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laird387a

Where are all the entries????

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Posted (edited)

The hundred dollar question. What is happening to British trialling?
 

Last Wednesday evening the Bradford club staged the fourth W.B.S Championship trial at the excellent Hagg Farm venue near Skipton on a compact course with stream and climb sections laid out by sponsor Nathan Wrigglesworth and the Bradford stalwarts. Just thirty-nine riders, of all ages, supported the trial which ironically was about the same number that entered the national Allan Jefferies Trial two months ago, a traditional trial with a great history that sadly did not happen simply because of the lack of entries.........

Noticeable though no Class A youths, only five Class B and ten Class C and D riders. Needles to say the trial was totally off-road as was the annual Artie Ratcliffe Vase novice
trial at Winksley where the Ripon club took on board a mere thirty-two riders, and, one youth, Elliott Laws. Peter Fleetham hosted the trial which had been set out by Keith Blythe and Mark Langstaff - both experienced section plotters. Four laps and ten excellent sections, off road, including a Jacuzzi for the overheated contenders and how many supported the sport? - a mere thirty-two.

Apart from a Northallerton trial thirty miles away Yorkshire was bereft of A-C.U. trials on Sunday.

The photo, by Barry Robinson shows Mr Hammerton who found the slimy underwater rocks had very little grip and was forced to take an involuntary early bath..............

DSC_0806.JPG

Edited by laird387a
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Surely 39 for an evening trial is a great number ??

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There are a whole number of factors.

I know of some riders staying away from some trials because the find some of the sections dangerous. Even only 2 dangerous sections on a 4 lap trial effectively means they forgo 40 marks, making their overall result disheartening, so they stop away

Entry fees are too high / not perceived to be value for money. I know some will argue this but it is simply a fact that there are plenty of other outdoor activity sports that are much cheaper to enter and equip for.

The initial purchase cost & running costs of the motorcycle.

The learners laws restricting under 19 year olds to 125cc and the cost and inconvenience of CBT

Linked to the previous comment, the unsuitability of modern trials bikes for any other purpose.

With regard to the Allan Jeffries. When trial bikes had a decent seat height and a reasonable riding position this was a good, enjoyable ride out. Additionally even the poorest riders were likely to be able to attempt most if not all the sections and go home unhurt. Modern bikes are so uncomfortable on the road it makes this sort of trial a misery, add to this a few sections where failure is likely to result in a fall and possibly injuries and it is easy to see why riders stop away, especially when you look at th present age profile.

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I am a 71 year old and have been riding trials since I was 13 years old in the UK (Midland Centre) and continued when we emigrated to Australia in 1980.

I have been involved with the running of trials clubs in both countries and have set thousands of sections for all grades over the years so I believe I have some knowledge of where the riders are disappearing to and why !

IMHO the main reason for declining numbers is section severity and we have the same issues in Australia.

Many organisers seem obsessed with taking marks off the best riders and we all set three or four different lines for different grades through the section creating more work for the declining numbers of helpers setting it all out.

When you analyse the riders in every event you will come up with the fact that approx 75% are average ability guys and if you cater for them rather than the top 3% who are capable of winning you will send them home happy and in one piece and they will return for the next event ( the other 22% not mentioned would be slightly better than average)

Some will say they need to be challenged and like a tough event, well, let them get involved with a club of similar thinking and organise "tough" events, I don't think they will be overwhelmed with numbers tho'.

I don't believe the cost factor is a major reason for declining numbers, wages have soared in comparison,  but I do think work commitments and family time together also contributes.

It will take years for clubs to get back those riders who gave it away due to section severity and when they do come back they will be riding twinshocks and/or classics.

Cheers

Roger Galpin 

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Section severity is the main issue for a lot of Clubman - post 50

They simply do not want to risk an injury which may take a while to recover from

 

Look at Yorks Classic - I do not think they are short of numbers 

 

Additionally entries at £15 add up, when you want to ride 2 or more trials per week, when it was £10 it seemed more reasonable 

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North East England seems to get an increase in rider entries in winter over similar courses in the summer. I guess people have less to do or go to in winter. 

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I think lack of entries is  down to-

1 No one knows the trials are on , years ago it used to be tmx then trials central now clubs have there own web page put it on there only

 2 Clubs put to hard sections on  ive seen sections get harder ,some riders want harder sections but do not want to move up a course to get them ,

3 riders get sick of same sections every time ,

4  riders getting fed up of expert course riders dropping  down to clubman course at nationals .

5 lack of observers

6 you can go and practice for less cost of a trial entry fee

The problem with trials now they have no grading system in place for riders ,Clubs have put more and more courses on to get bums on seats the only thing ive seen is with this a lack of observers as they are not marking 1 section but 4 in 1 not a easy job as it used to be

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Posted (edited)

Not disagreeing in particular with any of the above.  However people have always left trials as they got older / found it too hard or just moved on to other things. However the difference now is that they are not being replaced by younger riders. Consequently when people get picky about what they like or don't like there aren't enough riders to make trials viable. We need to get young riders interested in trials pdq. 

Factories and importers still promote trials by sponsoring riders but this clearly isn't attracting new riders. However trials riders being as tight as a nats chuff makes it difficult for the trade to invest in significant promotion.

Keep the ideas coming because across the UK the age profile of trials is alarming.

Edited by baldilocks
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Several contributors have commented on the increasing severity of the sections - which must be due to a certain extent to the increasing complexity of the modern machines - particularly insofar as suspension is concerned - without even considering the additional problems of the nature of grip possible wth modern rubber........

But one point seems abundantly clear to me - there is a lack of definition of an ideal trial for course plotters to consider when laying out their sections. So here goes, let's drag out the old definition i gave to ALL course plotters who wanted a round in the Sammy Miller series that I coordinated for just over thirteen years - and I still get asked to take up the task again! That was over one hundred and fifty trials, all multiclass - and each year we averaged no less than four hundred and fifty riders who competed in three rounds or more......................

Firstly the trial should have at least one section that is set in the hope that everyone in the trial will clean it - make it an early one and the rider will go through the ends cards feeling he was going to have a good day.

One section - just one section - should be set with the intention that only the ultimate winner will clean it.

Then set the other sections somewhere in between those two norms - the ideal winning score could well be less than five marks - remember Gordon Jackson rode the entire SSDT course in 1961 dropping just ONE mark. And yes, I know the sections were quite different back then - but no-one else has ever managed it - or pushed him hard that year............

One other point before you jump in with critical comment - we never had a single tie to resolve in all the years I was involved.

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Posted (edited)

42 minutes ago, baldilocks said:

Not disagreeing in particular with any of the above.  However people have always left trials as they got older / found it too hard or just moved on to other things. However the difference now is that they are not being replaced by younger riders. Consequently when people get picky about what they like or don't like there aren't enough riders to make trials viable. We need to get young riders interested in trials pdq. 

Factories and importers still promote trials by sponsoring riders but this clearly isn't attracting new riders. However trials riders being as tight as a nats chuff makes it difficult for the trade to invest in significant promotion.

Keep the ideas coming because across the UK the age profile of trials is alarming.

the trouble is a lot more mature//older riders are coming into the sport than young riders  , The main problem is keeping the youth riders in the sport how many go through and then move on to enduro , Is to much  effort put in on the youth side  and the new older riders forgot as in training days / conducted course ? Also how many clubs charge half price entry to youths will that  sicken adults off paying for someones child to ride  --------------------just thoughts 

Edited by on it
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I feel riding Trials is so time consuming and people are just so busy these days it's hard to fit events in.

If you ride on Sunday it's the whole day plus a few hours later in the week giving the bike a going over and washing the gear.. That's if you don't have kids if so add another couple of hours for each of them.

As we're all aware the old 8 till 5 shift is a thing of the past work spills out over the weekend and nights now.

I know at our club the guys you can rely on are the 40 plus brigade the ones that are free from heavy parental responsibilities, young folk with kids are a rarity they just can't fit a trial in.

There's plenty riders around but a lot can't get out  but I do think modern trials with multi routes and more classes than you can shake a stick it are how can I put it crap.

 

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We need to attract more younger riders,and somehow make them want to also get involved in the organisation.If you took away the 0/40+ riders and organisers locally the sport wouldn't exist,and I think that could be the same elsewhere.There seems to be too many club trials all competing for the same pool of riders,with the result that no club gets a good entry,with insufficient or non existent observers,which sometimes results in odd results when riders score themselves.                                                                           

We need more riders to buy bikes and bits,then the factories and importers might be in the position to put more back,as it is it's on a downhill slope.

There are people out there with the money to afford the sport,for instance I've recently been to MTB enduros,where they get 300ish riders all riding £3k+ bikes ,paying £42 entries,all online and they are oversubscribed.Ask most of them about trials and they've not heard of it,apart from the ones I recognised as ex trials riders who have changed sports 

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10 minutes ago, huski said:

 

There are people out there with the money to afford the sport,for instance I've recently been to MTB enduros,where they get 300ish riders all riding £3k+ bikes ,paying £42 entries,all online and they are oversubscribed.Ask most of them about trials and they've not heard of it,apart from the ones I recognised as ex trials riders who have changed sports 

These mtb events aren't on every week though, doubt they'd get 300+ entries at £40+ every week, but you can enter a trial pretty much every week for around £10 a pop, well up here you can. 

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Posted (edited)

Ive no doubt you mean well Deryk but go to a local skate park, go to YouTube and look up Red Bull Rampage, look at the X games, these are the kinds of events my 11 year old watches. Where people ride bikes basically down a cliff or go up concrete quarter pipes on a £70 scooter then flick turn back down the same pipe.

Now imagine taking these kids to a trial like you describe, it's not inspirational for the you tube generation. Appealing to over 40s isn't the way forward.

We need to rethink trials not get the rose tinted glasses on. We know what appeals to the converted but there's not enough of us left. 

The complexity of riding a trials bike doesn't come across in a video either. Trials videos need to focus on things you can't do on a bicycle. Most of them consist of endless rear wheel hops which can be done for a lot less cash on a bmx

Edited by baldilocks
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Sad a'int it. All these expensive trials bikes going to waste, not being used.  Folkestone have a Non-Expert event on this Sunday (3rd Sept) and only 15 entries.  How many trials bikes here in the South East of England???????? Hundreds of them.

Last weekend the Greybeards that ALWAYS used to be oversubscribed................this year.............Mmmm 26 riders bothered to pre-enter, with a few more on the day. What a great event it turned out to be though. So 'hard luck' on you that missed out on a great days sport.

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