Just for a brief moment, I considered going to Dob Park last week for the A/B youth round, but rode a local trial instead. But even though I wasn’t there, my contacts told me that John Lampkin (Beta), John Shirt (Gas Gas) and Malcolm and Rhoda Rathmell (Sherco) were all present.
All three importers support a number of riders, but even so, it was great to learn that all three took the trouble to attend the trial and back their riders. Whilst Sundays are the days for our sport, as they work all week, for many Sunday should be a day off, so to be at Dob Park on a winter February day is admirable.
It’s also admirable that they should support youths. The youth trials scene in this country is very strong at the moment with some really good lads around and that they should get some assistance is beneficial. Those going well in the adults having received some help as youths include Michael Brown, Alexz Wigg, Ross Danby, Jack Challoner and numerous others, so it does help and must be encouraged.
Jake Miller was one of the early sponsors of Michael Brown, and Jake has never been one to hide his light under a bushel – as the expression goes – so to see his long diatribe that tells the world he is going to ride the Scottish this year is not entirely unexpected.
So why should Jake Miller deem he is well enough known to merit him telling everybody what he plans to do? Back in the early 'eighties I rode sidecar trials on a 325 Suzuki with Mannix Devlin – reasonably successfully I think, and one of the characters with whom we rode was Reg Miller – Jake’s dad – who passengered for John Turner. They were a formidable duo and well able to win Eastern Centre trials with monotonous regularity and the occasional national
Even though John was the driver, it was Reg who was the driving force of the pair and indeed the outspoken one. Needless to say, I knew Jake at that time when he was merely a kid, but even then, it was obvious that he was a pretty sharp kid. And so it has come to pass!
Without repeating too much of Jake’s message in his press release, when he first started to mind for Robert Crawford and then Steve Colley, it was pretty obvious that he was clean, tidy, efficient and knew the job he had set out to do. Business ventures since then have been numerous, some successful, others not so, but there can be no doubt that being the driving force behind the last three British World Championship rounds at Hawkstone Park has proven beyond doubt that he can do the big things and is not afraid at having a go.
So it’s obvious that Jake has been very much a part of the trials scene in a professional capacity for the past 18 years, and as an enthusiast for much longer than that. And when you are an outspoken character, and there’s no doubt Jake is exactly that, then you make some friends and also there are those that take a dislike. Me?? Jake has always been spot on with me, and that’s good enough.
So that’s why Jake is in a position to announce in a definitive manner why he is riding the Scottish.
Now a message to Jake from me. It’s always been hard, nowadays it’s even harder, but I’ll feed you sweeties each time I see you on a section.
Talking of sweeties, last year in Scotland I offered Alexz Wigg a sweet on a section and he wittily replied, quick as a flash, “my dad told me not to take sweets from strange men!”