Bush Skills on a Bike

North Island Trials Champs 2017

maddix park mx

Bush skills were the order of the day but bush skills of the bike variety.

The Bay of Plenty hosted 2 rounds of the 2017 North Island Moto Trials Championship in May. Co-organizer, Andy Anderson, was delighted with the weekend and the two successful rounds. “The weather was great, everything ran smoothly and we were very pleased with the large number of intermediate riders”.

Day 1 at the Muir’s property in Te Puke had nice grippy rocks and traditional creeks plus some new sections.

Day 2 at Maddix Park was all “bush” with a mix of banks, slippery rocks and tree roots.  Section setter, Francis Sydenham thought maybe he had overestimated the ability of riders, especially in the deep, loamy, leaf mould covered soil  that had never been ridden previously.  This may have been true for some of the lower grade levels; however, the general rider consensus amongst the good turnout of riders was that the sections were spot on with the levels perfect for the different grades.

Some made it through a section “clean”, with not a foot wrong, others, the “dabbers” needed  that foot to maintain balance or momentum, but , of course,  there were also the usual moments classified under the headings of unlucky, unsure or unfit.  You were unlucky, if your tyre popped off or if your kill switch caught in a supple jack at one of those very critical moments;  you were unsure  when you were mentally asking yourself shall I jump that gap or shall I play safe and launch from the rock at the bottom; you were a tad unfit if you regretted not working out a bit more as, post crash, you heaved  your bike out of the creek and up a bank for the third time.  Often - perhaps usually - your day was a mixture of all.

Tauranga’s  Phil Shilton, for example, was victim of the tyre incident but nevertheless lived up to expectations, won the A grade class and leads the championship with 2 more rounds to come.

Carl Robson, one of a successful contingent who came up from Wellington for the two day event came second in the same class. “The sections were physically demanding”, he states, “and this shows in the scores.  But the trial was very enjoyable and a great venue.”  

James Snowden on the oldest bike there pipped Intemediate class leader Kevin Pinfold on both days but, with a couple of missed rounds, lies 4th in the championship.

Other local riders showed their worth. Gabby Gundry successfully took out the Women’s class with a young but extremely competitive Hannah Rushworth very close behind.

Nigel Shilton and Francis Sydenham made the most of their local knowledge with Nigel  finishing 3rd on day 2  in the President’s grade and Francis 2nd in Clubmans.

The trophies presented at the conclusion of the weekend proved of particular interest.
They were “preloved”  trophies won by Tauranga’s multi world champion enduro rider, Stefan Merriman and donated by his parents Stefan Merriman and Anita Merriman.

Stefan is one of many international champions who commenced their careers by honing their skills on trials bikes. Hopefully a number of the MX riders enjoying their Sunday at Maddix who joined the spectators watching the trials will realize the value of such skills.

All results can be found on http://www.trialscores.com/data_centre.php

There a couple of photos on facebook .

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