I’ve put some thought to this as it has been a concern for sometime, and as quite a few have posted similar musings here’s my input. Land is not so readily available as it used to be, housing and industrial sites eat into the green belt and other land. Then with the do gooders, environmentalists, walkers and horse riders etc complaining about pathways...( pictures of tracks churned up by off-roaders legitimately using the correct routes....which makes walking difficult...always surface at the right moment). Next the land owners aware of theses issues preferring to abstain from allowing their land to be used, all makes suitable sites for trials very limited. Those land owners that understand what actually is involved with trials events generously allow a limited number within their own constraints eg noise close to housing, game bird sites etc etc. Sometime back whilst testing a race car at Bruntigthorpe we got told to keep it slow on the corners because tyre noise...I’ll say that again..tyre noise was annoying some one in a house close to the circuit or more correctly...runway. So even if everyone used electric bikes there’d probably be a reason for a complaint, in the land owners case an irritant they don’t need, so it goes on. Trials events have been cancelled for various reasons so land suitable for trialing is becoming precious, if different sections and terrain are to be offered then we need to be involving more land owners in some productive way so the both parties can benefit. Maybe clubs could get involved with other events and open days and put on static displays with video action to show the general public what our sport is all about, a few members could show their bikes and riding kit hopefully encouraging some parents to consider the safest introduction to motorcycle sport and riding, possibly also reaching others to. As a bike dealer I’ve attended, schools open day events with bikes and clothing examples and any other marketing material, if it just interests a few it’s worth the effort. Attending College events also widens the appeal. Then we have the local events and promotions that clubs could get involved with....casting the net wider. Then perhaps we should adopt, as already suggested, a grading system whereby you have to start as a novice ( no matter how good a wobbler you are) and compete in and finish in at least four trials. The club would issue a competitor card that would be signed off after each completed event by the clerk of the course..it’s just a suggestion, someone else as a named signatory could do it...this same process would be repeated for intermediate and then expert. Within twelve events it would be possible to achieve expert status. Any rider not wanting to go forward from let’s say intermediate would simply withdraw from an event by either machine fault or missing out a section, it’s left up to the riders discretion if they progress up the levels. It wouldn’t matter if the rider was on a tiddler or a full on works replica or a pre-65 etc the same grading would apply. Current riders could use previous results to declare rider status as either novice, intermediate or expert. They would have the same grading card either completed to the level chosen or left open so that they can elect if they wanted to progress. The trials events would have just the one course made up of a group of sections, experts must ride all sections, reason later, intermediates have the option of riding all sections or not attempting the sections marked as expert the novices would only ride those sections marked as novice. All sections would be marked with signs stating the words novice, intermediate etc so there is no confusion. Similarly the bike would have novice or intermediate on the competitor number board, experts would be marked the same.This last suggestion might not be practicable. However as there will be more expert sections the novices would have the time and be able to watch some or most of the sections being attempted by the experts, it would be the same for the intermediates and thus a learning pattern develops where every rider is showing others riders how to approach and ride the different sections, an expert completing a novice section would give benefit to a nervous novice. So this brings up the issue of sections being reached by road (public highway), some riders don’t want to ride on the road for various reasons which would be understandable. In this case the overall winners in all three classes would be those who have ridden all sections including those reached by riding legally on the road, these riders would be awarded a full win. Those winning riders that only rode the sections not reached by riding on the road (public highway) would be awarded a classified win. This would not take away the obvious pride in winning an expert full win, intermediate full win and a novice full win and likewise the riders who hadn’t competed over the full course could still achieve a classified novice win, intermediate classified win and an expert classified win. This may not sit well with some but it’s my contribution borne about by just reminiscing about trials in the 60’s and 70’s when it seemed every single trials iron was registered for the road, most had rudimentary lights and a squeeze bulb horn and nearly every trial involved road work to get to some of the sections. A lot of those bikes were also workhorses being used to get to and from work as well as being thrown about in trials.
I hope there’s some useful ideas here, open for criticism constructive or entertaining 👨💻🤔🙂