Thanksgiving was last week and I have been thinking how thankful I am to be able to ride trials! It was not that long ago that I thought I would never ride again. I am having more fun than ever riding and competing with a great group of people I am happy, proud and thankful to call friends. I am especially thankful to have the support of my wife Cathie. Actually, when it comes to my riding, not sure if she is supportive, just tolerates it, realizes she can’t stop me or she’s just glad to get me out of her hair regularly! I am thankful for the wonderful spouses of fellow trials riders, who support their competitors so I can have someone to ride with!  They are an essential and active part of the trials community and I am thankful for their friendship.

If you don’t know Tom Crain I am sure you soon will.  Tom is a MATT retread and he rode his first re-debut trials at the November event on Hoppy Hill.  I spoke to Tom after the event.  He had a big smile on his face and I asked him about his thoughts on the trials. Tom said he had a great time and wonders why he ever stopped riding trials.  It was obvious he was referring to both the fun of riding and the great folks involved.  I look forward to riding with Tom for years to come.

Also of note is the trials debut (drum roll please) of Phil Peterson.  Phil bought a GasGas last summer and has been riding and practicing in preparation for this day.  Phil is a self proclaimed “urban adventure rider” utilizing both his trials bike and KTM.  Seems he had an exciting “adventure” involving a diligent security officer on a recent ride.  It is hard to keep up with a trials rider though!  Phil had a smile on his face after the event. After getting the first loop jitters under control he rode well.  I feel certain Phil will soon be a productive MATT member. Please make him feel welcome, like I gotta tell all ya’ll!

There were a bevy of new GasGassers at the November event.  Apparently Santa came early to parts of KC:

Carl Hopkins has been on his for several months now and is riding well, having a blast. He made a point of informing me that he bested me by a mere 2 points!  Let the fun begin!  Carl and I have had many years of very tight scores!

Trials Master Dale gave up his prized 300GG in favor of a new 280. Says he can do things on it easier than he could with his last mount. I feel certain that with some practice Dale can be a pretty good trials rider someday.

Steve Morgan was able to get some time in on his new 280GG before the November competition. He was thankful he had that time to get it properly setup before trials day. Steve rode well but for a slip up on the second loop.

Bruce must like his new Gasser too, placing well in the Master class without having much time on the bike.

Jason Carpenter could not pass up a new GasGas, Dale would not let him! Jason had a really bad first loop but then halved his score for the second loop. Unable to again lower his score he held on for a good finish in the master class.

The Turnbull twins, Tom and Tim, rode a vintage MX event the weekend before then pulled out their old trials iron to ride our event. Both did great! It’s always good to see them. Tim, with respect to your desire to get me to ride vintage MX: NO!

I gotta tell you I had a blast at the November trails even though I did not ride my best. It was a beautiful day (we have been soooo lucky in that department), the sections were fun and challenging (thanks to Trials Masters Jim Jeter and Dale Malesek with a little help from some elves) and the rider turnout was great! A number of MWTA and AVTA members joined us for the fun, plus our “Farthest Traveled Participant” Bobby Warner from Minnesota! A big thanks to all of you for coming out for the fun. I am sorry I did not get to talk to Bobby, hope we see him again.

Luis B and I rode up together, that was fun. We got there in good time to warm up and practice but I forgo’d all that to catch up with as many trials buddies as I could, being the social butterfly that I am. Carl H, Mike C and Rick Land were in my group. Boy did we have some laughs! I did not think Rick was ever going to take a point! He was flying like Superman! Literally! Second loop, section 2 hillclimb: The rear tire slips while negotiating the left turn up and across the face of the hill right at the top. Rick tries to compensate but the bike falls over and there goes Rick! Doing his best Superman flying down the hill! Gravity caught up with him and down he went. Fortunately the man of steel was unhurt. Unfortunately, I did not get to personally witness this!  Rick rides a beautifully restored “Brand X” 1975 TY250. Rick got 2nd place Intermediate with very low scores behind sandbagger Mitch Wing (JK!).  Speaking of Wings, Gary rode intermediate class at the youthful age of 80!  Way to go Gary! There go my excuses of having a 10 year old bike and being too old! I guess I’ll just have to fall back on my fat ass excuse. 

Since I once again received no rider feedback on stories/quips from the event I have turned to social media for information.  The day after our November trials, Tyrel Spillman of MWTA posted an awesome video of World Champ Toni Bou.  To which Jeremy Farber commented: “I was doing that same thing yesterday!!” Then Tyrel replied “You too huh, when I rode it I wasn't playing around though, I at least backflipped off the exit rock.” Apparently Keri Dennis witnessed this, wish I had.

FB post by Mitch Wing: “I swear, I have no idea how to act, with a nice woman, um lost, hoping I didn't just jinx anything... enough said”. Reply by Trials buddy David Meyer:” oh come on mitch your a trials rider remember the basic rules ride smooth dont force it and put her up clean when your done and dont forget regular maintenance. just saying “. Reply by Keri Dennis: “This needs to b put on a shirt or the side of our bike trailer”.

CRTC News:  Rick Rexroat of AVTA is now managing the Central Regional Series.  I believe Rick will do a great job and I hope we get a great number of MATT members contesting this fun series next year.  In 2016 we had twoL!  Participation was low all around.  2016 results can be found at  Rick anticipates announcing the 2017 CRTC schedule very soon and will likely include a late spring event by MITA in Jonesburg, MO.  I will publish information as it becomes available.  The CRTC is a terrific series and includes our Quarry Cup.  Let’s support this fine series with great participation by MATT members in 2017.


WOMEN:                                                                    L1        L2        L3        Total

Jenean Wofford                                                          15        4         5            24

NOVICE:                                                                      L1        L2        L3        Total                                                           

Tom Turnbull                                                              1         2         0              3

Keri Dennis                                                                   3         2         0              5

Steve Smith                                                                 1         5         0              6

Russ Amos                                                                   5         1         1              7

Ron Wofford                                                               8         1         2             11

Phil Peterson                                                               16        7         7             30


AMATEUR:                                                                  L1        L2        L3        Total

Bruce Cratty                                                                3         1         1              5

Tim Turnbull                                                               3         1         2              6 (22-0’s)

Jim Thornton                                                               2         2         2              6 (21-0’s)

Craig Lisher                                                                 3         1         3              7

Luis Belausteguil                                                         1         5         4             10

Tom Crain                                                                   7         7         14            28

Eric Smith                                                                    15        18        20            53

INTERMEDIATE:                                                          L1        L2        L3        Total

Mitch Wing                                                                 2         3         1              6

Rick Land                                                                     0         7         1              8

Randy Dennis                                                              1         5         4             10

Steve Messinger                                                         10        3         0             13

Carl Hopkins                                                                10        7         7             24       

Kelly Echterling                                                           8         9         9             26

Richard Bowden                                                          14        9         12            35

Chris Rohr                                                                   16        19        10            45

Mike Carpenter                                                          17        24        5             46

Gary Wing                                                                   25        20        12            57

Hans Wessels                                                              32        21        27            80


EXPERT:                                                                      L1        L2        L3        Total

Matt Hopkins                                                              9         9         11            29

Steve Morgan                                                             9         16        5             30

Bobby Warner                                                             12        10        12            34


MASTER:                                                                     L1        L2        L3        Total

Jason Carpenter                                                          2         1         1              4

Jeremy Farber                                                             5         1         2              8

Bruce Carver                                                               16        8         3             27

Bill Sanderson                                                             16        10        5             31

Scott Carpenter                                                           17        10        9             36


REMINDER:  MATT Christmas Party this Saturday evening hosted by the gracious Chris and Carl Hopkins. See earlier email from Chris for details.


The December MATT trial is a “Setup and Ride” event scheduled for December 18.  More information will be conveyed preceding that date.