LEXINGTON, Ohio — One by one, riders balanced their bikes as they rode across rocks, tree stumps and logs in the vintage trials competition on Sunday at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, featuring Riders of Kawasaki.
In this competition, riders must nimbly maneuver their bikes over tight and technical natural terrain without placing their feet on the ground.
Mitch Kalinowski of Barton, Ohio, has been racing trials events since the 1970s. After taking a 30-year break, Kalinowski decided to return to the trials racing scene in 2014, but this time on vintage bikes.
“It’s a lot more fun on a vintage bike,” said Kalinowski. “Trials riding makes you a good motorcyclist, but vintage trials riding makes you a great motorcyclist!”
Racing vintage bikes has brought back a lot of childhood memories for Kalinowski.
“It’s sort of like I’m reliving my childhood,” said Kalinowski. “I’m riding the old bikes I used to ride when I first started and I run into a lot of old friends at vintage days, so it’s just a really nostilogic time.”
Mitch Kalinowski has been competing in trials events since the 1970s.
While Kalinowski has competed in the vintage trials event at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days the past few years, he says his main focus is always being apart of the swap meet.
“There’s just so many bikes and parts you can find or get anywhere else,” said Kalinowski. “I mean, we have the internet, but it’s just not the same as getting to haggle and talk with people who love the same things you do.”
This year, Kalinowski was competing on a 1981 Montesa Kata 349, but tends to compete on different bikes. He gets the bikes and parts from the swap meet.
“I bought two bikes this year,” Kalinowski said. “One is a trails bike that I plan to compete on next year.”
Brad Krupa competes in trials competitions with his two sons, Tyler and Jeremy.
Brad Krupa and his sons Jeremy and Tyler compete in all kinds of vintage motorcycle racing together as Krupa and Sons Racing.
“Both boys have graduated, so coming to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a chance for us to all get to spend a weekend together racing,” Brad said.
Together, the three call themselves Krupa and Son’s Racing and competed in several vintage racing evvents throughout the weekend. But trials is their favorite.
“It’s a way for us to get together,” Jeremy said. “It’s fun to compete in all the events together and just have a good time and make lots of memories.”
Jeremy Krupa competes in the vintage trials event at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.
Brad said that while he loves competing along side his boys, he enjoys watching them more — especially in the vintage trials competition.
“If they ever need my help, I don’t race,” Brad said. “Racing is fun, but to me it’s all about making sure they are having a good time and enjoying themselves.