Classic Trial - - NEWS -

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)

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