2004 California Bike Trials Series kicks off in Fontana
January 26, 2004

Fontana, California - 2004 event dates

by Tim Halberg Ambassador

See photos from: Stephen Maeder, Tim Halberg, and Ty Smith

The 2004 California Bike Trials series started off strong with 22 riders from California and Arizona showing up for the first event on January 18, 2004.

With the new season a lot of changes are taking place. One of the biggest changes is that Shaun Miller will be setting up sections. According to Shaun, he started everyone out on the easy end at the first event and he is planning to increase the level of difficulty at every level at each consecutive event. Miller went as far as to say that he plans by the end of the season to have the experts riding the same lines that the pros were riding at the first event.

"I had so much fun today just seeing everyone ride," said Miller. "I might not ride the next event and just watch everything."

Not only does Miller plan to continue laying sections for the series, he also has expressed an interested in taking over running the events.

"Shaun volunteered to lay sections when he heard Howard Phelps and I were tired of doing it," said Jon Maeda, current California Series coordinator. "In talking to Shaun, I realized that he wants to learn the entire 'craft' of running a trials event."

Maeda expressed that he feels Miller will be ready to take over the reins within the next few events. Jon said that he hopes to help Shaun to gain more of an eye for what types of sections are needed for the lower level riders and also just to be there and help give Miller the experience he needs before taking control.

"While a top level rider is good at laying out pro/expert lines, they often forget what it is like to be a beginner or sport level rider and therefore have a tougher time laying sections to fit those riders," Maeda said.

Jon added that he is happy to continue helping with sign-ups and awards with Shaun laying sections. He also said that Shaun very likely will be taking over everything because Jon hopes to pursue his skeet shooting tournament schedule this year.

Maeda has been involved in the bike trials community for quite some time. He began his involvement in the moto-trials end of things, helping to coordinate those events for some 5-8 years in the 1980's and 90's. He also has spent five years in charge of the California series events and before that he assisted JP Sickler. Maeda was also the United States BIU delegate for the 2000-01 season.

Maeda expressed that his push to be involved in bike trials has always been his son's enthusiasm for the sport.

A new excitement was in the air at the first Fontana competition of the year for more reasons than the fact that Shaun Miller has promised his involvement. More so, everyone was really excited to hear that Miller has spoken to several of his sponsors and they have promised to provide a bounty of awards to be given out to the first through third place finishers of every category, no matter how many people show up.

Freebies have been divided up and will be awarded separately to the experts: Tryall rims, bars and pedals, stealth hubs, Brisa forks and T-shirts, full Magura Marta brake set, Bell helmets and Lizard Skins shin guards, gloves and chaninstay protectors. For the sport riders: Bell helmets, T-shirts, Brisa T-shirts, Lizard Skins gloves and shinguards, Marzocchi Z1 comp fork, Tryall bashring and ATI grips. And for the beginners there will be Bell helmets, visors, ATI grips, Lizard Skins gloves, hats, chainstay protectors, shinguards, and Tryall parts. Also, at event #5 a Tank mod bike will be raffled off amongst all of the beginner riders. (Editor: This is not certain just yet)

All this for a measly entry fee of $10, what more could one ask for?

"I think that Shaun is doing a great thing, giving back to the sport that he has been involved in for so long," said Jon Maeda. "He is willing to approach his sponsors and ask them for schwag."

Basically, if that is not enough of a reason to come out to a trials event, then you must already be fully sponsored. For the rest of us, sounds like an awfully good reason to compete.

For the rest of the season there are several events already in the plans with other possibilities still lingering. Jon Maeda said that there will be a NATS competition taking place in May at Keysville (some of the best legal granite ridings in the world). There will also be a NORBA event in May in Big Bear. Also, the NORBA national series is supposed to include a bike trials event at each venue.

Maeda said that he would love to see more locations become part of the California series and that to make this happen simply requires someone with an interest (preferably the riders and/or their parents) making the effort to speak to the promoters or land owners in their favorite riding areas and seeking our permission and/or permits.

"Howard and I are willing to go just about anywhere to stage an event, and I'm sure the same is true of Shaun," Maeda said. "We just don't have the local contacts and time to seek permission from everywhere."

Jon ended his interview by saying that he wished to say thank you to everyone who has helped out, including Howard Phelps ("he has been my right hand man") Daisuke Koya for always being willing to help out by checking and also anyone else who has helped to tear down sections after the event.

Prizes will begin to be handed out at the next Fontana event on February 1, and will continue to be awarded at each of the Fontana series events for the year.

Full 2004 competition schedule

Beginner Mod
Thomas Elam 17/7
Tyler McCourtney 58/0

Sport Mod
Yuchian Tseng 0/12
Andrew Oldar 1/11
Josh Bett 7/9
Austin Downing 55/8???

Sport Stock
Christian Malik 3/9
Terry Elam 3/9
Ian Hoffman 11/9
Kris Scrivens 12/5
Mike Thomas 15/3
Mike Warnock 17/4
Rey Malinic 19/6

Expert Mod
William Hendrickson 42/1

Expert Stock
David Brodowski 10/8
Tim Halberg 34/4
Ryan Nathman 42/1
Sam Phelps 45/0
Jeremy Huber 49/0

Pro Mod
Stevie Morgan 58/0

Pro Stock
Shaun Miller 13/6
Zak Maeda 39/0