Ex­otic rigids, in­spired run­ning re­pairs – this trial had it all

Classic Bike (UK) - - World -

The spec­ta­tors might not turn up in force un­til the fol­low­ing day, but the Red Marley Trial has be­come a pop­u­lar cur­tain-raiser to the main event. Run on the Sun­day be­fore the tra­di­tional Bank Hol­i­day Mon­day hill climb and shar­ing its venue and pad­dock, the trial at­tracts a di­verse en­try of men and ma­chines to the Worces­ter­shire hills. Three laps of 15 sec­tions were on the menu, with a club­man and an ex­pert route plot­ted through each haz­ard to keep all 50 fin­ish­ers happy.

Classic tri­als is as much about in­ge­nu­ity as it is about skill in the sec­tions, though, and some of the ma­chin­ery on dis­play proved that many com­peti­tors had plenty of it. Take Tom Hib­berd. When he lost the split pin from the rear brake rod of his BSA C15, he begged a key ring from a spec­ta­tor to re­place it and con­tin­ued on his way to ninth place in his class.

A large pro­por­tion of the en­try elected to ride light­weight two-strokes, but some rid­ers elected to give them­selves more of a chal­lenge. When was the last time you saw a Scott com­pet­ing in a trial? Well, Wis­bech man Andy Abra­ham was out for the day on his 600cc tri­als spe­cial. What’s more, he dropped just nine marks to take sec­ond place in the rigid class – beat­ing his son Kieran, who was wrestling a girder-forked rigid Le­vis round to third place. And the pair were mak­ing a proper week­end of it, too, tack­ling the hill climb the fol­low­ing day – Andy on a 500cc Match­less Metisse and Kieran on an­other rigid Le­vis, this time a mighty 600.

De­fend­ing over­all cham­pion Ben But­ter­worth won the Unit up to 250 class on a bor­rowed BSA C15. His own bike is ready for the Pre-65 Scot­tish and he didn’t want to risk any dam­age with just a week to go. His one-dab ride was the best of the day on the ex­pert route, though Unit over 250 win­ner Chris Collins on an over­bored C15 dropped three and Pre-unit win­ner, Ariel-mounted Richard Allen lost eight. On the slightly eas­ier club­man route, yet an­other C15 rider, Jim Teague, went round on two marks and rigid class win­ner Dave Bed­does on his fab­u­lous girder-forked OK Supreme, lost nine marks to top the class.

Er, we think that counts as a dab. Dave Bed­does still went on to win the rigid class, though Ben But­ter­worth floats his bor­rowed BSA round a Red Marley turn

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