Saturday October 6th 2018

Another “Classic” Photo of Jordi showing perfect style, but lets not forget that it was American Bernie Schreiber who invented the “Full Floater” because the old twin shocks were heavier, and hop and bop was some years away.

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I was looking at some Flat track pics, when a thought occurred to  me about Motorcycle Sport through the last few decades - Although most have had small rule changes - only Trials has seen an almost complete change of what it started out to be at the World level.  - Speedway riders still go round and round - as do the Flat Track boys, The Moto X riders are still riding the same type of courses, as are the Road Racers, and Hill climbers still do the same thing - climb that hill !!  - Ice Racers ?? - anything else that I’ve forgotten?

As a lad, I became interested in Trials, because I saw guys riding bikes through our local town, all covered in mud - I had just bought my first Motorcycle a James Captain ( Street Bike) - I met a couple at the local Milk Bar ( Like a coffee  shop today)  and  pretty quick I was out on the Welsh moors, following these heroes, and soon I was on a Competition James !!

At this time ( late 50’s) we all rode our bikes to work - then to competitions on the weekends - in the Winter  we rode Trials - then in the summer Scrambles - my local bike shop used to change the tranny gear for me - but it didn’t really help - I didn’t win anything.

In 1965 we headed over to Canada and after a few years of settling down, I joined the Calgary Motorcycle Club - I also made a very good friend by the name of Walt Healy - Later when I joined Yamaha Canada, Walt and myself would join in promoting a lot of events, including the very first Canadian World Trials Round in 1975

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On to the next Chapter.
World Trials became a Circus - Hopping on the back wheel  ! Again  very clever, but does this really attract new riders to the sport?
So lets look at a few statistics - when Trials were something every Joe Blow could try, the entrees were huge, but when the rules changed and the sections got to be more challenging, - the rider numbers dwindled. ( Our first World round at Bragg Creek in 1975  had at least 40% Canadian riders- now we have none)
I realize that  I’m flogging a bit of a dead horse here,  some will say ” That’s the old man - he don’t know nothing” - But does anybody else have a clue as to where our sport is headed? - At the club level you have only a select few willing to do the work of setting up events, and a lot of these are getting on in years, but still have the enthusiasm for the sport. -

Doing the job properly, requires a lot of thought - especially now that there are so many classes. - When I did it - I used to set the course up - then go over each section in my mind, try to work out the score of the best rider in each class, that I expected to attend ( Another problem in Canada)  - I would maybe change the line on some sections 2 or 3 times, before the day of the Trial, just to be sure I had it right. ( Then you need to figure in the weather)
At most events that I have seen the past couple of years, the Expert sections are all about “Big Balls”  - splatting 10 ft or more Walls - which to me is very impressive, but also something that strays away from what our sport was originally intended. - A test of Throttle Control and Balance..

I firmly believe that all Trials events need to have a variety of Natural Obstacles - ( On Private land like at Scotch Creek -and Rocky Mountain House - we have Creeks  !! “WOW”) - In the the tiny Island of the UK they still allow bikes to run in the Creeks, ( Scottish Six Days) - yet in Canada (the largest Fresh water land mass on the face of the earth - they forbid it - Well done David Suzuki)
Long ago, I said that you don’t set up Trials for the winner  - you want to take points from the best rider, but you want to make sure that the sections are just challenging enough, that if the top guy in the class, makes a mistake - then it opens the door for other riders - THEN you have a competition.

To finish up on this little session - I would like to mention that there are very few, good Trials Masters, or Clerks of the Course as they are called in the UK -  We are lucky that anybody really wants to do it, as they are often criticized  - All we can hope for in the future, is that a mix of old and new sections will be put in all Trials ( including Nationals)

- In Europe there has been a HUGE spike in the Vintage or Classic events, mainly because  the big Trials are just too darn difficult. ( Can you imagine they have 300 bikes at a Vintage Trial in Spain?)
( We plan on   re-introducing the Classic Trial at the 2019 Outlaw Trial)  ( maybe even a series)
Yes I’m thinking about  getting back into competition on a Vintage bike !! Hell yes  ( I retired from competition 11 years ago at age 70 - just in case anybody was wondering)
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And for Sam & Andrew - here is the link to the Australian Trials Championship results. - TRS appear to be doing well “Down Under”

2018 “Delecca’s” Australian Trial Championships

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And further to my article above on the degree of difficulty - Just saw this posted - Welshpool is a small town located about an hours drive from where I grew up. ( Note: Normal long sections on Natural terrain)

For all trials riders that do not have a ride Sunday 7th October and in decent travel distance from Welshpool. SY21 9BB Cyfronydd signed off A458 Welshpool to Lllanfair Caereinion Road. 10.30am start. Tea & coffee at signing on. 4 routes, normal long sections on natural trials terrain.

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