Report Ken O'Brien
A cold clear night made for much overnight Dew and a slippy start to the day on most sections but once the Sun appeared it shone once again on the righteous for Oxford's Good Friday Trial at The Common and Roberts Copse on the land of Folly Farm Beckley.
This was the venue for Ixions 3rd club champs where a good entry of 70 plus riders and officials set off to tackle Ten sections four times with a mix of mud roots climbs ditches and cambers that would eventually sort a winner in each class.
Heading the Expert class home was James Carter 300 Gas Gas with 37 marks lost.
Section eight was a tough nut to crack on the hard route with James recording only one clean last lap but with water being dragged up the section made it difficult to get grip on the steep climb out as the the middle route riders also joined in the action at this point.
On the 50/50 route Andrew Paxton 245 Air-Cooled Fantic ran out a clear winner losing 5 marks with a three at sub six lap two a slick rooted camber crossing the ditch then a tightish pivot turn over a rooty outcrop before a third gear leap to a deteriorating grassy bank to the ends cards 10 yards or so up a slippy gradient.
It was always going to be a close call in the Clubman Class riding the middle route with several riders in contention.
On this occasion Dave Barrett took maximum champs points after a tie-break decision with Adrian Steele with most cleans.
But it was Rob Higgins Pro 300 who put in the best performance on the middle route with a loss of five.
Recent storms had paved the way for a new section to be used a fallen Oak had left a suitably sized crater for the course plotters to take advantage of before a sharp drop to a marshy turn with a steep climb out Rob was inch perfect every visit at this section three.
Best Twinshock saw Fantic mounted Peter Cook 17 marks lost take the win over Rowan Hill 250 Beamish 24 marks
It made no difference which bike you were on for Section five it was simply a matter of correct gear selection and hang on for sixty yards of liquid dust judging the right line also came into the calculations.
The little Fantic could be heard far in the woods having its neck rung in third to the delight of the gathered crowd.
As it happened ' The Hill ' stayed fairly tame for some as the more experienced riders spied a Ch*** Line although it was tricky to get it right.
Youth B competitor Thomas Vining was having a good day on the 125 Beta with a creditable 41 mark deficit.
Tom had section two weighed up a treat a shaded entrance along an offset camber then a fairish size fallen tree to cross before a turn over an awkward swamp root although a steadying dab was required on his final visit.
On the White eased course the best performance was produced by Chris French Gold 250 who put in a really controlled ride in on the TRS for his first appearance at our club.
A measly 2 prods were all we could get him to part with at section two and seven.
Paul Toplis 310 CCM was best Twinshock on the machine he bought new in 1982.
Paul was good at section nine a third gear blast over a raft of floating timber before anchoring up to turn left though a gully of roots then 30 yards later the ends were in sight where mysteriously water had started to flow down over a lattice of roots which made the going extremely difficult for most.
Brit-bike supremo for the day was Neil Osman AJS 410 losing 16 marks 6 of which went astray at section seven a steep drop to a rooted turn before a twisting climb out over roots .
Many thanks to all who helped on the day.