Wot no Alfas ... not that I saw anyway, well I suppose it is a reliability trial too?!
Well any way I did it! I finished the Lands End Trial! (Ok it was on a bike,- DRZ 400) but I've been practising in the Spide!!
) For those that don’t know it’s a combined endurance, map reading and off road motoring event for bikes and cars. More technical trail than trial. Its run by the MCC who I think are the oldest motoring club in the UK. I took the class O option this year and started at Bridgewater, which meant an hours ride from home. You have to get there an hour before your departure time for scrutineering, so I was there at 11pm, the bike sailed through although I had to change the rear bulb as both elements had blown. I went off for a chip butty and a big mug of coffee. Warmed and filled I set of at 12.14am - fortunately I know that neck of the woods and found a garage to buy a couple of spare bulbs and made to the first off road section on time, the cars all stop to deflate their tyres but I was running on MT43s (trials tyres) and had decided to run mine at a constant 15lb so I scooted past them into the woods and up to the section which was hard ground covered in a good supply of lubricating mud! A hoot and christened the bike and me! My choice of tyres and 13/47 gearing seemed about right – the MT43 is a big tyre and would be equivalent to 13/44 on a standard knobby I think. I wish I could remember all the sections and had time to take picture but the camera never cam out of its bag! We had a rest stop up on the top of Exmoor, bacon bap and more coffee and a forced 20 minute rest – bliss and a chance to warm up. But it was at this point I lost my reading glasses! Big hanycap I assure you….. anyway I teamed up with a travelling marshal and agreed to keep him in jelly babies if he led the way! He was on an BSA A10 by the way! As it turned out this wasn’t a good move we got lost at the same time as his lights failed and he parked up to wait for dawn (not sure how she was going to help by hey?! ) So off I went with a blurry map and direction sheet into the cold night, and damn it was cold, 32f with a 40mph wind in your face, anyway spotted some other lights and rejoined the trial! There was another enforced break for an hour and breakfast about 7am, that full English never tasted so good! All in all we covered over 250 miles over Somerset Devon and Cornwall finishing at Blue Hills in Perranporth in the early afternoon. The pic links don’t really do this justice, it’s a mamouth climb over some nasty rocks. Unlike the 3 bikes in-front, two older style BMW adventurers and a Triumph trophy the DRZ and I cleaned it, I was well chuffed, just stood up leant right over the bars and took it mid revs in first.
So including the journey to the start and journey home from Scorrier that was just over 400 miles with no sleep! I cleaned all the sections but there are some complicated restart rules that I may have missed, so will have to see the results in a week or so for the final results. How did the bike do? Brilliantly, although my home made exhaust gasket hetween header and silencer disintegrated and so was a tad on the noisy side, but quiet compared to some others! ………. And that seat is not made for such a long journey!
It’s a great event great camaraderie as you are competing against yourself and the club, there is no winner you just get awards depending on how many section you clean. Some great cars and bikes too, from Skoda’s to Micras to Morgans, Marlins and Midgets, a few 3 wheelers and old British Bikes, Ex Army, BMWs classic Jap trail and trials machines, some great trials sidecar outfits too and newer stuff like mine. There’s a class for everyone!
Will I do it again? oh yes, and the Edinburgh in the summer, but with those bar mounted illuminated map rollers.
What’s a classic trial:What is a Classic Trial
The MCC: MCC ¦ The Motor Cycling Club ¦ 100 Years of Motorsport
A few Pics: MCC ¦ Lands End Trial ¦ 2007 ¦ Photographs
A muddy section:YouTube - Lands End, Crackington
Blue hills last year: YouTube - lands end trial
Unfortunaley the vid covers the bit before it get real steep!