Saturday, 1 March 2014

01 Mar 14, Time to get riding!

Well, it’s been nearly four weeks since I threw my leg over a bike mainly due to a combination of the poor weather with many trials cancelled and partly because I wanted to give my left leg time to heal and gain some strength.  I must say it is feeling much better and I am able to put my full weight on the leg with the consequence that I can walk around much better now (which is a great relief as I hated limping!).  Some soft tissue damage remains and I am undergoing Physio to try and address this so I can get back to full fitness.  Running is most definitely still out of the question and any kind of “shock” such as jumping out of the back of the van, still gets my attention.  Still, things are going in the right direction.
I don't remember it being this deep!

March not only heralds the start of spring but also the first of many long distance road trials and chief amongst them is Golden Valley Classic’s, The March Hare Trial.  Despite never having gained a respectable finish in this event it is a “must do” trial and takes in some spectacular sections over its sixty mile loop of Southern Gloucestershire.  Mindful that I was in need of some solid practice I decided to take some leave and head on up to Zona1 MCC’s practice ground at Birdlip Quarry with NT410.  I was joined by my old pal Heath Brindley and Andy Barefield who had brought his stunning new Triumph Tiger Cub out for some testing.  I haven’t ridden with Heath for a while but he always brings out the best in my riding and it wasn’t long before I was following him into some challenging “sections” comprised of big logs, steep climbs and big, slippery rocks.  I must say, it was great to feel challenged and test myself against such a good rider however, I did have a couple of “offs” both of which caused me to land on my left leg and I was in a great deal of pain.  However, they’re only cuts and bruises and I didn’t break the leg again, thank goodness!
The Cub takes big slabs in its stride

Andy is a very generous gentleman and I was afforded the great privilege of being able to test ride his new creation whilst also watching Heath tackling the sections on NT410 (which, for a non-Pre-65 rider, he handled with aplomb!).  Andy’s Cub was a real buzz.  Light, snappy and with perfect steering & suspension it simply ate up all I could throw at it.  Big logs, climbs, jumps and rocks were suddenly much more rideable and after a suggestion from Heath, I selected first gear and slowed the pace down over the rocks.  It was amazing; the little Cub soaked up the undulations and floated through the sections.  I even faced my “demon section” (where I broke my leg) and rode it for a clean on each occasion.  I was very impressed with Andy’s Tiger Cub and I must say it took me a long while to get used to NT410 again at the end of the day.  I think I may have to look into the Triumph Tiger Cub again; it could be just what’s needed for the 2014 ACU Sammy Miller national championship.  One thing’s for certain; it’d be a better move than going with a rigid.  Watch this space!!

No problem for this very well set up
Triumph Tiger Cub
By way of a taster, for the test day why not check out this posting from Trial magazine

If you want to keep up with Andy’s wonderul Tiger Cub and how it's progressing then you can do so HERE.

Right, time for an early night before tomorrow’s March Hare Trial.