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Fun in the Sun-Nationals

The Florida Trials Associaton exists as a not-for-profit organization whose primary function is to promote the wonderful, friendly, and family-oriented sport of "observed motorcycle trials".  The FTA is comprised of 4 clubs (West Coast, Central Florida, Cahills, and FUBAR), who each take turns organizing the events.  Our normal championship season consists of about 8 events, running from September through May or June.    When we are not hosting our annual "Fun-in-the-Sun" two-day event, which usually occurs during Daytona's Spring Bike Week, we are holding two rounds of the AMA/NATC National Championship Series.  While these events are not so large as other motorcycling events, they more than make up for this diminution with the friendly and family-like atmosphere that defines our events.  An Executive Board, elected at the close of each season, is responsible for running the FTA.  These Officers are volunteers who serve solely for promoting the sport of trials.

"Observed Trials" may be the best kept secret in motorcycle sports.  Trials tests the rider's skill, which requires control and balance.  It is a sport that puts the rider and the motorcycle against a designated area of difficult terrain or man-made obstacles.  Unlike other forms of motorcycle competition, it is not a race against other riders or a time clock, although there is a time limit, but rather it is a challenge to negotiate a course without:  putting a foot down to regain balance, backing up, stalling the bike, or riding outside the section boundary markers.  Normally 8 sections are set up around a loop that may be several miles in length.  Riders negotiate each section around the loop 3 or 4 times so everyone will ride 24-32 sections over the course of the day's event.  An "Observer" is placed at each section to score the rider, who is responsible for keeping tabs on the points that are accumulated for dabs or failures to complete the section.  When the day's event is concluded, the rider with the least amount of points determines the winners of each class. 


Trials competition is unlike any other motorcycling competition in existence.  Aside from the obvious differences in both speed and application of control, the entire attitude of riders and spirit is unlike anything found in the racing industry.  Trials allows the rider to compete at whatever level of difficulty he or she chooses, starting with Beginner and then working their way up to Novice, Intermediate, Sportsman, Sportsman A, Advanced and then to Expert (with occassionally a tougher line for the Professional or Champ riders).  We especially encourage our youth riders by offering sections that are compatible to their abilities.  Riders advance to the next level at their own discretion and can remain in any one class indefinitely.  There are no rules or qualifications to start or remain at any particular level, but safety should always be the deciding factor.  During an event, it is common to see riders helping each other throughout the day either by "spotting" for each other on large obstacles, offering advice, or even helping with mechanical problems.  The "spotters" job is to either catch the bike or the rider, whichever one needs assistance.  What do the winners get??  Well, in the FTA, the "Podium" consists of the top 3 riders in each class and these riders usually receive a trophy or plaque of some sort.  While this might not seem like much to a professional racer, the entry fees are much lower than any other type of racing and money is not the objective, it is simply to have fun and to help assist our National and Youth riders.  You do not have to be a member of the FTA to ride our events, but all participants are required to be AMA members.  If you would like more information on becoming a member, or you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact Barry or Jean Florin at 321-723-5728 or email us at cota66@cfl.rr.com. 


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