British Championship Debate

There was a good thread started in the forums on Thursday about the British Championship as the annual BC forum at Rugby was held this weekend.

I’ve no idea what came out of the Rugby forum, but as the Championship rounds for this year have already been allocated and will follow the format of recent years, it’s going to be three laps of 12 sections over two routes with a practice lap to run in the sections in every round.

As an “old codger” I’m not going to assume that the series as it runs now is what everybody wants, but I do get the impression that the format of short laps all in one area has found favour with those riders that take part.

When the series changed from traditional trials to the current style back in the mid 'nineties it was because loads of vehicles chasing round minor country lanes was causing havoc, and the last round that I went to which used the traditional format was the Wye Valley Traders and I recall then it was chaos in the country lanes. Just as an aside, I could never understand why it was necessary to have such big vans to carry a trials bike and why a parent/wife/girlfriend found it necessary to drive from section to section, then sit in the van, just in case their rider had a problem. Fact of the matter was that only very rarely did a problem occur.

However, back to the thread in the forum, there is a posting which suggests the series goes back to the traditional trials that still exist – and they are getting fewer these days.

Now, I have a personal view on this for what it’s worth and I would like to see a mix of trials. By all means have 2/3rds of the events run to the current format, but why not the other 1/3rd as part of a traditional trial? There are some events that would cater for such a round very well indeed and would not need altering at all

How about Lochaber, St. Davids, West of England and Yeadon Guiseley’s Mackenzie for four rounds in the current format with two or three traditional nationals as well, say the Cleveland, Lakes Two Day and the Lyn Traders? There’s a decent selection of events which would suit everybody execpt the youths who would not be able to ride the road based events – but they would still have four closed course events, plus of course their own championship events. Preventing the following of every rider by their own personal support van would be difficult to control, but why should such a small point put at risk a decent proposal?

There’s nothing to say that closed course events should remain the norm for British Championship events, but no doubt Trials Committee Chairman John Collins will have a view on this and he’s not afraid to say so on screen.

Whilst I’m on my high horse about this sport of ours, and because it’s New Year, therefore a time for resolutions, how about those trials riders that NEVER, EVER assist in the organisation of a trial in any shape or form, make a resolution that at some point during this year, they will make a single, significant contribution towards the organising of an event.

Here’s my starting suggestion; offer to ride an extra lap of the trial at the end of the day and pick up the marking, close gates, replace fences etc. It’s a thankless task and one that every organiser has to do for every event. When the entry has departed for home, there is usually just two vehicles left at the start as darkness falls, the secretary’s car as he/she is required to stay until the end, and the course plotter’s vehicle, as he’s still out, frequently cold and wet (and tired), putting the land back as he found it.

But don’t all rush to do it next week, spread it through the year, say once every couple of months, it will be appreciated.

And secondly – this is much easier to do – wait until everybody has gone home, then pick up the litter. You’ll need a decent sized bag at most events.