After missing out on trials over Christmas (a lot cancelled), braved the icy roads and sub-zero conditions to head over to Clyro for the Herefordshire Classic Trials Club event.
Its an AMCA club, and only a tenner for entry. No observer, so riding as groups, but an excellent venue at Clyro in the woods behind the Baskerville Hotel. Its was cold and the car park a skating rink, but apart from the track, the sections benefited from tree cover and rode really well.
Mark and Kevin were up from Tredegar and along with Andy Morgan we rode round as a group of four.
Around 30 riders had entered, including some modern bikes. Entry not the same level as last year, but crazy roads and temperatures more Nordic than Welsh were probably a factor.
The first section summed up the action for the day, as Kevin on a Beta Alp (recently acquired) stormed up a slippery climb on Section 1 for a clean. Kevin rode like a demon all day and only dropped one 5 on the last lap, at the relatively easy section 3. Mark and I managed 3’s on the first section and this also set the tone for the day.
Section 2 was a bit more nadgery round trees and across a few routes; still managed to screw it up on the first lap but straightforward later on. Kevin cleaned this as well, and it was clear that the Alp, with only one useable gear in sections (ie bottom) suits his riding style (quick and just hang on). Section 3 was up the first stream and slightly more awkward than normal with a couple of deviations round trees, before tackling the steps in stream.
Section 4 was the usual climb up the stream, but included the the turn out to the left at the top, making it a tricky finish. Watching a few on the monoshock riders showed that it wasn’t easy. Up steps Kevin on the Beta and low and behold he cleans it….Woody then does the same, showing the line and approach in doing so. I managed to get round for a dab (on all 3 laps).
Sections 5 & 6 were in the next stream, with the rock steps not really presenting too much of a problem, though plenty of loose rocks to catch the unwary. It was in section 5 that Kevin dropped his first marks of the day with a loose couple of dabs. Section 7 was up the bank to the left and up and around trees with a slippery descent. Section 8 was straightforward, though could have been more interesting had the end cards been at the top of the slope rather than only halfway up. Mark continued his pattern of dropping inexplicable 5’s here though a trip back to the van at the end of lap 1 seemed to bring some improvement.
Section 9 was one the harder ones of the day, with an awkward step up through some trees, especially after the early riders moved a large rock. This changed the line in the section and required some pace to get over the gap the rock had left. I struggled here on each lap, taking a 5 on lap 1, with the best a dab on the last lap of three.
Section 10 was another one up and around trees and I managed to take a dab on each lap, in a different place each time. Nice section though and one that was good for practising control, especially the twisting exit up and though the trees.
Section 11 was straightforward (which means Mark can find a way of getting a 5) though a tight route up through the stream. Section 12 saw my 5 for the day on the first lap and was my worst section; just couldn’t get the bike lined up correctly to tackle the steep climb up the stream to the exit. Frustratingly a two was my best score.
A good trial and considering I’d not ridden for a couple of months, pretty enjoyable. Could have ridden better, but thats always the case. Kevin’s performance on the Alp was put down to riding a monoshock at a classic trial and all the advantages hydraulic brakes provide (the rear wasn’t working) and also that some of Bill Myers skill (previous owner of said bike) must have been left on it. Mark and I managed a few excuses about bike trouble and lack of riding but had to admit it was a good ride.
The Beta would idle and kept cutting out when idling. I’d noticed that the spark on the bike was pretty poor recently and I also need to look at the carbuerration. Time for some shed time and a service of the bike. It was -7 in Hungerstone this morning, so it might wait till it warms up…..