This year's Grand Marshal - Jerry Young.
Our 2018 Lions Club Classic Motorcycle Show grand marshal, Jerry Young, is known as the “father of observed trials” in the United States.
Jerry may not have been the originator of observed trials, but he is arguably the man that promoted, encouraged, organized and made observed trials what it is today. Jerry is the 1972 National Champion and father to 6 time national champion Ryan Young, the Sherco motorcycle US importer and world renowned trials instructor.
Jerry started his career in motorcycle competition in the late 60s riding enduro events, and after being invited to an “observed trials event” in late 69, he developed an immediate love for the sport. After his first event, he went back home and started modification on his 250-Triumph Cub motorcycle in an effort to make it more competitive with the established trials bikes from Europe. This would be a theme that would follow Jerry throughout his trials carrier as an innovator in trials bike design.
Back in the day, Jerry was a “factory” rider for the short lived GRM motorcycle company. With this factory support, Jerry would tour the country, competing in the top level of trails competition. About this time Jerry grew tired of all the “local” events being held in NJ and south eastern PA. So began the promotor Jerry Young as he started the Pennsylvania Trials Riders Association or PTR based out of his home town just outside of Williamsport. With Jerry’s tireless promoting of the sport he converted many local riders into trials riders from every different discipline of motorcycling. Jerry soon found an ally in the sport in the form of Rick Von Gebig, who had just moved to the area and opened the Roaring Branch Motorcycle Park located on the current site of The Mill Hill Manor Hunting Club. Jerry managed to talk Rick into letting him use his land as a show case for his newfound sport. In 1974 Roaring Branch Motor Sport would be home to the 1974 National Championship. This was followed by the PTRs promotion of the 1978 World Round event at Roaring Branch. After the success of these two events Jerry and the PTR held another national and international event down the road in Bodines, PA. These events were attended by riders from all over the world including factory riders from Honda and Yamaha.
It was with his vision that other trials clubs were spun off of the PTR and the father of observed trials would mentor countless riders along the way, creating a hotbed of riders in the Williamsport area stretching down the river to the Lock Haven Mill Hall area where to this day some of the top riders in the country reside.
Jerry’s resume includes traveling to Scotland in 1991 to compete in the grueling Scottish 6-day trials event and continuing to this day competing in the senior national class on the national series tour.
One of Jerry’s biggest accomplishments may be the development of his 3 sons, Mike, Todd and Ryan in the sport. All 3 top level competitors with Ryan becoming the guy who took trials to the next level that we know today and following in his father’s footsteps of being a promotor and ambassador of the sport.