2014 NATS Championship Event #5 – Granite Mountain, CO – Aug. 9th

Two weeks of daily rain took a break for us to enjoy a beautiful Colorado weekend of riding at 9,000 feet. Had a few raindrops at mid day, but settled down quickly and let us ride in sunny, dry conditions. A disappointing Colorado rider turnout overall, but it was good to see Derik and Jason from Oregon, William from Arizona and Ed from Missouri. It was also nice to see four riders competing in their first bike trials event, and hope to see them stick with it.

Ryder and I combined efforts to put the event on, which left me in much better condition than normal after sections were ready. Dezi Bernhardt, Bob Bernhardt, and Micah Hertrich also got in on helping with sections. Cincy Bernhardt always helps out with getting signup completed, and interior decorating on their porta john that Bob brought up for us which saves us some money.

It was good to see Darby May tackling the beginner sections on his Koxx Micro Sky. He had ridden the event in LaPorte earlier this year and shows much improvement.

Novice (think normal beginner in most comps) was the closest competition of any class, every point counted. Four riders ended up with point totals of 29-34. First time bike competitor and mototrials guy David Cook took first with 29 points, first timer Brian Lutz took second with 30 (and stayed all day to watch the pros, hope to see Brian more in the future), we talked Ryan Nott into riding (Ryder provided a bike) to 3rd with 31 points, and  local rider Logan Trenkle upgraded from his old Tank mod to a nice GU (thanks for the deal on it Mike) just before the event and carded 34 points. Brian and Logan are both 13 or so, so the future is bright for them.

Sport was the big class with 6 riders. Micah Hertrich cleaned 13 of 15 rides and totaled 6 points with a 5 when he caught his rear wheel on an unexpected rock while maneuvering. Vincent Greene took second with 16 as the old man of the day, and is always a great example of how to ride well using the simplest techniques possible, I was glad he made the trip from Boulder having just returned from AK the night before. Dezi Bernhardt earned 2 cleans on his way to 51 pts, which made the difference between 3rd and 4th place, with first time competitor Jason Kasari making the trip from OR and coming up short on the tie break. Mototrials riding gymnastics dude Nigel Parker has made great strides in his riding, ending just a couple points out of 3rd with 53 points. Luke Klotz came over from Glenwood Springs for his first event, got some great experience, and now has some good ideas on what to practice. Micah, Dezi, and Nigel are all 12-13 yrs old, it’ll be fun to see them work their way up as they grow.

We had great expert sections, being a bit toned down from some events but still a good step up from Sport. Ed Schilling made the trip from MO to take the win with 24 pts and had some real nice rides. CO riders Mike May and Chris Hertrich had a good battle all day that could have easily turned either way, but Chris squeaked by for 2nd, 40-45 pts. Of note was exhibition rider Micah Hertrich on the first loop. Having just turned 13 during the week and winning the sport class, Micah rode each section to try out expert and if his score counted he would have been in second place after the first loop. Nicely done and was also nice as he is now officially a better rider than dad.

Pro sections were quite impressive, unfortunately we were missing Max and Robbie due to other commitments. Fortunately we had CO upcoming hotshot Randy Gibson, and out of staters Derik Sprando of OR and William Hendrickson out of AZ. Randy has been training hard the last couple years and it’s really showing up in his riding. He’ll be heading out to Norway at the end of the month for the world championships, so sections were relatively difficult to help him prep. Randy and Derik were pretty close through the comp but Randy ended up on top with 38 vs. Derik’s 49. William had some great rides but wasn’t quite in the fight at the top, ending up with 65.

Near crash of the day would be William (pro) catching his rear wheel making a side drop of 5 feet and somehow pulling it off in one piece. William also gets the fashion statement of the day award for riding in brown jeans, a long sleeve plaid cowboy shirt, and the most distinctive helmet present. Nice to see, as we haven’t had any good candidates since Max Schultz and Josh Carr tied for it in Salida in 2011 or so. Honorable mention crash of the day would be Vincent (sport) going over the bars in a spot with nothing higher than 3 inches, while Luke (sport) had the gonad awareness ride down the entrance rock of section 3 (“Aaaw, NUTS!)

Undisputed scary crash of the day was Derik missing the rear wheel placement on the 6 foot drop out of section 1. Luckily he has cat reflexes and is highly athletic, as it sure could have turned out very bad. Somehow he got out of it with a munched ankle but was able to finish the event.

With 6 experts and pros, we decided to all ride in one group. It made the day go a bit longer, but made for a good pace for me at least, and I thoroughly enjoyed riding with everyone else and getting to see all the pro rides. Thanks to all the riders taking part in helping to score each other. I know it gets to be a bit of a long day, and have heard that some would prefer to be done sooner, so in the future I’ll handle awards for lower classes before starting uppers.

It was a fine day to be out riding, sections were just about spot on for each level, and it was really good to see some new riders and improved riders. Thanks again to Ed, Derik, Jason, and William for making long trips for it from various states.

Plan on at least one again next year… Chris


Pl. Name Score Cleans
1st Darby May 12 10
1st David Cook 29 2
2nd Brian Lutz 30 2
3rd Ryan Nott 31 1
4th Logan Trenkle 34 2
1st Micah Hertrich 6 13
2nd Vincent Greene 16 6
3rd Dezi Bernhardt 51 2
4th Jason Kasari 51 0
5th Nigel Parker 53 1
6th Luke Klotz 70 0
1st Ed Schilling 24 5
2nd Chris Hertrich 40 1
3rd Mike May 45 0
1st Randy Gibson 38 5
2nd Derik Sprando 49 2
3rd William Hendrickson 65 0