Did They Get It Wrong?

As I write this, 440 of Trials Central’s website viewers have looked at Andy’s report from the opening round of the British Championship, and I rather suspect they will have formed their own opinions of the trial despite many of them (most?) will not have been at Low North Park today.

I wasn’t at Low North Park either, but I understand quite clearly that the trial was too hard, too hard, too hard and too hard. Is that enough times for me to say it was too hard?

Crazy, absolutely blinking crazy. If you haven’t looked at the scores, then do so now, because the totals are mind-blowing.

I just suppose that I could be wrong, especially as I wasn’t there, but riders want to perform and spectators want to see performances, and notching up five after five after five is not performing and neither is it interesting to watch. How do I know this to be the case when I wasn’t there? Simple, it’s because I have stood at the side of many sections over the years and watched rider after rider fail, and it isn’t interesting and it isn’t clever.

The person that I feel sorry for is the clerk of the course, because I guess it wasn’t his intention for the scores to be so ridiculously high. If it is the case that he got it wrong and the abilities of the riders wasn’t to the standard he expected, then I can understand his frustration. But the Scarborough Club is one of the most experienced in the country and I’m surprised that nobody stood back and said “have we got this wrong?”

I won’t carry on because I’m only prolonging the agony of the club especially as it’s so obvious to me that the judgement of the section severity was misplaced, but here’s one final analysis. There were 11 riders in the Championship class, and between them they notched up a grand total of just 36 cleans – and 280 fives! The Experts were just as hard done by, but enough is enough, I’ve said my piece.

I suppose it was a misjudgement and not intentional?

In last week’s column much of my comment was about the cost of competing especially as my own club, Lancs County has the third round of the Traditional series this coming Saturday. Well, I was totally wrong about the finances. There was a deluge of entries at the last minute and the total jumped from 121 to 163 in six days, which totally disproves my theory that travelling costs would hit us – and that figure is certainly the greatest for a round in this series for many a year. Let’s hope that my words above regarding Scarborough this week don’t come back to haunt me.

Many moons ago, when this column was in the weekly press rather than this website. I remarked that running trials in the Lake District can be a frustrating business. Today’s trial was the Westmorland Club’s excellent Milnthorpe Cup trial, a single lap of 35 sections using perhaps 25 miles of minor Lakeland roads.

The trial runs in the Lake District National Park courtesy of the Lake District Planning Board who issue planning permission for the club to run. It is a very sensible arrangement, the LDPB know that the event is taking place; it provides a genuine opportunity for sensible sport and by providing sport, there is no excuse for less responsible persons to go out practicing illegally.

However, Lake District visitors see it differently, and I have been told that a significant number of road route marking flags were pulled out, which necessitated the lads responsible spending a good time first thing on Sunday morning (when it was mighty cold), replacing the route marking and hoping it would stay there long enough for the trial to pass through unhindered.

But the question I ask, and it can never be answered, is why do visitors think they have a right to pull up flags when they have obviously been put there for a purpose?