Some very valid points, however in my humble opinion section severity is an issue, not sure i like the word severity, as personally i think it is more a problem of the gulf that exists between a rider starting out, a more mature rider who is somewhat careful as they don't mend as well as they used to, or someone recovering from surgery or just getting older etc and the other end of the scale an experienced fit and healthy regular rider. This coupled with the fact nobody nowadays wants to drop a 'cricket score' where as years ago you put up with it.
so should a club put on more routes to give everyone something they are comfortable with or do they put on two routes and risk putting newcomers or those mentioned above off? I have also heard complaints of trials being too easy.
One of the clubs I ride with regularly with has just ran an event in Devon, a super piece of land with traditional Devon stream sections, but only 30 or so entries. I listened to comments on the day as a number of the people not riding were observing and i chatted with quite a few who felt it was too challenging for them. however if the easier route had been made easier the top chaps/chapesses would have probably not dropped any.
the other down side to low entries is less chance of finding 10 or 12 observers, more riders, more chance of observers
for what it is worth my twopenneth, you cannot mix the entry between modern and classic, at best it will be a poor compromise with both camps not really happy, however there is no need to refuse any entries but if the moderns turn up at a classic trial too bad just ride it put up and shut up and vice versa for the classics turning up at a modern bike club.
3 ride in my family, i am fortunate to ride most weekends so have built a fair degree confidence, my dad has been recovering from a shoulder Op and is building confidence but does not want to 'hurt himself' or set back the healing process, my brother works for the mafia (a superstore every little helps) and cannot ride as often as he would like due to working sunday so confidence is lower. A two route event does not provide sufficient breadth of ability coverage. I have to hand it to our local clubs Somerton Classic and Wilts and Dorset for running with 3 routes where all three of us can ride and have a good day. The British Bike trial at Priddy attracted over 100 entries for each day, the same is true of the SWCTA 2 day events and the Eurocup, so somebody can get the recipe right!
I also notice quite a few clubs in the South west centre are putting on introduction to trials routes, or 5 sections separate from the main event, i have seen the numbers steadily increase, this weekend there must have been 10-15 riders all 'learning' and enjoying our wonderful sport. I agree we need young blood in the gene pool but this should compliment those having ago at any age.
my personal view - more people will return if the event is 'too easy' than if they go home disheartened with a high score or worse an injury.
all views are based on personal opinion, observation and from chatting with fellow riders.