Classic Trial - - PRE-65 SSDT TRADITIONAL -

Clas­sic Trial Mag­a­zine edi­tor John Hulme is a welder by trade, and worked for this year’s Pre-65 ‘Scot­tish’ win­ner Rob Bowyer be­fore the mag­a­zine ad­ven­ture be­gan. He re­cently caught up with Rob to talk about his pop­u­lar vic­tory.

How was the fam­ily hol­i­day?

It was good to go to the event with my wife Kate, son Ge­orge – the youngest at 6 – my fa­ther/me­chanic Roger and the dog, Woody. Un­for­tu­nately my el­dest son Harry was miss­ing as he was on a school trip; but I am not sure about a hol­i­day for me as I have to ride the ma­chine!

We ar­rived to a dry Kin­lock­leven! Kate and the boys came for the first time last year and had never seen rain like it, and also never got to see me ride a sin­gle sec­tion. They’d walked and dragged Ge­orge up ‘Pipe­line’ to see me on the sec­ond lap, waited for over an hour to see me ar­rive just as the sec­ond lap was can­celled, so they were keen to see as much as pos­si­ble this year.

I ar­rived at scru­ti­neer­ing on Thurs­day and queued up, and had a chat with Chris Gas­coigne, Phil Houghton, Richard Allen and Billy Bishop among oth­ers. I had no prob­lems with scru­ti­neer­ing and went to see Anne Gor­don for my num­ber. It’s al­ways good to catch up with the other rid­ers.

Day One

We got up early and missed break­fast to get to the start in time for the pa­rade. I rode round with Janice Proc­ter, Steve Davies and Andy Hip­well. Af­ter the pa­rade it was time for a break­fast bap and a play with Ge­orge in the Ice Fac­tory be­fore I started.

With a kiss and hug from him it was time for the off and I started with the evens at Chiarain Burn. This was my fifth year of rid­ing the trial and it was the most ner­vous I’d felt at the start. I had a great ride around, head­ing out to­wards Black­wa­ter Dam and while en route met up with you, John, (CTM Edi­tor) on your Ossa Ex­plorer and fol­lowed you to Black­wa­ter – thanks for the tip on cross­ing the river, by the way!

I met my fa­ther at Pipe­line, who then tracked back to the start area ready to fuel me up for the sec­ond lap, and then Kate, Ge­orge and the Dog at Alu­minium Works. It was then up to Cnoc A Linnhe for the four subs; I did the first three fine and then got to the last sub, which Gerry Min­shall and his pal were ob­serv­ing. Gerry asked me how I was do­ing – I had at this point not dropped any marks – so the nerves kicked in and I had my first dab just be­fore the end cards.

When I got to Cao­las­na­con I had my sec­ond dap there but man­aged to keep my feet up for the rest of the day. It was lovely see­ing Ge­orge and the fam­ily at the last group of sec­tions, as he’s like a lit­tle mas­cot cheer­ing me on and fol­low­ing me round wear­ing my hel­met!

Day Two

We man­aged to have a quick break­fast be­fore we headed to the start at the school in the glo­ri­ous sun­shine. I headed off to Knoc A Linnhe and had a good chat with Mick Grant while we sorted out our lines for the sec­tions. I had a good re­lax­ing start, and then en route I met up with Richard Allen, Gary Fleck­ney and Billy Bishop.

On the sec­ond loop do­ing Lower Mamore I met son Ge­orge, in his badger mask, with the rest of the fam­ily, then headed off up to two good sec­tions at Mamore. At Stob Coire Erighe be­fore I rode the sec­tion Gary was just about to start when his chain snapped and he didn’t have a split link; luck­ily the rusty one which had been on my han­dle­bars for about three years was the same size, so he had this and my pli­ers and I went off to ride the sec­tions, came back and he was still mess­ing about – so I had a go and lost the split link! Luck­ily other people had turned up and we had plenty of links to try, so I set off again, leav­ing my pli­ers with him.

We then had a great ride over Callert back down to the road­side tak­ing in some fab­u­lous scenery on the way. Reach­ing Lower Cail­lich, which was my fi­nal group of sec­tions, I did the first sub okay then went on to the last dou­ble sub of the day. Watch­ing James Har­land strug­gle with the last part of the sec­tion brought my nerves into play again but luck­ily I man­aged to keep my feet up and stay clean for the day – as my Mum would say, the ‘Blue­tac’ worked.

Did you think you had won?

I had a few pints in the sun­shine at Kin­lochleven with fam­ily and friends and then waited for the re­sults in the evening. I knew that my score would put me in with a chance but you never know. Af­ter the first day with two people on clean and two on one, plus seven oth­ers on two – my­self in­cluded – there were plenty that were still in the run­ning.

Did you en­joy the awards cer­e­mony?

I had a great evening at the pre­sen­ta­tion and couldn’t be­lieve I’d man­aged to win it! It was great be­ing able to take Ge­orge with me to col­lect the tro­phy – Harry says I’ve got to win it next year so he can do the same, I’ve told him not to get his hopes up. It was such an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and a fan­tas­tic two days and I would like to thank all the or­gan­is­ers, of­fi­cials and the ob­servers – roll on next year!

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