Coming to what is known as the ‘end of season’, it’s always a good time to reflect on the past year. 2018 has been a fairly busy one for me: working on my website, editing two major event programmes, helping promote a new classic motocross venture in South-West Scotland, machine preparations – and actually riding them, which is what it’s all about.
One of the major highlights in 2018 for me was the inaugural Leven Valley Two Day Trial at Kinlochleven. For many years riders across the land have been begging for a twin-shock event in that area. However, logistics always prevented such an event being tagged on to the SSDT, mainly down to restricted land use as it would create a far too cluttered experience. The last weekend in September has proved to be ideal for both landowners, land managers and the local people who have to lay such an event on the ground. I was given the privilege of being the first rider flagged away by Sammy Miller MBE, who was the very popular guest of honour. There is no doubt in my mind that this trial, being an overnight success story, is shaping up to become one of the best supported classic nationals in the UK and European calendar.
The Kinlochleven & District organisers, led by their go-ahead chairman Martin Murphy, are already entrenched in planning the 2019 edition, using feedback from a variety of sources following this year’s event. The big advantage is that this particular trial is staffed by local people, with some assistance from what we call in Scotland ‘incomers’.
Martin is a local businessman who heads up Leven Homes Ltd, a building company employing many people, and therefore a very busy man, so planning is essential to him. How he finds the time I really don’t know, but the sport could do with a few more true enthusiasts like Martin, the Dougans and those in Kinlochleven who work hard for our sport.
I rode in the company of my son Steven, who enjoyed a break from his two-stroke 300 Beta with an outing on his Seeley Honda. My ride on the Vazquez-prepared Bultaco was fairly uneventful, but shortly after the start, Steven suffered a rearwheel puncture, something that had plagued him during the Highland Classic in June. The Honda was devouring rear tubes! The problem was, I had forgotten to re-stock with tubes, and we only had one left between us. Stirlingshire rider John Norrie was on hand to give Steven some assistance as I retraced my route back down the Mamore path to see what was going on. He tore out the damaged tube and fitted our only spare, muttering this was “hopeless and why didn’t you get it looked at!” When examining the tube carefully, there appeared to be something metallic stuck to it. When he had changed the umpteenth tube in our workshop in June, the small rear brake ferrule had fallen to the floor, and we couldn’t find it. I robbed one from the spare Seeley which is under construction, but somehow the wayward component had got inside the rear tyre, and this was what had caused the multiple deflations. After the blue air cleared, we set off again (with ferrule in pocket) and had a laugh about it. Needless to say, his tyre stayed up after that!
For me this is what the sport is all about; co-operating, assisting and promoting. It’s what makes our sport work. We need enthusiasts and a bit of fun and laughter along the way. Just a pity some of our numbers take themselves way too seriously!
See you in Telford.
John Moffat, The Trials Guru Steven Moffat (Seeley Honda)