Report Ken O'Brien
Cox's farm Beckley was the venue for the Oxford Ixion New Years Day Trial where a fine gathering of riders quietly waited in anticipation for the start of the first round of the 2023 club championship.
Much rain on the preceding days meant for a shortened course as waterlogged areas of the farm were a no no.
Four laps of ten sections were ridden with a variety of roots gullies cambers and a few big hill climbs.
The sun was low in the sky and the temperature never rose above zero and to these elements add four laps of ten sections with slick cambers and turns the scene was set for a good days sport.
Joe Collins over from the Nene Valley Club was in good form taking the Expert class with an 8 point margin win over club compatriot Steve Swanson whose ride on section six was superb.
Starting with a slick left hand sandy turn then a fallen tree on a steep camber it had to be ridden at pace to clean so hopping into position was not an option Swanny weighed this up and produced what was to be four perfect unmatched attempts.
Joe however was untouchable at section ten where a torrent of water was cascading down the rocky stream first a wet clay turn into a gully then an inch perfect flick over a low branch before dropping back into the pond before a pivot turn and blast up a very steep bank to the ends four cleans were recorded.
On the 50/50 route a Master Mud Class was emerging as John Cowley Vertigo turned back the years to produce an outstanding performance losing ZERO points.
John was inch perfect at section five where a crowd had gathered as word got round it was a possible stopper for most.
A delicate traverse over a raft of timber before a combination of mud and sand on a steep bank then a broadsiding style climb up around a coppice of Beech next an almost uncontrollable drop over a large trunk before a blast over marsh to the ends out in the field.
The middle Yellow route was populated by a fine fine body of riders with varying skills but in this sort of going experience was of the essence and so Alan Taylor Clive Charlton Adrian Steele and the like were in their element with the latter taking the Clubman class win.
Few sections troubled this trio although that aforementioned section five is where the winner was found by a considerable margin with TRS power seeming to be the order of the day.
Best Novice on the day went to Russ Olivant over from the HUX club having some great rides noticeably on section one a not so easy starter as 4th gear was required all the way up this slick grassy 200 yard climb.
The ever popular White eased route saw Gordon Pusey turn the clock right back and ran out an impressive winner piloting the Beta around for a miserly 3 marks lost,
Gordon had a steadying prod at section seven over in Roberts Copse last lap but to fair this was excellent as water had dragged up over a Rooty Outcrop and was causing mayhem for most.
Mark Davidson Fantic 200 was going well as usual with a sprinkling of dabs bringing his tally to 13 for the day.
Josh Carter Youth C had the chance to ride his big bike for the first at Oxford and finished in style with a very creditable score of 31 with the big hills of section one two and three not phasing him in the least.
Many thanks to all who helped on the day.