Forest Trophy Trial: 25th May 2008

If I thought last years weather was unseasonal for this event (rain and strong winds) then I was wrong. The weather this year was even worse. Great event though organised by the Llanfyllin club

No pictures I am afraid as my camera decided no to work, so will keep the report short.

About a 15 minute drive up forest roads and tracks from the A458 to the start. 40 sections, 25 miles (all offroad) and 220 entries makes for a good trial. After riding ok last year on the easy route, decided to tackle the middle (yellow) route on the Beta TR240 .

Stu and Mervyn from the Wye Valley club were also riding and also saw Kevin briefly at the start. 3 riders away at 1 minute intervals meant some queueing at the 1st section (for about 30 minutes) and at some later (longer) subs, but that (with the weather) the only complaint of the day. Fived the first two sections (both stupid) but then settled down to a run on cleans and ones on the first set of sections. Streams and rocks the order of the day in the first group of 14 sections, but still took a while to get into the groove.

Not too many pre-65’s and twinshocks as a lot of modern bike riders using the opportunity to ride a “proper” single lap trial. Lots of comments on the Beta, as find that usually its only one people have ever seen. Section 13 was cleaned, though it involved a couple of steep climbs and a off-camber slab which I managed to get right. Enjoyed that. Section14 I didn’t as I was off balance attempting the climbed and 5’d it and broke my front mudguard. Remembering the Downland Trial from last year, I taped the bottom half back on to keep the crap out of the electrics.

Second group started with a 5, where I couldn’t stop on the down-slope and therefore get lined up for the sharp uphill turn. Cleaned the next 3, including an enjoyable 3rd gear blast. Started riding with Chris Gasgoine on his James, who was going well. Some helpful tips etc from him (thanks), but back to the stream sections and picked up another 5 and some 3’s. Not so good and started to feel a bit knackered. 5’d the last section, but not too surprised as one of the harder ones on the day.

Back to the start, quick drink and out across the wind-lashed and rain-swept moor. Few cleans, but probably my first 5 as a result of being blown off the bike at the top of climb. Okay not enough pace from me, but normally would have made it.

Down into the forest for the last 6 sections and the bike cut out after going through some water. Cleaned the plug cap, and generally dispersed the water and eventually got it started. Managed another 3 sections and it cut out again. Decided it was time to beat a retreat back across the moor (a good 4 mile run) and headed back to the start, missing the last 4 sections. Got most of the way back, but needed a 1 mile push to get back to the van. Real pain but had done most of the trial.

Glad I rode the middle route, just right for me (probably dropped around 60 not including the last 4 subs) and it would be a great trial without the crappy weather :-). Started just after 10, back to the van at 17h30, so a good day out for sure.

Thanks especially to the observers; excellent stuff

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