Bike Related Matters No. 7

As they say in the north, nah then. Number 7, that means half a year has lapsed, so where are we?

With the cancellation of the Clee Hills, the Northern is my first event of the year and will be over when you read this. Due to my advancing years, Troglobike (my much loved & used Enfield) has got heavier. Finding about half the bits needed for a bike in corners of my garage I decided to build a BSA B40 based, lighter bike and intended having it ready for the Northern, so I sold Troggy. I sold it to a guy called David who has promised to use it as was intended, the Northern will have been his first ACTC type trial. I know the guys at the Fellside Club will make him welcome (as they did me in my first LDT), and trust you will all do the same.

Due to unforeseen DVLA and oiling problems, the B40 is late, so I’m stepping out of my comfort zone into the 21st century and riding a Honda. Wowser, who would have thunk it! I’m actually looking forward to it.

It is a great trial, made better by the time of year, but the weather can be a challenge in its self. Hope to have sorted the BSA in time for Pateley Bridge. But the important thing is to enter & have fun.

Due to the nature of Class A bikes, they are exempted from a few of the restarts. Whereas the cars have coloured disks to convey their class to the Marshals, the bikes don’t –they aren’t practical. This is confusing for marshals if they don’t recognise which class a bike is in and are astonished as a class A bike rides through a restart. How about Class A having the background to their riding numbers coloured in with highlighter pens (or strips of coloured insulation tape) to identify them – this could be extended to other bike classes if necessary. Is this necessary and has anyone got a better idea to help make life simpler on the day?

I’m patiently waiting for contributions to this from you lot – where are they? Let us know what is going through your heads. Does this deafening silence mean all is hunky dory or its too scary to say? Although the organisers really do try hard, I think they would appreciate knowing if they are doing anything right or wrong. You might have an idea that makes trialling more fun – share it. Tell us about the trials, tribulations and triumphs (with small t) of these events. Are we suggesting things that will spoil your day out or are just plain stupid?

Some of you will know what has been going on about sidecar nose cones. Do we need them, don’t we? I’ve looked into this and even asked the ACU because their spec is open to interpretation. We would love to give a clear cut answer & specification, but the ACU can’t, so we can’t yet. There is hope on the horizon, but if you want a copy of the ACU’s opinion, please email me & I send you back a copy.

There has been an historic mess created about some of the eligibility rules, so a dedicated team (John Bell) has been wading through years of paperwork to discover that the last vote was to lower the permitted wheelbase to 1320mm. I know (and agree) this is an illogical and divisive dimension. But for the time being we’ll have to use it. I’ve proposed we change to a criteria (dry weight claimed by manufacturer) that will clearly separate the trail bikes considered in the spirit of our sport, from the dedicated modern trials bikes that we are trying to avoid in the competitive classes (not in the spirit but are welcome in class X). Hopefully this will be accepted and implemented from 1st Jan 2019.

Again, as many of you will know, I’m off to the other side of the world from 25th Feb until 26th March, visiting family. Please don’t ring me during that time because it will cost both of us a fortune on the mobile and my wife (staying at home) won’t know what you’re on about if you ring the landline. If anything crops up while I’m away, please send an email – that way it won’t get lost and I’ll deal with it ASAP.

Graham –  [email protected]

P.S. Thoroughly enjoyed the Northern even if the transition from Enfield to Honda was greater than expected – I had a score that an English cricketer would have been proud of! Very wet ground but dry sky!

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