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Saegertown shutdown stories: Eckart creates personal ‘MotoTrials’ section

By Kimmy Reisinger, contributing writer

Heather
Heather Eckart (photos courtesy of Trials Inc.)

Saegertown teacher Heather Eckart says she is never bored and always has plenty to do. During the shutdown, Eckart has been extending her own personal MotoTrials area. This includes cutting and clearing trees and branches to create severe terrain to conquer with two-wheeled machines. 

According to MotoTrials USA, competitions consist of “sections” that are physically defined by marker tape. These sections contain challenging features, both natural and artificial. They may include streambeds, boulders, logs, and slopes. A trail “loop” connects the sections for the event. 

A typical event includes 10-12 sections, and the competitor must ride the loop and complete the sections four times in order to finish. Riders cannot practice the sections but may inspect each section just before being judged (or observed) on their ride. 

Trials are won by the person who touches their foot to the ground the least amount of times over the course of the event. Riding a section “clean” without footing is the ultimate goal of all riders (a score of 0).

Participating in MotoTrials requires specialized bikes that are lightweight with a high ground clearance and no seat to achieve maximum maneuverability.

Eckart has participated in MotoTrials for three seasons, alongside her two daughters, eight-year-old Olivia and seven-year-old Paige. “The competitions are so much fun, and everyone there is one big family,” Eckart said.

She began participating in MotoTrials as a way to bond with her daughters.  “A family that I am friends with had been doing it for a very long time,” Eckart said. “I had given up street riding, and this was a family-friendly alternative.” She hopes to have her MotoTrials section completed by the end of the week so her family can enjoy it during the break from school.  

Eckart and her two daughters belong to Trials Inc which holds events in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. Eckart has been awarded second in her class, while Olivia placed first and Paige placed second in their respective classes. They compete in 17 events per season. 

At the end of the 2019 season, Eckart received the “Titanium Tuff” award. This is a prestigious award given out at the annual banquet. In order to qualify to receive this award, you must go above and beyond with your dedication to the sport. Eckart has traveled to Kentucky and Indiana with her girls, in addition to taking care of their bikes and equipment. “I think I got the award for my dedication to the sport and my children,” Eckart said. 

To learn more about this sport, visit MotoTrials USA FAQS.

Contributing writer Kimmy Reisinger is a senior at Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School. If you would like to be featured in a future Saegertown Shutdown Story, email sashelenberger@psdmail.org or shetrick@penncrest.org

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Journalism Adviser, Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School

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