Several weeks before a long distance trial entering seems like a marvelous idea. A day before when I realise that I am woefully ill prepared and time is running out I begin to question my own stupidity. And then on the day when Storm Angus was battering the South of the country I really felt like just turning the alarm off and staying in bed.
The Hardy Trial was doubly challenging for co-entrant Matt who had his CCM pinched from his car's bike rack from right outside his house by three scrotes in a transit van just as he was about to depart from the Midlands with family to spend the weekend of the trial chez nous in Dorset. Matt is gamer than I as, gutted though he was, he simply did a bike swap and loaded up his trusty RE Crusader and brought it down to ride.
As it turned out only our 6am ride to the start was damp and the rain held off for the rest of the day from our 8am flag off onwards. This was doubly remarkable as the following day saw some serious flooding in the area. Sure, the going was very waterlogged but at least we weren't getting wet as we rode.
Bike disaster also befell co-rider Toby as his Honda XL 250 wasn't playing ball on the morning of the trial. That left Dan on his rigid G3L Matchless, myself on Dan's generously lent Bullet (still haven't bought a trials bike since I sold my Bullet, duh!) and Matt on his wholly unsuitable (though veteran of several LDTs) Crusader all riding together.
We made it around the course without major mishap. Many sections were footed as you might expect ploughing around on a heavy antiquated behemoth trying to cut it with Beta Alps and Gas Gas Panteras but we had fun and didn't break any bones so overall a top result.
The Hardy goes through some stunning scenery, the distances between sections are not too great and it makes for a properly enjoyable day out if this is your kind of thing. Totally recommended.
|Dan eyeing up a tricky section on his Matchless.|
|Fellow competitors on suitable bikes....|
|The Matchless is going well here.|
|And not so well here. Dan did alright in the end though and|
got top in class, albeit a class of four. I fell off in the same place
about two minutes later.
|Not something you see often. Greeves Sports|
Twin rolling chassis with BSA A7 motor.
|Shiny classic Suzuki out having some fun.|
|The BSA Greeves again. Beeves? Greeser?|
|Yours truly, looking in control but in reality just on the verge|
of binning it.
|Royal Enfield Crusader way away from its natural habitat.|