First the good news. We’ve got another British-Champion in the Centre. So well done to Victoria Payne for winning her class in the Ladies’ series. She has done really well to have overcome the nasty accident to her arm and regain her confidence. I’ve always been impressed with the Team Payne. Recently after they’d gone through my section, all the trees were tidied up and the surface had been dried and tarmaced. That’s good work.
The Scottish 2010 was quite a memorable one, mostly for all the wrong reasons. It has already been given a name by the people around Fort William, “The year of the Italians”. The plague, left by the Italian peg-sellers, had spread like wildfire, infecting most of the area. The trial headquarters was badly hit with many of the organising team becoming very ill indeed. However somehow they did manage to carry on and deliver a wonderful trial for us to enjoy,with only small changes forced on them by the lack of people.
Meanwhile out on the course things were going to pot. At Lagnaha Dougie Lampkin suffered that well-known Beta problem, total ignition failure, and by the time it had been repaired he had incurred so many time penalties that effectively his chances of winning the trial had gone. Later in the week the trial was lost by Michael Brown when his Sherco wouldn’t start either, within the time allowed. Ignition failure again. Then it happened to Herbie Talbot. He had been planning to ride round part of the course,on a special pass, and was looking forward to a nice day out, but his bike absolutely refused to go. It had been alright when he left home.
It would be nice to think that the makers would accept that there is a problem here, but I doubt it. I suppose that so long as we carry on buying replacements, without complaint, then nothing will change. But I know of a bloke who got fed up owith paying out for new parts and took his bike to an electronics expert, for his assessment of the ignition. That expert was of the view that the system was well designed, but he thought the makers had skimped on the wire gauge of the windings, making them prone to early failure when running at high temperatures. Maybe that’s the answer.
Jerry Cross had another difficult week. He arrived this year as fit as a flea,having trained hard for months, but his Gas Gas wasn’t so well, with the main-bearings making a bad noise just after the start of the trial. He carried on, nursing the bike right up to Friday morning, when he turned back near Pipers’ Burn after it began to drink the gearbox oil. That wasn’t the end because he struggled back to the start, bought some new bearings, fitted them and rode again the next day for no award. Well done him,better luck next year.
But I suppose the bloke I feel most sorry for was caught on camera at Meall-Nam-Each, standing behind Alexz Wigg as he rode the section. He, like Alexz,has always considered himself to be a bit of a dandy, so it must have been very galling for him to have been photographed, in bright orange baggy trousers, looking for all the world like one of the lumberjacks in that marvellous Monty-Python sketch. ( ” I wish I was a girlie, just like my dear Mama ” ) I’ve made enquiries and it appears that he was suffering from a bit of nappy rash,caused by the chafing of the standard issue incontinence pants,and so wearing loose clothing was the only way he could get some respite from the soreness. Mind you knowledge of that fact hasn’t stopped some people from taking the Mickey out of him at every opportunity. They can be very cruel.