TV Spotting Of Trials Riders

I’M not one to watch the television very much in the winter – in fact I don’t watch much in summer either, except for sport of which there is a significant amount.

However, one programme that I do religiously view is Grand Designs on Channel 4 on Wednesday evenings, and lo and behold, who did I see but none other than Les Winthrop. In case you don’t know, Grand Designs is about folks who build their own houses – not just any old house, but Grand Designs, and the Scottish couple featured last week were building a palatial pad and had selected Les as their preferred builder.

Les has been around the trials scene for a good many years, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I think he has been Scottish Champion in the past. We had numbers close together in last year’s Pre 65 Scottish and spent much of the two days eyeing up lines together. What’s all this amounting to? Well nothing really except as a way of opening a column, and to recognise that Les is obviously a very talented builder whose reputation will have surely increased significantly following the programme as his work was praised very highly by the couple featured.

And yes, I did spot Willie Gordon working alongside Les in the assembly workshop.

No doubt you will have spotted that the Reeth Three Day Trial this year has opened for entries, and the 200 riding spots will be balloted. So along with the Scottish, the Pre 65 Scottish, the Memorial Service at Windsor Castle to Sir Edmund Hillary, entry to all of which will be selected by ballot, is joined the Reeth Three Day.

You certainly can’t blame the Richmond Club for taking this approach as last year it was incredibly hectic and not particularly fair to those that did not live in the vicinity of Yorkshire. Last year, it was on a first come, first served basis, which meant that on the Sunday evening when the regs and entry forms appeared on the web, folks quickly filled in their entries then travelled to Healaugh, where secretary Angela Sunter lives, to hand deliver batchs of entries. I know that by midnight Angela had a significant number of hand delivered entries, and by lunchtime the following day the programme was close to being full. Which meant that when the postman made his first possible delivery of entries on Tuesday morning, the trial was immediately over-subscribed. Good for the club, but not so good for those that live away and want to make the trip up to Yorkshire.

So this year it is by ballot with the entries not closing until March 7, which should make it pretty fair for everyone.

Talking of trial closing dates, I have not plugged my own trial in this column before, but anybody who is thinking of riding in the third round of the ACU Traditional Trials Championship, the Angela Redford Trial organised by Lancs County MCC, of which I am secretary, should note that the entries close on Saturday, March 8th and I have a very healthy number of riders already. What I’m saying, is that if you want to ride, get those entries off to me pretty smartish!

With Easter being so very early this year, there are some big trials coming up over the next few months with World rounds, British Championship rounds, Classic Trial rounds and loads more series all starting up. It’s always a busy year for the enthusiastic trials rider, and particularly with regard to this year’s British Championship series, I wonder whether there could be a new name on the British Championship. Depending on whether he does all the rounds, on current form Michael Brown must be in with a good chance.