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“When Men Were Men and…”
AHRMA Trials Series
Rounds 9 & 10
May 29-30, 2010
By Ron Pocher
Photos By John Clement
At any AHRMA event around the nation, no matter the discipline, one can always lay eyes on some of the most stunning two-wheeled machinery this world has to offer. The big British single, Rickman-Métisse framed motocross bikes almost always make me slobber. At the Speed & Sport-sponsored Vintage Trials Nationals the quality of mount is admirably consistent, but for my money it’s pretty hard to beat the breath-taking beauty of the many Triumph Tiger Cubs that you’ll find in attendance. Hugh Campbell; Tony Down; Fred Martinson; Dan Straka; Bob Strohman; and Len Simms, who rides a little green and gray rigid-framed baby, are but a few of the gents privileged enough to be astride such gems. I’m sorry, but if you can’t utterly admire the classic lines of any Triumph, you either lack true passion for motorbikes or you were just simply blessed with poor taste
Central Colorado’s Tucker Ranch, near Cotopaxi, is undoubtedly one of the premier trials venues in the United States. The late Cliff Tucker, a member of the NATC Hall of Fame, insisted that his ranch host trials events for as long as possible and two-day meets held by both AHRMA and the RMTA are an annual occurrence.
Arvada’s Ed and Evelyn Peacock are literally the heart and soul of vintage trials in America. Not only do they keep the nearby Rocky Mountain Region Series running smoothly; they can be credited for overseeing AHRMA’s National Series as well. You might say that they get in their fair share of highway miles. Ed and Evelyn pulled off a feat that they’ve grown pretty accustomed to – they set every section, for both days of the Tucker Ranch affair, long before any of the grateful participants ever arrived. It’s just all part of bein’ in show biz’ for the loveable Peacocks. Team Peacock laid out nine real “doozies” for Saturday’s Round 9 and eight more “beauts” for the participants’ Round 10 enjoyment on Sunday.
In the Rigid Heavyweight Intermediate class, Rob Stickler opted to take his worker points on Saturday and assisted the Peacocks with a bit of observing. Rob only put a pod down 9 times on his way to the Sunday gold.
Dave Dewoina steered his rather natty BSA to the top rung both days in the Premier Heavyweight Expert division. Dewoina only dropped 6 marks during Round 9 but Round 10’s traps must have been just a little less forgiving, as he needed twice that with 12.
Mike Buchholz also chose to pocket a few worker points on day one, thus allowing Mr. Hugh Campbell to snatch the Premier Lightweight Expert win with his stingy 23-card. Buchholz rode his museum-quality Greeves Anglian to victory, come Sunday, with a downright remarkable 2-point outing. Campbell must have ran into a few more spots of bother than he had encountered on Saturday, as his day two card came in 6 points higher. Regardless of score, Hugh and his exquisite Tiger Cub looked just marvelous all weekend.
Wyoming’s Dan Straka, and his “One Trick Cub” (as it says on the tank), must have found day two’s traps more to his liking. Straka punched a 10-card on Saturday but almost chopped that in half with his 6-point Sunday performance. Dan headed back north with the maximum point tally after coming out on top in the Premier Lightweight Intermediate division for both rounds.
Coloradoan Bill Burr certainly proved that persistence pays off by walking away with not just one, but two gold medals in the Premier Lightweight Novice class. We won’t mention any scores, thank you.
British export Tony “no feet” Down turned in his usual display of trials supremacy, by plonking his way to the top step of the podium on both days in the Classic Expert ranks, while aboard one of the more sanitary Cub’s you’ll ever take a gander at. Lord Down only dropped 6 Round 9 marks and but a couple more for his Round 10 score of 8. New Mexico’s Eugene Waggoner rode his sterling Bultaco to quite reputable finishes on each day with his 22 and 16-point totals.
The Classic Intermediate group saw yet another Wyomingite, Mr. Bob Strohman, sweeping the weekend festivities with his rather tidy tallies of 16 and 4. Colorado’s Mike Becker garnered second place points for each round with his two steadily improving rides.
Missouri’s Darrel Boone, sans coonskin cap, handily won the Classic Novice division on both days with his stunning 9 and 11-point rides. Wyoming’s Roy Haines finished runner-up on Saturday with Texan Ed James rounding out the podium. Haines and James must have felt that “one good turn deserves another” and cordially swapped positions in Sunday’s results.
Rick Daniel seems to be getting the hang of this “feet up” game, as he was able to abscond with the laurels in both rounds of the highly competitive Modern Classic Expert class. Daniel was the California fox scurrying to evade a pack of Colorado hounds throughout the weekend. Mike Wehling proved to be Rick’s stiffest competition on both days, ending up just 3 points adrift on Saturday and 5 marks back on Sunday. Daniel finished with 11 and 8-point cards, respectively. Ron Pocher rolled home in third for the day one match, with 18, while John Clement and his 37-card claimed fourth. Chuck Moline and his 57 rounded out the class. Clement turned the tables on Pocher in Round 10 with his 19 marks dropped trumping Ron’s 23. Wehling looked to have Mr. Daniel at bay in Sunday’s contest but a poorly timed worst card of the day, on the final circuit, spoiled his chances. Daniel showed some admirable sportsmanship by lending Wehling his spare bike for the day two meet, after Mike’s Greeves had succumbed to a bit of ignition snafu.
Those darn Wyoming boys were just plain tough on this memorable trials weekend. Another cat with cowboys on his license plates, Fred “In-N-Out” Martinson, romped to victory on both days in the Modern Classic Intermediate ranks. The three-time AHRMA national champ dropped but 5 points on Saturday and a whole 6 more on Sunday. Don Seidel rode his Bultaco to second with a 13-card while Rick Armstrong’s 17 was good enough for third in Round 9. Tom “Wolfy” Maddux took fourth with 18 and Ed Peacock rounded out the top five. “Wolfy” kept Fred pretty honest on Sunday by finishing just 2 marks back at 8 while Mr. Peacock also improved two places with his 21. Armstrong’s 25 and Seidel’s 27 found them just a few rungs down the ladder while Rick Field ended up sixth for the second straight day.
The Modern Classic Novice, as usual, sported the biggest contingent with 11 riders on each day. Father Ray Arndt and son Shane had their usual family feud going, with Ray and his 10-card having every possible right to go ahead and ask Shane and his 13 – “who’s your daddy”? Walter Buckholtz snuck onto the podium with a 14-card while Steve Papenfuss and his 19 were right there in the hunt. Steve Doyle really threw a wrench in the Arndt’s picnic by jumping from fifth on Saturday to first on Sunday with just 3 marks lost. Shane found a touch of revenge by just edging Papa Ray, 5 to 6. Another Wyomingite, Tim Evans, won his first ever AHRMA trials medal by wrapping things up with a dandy 11-card. Kent Maze and his 15 filled out the top five.
In the Beginner class Kellie Arndt and Shawn Hardman traded wins, with Kellie’s 14-card nabbing the gold on Saturday and Shawn’s 17-point tally taking the Sunday prize. Mr. Hardman’s victory came down to a little factor called cleans though, as Madam Arndt also punched a 17. New Mexico’s Kim Grider took third on day one and settled for worker points come day two.
Colorado trials pro Bailey Tucker used a little home cookin’ and a whole lotta talent to clean all three loops of the Twin Shock – Line 1 course while aboard one of his late Grandpa’s TL 250’s. Tucker, to the chagrin of the gallery, failed to start day two due to carburetion gremlins.
Roy Moline won the Modern Support – Line 1 on Saturday with Bailey’s younger brother Alex topping Modern Support – Line 2. Alex jumped up to Line 1 for Sunday’s ride and promptly snatched that gold as well. Neal Maze claimed the top award in both rounds of the Modern Support – Line 3.
In what is a fairly common occurrence at most vintage outings, a potluck was enjoyed by all of the motorcycling enthusiasts on hand. The Peacocks supplied the burgers and dogs and everyone else brought a tasty dish or desert. Both the quality and variety was simply top shelf. The rider turnout was almost as impressive as the Saturday night feast, as 41 thrill seekers suited up on day one and another 39 pulled their boots on for Sunday’s adventure.
Good trials; good food; good friends and good fun. If none of those tickled your fancy, you could always just stand there and stare at all of the sweet-looking Triumphs. Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen and Lawrence of Arabia almost always had at least one Triumph readily at hand – and they were pretty cool cats in anybody’s book.