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lebowski

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About lebowski

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  1. Hamish, we went to the Cagouille Rageuse trial recently and were surprised at the low numbers despite it being a 'two day' event and the penultimate round of the championships. From the outside it seems there are many problems facing trials here. The clubs seem to run too few trials, Lourdes run one modern trial a year, despite having the ability to stage a world championship round. So if you ride a modern bike you have 6 trials to ride a year! (Although twinshocks get 7!) Do the clubs have to pay a lot of fees to run a trial? I appreciate that if the demand for a ride isn't there why put on more trials, but if you don't build it...... As I have found you also have to factor in the costs in registering and insuring a bike. Which seems crazy when the bikes hardly, if ever, touch a public road. Also at every trial I've seen where they do, the road is closed or the crossing is manned. So why the need? I know 'It's France', but.... Obviously increasing the numbers riding is the answer, but when the costs involved are so high, who's going to invest a lot of money to give trials a go? No one seems (in this area at least) to be encouraging kids into the sport either. There's several mountain bike clubs around me that run Wednesday afternoon and Saturday rides, why not trials? I have no idea how it all works with clubs and their grounds, but if you can drive a short distance to somewhere where you can ride and no one is checking registration, insurance, licences etc., then is there really any wonder that competitions are under subscribed?
  2. Do you mean a double cab Transit Custom? If so whilst I haven't ever tried it, I've read that someone can get two enduros in one with the bulkhead removed, which would suggest that two trials bikes should fit even with the bulkhead in place. I'm thinking of buying one at the moment and looked at an L2 at a dealers today. The bulkhead is actually curved in at the bottom which might help and the sales guy, who actually knew what a Sherco trials bike was, reckoned two would fit. The bulkhead looks to be easily removed if necessary and the seats could also be removed as there's only eight bolts holding them in place. Although they're pretty heavy by all accounts. If you try, or buy, one please report back?
  3. Having attended the French world round at Lourdes for two consecutive years, the first (pre Sport 7) year was much better from a spectating point of view. Sport 7 seemed totally geared to filming for Facebook rather than having any regard for actual spectators at the event. As it was a new concept, we arrived on Saturday afternoon to watch the qualification. There were no signs as to where the actual section was and so we, along with a lot of others, waited at the last section. As no one showed up we walked back to the car to find what looked like a practice section being used as the qualifying section! As there was only a tiny grandstand and no other vantage points we watched the top of a few rider's heads and then left. On Sunday the trial seemed to follow the same formula as the previous years, but I heard more than a few moans from the French officials about the British officials and vice versa. The previous year's event had been relaxed, well organised and totally geared to the spectators and providing them with good views. I did hear a lot of complaints about the interzones from the riders mechanics however. Not sure if this changed with Sport 7, or not. Last year's round in Spain was another example of awful organisation. Saturday qualification was positioned on the side of a hill with appalling access and so once all the competitors had positioned themselves inside the taped off areas, there wasn't much to see. Giving up on seeing any action, we watched as each rider arrived at the end of the section. Those that beat the best time were directed to an interview, although as the guy directing them apparently couldn't speak any other language, there was a lot of confusion as to what was happening. The actual 'pole position' interviews were amazing, as the young Sport 7 girl 'interviewing' didn't even know how to say hello in French/Spanish/Italian etc.... We had to translate for 15 year old French lad Hugo Dufrese, as he couldn't understand a word the girl was saying to him. All very professional. On Sunday the maps of where the sections were positioned were totally wrong! If you were lucky enough to find a section, it was so hard to spectate, it wasn't true, as most sections were totally inaccessible. The buses up to the trial site from the village weren't publicised anywhere and when they delivered you to the middle of nowhere, there were no signs guiding you to the sections. We finally had enough when it started pouring with rain, only to have our buses back to the village constantly delayed by Sport 7 guys blocking the access road with their hire cars.... I don't know who was responsible for the organisation of each event and perhaps Sport 7 were fed up with poor organising clubs and the cock ups they made. Having witnessed a pre Sport 7 event, I suspect it wasn't entirely down to the clubs however. Perhaps when they took over they had good intentions, a desire to professionalise the sport and make it accessible to more people. To me it looked like they were out of their depth, unprofessional and didn't give a stuff about spectators who might have travelled a long way to watch. Let's hope things improve.
  4. We should be free of visitors that weekend, so may well pop over and say hi
  5. How was Cantal, Chris? Were the routes similar to Aveyron last year?
  6. As Chewy says, you can enter these multi day trials as an 'international' rider, with the docs that Chewy lists. They are very accommodating over here, we went to suss one out last year and was amazed at how well run, how friendly and how enjoyable the whole thing was. Add in spectacular scenery, plenty of food and wine and what's not to like!? I'm probably one step up from riding the easy route in the UK and the easiest class would've been a bit of a challenge, so if you're a clubman or inter rider there should be a route for you at most of these trials. But if you're thinking of doing one, go for it, I am sure you would enjoy it.
  7. Hi Chris, how are you both? Are you staying now? I've contacted my local Beta dealers and he reckons it's possible to reregister my bike as it was registered in the UK, so I've sent my UK logbook back for a change of address to my brother and made sure the name matches perfectly any French documents I might need. Once I get it back I'll start the process and see where it gets me. Failing that I'll sell and get a French bike!
  8. Thanks Chris, very kind of you. I'll hunt for you on FB.... Jon
  9. We'll actually be driving down to the Gers that weekend, on our 'final moving day' trip, so we might call in to have a quick watch and say hello....
  10. An ACU international licence is £30..... Not that I have ever moaned about it, but we really don't know just how lucky we are... Thanks for that, I've found ABELA online and will contact them nearer the time. So if I turn up with bike and insurance, I should get a ride? Thanks again I think a plan is forming (hopefully)! We aren't the best riders in the world, I'm a novice and my other have is almost a complete beginner, so we will try to find practice areas, either in France or Spain. With insurance we can ride the Amicale trials locally and with an ACU international licence I could ride multi day trials in France or wherever. Anyone foresee any problems with my cunning plan?
  11. An EU licence? As in an ACU licence, or a road licence? Do the bikes have to be insured and/or road registered? Is there a central listing of the different clubs? So many questions..... Sorry!
  12. I tried getting a COC for my Evo.... Ended up speaking to Mr Lampkin himself, who explain that there isn't a COC available in the UK and so he advised speaking to my local Beta dealers in France. So far I've got to sell my van as I can't get a CoC for that and it's also modified (Shock, horror in France), and my Honda Blackbird, as despite the EU saying you must allow reregistration of EU owned motorcycles over 100bhp, the French authorities have decided it must also have ABS fitted as standard.... My 98 DR350 also won't have a CoC, but it's pretty standard so I'm happy to go through the process with that..... So what do folk do in Spain? We're near to the border and was thinking about going over there to ride.... What documentation would I need to ride an Amical? Road licence? Road Insurance? I'm now just over 2 months away from moving and yes the bureaucracy is mind blowing! The French authorities just seem to love making things hard work for people, even themselves! What one town's government office might say no to, another will say yes, it really is no wonder the country struggles. Still, if it was like here I wouldn't be moving there! Thanks all, once again....
  13. Thank you all very much for all that information, very helpful. With the cost of the licence and the lack of trials, I think I might hold fire and do some investigation when we move. My other half is very new to trials and I'm barely clubman standard, so to lay out 400 euros would be daft. From the sound of it riding an 'amical trial' would probably suit us perfectly however, so that may be the way to go. I've also come across UFOLEP in my research and they appear to run trials in our neighbouring departments at least. We looked at buying a 125 (for SWMBO) in France, but the dealer we spoke to told us they were quite rare(?). When a bike is registered in France is DVLA notified? Thanks again gents for your help
  14. Calling anyone living and riding in France! Hopefully moving to France permanently next year, can anyone please tell me what the process and cost of getting a french trials licence is? Whilst I'm asking, my bike is UK registered, but SWMBO's 125 isn't (she also doesn't have a full UK bike licence)..... Do I have to reregister them in France to be allowed to ride and does SWMBO have to take her full bike test? Thanks in advance
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