With the Western Cape in a severe drought and fires on the mountain, I must have been one of the few to wish it wasn’t raining on Sunday morning. However it certainly did rain, but cleared up enough for us to start the trial on time after the usual formalities and group photo. A total of fourteen riders was very good considering the weather, and was in fact more than we usually get at a normal club trial.
The part of the forest we use is still very much as it was last year with a lot of dead wood lying around after the devastating fire two years ago, but it’s still a magic place for us. The sections were pretty much in the same places as before. The first two were a short walk from the start, with the next five being more spread out above and below the path further into the forest. After section seven the riders returned along the path almost down to section two where number eight was located, and which took the riders over the small hill back to the start.
Apart from a short and very light drizzle, the rain stayed away but its effect was very evident. Otherwise easy climbs were turned into greasy slippery slopes which took lots of marks. Last year was a bit easy so I made the sections a bit tighter this year and left them as they were. Section four had a particularly awkward exit gate. It was a tight left turn downhill between trees with roots becoming increasingly exposed. Just before that on the expert route, a slippery log on the off camber had to be crossed which took many riders by surprise as their back wheel slid down the slope. The next section was new and was to my mind the best section. It just had that good feel to it as it threaded its way between rocks and trees, with ups and downs and a log to cross over.
This event has often been known for bringing riders out of the wood work, and no more so this time than for Roddy Mills to make an appearance on his 1974 Bultaco Sherpa after a layoff of about ten years. Also, for most, an unexpected visit from Ken van Zyl, an ex-Transvaal rider whom Johann and I and used to compete against twenty five years ago, and was once the Fantic importer.
This event is now in its silver jubilee year as it has been going for twenty five years. It is many things to different people. For Eric it was the first trial he had completed this year and thoroughly enjoyed it, saying it was his type of trial. For others it is a good point to start trials riding. Young Dylan very bravely made his trials debut on Mark’s classic Suzuki, but after a while decided to retire to avoid any damage to the bike. For me it’s the opportunity to ride one of the old bikes and remember the good old days. For others it’s just an easy event with a social ending. Some have said it’s the highlight of the year, and that goes a long way to making it worthwhile as the organizer.
|Brian Barson||Kawasaki KT 250||3||5||6||2||8||6||9||5||44||1|
|Duncan Barson||Yamaha TY 175||4||12||6||5||5||3||2||2||39||1|
|Trevor Kinnear||Ossa 250||1||12||5||0||12||3||2||7||42||2|
|Johann Van Blerck||SWM||7||8||13||0||18||7||6||10||69||3|
|Roddy Mills||Bultaco 325||14||18||20||9||20||16||12||20||129||4|
|Sean Pretorius||Gas Gas||2||7||2||4||6||0||3||4||28||2|
|Mike Sydenham||Gas Gas||12||12||10||9||16||7||16||13||95||5|
|Eric Pannaye||Gas Gas||1||6||0||2||5||10||9||9||42||1|
|Murray Thomas||Gas Gas||5||14||10||5||18||4||12||11||79||2|