for sale and more about communication.
If you have ideas or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me,