As a biker, one of the most talked about aspects of the any LDT is the weather and so I have to start there.
What absolutely perfect weather we had for the Lands End trial this year. Not a drop of rain and temperatures barely even down to 10 degrees C during the night, over Exmoor! For the first time ever I didn’t get cold! Chilly, but not cold. And staying dry the whole time was a revelation.
So, for the sections (the second most talked about aspect)
The dryness (back to the weather, sorry!) meant that there was plenty of grip almost everywhere this year, aside from the suspiciously wet and claggy Crackington… This was to be the only section that tripped me up this year, although that was more from sliding side to side than lack of grip. Duncan Stephens caught a great photo of where it all went wrong for me.
The organisers gave us class B participants a very nice surprise at Bishops Wood this year
Our restart wasn’t on the dreaded slab. If they could repeat this next year, when it’s bound to be wet and slippery, that would be appreciated.
As for timings
We kept finding ourselves ahead of time this year, but that was a bonus at the end given we started almost 2 hours behind bike number 1 and were wanting to get home (it’s a long event to endure no matter how you look at it). Not being able to hand your control card in early at Wisley Down is a slight irritation – is that designed to stop you having a nice long nap if you get there ahead of schedule?!
As always, huge thanks to everyone involved in putting on this event.
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.
Both the weather and sections made this a challenging Lands End for Class O entrants. The night consisted of mild weather and relatively straightforward sections. Come the dawn came rain, wind and tough sections. In particular there were two formidable long forest tracks near Bodmin replacing the taped chicanes of previous years. Amongst the cars Mike Greenwood denied MCC President Jonathan Laver his second Class 0 award by a mere 0.1 of a second. Trevor Gibb was best motorcycle and nine BH Tin and six Copper medals were awarded.
It was a tough Lands End. Competitors had to contend with heavy rain, high winds, a heavily doctored Crackington and a flooded Blue Hills One. The result was a mere seven Golds in addition to the Class Awards.