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grumpyoldfart

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Everything posted by grumpyoldfart

  1. Well yes, but at the risk of dragging this discussion too off-topic mags' comments do ring true with me. I also tend to get too involved in things and seem to end up being drafted onto committees populated predominantly by what SEEM TO ME to be people with less interested in what's best for the club/sport and more concerned about obsessing over minutae and hanging onto their dubious position of power. I fully accept that this is likely true of any amateur club and it's probably more an inditement of my own intolerance for petty politics and generally abraisive personality. Whatever, I've learned my lesson and stay well away from the organisational side of things these days. It's better all round that way. As for observing, trials isn't the only sport that's "observed" - look at figure skating for example, or skateboarding or FMX or many others. All of these sports' scoring systems rely on the observations of a panel of judges, the difference being that there's always multiple judges in order to counter the effect of one or more missing something and to minimise bias. If the FIM is to persist with their plan of completely destroying trials at the highest level using the no stop rules as their primary wrecking ball, how about 2 or 3 observers per section? If 2 out of 3 agree, that's the score. If all 3 disagree, take the median.
  2. Well, this exists - Ossa 300i direct injection, reverse headed enduro bike. Production next year, apparently...
  3. 2 reasons: Cost and complexity. More gubbins = more cost, complexity = more difficult to fix when it goes wrong. Part of the reason a lot of people buy 2-strokes is that when you drown it in a river miles from anywhere it's relatively straightforward to get it going again. Try doing the same thing with fried EFI or bent valves.
  4. 4-strokes are the enemy of off-road motorcycling, at least in the UK. Forget the fact that a 2-stroke engine might be louder than a 4-stroke at short distances, the longer wavelength of the 4-stroke engine note travels much, much further and noise is one of the first complaints to be trotted out by NIMBYs and the bobble hat brigade whenever land use is in dispute. And in this specific instance, they're right. The 2-stroke is not dead, not by a long shot. 2-strokes are the norm rather than the exception in enduro and all of the major manufacturers are gearing up to implement direct injection which will make them at least as "clean" as 4 strokes. There are some things that 4-strokes are more suited for but off-road isn't one of them. In my opinion. Honda excepted, the Japanese manufacturers obviously don't give a crap about trials and are focussed on the strangely introverted American MX market where 4-strokes still reign supreme and environmental lobbying is far more persuasive than reality. Interesting that KTM's biggest selling bike in 2013 was the (2-stroke) 300EXC enduro. And KTM are the biggest bike manufacturer in Europe.
  5. I've been away from trials for a long while due to work committments (I'm a re-register on TC, I couldn't remember the password to my original account, nor the email address I used all those years ago but I used to be a regular). What the hell happened to the sport? First of all, the outdoor WTC goes non-stop which is OK I guess but makes it dull as dishwater to spectate, let alone as a TV sport, then I hop on earlier this evening to take a peek at the Sheffield results and... how the hell is anyone supposed to work out how their favorite rider performed from that?? Yes, if you scroll right down the bottom you can see the final standings but what the hell is all this head-to-head stuff about? Do we now need a cheat sheet just to understand what the hell is going on? No wonder a lot of riders are jumping ship to enduro - at least you stand half a chance of knowing who's in what position! I'll always be a trials person at heart but for a sport that seems to be constantly fretting about money and public appeal it seems to be doing a jolly good job of kicking itself in the knackers these days.
  6. Difficulty in observing. Lots of people will say things like "it worked in the old days" and "it works in the Scottish" and they'd be right. However, times have changed and while events such as the Scottish will (and should!) continue to be anomalies, there's the bigger picture to consider. Trials is now much more of a business than it was. That's not to say that there haven't always been commercial pressures but trials never has been a spectator sport in the sense that the uninitiated can quickly understand and become involved and in a media-driven world, the pressure for a manufacturer (and by extension, the importers) to be profitable is exponentially higher. This creates a dichotomy where in order to survive the industry must make the most of a sport that doesn't easily lend itself to commercialisation. Real-world problems vs. traditionalist imperitives = an unstoppable force meeting an unmovable object. The Scottish has always been no-stop (and likely always will be) and the sections tend to be long and flowing with an overall level of difficulty lower than a BTC round. This makes observing easier and the results less potentially contentious. Transplanting the same rules into much smaller, tighter and more difficult sections results in it being much more difficult to observe accurately and consistently. Which, due to the previously-mentioned pressures on the riders and importers, increases the likelihood of contention which in turn WILL result in fewer and fewer people being willing to observe.
  7. I've volunteered my services for the SDMC round next weekend. I consider myself to be a reasonably experienced observer and have observed BTC rounds in previous years although never using no-stop rules. I don't know whether I'll be asked to observe, timekeep or help out in some other way but just in case I've taken the time to familiarise myself with the letter of the law as far as the ACU rulebook is concerned since I've been away from the sport for a couple of years. After reading this discussion it occurs to me that the only practical approach to observing the event will be to apply the rules absolutely as written, regardless of the section layout and deal with any rider dissent politely but robustly. Having said that, I'll obviously respect any and all guidance provided by the CoC during the observer's briefing but going by previous experience at SDMC events I expect a very professional and pragmatic approach and given all of the opinions being fed back from the previous couple of rounds, I don't see how anything but a black and white approach can be taken.
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