Knowing My Place!

At the risk of upsetting a few people, and I’ve never let that bother me if the complaint is justified, I wish to bring up a subject that is a continuing niggle to me.

If I was a motocrosser (heaven forbid!), or a golfer, or a footballer, or a marathon runner (no chance!), then there is one thing I could be sure of come the completion of the event – I would know my finishing position.

I would be first (or last) past the chequered flag; I could compare my score with that of others because golf is a strictly controlled pastime; I would know how many goals my team had scored and how many the opposition had put into the net; and I would have a time and a fair idea of where I was in the finishing order.

But as a trials rider, if I attend some events I get to know my finishing position within a few hours of reaching home if I’m lucky, and if I’m unlucky, I may get to know before the next Sunday’s event.

And getting the results from an event bears no relevance to the status of the trial. It may well be a pokey little club trial and the results will be e-mailed to me the same evening or at least available for perusal on a website, or it may be a national trial when it could be Wednesday before there’s any clue as to what the finishing order is.

Am I being unreasonable? Some would say yes, some would say no. Let me explain it as I see it.

Sundays are for sport. I pay an entry fee to the club for a trial and I take part in what is offered. Fair enough, the choice is mine, I go to the event I know or fancy and take the risk that it is suitable for me. But no matter what my result is, whether it be good or bad, I wish to know as soon as possible my finishing position. I’ve taken the time, effort and paid the finances required, and perhaps more importantly, the organisers have accepted me, so there is a contract; I pays me money, they supply the product, and part of that product should be a set of results as soon as possible.

Now as I said, this is going to upset a few folks, but it’ll only upset those that delay producing results. Those that do it the same evening, and make reasonable arrangements to publicise those results, will not be offended. The others will say they’ve been out plotting the sections, taking the entries, finding observers, riding the trial, clearing up the course, washing the bike, and after all that, working out the results, then writing the report for TMX and then doing the paperwork followed by banking the money, is all too much. Don’t whinge, as Secretary of a club that runs 13 trials a year I know exactly what is involved

Ok, I’ll would accept such reasons if there was no money to be made, but let me tell you this, if the entry fee is £15 for a trial and there are 75 riders, the gross profit to the club is around £600 after the normal, unavoidable costs have been met, those being permit fees, insurance, ACU levy, centre levy etc. It will vary a bit – but not by much, and if you don’t believe me, I will give an accurate breakdown of the figures in a future column.

Therefore, if there is a surplus from the event, and there’s bound to be, it’s only right that those that provide the surplus, i.e. the riders, are informed at the earliest possible opportunity of their results.

There we are, that’s my view and if you think this has been a highly critical column, you should have read the original I penned and have since watered down.