The Torch Passes Forward.

Greetings friends,

As you may have read by now, Paul Oswald, our long time SCTA President, has made the decision to resign from the position he has so graciously, expertly, and amazingly held for the last 12 years. Stepping up to fill his rather big shoes, Chris Cullins.

Paul has been a friend and advocate for our sport, and each and every one of us. He has tirelessly served as a decision maker, trials master, course marshall, firestarter, master of ceremonies, motorcycle mechanic, advisor, and somelier, for one of us at some time or another. He's definitely been there for me. Give Paul a big fat handshake- hell, give him a hug, next time you see him.

Chris brings his experience and quiet demeanor to the position. With a very full plate, including a National, we at the SCTA board welcome him to his new position, and we look forward to a extremely exciting year ahead!

Below, I've included Paul's outgoing message to the club, and follow with a message from Chris.

I'll see YOU, and Paul, and Chris, and all my trials family, at Keyesville.


From Paul:

To my Trials Family,

Twelve years ago I returned to the Trials community in Southern California. It was like coming back to an old neighborhood, where everything was just as comfortable as you remember except the inhabitants were a little older and had children. I took a leadership role right away in the hope that I could contribute a little time and energy to the sport that I love and the community that has always been so friendly and open to me and my family. It has been fun, challenging, entertaining, educational, and an honor to lead the ATA and the Southern California Trials Association. On Thursday I informed the SCTA Board of Directors that I am retiring from the Presidency of SCTA. There is seldom a good time for this sort of thing, but I now have some personal and professional matters that require a greater level of focus and energy. My wife has taken a position as a college professor, and is busy with several community projects that we both think are important. I had let some interesting flying opportunities pass several years ago, now those flying opportunities have been offered again to me and I intend to pursue them.

I must express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has sat with me at the Board table in the pursuit of keeping our sport safe, competitive, and viable over the years. Without there trust, support and dedication nothing would get accomplished. We have a strong and deep board of directors that will be led confidently by Chris Cullins. Bill Merritt has stepped up to the Treasurer spot. Peter Croft, Don Copeland, Rick Jenkins, Gabby Caperon, Tim Holm, Damon Barda, Martin Belair and Don Williams will provide the knowledge, know how, experience, intelligence and courage that will be needed to keep our sport on track in Southern California. These people hold a special place in trials history, and in my heart.

We are well on our way to an epic 2011/2012 season. We will be adding the Plonkers March event to the Championship series as a points event which I know will be very popular. But thats not all! The North American Trials Council, United States MotoTrial Championship is returning to SoCal next May. As a rider or worker, the National events are fun, interesting, and bring a level organization and competition that only helps us learn to improve our local events. Please plan to help us throw a truly great National round.

I have had such a lovely time getting to know each of you and your families. Watching all of you grow as riders, competitors and friends proves to me how special our sport, and our little community is. In conversation I have always referred to our membership as "my riders". In my mind you have always been part of my family. Thank you all for the great experiences, the memories, your trust and support. I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead the SCTA. Now lets throw all of our efforts behind Chris Cullins and help him steer a proper course to the future of our sport. Thanks again to you all. I hope to see you in Keyesville.

Very truly yours in sport,
Paul Oswald

...And this from Chris,

Hello Everybody,

Well a week ago I sure didn't plan on being in this position. Things are always changing fast.

First off I've already thanked him personally, but please give Paul a big thank you the next time we see him in person for steering us in the right direction all these years. He's been somebody I've been proud to stand behind.

Don't expect too many changes down the road, other than you'll have to endure my talking a little more. I'm not near as good at speeches as Paul is! We'll get through it though. I have a few other ideas that I'm hoping will get more people involved and feel connected with SCTA as well as generate more volunteers.

Our first order of business is always the next local trials, after all that is our main reason for being. Keyesville is this weekend. If you haven't been, it is one, if not the best, venue we have on our schedule. Bill Merrit was up there last weekend getting things set up for us. I'm thinking he may need a little more help to get finished up on Friday? No School for kids, we're going up early. If you trophied the first 2 events be sure to be at the riders meeting to pick up your awards.

Other local trials news is the Plonkers March event is back on the SCTA calender as a full fledged points paying, Iron Man earning event. It's always great to ride out at Lucerne! No more need to worry about any squabble between Plonkers and SCTA. We're separate clubs, but are coming together for events. As our web guy Damon often says, "we're all good" They have even stepped up to build and man a couple sections at the national.

In case you missed it SCTA is hosting rounds 1&2 of the Nationals! May 19th and 20th out at Cahuilla. This should bring some much-needed exposure to our sport and the SCTA in our area, hopefully drawing in more riders in the long run. I'm into trials only because they had World Round at Donner in 1996 or 97. Not to mention the fun of seeing all the national riders on our home turf. It's going to be a huge undertaking for us, lots of volunteers are needed. A national has 12 sections each day and they must be manned by at least 2 people, preferably 3. Pete Croft is heading up the organization of the national and should have more for us soon.

Our first two events haven't been that well attended. Not sure of all the reasons. We like to blame it on the economy. Myself and other board members have called around to some of the usual suspects that have been missing, a few are injured, a few have family issues and others have lots of work. Not any one issue we can see. You can be sure the board is making our attendance priority number 1. Without the riders we are nowhere.

As for me, Keyesville is this weekend, and the Las Vegas Endurocross/AMA awards banquet next weekend. The weekend after is Thanksgiving, we'll be setting up that weekend for Romoland #1 on Dec.4th. Myself, Mike Jenkins, Scott Wenger and Dan Varner have already laid out a few sections in the rain yesterday. Should be fun!

That's all I have for now.
If anybody has any concerns or questions about anything feel free to email me at or give me a call 909-224-3375

See you this weekend,
Chris Cullis
SCTA President