Friday, 2 January 2015

Wet & Windy Trials in Armathwaite...

Happy New Year Everybody!! :-)

Gaz, Lucy & I all arranged to go see a local Cumberalnd County Motorcycle Club event near Armathwaite on New Years Day. It was absolutely peeing down when we got up, so neither Lucy nor I were that keen to be honest, but we're really glad we did after all...

At a guess, there were about 40 bikes & riders there, with only a handful of spectators & we were three of them!!

The rain had eased off as it does in the Eden Valley, but it was still pretty windy with the odd squall of rain blowing through.

Luckily the majority of the sections were in little hollows in the old sandstone quarry, so a lot of the riders were sheltered as they competed. The guys doing the scoring though had a rough day, sitting or standing around for a few hours, not moving too much so freezing their arses off... mmm tough job that one on a day like this!!

Camaraderie & smiles are the order of the day here!

Soggy feet??

Rocks abound!

The sections seemed to be split into Novice, Clubman & the Expert with a sub category of the Classic bikes too... Apparently this is a tough venue, (not surprising as the World Trials Championships are held here too!!). Some of the routes looked really delicate & you could tell the really good riders as their engines never seemed to rev at all & yet they cleared all the obstacles without putting a foot down! Great to watch...

As far as I understand it, the aim is to get the least points per round, so putting a foot down once = 1 point, twice = 2 points & three times = 3 points, after this you get 5 points for not completing or crashing, but a new ish rule is that if you stop to study an obstacle you also get 5 points. Gaz was a bit gutted about this as this is a favourite method of his!!

Bananaman to the rescue... err almost! ;-)

Callum from Lloyd Honda, Carlisle...

The obstacles varied here from rock steps to grassy banks, tight turns & even a little water pool with a rocky bed. The age ranges seemed to vary from teens to definitely retired, as did the skill ranges too! The bikes ranged from the most modern Honda to the twinshock boys on the pre 1965 bikes, all still going strong & really looking so well looked after!

By about 1.30pm, we were all cold & wet, the dog was back in the van ignoring the world & I'd taken far too many pictures, most of which I've since learned went in the bin as I had the shutter speed set up to slow for the quicker moving folks, another learning curve!! Lunch was calling & a lazy afternoon before a visit to Lucy's folks place for dinner...

Lucy, Gaz & I all fancy a go at this kind of riding & so we've managed to pick up a couple of bikes... Gaz has a Gas Gas 280 'Raga', which is all shiny & full of trick bits.

Gas Gas 280 Raga model
We found a Sherco 290 from a young lad down in Tebay, which needs a little TLC but the engine seems to be a beauty. So another avenue for playing has just opened up.

Sherco 290 2002
One of the bikes that stood out for me on this trial was the new Honda Montesa, it's the Repsol race bike for the international competitions, (Toni Bou has just won his 8th world title on one of these!). A lovely looking four stroke machine as far as I can tell, comes in at 68kg wet & was ridden here by the Honda Rep... it did look the part but then so did the Jotagas ridden by Martin Bell, (AKA Bananaman) from MHB Motorbikes in Brough.

Honda HRC Cota 4 Stroke 

Cool, so next up for us is a trip over to Consett for another ride out with the Northumbria TRF boys at the weekend, so that should be a laugh, at least the snow has disappeared again for now!!

Have fun all...