2003 NZ National Trials Champs

wayneg

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#1
Although I did come fairly close to being last again, I finally overcome the trend and managed to finish 5th (out of 10 in the class, and 3 DNFed with injuries on the last day!!).

I really stacked the deck this year by getting my younger brother to enter the event - he is genetically related to me, and less experienced at trials, so I though I would have a fair chance at getting second to last this year :laugh:

I have a lot of digital photos from the event, and will put them on our club website later this week if you're interested in having a look. IXION Web Site

After giving other people a hard time about writing ride reports after their events I supose I should do something too, so here goes;

The event is run over a three day weekend, and each day scores towards the final placings, but if you don't finish one day then you are deemed to have not completed the event so DNF. We have basically four lines in each section, and I was competing on the easiest line in our lowset grade as a Clubman rider (similar to your Sportsman grade I think).

The first day was held on grassy farm country, and was overall a pretty good ride. There were 10 sections which were ridden in four loops - all the sections seemed to challenge each of the seperate grades, and all seemed to be about the right level for each grade. There was one exception for me in section 9 which became impassable on our line after the first three riders went through (I was number 8!) - everyone else just fived it all day after that... I made some silly mistakes pretty much all day and ended up in 5th place(on about 61 points) by a margin of about 20 points to 4th place. No major crashes and no bruises at all - a minor surprise. The bike performed well, the body held up well, but mental concentration problems made for some awkward little moments and some excellent entertainment for the observers. The worst moment was when going up a short steep hill the bike jumped out of second gear, and I went really fast backwards for a distance. I will remember to NEVER change gear when in the middle of a section again.....

The second day was held in and around a small creek bed, with lots of river stones. Again I finished in 5th place on 55points, about 20 points to 4th place (I see a pattern forming here!). This was my best day, and I did have a couple of awkward moments, with the worst being a simple little bank on the exit of the last section (previous attempts gave me a one and two cleans) - I lost concentration for a few seconds, then messed up my line and the bike rode perfectly up and over the bank, while I was falling gracefully backwards to the bottom on my butt!! I another section I got a small bruise on my left shoulder after trying to push a 2' diameter willow tree over - I didn't manage to move the tree very much, but did scare it a little I think. The bike again ran smoothly all day, the body coped quite well, and my head was a too easily distracted and not quite up to the job.

The last day was a complete nightmare - Lots of 1 to 10' diameter limestone rocks, and again 10 sections and 4 laps. Rocks are not my best friends :whiner: . I found this out for sure on the first lap when I fell off a smallish bank about 6' onto my right forearm. My whole arm and the fingers on my right hand didn't work very well after that, and hurt a fair bit for the rest of the day. (I think a major contributor to the pain was caused by the copious amounts of sun screen I had put on to stop getting sunburnt, slowly mixing itself into the grazes on my arm :whiner: ). On the second lap I managed to launch off another small bank onto some more rocks onto my right forearm again. The next accident was worse still as I again landed on my right forearm (I can see another pattern forming here!) - except this time I also managed to munch three of the fingers on my left hand as well - after this I didn't use the clutch much because I couldn't use the usual fingers (have you ever tried to pull the clutch in using only your little finger??? Its a lot harder than I expected).

Overall I managed to really ride badly all day (not up to my usual high standards) and finished again in 5th place, on 95 points and about 40 points behind 4th place, but luckily still 20 points ahead of 6th place. Sections that I would normally get through without much trouble seemed to be almost impossible, and I ended up with lots of threes, with only 5 cleans all day. One of the guys from my club who I normally ride with won our class by a decent margin, but he is a far better rider than me as far as skills on the bike, but also in his mental attitude to riding. The bike performed faultlessly all day, the body is a big mess, and I do need some counselling to re-adjust.....

So there you have it - Wayne and rocks officially don't mix without a fair bit of pain and anguish. As a side note I did manage to slowly navigate the course one last time thanking all of the observers for helping to get the bike off me, and also for not laughing as much as they could have done....

Next year the trial is going to be held in an area notorious for the size and roughness of their rocks..... I might be buying some new elbow guards and upping my medical insurance :thumb:

This whole experience has really shown me how much trials is a mental and confidence sport. Even if you have sufficient skills to negotiate the course, you still need the ability to focus on what you are doing and concentrate, plus the confidence to get stuck in and do the business. Ah well maybe the year after next I'll be in contention :) ( Next year has lots of rocks you see.......)
 

Patman

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#2
:thumb: :thumb:
Good stuff Wayne!

Concentration is not my strong suit either. I get all wrapped up in where I need to go and whaere I was and where I'm at that I tend to get the blue screen of death (Microsoft Windows term) on my internal monitor sometimes. :laugh:
 

JTT

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#3
Nice write up!! :thumb:

I too have something of a concentration issue...I tend to always be looking for "outs" ...places to put a foot, or a "safe way off that rock" etc. Usually ends in going exactly to that "out" instead of where I wanted to go. :|
 

FireLily

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#5
Unfortunately with me its more 'ouches' than 'outs'
That's funny!
Congratulations on your coming in the 5th! :thumb: That sounds like a tough competition......10 sections x 4 loops x 3 days!
I have ridden in 2 events so far. I got exhausted in the 2nd event. We had 10 sections x 3 loops in the event, but that was only 1 day event, so I can't imagine how tough it was to do 4 loops for 3 days!
Nice report, wayneg! ;)
Mini
 

LoriKTM

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#6
Good report, Wayne-- and congrats on your "not-last" 5th place finish! :thumb:

I have a tendency towards tunnel vision when I'm riding-- I see one line only, and forget to look for alternates.  Maybe I concentrate too hard!
 
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#7
Originally posted by LoriKTM
I have a tendency towards tunnel vision when I'm riding-- I see one line only, and forget to look for alternates.  Maybe I concentrate too hard!

I think that happens alot, that is why it is nice to have a minder
 

wayneg

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#8
The first lap takes probably about half the total time as you walk each section slowly, but the last three laps are fairly quick as you only need to quickly check that someone hasn't changed the obstacles too much. This year the first day was the longest, starting at 10.15am and finishing at 4.30pm. The last day was much quicker starting at 10.00am and finishing at 3.00pm. Overall it wasn't too bad, and apart from the bruising on the last day I didn't even feel sore in the mornings (I have been riding a bit more recently, so maybe I'm a bit fitter than I thought ;)).

The worst bit at any trial is if you keep dumping the bike all the time - it takes up huge amounts of energy picking the damn thing up each time, at least with the two strokes they do start easily after a crash. This is the one thing I'm not comfortable with about the four strokes as I've bad memories of XRs and a KLX that was almost impossible to start once hot and tipped upside down.

If you can keep mostly upright and 'save' the bike from tipping over then you will feel better at the end of the day. On the first two days I didn't really crash very much at all (a minor miracle!), so that definitely helped with the energy levels.

I did have a short ride on the new 125cc Scorpa, and think that it would be a perfect Clubman level bike. There was only one thing I didn't like about it and that was the cable operated clutch. Maybe I've been too spoilt with hydraulic clutches, and maybe it was just that bike, but it felt horrible. The other thing that surprised me was the height at the seat level compared with the two strokes - the four stroke motor will always be taller, and they have to put the airbox somewhere. The engine was certainly different to ride with, but had enough power and enough flywheel that it wouldn't stall easily. The bloke that was riding it (the local Scorpa imprter) got about 5th or 6th in the intermediate grade, which is a bit better than he normally does - so that sort of proved that the thing works quite well. I didn't test the hot starting procedure as I didn't think the guy would be very impressed if I scratched it :)
 

wayneg

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#9
JTT - you've got to keep saying to yourself "I won't put my foot down" all the way through each section. If you say it out loud people look at you as if you're a bit funny, but is does work. The guy that won our grade aways says to himself before each section that he's going to look ahead at each next obstacle, ride very lightly on the bike, and lock his legs on the footpegs. It seems to work pretty well for him, as he only really dabs if he loses concentration in the section.

Thats the funny thing about tunnel vision - if you look ahead of the obstacle, then you brain has already computed what your body needs to do to get past the obstacle, and you generally manage to get through it. Even walking up the stairs is difficult if you look at each stair before you go up it. If you look to the top of the stairs, then you brain works things out, and your body climbs the stairs.
 

JTT

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#10
Your right Wayne and I'm generally pretty good about keeping feet up...it's normally "0" or "5" for me ;) The "outs" are usually simply for saving my skin, rather than points. Like trying to keep from falling backwards down that climb..."let's see, theres a rock about a foot wide halfway up the climb...if I just make it that far I can jump to the rock and try to avoid falling to my death"...inevitably I drive into the rock :scream: The old "look where you want to go, not where you don't" :thumb:
 

wayneg

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#11
I've put some photos up on our club web site of the weekend - the selection is a bit limited, but there will be more coming. IXION Web Site

(How is it that in every photo that I'm in that I've either got my foot down, or else theres an Observer in the background holding up three fingers??? :laugh: )
 

FireLily

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#13
Your right Wayne and I'm generally pretty good about keeping feet up...it's normally "0" or "5" for me
Those are exactly my scores! :) How can I keep "0" and make "5"s for "1" or "2" or "3"? It seems that I focus on "not putting foot down" too much, and when I get in the situation that I have to put my foot down, I get in panic and get 5. :(

The worst bit at any trial is if you keep dumping the bike all the time - it takes up huge amounts of energy picking the damn thing up each time
I experienced that in the last trials event I was in. At first, I couldn't think I would waste my energy from picking up such a light trials bike, but I was exhausted at the end of the event. :ugg:

Mini
 
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#14
Good write up, Wayne.

Your report reminds me a little of a trials article that is published in the November 03 issue of Dirt Rider mag. A road racer gives trials a try at a new school for trials: www.itstrials.com

At the end of the article, they stess the importance of focus. The article's not bad, but there's nothing new that you guys don't know. :thumb:
 

wayneg

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#15
I've put some more photos on our site in the Gallery

Theres one in particular from day 3 that I like right at the bottom;



The rocks beat me up all day long (although I only had to go over much much smaller rocks!)