words by TEAM TRIALZONE photos by MARK MATTESON
INTRODUCTION Bozeman , Montana July 4 , 1982
Independence Day was celebrated as a travel day for those taking part in the 1982 United States National Trials Championship Series . The day before , the riders had completed the first national ever held in the state of Montana which happened to be one of the championship ’ s easiest scoring rounds ever . 1979 World Trials Champion Bernie Schreiber , one week removed from his third place finish at the World Trials Championship round held at the Donner Ski Ranch in Norden , California , won the event by two marks over Florida ’ s Jack Stites while losing only five marks in the process .
Traveling to Whitefish , Montana , where the second of the two nationals would be held on July 5th , virtually all the participants hoped for a more difficult test in order to give more room for errors on the scorecards , but had no idea what was in store for them . What is the old saying ? “ Be careful what you wish for .” Montana ’ s Rich Hilbun , of the hosting trials club GOTE ( Glacier Observed Trials Enthusiasts ), organized that second national in Whitefish and knew the sections needed to be toughened up and acted accordingly . Mother
Nature also lent a helping hand as heavy overnight rain turned the jagged rocks of Whitefish into not just a difficult challenge , but simple survival for most as Schreiber once again took the victory , this time with a winning score of 144 ; Colorado ’ s Morgan Kavanaugh placed second 40 marks behind . The riders finishing this event were given stickers saying “ Clean the Fish ” but many thought “ Five the Fish ” would have been better . To this day , Schreiber ’ s winning score stands as the highest-winning score in the history of the USA National Trials Championship Series .
Fast forward thirty-nine years later as Hilbun had the idea to contact Schreiber about returning to Montana on the 40th anniversary of those 1982 nationals . Hilbun thought Schreiber could not only conduct one of his ZeroBS Masterclass trials schools , but also take part in a multi-day celebration held in conjunction with the annual Whiskey Gulch Two Day Trial that began in 2009 and has been held uninterrupted for twelve consecutive years . The conversation resulted in Bernie Schreiber ’ s return to Montana June 15-19 , 2022 , starting with a sold out two-day trials school , followed by the celebration of Champions Day , then the Whiskey Gulch Two Day Trial as the finale .
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 90