After raining all day, the skies cleared as we headed over to Crondall Woods, near Farnham for the North Hants Clubs evening series. At a very reasonable £6 to ride and by being an AMCA club no license required.
It was the first trial for Rog and Ian, both on Honda TL125’s, Rog on his recently finished project , with Ian on mine, now back to full running health . The main challenge on the day was route-finding, with three routes in the trees on each section making it difficult for those new to trials (and those who should no better). With lots of heavy rain all day, the going was slippy mud on top and having ridden there a couple of years ago, I knew what to expect. Lots of tight turns around trees, slippy gullies and banks and getting lost in sections.
Rog and Ian rode the (yellow) beginners route, whilst I went for the Red 50/50 route, riding the harder Blue route on half of the sections, riding the Jumbo. Roger was up and running quickly and manage to clean his second section, with a good riding position on the bike. Ian took longer to settle, but by the 3rd and 4th laps was looking good and although the route finding caused the biggest problem (hard as anyway I’ve ridden) and were the cause of the high number of 5’s.
Rog’s TL125 looked good (despite my attempts to destroy it in the back of the van on the way over there) and he’d done an excellent job on the restoration. The clutch lever perch broke just after the 3rd section as it wasn’t the strongest and there was also a constant fuel problem. There was a lot of crud in the tank which then blocked the fuel tap (which can’t be removed from the tank), so lots of sucking and blowing on the fuel line to keep it running. Took a litre of San Miguel later on to remove the petrol taste. He’d set the forks and shocks nicelyand the overall quality of the build was excellent.
My TL with Ian on board went well all evening, and I did a couple of sections to remind me how bad it was to ride. To be far, the TL is ideally suited to the lower two routes at Crondall Woods; its flat, you can do every section (even in the mud) in 1st and provides a nice soft ride for people new to trials. No long or steep hills, stream beds or rock steps suits the bike well. If all Classic Trials were like this, then no problem, but the Wye Valley trials require a bit of a full on blast in places, oh and the front forks to work.
Both Ian and Rog had a go on the Jumbo, but quickly returned it. Think they’d got used to the stability, engine braking and the lack of power in the TL.