Hitting Lucky Twice

I’ve only missed writing a column for one week and when I get back, I see that the hot topic is the consideration that the start/parc ferme area of the Scottish Six Days Trial be moved to a new industrial site just off the road leading to the Aonach Mor chair lift.

Overthehill – Scottish clerk of the course Mark Whitham – has posted the idea for general consideration this past couple of days, and already there are lots of views added to his posting, some negative, others positive.

The problem as I see it is that whatever your view, it will be a personal view based on what your involvement is in the trial. I have a view, but whether it’s right or wrong is down to my own way of looking at the trial. If the trial stays at the West End car park, that’s fine by me because that’s the way it has been for many years, equally, if it moved to a new venue, then no doubt I would adapt to the situation as it stands.

Oh heck, I don’t want to sit on the fence. I like it where it is. I like the cramped situation, the atmosphere, the attractive location, the fact that I can walk there from my accommodation and because it’s dead close to the town. The only trouble is that there’s no decent parking anywhere. If the police could be persuaded to allow parking on the wide carriageway along the waterfront that leads to Morrisons for the duration of the week, or even if the school playground across the road could be opened up, that would make a significant difference. But as I say, whether it stays or moves, I’ll go along with it as will everyone else.

I did try to write a column last week from a youth hostel in Nice. Yes, I know, me and youth don’t go together, nor does me and hostel, but that was the situation I was in. I could manage to log on to Trials Central on the communal computer, but couldn’t find how to write and send an e-mail from a frog computer. So even though I said two weeks ago that I would miss a week, I did feel guilty and did make an effort to get something over.

I’ve been away for 13 days on my VFR, with five pals riding to Corsica for a biking/sun holiday, and whilst my holiday stories are not as a rule material for this column, sometimes what happens needs telling, simply because there is a tenuous connection with trials.

Now before you read any further, look back at column number 23 of July 9, 2007 “Do It Before You Die” and note the piece about the taxi driver that helped that day.

Here’s the tale. Twelve miles before our return ferry Zebrugge to Hull, the VFR broke down. Zilch, totally dead with a flat battery (subsequently diagnosed as a failed alternator). So what do I do, ring the breakdown service. Before the breakdown folks could get to me, this Belgian driver stops and says in brilliant English that he knows of a good local motorcycle garage nearby. Thanks says I, but the breakdown people are on their way out. Twenty minutes later, the same Belgian guy reappears with a trailer attached to his car. “Would you like me to take you and your bike to the ferry?”

Well, the breakdown guy had still not appeared, so you don’t say no to an offer like that and having securely strapped the VFR to his trailer with loads of straps and rope he thoughfully provided, he transported me and bike to ferry which meant I was able to get it back to the UK where I was rescued next morning by the AA. So, having experienced great help from a Irish taxi driver, I’m now lucky enough to have found, totally by accident, an equally helpful Belgian resident.

And finally, the tenuous trials connection. The driver of the second AA breakdown truck was a trials rider who rides with Spen Valley. He says he’s no good, and his lad’s much better, but he enjoys his trials, and I was on my way back home and in very capable hands with a guy simply doing his job.

Don’t know his name, but thanks for the careful and considerate loading of my bike and I hope that like me, you enjoy all your trials.