Observed trials competitors take on muddy, challenging course at 2019 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days

Riders do battle in precision riding sport for AMA No. 1 plates

AMA News Author (no byline)

Story and photos by Michael Marino

LEXINGTON, Ohio — Fredric Reidel and Joseph Clark were among the dozens of riders doing their best to control their motorcycles on a slippery observed trials course at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during 2019 Honda AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days presented by Avon Tyres.

Reidel, from York, Pa., was competing in the Vintage Factory Clubman Class aboard a 1974 Yamaha TY250.

He said he started out in recreational street and dirt riding before getting into trials.

Fredric Reidel

He learned about observed trials when a friend brought him to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days six years ago. He returned to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days the next year as a trials competitor and has been coming back each year since.

“It’s a sport you can do at your own pace,” he said. “It’s not stressful at all.”

Reidel said the conditions were difficult, but not as bad as he had feared.

“You just have to learn to pedal through it,” he said.

Clark was riding a 1992 Beta Super Trials 240, and said he began competing in trials 10 years ago.

Joseph Clark

The Sardis, Ohio, resident also has experience racing motocross and switched to trials competition because it is not a physically demanding.

“This is still a tough sport, but it’s only as tough as you make it,” he said.

Clark said he enjoys coming to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days for the variety of motorcycles at the event, as well as the swap meet. He was attending the event with friends from his home region.

“It’s just a plain good time here,” he said.