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Moorland Crossing

capt five

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Its always amazed me how you flag the ssdt.can you answer a few questions for me please.

1How many of you cross a moor at once when you put the flags out.

2How do you carry the flags.

3Is it done on the day before or when.

4Is there a predetermined exact route or do you make it up as you go(ie; do you head for certain landmarks that you use every time or vary it if you feel like it)

5How do you know everyone is off the moor when closing the course.

6How would a bike be got off a very remote area that had broken down and was unrideable eg; a collapsed wheel.

7Has anyone ever got totally lost and had to spend the night on the moor. And I don't mean Kinell :D

Thanks Mark T

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Its always amazed me how you flag the ssdt.can you answer a few questions for me please.

I hope i'm not tempting fate answering these but:

When you've been across these moors every year for the past 20 years you get to know them - you head for landmarks and get to know the bogs :( - we do try to vary the flagged route from year to year to try to reduce land scarring. in fact in the years that i rode the event i never looked for a flag - i simply rode to the next section - often i used to look around and see that i had taken a different route than the flags !

We have three teams out every day made up of 2 or 3 riders - the route is laid out the day before and each team lay out 1/3 of the route - we carry all of the flags and section markers between us - flags in a belt and markers in a rucsack - the worst crossing is the thursday from Gorton to Glen Lyon and then over to Fersit where we each have to cary 150 flags- we often get to Fersit in the dark! - the other problem we have is fuel for the bikes - we either have to carry it or plant it beforehand. Laying out the sections acn take a long time - some of the river erosion can be severe and we acn spend hours moving rocks an filling in holes.- Over the last 20 years, i have ridden about 10 and laid out about 10 - i can assure you that the easier option is riding !

As far as closing the route goes - there are three backmarkers who sweep the trial up ahead of them - they will not pass anyone without ensuring that they are set on their way home safely or get their bike going - we have had some instances where a bike has failed in some remote area but we have always got it out - usually by towing it with a rope- even if it has meant leaving it til the next day and taking spare parts out to get it moving.

hope i've answered your questions

Edited by overthehill
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Blimey, this post just goes to show the amount of sheer hard graft put in by (presumably) unpaid voulunteers, in thier time off from work, simply to make the greatest trial in the world, possible.. Doing this for six or seven days on the trot, it must feel as if you have done the scottish yourselves!

I take my hat off to each and every one of you.

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Let me tell you that putting the flags in the ground is the best bit - its not all hard graft - we have all day to do a days job and have been known to have a few detours on the way ;) - there are hard days and easy ones but we all do it for the fun of it. The real hard bit is the 8 months of organising, of keeping happy all of the landowners, tenants, farmers, shepherds, gamekeepers, of complying with all of the requirements of the environmental bodies, the various authorities, Commissions etc etc all of which gets harder every year.

The one side of it that often gets overlooked is the secretary (yes our very own Highlandlassie)and her office. not only does she put in a horrendous amount of work from October to May but then when the trial is running she lives in the office from morning to night along with the rest of the results team - every night they eat their dinner at their desk while inputting your scores :( -but dont feel sorry for her - just take her a bottle of wine when you sign on to keep the office going through the night. :unsure: - i believe they prefer white :unsure:

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Fantastic insight into the running of the best trial in the world.The route marking is the best I have ever seen!Those moors don't seem to get any easier though!What I have found is that the bogs that don't look that bad are bottomless!!!I learn't the hard way by doing an impression of an olympic diver a few times!!!!Cracking trial and keep up the good work as it is very much appreciated!

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Congratulations OVERTHEHILL and company,for your great job. I prefer ride the trial than work as a marker or worst, backmarker :closedeyes:

Any news about the 2006 routes ??

Hope the bogs will be dry...and not so many moorland crossing :(

And remember guys....plenty of white wine for Highlandlassie ;)

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Yup - missing a single section is 50. Missing more than two sections or missing an entire hill means you're out.

That means that if a hill is made up of two sections and you miss it, you're out - the fact that it's not more than two sections is irrelevant - that's quite often a gray area... :)

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