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“Where the Buffalo Roamed”

RMTA Trials Series

Round 9

October 25, 2009

Colorado Springs, Colorado

By Ron Pocher

Photo By Scott Leverton


The historic Corral Bluffs sits on the western edge of the once vast region known as the Great Plains. Located just minutes east of present day Colorado Springs, the “Bluffs” gained its name from ranchers who routinely corralled their cattle for overnight stays on the exact same grounds that now host annual RMTA trials events.

The famous Goodnight-Loving Trail, that was used to drive mainly longhorns from Texas to Denver during the last three decades of the 1800’s, ran north and south, just west of the bluffs. The cowboys would force their herds up against the base of these sandstone cliffs for one more night of rest before pushing on to the state capitol.

The demise of the buffalo and with them, the Plains Indians; which included many spirited tribes such as the Sioux, Cheyenne, Crow, Blackfoot, Comanche and Pawnee; was all but complete by this time. Many of the cattle, driven up this legendary cow trail traveled yet farther to Indian reservations, mining towns and new ranches in Wyoming, Montana and the Pacific Northwest. An estimated ten million head were driven north during this period.

New age ranchers, Monty and Troy Kyle, who still live nearby and now own the reputable land, have always been more than generous when accommodating local trials enthusiasts and the RMTA in particular. Must just be the cowboy way.

John Wayne-like hombres Al Duke, Bill Haskell and Ken White rounded up some beastly traps as Trials Masters for the memorable event. Duke and White are longtime club officers, while Haskell owns a Denver-based Beta dealership.

Duke has not only nurtured his daughter Sarah into the upper echelon of women’s trials in America, which has seen her compete in five TdN’s; he’s had a hand in the success of a few other Colorado plonkers as well. Keith Wineland, Stevie Darrow and up-and-comer Stephen Marcus have also been under Mr. Duke’s tutelage in past years.

The Pro class got off to an interesting start when Bailey Tucker came out firing from the hip with an opening lap 9. Wineland sat 4 marks back after his initial circuit, with 13, but then he must have pulled his Stetson down a little tighter and let that pony run.

Wineland just got better as the nippy day progressed, with a second loop 8 and third loop 4, and went home with his fifth Expert’s Cup. The NATC regular finished with a final tally of 25 and has managed to win every RMTA (and WMTA) round he’s competed in during the ‘09 season.

Tucker must have been either sending smoke signals or looking for arrowheads on his second go-around, as that loop’s 22 was a far cry from both the first and the final, where he crept back to his usual form with a 13-point card. His ending total of 44 was more than enough to nab yet another second place finish in the premier class.

Steven Deines and Shad Petersen had a pretty good shoot-out going for a spell; but trying to ride an Al Duke pro line after a whole Saturday’s worth of AMA EnduroCross proved to be a bit much, and both riders hung up their spurs early. Deines was able to finish 5th in the previous night’s Amateur main after winning a qualifier earlier in the day at the Denver stop on the circuit. Wyomingite Petersen romped to victory in the TrialsCross Main and followed that up with a fourth (top trials bike) in the Dash For Cash.


Stephen Deines

Steven Deines

In the Expert division, Kyle Deines was trailing Chris Hertrich by a single dab going into the round’s final circuit, but Deines turned in his best card of the day while former state champ Hertrich handed over one that he would just as soon forget. Deines lassoed the gold with a 24, while the silver went to (fish) wrangler Hertrich and his 34-point total. The Busch brothers, Keith and Kevin, had each other in a headlock for most of the morning and both ended up with 56 marks lost. Keith got the nod on cleans, 8 to 4.

WMTA member, Brian Martinson, turned the tables on the RMTA’s Joey Hamilton by topping him in Sunday’s trials event (for 5th expert) after trailing him in Saturday night’s TrialsCross finale. Hamilton took 3rd and Martinson 4th, with both cowpokes chasing female phenom Christy Williams around the satanic Denver layout.

Adam Leute continued to dominate the Advanced division, bettering the lovely Sarah Duke by 10 points, 27 to 37. Greg Howie was nipping at Miss Duke’s heels all morning long and almost caught her with a class-best 5-card on his final circuit, but came in 3 dabs shy with a 40.

Senior Advanced class champ, Tracy Zentz, finished in a familiar position on the top step of the podium, with his 17 marks lost helping him to claim the Second Hand Cup. Zentz posted cards reading 5, 6 and 6, but both runner-up Mike Wehling and bronze medal winner Ron Gardner punched better last-loop scores with a 3 and a 4, respectively. Wehling hung pretty tight with a closing total of 26, but Mr. Gardner must have had a bit of trouble with the early morning chill, and failed to mount his usual challenge.

The fellow who is almost always first to finish; this time also finished first. The hasty Jeff Payne captured his first ever, Veteran class win with a 17-point total that was strongly aided by his closing loop 3. Ron Anderson scooted home in second with 19 marks lost, while John Clement rounded out the podium with 20.

Mark Jacobson was able to hoist the Kemper Cup with his slim win in the Senior Intermediate ranks. Jacobson escaped with only 10 marks dropped, but both Rick Daniel and Neil Pieper proved to be foes of much ferocity with their 11 and 18-point tallies.

Jon Greenleaf showed all that his timing was impeccable; by choosing to take his first Intermediate class win when a little extra hardware was on the table. Greenleaf no doubt had an enjoyable ride home with his gold medal resting in the Brokaw Cup. Zach Leute just nicked Travis Hyslop to take the silver by four points.

“Genuine” Jared Drake finally came up with just the right recipe for putting an end to Jim Plumb’s recent dominance in the Senior Amateur division. Worthy contender Drake’s 7-card trumped the 13-card of Mr. Plumb, even though “Gentleman Jim” was able to zero the last lap.

Daren Baker made a resounding return to competition by grabbing the Hedwall Cup with his Amateur class victory. Baker was able to zero the second lap on his way to a final tally of just 5 marks lost. Greg Smith’s 15-point card was good enough for second while Ty Lindeman topped Patrick Dechant on cleans to take third.

Longtime American Honda employee, Ray Plumb, who let his brother talk him into this trials tomfoolery, was luckily able to escape with his life and the Novice class gold medal. The subtle Madison Leigh, who is just a bit more charming than her grandpa, continues to mosey up the podium and is but an eyelash away from her first class win. Micah Hertrich, who has plenty of balance in his blood, snatched yet another medal with his third place finish.

Blackfoot Indian, Chief Crowfoot, was once quoted as saying: “What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is a breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is as the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

I couldn’t really say how much old Crowfoot would have enjoyed trying to ride a trials bike on the slippery sandstone found at Corral Bluffs, but I’m pretty sure he would have just loved “Big Al”. You follow me?



PRO: 1. Keith Wineland (25); 2. Bailey Tucker (44); 3. Steven Deines (dnf); 4. Shad Petersen (dnf).

EXP:1. Kyle Deines (24); 2. Chris Hertrich (34); 3. Keith Busch (56/8); 4. Kevin Busch (56/4); 5. Brian Martinson (62); 6. Joey Hamilton (70); 7. Pat Howie (85).

SR ADV:1. Tracy Zentz (17); 2. Mike Wehling (26); 3. Ron Gardner (46); 4. Dave Lindeman (85).

ADV:1. Adam Leute (27); 2. Sarah Duke (37); 3. Greg Howie (40); 4. Ryan Lindeman (75); 5. Jason Bohks (111); 6. Alex Tucker (112).

VET INT:1. Jeff Payne (17); 2. Ron Anderson (19); 3. John Clement (20); 4. Ron Pocher (30/13); 5. Frank Petersen (30/13).

SR INT:1. Mark Jacobson (10); 2. Rick Daniel (11); 3. Neil Pieper (18); 4. Mike Bolas (29); 5. Andy Parker (56).

INT:1. Jon Greenleaf (25); 2. Zach Leute (31); 3. Travis Hyslop (35); 4. Dan Albrecht (54); 5. Kjelen Jacobson (65).

SR AMA:1. Jared Drake (7); 2. Jim Plumb (13); 3. Sharon Jubb (33).

AMA:1. Darin Baker (5); 2. Greg Smith (15); 3. Ty Lindeman (17/19); 4. Patrick DeChant (17/16); 5. Jason Todd (20); 6. Jim Marchbank (25); 7. Adam Faleck (29); 8. Hayden Strauss (70).

NOV:1. Ray Plumb (21); 2. Madison Leigh (46); 3. Micah Hertrich (57); 4. Pat Marchbank (89); 5. Nigel Parker (dnf).

WMN:1. Jody Hutchison (71).