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Francis Sydenham

Trials Rider

 

Rider Report : NI Moto Trials Championships held in Wellington on the 7th & 8th July 2012:  A Clubman’s View 

 

Day one of the event was held at the Maungakotukutuku valley reserve north of Wellington.

This venue really lends itself to trials riding with rocky streams, tree roots and shale climbs and banks. It is a massive area which is used for many outdoor activities including orienteering, horse riding, mountain biking and more. One began with a tight left followed by tight right round a tree over roots, drop down into a river and up a steep bank followed by a drop down again over roots then a twisting rise and out. Quite long but cleanable. Section two began with a drop down into a river, up the river bank, a tight right and left turn back into the river, out of the river by going up a bank and turn round a tree. Tricky turns but achievable. Three started in a river, up a couple of mud/clay banks and after a couple of tight turns over a fallen tree. Nice but easy to get caught on the roots. Four was a climb up and down a clay bank round a tree followed by a left turn and then up a steep rocky river bed, ending with a left turn. Neat section but speed needed on the climb. Five was a right drop into a boulder strewn river after going over slippery tree roots. Easy to get thrown off line on the boulders. Six was a drop down a bank, along a cambered bank, a drop down into rocky river and the a tight left turn out on a shale bank. Those cambered turns can be a catcher and the shale turn needed care. Seven was again up a boulder river with a tight left turn out over a bank. The end turn caught out quite a few. Section eight and nine were quite a challenge with eight being a gradual left turn up an incline but over a number of tree roots with the only way out over a few larger roots. Not many cleaned this one! And it got worse as the day progressed. Nine was an uphill left turning climb over shattered rock/shale with a sharp left turn at the top followed by a cambered traverse over tree roots and then a drop down a slope over more tree roots. This section improved over the day with a defined track formed in the shale. Ten was tight turns in the bush with clay ruts and roots. Turning through clay ruts are not my favourites. Overall it was a good day and the weather was kind.

 

Day two was held at Judd’s farm which I have ridden on before. It was a completely different day to Saturday, not only with the venue but with the weather threatening to turn for the worst. Section one was a cambered drop down in to a narrow rocky creek with a couple of steps along the way then a tight uphill left turn out, across the vehicle track, a short muddy creek then right turn up a muddy bank. A nice challenge but no room for complacency. Two was along a gentle bank, drop into a very narrow creek full of rocks with vertical banks either side, over a rock step then a short river ride. Neat section and very cleanable. Three flowed on from two with more of the same –rocks and turns. At the end of three the difficulty was actually getting out of the section with copious amounts of uphill muddy banks and I had to walk and push my bike on all three laps. Four was a mixture of a really slippery cambered bank with a drop down into the river and an almost impossible to clean left turn back up the river over lots of rocks and then out and up a mud bank. I never managed to clean this one but did manage it for a 1 once. Five was a straight ride up a rocky river. Six was again up the same river, up and over a bank, over boulders then a right turn in the river and out over some large slippery river boulders. Seven was a real challenge with a ride up the boulder strewn river, up a vertical rock face, across the river and then up a very steep muddy bank and over some large wet roots between a big pine tree and fence. I managed to get up twice but crashed out on the last lap because it had become so rutted. Eight was up and down banks in a bit of pine tree sidling and through a mud hole. Nine was really enjoyable with a steep uphill bank followed by a left turn, along a very cambered right turning uphill bank, and a sharp left turn round a tree and a cambered left hand turn. This was a section that I cleaned three times but it required lots of patience and the gentlest of throttle control. Ten was another up and down through pine trees with a couple of logs to hop over and some cambered turns.

All in all it was a great weekend and the rain held off until the very end. There was a good variety of obstacles and were at just the right level for my riding ability. Roll on Hawkes Bay  

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