No-stop trials in our future?

This contribution is from Steve Olliver and is certainly worthy of some discussion certainly in light of last years hot topic of time penalties. Let's hear what you think. 

This article from Trials Central helps to confirm my belief that trials is about to complete a full circle, just like the fashion industry. The non-stop rule suits the majority of riders, and the potential of non-stop trials to wow spectators was only too apparent in the faces of spectators watching Takumi Narita at our recent Oceania event. Takumi’s fast and flowing style through the sections is a pleasure to watch compared to riders who spend more time balancing to line up for the next obstacle, which makes for boring viewing. An added advantage with the non-stop rule is that the sections don’t have to be so tight with near-impossible obstacles. It also keeps the trial moving with less time spent in the sections, which accommodates a larger number of entries. Riders are more likely to lose points through having to take a quick dab (foot down) rather than crashing out. I believe it won’t be long before we start seeing the recreational grade being catered for by this style of trial. It would provide an achievable entry level and riders could have slightly modified trail bikes, for example CRF230 / TTR230. Modifications could include lower gearing and foot pegs, with handlebars altered to suit the standing position. This is by no means new, as that is how trials originated. I can remember turning up to one of my first trials event down at the Rakaia somewhere between Christchurch and Ashburton and the bulk of bikes were modified SL100 / SL125/ AG100s, being ridden in and out of the willow trees with small to moderate banks and this was enough to put a smile on everyone’s faces. So maybe we need to do the complete circle to start the growth all over again. Check out the article below by Mike Rapley, Lake Goes No-Stop. Could this be a sign?========================================================== 

Well, there’s no doubt that some subjects generate more responses than others, judging by last week’s column about observing in no-stop trials.

It’s been the best response to my ramblings for ages – I thought everybody had gone to sleep!

The responses totalled 31 by the time I have got round to writing this week’s column, and even I can read between the lines on this one and it seems as if the majority of posters prefer no-stop trials. And no-stop is how I have been brought up so perhaps the time is coming when the sport goes full circle and every trial everywhere will eventually be no-stop.

Whilst I can accept different points of view over this subject, I do want to point out that I was not making any direct criticism of the Reeth trial. It is what it is, and I ride plenty of Richmond trials by choice and know only too well that no-stop is the way they run. It certainly won’t stop me entering their events, nor those of other clubs that run no-stop.

In fact I heard only today that the Lakes Two Day in October is going no-stop, which is totally different to the way most trials in the Northern Centre are run. There was a meeting last Monday evening to discuss this year’s trial and following the recent change in trials regulations, it was felt by those present that to accommodate 180 riders, using punch cards, and with a high percentage of good riders (i.e. those that can balance for ages), it would be preferable to make the trial no-stop.

As I type this late on Sunday evening, I see from the results of the British Championship trial at Brimham Rocks, that Dougie Lampkin has badly injured his hand. Doug is having a rough time of it these days, following his nasty crack on the head at Erzberg, and a hand injury necessitating surgery is something he certainly doesn’t need.

I’ve said in this column in the past that frequently it’s trials riders who can turn their hands to other forms of off-road bike sport and be successful, yet asking a motocrosser or a road racer to tackle trials is sometimes just too much of a challenge – though not always. I was at Barbon speed hill climb for a short while on Saturday afternoon and two of the fastest guys there were former regular trials riders Neil Crayston and Simon Walker, which simply proves my point about trials men being able to adapt to other aspects of sport.

Another thing mentioned before here – though not recently – is my concern that this column and arguably Trials Central itself, is very much northern biased. We recognise only too well that there is trialing elsewhere in the country and we would like to hear more from clubs and riders “dahn sarf”. I came north from Devon where I know there are some great trials. It would be good to hear from the lads that way, if only to remind me what trials are on and where they are held.

How about it?

No-stop trials in our future?
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