93-year-old youngster Charlie Mosteller never really rode any trials to speak of, personally, but he also never discouraged his three sons and their friends from doing exactly that on his Bar-X Ranch, just south of Casper.
For 31 years now, Charlie has welcomed all comers to compete in the legendary Mosteller Cup, and more times than not, the hardware has stayed in the family.
While sons Pat and Charlie, Jr. were avid trials riders in their own right, with Pat even competing in a handful of nationals, youngest brother Kenny has been a force to be reckoned with for the better part of three decades.
Not only has Mosteller hoisted the cup bearing his name sixteen times, including consecutive winning streaks of six (’83-’88) and seven (’93-’99), and claimed Wyoming’s Medicine Bow Cup six times; he’s also enjoyed a great deal of success on the national level.
Mosteller proudly displays five NATC championship plaques in his Casper auto shop. The burley Wyomingite was able to come out on top in the Senior 30 (’90), Senior 35 (‘95, ’96, ’98) and Senior 40 (’99) support classes during a stellar run through the nineties; and besides all that, he’s one funny dude.
The Bar-X is a trials rider’s dream, a heavenly spot with a little bit of everything. Muddy Creek winds it’s way throughout the property and is almost always featured in numerous sections during all three days of competition. Big rocks, moss-covered logs, mud bogs, live horizontal trees, loose sand and loamy hill climbs are all joined by a concrete playground that’s been erected in the pit area meadow. Some traps are set in an area that was once a fruit-bearing orchard but the infamous “Fish Ponds” region would have to be called the venue’s “hole card”. This portion of the ranch was once a private fish hatchery and trials masters lick their chops while watching riders with muddy rubber fighting to hop in and out of the, now dry, concrete fish troughs still occupying the grounds. Saying this part of the ranch produces “mixed results” would probably be leaning a shade toward the generous side.
Speaking of trials masters; Fred Martinson, Dan Straka, Bob Strohman, Doug Wilson and John Brooker were responsible for this year’s thrilling affair. Martinson and Straka, who have sired some splendid trials riders themselves, were both able to bag AHRMA national titles this year with Fred taking the Premier Lightweight Intermediate class and Dan topping the Classic Intermediate division. Master Strohman came up just a few points shy of winning this year’s Modern Classic Intermediate crown. Martinson was also able to nab AHRMA championships in 2003 and 2008 as a Modern Classic Intermediate.
The WMTA hosted it’s first AHRMA event in 2003 with a “trial run” type arrangement, after convincing the nationwide association that they believed a modern-bike trials club could indeed pull off a vintage-bike meet. AHRMA was undoubtedly impressed and upped the ante to two days in 2005 and finally the current three-day format in 2008.
Two one-day NATC national events (’84, ’86) and three two-day’s (’94, ’99, ’03) have occurred at the Bar-X with the remaining Wyoming national taking place at Tim Pexton’s ranch near Esterbrook, site of the Medicine Bow Cup, in 1990.
Although points were awarded for each day in both the modern and vintage classes, the club issued medals and pewter cups based on cumulative overalls, two days for the new bikes and three for the old. Every participant received a rather snazzy maroon t-shirt that listed the past cup winners on the back.
Ron Anderson, Mike Buchholz, Rick Daniel, Miles Morgan, Ron Pocher and Mike Wehling were all crazy enough to ride both the modern and vintage classes on Saturday and Sunday, capped off with one more time around the horn with the old bikes on Monday. These mental giants ended up weaving their way through 162 sections over the holiday weekend.
Several AHRMA plonkers were able to top their respective classes all three days. Kellie Arndt, David Dewoina, Tony Down, Roy Haines, Martinson and Len Sims made up this impressive list of consistency. Down and Sims finished as national champions in the Classic Expert and Rigid Lightweight Expert classes respectively. Both of these fine gentlemen were mounted on beautifully-prepared Triumph Tiger Cubs.
The Modern Classic Expert division was brutally competitive on all three days. Buchholz (23 pts) slipped past Wehling (28 pts) and Ossa-mounted Dave Lindeman (29 pts) on Saturday with Wehling returning the favor on Sunday, squeaking by Buchholz, 21 to 22. Lindeman again filled out the podium, just two dabs back with 24. Daniel joined in the fray on Monday, but his 33 marks lost was no match for Buchholz and his 15. Wehling reached the podium for the third straight day, in third with 39, and helped old friend Buchholz celebrate his newly-claimed national championship.
John Dowson, whom this year has ruled the class that almost always has the most entrants, Modern Classic Novice, took one dab too many on Monday and bowed to Robert Richter in a mild upset. Dowson’s Saturday and Sunday victories were more than enough to help him claim that crown.
There were several bloody battles in the late-model classes as well. Will Chapman just nicked sister Hannah, 21 to 23, to win the Junior division.
Shane Huschka and Jody Hutchinson slugged it out all weekend in the Novice class, but Huschka ended up reaching the higher rung with a 59 to Hutchinson’s 64.
Marc and Guy Chapman were really fighting (like brothers sometimes do), in the Amateur ranks, but Marc was the last man standing with his 30 getting the nod over Guy’s 38.
In the Advanced class, the usual suspects were once again at each other’s throats. Marty Seth, Russell Coates and Sarah Duke went 1-2-3 on Saturday with Ross Stewart lurking just two points back. Stewart bounced back for the win on Sunday, but could only muster a third overall after both day’s points were totaled. Seth just nipped Coates to snatch the pewter cup, 35 to 37. Duke ended up fourth with Matt Straka rounding out the top five.
The Expert division was won by (newsflash!) Derek Martinson. You can pretty much set your clock to this guy; he’s that steady. Like Mosteller, Martinson has enjoyed a bit of national-level success himself.
After claiming the NATC Highschool championship in 1994, Derek returned in ’96 and ’98 to nab national titles in the Sportsman class. Ten years later, the Wyoming gent hopped back on the circuit to finish first Senior 30 and was named 2008 NATC Sportsman Rider of the Year.
Martinson’s weekend tally came in at 26, while younger brother Brian and Colorado’s Ben Wehling held their own little tussle over second, with Brian’s 43 edging out Ben’s 46. “Big Al” Duke and Stephen “Man of Steel” Marcus rounded out the class.
Five Pro riders threw their hats in the ring with hopes of walking away with the cup. John Fankhauser showed some true sportsmanship by lending his old buddy, Stevie Darrow, his spare bike for the meet. Many fellow riders were overheard saying that it was great to see Mr. Darrow back in the saddle.
Keith Wineland put on his usual awe-inspiring exhibition with a one-point loop on Saturday and two more one-pointers on Sunday, to claim his second Mosteller Cup with 13 marks dropped for the two days. Wineland also came out on top in 2005.
Miles Morgan, Wyoming’s top pro, strolled in with a two-day total of 34 and had a shining moment when he bettered Wineland’s final loop score on Sunday, 5 to 6. Shad Peterson’s 60 points was good enough to fill out the podium, with Darrow fourth and Fankhauser fifth.
In a move that I’m pretty sure was spear-headed by Peterson and Fankhauser, the WMTA showed just how generous and caring they, (and the trials community in general), really are. These fine folks up in Wyoming all got together and presented neighboring Coloradans, Wineland and Duke, with $600 to help assist them in their upcoming trip to the Trials de Nations in Italy. It was a grand gesture indeed.
PRO:1. Keith Wineland (13); 2. Miles Morgan (34);
3. Shad Peterson (60); 4. Stevie Darrow (86); 5. John
EXP:1. Derek Martinson (26); 2. Brian Martinson (43); 3.
Ben Wehling (46); 4. Al Duke (87); 5. Stephen Marcus (107).
VET ADV:1. Kenny Mosteller (7); 2. Todd Hancock (56); 3.
Tony Scott (60); 4. Mark Franklin (63); 5. Ron Anderson (78).
SR ADV:: 1. Mike Wehling (25); 2. Darren Youngs (69);
3. Steve Davis (83).
ADV:1. Marty Seth (35); 2. Russell Coates (37); 3. Ross
Stewart (40); 4. Sarah Duke (47); 5. Matt Straka (62); 6. Nate Matlack (63); 7. Regan Davis (65); 8. Jeff Hutchinson (75); 9. Cody Coates (87); 10. Eric Enloe (92); 11. Casey Coates (94).
VET INT:1. Mike Buchholz (28); 2. Dirk Carroll (38); 3.
Dallas Peak (39); 4. Ron Pocher (40); 5. Barry Matlack (55);
6. Frank Peterson (62); 7. Mike Morgan (71).
SR INT:1. Rick Daniel (34); 2. Bruce Coates (64).
INT:1. Grady Iiams (56); 2. Logan Cundy (67); 3. Craig
Philbrick (83); 4. John Lever (90); 5. Zach Blackmore (109).
VINTAGE A:1. Chris Adams (16); 2. John Lever (68); 3.
Dan Straka (21*); 4. Reed Merschat (47*).
VINTAGE B:1. John Brooker (27).
AMA:1. Marc Chapman (30); 2. Guy Chapman (38); 3.
Sharon Jubb (61); 4. Reed Peterson (86); 5. Robert Schmidt
(104); 6. Ralph Anaya (64*); 7. Alex Burger (85*).
LAST CLASS:1. Clay Hoyt (44); 2. Gregg Stewart (116);
3. Lloyd Carr (128).