Councillor John Blackie, the official starter of the Scott Trial for many years has died today, Saturday 13th July 2019.
He had battled with cancer for some years and passed away in the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton. His family were at his bedside when he died.
He was a well-known figure on the start field on the Saturday morning and undertook his duties of flagging away every single rider with great gusto and enthusiasm.
His presence will be missed at the annual time and observation event, organised by the Richmond Motor Club (Yorkshire) Ltd on behalf of the Yorkshire Centre ACU.
Whilst not a direct organiser of the Scott Trial, John was nonetheless part of the valuable support the event received locally. Councillor Blackie saw the benefits of having such a prestigeous trial in the Dales each year and within the Yorkshire Dales National Park and he was instrumental in assisting the Richmond club gain the necessary planning consent to run it.
Trials Guru’s John Moffat said: “Councillor Blackie was a great guy. I always took time to interview him when I was start field commentator up until 2018 at the Scott Trial. He was a champion of all things Yorkshire and was a campaigner for trade and tourism in the Yorkshire Dales, the Scott Trial was part of that thinking. His presence at the Scott Trial I’m sure will be sorely missed as he was a great supporter and strong ally of the event”.
Trials Guru conveys sincere condolences to Councillor Blackie’s family at this difficult time.
Words: Martin Belair; Cover Photo: 1973 US Montesa Team
Last week US Trials legend Marland Whaley passed away suddenly from what appears to have been a heart attack. Marland was 60 years old and in peak physical condition. The news has left the trials world in Europe and America, stunned.
Whaley was the most dominant trials rider in the Golden Age of US trials the 1970s.
A factory rider for both Montesa and Honda, Whaley won five AMA National Championships: 1975,76,77 on Honda, with 1979 and 1980 on Montesa.
A native of Santee, California, Marland quickly rose through the highly competitive ranks of Southern California trials. At a time when eight of the top ten in the Nation were from California, Marland and rival Bernie Schreiber battled every weekend and pushed each other to the top. According to 1979 World Champion Schreiber “Marland could have been World Champion if he had stayed in Europe.”
In the early 1990s Marland moved to Montana where he pursued his passion for the outdoors becoming an avid bow hunter, snowboarder and mountain biker. It was mountain biking where we saw his brilliance shine again. He became the Masters (55+) Champion of the National Ultra Endurance mountain bike championship. These races required ultimate fitness. Nine hours in long and 100 mile distances with elevation changes of 10 to 16,000 feet.
Supremely talented, focused and driven were what made him great, but he was also the best and most fun teammate any one could hope for. In an era where long loops and tight time limits were the norm, he was wicked fast, no one was faster on single track than Marland. I am so glad that were re-connected about five years ago, we would spend hours on the phone reliving the glory days. Talking about our families and how lucky we were to have had the opportunities we had. It was like we were eighteen again. For those of us that knew and loved him, we will be telling “Marland stories” for the rest of our lives.
Marland is survived by his wife Dawn, daughters Kendra and and Kiah and four grand children.
It is with regret that we announce the passing of Bob Gollner after a long illness on 23rd May, 2019.
Gollner was a well-known trials and scrambles competitor and motorcycle dealer who had his shop, Bob Gollner Ltd at Denmead, Portsmouth, Hampshire. He was a member of the Waterlooville Motorcycle Club.
Gollner was behind the 1966 Cheetah which used 37A Villiers and Triumph Cub motors until supplies ceased in 1968. He then created the 1968 Gollner BSA Bantam, the 1971 Gollner Yamaha and subsequently Gollner Kawasaki trials machines based on the KT250 model.
He was a close friend of Comerford’s Reg May.
In 1988, being a Honda trials appointed dealer, Bob also converted TLR200 and TLR250 Honda trials models to monoshock specification, a machine that is now highly sought after because of it’s rarity.
Trials Guru extends sincere condolences to the Gollner family.
It is with great sadness that we report the sudden passing of five time American trials champion, Marland Whaley, aged 60 years.
The former Honda and Montesa factory rider was 9th in the 1979 World Trials Championship, his highest placing in the series.
Born in San Diego, California on 3rd July 1958, he won the ‘Trial De Espania’ in the USA which eventually brought him to the attention of the mighty Honda concern for which he campaigned their experimental RTL series four-stroke machines.
Whaley was AMA national champion 1975-77 on Honda and 1979-80 on Montesa.
After retiring from motorcycle trials, he took up cross country mountain bike riding, a sport in which he also excelled.
It is believed he suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in Montana.
1979 World Trials Champion, and fellow American, Bernie Schreiber told Trials Guru: “I was stunned when I heard the sad news about Marland Whaley. He was such a great competitor and talented trials rider. We rode and competed together all over the world and always held high the American flag. My deepest condolences to his family. Marland will be missed. R.I.P. Champ“.
Trials Guru extends sincere condolences to the Whaley family at this difficult time.
Mrs Dawn Whaley issued this statement on 7th July 2019: “I just wanted to give you an update and let you know we will be having a memorial service for Marland on August 24, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. We will have the service at Red Barn Bicycles, 399 McCarthy Loop, Hamilton MT. If you can attend, please message me through Facebook Messenger, as we need to get an idea of how many people will be in attendance as to make arrangements for food, chairs, etc. Guys, please wear shorts in honor of Marland, we want everyone to be comfortable. Thank you to everyone for your kind words of Marland and words of encouragement for me. I really appreciate your prayers as well, that is what is truly helping me to get through each day.”
Photos courtesy: Jaxx Lawson; Iain Lawrie; Chris Sharp & Tim Britton Media.
The 2019 Highland Classic Two Day Trial – The SWM Edition will go down as one of the most memorable, with the 1979 FIM World Trials Champion and 1982 SSDT winner, Bernie Schreiber as the Inverness & District MCC Ltd’s Guest of Honour, taking centre-stage. Schreiber’s attendance being the first part of a global forty years celebration of the only USA rider to win a Trials title.
“An Idea without a plan is just a dream” – Bernie Schreiber, 2019
60 year old Schreiber didn’t just be the man of the moment, he rode the trial on a specially prepared TL320 SWM, supplied by MotoSWM.com of Cheddar, Somerset.
SWM UK supremo, Martin Matthews attended the event as ‘Trial Partner’ to ensure that the machine fitted Bernie’s requirements during the weekend.
Bernie also launched his world-wide S3 / Schreiber Collection 40 year clothing range at the Highland venue.
But that was not all, Schreiber had carefully negotiated the use of the prestigious Alvie Estate facilities to host a special trials training and educational day on the Monday following directly on from the main event.
Aptly entitled the ‘Bernie Schreiber Experience’, it covered not only bike-craft, but a seventy-minute unique classroom session which was very well received by the twenty students.
The trial itself consisted of eighteen sections covered twice per day with a variation on the second day to keep riders on their toes.
One hundred and sixty riders plus twenty-two ‘Guest Riders’ took part, including three times World Champion, Yrjo Vesterinen; TT winner, Iain Duffus; 250cc British racing champion, Donnie McLeod; former Honda factory trials rider, Nick Jefferies plus ten overseas riders from Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, France and Southern Ireland.
It was hoped that former World Champion in 1981, Gilles Burgat would attend as Special Guest, but he damaged his shoulder at this year’s Scottish Six Days and was still recovering with a possible operation planned in the near future.
Schreiber told Trials Guru: “I really enjoyed my first visit back to Scotland in thirty-seven years. I was determined to add value to my role as the motor club’s guest and I think my input was not only well receive, but substantial. I stayed with the Inverness & District’s Company Secretary, John Moffat and we discussed many aspects of how to make a good event even better, I’m sure he will be taking quite a few of my suggestions and proposals to their board of directors. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Scotland and the scenery at Alvie Estate was breathtaking. I rode the first day with John and day two with Vesty and the company also helped make the visit that bit more special. I aim to return next year to the Highland Classic if I can, for their 2020 Fantic Edition.”
Highland Classic 2019: Class Winners:
4ST Unit – Gary Macdonald (0 Marks)
Two Stroke – Yrjo Vesterinen (8 Marks)
4ST Pre-Unit – Kevin Chapman (12 Marks)
Post 1977 Twinshock – Chris Koch (0 Marks) + Special Award from IDMCC Ltd.
U35 P’65 – Calum Murphy (2 Marks)
U35 Twinshock – Ben Butterworth (6 Marks)
Two Stroke – Alan Gordon (13 Marks)
4ST Pre-Unit – Gary Shaw (17 Marks)
4ST Unit – Stuart Edgar (10 Marks)
Post 1977 Twinshock – Owen Hardesty (2 Marks)
U35 P’65 – Matthew Giblin (29 Marks)
U35 Twinshock – Andrew Rose (10 Marks)
Best Female – Charlotte Kimber (29 Marks)
Best SWM/Moto Gori – Richard Allen (10 Marks)
Oldest Finisher (Derek J. Edgar Trophy) – Neil Walker (55 Marks)
Best Pre’72 Twinshock – Ross Edgar (136 Marks)
Rockshocks award: A Route Lowest Score – Gary Macdonald
Rockshocks award: B Route Lowest Score – Owen Hardesty
S3 have launched the exclusive BERNIE SCHREIBER Celebration Collection today in Scotland, on the Alvie Estate, near Aviemore. 2019 marks forty years of Trials history since Screiber’s 1979 World Championship victory.
Bernie Schreiber spoke to Trials Guru: “I am proud to partner with S3 to design the exclusive ‘Limited Edition’ and stylish BS Collection to mark this memorable moment in time. Products are available via the link below or via your local S3 retailer in some countries. Enjoy riding in style and keep your feet up”.