Big Bear NORBA National Competition - May 12, 2002

Big Bear, California



Report by Jon Maeda

Team Big Bear again hosted the trials community to a warm, Spring day at Snow Summit, site of the 2002 opener of the NORBA Chevy Trucks National Mountain Bike Series. In the past, this event has always been held on Motherís Day, and the initial calendar showed a move to the following weekend. However, a last minute change in the UCI schedule necessitated the change back to the old stand-by weekend. In response to repeated begging by the trials promoter, Team Big Bear placed the big log section in the opening of the EXPO area, a great place to display the demos and actual sections of the trials. Section coordinator Hoss Onnen did a great job of selecting and stacking the logs in a challenging fashion. Section builders Jon & Zak Maeda and Howard & Sam Phelps tried to avoid the ditch, where the trials events are traditionally held. The EXPO area was the site of 3 sections, while only two sections were in the ditch.

Section 1 was a downhill drop for most classes, into the big ditch, through the 50-foot stank-infested culvert, and back out into bright sunshine. Pros & experts then negotiated their way up and over the culvert opening. Section 2 saw the use of BIG LOG, a 25 foot 4 foot diameter log that gave sport riders fits, and sent Pros & Experts soaring off the end. Sections 4 & 5 were centered on logs and assembled demo boxes, Doesnít sound too tough, until coupled with the muddy run-off created by the bike washing station that was conveniently placed about 100 yards up the hill. Add muddy, soapy water to the mix of knobbies and traction was often at a minimum.

San Diegoís Andrew Fulton was the big winner for the day, taking home wins in both the Pro mod & Pro stock classes. Andrew was able to maintain great composure all day, carding only 1 point lost in mod, and 2 points in stock, Jeremy VanSchoonhoven took 2nd honors in Stock, making his first long, road trip sans Dad, a worthwhile one.

Perennial Expert class winner, Zak Maeda, astride a new Echo, was toppled by Riversideís Brian Davis who has come a long way in learning the tricky nuances of natural riding. Davis took the win with 6 points, making for a great ride. Stevie Morgan gave Mom a great Motherís Day gift by taking the Expert Mod win on a new cream and red Monty X-Lite. Stevie and his Dad Steve and brother Mikey were out hustling for their new business, Morgan & Sons, the newest Monty dealer on the West Coast.

Newly engaged Pete Sturtevant made the most of his engagement gift, a new Trialsin USA Echo, by taking home the gold in Sport Stock, over Terry Elam and his new Planet X, while the big news of the day was Sam Phelps besting Monica Thompson in the Sport Mod class. Sam has worked hard to improve his skills on natural terrain. Newcomer Jon Martin rode his first trial uncontested in Beginner Stock, as the grommets in the biggest class of the day, Beginner Mod, chased Andrew Oldar around as he rode to a 10 point advantage over Manning Yuan and Douglas Romacly.

The hoped for showdown in the Saturday Freetrial never came to fruition, as the assembled riders opted not to compete, but to simply session for the crowd, which grew by the hour. Pro riders Shaun Miller, Andrew Fulton and Jeremy VanSchoonhoven were joined by Experts Scott Smith, Zak Maeda, Brian Davis and Stevie Morgan, as they hopped, balanced, lunged and gapped to the delight of the crowd. Scott Smith made the long trip from Lake Tahoe to ride, and even won a prize for the rider making the best recovery from being on a body board only 24 hours before. Smith took a header on the man-made obstacles and took a frightening trip to the emergency room for a couple stitches and x-rays, Proving to be a true iron man, Scott was out hopping and lunging, though a little more carefully, early the next morning.

A big thank you to section chief Howard Phelps, builders Sam & Zak, and checkers Steve , Diane & Mikey Morgan and to Diane & Daiskue Koya who did double duties running registration.


Pro Stock (Dabs/Cleans)
Andrew Fulton 2/10
Jeremy VanSchoonhoven 4/9
Shaun Miller 8/10

Pro Mod
Andrew Fulton 1/11
Shaun Miller 2/10
Scott Thompson 14/7

Expert Stock
Brian Davis 6/11
Zak Maeda 9/11
Stephen Maeder 10/11
Scott Smith 25/6

Expert Mod
Stevie Morgan 13/8
Dave Brodowski 23/6
Robert Lauson 44/4

Sport Stock
Pete Sturdevant 14/6
Terry Elam 44/1
Kurstin Graham 70/0

Sport Mod
Sam Phelps 18/5
Monica Thompson 34/4

Beginner Stock
Jon Martin 27/0

Beginner Mod
Andrew Olden 12/6
Manning Yuan 22/0
Douglas Romac 37/0
Thomas Elam 38/0

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