Nostalgic Over Dual Routes

I see that the Bootle Club have been forced to cancel their Presidents Trial which was to have been a round of the Novogar Championship series. Speaking last week with one of the guys who plots the sections and marks the course, he told me that as he understood it, the club had received just 36 entries, and with the trial due to take place on August 17, there was no other option but to cancel.

It came as no surprise as I had already heard the rumours more than a week earlier, and of course this reopens the subject previously aired in this column about making Novogar rounds dual route events.

You’ll recall that I have reported on the fact that the Novogar series is virtually unique in that it only has one route, and as such, that means Novogar trials are only open to riders who have reached a standard considerably better than the bulk of the lads who frequently make up the numbers in trials, can achieve.

It makes no sense to me to limit your entry to expert class riders, certainly not in these financially difficult times. Running a trial is like any other business, attract who you can and what you can and only when you have too many riders is it necessary to start weeding them out.

Bootle cancelled last year as well – I know there was the threat of foot and mouth at this time last year, but I also know that threat was a saviour as 12 months ago the club were concerned they might not get enough entries.

ACU Trials Committee Chairman John Collins has previously replied to criticisms about Novogar rounds not having dual routes. There’s no need to repeat the message again John, as this cancellation tells everybody all they need to know.

Of course there’s a good argument that the location of Bootle’s events makes it difficult for them to attract decent entries, which is an even better reason for opening up the trial to more riders. It means that in the Northern Centre there is no trial on August 17 and if Bootle had been able to have dual routes, then there would have been a fair chance of them attracting enough entries to go ahead with the event.

As it is, next weekend it will be a case of watching the Kendal Classic Club’s Nostalgia Scramble on Sunday – or staying at home and catching up with some odd jobs.

There is certainly a large number of events throughout the year – arguably there are too many events, but that’s a matter of opinion. At the end of the day riders go where they know they will get the best value for their money.

Having brought up the Nostalgia weekend, perhaps now is a good time to give it a plug. The Nostalgia trial takes place next Saturday at Middleton near Sedbergh, but don’t turn up expecting to get a ride as the entry is jam packed full, over subscribed, too many, call it what you will. In fact a number of entries have had to be returned because they were too late and the venue simply can’t handle the numbers that would like to take part.

Then on Sunday, it’s the Nostalgia Scramble over an undulating, grassy course which is fast and very entertaining. I spent several hours there last year and the style of racing took me back a good many years. You may not recognise many of the names that take part, but there are some quick lads on well turned out old and twin-shock machinery and they provide great racing.

At this time of year organisers have every right to expect fine dry days, with land that doesn’t cause them any problems. Last year’s Nostalgia was pretty wet underfoot and following the horrendous rain last Saturday (all day!), there’s no way the land for Saturday and Sunday will have dried even if it doesn’t rain this week. But if it is a dry week, it should be in perfect condition.

If you get the opportunity, have a look at this meeting, it’s a rarity in the north west and well worth turning out for.

I’m very conscious of the fact that this column tends to be focussed on northern based trials and happenings, and I would very much like to include comment about events in other parts of the world. So if you feel that you have material that would be of interest to others, (and me!), through this column, do please e-mail me at mikerapley AT It’s not easy filling the space allocated to me each week, so don’t be afraid to contact me and if I feel I can make use of your news/views, then I will do so.