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gasgasjamie

The Stop Debate - A South Eastern Rider's Point Of View

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As many will know, this year the South Eastern Centre decided to go non stop for all of their championship rounds. Now that the season is over, I thought I would just write my view on how it went and what I learnt.

When the decision was made, I must admit I was quite pleased. The reasons why I was looking forward to the change are two fold, and it is perhaps fair to say that these reasons are a bit selfish. Firstly, I have never been the best at hopping and so getting rid of this skill was one way I could try to keep up and have good rides without having to ride every weekend. Secondly, my life has got rather busier in the past few years, so to have less queuing and a chance to get home a bit earlier certainly allowed me to fit more into my weekend.

I turned up to the first round full of enthusiasm and ended up having a pretty decent ride, enjoying myself and getting home before dark. It was obvious that some riders were not happy with the change but the event was well organised, well supported and the sections were set out to allow for non stop. The sections were still challenging and were perhaps the biggest I had ridden in quite a while. So happy Jamie.

I got home, looked at the results, saw a few fives for stopping, some I agreed with, some I didn't, but hey, this was probably the same with everyone so I saw no real problems.

I missed the next round, but then competed at nearly all the rest throughout the year. As with any championships, some rounds were better than others, but all in all the trials were enjoyable.

However, I was never awarded another 5 throughout the whole series for stopping.

Why? Well it wasn't because I have a silky smooth riding style, because I don't. I wasn't because I never stopped, because I did.

In truth, I didn't really have an answer until I put the shoe on the other foot last weekend at the Southern Experts. With the bike in bits, I thought I would observe this event instead. Whilst I observed the sidecars and not the solos, the problem I had was the same as observers all year have had observing me.

This problem is, observing non-stop is just too hard to do. I had all the intention in the world to be the meanest observer I could be. 'A stop is a stop, and the only way to have consistency is to mark to the letter of the law', I thought and have been told by many on here. This is of course true.

But when the first sidecar rider/riders had got a bit stuck, and then fought so hard to keep moving and get out for a three, there was no way I was going to give them a five for a momentary stop. To do this would have shot down their moral, and I would of certainly felt very aggrieved if that had been me. At the end of the day it is only a sport. If I had fived every rider who had stopped in that trial I would not been able to sleep that night knowing that I had ruined the day for so many riders.

I think this is why non-stop is not the answer. On paper it works, in my opinion it opens the trial up to more riders and if set out correctly can still lead to a fun trial for the younger riders. But the rules don't take into account the emotion of the observer. It is the same for the little role back in stop trials, observers just aren't mean enough to mark that as a five.

What is the answer, well that is the question. As many people have said on here, it is about having a trial that can be ridden non-stop, but without the rules. Ban stupidly tight turns, not stopping. Make hopping a skill that is used as a tool to do better, not a necessity to get through the section.

Just my thought,

Jamie

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This highlights how "stop for a one" is the best compromise. It worked well without many big issues till the FIM went "stop allowed" a few years ago.

I hope the FIM will use it next year rather than full no-stop which will be a big mistake.

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Gasgasjamie nicely put point based on experience which is nice to see as you have ridden it for a season not just :dummyspit: at even the thought of it. From a personal view point and i dont ride the sort of terrain you ride, i just dont ride muddy trials and thankfully we dont get too many up here and theres always something else to do instead for me, so my viewpoint is based on the terrain here in Derbyshire which may or may not make a difference. I dont ride modern trials so have only ridden events that are non stop so i suppose i'm biased. I have regularly been docked 5 for stopping but accept that as it is a non stop trial after all. I dont really get why people are getting so upset as if the stop allowed rule was perfect which from reading many posts it wasnt. Stop for a 1 well watching a recent modern event many riders would have scored 6 or 7 if that rule was applied.

To me the obvious problem was the inordinate amount of time spent bu66ering about so how about a more realistic time limit on sections. I would have thought 20 secs more than adequate unless you enjoy poncing around 1" this way then 1" back again wave your leg in the air rev the nuts off it dump the clutch blah blah blah. 20 secs sounds plenty to me and would get people moving. Who knows might even get some to learn to choose a line not just look 2mtrs ahead stop 2mtrs ahead stop etc.

If non stop is so unworkable why are Twinshocks and P65 so popular?

Just a Midlanders point of view :popcorn:

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Think it works on twin shock and pre65 as the sections are more straightforward and most riders in these rounds are more mature and learnt to ride this way,whereas the younger ones learnt in stop permitted trials so have had to develop trick riding skills to ride much tighter sections

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gasgasjamie - thanks for the well written analysis of the season, especially the comments on our trial (which was the first). it's really rare to hear a rider thoughts so well put and thought out especially with perspective.

we suffered really badly with queues and lack of observers the previous year (finishing in the dark!!!), hence we looked forward to non-stop. again terrain isn't scotland/debyshire/elsewhere but we gave it a go and it appeared to work (we went home in daylight).

thus we at Sidcup were disappointed with the move to stop-permitted for 2013, hence we've dropped the centre championship status to allow us to run non-stop. now as the guy who co-ordinates the observes (and observes) i totally understand you thought on observing, giving a five for stopping is a though decision. we as a club are trying to run a large trial with a motley collection of observers who are not modern trials specialist who are fully conversant on the niceties of what is and isn't a stop. when ever this has been talked about this year i refer to the excellent posts on this forum, discussing this, especially the videos of North Berks' Wallace Cup. It is clear the problem is threefold;

1) how the CofC (and team) lay out the section - terrain helps, but some sections aren't laid out to be ridden non stop easily/if at all

2) how the observer observes - lots of style; wait 3 for a stop, really tough, etc

3) how the rider rides the section - as the video showed, the same observer in the same condition with the same section saw riders ride "non stop" while other rode a "stop permitted" style

the explanation of "stop with penalties" given on here, does in my personal opinion, demonstrate the best method for modern trials, but as we then acknowledged the observer has to be very bold to penalise the rider that one for stopping. so we are back with what gasgasjamie says about deciding what a stop is, under what ever system, the observer has to make a tough choice. in theory one could make a brief tutorial for observing complete with demonstration video showing how and why you would give what marks to riders in sections, but in reality this is a completely impractical concept - if you short of observers you'll use anyone with a very quick explanation of the rules - ie for every foot you put down you get a one - no chance for subtly, nuances, etc.

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I think the solution is to keep scoring as simple as possible by making stop/no stop irrelevant. Score a five only if riders exceeds time limit, crashes, goes out of bounds or stalls. The designer of the section would set a time limit for each line from 20 to 90 seconds with the time allowed limiting excessive stop and hops. Stopping, hopping, going backwards, and crossing your tracks would be allowed without penalty. A special timer or smartphone app would be needed where you input the time and ten seconds from expiration there would be an alert and the observer would blow a whistle.

This could be more interesting for spectators because new strategies could be used. For instance, have a 30 second limit section with a tight technical turn in the beginning, a straightforward middle section and a challenging obstacle at the exit. A rider could stop and hop in the beginning, race through the middle endurocross style, stop and size up the exit with a few seconds to spare.

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gasgasjamie

good post and I agree with every thing you said, as a 50 + novice that doesnt take the sport too seriously I thought NO stop would be better, but I have noticed that after the first few trials the stop for a 5 penalty is not given out as much as it probably should be. I think this is partly due to section setters not really setting sections for no stop riding, so OBSERVERS have to decide weather to be leaniant or give everyone a 5.

Sectionone.

I think club trials must be a bit different over here! A time limit would be great. But as Rabie said quite often the observers are picked at

the last minute, often an unsuspecting spouse that thought they would just come along and see what the fascination is with this Trialing lark, only to be given a clip board and very brief instruction of the rules, Most observers (my self included) dont know what an APP is.

No Disrespect to observers intended!

TLTEL

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Do you think we are all taking this a bit too seriously? On reflection it is just supposed to be a bit of fun you know out on your bike having fun?

Just a thought :popcorn: sorry must be the Christmas cheer :madnoel:

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Do you think we are all taking this a bit too seriously? On reflection it is just supposed to be a bit of fun you know out on your bike having fun?

Just a thought :popcorn: sorry must be the Christmas cheer :madnoel:

You OK ??

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Do you think we are all taking this a bit too seriously? On reflection it is just supposed to be a bit of fun you know out on your bike having fun?

Just a thought :popcorn: sorry must be the Christmas cheer :madnoel:

You are probably right, I came away from a very muddy trial last weekend with my highest score ever (101). Would I ride the same trial again this weekend if I could ?

Of coarse I would it was great fun.

TLTEL

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