Trials and Error (part one) by Luke
2017 is going to be my year of doing a lot more doing and a lot less talking. Well, that's the plan.
By Day 2 of this new year I was already lining up with an icicle dangling from my nose for my first club trials in just under eight years in Stainsby with the Pegasus Motorcycle Club. I’d only ever done a trial and a half before and I was rubbish. And nothing seems to have changed.
The thing is, I miss circuit racing. I wasn't bad at it, won a championship, finished second and third overall in a couple of other series at club level. I knew I wouldn't get much better than how I was riding at that time. But I made some good friends on the way and had some mega laughs. Kids and work put an end to that selfish, time and cash expensive hobby. So trials is the replacement.
So for the past few years I've been messing about riding on various bits of scrub land with ace Photographer and TMA contributor, Chippy Wood on an old(ish) Gas Gas. My riding was getting better so I then decided that I absolutely NEEDED a better bike. I really did.
Out with the old and in with the less old; a 300cc two-stroke Gas Gas TXT. It cost more than my car and doesn't even have a seat. I love it. It's the ultimate BMX.
So with all the gear and no idea, Chip and I decided that the flagged discipline of a club trials would be the best way to improve our riding.
35 or so riders assembled that day, duly paid their annual club membership of £8 and the bargain sum of £12 for the event. A short briefing explained the format of the trial - eight sections and five laps - and the details of the nearest hospital were taped to a car. Game on.
I don't think I've ever seen Chip look so nervous and I was just giddy with excitement. But this soon changed. Icy rocks, gloopy mud and a lack of skill saw the observers pull their spare pens out as they'd never had to use so much ink - big score = riding poor!
End of Lap 1 - I was still enjoying myself, despite not being able to ride things I can usually do when playing about.
Lap 2 - I’d used all of my available swear words and was now inventing new ones when I wasn't threatening to throw spectator mate Jonny King of Kushitani UK’s camera in the ditch. He has video proof…
Lap 3 - starting to learn the course, reducing rear tyre pressure and the ice melting saw more grip. I even cleaned a section (dropped no marks).
Lap 4 - Observers were giving us more advice and encouragement because they realised we were crap but wanted us to come back again.
Lap 5 - We were riding gods. Finishing strong and cleaning more sections. Unfortunately we clearly can't count and had to be chased down as we hadn't completely all of the sections five times and so we were the last to finish and people were waiting to go home…
So, did I enjoy it? Yes. Was I shit? Yes.
Will i do another one? Abso-bloody-lutely. End of the month, is the plan.
I used less than two litres of fuel that day, don't need to replace my tyres and I was back in the van heading for some lunch at 1pm.
Discover more about the Pegasus club here
And I found this neat little guide to doing a club trials here: