1st round of the 2007 Sammy Miller Classic Bike Series. Excellent weather, great trials country and the 5 East South Wales bikes all finished, just.
Only a 2.5 hour drive down from Hereford to Rippon Tor rifle range, to the start of the Vic Ashford Trophy Trial. After the previous Sunday’s torrential weather, the forecast turned out to be correct, with 15 C and nice sunshine. Gavin on the 1980 280TL came too, with the first big outing for the Jumbo.
Burger van at the start took care of breakfast, signed on and then just watched and listened to the pre-65 eligibility banter. Whatever the rules and concerns over trick bikes, they are quality pieces of engineering and it could be argued needed for the difficulty of the ACU Classic Trials. Whatever the bike, its the quality of the rider that counts; I could ride the trickest bike in the world and still come last.
Managed to snatch and earlier start than anticipated so that I could start off with Gavin and the Tredegar Twinshock contigent.
The first two sections were just past the start on the moor and were fairly straightforward, though the second sub had a pool which turned out to be deeper than it looked. I dropped a stupid couple here. Nice steady start for everyone else and plenty of people and bikes around.
Third section saw me try to do it in 4th gear rather than 1st (whoops), so first 5 of the day. The bike then wouldn’t start, so swapped the plug and it fired up. However, my previous soldering fix on the decompressor cable also failed, so it was muscles required all the way round to kick the bike over. Luckily, Gavin’s kickstart shaft modification seemed to have done the trick and it held up for the whole trial.
Off to the next group at Ruby Rock’s, nice sections across the rocks and through the streams. A 2 and 2 on the first double sub, whilst Gavin looked like getting a double clean until taking a wide line on the last step and having to pull it over. Kevin also made a good attempt, but went off line in the stream in the second sub and took a flyer off the top of a large rock. Entertaining stuff. Everyone cleaned the next sub, whilst the next had a tight turn and a difficult exit, which Gavin got through for a one. The top sub was again back in the stream; Gavin cleaned and I took a three after getting the line wrong in the stream.
Thr next group had a tricky group over rocks, whilst the final sub before the road saw me missing markers and taking a 5. Also noticed then that chain tensioner spring had dissappeared so got to work with a couple of cable ties blagged from Mark.
Somehow, the chain didn’t fly off on the piece of road work that took us round to the next group (I will get the programme and make a note of the section group names…) Couple of tight sections over rocks, which saw me go 5,0,3, 0 which an interesting step on the bottom section which I just got completely wrong. The third section was probably the trickest of the day, with a tight turn followed by an awkward traverse across some tree routes.
Another group in and around a muddy stream then some road work, past the Hound Tor car park (with a break for drinks, as word got back of queues down at the next group). Sections 23-26 were long, with some tricky turns and then into the a muddy wood, which was probably the hardest group of the day, especially the first with a boggy slot to negiotiate. I’d clean the third sub, but hit the gear selector on a rock, which bump it out of gear and didn’t notice until it was too late.
Final group of the day and the second sub was the trickiest with a deep mud hole, which could be taken on the right, wall of death style. Gavin had a go, but concious of the barbed wire fence slipped off. Got through for a dab by using Jumbo power directly at the muddy groove. Last section was also pretty muddy, but got through for a single dab again.
Both SWMs survived the long run back to the finish intact and completed the trial. Though my riding was pretty diabolical at times, all in all a brilliant event which makes the Sammy Miller series the right level for any riders with a road-registered bike. Ok, there are some very,very good riders, but for the enthusiastic lesser mortal like me, its really what twinshock trials are all about