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Vice Presidents Announcement – May 2018

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 vicepresident@stratrials.com and provide your contact info.

PRESIDENTS ANNOUNCEMENT – MARCH 2018

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!

Douglas

PRESIDENTS ANNOUNCEMENT – FEBRUARY 2018

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.

Douglas

 

PRESIDENTS ANNOUNCEMENT – NOVEMBER 2017

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

  1. President’s Report                                                                                                        Year to Date (What we have accomplished)
  2. Treasurer’s Report (Where we are now)
  3. Plans for 2018 (Where we want to go)                                                          Rule Changes                                                                                                    Operational Changes                                                                                     Change Club Status to Not-for-Profit Club                                        2018 Schedule                                                                                                 Officer Elections
  4. 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.

Douglas

 

2017 PRESIDENTS ANNOUNCEMENT – OCTOBER

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!

Douglas

2017 Vice Presidents Announcement – JUNE

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!

2017 PRESIDENTS ANNOUNCEMENT – MAY

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,

Douglas