Thumbs Up For Jack

Here in Carnforth which is close to the coastline of Morecambe Bay, snow is a rarity due to the proximity of the Gulf Stream, but as I type this on Sunday evening it’s snowing heavily and as far as I can recall we’ve never had snow in this part of the world in November fort the past 30 years, so I wonder if it heralds another tough winter which will affect our sport.

It has certainly made a difference up in the north as loads of trials have been cancelled today, though thankfully the trial in which I took part went ahead as normal. That was at Dob Park, Otley, a popular venue used by numerous clubs for a wide variety of events, this time it was Yorkshire Classic who were in action with a Pre 65 trial.

What, Rapley out on a Pre 65 bike again Yes, this time on a James loaned to me for the day for no better reason than because there was little else on in my area. Riding a Pre 65 (or a twinshock as I did last week) opens up a whole new world of trials which appear to be on the easy side compared to many of the trials in which I ride. Yet they are by no means less competitive – in fact I would argue that the desire to do well is even greater.

There are some mighty good riders out on Pre 65 bikes, Sunday’s event featured Tony Calvert, Mick Grant, Russ Rooksby, Eddie Aitken, James Noble, Carl Batty – all exceedingly good riders, no matter what machine they ride.

Whilst I am of course referring to events in the north, I imagine the same applies in other areas of the UK where really good Centre riders tackle trials on Pre 65 bikes as well as on more modern machines. The element of competition remains the same, no matter what the bike or the trial.

Whilst fiddling around on Saturday night sorting out the installation of a new dishwasher (the other blew up on Friday), I saw bits of the World Indoor Trials Championship, now named the FIM Spea X-Trials World Championship on Eurosport 2. Call it what you will, the name may be different but the game’s the same, the names are the same, – and so is the inevitable result, Toni Bou blitzes the trial and has the temerity to question an observing decision when it’s obvious to all the watching TV viewers that he had two when he claimed only one.

I’m not going to make comment about the trial, I found it interesting enough whilst doing something else, but what does make the transmission attractive to me is the commentary by Jack Burnicle. Commentators are, I know, very much a personal thing, you either love them or loathe them, but I reckon Jack does a fine job when one considers that not only does he cover trials (presumably from a cramped studio in London somewhere), he is superb on road racing both World and British Superbikes with the inimitable James Whitham, and he knows his stuff when it comes to motocross.
In fact in his early journalistic days Jack’s main sport was motocross and he regularly filed superb reports and articles from the motocross world to TMX back in those far-off days; his pictures being real crackers. Obviously he has moved on now and as far as I am concerned, his professionalism shines through.