Monday, 15 February 2016

Valentines Day Trial at Lindale, South Lakes

Bassenthwaite and District Motor Club had planned to hold their Robin Hood Trophy Trial at Glenridding in the Central Lakes, but due to the amount of rain that has fallen in the last couple of months, the landowners weren't happy to let it run as the ground was totally sodden, so this trial nearly never happened...

However in a really generous inter-county manner, Westmorland Motor Club offered Bassenthwaite the use of their venue just outside the village of Lindale in South Lakeland, so the fun was back on!

Lucy and I drove down on Sunday morning, it's an hour and a quarter from here down the motorway, so it was an early start for us on a beautiful sunny Valentines Day.

We arrived and I immediately went searching for the van of AB Sherco, a Kendal based Sherco dealer who had a replacement short gear lever for my bike, I'd manged to break mine playing yesterday! Great timing... £22 saw a shiny alloy blue short version attached... lovely new shiny bits!

After some warming up, people started to gather at the 1st section, this proved to have a few twisty bits and a nice but tricky little rock step at the end... This trial was another Northern Round event and as such the sections weren't meant to be easy!

My first attempt saw me sliding around on the wet grass... I don't have the throttle and clutch control as yet to do this with any panache, so a lot of feet dabs and even a little push saw me at the rock step, which I almost cleared!

Section 2 was a steep hill climb with a couple of steps in it... The good guys made it look easy. Me, I was chuffed at clearing the first step, but then lost traction and had to be pulled up the second step! Apparently 3psi max is needed in your tyres for this... Thanks guys!!

Section 3 was a tight little twisty bugger, with a finish down a rocky step between two overhanging trees... I really liked this section and felt given a bit of practice I might be able to clear this... not to be today though!!

Section 4 was a rocky beck climb, with a twist around a tree and a muddy steep climb to finish... I was all over the place, the bike bouced here and there, feet down and finally I fell over on the muddy slope, another 'pulled out' moment!!

Section 5 was Lucy's section, as her bike was still waiting for the rear brake to be fixed, she'd decided to ride her bike to the sections and be an observer for the day.

So Section 5 wasn't too bad, it had an odd rock step and a slippy mud climb, neither of which I seemed to be able to do, I eventually got the rock step, mostly by bouncing over it out of control,       but on the climb, I always seemed to lose traction and end up slewed off to one side... frustrating!!

Sections 6 & 7 were both rocky beck climbs, with 7 being the harder one with bigger rock steps in it. I enjoyed these and bounced my way up. Again I could see that section 6 just needed to be ridden a few times and I could see how to clean it, but 7 was well above me at the moment. It was good to watch the guys who have been riding for years doing this and seeing the skill, balance & control involved!!

Section 8 was ace, a big rock slab, then the scree behind it... the slab was easy for me ironically, but I needed to relax to get the scree without dabbing a foot, something I wasn't at all!! Hey ho...

Sections 9& 10 were more beck climbs, I had a go but knew I couldn't do the rock steps so didn't go back on the next couple of runs...

What was really cool about this trial, apart from the beautiful weather, the general camaraderie of the riders and beautiful views was the fact that I got to ride with a lot of levels of abilty, which in turn passed on some little gems of info to me. I also practiced at a venue that I would normally not be able to ride at, this all helps as I develop as a trials rider, something that takes years to become good at... for some longer than others!! ;-)

Lucy & I rounded the morning off with a ride around the rest of the sections for her to see them, a razz along with the dog and some more playing on the rock slabs and other bits before heading home to finish the day off with a lovely valentines meal together...

Happy days...

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