Keyesville Competition - March 2-3, 2002

Lake Isabella, California


Report by Jon Maeda

The sunny weekend of March 2-3rd saw a total of 20 riders take to the hills outside of Lake Isabella for the annual Keyesville Classic. While this used to be an event of great proportions, involving 50-75 volunteers and over 400 cross country, downhill & trialsinners, the millenium has seen a dramatic drop in the sport overall. While the number of trialsinners has dropped, we have held relatively strong compared to the drop in downhill & CC racers. Thanks to the efforts of trials directors Kurt Hathaway & Howard Phelps, the Keyesville event remains one of the best on the West Coast. The accompanying photos show enormous granite boulders and loose, gravelly streambeds, which make up the sections of this premier event. Efforts are in the works to include a BIKE MOVE type event next year, highlighting the more showy aspects of the sport like bunny-hopping, gap and trackstand contests, either in the Keyesville parking area, or in the parking lot of some shopping center in nearby Lake Isabella.

The biggest class of the weekend was the Vet class, who were spanked by perrenial class-topper Mr. Mike Morris. A true retro-hero, clad in skin-tight lycra shorts, Mr. Mike maneuvered over the rocks and boulders in true East Bay fashion, leading the way to the podium over Andy "AT" Trickel and relative Left Coast newcomer, Trayce Shires. Shires was astride a brand new Echo stock bike, assembled hurriedly only hours before the 12 noon kickoff on Saturday. Attracting lots of attention, the new Echo looked stout, yet feathery light under a smooth Trayce. San Jose's Todd Danen, a Sandhill Ranch regular and Hoss Onnen, a skin-headed fixture on the SoCal scene, rode to 4th & 5th places among the Vets.

Riverside's Brian Davis took the Expert Stock win, while Zak Maeda rode to 1st in the Ex Mods over a rapidly improving Tim "Turtlehead" Halberg. A recent returnee to the comp scene was Sport Mod winner Paul Bray of San Francisco, over Monica Thompson and Sam Phelps. Pete Sturtevant, as the sole Stock Sport competitor, had only to finish, to top his class. Two first time competitors topped the Beginner Mod class, Kyle Menzies, brother of rising star Sam Phelps, and Kernville's Zane Tedder hopping their bikes to 1st & 2nd respectively, as Thomas Elam was among those arriving for only one day of competition.

Pros Shaun Miller and Andrew Fulton gave the assembled crowd quite a show on both days, with Scott Thompson making an appearance on Saturday only. The appearance of pro riders is always a treat for the uninitiated, as they hop, skip and balance their way across the seemingly impossible lines laid out by the section builders.

All in all, a most enjoyable weekend of sun and boulder hopping. Hopefully, more riders will attend future events, in an effort to make the event worthwhile. Organizers Hathaway & Phelps put in an incredible amount of work making the sections look great with pro style markings and a challenging's just a shame more riders don't partake. Don't miss it next year!


Kyle Menzies    35 
Zane Tedder     41
Thomas Elam     15 (one day score only)

Pete Sturtevant 35

Paul Bray       34
Monica Thompson 36
Sam Phelps      61

Brian Davis     44
Richard Clasen  65 (one day score only)

Zak Maeda       28
Tim Halberg     72
Phil Lucero     29 (one day score only)

VET CLASS (35+ years)
Mr. Mike Morris 40
Andy Trickel    44
Trayce Shires   57
Todd Danen      76
Hoss Onnen      132

Shaun Miller    18
Andrew Fulton   44
Scott Thompson  45 (one day score only)