KINGMAN – Hualapai Mountain Park will be the scene for the TrialGP USA event July 26-31 after the Mohave County Board of Supervisors approved a facilities use permit as part of the consent agenda at Monday’s regular meeting.
The board heard a presentation from Harold Barton, parks administrator, and Mike Carlton, chairman of Central Arizona Trials, about the event that will bring top international riders to Mohave County.
Barton said the competition is a popular sport in the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan and other countries, and is now gaining popularity in the United States.
It’s not about speed or racing. Riders on specialized motorcycles go through an obstacle course without touching their feet to the ground, doing things that are “pretty amazing” using balance and throttle control, Barton said.
Hualapai Mountain Park with its boulders and terrain, offers a perfect venue for the event, said Carlton, event organizer and member of the Central Arizona Trials club since 1974.
“It’s a hidden gem,” Carlton said. “I got a call 10 years ago from a friend from Kingman living in Phoenix who told me, ‘You’ve got to come check this place out.’ I’ve been coming up here ever since.”
Carlton said Central Arizona Trials held national events at the county park in 2013 and 2015, and that progressed into bringing the TrialGP USA event to the park. More than 60 riders are signed up in four different classes, including two classes for women, and Carlton expects the field to grow to 100.
The TrialGP USA event is the sixth round of the International Motorcycle Federation’s world trial bike competition, and will provide great exposure for Mohave County, Barton said. People from around the world are booking local hotels.
“As you can see, it’s pretty special to have this in Mohave County,” he said after showing a short video of the sport. “That would be like having the PGA Championship and having Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth coming here to Mohave County.”
The board authorized Public Works to issue a permit for the event after applicable policy requirements are fulfilled, and approved park rental fee of $21,600 from July 26-31. The park will be closed to the public for those days, except for previously booked guests.
The preliminary races on Friday, July 28, will be free and open to the public. Admission is charged for Saturday’s races and Sunday’s finals.
“I’m excited about having the qualifiers here and showing the Hualapai Mountains to the rest of the world,” Supervisor Jean Bishop said.