On the Pegs - November 2021 Volume 6 Issue 11 - November - Page 118
words & photos by Steph Vetterly
The last thing any promoter or event organizer wants to hear is that Mother Nature has other plans for an upcoming event . Unfortunately , it happens , and groups need to work together to find the most appropriate solution to continue . That ’ s exactly what happened for the NATC and this year ’ s season . Originally scheduled to take place October 2nd and 3rd in the Tillamook forest of Oregon , local news had reported that extremely high heat and dry conditions were occurring mere weeks before the event date . As such , no motorized vehicles were being allowed in the forest meaning that the hosting club , COTA , was unable to enter the property to start work .
The trials community was engaged , and the search began for a supplemental location to host the final event of the season . It was the New Mexico Trials Association ( NMTA ), led by President Jessica Webb , who stepped up to the plate and accepted the challenge of putting a National event together in only five short weeks . The original date was kept in place , which helped many participants who needed to request time off to attend , and the stage was set for Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2021 season to be hosted at the Haystack Mountain OHV park , just outside of Roswell , New Mexico .
Aside from some travel complications , like TRS ’ Sam Fastle suffering a delayed flight and arriving on-site almost 20 minutes late Saturday morning and incurring six time penalty points , everyone arrived at the venue ready to tackle the New Mexico desert . Beta ’ s Alex Niederer and wife Kaitlyn brought the Trial Store USA rig with them , filled with plenty of inventory , and FactoryONE Sherco ’ s Pat Smage was preparing to defend his title once more and capture one more National title .
Despite a quick rainstorm Friday evening during tech inspection , Saturday morning opened bright and sunny , with not a cloud in the sky . The day would turn out to be warm , but with low humidity and a nice breeze keeping the temperatures at bay . While the views from the pit area showed nothing but flat terrain as far as the eye could see , traveling the loop exposed a massive collection of rocks and valleys , perfectly positioned to give riders a challenging end to the season .
In the Pro class , Smage , TRS ’ Josh Roper , Niederer , and Vertigo ’ s Karl Davis Jr , were able to clean the first four sections . Section five , however , proved a bit challenging to some of the Pro class . Towards the beginning of the section was a rather large gate spanning several