Category Archives: People

Smage brothers make the semi-finals on NBC’s America’s Got Talent

Smage Bros on AGTPat Smage, 2011 AMA/NATC National MotoTrial champion, and his brother Phil Smage, have been getting prime-time national TV exposure this summer.

They entered their Smage Bros Riding Shows (Facebook page) in this year’s NBC America’s Got Talent (AGT) competition.

Here’s their audition video:

They got accepted. The Smage Bros Riding Shows AGT page has this background text (containing one large error, which I’ve corrected and highlighted in bold):

Phil and Pat Smage are The Smage Bros., two motorcycle-riding brothers from a farm in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. This riding duo developed their love of motorcycles from their parents, who first met at a racetrack. Growing up, the brothers were taught by their parents how to ride. Finding they had both similar talents and a love for performing, the two formed the trick-riding group, The Smage Bros.

Phil and Pat began performing their act at local motorcycle shops, races and fairs during the spring and summer. The other part of the year found them competing in action sports competitions, including motocross, snowboarding and snowskating, with one following the sunand the other chasing the snow.

Their pursuits brought them a great deal of success. In 2007, Pat realized his dream of becoming the youngest National Endurocross MotoTrial Champion in the history of the sport. He went on to win the National Championship three additional times. Phil, who spent his free time traveling towards the snow, collected three national championships in snowskating at the Winter X Games. Even though the brothers were pulled to opposing climates, one thing always brought them back together: their love for entertaining people on motorcycles.

Here’s a video of their first appearance on AGT in New York in June.

Here’s the video of their performance in Las Vegas:

Here’s the video of their performance in Hollywood:

Here’s the video of the judges’ decision in Hollywood, moving them to the semi-finals:

The Daily Mail in the UK liked their act: Daredevil motorcycle act is a rip-roaring success on a night of lacklustre performances on America’s Got Talent

Engineering magazine profile – Dan Brown: Brilliant Engineer, Great Mentor, Down to Earth Guy

Dan Brown in ColoradoTTC owner Dan Brown has another life. He’s a guru in the geotechnical engineering community.

He’s profiled in the Winter 2011 issue of Deep Foundations, the magazine of the Deep Foundations Institute, in a column titled Dan Brown: Brilliant Engineer, Great Mentor, Down to Earth Guy (p. 35-36 of the PDF).

The section at the end of the article describes his involvement with motorcycles, trials, and the TTC.

Dan Brown in Winter 2011 issue of DFI, p. 35-36Back to the down to earth aspect of Dan Brown, his "lifelong passion" for motorcycles is legendary. He has motorcycled since childhood, and participates at various levels of off-road motorcycle competitions, some possibly death-defying.

Brown is working at continuing this passion with his six grandchildren. The eldest boy was a national champion in the six-year old category two years ago; Brown quickly notes that there weren’t many contenders.

Brown has 600 acres of mountain land where he rides and hosts competitions. The site includes some big concrete pieces of drilled shafts that youngsters like to use as challenging obstacles to ride over, he says.

Motorcycling is a dominant theme indoors, too, says John Wolosick, who reports that a cycle has a prominent place in the Brown living room. Brown verifies that, saying that it is an antique Bultaco Sherpa-T. Professor and co-author Turner, calling him a "wonderful speaker," says that Brown often incorporates humorous analogies to motorcycles in his technical presentations.

Robert Thompson, one of Dan’s colleagues at Dan Brown and Associates, has a blog post on the article.

Dan Brown pays a visit to Minnesota

Dan Brown and Griff Wigley, 2010Mr. TTC, Dan Brown, was in Minnesota this week and I met up with him for dinner last night.

No, it was not a Mototrial-related visit, but rather with his other hat on as head honcho at Dan Brown and Associates ("Specialists in Deep Foundation Design, Construction, and Testing and Slope Stability Problems").

DBA is "performing geotechnical design of the bridge foundations and settlement mitigation" for the new bridge over the Mississippi River at Hastings, MN. So we talked a lot about deep foundations, with a little webmaster-mototrial stuff on the side.

The last time I had dinner with Dan here in Minnesota?  It was back on May 8, 2005, with Martin Belair, just prior to the USGP WTC in Duluth.

Dan Brown and Martin Belair, 2005

Cody Webb signs with American Beta

Cody Webb signs with American BetaWe got an email last week from Tim Pilg, marketing manager at American Beta, alerting us that they’d signed 2010 AMA/NATC MotoTrial champ Cody Webb to a two-year contract. "Cody will be competing on an Beta Evo 290 in the 2011 Trial Championship as well as a Beta RR in the 2011 Endurocross series."

For more, see the press release on the Amerixcan Beta news page, Shan Moore’s Trials and Enduro News blog post on the signing, the announcement on Cycle News, or Cody’s post to his Facebook Wall.

Webb was also featured in the Oct. 5 edition of Pit Pass Radio.

RIP: John McWilliams, Sr

We received a notice from Tim Cody over the weekend:

I am saddened to inform the trials community of the passing of John McWilliams Sr.  John was an avid rider and major national trials events organizer in the 1980’s in KY.

John’s obituary reads in part:

John McWilliams John was a boy scout leader for several years. He had many passions, including music, animals, and motorcycles.

John spent time competing in motorcycle trials competition with his sons.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at Oldham, Powell, & Roberts Funeral Home… Visitation will be from 5:00- 9:00 p.m. on Monday, August 23, 2010 at Oldham, Roberts & Powell.