Report Ken O'Brien
A cold clear night made for much overnight Dew and a slippy start to the day on most sections but once the Sun appeared it shone once again on the righteous for Oxford's Good Friday Trial at The Common and Roberts Copse on the land of Folly Farm Beckley.
This was the venue for Ixions 3rd club champs where a good entry of 50 plus riders and officials set off to tackle Ten sections four times with a mix of mud roots climbs ditches and cambers that would eventually sort a winner in each class.
Heading the Expert class home was Chris Wickham 250 Beta with 13 marks lost.
The last section of the day was a tough nut to crack on the hard route with Chris recording two cleans early on but with water being dragged up the section made it difficult to get grip on the steep climb out as the the middle route riders also joined in the action at this point.
On the 50/50 route Sam Cave TRS ran out a clear winner losing 9 marks with a three at sub nine lap two a slick rooted camber crossing the ditch then a tightish pivot turn over a rooty outcrop before a third gear leap to a deteriorating grassy bank to the ends cards 10 yards or so up a slippy gradient.
It was always going to be a close call in the Clubman Class riding the middle route with several riders in contention.
On this occasion Alan Taylor took maximum champs points after a tie-break decision on most cleans.
Recent storms had paved the way for a new section to be used a fallen Oak had left a suitably sized crater for the course plotters to take advantage of before a sharp drop to a marshy turn with a steep climb out Alan was inch perfect every visit at this section one.
Best Novice saw Gasser mounted Andrew Dobson 24 marks lost take the win over Rowan Hill 27 marks albeit the latter was piloting a bog standard 200 Fantic around for a days sport.
It made no difference which bike you were on for Section six it was simply a matter of correct gear selection and hang on for fifty yards of liquid dust judging the right line also came into the calculations.
The little Fantic could be heard far in the woods having its neck rung i third to the delight of the gathered crowd.
As it happened Axford's Hill stayed fairly tame for some as the more experienced riders spied a Ch*** -Line although it was tricky to get it right.
Youth A competitor Isobel Coopey was having a good day on the Scorpa with a creditable 37 mark deficit with an equally good performance from Aaron Watson on the little 80cc Beta taking best Youth C.
Both riders had section two weighed up a treat a shaded entrance along an offset camber then a fairish fallen tree to cross before a turn over an awkward swamp root.
On the White eased course the best performance was produced by Alfie Oven of Youth B status who put in a really controlled ride on the Gasser for his first appearance at our club.
A measly 1 mark was all we could get him to part with and this solitary dab came at section four third lap.
A third gear blast over a raft of floating timber before anchoring up to turn left though a gully of roots then 30 yards later the ends were in sight where mysteriously water had started to flow down over a lattice of roots which made the going extremely difficult for most.
Alfie took the offending steadying prod here to maintain momentum to the end cards.
Mark Davidson 200 Fantic lost 4 marks to take the Twinshock max points with a dab in the very same spot every lap at section four getting lined up for the big climb.
DOT mounted Nick James was certainly Devoid Of Trouble today with another emphatic win in the Britbike class, 3 single dabs was a class act with section one and nine the offending hazards.
Many thanks to all who helped on the day.
Expert Chris Wickham Beta 15
James Carter Mont 22
Tom Hinckley Gasser 33
50/50 Sam Cave TRS 9
Jason Clifford Beta 26
Inter Richard Cox Electric Motion 31
John Cox Vertigo 53
Clubman Alan Taylor Beta 6 M/C
Adrian Steele Beta 6
James Oven Gasser 12
Novice Andrew Dobson Gasser 24
Dale Caswell Beta 31
Inter Oliver Hill Sherco 59
Twishock Rowan Hill Fantic 27
Youth A Isobel Coopey Scorpa 37
Youth C Aaron Watson 80 Beta 41
White Eased route
Sportsman Pete Haines Beta 2 F/C
Jason Hughes TRS 2
Steve 'Rambo' McHugh TRS 6
Twinshock Mark Davidson Fantic 4
Kevin Fossey Beta 5
Ian Hill Fantic 18
Youth B Alfie Oven Gasser 1
Britbike Nick James DOT 3
Wayne Hutton Cub 15
Rabbit Bantam 26