Team ADA went partially back in time for the Lands End trial this year. I kept with my trusty, modern Yamaha XT 225 (Serow) but Dad opted for his 1959 Greeves 197 which he used a few times on the trial in the early to mid 80s. Adrian, meanwhile, chose to tackle the trial on a Honda SL175. I think the aim was to spice things up a little.
The second thing I noticed on the way to Bridgwater from Plusha, after the first which was plenty of blue smoke coming from Dad’s Greeves, was the slower pace we’d be travelling at this year. That being said, we managed to keep pretty well to time throughout the whole trial. The only holdup was at Hackmarsh, if my memory serves me correctly, which opened about an hour late for some reason. Still, it was a chance to have a bit of banter with the other riders.
The evening proved once again why I never pay any attention to weather forecasts – “light rain until midnight, then clear” it said. The rain and fog up over Exmoor was something to behold, making for a miserable few miles, and it was at this moment Dad’s Greeves blew a tail light bulb so he was moved to the middle of the pack for safety reasons. Just before the long, steep descent into Lynmouth the rain stopped and the fog cleared and thankfully that was the last we saw of that, apart from some light drizzle around dawn.
Crackington – Everyone loves to talk about Crackington and it’s infamous clay. Experience has taught me that the best way to tackle this claggy substance is, in the words of Jeremy Clarkson, MORE POWER! Thankfully this tactic paid off once again, but unfortunately caught my two teammates out.
Bishops Wood (red) – This is the section that always makes me nervous as the restart on that slab is a tricky beast. With a bit of paddling up to the 3 yard markers I was thankfully away clean and feeling jubilant.
By the time we got down to Perranporth the sun was out and they’d obviously missed the rain as Blue Hills were dusty dry. There’s always a bit of extra pressure on these hills once you’ve seen all the spectators there to watch you pass or fail. A dry slab and a bit more paddling on BH1 got me through without too much drama and I even remembered to stop on the line. Then onward to BH2 where I always panic that I’ve gone past the start line as it’s so far up! Given the dry conditions I think I was a bit overconfident of the restart and the roughness almost caught me out and sent me into the bank as I pulled away. I just got around, however, then parked up quickly to run back and take photos of Dad on the section to put next to the ones he has of him on the same hill and same bike from 35 years ago. The good news is he cleaned it! Adrian suffered from an unfortunate stall on the restart.
I’m not sure I like having another section after Blue Hills as it just feels like the end of the trial to me, but thankfully Old Stoney isn’t too much to contend with so there’s little fear of dropping a medal after Blue Hills.
The ride to the finish was sunny and pleasant and a few of us took some refreshment outside McDonald’s once we’d signed off.
On to the next one! And will I also be on an older bike…?
Comments, Corrections, Criticism & Concerns welcome:-