S AVE $2 , 0 0 0 O N R E M A IN ING D E A L E R S
KYB Suspension | Full Akrapovic Exhaust 4t | AXP Skid Plate | Excel Rims | Galfer Rotors and Pad
TIME TO SAVE IS RUNNING OUT! Contact your nearest Sherco Dealer for more information. While supplies last.
STO C K OF 2 0 23 EN D U R O M O D E L S
BEFORE THEY’RE GONE
ds | Brembo Hydraulics | Selle Seat | Coolant Expansion Tank | Radiator Fan Kit | and much more!
@ SH E R C OUS A _ OF F IC IA L
@S H E R C OUS A
S HERC OUS A .C OM
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 4
USA DEALERS Dirt Riders West
Adrian & Mandy Lewis (209) 785-6878
Balance Trials Supply Bill Haskell
AZ, Phoenix CA, Copperopolis
Trial Store USA
ME, South Berwick
Mossy Rock Trials
MT, Big Timber
Moto Works USA
Moto Works USA
NM, Santa Fe
Miller Ranch Trials
Aaron & Andy Miller
Gran Prix Cycle
Gary & Robyn Byers
Trials Training Cntr.
Larry or Allison
Thumbs Up Trials
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 5
CONTENTS FEATURED ARTICLES
PG 26 - MOUNTAINEER GNCC
PG 44 - LITTLE RACCOON NEPG
PG 56 - CANADA'S TOUGHEST RACE
PG 84 - TRIAL DES NATIONS
PG 96 - LIGHTNING STRIKES HARD ENDURO
PG 106 - HAWAII HARD ENDURO
ON THE COVER -
AmPro Yamaha's Rachael Archer secures the 2023 GNCC WXC National Championship. photo by Ken Hill
DEPARTMENTS Local News 12 Seat Time with Trystan Hart 26 Utility Can Caddy 20 Secret to a Winning Mindset 38 EnduroCross Round 1 76 Field of Dreams, AHRMA 114
Observing the Trials and Enduro community with a single-track mind.
PUBLISHER/EDITOR Steph Vetterly
Steph Vetterly firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTORS Abigail Buzzelli
Keani and Hali'i Andrade
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE! IT’S FREE
• • • • • • •
The Mecatecno factory has been producing the Dragonfly electric trials bikes for over a month now with deliveries to many countries. The bikes are working very well, as my test/demo has been since I received it last November. The bike is very light (132 lbs) and easy to ride with the option of three modes of power that will suit the requirements of any rider. The clutch, if needed, is very soft and the battery will provide five hours of moderate speed riding with a 2.5 hour re-charge time. Retail price is $11,299, not including shipping to your destination. The first container of 24 bikes is due to arrive at my warehouse around May 24th. They are almost all sold out, so contact me to order and for any further information. www.midwestmototrials.com
The T-18 Dragonfly is direct-drive from the motor to the rear wheel An easy-pull diaphragm clutch for maximum control and traction New M4 39mm Aluminum AIR FORKS are the lightest on the market Linkless Ohlins shock direct to the swing arm 5 hour+ quick change and fast charge battery Weight 132 pounds Seat can be added for trail riding comfort
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 10
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 11
WASSON SIGNED FOR 2024 courtesy of BETA Beta USA has re-signed Joe Wasson for the 2024 season. Wasson has been a real asset and cornerstone of the Liqui Moly Beta Racing team for the past 7 years. The 2021 National Hare and Hound Champion will continue to compete in the series
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 12
as he looks to hoist up another number-one plate. In addition, Wasson will carry on competing in the West Hare Scrambles which he raced for the first time this year. Wasson will continue to race alongside Beta Racing teammate
Zane Roberts on the West Coast offroad team. "Very pleased to continue with Joe for 2024. He does more than just get good results on race day. He takes it upon himself to be an ambassador of the Beta brand. He and I have worked really well pushing each other to be better, and I am excited to go fight for more championships with him in 2024." said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager.
"The team and I have been together my whole career," said Wasson. "To continue forward with them is more than exciting, it’s an honor to represent such an amazing company! I just wanted to thank everyone for my past years and years to come! I'm super stoked for another year racing for Beta USA and can’t wait to win more championships!"
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 13
IN MEMORIAM - JIM SNELL On September 27, 2023, the trials community lost an important member of the community. Born in 1957, Jim and his wife, Martha "Marty", moved to Earl Park, Indiana, where they started Rising Sun Imports. Over the years, they worked to import and distribute GasGas and TRS trials bikes. When he was not participating in many national and local trials riding events, Jim enjoyed traveling to Spain to conduct his import business in person.
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 14
Jim was a long-time supporter of On the Pegs and its many iterations throughout the years and will be greatly missed. Stay tuned to future issues of On the Pegs, as we'll be going into more detail on Jim's life and his contribution to the sport. In lieu of flowers or gifts, monetary memorials to honor Jim can be made to the Lori's Kitty Rescue, 528 South Fourth St, Lafayette, IN 47901 (765-252-6017). Contolences can be made to his wife, Marty Snell, at email@example.com.
2023 Ryan Young Training Schedule @ TTC April 22-23 June 24-25 July 15-16
September 9-10 October 7-8 November 11-12
Trials have always been my passion and my livelihood. Throughout the years I have learned so much and I became a 6x National Champion and then a Teacher, I love sharing all of my Knowledge, Techniques and experiences as well as riding trials and meeting new people to encourage and help them become a better rider whether you ride a Trials Motorcycle, Enduro motorcycle or any type of motorcycle. I just enjoy supporting the motorcycle community and their Clubs. I have been perfecting my trials schools over the past 35 Years teaching all around North America. My Trial Schools cover every Trials Technique needed to become a CHAMPION, I will be covering over 20 Techniques that are extremely well broken down, methodically taught, instructed and demonstrated. It is a step by step process working your way from the basics to the most advanced techniques. I will watch you perform each Technique taught and critique you so you get a better understanding of the technique and performance. Ryan Young's Trials schools have produced many National Champions in many different classes over the years. I'm looking forward to teaching the next champion! -Ryan Young
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 15
0 ber 2
Earlier this year, we introduced a new initiative from Abigail Buzzelli called the 10x12 Challenge, designed to get more people on the pegs, riding motorcycles. We're back to celebrate everyone who completed their second month's challenge - riding at least 10 days in the month of September
Congratulations to the following riders: Beth Ali Chris Bankston Tyler Bankston Keith Bell Kevin Bobal Heidi Brenner Nick Bryant Lara Burnett Abigail Buzzelli Chris Buzzelli Michael Chrisman Beckett Dandignac Emmy Dandignac Kyler Dandignac Ellis Daw Max Dracha Brad Evans Karl Faruzel
Norman Foley Rob Fox Bradd Fox John French Zackary Guelde Kenny Gwyn Ash Harrison Cheyenne Hawkins Brittney Hoy Tommy Justice Caroline Kent Roman Lomaya Kayla Lovejoy Mike Mazak Don Mealor John Montoya Terry Ottinger Annsley Owens
Will Owens Wyatt Owens Becky Owens Josh Owens Al Paradis JR Hank Paradis Stevie Paradis Adam Partin Toni Profer Roach Jason Robb Nicole Robinson Michelle Robinson Jimmy Sharpe Martin Sturla Tom Trantow Seth Vorseth
If you don't see your name on the list, visit www.10x12challenge.com to see the challenge rules and get your September swag. ON THE PEGS // PAGE 16
Terry Ottinger Adam Partin, June
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 17
EP 23.9 | Trystan Hart Becoming a World Class Hard Enduro Racer
There’s no denying that Trystan Hart is now one of the top Hard Enduro racers around the world. He’s been riding for the FMF KTM Factory Offroad Racing Team since 2020, all while steadily gathering podiums, building confidence, and winning high profile events. It was fun to hear him describe himself as steady, and someone like Billy Bolt as Flashy. I very much agree! This podcast episode dug a bit deeper in the back story of Trystan and his early motocross journey. It was cool to hear that Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Motocross was once on his family’s radar. An unfortunate femur injury kept that from happening, but it did give us some humorous discussions about full-body casts. Something ON THE PEGS // PAGE 18
that’s also cool to see is that he recently launched a book, Hard Enduro Hero, that’s now available on Amazon. I hope this book gives younger audiences a way to see they can accomplish whatever dream they have with some hard work, dedication, and staying focused on being authentic to themselves.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT WWW.SEATTIME.CO
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 19
Introducing the Utility Can Caddy
words BRIAN PIERCE // SEAT TIME Introducing the Utility Can Caddy! The UCC enhances your traditional 5 gallon utility jug, turning it into your go-to bag to grab when you're loading up to get seat time. The Utility Can Caddy solved a problem for me as an enduro racer. When you race enduros, you typically need to put your fuel jug on a trailer so it can be taken to the fuel stop. The majority of my life, I have wrapped small bags around the can, or just duct taped grocery bags to hold my food and water in. Two years ago, I was following this same ON THE PEGS // PAGE 20
process in Colorado at the Shady Burro Enduro. When I got to the fuel stop, my grocery bag was torn and half my stuff was missing. I wasn’t happy because I knew I needed to be as fueled as I could be to finish the Burro. It wasn’t until the 14 hour drive home that I had the idea on how to solve this problem of losing necessary food and accessories to failing bags and duct tape. I reached out to Adam from Dmada Creative and the prototyping process began. From there we iterated until we were
about 75% of the way there. A few more iterations and prototypes after finding a manufacturer and we’re right here, right now.
large pockets and leverage the MOLLE panel.
After using the UCC over the past 1.5 years, I realized it could help more than just racers. It keeps me organized for riding days, keeping all my oils, accessories, and extras in one place for a quick grab. I know it’ll make your riding days better because you’ll be less stressed due to being Organized AF!
The pockets are pretty damn big, 10"w x 12"h x 3.5"d. I sized them tall enough to fit our traditional aerosol sized spray cans, allowing for the pocket cover to velcro tight to keep everything inside when filling up your bike or utility vehicle. On race days, I use the pockets for small spare parts and tools, my hydration and nutrition so I can stay fueled, and extra goggles and gloves.
The Utility Can Caddy slips onto your 5 gallon utility jug, and the “overall” straps strap across the shoulder of your can. After some fine-tuning to tighten down the shoulder straps, you’re ready to stuff up the three
The MOLLE [Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment] panel allows for expansion of what you carry in whatever way you carry. The webbing is sized for PALS [Pouch Attachment Ladder System]
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 21
specifications, allowing all MOLLE straps to tightly secure whatever you choose. My go-to so far has been my Trailbound Bar Bag for small nutrition bits, and a MOLLE specific med-kit. After my chainsaw incident with Highland Cycles, we all know I need to carry some first aid supplies. The velcro on the PALS straps started out as a fun way to allow for patches and personalization. As an enduro racer, I saw a new opportunity in a way to label your row number for the fuel trailer. If you have a few utility cans, which might be for two-strokes and four strokes, you can use these velcro labels to mark your respective fuel mix.
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 22
The pre-order is open and the price of the UCC is 25% off until the UCC is in my hands, which is tentatively the end of October. At that point, early bird pricing will be over and we’ll start shipping pre-orders. Thanks for reading! The Utility Can Caddy is the culmination of two years of hard work, tacked onto my 40+ years of racing and riding dirt bikes. I truly hope the UCC makes your ride days easier, so you can stay focused on #GettingSeattime and stay #STOKED on Two Wheels!
CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT
Click the video below to see a walkthrough of the Utility Can Caddy
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 23
[ik-’splor-er] noun. To transverse over a region for the purpose of new discovery
The only decision now is where to explore. What adventure to embark on. 100 Percent Electric Hydraulic Disc Brakes *Up to 100 miles ride Time 40 MPH Top Speed Swap the Battery in three minutes For twice the adventure *Maximum range in slowest speed setting
LEARN MORE AT
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 26
BYLOR EARNS SECOND OVERALL WIN OF 2023 VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 27
words by KAYLA BOLTON photos by KEN HILL Round 10 Beckley, West Virginia As the second day of racing got underway at round 10 of the Progressive Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, (GNCC Racing) the skies opened up once again on the motorcycles and the rain showers fell for the majority of the day, making for some intense and rough racing at Summit Bechtel Reserve. As opening ceremonies ended, the green flag would wave for the XC1 Open Pro class where Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig DeLong would snag the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award. However, it would be AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell emerging from the woods first after the completion of one lap. Russell wasn’t alone though, a handful of his fellow XC1 competitors were just seconds behind him racing through the muddy conditions to try and overtake the lead. Russell would continue to hold the number one position for the first three laps of the race, but the battles ON THE PEGS // PAGE 28
Robert Weiss - 250B, 1st place
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 29
were brewing behind him and Rocky Mountain/Tely Energy/KTM Racing’s Steward Baylor was making his way through the pack after coming through in fourth on the opening lap. By the time they came through on their fourth lap of the race, Baylor had moved himself in the lead position. Baylor was not able to let his guard down though as Delong was tailing him for the duration of the race, looking to strike on the last lap as he came through just 1.7 seconds behind him. Baylor would be able to hold off Delong and earn his second overall win of the season, and taking over the points lead with a five point gap between himself and Delong as the series heads into its penultimate round of racing on October 8. Russell would continue to battle and come through to round out the top three overall finishers on the day. “Man, I’m feeling good. I really, really thought I could break Craig, and that was my intent, but man…. we just went back and forth,” said Baylor. “I mean the passes for the lead; it was back and forth. Those last three laps, hell, the whole race you could throw a blanket over us. One mistake and it would have been over.” Baylor continued, “I tried to put a heater down, I was sending it with two to go, trying to put a gap on those guys. I looked back and I was like “Shoot, he’s matching me.” I ON THE PEGS // PAGE 30
gotta say, I expected it from Ben, but not Craig. Hats off to him. That kid has elevated this summer, and this whole sport right now, it’s a good time to be a fan. It’s going to come down to the wire.” Behind the top three the battles kept on going as FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley would push throughout the entire race, moving himself into fourth overall for the day after dropping back to eighth at one point. Magna1 Motorsports/ Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn made his way through the mud to earn fifth overall as he started his race off closer to the back of the pack. “That was a wild race, that’s for sure. First lap we were feeling it out. Ricky got into the lead and took off. He was riding really well. Stew and I kind of figured it out and I knew it was going to be a battle to the end,” said Delong. “We got to the pit stop and it ended up being just Stew and I. Man, we went back and forth so many times. As much as it hurts and it [makes me angry] to get second, that was a fun battle. We were probably back and forth five or six times in the last lap. We’d get to a section, and he’d go all the way left and I’d go all the way right, and it would just come down to who had the best line.”
Craig Delong - XC1, 2nd place
Delong continued, “I thought I had a run on him on the last lap, about 10 mile marker I got alongside of him on a long straightaway, I kind of VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 31
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 32
Josh Strang (17), Trevor Bollinger (739)
hesitated with my pass, but I should have just stuck on it. I stayed with him, but I took on a lot of roost and I finally had to ditch my goggles. Yeah, it was a great race, but the guy I had to beat, beat me. I just need to be better next time. I feel good. I knew Stu was going to come in prepared, but I am too. It’s going to be a battle, these last two. I’ve got to get some points back. We’ll be ready.” Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Trevor Bollinger continues to improve after returning from an injury before summer break. Bollinger would come through to earn sixth overall at round ten. The Babbitts Online/Monster Energy/ Kawasaki Team Green teammates didn’t have the race they hoped for as Josh Strang and Grant Baylor came through seventh and eighth in XC1 just outside the top 10 overall. GASGAS/FXR/Scott Goggle’s Layne Michael would drop back to ninth in XC1 after running second on the opening lap of the race, while a mechanical issue would take out FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Jonathan Girroir as he was running inside the top five. Liqui Moly Factory Beta Racing’s Evan Smith and Babbitts Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Lyndon Snodgrass would make the move from XC2 to XC1 this weekend, but they would unfortunately both have to retire early from the race. VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 33
In the XC2 250 Pro Lites class it was Liqui Moly Factory Beta Racing’s Jonathan Johnson’s day as he grabbed the $250 Steel City Men’s Clinic Holeshot Award and held the lead from start to finish. The muddy conditions did not deter Johnson from pushing throughout the race as he inched further and further ahead from the rest of his XC2 competition. RPM/FMF KTM Racing’s Angus Riordan would continue to push behind Johnson as he made his way up to second in the XC2 class, while AmPro Yamaha’s Liam Draper continued to push to try and catch Johnson he would have to battle Riordan for the last couple of laps. Draper would hold on to finish third in the class and maintain his points lead heading into round eleven. The FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class saw FXR/X Brand Goggles/6D Helmet’s Dakoda Devore get the class win, while Steel City Men’s Clinic Sawyer Carratura and Yamaha’s Drew Callaway rounded out the class podium. Devore would work his way into the number one spot on the second lap and continue to push for the duration of the race. Carratura and Callaway would battle behind Devore to hold onto their podium positions in West Virginia. Current points leader Beaver Creek Cycles/ Bells Electric/Wossner Pistons Toby Cleveland would suffer a mechanical issue on the third lap of the race and would be unable to complete the
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 34
race. Cleveland continues to hold the points lead by 16 over Devore. Team Green Kawasaki’s Joseph Cunningham would earn the Top Amateur honors at round ten as he finished 15th overall and first in the 250 A class. Nicholas DeFeo would come through 16th and first in the 4-Stroke A Lites class to earn the second position atop the Top Amateur podium. Then it would be Gavin Simon taking the final spot on the Top Amateur podium as he came through 18th overall and second in the 250 A class. During the morning race, the WXC class would take off first where Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Korie Steede earned herself the $100 Trail Jesters Holeshot Award. However, it wouldn’t take long for AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer to make the move into the lead and continue to push forward. Archer would lead the WXC class for the duration of the race, earning her second GNCC WXC National Championship.
Rachael Archer (1), Korie Steede (444)
GASGAS/Over and Out/RG Factory Racing’s Rachel Gutish would continue to run in the number two position for the course of all five laps of the morning race, earning second in the WXC class. Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Korie Steede would round out the WXC podium at round ten as she came through in third. Gary Fridley of the Super Senior A (45+) class would take the overall win in the morning race. VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 35
XC1 PRO EVENT RESULTS 1. Steward Baylor (KTM) 2. Craig Delong (HSQ) 3. Ricky Russell (YAM) 4. Ben Kelley (KTM) 5. Jordan Ashburn (HSQ) 6. Trevor Bollinger (HSQ) 7. Josh Strang (KAW) 8. Grant Baylor (KAW) 9. Layne Michael (GG) 10. Jonathan Girroir (KTM)
CLICK HERE TO VISIT WWW.GNCCRACING.COM ON THE PEGS // PAGE 36
WOMEN'S PRO EVENT RESULTS 1. Rachael Archer (YAM) 2. Rachel Gutish (GG) 3. Korie Steede (KTM) 4. Prestin Raines (GG) 5. Taylor Johnston (KTM) 6. Sheryl Hunter (HSQ) 7. Elizabeth Perez (HSQ) 8. Kayla O'Neill (KAW)
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 37
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 38
THE SECRET TO A WINNING MINDSET with Beta USA's Jonathan Johnson
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 39
words by STEPH VETTERLY photos by KEN HILL As any athlete knows, mindset is everything when it comes to competition. Yes, you may have the talent or the strength or the will, but if you don't have what it takes to keep your head focused and in the game, everything else means nothing. Beta USA's Jonathan Johnson has been involved in GNCC racing since he was eligible for the Youth 65 class. He's earned numerous podium finishes, as well as season overalls in the Youth 65 (2009), 200A (2014), 250A (2017), and XC3 125 Pro-Am (2021) classes. And while podium finishes are not a new concept for him, the 2023 season has been particularly challenging. This year has been the year of the muddy GNCCs. That's no problem for Jon, who admits to enjoying those conditions, which would be fine if that were the only challenge he had to contend with. Off to a great start in round 2 - Wild Boar - Jon was keeping a solid hold on second and third place, but ON THE PEGS // PAGE 40
an unforeseen mechanical issue knocked him back to eighth. "We just had a little bit of a problem with the bike on that last lap," he explained. "Some things went wrong. It was definitely out of our control; we couldn’t do anything about it. I had just passed for second place, and the bike started doing some things that it probably shouldn’t have been doing, but we were still able to bring in eighth. Not a great day from where we were running, but things happen." In round 3 - The General - a muddy ditch swallowed his bike, taking him from the front of the pack to 11th place. In round 6 - The Hoosier - he took the holeshot and ran at the front of the pack until an unfortunate line choice dropped him back to sixth. In round 9 - Snowshoe - a freak accident on the last lap almost ended his race, but he was able to salvage a tenth-place finish after running in second place on his way to the checkered flags. After all these challenges, how does one keep their head focused? We got a chance to chat with Jon and get some insight on how he approaches setbacks. When it comes to having mechanical issues like in Wild Boar, Jon says he likes to focus on the positives of the race. His mechanic, Andy Brannon, VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 41
preps the bike the same way each race, with minor adjustments for muddy events, but it's inevitable that freak mechanical issues will arise. "It’s hard, but we’ve been doing it a long time, and I know things happen like that. You look at the positives. You know, we were running there all day. It’s a big step in the right direction just knowing that I was in the battle for three hours in probably one of the most brutal tracks of the year." Jon mentioned that his secret to preventing himself from getting frustrated during races is putting himself in those situations during practice. "I think it’s a lot to do with what you do during the week," he explained. "You know, you’re just not showing up on race day to race. Throughout the week, you’ve got to put yourself in those situations during training where you have to go to that dark place and just push through it. Just like in life, you’ve got to have a strong head and know how to get yourself through those situations." The biggest takeaway from talking with Jon was that he learns from every race and every setback, adjusts and applies the necessary corrections to the following race. Over the winter, the whole Beta team got together to work on jet testing. The improvements have allowed ON THE PEGS // PAGE 42
them to get by with only pitting once during a race instead of twice, saving some much-needed time. Riding up front with the XC1 riders, Jon's noticed that while it's easy to match pace for the first few laps, the XC1 guys pick up the pace going into the last hour of the race, which is something he admits he needs to work on. "I think I have the first half of the race figured out, but we gotta learn how to push just that little bit extra to finish it off." During the summer break, Jon hired a new trainer who has helped him and his brother, Brody (who also races XC2), with both the mental and physical side. All the small adjustments and hard work finally paid off during round 10, when Jon took the holeshot and led the entire race, earning his first XC2 Pro podium, a first for Beta USA as well. "It just feels good, you know? We’ve been close quite a few times this year, and to finally just get it done and seal the deal is a huge sigh of relief for myself, the mechanics, and the whole team. Everybody’s really happy with it. It really showed that the hard work we put in throughout the summer just finally paid off." Given his racing history and work ethic, earning the win at The Mountaineer will be the first of many. VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 43
STU BAYLOR STEALS THE LITTLE RACCOON WIN IN THE FINAL TEST
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 44
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 45
words by STEPH VETTERLY photos by STEPH VETTERLY AND MACK FAINT Round 7 Wellston, OH Round 7 of the 2023 Magna 1 AMA National Enduro Series presented by Moose Racing met in Southern Ohio of the 49th Annual Little Raccoon National Enduro. Wellston, Ohio has been dry most of the year and this created dusty conditions for the 70mile enduro. Tight, flowing, technical single track was on the agenda in the hills of the coal mine country. Coming out firing for the day was Monster Energy Babbitts Racing Kawasaki rider Grant Baylor winning both the first two tests for the day, despite having a big crash in test 2. Grant Baylor fell a little off the pace in test 3 allowing Coastal GasGas rider Ryder Lafferty to grab the test 3 win. Ryder Lafferty also was able to put in the fastest time for the fifth test ultimately landing him in the third spot on the overall podium. “I have been dealing with some sickness this year and feel like I am finally on the upward trend and getting back to where I was before,” said Ryder. “It was some tight tests ON THE PEGS // PAGE 46
JHAK WALKER - AA
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 47
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 48
GRANT BAYLOR - NE PRO1
that we had today and I felt good, it felt like home." Grant Baylor also was able to win test 4 and was carrying the lead into the final test of the day. “It was kind of a bummer to lead all day and give it up on the last test of the day,” said Grant. “I had a branch across my goggles in the start of the last test and then biffed it and ended up in the dirt. Not a good way to start the last test, just tried to cruise it out to finish the day. All in all it was a good day with the points and I have a chance to wrap up the championship at the next round in Indiana.” Grant now holds a 37-point lead over second-place Josh Toth and can mathematically wrap up the 2023 Championship a round early. Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Tely Energy KTM rider Steward Baylor Jr seemed to be consistent all long but wasn’t able to grab a test win until the last test of the day in typical Stu fashion throws down the fastest time of the field to sneak past his competitors and take the overall win on the day. “I was not the fastest guy until the last test, but I knew I had to make up 12 or 14 seconds on Grant in the last test. I knew I was going into the last section down like that and I’ve done that a lot of times I have won a lot of my championships and races because of that last test,” he said. “Everyone talks about in enduros that slower is faster, but when you gotta make VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 49
up time like that there is no slower, its straight sending it. I knew if I went down and he got me at least I knew I was giving it everything I had.” Towards the end of the last test there was some technical ups and downs with some ledges and Steward hit some of those flat out and blind, as in never seeing the trail before. “I sent some things at the
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 50
end of that last one and if I had seen them before I probably wouldn’t have hit them as hard. That’s the cool thing about Enduros and I think in those I got pretty lucky.” Steward won the day over Grant by just nine seconds. Ryder Lafferty was another 16 seconds back in third place. Rockstar Energy Factory
TREVOR BOLLINGER - NE PRO1
Husqvarna rider Craig Delong was fourth overall. Redbull Factory KTM rider Ben Kelley was fifth overall, Enduro Engineering GasGas rider Josh Toth was sixth overall. AMPro Yamaha rider Ricky Russell was seventh overall and Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna rider Trevor Bollinger was eighth overall, all from the NE Pro1 class.
Nineth overall and first in the NE Pro2 class was AM-Pro Yamaha rider Liam Draper. Liam has won every other race this season trading wins with GasGas rider Thorn Devlin. “It was a good day, I was a little worried how dusty it was going to be, but it was actually pretty good. I felt good all day and was a little bummed to see I lost the last test
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 51
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 52
MACKENZIE TRICKER - WOMENS ELITE
by one second to not have the clean sweep on the day,” said Draper. Liam won each of the first five tests in the NE Pro2 class before getting edged out on the final test by Thorn Devlin who finished fourth in the class for the day. Returning to the NE Pro2 podium was Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Tely Energy KTM rider Nathaniel ‘Bubz’ Tasha. Bubz said “I felt like I was riding good at the beginning of the day but my times were not that good. Then at the end of the day I didn’t feel as good but the times were good. Maybe I need to turn it back 5% or so to go faster.” Bubz was second in the NE Pro2 class and 11th overall behind Factory Beta rider Evan Smith from the NE Pro1 class in 10th overall. Twelfth overall and third in the NE Pro2 class was Reiner Pump GasGas rider Hunter Bush. “After getting my first podium in Pennsylvania, it was a big confidence boost for me. I have been working hard since then to make sure I get up here once again” said Bush. Winning the Womens Elite overall for the 2023 Little Raccoon National Enduro was Enduro Engineering GasGas rider Mackenzie Tricker. Mackenzie won three of the five tests to win by just over one minute. “I started off pretty good, I usually start off pretty slow but today was good. Then I won a few tests until test 4 where I had a pretty VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 53
good crash and busted my lip and I thought I threw it away,” said Tricker. In the end she still was able to edge out Over and Out GasGas rider Rachel Gutish in second and GasGas rider Brooke Cosner in third. The top AA rider for the Ohio round was GasGas rider Jhak Walker. Overall A rider was Zack Toh on a KTM. Overall B rider was James Jenkins on a Beta and Overall C rider was Luke Praksti on a KTM. ON THE PEGS // PAGE 54
XC1 PRO EVENT RESULTS 1. Steward Baylor (KTM) 2. Grant Baylor (KAW) 3. Ryder Lafferty (GG) 4. Craig Delong (HSQ) 5. Ben Kelley (KTM) 6. Josh Toth (GG) 7. Ricky Russell (YAM) 8. Trevor Bollinger (HSQ) 9. Liam Draper (YAM) 10. Evan Smith (BET)
WOMEN'S PRO EVENT RESULTS 1. Mackenzie Tricker (GG) 2. Rachel Gutish (GG) 3. Brooke Cosner (GG) 4. Sheryl Hunter (HSQ) 5. Tayler Bonecutter (GG)
CLICK HERE TO VISIT WWW.NATIONALENDURO.COM
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 55
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 56
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 57
2023 Corduroy Enduro words by RACHEL GUTISH September 23rd and 24th marked the 69th annual running of the Promation Corduroy Enduro in Gooderham, Ontario. For those unfamiliar with the Cord, as it is affectionately known by the regulars, it serves as the Canadian National Enduro Championship. Given that is one of the most prestigious events in Canada, there were many activities in the preceding days, including vintage, eMoto and eBicycle racing, as well as demo ride programs from most of the major manufacturers. During the race weekend itself there were a few other notable events, including a raffle and tire changing contest benefiting the Canadian ISDE efforts, and a youth Sprint Enduro where Gavin Forsbery (GasGas) took top overall youth honors while Breanna Staples (Yamaha) was the top finishing girls class rider. The format of the Corduroy Enduro is a cross between the ISDE and one of our NEPG races. There is a good bit of transfer mileage and the days are relatively long (around 6 hours of riding). There are no checkpoints or true time-keeping but there are flip-cards at each checkpoint, and if you fall more than an hour previous: Men's Pro / Overall winner, Tyler Medaglia, crossing the river in a transfer section. PHOTO CREDIT ANDY WILSON ON THE PEGS // PAGE 58
Women’s pro winner Lexi Pechout charges through a sandy corner in the final moto. PHOTO CREDIT ANDY WILSON
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 59
past your scheduled row, you will be given a DNF for the day (“houring out”). Also like the ISDE, there is an evening impound and timed work periods for the riders, as well as a final moto for the men and women’s pro classes. Unlike the ISDE, the tests sections are long (6-12 miles) featuring tight singletrack instead of wide-open trail. The trails are reminiscent of our NEPG series, but a good bit more technical. Ontario is especially beautiful this time of year, with the flaming reds and oranges of recently turned fall leaves lighting up the forest. The transfers, which consisted of some trailriding, but mostly dualsporting through asphalt, gravel and logging roads, took the 646 riders through some beautiful places – assuming they had the time and energy to spare to take a look around them! Most riders did say this was an easier event than recent years though, as mother nature chose to smile upon the racers all weekend, with clear skies and mild temperatures. Rain and mud are often synonymous with the Cord, but this year it was dry, even silty in a few spots. In the Pro class, Tyler Medaglia (GasGas) came out swinging, winning six out of eight tests and going into day two with over a minute lead. American riders Evan Smith (Beta) and Nick Fahringer (Sherco) placed 2nd and 3rd respectively, each with a single ON THE PEGS // PAGE 60
test win. Ryder Heacock (Beta) and Alexandre Gougeon (Husqvarna) rounded out the top five. Philippe Chaine (KTM) initially looked like he would be a strong podium contender, before experiencing a shock failure in test three that pushed him back to 7th on the day. On day two, Medaglia continued his dominant ride, again winning most of the tests and pulling a minuteplus gap on 2nd place finisher Chaine, who was able to recover from his issues on day one. Both Americans encountered unfortunate difficulties that took them out of the race – Smith experienced an irreparable electrical failure in test two, while Fahringer crashed and injured his wrist (yet still finished the pro-rider only test, performing a very impressive one-handed moto to make it to the end). Gougeon and Heacock had a tight battle for 3rd and 4th, with only three seconds separating them after 92 total minutes of test time, while Owen McKill (GasGas) finished 5th. In the final moto, Medaglia took the win, followed by Yanick Boucher (HQV) and Gougeon.
Men’s pro / overall winner Tyler Medaglia in one of the Cord’s many gnarly rock gardens.
“The Corduroy enduro is such an awesome event!" exclaimed Tyler Medaglia. "Just the right amount of challenging terrain, a great test for body and machine. I’m happy to get the win overall and break the tie with the US, putting Canada to 34 total.”
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 61
In the Women’s Pro Class, the top women were flying all weekend, regularly placing in the 40s and 30s overall against the men. On day one previous champion Lexi Pechout (Husqvarna) took a narrow 16-second win over American rider Rachel Gutish (GasGas). Both had their share of problems, with Pechout hitting the ground several times throughout the day, and Gutish experiencing a hydraulic system failure on her clutch, riding most of the day without it. Melissia Harten (Beta) finished third, with Emma Sharpless (KTM) and Kristen Broderick (KTM) rounding out the top five. Day two’s results were very similar – Pechout again took the win over Gutish, with both riders experiencing mostly drama-free days, but this time Pechout took the win by a much wider margin of nearly two minutes. Meanwhile Harten held onto third, while Broderick moved ahead of Sharpless after an excellent ride in Blackberry, the gnarliest test of the weekend (author’s note: if something like Blackberry was included in one of our NEPGs, there would probably be a riot). In the final moto, Gutish grabbed the holeshot and led start to finish, with Pechout staying right on her tail the whole race. Veronique Chaine (Sherco) placed third. “The Corduroy Enduro has become one of my ‘must attend’ events the past few years," said Lexi Pechout. "I love this format and the terrain. The racing was close this weekend and showed that small mistakes can really cost you. It was great getting to finally race against Rachel Gutish again, she really brought the heat. Finishing this season as the defending women’s pro enduro champion has been the icing on top of an awesome season!” ON THE PEGS // PAGE 62
Women’s Pro winner, Lexi Pechout, cruising in the transfer. PHOTO CREDIT ANDY WILSON
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 63
RESULTS - OVERALL
RESULTS - OVERALL WOMEN
1. Tyler Medaglia (GAS) 2. Ryder Heacock (BET) 3. Alexandre Gougeon (HQV) 4. Phillipe Chaine (KTM) 5. Owen McKill (Gas) 6. Jean-Ollivier Goulet (HQV) 7. Aaron Wilkins (TM) 8. Jared Stock (KTM) 9. Loic Oigeon (SHR) 10. Theo Lepley (HQV)
1. Lexi Pechout (HQV) 2. Rachel Gutish (GAS) 3. Melissa Harten (BET) 4. Emma Sharpless (KTM) 5. Kristen Broderick (KTM) 6. Veronique Pellerin-Chaine (SHR) 7. Marie-Claude Boudreau (KTM) 8. Mary Ann Antoine (KTM) 9. Kathleen Tobin (BET) 10. Tammie Jordan (SHR)
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 64
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 65
The view from a chase vehicle. PHOTO CREDIT RACHEL GUTISH
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 66
FUN FACTS SIDEBAR Though it is a Canadian event, many notable US riders have made the trek up north – , John, Tom, Jeff and Jack Penton, Leory Winters, Drew Smith, Kevin Hines, Evan Smith and Russell Bobbit have all won the Cordory Enduro. With Tyler Medaglia’s win this year, Canada is currently just ahead of the US in wins, 34-33.
The Corduroy Enduro is named after a type of primitive bridge made from logs sunk in a row, and the bridges are in turn named after a type of fabric. As this part of Ontario is quite swampy, corduroy bridges are a common feature of the race… one might even say obstacle, given their slippery nature and close proximity to swampland!
This year’s winner, Tyler Medaglia, has represented Team Canada at both the ISDE and the Motocross des Nations. Many of the other top riders at Cord – Phillipe Chaine, Jared Stock, and Emma Sharpless, to name a few, will be representing Team Canada at this year’s ISDE in Argentina.
The event promoter, Blair Sharpless, is a multi-time Cord winner, as was his father, Bill Sharpless. Between the two of them, they have 10 family titles, coming in just ahead of the Penton family’s 9 collective titles. His two daughters are also carrying on the family tradition, both racing in the Women’s Pro class.
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 67
CANADA, BY WAY OF CHATTANOOGA words by RACHEL GUTISH I point the truck south and head for Canada. No, I’m not from Alaska, and no, I’m not directionally challenged. You see, I often end up in strange predicaments. I like to pretend that I am merely a hapless victim, but they’re caused by my own sins… namely, being a glutton for racing.
at the previous GNCC. An already complicated situation was further complicated by our van losing a transmission. Now my dad is stranded in South Carolina – along with the bike I’m supposed to race in five days, my passport, and all of our tools and spare parts!
It started when a friend of mine asked if I was going to the Corduroy Enduro. “Probably not” I replied, like a reasonable adult, “since it’s in two weeks and I’m still not ready for EnduroCross.” I make the mistake of googling the race. I saw the epic videos. I saw there was a (Canadian) national championship up for grabs. I saw the generous women’s pro purse. I saw there were only three open spots left. Now or never. I signed up.
At 11am on Wednesday I see that someone from the Cord has noticed I’m coming and made a much bigger deal about it than I expected (I’m in the program? They posted it on social media??). I can’t back out now. At 2:30pm I get a call from my dad. The van will be stuck in South Carolina for the foreseeable future. There’s only one option.
The next week, my dad heads to South Carolina to meet Thomas, a mechanic friend of ours. He still had to build two EnduroCross bikes, and now rebuild my enduro bike for the Cord since I sucked it full of water ON THE PEGS // PAGE 68
I throw my gear and clothes into our pickup truck and drive south. My dad throws the motorcycle, passports and a borrowed tent into a rental truck and drives north, meeting me halfway in Chattanooga that night. Borrowed tent, you say? Since we were originally sleeping in the van, we’ve now been downgraded
Rachel Gutish in a test section. PHOTO CREDIT ANDY WILSON
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 69
Rachel Gutish gets the holeshot in the final moto.PHOTO CREDIT ANDY WILSON
to a tent. Good thing we’re going someplace warm, not to Canada or anything like that…. We arrive Friday night, after driving 26 hours in a caffeine fueled haze. I go to tech inspection, sign-up and the rider’s meeting while dad pitches the tent. As I settle into my sleeping bag, I breathe a sigh of relief. We made it. Surely the hard part is over now. I wake up after a restless night, cold despite the sleeping bag, breath ON THE PEGS // PAGE 70
visible in the confines of our tent. My dad mumbles something about homicide and I stumble into the bright morning air to cook breakfast on the camp stove. As the sun rises, so does my mood. I am full of optimism, convinced I’m going to have a great day. Five hours later, I am soaking wet and knee deep in the river crossing. My clutch’s hydraulic system has completely stopped working. I’m trying to click the bike into neutral,
a task I struggle with even on flat ground with no stress. Click. Clickclick. Click-click. Click. It sounds like I’m sending morse code signals to the crawdads. I feel the water rushing past my legs and I can hear the spectators murmuring in confusion. I am convinced that for the second weekend in a row I’ve sucked water, but either way my poor abused motorcycle / 220-pound paperweight can’t stand here in the river all day. I finally find neutral and push the remaining 20 feet to the bank, where I am confronted with the sad reality that I am a relatively small female, looking at a relatively steep bank. Worse, I’m now stopped in one of the main lines. There is impatient muttering from the other (mostly male) pro and expert riders behind me, wondering why this girl just doesn’t ride her bike out of the river already and stop blocking the line. Then, my knight in shining moto boots arrives. No, not one of the muttering dudes behind me. Megan Sharpless, one of the other pro women, stopped to ask if I was okay. I waved my arms around and inarticulately shouted some things over the sound of the bikes, which she apparently understood, because she rode up the bank, walked back down, and helped me get to flat and dry ground, even though we were racing in the same class.
I pull the air filter, which is soaked, but miracle of miracles, there is no water in the intake. I leave the cover off and the bike roars to life. I let it run for a few minutes to dry the filter, then pop the cover back on and continue my frantic pace down the transfer trail, desperate to fix the bike. At the next service area, I tighten and adjust some things and refill and bleed the system. To no avail. What little bit of clutch returned was gone a few miles down the trail. For the remainder of the day, I ride a four-hour-long no-clutch drill. Whenever I have to restart the bike, I find neutral (I am now an expert at finding neutral), rev the bike to the moon, slam it down into gear, and lurch off with a horrible clack-clack-clack noise. But we make it to the finish and to my surprise and delight I’m still in second place! That night, my Canadian friend Shelby Turner introduces me to everyone she can think of who we could borrow a hydraulic system from. Although under normal circumstances I would have a spare, we can only fit so much in a pickup truck. I arrived in Canada with a shifter I loaned to a guy before test five, a couple of t-handles, and my optimism, which I’m pretty sure I misplaced somewhere in test three. Once again, the Sharpless family came to my rescue. Emma Sharpless was kind enough to loan VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 71
me the hydraulic system off her spare bike, again despite the fact we were racing in the same class. Now my only issue is that I must replace it by myself during a supervised ten minute work period. In the past, the timed ISDE work periods have been the bane of my existence, but I’ve been practicing hard this year. A good thing, because despite sprinting into impound, sprinting to the work area, and sprinting to the start line, I almost don’t make it (and as it is, I have to stop and tighten a few bolts once I make it past the flags). It was only a balmy 45-degrees but I was sweating bullets the whole time. The last catastrophe was almost anticlimactic, considering everything else. I forgot to put the gasket in, so my bike leaked oil all day. Afraid I’d DNF right at the end, I carried a liter of oil in my hydropack instead of water and dutifully topped off the bike after each test. By the end of the day, I was dehydrated, but more importantly, the bike’s oil reservoir wasn’t. Against all odds, we crossed the finish line and held on to second place. I even won the final moto and was encouraged to do my first-ever burnout by the promoter, though given how the weekend had gone I was afraid I’d manage to accidently loop the bike out into the crowd. Several people have embarrassed me by giving me far more credit than I deserve, admiring my ON THE PEGS // PAGE 72
resourcefulness and gushing over my refusal to quit. Really though, I’m just stubborn and lucky that so many friendly Canadians were willing to help me out. Anyway, what else was I gonna do? The sunk cost fallacy was already in full effect: the trip was such a trainwreck that I’d already endured far too much to quit before I even arrived at the track. There was another reason, though, that I refused to throw in the towel. Perhaps the most important reason of all. In between the many moments of panic and despair, I had a huge grin on my face. I exited one test yelling to the workers that “this is the best section I’ve ridden all year!” As I rode transfer trail though gorgeous forest lanes, past lakes and creeks reflecting the colors of fall, I looked around like the tourist I was, marveling at the beauty of the world and how lucky I was to be in this place at this moment. I didn’t come home with a number one plate, but that’s not the worst thing in the world. Now I have an excuse to come back next year… hopefully with a running van and a better plan!
The truck and the tent. PHOTO CREDIT RACHEL GUTISH
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 73
KISKA.COM Photo: R. Schedl
SINGLE-TRACK 2024 KTM 300 XC Maximum power at the least possible weight, amplified by an all-new closed cartridge spring fork and cross-country specific suspension settings, the 2024 KTM 300 XC is a power-packed frieght train equipped to dominate on race weekend.
SEE MORE AT KTM.COM Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations! ON THE PEGSvehicles // may PAGE 74 details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost. The illustrated vary in selected
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 75
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 76
ENDUROCROSS OPENER VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 77
words and photos courtesy SHAN MOORE The IRC Tire EnduroCross Series presented by Progressive visited Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington, for the opening round of its six-round series. At the end of a full night of exciting race, the UK’s Jonny Walker picked up where he left off last year with a win. In fact, the Beta USA-backed rider dominated the event, going 1-1-1 in his three motos, easily topping runner-up FactoryOne Sherco’s Cody Webb’s 7-2-3 tally and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Ryder LeBlond’s 5-3-4. Walker added to his domination of the event by posting the fastest time in hot-laps, ahead of last year’s title rival FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart, and Webb, setting the previous: Beta USA-backed Jonny Walker ON THE PEGS // PAGE 78
cody webb (2)
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 79
starting order for the first moto. Webb’s teammate, Cooper Abbott and factory GasGas rider Taddy Blazusiak, were fourth and fifth. According to the top riders, the Everett, Washington course was a highly technical one, and a course that required not only finesse, but consistency, which Walker had in spades. Hart took the early lead in moto one, followed closely by Walker and Rockstar Energy Factory Racing’s Colton Haaker, the series 2021 champ. Walker put the pressure on Hart throughout the race, although he never led until the final turn of the next-to-last lap, when Hart lost his front end and went down, gifting Walker first place. Walker held on for the win, while Hart followed in second, and Haaker finished third. In moto two, the order is reversed from the opening moto, so Walker had last pick on the gate, just ahead of Webb and LeBlond. Abbott came away with the lead early in the race, while Walker, Hart and Webb were mired in mid-pack, then Walker was best at passing on the technical course and he the lead by the midway point, with Webb working his way to an eventual second place, while the ever-consistent LeBlond finished third. Hart still had a chance heading into the final moto, Walker took the lead early and Hart was only able to ON THE PEGS // PAGE 80
Ryder leblond (513)
muster an eighth-place finish. In the final results, Walker took the overall with a 1-1-1 moto score, with Webb second at 7-2-3 and LeBlond in third with 5-3-4. “I was quietly confident coming in, you know I’ve worked on feeling good and, honestly, last year, I was coming off of two operations and I finished the first round in eighth so,” said Walker. “So to start this year with a win is huge for me. I knew I was riding good, so I’m really happy with how tonight has gone.”
“I wasn’t the fastest out there tonight, although I put myself in a good position and that’s what’s required in this championship,” commented LeBlond. “We saw how important consistency was last season, so I am really happy to come away from round one with a really strong result on the podium.” “First round here of the EnduroCross season and we had some first race jitters, for sure,” reflected Haaker. “The night started out rough for me and I really had to rely on the training I’d done entering round one to increase my confidence. I had two good motos, although a fall in race two really hurt my overall position... all-in-all, not a bad way to begin my season.”
trystan hart (84), Taddy Blazusiak (111)
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 81
CLICK HERE TO VISIT
1. Jonny Walker (Bet) 1-1-1 2. Cody Webb (SHR) 7-2-3 3. Ryder LeBlond (Hsq) 5-3-4 4. Colton Haaker (Hsq) 3-8-2 5. Trystan Hart (KTM) 2-5-8 6. Taddy Blazusiak (GG) 4-7-6 7. Cooper Abbott (Shr) 10-6-5 8. Max Gerston (GG) 8-4-9 9. Will Riordan (KTM) 6-9-7 10. Anthony Johnson (KTM) 9-10-10
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 82
8 10 4 - OCTOBER 2023 PAGE117 83 VOL. 8 ISSUE - APRIL 2023 VOL. 7 ISSUE 2022////PAGE 59
Trial des Nations 2023 words FIM & STEPH VETTERLY photos FUTURE7MEDIA, PEP SEGALES, VONDA ROPER Spain swept to a conclusive nineteenth consecutive men’s victory at the 2023 FIM Trial des Nations (TdN), but their hopes of doubling up in the women’s category were thwarted thanks to a polished performance by the British ladies who regained the title they last won in 2018. Staged high up in the French Alps at the ski resort of Auron, the event also saw the Japanese ON THE PEGS // PAGE 84
team claim a hugely popular win in the FIM International Trophy and Norway come out on top in the FIM Challenge des Nations. With imposing rocks and steep, loose climbs challenging the field over two laps of fifteen sections, the heat and altitude – Auron is seventeen-hundred metres above sea level – combined to test the skill and physical fitness of the best riders on the planet.
The Spanish men’s victory hardly came as a surprise. The dominant force since 2004 in the annual competition to decide the world’s leading Trial nation, this year Spain fielded Toni Bou (Montesa), Jaime Busto (GASGAS) and event newcomer Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) – the top three riders in the premier TrialGP class of the 2023 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship – and the hugelytalented trio did not disappoint. With a team’s best two scores in each section counting, Spain’s biggest test on the opening lap came on the huge rock steps of section nine where they collected a ten-mark maximum, but every other nation also failed to reach the
ends cards here so it did not affect positions. At the halfway mark Spain led on a total of twelve from the host nation on thirty and Italy on thirty-one before a sizeable gap back to Great Britain and Norway. On lap two focus shifted to the battle between the French trio of Benoît Bincaz (Sherco), Hugo Dufrese (GASGAS) and Téo Colairo (Beta) and the Italian team of Matteo Grattarola (Beta), Luca Petrella (GASGAS) and Gianluca Tournour (Sherco). The two teams were incredibly evenly matched and while Spain cruised to victory on a total of
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 85
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 86
twenty-three, France and Italy went head to head on the second lap and with the final result still in doubt until the last section of the Trial, the host nation’s score of fifty-one gave them second by two marks. “To be honest it is a super-good feeling,” said Marcelli. “It is my first TdN, but with such a good team things are easy. I enjoyed the whole race from the beginning to the end and I think we put in a pretty good performance.” Great Britain was the last nation to defeat Spain in a TdN, but Toby Martyn (Montesa), Billy Green (Scorpa) and Jack Peace (Sherco) were never really in contention for a podium finish and their score of eighty-four placed them fourth, eight ahead of Norway’s Sondre Haga (GASGAS), Mats Nilsen (TRRS) and Jarand-matias vold Gunvaldsen (TRRS). It was much, much tighter in the women’s category where with a team unchanged from last year, Spain’s Berta Abellan (Scorpa), Alba Villegas (Scorpa) and Sandra Gomez (TRRS) were looking to make it four TdN wins in a row. Britain’s Emma Bristow (Sherco), Alice Minta (Scorpa) and Kaytlyn Adshead (TRRS) had other ideas though and they got off to a perfect start with a clean opening lap giving them a two-mark advantage over Spain at the halfway stage. Gradually easing clear, the British women then threw Spain a late lifeline with three marks lost on section eleven, VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 87
but their rivals were unable to capitalise and also incurred three marks here and Britain’s eventual total of five gave them victory by a slender four points. “We knew it was going to be lowscoring so the aim was to keep our feet up and we performed well on the harder sections to keep the lead throughout the day,” said Bristow. “It was a great team effort – we had been training together all week and I think it showed.” The podium was competed by Norway’s Mette Fidje (Sherco), Huldeborg Barkved (TRRS) and Seline Meling (Beta) whose score of thirty-three edged out the home team of Naomi Monnier (GASGAS), Alycia Soyer (TRRS) and Marine Aurieres (GASGAS) by two marks. In a low-scoring FIM International Trophy competition, the Japanese trio of Tomoyuki Ogawa (Honda), Seiya Ujikawa (Honda) and Tsuyoshi Ogawa (Beta) triumphed over the seventeen other nations contesting the second-tier category. Tied on clean following the first lap with Germany’s Rodney Bereiter (Beta), Franz Kadlec (TRRS) and Paul Reumschussel (TRRS), Japan added just a single mark to their total on lap two to end the day six clear. “We are very, very happy,” said Tsuyoshi Ogawa. “It is a great feeling to win for Japan.” ON THE PEGS // PAGE 88
Starting the day as defending champions, the Czech team of Martin Kroustek (TRRS), Martin Matejicek (GASGAS) and David Fabian (Beta) could not replicate last year’s form and they had to settle for third on twenty-five. Introduced last season, the FIM Challenge des Nations is for tworider, mixed-gender teams and it was Norway with Jone Sandvik (Sherco) and Ingeborg aurora Bergersen (Sherco) who took the win on seventeen, sixteen clear of defending champions Italy represented by Mirko Pedretti (Beta) and Martina Brandani (Sherco). “We had a very good day,” said Bergersen. “The sections were not easy, but they were perfect for us.” Team USA had some fresh faces for both the men's and women's team. TdN-veterans, Josh Roper and Alex Myers were joined by Will Myers making his event debut. Will had previously held a minder position in the 2021 TdN in Portugal, so he had some idea of how the event ran and what to expect. As these riders are typically competing against one another during the AMA NATC National Mototrials Championship series, a big focus for the TdN is being able to work together. Despite some firstloop jitters, Will was able to work out all the nervousness and ended up putting in some solid rides. Josh VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 89
and Alex were able to cover some hiccuups in the first few sections, and the team found a groove, with two riders showing strong results where the third rider had a higher score, helping to keep the team's overall score lower. Because of this, Team USA was able to improve their sixth-place finish in Monza, Italy, last year to a fourth-place showing. "It was a pretty good year, all things considered," explained Alex. "The blue line has turned into what the Trial2 line has turned into; the red line (the top line) is so high and competitive that if you’re not THAT good, you go into the blue category, which is way easier. We’re starting to see a few countries now coming down into that category from the top category because they just weren’t able to compete anymore. You see Japan and Germany both drop down in the time that I’ve been doing TdN. Having those guys, it’s hard to compete with." "I fived a lot of sections my first loop because I could not calm down," explained Will. "I guess I was calm on the outside, but on the inside, I was really struggling to keep my balance and just keep my focus on what I was there to do. I guess you could say it was a mix of excitement, but also fear of not wanting to screw up. My first loop, I think I fived four of the first five sections. I was unbelievably nervous, but I didn’t let it affect my mental state. ON THE PEGS // PAGE 90
Josh and Alex were covering for me, so it didn’t really make a difference in our score. My second loop, I was normal-Meatball-style. It was good because Alex started making some mistakes, then Josh and I were covering for Alex a good bit. Then, there were times where Alex and I were covering for Josh. It was such a well-balanced team this year; we all covered for everybody, which hasn’t happened in years past. I feel like the team that we had this year, and the balance that we had, is really something that we can carry on for a lot more TdNs." A solid 15-point first loop put the team in fourth, just a single point ahead of Team Austria and Team Australia who were both tied on 16 points. The second loop was slightly better, with only 14 points dropped, but unfortunately, only four points separated Team USA (29 points) from third place's Team Czech Republic (25 points). While it was agreed that the section difficulty could best be compared to the Expert line in the USA nationals, two sections were the deciding factor in the overall finish. Section 11 had a loamy, soft uphill, with riders only having an inch or twoinch line to ride. Eight points of their total score were earned in this section. Section 14 had a tricky step that cost the team 11 of their points. "What we have now is a team that we’re confident in now for years to come," said Alex. "The previous VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 91
team, I just felt like we didn’t have that ability to grow. I think with Will in here, he’s obviously super young, and an extremely explosive rider. I think he got his stuff together, and for years to come, I’m super excited to see what happens." On the Women's team, TdNveterans, Maddie Hoover and Kylee Sweeten, were joined by newcomer Hailey Glueck, who rides the Support line in the USA Nationals. Just like Will, Hailey had also been to the TdN in the past, but only as a spectator. "Being picked for the TdN team has been a lifelong dream of mine," said Hailey. "I always thought it was the coolest thing in the entire world. The fact that I got picked this year just made me feel amazing. I was definitely nervous. It did help the fact that I knew Maddie and
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 92
Kylee had done this a million times already. The first loop, I was really nervous; I felt a lot better the second loop. Everybody said I did good; I didn’t feel like I did terrible, but I was definitely nervous. The no-stop throws me off. That wasn’t too much of a problem, I don’t think. The sections were more difficult than what I’m used to [here in the states]. I’ve been riding the Support lines [here in the states]. It wasn’t that the obstacles were much bigger, it just felt like there was more to do." Team USA matched their seventhplace finish from 2022. Despite Team Great Britain (5 points) and Team Spain (9 points), only 13 points separated third and seventh place.
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 93
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 94
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 95
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 96
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 97
words and photos STEPH VETTERLY including some top names such as Rockstar Husqvarna's Ryder content support ADAM MISZTA Round 1 of the US Hard Enduro Fall Championship took place at Lightning Raceway, in Tippecanoe, OH. Typically playing host to hare scrambles, trials, motocross, and vintage events, this was the first hard enduro to be held at the venue. Rieju USA's Quinn Wentzel worked hard to design and cut trail, putting in countless hours to make the seven-mile course live up to the name "hard enduro." Despite being announced only a few weeks prior to the event date, the event drew just shy of 150 riders, ON THE PEGS // PAGE 98
LeBlond and FactoryONE Sherco's Nick Fahringer. The track started in the open field just up the hill from the campground with a dead-engine start. The course then followed the property line, through an EnduroCrossstyle section, to a section known as "the wall," a section that many trials riders will know well. From there, riders hit the first of many creek sections. Up next was Shitter Hill, a section aptly named for the abandoned toilet located at the base of the hill climb. The course split, allowing for B-class riders and
below to take the easiest hill climb, A-class riders took a slightly more difficult zigzag course, while Proclass riders were recommended to take the near vertical hill climb. After a few more creek sections, it was back to the start line for another lap. Riders had a time limit of four hours to complete as many laps as possible. Off the start line for the Pro/A classes, it was Fahringer out front with the holeshot. Coming into the second of three checkpoints, LeBlond had taken a lead of two minutes. Rieju USA Beaver Creek Cycle's Mason George and Hayden
Mosa had a solid hold on third and fourth place, respectfully. LeBlond would work his way to a ten-minute lead halfway through the race, extending it even further as the race continued. Those who have ridden the property understand that any amount of rain takes this property from manageable to nearly impossible. Despite not having any rain, the sheer number of bikes running the course turned the ground and rocks slick. Only a handful of riders were able to complete more than a full lap. Despite some gnarly conditions, riders were happy and smiling as VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 99
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 100
they came across the finish line into the pits. In the Pro class, it would be LeBlond making a total of five laps, with Fahringer just a single checkpoint behind. Rounding out the podium was Mason George, Hayden Mosa, and Beaver Creek Cycle's Creed Kisling with a solid three laps. "Today was a good day," said LeBlond. "Track was awesome and fun. Quinn [Wentzel] and the team put together a great track. It was hard. I got stuck a lot with all the lappers, but it was fun. Everyone knew everyone out there, so just getting to ride with everybody was cool. My favorite part was probably that big hill climb; I was able to get up that every lap. The hardest part was probably the creek bed with a lot of lappers. I think it would’ve been hard without the lappers; it just happened to get real slick and bottled up, which made it harder." “It was really fun," said Fahringer. "The track was about seven miles of rocky creek gullies, hill climbs, and log crossings, and just irregular stuff all around. Some people said it would really suit me because there was a lot of really fast trail; there’s no fast trail out here [laughs]. It was fun. It was a good mix of getting the bike moving through some trail, and then a couple trialsy parts, up over some rocks and logs here and there. There were lots of obstacles scattered throughout the trails, and then there’d be some heavy sections. It was a nice mix of always doing something on the bike.” Gauge Key was up to a solid sixth place when he had to tap out of the race. VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 101
“It’s a good time out here in Tippecanoe, Ohio..." he explained. "My race didn’t go as well as I would’ve liked; had some issues vommited a lot, maybe some food poisoning or sickness, but it’s alright. I had a lot of fun watching my buddies. I’m just stoked to be out here racing. The course was good. There was some hard sections before I ended up pulling off. Lots of big hill climbs and loose rocks. The creeks were really slippy; they were really tight, not too much line choice, so you had to be careful who you got behind when you went into a creek. They could hold you up a bit. It’s just classic Ohio - big hills, slick clay, and some creek beds to keep you on your toes. Overall, the course was good, and definitely looking forward to coming back here.” In the A-class, it was Tim Baroni taking the checkers after taking the lead at checkpoint 4. Baroni was able to complete just shy of three full laps before time ran out. Only one checkpoint behind was John Allen, followed by Maverik Thaxton rounding out the top three. Logan King was able to complete a full lap, and summed up the event in the most succinct way possible: “This is what a hard enduro race is supposed to be. It was awesome, I loved it!” In the Youth Lites class, it was ON THE PEGS // PAGE 102
Graham Kobak made two more checkpoints than others in his class, finishing 23rd out of 98 amateur riders. Tanner Guthridge and Chase Delong would battle for second and third place, with Guthridge and his TE 150 were able to squeak out the lead in the final checkpoint. "Today was rough, but it was fun. I got through, kept pushing. The creeks were fun. The hardest part was the creek part; there was a big bottleneck and it was terrible. I think today was harder than Sugarloaf and Tough Like RORR, but it was good; not too hard." "This is my third hard enduro," said Delong. "Tough Like RORR was my first one, then I just did TKO. I think this one was the hardest out of the three of them. I think the rocks were really slick; there wasn’t a dry rock anywhere. I think endurance was a big part of it, trying hard not to wear yourself out. I only made one loop; I was out for about 30 minutes because all my clutch fluid was gone. I sat and waited until my dad got there with more clutch fluid." For many riders, such as Jayson Tillis, it was their first hard enduro. "It was tough," said Tillis. "It was actually hard for a hard enduro. It wasn’t beyond my expectations; it was what I expected it to be. It was VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 103
stuff that I was able to do; some of the stuff was definitely hard, like the endurocross section. Some of those obstacles were pretty difficult. It was definitely an experience, and I definitely enjoyed it. I’m definitely coming back. I definitely want to do the next few races.”
CLICK HERE TO VISIT WWW.USHARDENDURO.COM
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 104
RESULTS 1. Ryder LeBlond (HSQ) 2. Nick Fahringer (SHR) 3. Mason George (RJU) 4. Hayden Mosa (RJU) 5. Creed Kisling (HSQ) 6. Colton Weaver (SHR) 7. Brandon Blakely (HSQ) 8. Jeremie Lanthier (HSQ) 9. Ezra Prine (SHR) 10. Quinn Dickey (KTM)
Watching a trials rider try their hand at enduros is not new. Over the years, many Pro riders have switched disciplines - among them, Cody Webb, Logan Bolopue, Quinn Wentzel, Pat Smage. So it wasn't a huge surprise for us to see GasGas's Josh Roper don a full-face helmet and goggles, and jump on a big bike.
/GASGAS ’24/TRIAL RANGE/GET ON THE GAS S
UNCH ‘24 LA
Because Josh has his AMA Pro card, he was able to skip Friday's amateur hot-lap, and Saturday's TKO1 & TKO2, and go directly to the Pro Hot Lap. Placing 17th on the hot lap put him in a good starting position for Sunday's TKO1, which he finished 19th and moved on to TKO2. Starting in group 4, he barely missed out on qualifying for the main race by six minutes (the top four riders from each group move on to the TKO Main).
Photos: Widen Produktion
We had a chance to chat with Josh and get his thoughts on his firstever hard enduro race. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO TRY A HARD ENDURO?
I've always wanted to try a hard enduro. It's just that none of the trials schedules and hard enduro schedules have lined up; finally, this event was after our trials season. I figured I might as well give the TKO a shot. It’s a really popular event, and I know it's pretty hard.orTypically, it's known for a IT OUT! CHECK Master the moment on one of the newest generation 2024 GASGAS TXT RACING GASGAS TXT GP bikes! Built to ensure all riders can take their skills to the level, little bitnext faster-style racing, so it's not all our high-performance bikes have been developed together with the GASGAS Trial as “trials” but this year was Factory Racing Team. Boasting next level rideability, we´ve enhanced our cleantechnical, running
motors, improved our chassis and suspension performance, while using even more premium components to further increase the all-important fun factor. #GetOnTheGas
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 105
Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations! The illustrated vehicles may vary in selected details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost.
RACING HARD ENDURO IN HAWAII ON THE PEGS // PAGE 106
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 107
words BLAKE TERRY photos KEANI AND HALI'I ANDRADE Location: Anahola, Kauai Organizers: Garden Island Motorcycle Club The Hawaiian Hard Enduro Racers in the Hard Enduro have consistently made waves on the mainland for several years, from the West Coast to the East, and every year at TKO. I was fortunate enough to meet and build relationships with them as I was assisting American Hard Enduro video the US series in 2019. Since then I have noticed the consistency and heart that each one of these racers bring to the events and I knew there had to be a very interesting trail culture on the island of Kauai. While visiting in 2021 I was able to spectate the Hare and Hound race put on by the Garden Island previous: Kamakana Kahalepuna ON THE PEGS // PAGE 108
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 109
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 110
Motorcycle Club in Omao. Getting a firsthand look at the trails and terrain, and watching the racers in their natural environment, solidified a bucket list requirement. I had to go back. I had to get in the woods myself. Living in East Tennessee, our terrain is definitely suited for more technical, hard-enduro-style riding which I have developed a true enjoyment for. So when I decided to make the journey back I knew, the kind of riding I like the most would be exactly what I would experience there. The race format was simple. Dead Engine start, follow the ribbons for your class, pull dead check tickets, and enjoy 30 miles of technical single track. With 3 gas checks and no official time limit, we set off into the mountains after a short enduro cross-section, some transfer trail, and an epic rock field directly on the beach. We eventually climbed onto the sides of the Kalalea mountain range. Overlooking the beach and starting line miles from the hill climbs was incredible. Steep hill climbs, and rooty trails with thick woods made for a truly epic time. We crossed the Anahola stream multiple times and followed it along the valley for several sections. The best way I could describe the river sections would be similar to a wet TKO prologue river bed. Round Slick rock that picked its own lines for the riders. Casey Satterfield
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 111
I made all three Gas checks and was on my way back to the pits within roughly 3 and a half hours when crossing a small mud stream I found myself in a rather comical situation. Drowning my bike in a creek crossing that was deeper than it was wide was a first for me. I proceeded to work on my mechanical and eventually was escorted off the trail by the sweep crew. My first DNF in years, but considering the epic views and terrain for the day I wasn't even mad. The GIMC has been organizing and putting on this race on Kauai for 69 years now, and at the banquet, they announced the addition of a new Kauai event Endurofest date along with the race on O'ahu for the 2024 season. The scene on the islands is gaining momentum and finally, the exposure their riders deserve is being recognised on a national level. I would like to request any mainland sponsors to continue to source and promote their racers and I would highly encourage anyone to make the trip. Hopefully, I will be back soon to complete a lap on the island. Endurofest should be releasing information about the event soon so Keep an eye out for the dates!
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 112
Kawelo Huddy, Kamakana Kahalepuna, Brennan Perreira
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 113
FIELD OF DREAMS
CROSS COUNTRY & MOTOCROSS ON THE PEGS // PAGE 114
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 115
RAISING THE BAR... words JOSHUA SCHUCKER photos LORENA WALKER Last season, the AHRMA MidAtlantic region introduced a revamped motocross (MX) schedule that would leverage its successful cross country (CC) series and locations through the addition of MX races at many of the CC venues. Use of existing MX facilities at several stops throughout the season along with the creation of some new grass track circuits, where able, resulted in a rather strong turnout for the limited series. Seeing this as an opportunity, series coordinator Dave Kutskel began to spread the word to the series’ participants to be on the lookout for new potential venues for an expansion of the 2023 MX series to ten races. Mick Spisak, whose family is a regular competitor in the region, pursued that call to action and began to scour his locale on the edge of Pittsburgh’s suburban spawl for a suitable destination for an MX series round. The rolling terrain of the area along with Western Pennsylvania’s historically strong MX presence were sure to uncover previous: Keith Folmar (519), Nathan Miller (980), Timothy Brendlinger (159) ON THE PEGS // PAGE 116
somewhere apropos to the stated goal. Oh…and it would sure be great to have a CC there as well. Not only did Mick’s search identify one potential site, but even a backup plan at another property, and each with the ability to host both disciplines. With preliminary agreements in place, the 2023 schedule was released with a weekend pegged for “Site-A”. But alas, shortly afterward unforeseen problems cropped up at both sites and Mick was left staggering as he was a now a barker with no big top. Here is where a bit of serendipity took over. In his normal travels, Mick often passed by a picturesque horse farm ten minutes from the Spisak home that caught his eye for a few reasons. One, his daughter and fellow AHRMA racer Laci Horvath, had always been involved in equestrianism. Second, and most important, the undulating pastures evoked dreams of motocross perfection…if only someone would let him execute those dreams. I think there’s a bit of that type of dreaming in all of us, and if not, you may be reading the wrong periodical.
Mark Schwab (32)
As the stars continued to align, Mick learned that long-time acquaintances Mike and Stephanie Sgambati, also from the vintage MX world, had just recently purchased the farm. A quick phone call to Mike and an enthusiastic “YES, I’ve VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 117
always wanted my own MX track!” turned into a full -blown effort to create something special. Mike and Stephanie even had the most fitting name in “Field of Dreams MX Farm”. Certainly the “build it and they will come” mentality from the 1989 movie of a similar name is quite appropriate in the collective hopes that the monumental effort would translate to a successful event …not sure if Mick or Mike played the best Kevin Costner role for this effort, but probably a combination of the entire team. From the first visit to the farm, it was clear that the terrain had a lot of elements that could be exploited to make a high-caliber facility. In fact, Mike had already been ripping his Maico around a roughed in course using many of the elevation changes, dips, and natural bumps that would ultimately provide the outline for a significant portion of the finished course. Mick provided his input from his experiences traveling to a multitude of MX tracks over the years, including many of AHRMA’s popular National Championship venues. By integrating interesting elements of many tracks, strict attention to detail and atmosphere, and with a comprehensive foresight into what they dreamed of in a track, the heavy equipment began to roll. Hundreds of man-hours later, the crowd began to assemble at Field of Dreams (FOD) MX Farm for its first look at the newly created facility. ON THE PEGS // PAGE 118
Brett Reichart (700), David Norris (535)
Most initial impression were, “wow, what a sight to behold”. The level of professionalism exuded by the preparation and the obvious motive of creating an “experience” were beyond most locations the series has ever visited. And that is not to discredit any of those other venues, because they are in summation excellent as well, it is just that Mick, son-in-law Josh Horvath, and crew set the bar just a bit higher with FOD. The starting line, holding three gum bands on tall sturdy posts, is nearly one hundred feet wide and leads to a three-hundred-footlong uphill grass straight lined on each side with twenty-foot-tall flagpoles each adorned with Old Glory waving majestically. Ribbons, barrels, sponsorship banners, and spectators huddle around the onehundred-thirty degree first turn which banks slightly as the pack heads left and downhill. The first several turns are still lined with grass before the track transitions to well tilled and raked loose dirt. The course uses the terrain effectively as it weaves up and down the slopes and through a few g-out dips and gullies of the former horse pasture. Several bowl turns are solidly crafted and hold up well to the punishing knobs of nearly thirty motos of action. Multiple lines are encouraged using dual elevation jumps and small humps christening the inside lines of multiple turns. Sweepers and tight one-eighties VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 119
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 120
Fred Walker (13), Dave Salmen (686)
tango with each other as racers make their way through the 1.2 miles of twenty-foot-wide course. The final approach to checkers carries man and machine along a sweeping uphill, off camber arc with several rolling jumps leading to the “Chute”, a fan-favorite huckable jump which perfectly launches the bikes into a return to the banner laden grass section to begin another lap. In fact, all the jumps on this course, from the first downhill ski jump to the “Chute” are perfectly crafted for the vintage rider in mind, which adds so much to the overall experience at this type of event and aligns with what the MX experience was like in the eras represented by the machines in use. Another great way to experience the era represented by the machines is to hear about it right from the horse’s mouth. In another sensational act, Mick was able to convince former 70’s AMA Pro Motocrosser Don “Killer” Kudalski, and his wife Denise, to travel north from their home in Florida to act as the grand marshall for the weekend. Don and Denise had nothing but praise for their stint in PA stating that Mick and Dave and everyone else made them feel like royalty and were so grateful for all the friendly interactions throughout the event. Don was thoroughly impressed with the facility and the layout, likening it to the mid seventies’ iteration of
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 121
Unadilla. Many stories were told about those days, paling around with his friends Marty Smith and others, his days riding for Rokon, as a Harley Davidson factory rider, the early days of supercross, and more. Don even got a chance to take a lap on a Rokon and a ’78 Harley MX, provided by Perry Brink Cycles and Charlie Walker respectively, for a fantastic photo opportunity in between stints as a flagman, starter, 2-minute board operator, and general ambassador for the sport and fandom. Don claimed he hadn’t ridden a Rokon since 1975, and further claimed he hasn’t raced since his pro days wrapped around 1980, but he looked pretty racy in the parade laps. Turns out, after a delusional period of trying to feed his competitive spirit with golf, he realized that golf courses look like they’d make great MX tracks, so lately he’s been dabbling in trail riding and dual sporting on his DRZ400 to satisfy that still lingering need for speed. Thanks for the memories Don and Denise! While Saturday’s MX races were a huge success, there was still more racing to tackle during Sunday’s CC event. Certainly, the MX course is the start of the show at FOD, as the area available for a woods course is limited. But, despite trailboss Mike Zdybak’s concerns that he didn’t have much ground to work with, he did a tremendous job extracting all that the finite space had to offer. ON THE PEGS // PAGE 122
Katie Goodman (45), Laci Horvath (1W)
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 123
Josh Schucker (627)
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 124
Of course, the route utilized nearly all of the MX course, which wasn’t a bad thing as highly praised as it was. But the short sections through the woods were quite delightful. Adjacent to the lowest spot of the MX area’s slope, a tree line hides a more aggressive slope with several drainage gullies eroded into the hillside. The CC course enters the woods here after the first few turns on the MX track, and runs parallel to the fence row, swithcbacking along the downslope and across the number of dips and washes. A variety of pallet bridges and log piles were used to navigate through the runoff spots and avoid too much mud slinging. The circuit transitioned to another fence row perpendicular to the hillside and utilized a small grass track section in a neighboring field before returning for a few more flowing bits of single track that returned the riders to the MX course. Even with the inclusion of Saturday’s course, the entire loop was relatively short compared to normal Mid-Atlantic fare, but the variety of terrain and quick lap times made for a truly enjoyable experience as most entrants accomplished seven or eight laps. Great job to all those that tackled trimming the woods for this loop as it was a surprisingly far better than expected in a small footprint. A great weekend without doubt, and I know that I am not alone in hoping VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 125
to see this great facility continue to improve and return to schedules for 2024 and beyond. Mick, Mike, and Stephanie: a collective thank you from all the participants, and large spectator turnout, for all the hard work and ability to turn your visions into reality, and thanks to all those that helped you execute that vision whether cutting trails in the woods, pounding stakes, building decks, running equipment, or stringing banners. While plenty of other deserve mention, a short list of thanks goes to Lori Spisak, Laci and Josh Horvath, Rick Klingensmith and family, and Mike’s hotshoe excavator friend. Plenty of sponsors, above and beyond the Mid-Atlantic’s typical list stepped up to amplify the presentation of the venue and event with RaceTech, Vintco, Preston Petty, THOR MX, Walker & Walker Equipment and Highland Tire stepping up to provide signage, giveaways, excavating equipment, and more. As always, the AHRMA Mid-Atlantic region runs so well due to all the help of the willing and passionate volunteers that give so much to the series, and to the sponsors that keep the motor running; Potomac Vintage Riders, Preston Petty Products, Stainless Cycle, Grove Printing, KMI Printing, Horizon Homes, M3One.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT AHRMA MID-ATLANTIC
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 126
Ethan Walker (419)
VOL. 8 ISSUE 10 - OCTOBER 2023 // PAGE 127