Thursday, August 11, 2022

AHRMA’s Appalachian Adventure: Bridgestone Off-Road Nationals Double Dip in the Mid-Atlantic

 Author: Joshua Schucker

Pictures: Geoff Kemp

The AHRMA Bridgestone National Motocross (MX) and Cross-Country (CC) series made a trip to the eastern part of the country beginning in Mid-June. Over the course of a three-week span, the competitors were treated to two top-notch venues, three different motocross courses, and three iterations of cross country.


Photo "Brandon_DroneMX" is by Brandon Auvdel - drone shot of the MX course at Reynlow Park

On the 18th and 19th of June, AHRMA rolled into the small town of Reynoldsville in Jefferson County, PA. The county’s Reynlow Park and its wealth of off-road access has become a regular staple on the national series stage for several years now and once again welcomed the organization with open arms. Shortly thereafter, and less than 150 miles south, the equally established and welcoming Shady Acres Motocross Park in western Maryland was the temporary home for the gang on July 8th and 9th. Both facilities are located on the eastern edge of the Appalachian Plateau near the Ridge and Valley Appalachian topography that arcs majestically through the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region. The Appalachian Plateau incorporates a significant rise in general base elevation over the areas to the east. While certainly insignificant to those accustomed to the much larger mountain ranges in the western US, to those traveling from the east, the 1400- and 2400-foot elevation respectively is quite a departure from the norm. Geography lesson aside, both venues reside in a truly beautiful, rural area of the country with dense forests, mountains, valleys, streams, and lakes. The trip to either weekend’s locale will not disappoint from a touristy perspective, and the racing is quite an attraction as well!


I am sure the residents of Reynoldsville would be surprised to know that competitors made their way from over a dozen states to visit the park near their charming little town to kick off AHRMA’s residency in the region. The ample parking area at Reynlow Park is full of RVs and trailers and folks enjoying the atmosphere and picturesque countryside in anticipation of the Father’s Day weekend events. The sound of dozers and skid loaders manicuring the adjacent motocross course helps build the energy that one feels as Saturday’s schedule draws near. As will be the case in Shady Acres a few short weeks away, the Reynlow weekend follows the typical multi-discipline off-road format. Vintage and Post Vintage cross-country races held each day bisected by moto one of vintage motocross Saturday and post vintage/next-Gen Sunday. Moto two of the respective motocross events are then held following the afternoon’s post vintage cross-country race. Another similarity between the events is the excellent food-vending provided by WingNutz Grill, which is always sure to please.


With these events residing in the Mid-Atlantic (MA) regions, AHRMA’s regional team is on the scene assisting National CC Coordinator Becky Hayes. One of the MA’s secret weapons is trail-boss Mike Zdybak. While Mike is always committed to maintaining a clean and well-trimmed course, he excels at learning a property and lacing together an extraordinary course through years of event experience. In the past few years, the National event at Reynlow typically followed a mostly unique course for each day. Typically, one course in the eastern portion of the park, and subsequently the other toward the western area. This year, Mike took some of the best attributes of each course, added a splash of freshness to connect, and ran a five-plus mile loop that encompassed both “sides” in prior year lingo.


Riders lined up for the start at the far end of the parking area in easy view of the spectators. With the flash of the green flag, the riders are out of sight and into the woods quickly where they are greeted with a stretch of fresh singletrack that soon begins to follow a small stream’s meandering flow as the trail snakes up and down the adjacent banks. Climbing one last time up the streams bank, the course jumps into a mix of sweet back-and-forth action through a stand of immature pines and an open fast grass-track. Don’t let the grass-track’s perceived flatness fool you though, being a reclaimed strip mine area, there are plenty of hidden bumps, g-outs, and abrupt nastiness hidden in the tall grass. It is best to stick to the mowed areas here! A final long grass straightaway provides a great opportunity to outgun someone as the course moves into the true woods’ goodness of the property. Here the course enters the higher ground to the north of the parking area where the topography is a mix of natural elevation changes as well as remnants of man’s work through years of mining and relocating overburden.


Although physically impossible to always go down without the reciprocal up, there are enough thrilling roller coaster downhills that you get a general feeling of going downhill through the wooded section of the course. As you descend into the forest, you cannot help but notice the thick canopy of trees that filter the sunlight to a cool shadowy atmosphere. While the open sun areas of grass track were kicking up plenty of dust, the shade works wonders on the soil here as the composition is dark, organic, and provides heavenly traction. Be sure that there are some uphills along the way with plenty of roots and off-cambers. The majority of the wooded portion of the course is singletrack with great flow and plenty of alternate lines for passing opportunities. Surprisingly, for Pennsylvania, rock content is limited to a few sections and are hardly a major hurdle to most participants. For a finale, the course gains elevation as it approaches the north side of that parking area where the infamous Reynlow hill is lined with on-lookers. In a change from prior years, the riders are headed down the incline keeping with the general theme presented earlier. Pull the clutch and let it roll but be sure to start upshifting as your go down because you’re moving once you hit level ground below! The scoring tent lies just beyond, and the lap is complete. In the tradition of using an alternate course for Sunday’s races, the starting line was inverted, and the course was run backwards on Sunday. So, all those aforementioned declines were now a climb including the fan-favorite, which now served as the first major obstacle in the race. This really changed the character of the course more than you would expect but was equally as fun and challenging as the prior day and lap times among the top ten were remarkably similar.


The motocross action took place on the mile-plus long grass track that was prepared just for AHRMA’s National series in its Reynlow debut in 2021. With another year of planning and massaging, Tim Doan and the Reynlow Park crew were hard at work kneading some wood chips and loose dirt into the course to add to the experience. From the rubber band starting line, a slight uphill takes the riders over a couple mild step-up obstacles before entering a string of 180-degree switchbacks. Here the tilled ground and wood chips quickly formed deep ruts that will suck you in if you’re not paying attention. A long straight along the top side of the course developed some fun natural whoops and terminated in a left hander into a tapered landing area tabletop at the farthest point from the start. The return trip to the flag stand involved several more sweeping turns and 180s before the final approach over two more gentle jumps. In general, the course is technical, competitive, and entertaining. There is minimal penalty for rolling jumps if you are uncomfortable and the obstacles themselves are not far removed from naturally occurring and completely suitable for the nature of the machines in use while big enough to get some air if you choose on a more modern bike. Dust was a minor factor and there are plans to improve upon this for next year as well as some course changes to improve passing opportunities.

Highlights for the Reynlow weekend included:

·       Brett Reichart taking his first overall win in Sunday’s vintage race after several runner-up finishes on his Puch.

·       Nancy Lisey taking home a first and two seconds after deciding that racing MX was a great hobby to start in your 70s.

·       The hospitality of Reynoldsville locals, vintage racing devotees, and Paradise Cycle owners Cindy and Marty Strouse as they hosted an impromptu ice cream and pizza social at their hauler for anyone within earshot on Saturday evening. 

After a couple weeks of downtime to work through the race, repair, repeat cycle, AHRMA rolled through the gates of Shady Acres Motocross Park with a new approach to year’s past. Despite the facility’s name, it has only been used for National Cross-Country events in the past, but that changed in 2022 as the facility would play host to both CC and MX. Owners Tim and Paula Thomas were as excited as the competitors to welcome this addition to the annual Shady Acres festivities.


Considering that the family’s business revolves around hosting motocross races on the former dairy farm property, and with Tim being a well-established vintage enthusiast, the match is symbiotic. Of course, given the current state of modern MX and the need to cater to the expectations of those consumers, the legacy MX track at Shady Acres is leaning a bit away from the core desires of the 4-inch travel crowd. However, Tim and Paula have proven over several years of hosting AHRMA to never disappoint in their preparation. To that point, Tim marked out a full-blown virgin grass-track over the farm’s ample open space that served as the site of Saturday’s vintage MX action. Over one mile of turf was marked out over several neighboring fields where slight elevation changes between served as perfect natural terrain jumps and bumps. Feedback on the grass track was great as many enjoyed the fast, open nature, vintage friendly intentions, and generous passing opportunities. Sunday’s post vintage and next-gen racing would move back to the established Shady Acres track. While built with modern MX racing in mind, the course is by no means a triple-jump, stadium whoops, affair. It is still quite approachable in its nature and when larger leaps are encountered, they are built for the average rider rather than pros. Tim spent considerable time grooming throughout the weekend and incorporated sand and wood chips as alternative terrain throughout the course. Tim fought a good fight against dust throughout the day, but unfortunately it was a losing cause as the bright sun and dry summer won out in the end. Despite the dust, and in mimicking the grass track action Saturday, the racing on Sunday was competitive and action packed as well. The tabletop along the spectator area was certainly a favorite!

The cross-country races followed the same course each day, and if you’ve been here before the overall layout was familiar. The property is limited to several wooded areas with plenty of available trails that adjoin the farm’s various fields and pastures. The nuance of each year’s course is the manner and order in which the trails and fields are connected with a Zdybak stamp of approval. Leaving from the ample starting area adjacent to the full parking area (probably a dozen states represented here as well), the course heads onto the MX track for a few turns only used on lap one before barreling across the open field toward the first woods section. Here, the course winds along an off-camber hillside in a chain of sweeping turns where you can clip along at a good pace despite the growing emergence of roots. It is not long after and riders are returned to the starting area and through scoring for the first time as the layout requires a partial lap one to situate the course properly. Immediately after scoring, the participants make their first pass through the dairy barn, Shady Acres’ trademark feature. Exiting the barn, the course hits some high-speed grass areas to between the two farm ponds to enter the woods section at the far east end of the property. This is the tightest and most technical trail found in the course. A vein of rock runs through the center of this area and produces a couple challenging sections. Proceeding across the farm’s driveway, the course enters the pasture section where a winding path is cut through the tall grass that encounters some embedded rock, several small stream crossings, and accompanying mud and ruts. A full throttle blast across an open field reintroduces the riders to another patch of woods with a few sections of fresh singletrack cut for the ’22 event. There are plenty of elevation changes through the back half of the course and the flowing nature of the familiar trails here is very entertaining. A dose of rain Friday evening made the course a bit slick for the morning’s vintage race on Saturday but following that the soil tacked-up nicely and the remainder of the races were blessed with excellent conditions. After the muddiness of the first race, a couple difficult sections were chewed up enough that they were rerouted in subsequent races. In fact, one long uphill was rerouted mid-race after a combination of off-camber, mud, and exposed, angled roots made this spot a serious bottle neck. Great job by the course workers to deal with the challenges and create alternatives where needed.


Highlights for the Shady Acres weekend included:

·       Experiencing young Logan Holley flying through the woods on his Husqvarna with the Husky of four-time AMA Enduro Champion Terry Cunningham hot on his heels (yeah…lapping me). Logan would take the Post Vintage overall win both days over Terry. Quite an accomplishment for the young man and no one was prouder to see it than Terry himself (and Logan’s parents, of course)!

·       Watching Becky Hayes present special Director’s Choice awards to Mark Sturtevant and Chris Gillespie for their contributions to the sport and the AHRMA community.

·       Hearing big-bore vintage bikes wide open in a power slide on the flowy vintage MX track

The competitors are lucky to have two great events this close geographically and on a calendar. It is remarkable in a series crossing the entire country and we hope that the region continues to be able to support this investment by the national series. As always, a small army ensures the success of these events as well as the willing participation of landowners. A big thanks to Tim and Paula Thomas of Shady Acres Motocross Park and Tim Doan with the Reynlow Park Authority. Cross-country coordinator Becky Hayes puts in a tremendous effort to keep these events in motion along with the cooperation of the Mid-Atlantic region’s team that took care of scoring, trail work, and much more. Throw a “thank you” their way as you see them. Please support Bridgestone Tires and their commitment to the sport as the primary sponsor for the 2022 AHRMA National Off-Road Series. Full results and national series point standings can be found at https://www.ahrma.org/schedules-results/.






Monday, July 18, 2022

Upcoming - 2022 GRAHP Whiskey Springs ATV Poker Run

 Event date and time:   SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2022 AT 9 AM – 3 PM

This fundraising event is hosted by the Greater Renovo Area Heritage Park and is sponsored by Central Mountains ATV Association, Inc. Proceeds support the projects and programs of GRAHP.



Enjoy a day of riding along the Whiskey Springs ATV Trail. The ride traverses old woods roads, gravel roads, forest trails, and a moon-scape of un-vegetated strip mines in one of DCNR's premier ATV trail systems.

- 5 stops for the poker run spread around the park with a chance to win a cash prize at each stop.

- Location: Whiskey Springs ATV Trails

- Registration: 9 A.M. at Whiskey Springs Middle Parking Lot

- Donation $20.00 per person.

- Online ticket sales go live July 1, 2022.

- $500 in Prize Money

- Helmets must be worn by all participants. All DCNR rules for ATV riding apply.

- All check-in stations are open from 9 to 3 p.m.

- Each machine will receive a map of the trails and stops.

We thank Central Mountains ATV Association for sponsoring " Whiskey Springs ATV Poker Run 2022!"


Poker Chip Pull Stations

Registration will be at the Boyer Road Parking Area.

Stop #1: The first pull is at registration

Stop #2: H3 Helipad (lat. 41.38915 Long. -77.88429)

Stop #3: H2 Helipad (Lat. 41.34463 Long. - 7788703)

Stop #4: Huling Branch Parking Area ( Lat. 41.31909 Long. -77.85785

Stop #5: Mud Rat Road Vista at Marker #30

All stations will close at 3:00 PM


Get tickets by Clicking Here


This fundraising event is hosted by the Greater Renovo Area Heritage Park and is sponsored by Central Mountains ATV Association, Inc. Proceeds support the projects and programs of GRAHP.












Friday, June 17, 2022

AHRMA Mid-Atlantic Regional Cross-Country doubleheader in Frackville, PA – May 14 & 14, 2022

 Author: Joshua Schucker

Photographer: Becky Schreckengost

In just two short years, the club members of the South Penn Enduro Riders (SPER) have demonstrated a tremendous amount of pride and flexibility in their preparations for the arrival of the vintage cross-country fanatics from AHRMA’s Mid-Atlantic region. 


Certainly, the club’s access to an expansive plot of reclaimed Schuylkill (skool-kil) County coal mine and its familiarity with the terrain have played a major part in the variety of experiences that this event has presented in its recent incorporation to the schedule. Year one found the course laid out on the northern side of road traveling east from nearby Frackville, Pennsylvania, while year two forced a move to the south side due to access disputes over the northern area. Despite which side of the road, the courses have been excellent, and the events have been executed flawlessly and professionally.


In an attempt to limit the amount of travel the series requires of its participants each year, Mid-Atlantic coordinator Dave Kutskel set about planning a new concept in 2022 by introducing several two-round weekend events. The preference that selected locations can provide a unique layout each day, as well as accommodate the entire roster of racers for a weekend, puts a constraint on the potential venues needed to facilitate this schedule concept. But with the club’s recent successes, Dave was certain that the SPER folks would have the resources, versatility, and space to accommodate the Mid-Atlantic region for a spring weekend of fun and competition.


Leading up to the event, SPER members and Mid-Atlantic regulars Steve Bowman, Sandy Quickel, and Mark Hummel created a buzz with their assurances that they had lots of cool trails yet to be seen by the vintage crowd. Knowing that the land available is rather spacious, everyone was anxious to see what the club had in store for the weekend. Approaching the site on the road that bisects the prior courses, it became quickly evident that there would be no return to the northern portion. The view to the north was dominated by an apocalyptic visage of clear-cut forest straight to the horizon. Thankfully, the southern ground was untouched in the recent harvest and was sure to provide ample acreage for the event. Making the trek down the driveway to the parking area, there were plenty of arrows peeking through the trees in places that we’ve never been before confirming the anticipation of great new trails!


Subsequent confirmation of the variety to behold over the weekend was confirmed in Saturday’s rider’s meeting as Steve Bowman indicated that over eighty percent of each day’s course would be mutually exclusive. Both days begin the same, with the starting lines adjacent to the ample parking area. At the drop of the green flag, the pack is funneled directly into a stand of pines where a bit of bermed, zig-zag trail gets the blood pumping right from the start. A brief stint into the denser woods brings the first interaction with the rocks that are unavoidable in this region followed by a flowing pseudo-grass track section through the sparse trees and open fields within full view of the spectators in the pit area. Here the trail makes a full on “grandstand front-straight” pass by the pits with a fun little up/down transition where the brave enough can catch a touch of airtime before the “back-straight” leads the riders to a small rocky creek crossing where a point and shoot technique makes the crossing far easier than it first appears. Now heading to the north, the massive pile of strip mine overburden dominates the scene as the course runs through a set of power slide worthy dirt road esses that quickly transition to woods tucked in behind that massive pile. This is new ground yet untouched in prior AHRMA races, and it is here that the courses for each day split.


Saturday, the course stays to the right and behind the culm pile, which while very steep and intimidating from the pit area view, is more gradual and varied from this side. The course is woven neatly through the dense forest where a heavy cover of fallen leaves from the previous seasons makes the moderately rock-strewn ground more surprising in the early laps of the morning’s vintage race. Continued traffic made the obstacles more visible in later races, and the SPER crew did a great job of marking the most difficult rock areas with orange paint and appropriate signage not only in this section, but throughout the course. After fully exploring the flat area behind the pile, the trail began to take full advantage of the excellent variety in elevation, nooks and crannies, and unique terrain ascending the mound of spoils.

Since we are all bound by the laws of physics, once up on the plateau above, we gotta get down somehow. The trail descended through a narrow rocky crevasse where it is best to take your time to negotiate sanely and safely. An exclamation point was found at the bottom where a temporary bridge was positioned to cross an eroded portion of the trail and several SPER course workers were present to ensure safe passage. Not long after the descent the riders were headed through a sweeping right turn on a bank of coal and destined for a return trip through the creek and grass track area before entering the woods to the south side of the starting area. Here another excellent section of single track was laid out on some loamy terrain with more roots than rocks. At one point, the trail runs just behind the wood-line adjacent to Interstate 81 where the riders catch a glimpse of southbound traffic rocketing past with nary a thought to the awesomeness taking place just yards away. Not long after, the course returns to the view of the pits and makes it way past the scoring tent to conclude the lap.



Picking up Sunday’s course in the woods to the north, a left turn brings you back out of the woods and straight across the entry lane to the property now entering the woods on the west side where we’ve also never been. Similar terrain as the east side greets the riders here as the SPER team has an excellent and well-established set of trails through these woods, but the rumor that Sunday’s course is tighter is confirmed quickly. After a decent weaving flow of tighter single track, the course emerges from the heavier woods into a brighter stand of young white birch trees that are not far from being considered saplings. Here a sign proclaims, “Welcome to Jersey!”, in homage to the tight, technical sections typical of New Jersey enduro races throughout the years. True to its name, the trail through the birch was very tight. This is where the investment in bark buster hand guards pays off and depending on your comfort in these conditions, where you can make time or lose time. Nevertheless, it is a unique experience and an interesting perspective to see the condition of the trail and adjacent trees evolve throughout the day…hint, the trees didn’t fare so well.

By the time you started to complain about the section it was over, and the course returned to more typical tight single track with some two-track thrown in for variety as the course makes it way toward the southern end of the property. Here it revisits some of the course from the previous year including the root covered descent into an old mining pit and the climb back out the other side, making sure to avoid the water hole directly off the trail to the left. Not long after, and Sunday’s course rejoins that from the day prior in its return to the scoring tent. Surprisingly, while slightly shorter in length than Saturday, Sunday’s lap times were quite similar due to the tighter nature of the course.


Both days were blessed with decent turnout despite some wetness in the forecast and competition was top-notch. Weather ended up better than expected with seasonable warm temperatures and overcast skies holding back on the rain except for a portion of the disc brake class race on Saturday, which had to deal with just enough rain to make the rocks a tad slicker than earlier races but not an outright soaker. Race results were highlighted by an overall win in the vintage race on Saturday by Jamie Wright making his first appearance of the year on a bike borrowed from local legend Richard Colahan. Bad news for Richard is that he can no longer blame his bike for any performance shortcoming. Kelly Ashcraft once again demonstrated the accelerating abilities of the women’s classes in the Mid-Atlantic region when she topped the Post Vintage Expert class as well as positioned herself firmly in the top-ten overall each day in a competitive and large field. After being runner-up to juggernaut John Ashcraft in the disc brake race at every event thus far this season, Ethan Waddell finally managed to end John’s reign with the overall and AA class win on Sunday.  To see the results for the entire weekend, and the upcoming schedule, please visit https://www.ahrma.org/ahrma-mid-atlantic-region



Many thanks to the entire membership of South Penn Enduro Riders for the hospitality, course preparation, sweep riding, and those folks out on the course ensuring the safety of all the participants. While the courses were on the tough side as dictated by the region’s terrain, by no means were they too difficult, and by all means they were a whole lot of fun! Also, many thanks to Dave, Joe, Mike, Connie, Randy, Kevin, Jessi, Lori, Jim, Jamie, and all the other volunteers that keep the Mid-Atlantic regional series’ wheels moving and of course the sponsors that grease the wheels: Potomac Vintage Riders, Preston Petty Products, Stainless Cycle, Grove Printing, KMI Printing, and Horizon Homes.







Saturday, June 11, 2022

13th Annual Cruise For A Cure - CMATVA

 Every year in June, 100's of ATV and UTV riders converge on the small town of Renovo, Pa to take part in the Bucktail Medical Centers, Relay for Life's - Cruise for a Cure. 


High Above the Town of Renovo and the Mighty Susquehanna River.

A big shout out goes to the Central Mountains ATV Association (CMATVA) for partnering with Bucktail, the town of Renovo, the DCNR and a slew of state legislators and officials to host this event. In its 13th year, the Cruise for a Cure has raised thousands upon thousands of dollars for cancer research and patients in the central Pa Area.


The Central Mountains ATV Association sets up and manages this ride each year.


Almost from the very beginning the CMATVA partnered with the Bucktail Medical Center to make this ride a realty. The first year hosted 40 riders on ATV's with this years event seeing 250 machines with 350 riders turning out to support this great cause.


Thanks to all that support the event.

Each year this event gets more popular. Along with the riders support, the local and state officials as well as DCNR and industry businesses. They all see the huge impact that off road or ATV / UTV riders can bring to our state. The economic impact is continually growing and its a great way for the citizens of ours and neighboring states to enjoy all the beauty that Pennsylvania has to offer.


The Bucktail Medical Center in rural Pennsylvania is the benefactor of this fundraiser.

The ride maxed out again this year with a total of 250 machines. Riders are broken down into groups and guided along the route from downtown Renovo to the Quiet Oaks Campground in Cross Fork, Pa then led back on an alternate route. This years ride totaled 60 miles and ended with a delicious BBQ Chicken dinner hosted by the South Renovo Fire Co.


Club President Henry Sorgen stopped his group along the ride to reveal where the new connector trail will link up with DCNR's Whiskey Springs riding area by Spring of 2024.


This was just one of many groups that participated in this years Cruise. 



Riders in staging early Saturday morning.


If you missed this years ride and would like to donate to the cause, there is still time. There can never be enough money raised to fight this terrible disease. All the funds raised stay local so rest assured your dollars are well spent. Follow the link below if you'd like to help:





Click the logo above to learn more about the CMATVA and how you can help 
create new riding opportunities in the state.

I can't say enough about this group and all they have done not only for cancer research but for getting new trail miles established in Pennsylvania. They have also been integral in creating relationships with DCNR, state and local officials and the business owners of PA.



Click the above logo to see trail maps and learn how you can hit the trails in Pa.








  



 






Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Rd 4 of the AMA East Hare Scramble Series and ECEA Point Series Round

  

05-14-22 West Creek, NJ was the setting for Rd 4 of the AMA East Hare Scramble.  This was also an ECEA Co Sanctioned event. 



The host club, MCI - Motorcycle Competition Inc. did the best they could as it would rain, non-stop, for 2 days leading up to the youth events on Saturday.  Over 700 racers would bring their bikes to the starting line over the course of the 2 day event.  In 2021, the club was dealt a bad hand with an unexpected Wind Storm that blew down the Vendor, Scoring and and Podium areas.  Not to mention the tape and arrows of the youth main.  Had this been any other club, there would have been a great delay but they got through it all and had a stellar day 2 event with record numbers.  Fast Forward, rain rain and more rain would plague this same venue.  The club was working overtime to get the job done.  The youth events all went off extremely well without a glitch.  The club designed the course and planned for the rain and had no complications.  On Sunday morning the rain would stop and the sun would begin to shine.  The "C" Event went off on time with minor track changes.  Over 325 would leave the starting line.  This would be a 4 lap race over an 8 mile loop for 1.5 hours.  The fastest racers were coming from the Schoolboy 1 and 2 rows turning out 22 minute lap times.



Kyle McDonal photo by Scott Mickelsen

Unfortunately when it came time for the main event, there were 2 breaches in the 12 mile course creating a dangerous head on situation.  This would lead to the race being red flagged after just one lap.  The course was immediately cleared and within an hour a restart would be completed with the breaches repaired.  Hats off to the MCI, ECEA and AMA East staff.  So lets get to the main event racing action.... 



Jason Tino - photo by Scott Mickelsen

10 AA/Pros would blast from the front row leaving vast rooster tails of sand 12 feet high.  At the 1st turn it would be Kawasaki mounted Wally Palmer. The 1st mile of the course could be seen directly from the start area and they would eventually wrap around directly behind.  As the race progressed, last years ECEA Champion Jason Tino KTM, would take the early lead with Hunter Bush Gas Gas and Kyle McDonal - Beta, directly behind.  On the final lap, the 3 leaders were no more then 20 seconds apart creating for some great racing action. 

 Spectator points made this event more like an outdoor MX National.  The other battle would be between Mad Max Fernandez - Gas Gas, Justin Lafferty - KTM and Wally Palmer.  The 3 of them were in a close battle for 4th place.  In the end it was McDonal making the last lap charge passing both Bush and Tino.  Fernandez would ring out his 125  and rope in both Lafferty and Palmer for a 4th. The top A rider would go to Kyle Tino - KTM, from the A Open line.  Top B rider would go to Christopher Wiess - HSQ from the B -200 line.





 Top 5

McDonal - Beta

Jason Tino - KTM

Hunter Bush - GG

Max Fernandez - GG

Justin Lafferty – KTM


In the morning "C" event, the Schoolboy 1 and 2 racers would set the pace.  After lap 1 it was Schoolboy 1's Carter Przemelewski - YAM with the fastest lap time. Just under 22 minutes.  Directly behind him was Schoolboy 1's Justin Adkins - YAM. Although they were not physically through scoring 1st, their adjusted lap times made them 1st and 2nd O/A.  In 3rd position was Schoolboy 2 Jake Plummer - YAM.  At the mid way point Justin Adkins would suffer a dnf with motor problems.  Although Sunday was dry and clear, the previous rains and still wet sand would take its toll on more then just one bike.  We now had an O/A battle for the lead as Przemelewski would drop back a bit allowing Robbins to settle into 1st.  Then Garrison and now Jake Plummer would join in the fun. Meanwhile Przemelewski's transponder decided it would not ping through scoring on lap 3.  On paper he was back in 11th however this was not the case.  In the end it was Robbins, Garrsion and Przemelweski.




Top 5

 

Dalten Robbins - YAM

Zachary Garrsion - KTM

Carter Przemelewski - YAM

Jake Plummer - YAM

Mannix Mathis - HSQ



Youth Main Top 5

 

Rocco Zaccaria - HSQ

Dominic Griffith - KAW

Mannix Mathis - HSQ

Hunter Gardner - YAM

Ryder Doka – KAW




Juniors Top 5

 

Enzo Zaccaria - HSQ

Brendan Gray - YAM

Preston Siniavsky - YAM

Landyn Dalmasso - KTM

Jeremy Stretch - KTM

 

Pee Wees Top 5

 

Wyatt Wheeler - KTM

Jason Vandewater - GG

Parker Wynegar - HSQ

Bantam Borzymowski - GG

Timothy Gauntt - KTM


Kenny Held

AMA Off Road Commissioner

AMA East Hare Scrambles Coordinator


Saturday, April 23, 2022

Round One: AHRMA Mid Atlantic Cross-Country – Rocket Raceway - April 10, 2022

Author: Joshua Schucker

Photos: Lorena Walker


Harold Silbaugh leads Jim Laird and Doug Kurz

For the past two seasons, the opening round of AHRMA’s Mid-Atlantic Cross-Country season took place at the familiar Rocket Raceway location outside of rural Three Springs, PA. However, just prior to the kickoff of the 2020 season, the adjacent motocross property had been sold to another operating group, which forced the vintage crew to a less accommodating, but still workable, alternative parking area. 

As the surrounding woodland that housed the majority of the established trails remained in property owner Mark Carlson’s name, the AHRMA bunch continued the legacy of using the Rocket Raceway name while the motocross area took on an alphanumeric moniker. 

Fast forward to the present, and we find that the MX track has once again changed hands and reverted to calling itself Rocket Raceway, which just “sounds right”. The new ownership was gracious enough to cooperate with Mark and series’ coordinator Dave Kutskel for the race weekend and allow a record number of competitors to return to the spacious, flat, parking area from years past as well as use some of the trails that lie on the MX property that were off limits the past couple seasons. Many thanks to the owners of Rocket Raceway for the accommodations!


"Not in front of the photographer Johnny B!"

The Mid-Atlantic group has been using this facility for many years and curated a fine batch of possible course layouts. The 2022 course was typical Rocket, with a tremendous variety of terrain and elevation, plenty of entertaining single track, roots, and rocks, and enough open or two-track mileage to sneak past the bike in front of you. With the series’ trail boss extraordinaire Mike Zdybak on the shelf learning to harness the powers of his new bionic shoulder, Brock Kutskel stepped in to handle a lot of the burden of clearing the winter’s leftover downed trees and ensure a clear path. 

A good amount of consideration was given to avoiding areas that tend to become bottlenecks due to water and mud, which is important considering the recent history here. You see, while springtime weather in general is a gamble, if you had to spin a roulette wheel of “wet” or “dry”, I’d bet it all on “wet” when it comes to spring at Rocket. Of course, this year held true to fashion with a week full of rain leading up to the first green flag of the year. But the careful layout selections paid off, and with just enough clear skies in the hours preceding, the course was far better than expected. Certainly, there were spots where water had to be crossed and the inevitable mud and ruts formed. In general, traffic was able to move through without too much drama. Awesome, competitive racing ensued…despite the frigid temperatures and occasional snow squall (told you the weather is a gamble!).


Vintage Race:

The future of the sport of vintage off-road racing was on display in the morning’s race. Not long ago the duo of Logan Holley and Brock Kutskel would have been making tracks in the youth racing scene held in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic’s efforts, but the two have now begun to make some noise on the big stage. Logan set the pace early and didn’t look back as he pulled away for the overall and AA class win. 

Brock made a last lap pass on Brett Reichart to take the runner-up position and the class win in the Vintage 200 Expert ranks. Darrell Wassil followed Brock in third overall while Brett held on for fourth. Jacob Williams took the second spot in the Vintage 200 Expert class behind Kutskel and was also solidly in the top-ten overall. Daniel Zell held the early lead on his Suzuki in Vintage 200 Intermediate action but was unable to hold off the charging BS Holley who took over the top spot on lap two and eventually take the checkers with Zell behind. 

Kyle Warner returned to his winning ways in the Vintage 100 Expert class on his screaming Yamaha while his brother Larry took a hard run at the top spot in Vintage 50+ Expert. Larry’s Yamaha fell a minute short of catching winner Joe Cole’s Husqvarna. Greg Barratt rounded out the podium on his Maico. Jim Laird was number one in Vintage 50+ Intermediate on his newly acquired MX250 with Tim Spigelmyer hounding him all race. Tim fell just twelve seconds short of the top spot as he and Ed Weger went 2-3 respectively.



Darrell Wassil had a great showing at Rocket.

Post Vintage Race:

Fresh of the win in the first race, Logan Holley was about to get a lesson in speed from arguably the fastest guy in the series. John Ashcraft took charge of race two and pulled a five-minute lead on fellow fast guy Mike Blackwell for the top two spots overall. Logan hung tight to Mike for third with their pair of ITs only seconds apart. Craig Shenigo took charge of a competitive Post Vintage 50+ Expert pack with a win over Jon Brant. Joe Cole filled out the top three on the only non-Yamaha IT in the class. Darrell Wassil and Geoff Kemp went 2-3 in Post Vintage 200 Expert behind Holley while another youngster with emerging speed took the Post Vintage 200 Intermediate win when Joey Spayd II made a late race pass for the lead on his XR200R in a tight ten-rider class. John Brunnett had no intentions of turning over the Post Vintage +60 Expert class win with a wire-to-wire performance on his SWM. Jack Petrilla and John Zellam diced for the runner-up spot all race with Jack topping John at the finish. Eleven riders took the green flag in Post Vintage +60 Intermediate action with Yamaha pilot Doug Kurz besting the Can-Am duo of Tommy Tippett and 2021 class champion Glenn Hershey. Robert Radcliffe took home the top trophy in the Novice +60 class.


Round #1 is always a little on the wet side.

Disc Brake Race:

After being introduced in 2021, the third race on the schedule has continued to grow. The series has made an additional investment in 2022 by adding several age classes to the event to increase participation. With 43 bikes on the line for race three, the efforts have proven to be worth it! Brett Reichart flirted with the lead on lap one, but John Ashcraft was merely one second behind at the first pass through scoring. John made the pass soon thereafter and took the win while Ethan Waddell hustled his YZ250 to keep him in sight for the second spot in the overall results and AA class. 

Brett and his KX250 held on for a hard-fought top-ten finish in the overall ranks. Sean McKinney survived a last race push by Grant Reichart in the Pre-Modern Open Expert class, but Sean was able to clear Grant’s KDX by less than ten seconds at the checkers for the win. Kelly Ashcraft took the Pre-2K Women’s Expert class in her debut in the third race on a KTM.  Twelve riders entered the various age class in the disc brake race with Craig Lowery setting the pace with a 50+ Intermediate win and top-15 overall. Other winners in the age classes include Dave Kutskel over Steve Sachetti (+50 Expert), Brad Waddell over Jack Petrilla (+60 Expert), and Tommy Tippett on an ATK over Doug Kurz (+60 Intermediate). Interestingly, Kurz competed on what appeared to be a hybrid steel tank Yamaha TT with custom modern suspension.


Rocket Raceway never disappoints in delivering a great experience to kickoff a fresh season of fun in the Mid-Atlantic. There’s lots more fun to come in the 2022 season with several full weekend events, an entirely new venue in late summer, and a revamped Mid-Atlantic motocross series that will be a companion to the cross-country schedule for most of its dates presenting even more opportunity to race vintage motorcycles and hang around some truly great people. 

Thank you to Rocket Raceway, Mark Carlson, and the AHRMA Mid-Atlantic volunteers under the tutelage of Mr. Kutskel for making this possible. Please continue to support the sponsors that make the effort to ensure the success of this great series: Potomac Vintage Riders, Preston Petty Products, Stainless Cycle, Grove Printing, KMI Printing, Horizon Homes, and Works Enduro Riders. 

The 2022 schedule and complete results from this event can be found at https://www.ahrma.org/ahrma-mid-atlantic-region. Follow the series’ Facebook page @ AHRMA Mid Atlantic Cross Country for updates and news throughout the year.







See ya at the next round....







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