The January View from Ba-House
Over the last year trials in our Centre have been attracting record entries. In December two trials run within a few miles of each other managed to get 90 odd riders each, so it seems likely that the present dire economic-climate is working in our favour,as more new riders move to our still relatively cheap sport from other disciplines. Quite honestly I’m amazed at the situation,I thought that by now our game would have collapsed,with clubs closing and lots of cheap trials bikes around for the elderly to play with, but it’s nice to have been proven wrong yet again.
With the coming of 2012 the Centre is going to run all it’s Championship Rounds as non-stop trials. I don’t know what rules the rest of our trials will be run under, probably most will choose to go non-stop as well, so this could be a lot tidier for everyone. However,though I applaud the intention, what worries me is that we’ve been down this road before and it didn’t work out. Surely the lesson from that experience is that without the consent of all the riders any change to the rules will not stand for long. So has anyone asked them what they think ? I doubt it.
Mind you I recognise that there are problems of communication. The younger riders for instance are only contactable by text, they don’t talk English so we can’t get their opinions, but I’d guess they would be strongly against it, as would the Aces, although as most of our other riders go non-stop anyway they at least should still be fairly content. Let’s hope we can manage this transition without too much grief, but when it ends in tears we should have an alternative plan ready.
This move to non-stop trials comes about because of the awful situation at the British Championship trials, where entries to the main event hardly make double figures.T he supporting classes though attract quite reasonable numbers, so surely it would have been relatively simple to put the situation right. All they’d need to do is to ease the sections so that all the entry could ride the trial without hurting themselves, and to make things even fairer they should put a stop to this nonsense of a practice day before the trial proper.
But as far as the Centre is concerned the change to non-stop was driven by the need to attract more observers to our trials. In my opinion if we’re serious about this we are going to have to try to offer a much better time for them, which means no unpleasentness from anyone. The one sure way to ensure this happy outcome would be to do as Chris Clark did when observing. If Chris was asked by a rider, “What was that ?”, he would reply, ” What would you like ? ” That would shut them up.
At the last two trials that I’ve been to it’s been very noticeable how confusing the new riders are finding our system of marking out our sections. From what I’ve seen lots of them have no clear idea of where they should go, and just try to muddle through hoping for the best.So I thought it might be helpful if I try to clarify things for them.
What we do is mark out the basic section using the red and blue gate-markers. At it’s simplest,if you are riding the main-route you ride into the Section Begins gate, ride through all the red and blue gates and go out through the Section Ends gate. We also mark diversions, either with Yellow gates for the Novices, or with White gates for the Experts. These diversions allow Novices to avoid the more risky bits of the section, and the Experts to ride harder than normal stuff.
So if you are a Novice you must ride in through the Section Begins gate and, until the Yellow diversion appears, ride the main route. At the diversion you ride through the Yellow gate, then look to return to the main-route, via the next red and blue gate. You have entered the section when your front-wheel spindle crosses the Start-Line and you have left the section when your front-wheel spindle crosses the Finish-Line. If you’re in any doubt ask the observer or watch where a fellow competitor goes.You’ll save a lot of marks that way. Ba