- Mike Rapley
Many secretaries could tell you that taking money at the start of a trial is a nightmare – and I’m no exception.
No matter how careful you are, frequently, the figures don’t tie up and it’s not because of any dishonesty, it’s down to a lack of concentration.
Mr Secretary sits in his vehicle and waits for the onslaught. Riders approach, rarely with the right money and quickly a queue develops as he/she wrestles with the entry form, riding number, £10/£20 notes, change and idle chatter. It’s the idle chatter that makes it all go wrong. You take the £20 note and give a tenner back – for a £15 entry. Don’t believe me, I promise you, it happens. Equally, you accept the proffered £20 note, start chatting and forget to give any change. And of course we’ve all many times had to leap out of the car and shout after the departing rider, waving his number in your hand as you have forgotten to give it and he has forgotten to ask for it
However, today it has been totally accurate – because my daughter was handling the money, leaving me to take the entry form, hand out the number and indulge in the idle chit chat that is part and parcel of a basically enjoyable job.
And having a bit of time to spare, we were also able to cajole some extra cash from our riders as we had learnt the previous day that the local pensioners association were struggling to fund their annual Christmas luncheon – and our entry came up with a whopping great £178 to help them on their way. What a great bunch of lads.
But then trials riders are a great bunch of lads – and lasses. Our sport is a great leveller as once you are behind those handlebars, there’s no hiding place. It’s not like a team game where you can hide behind the abilities of others when you have an off day. Have an off day trialing and everybody knows because you lose marks where you don’t expect to lose them – and who can say honestly, hand on heart that they have not been in that position many times – maybe every week
Entry applications for the Pre 65 Scottish closed last week and this coming Friday is the final day for receipt of applications to ride in the Centenary Scottish which takes place next May. I would hate to hazard a guess at how many applications will have been made for each trial, but I reckon I wouldn’t be far away if I said 300 for the Pre 65 trial and possibly getting on for 400 for the six days itself.
So how does the committee make their selections? It is by ballot but only for the remainder of the entry after all the reserved places have been filled – and you were perhaps under the misapprehension that it was a straight ballot of the entire pile of applications.
No matter what you think, it’s a job that doesn’t envy me. It’s easy to say who should get a ride in whatever trial, but making the decision as to who DOESN’T get a ride, now that’s the difficult decision.
Well, those interested shouldn’t have to wait too long as the two lists will be made available shortly after Christmas. Hope you are lucky.