‘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!