It's Show Time

This week is Dirt Bike Show week, and although traipsing round shows is not everybody’s cup of tea, they do provide a good chance to see new machinery, learn about new signings, buy those eargerly needed parts, clothing and accessories and generally get to meet like-minded folks.

So from Thursday until Sunday of this coming week, the National Agricultural Showground at Stoneleigh is the place to be. The Dirt Bike Show is, by the very nature of off-road sport, primarily aimed at the motocross market, but there is an excellent “trials village” where the bulk of the bike importers and trials dealers will be displaying their wares.

Of obvious interest to most in the trials world will be the UK debut of the new Beta Evo, as well as the rest of the Italian marque’s range, whilst 2009 models from Montesa, Sherco, Gas Gas and Scorpa are bound to be available for close inspection and probably the Xispa which has certainly created some furore in the trials world.

Last year it was the Gas Gas four stroke that was the star of the trials village, yet rather surprisingly the machine has not appeared in production form. It is a bike that is so radically different from anything else that development has obviously taken some time. So, will the Spanish thumper appear in final production form or not? We’ll see.

The recently announced signing of Michael Brown to Sherco is undoubtedly the big news so far, but there is still a significant number of announcements to be made, if the grapevine is to be believed, and some of these may be made at the show. Whatever, get yourself along there to see and learn about all that’s happening.

Amongst the show stands, Trials Magazine will be one that stands out. John Hulme’s efforts in getting a dedicated trials magazine established in the UK market have been considerable, and despite many difficulties and set backs, he’s managed to achieve what many deemed the impossible. He’s stuck it out and will have the very latest issue of his magazine on hand as well as a load of goodies available for sale. He deserves significant support, for whereas other attempts at dedicated publications for our sport have folded, he’s persevered.

As this is being written on Remembrance Sunday, I’m at home this afternoon and not out trialing. I shall make no comment about whether trials should be held on this day because everybody has their own opinion and it has been aired many times before at this time of year. However, I’ll make this point. I rode my own club’s afternoon trial yesterday, so washed the bike this morning. I live very close to the centre of town and as I washed my bike, I could hear the Salvation Army band as the Remembrance Day parade marched down the main street.

I could also hear gun shots at the same time as, what I presume, was a clay pigeon shoot taking place in fields nearby.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Having spoken to a competitor from Saturday’s Northern Experts Trial, (only to find out who had won), he also told me that of the clubman entry, some 50 or so were riders aged over 40. That also ties in with my own club’s experience yesterday when exactly one third of our 60 strong entry comprised veteran class riders.

The class is generally the most competitive of all and seems to get bigger ever year as the cost of competing makes it difficult for youngsters to find the finances required.