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The Arbuthnot Trial

This year's Arbuthnot Trial, which starts at Barford St Martin, about 6 miles west of Salisbury was as last year held in sunshine. Not having any rain for a week made the going quite dusty, approx mileage was 80 miles in total!
It did not seem that far as concentration on parts was a must and time and distance flew by. The main off road part was the old drovers trail that used to bring cattle and sheep up from the West Country to the London meat markets. We used the part from Odstock in Wiltshire down as far as Shaftsbury in Dorset.
There were about 8 Greeves in the entry of 90 plus a few other Greeves late entries who I noticed were riding. Those entered were Peter Meek 1955 197 Scottish, Andy Sims, 1957 197 Scottish, Jack chalk, 1964 TFS (complete with the correct left-hand side expansion chamber), Brian Robins, 1960 Scottish, Barry Barthorpe on a TES Triumph, Mike Tizard and son Peter aboard their 1965 TFS Triumph outfit, Rob and myself on 1965 Anglians.

After setting off at 10am we were sent up through a small path that took us up onto the downs (no mishaps unlike last year with me having to be extracted from beneath the bike in brambles), off towards Odstock along the Drovers road for about 6 miles then turning towards Fordingbridge. We were on small lanes and then went through a water splash that was only about a foot deep this year but still brought out a lot of spectators taking pictures. The first group of sections took about an hour or so to reach; on route were checkpoints that made sure no short-cutting was done. Here there were 2 sections in and out of a lane that would have been hard if it had rained and then off we went for about another 45 mins and on this track we came across Jack Chalk involved with changing a tube on a mates bike. With rim tape shredded, I left them with a roll of insulating tape and bade them farewell. After about 5 miles further on we went into the 3rd section on a chalky hillside, unlike last year being dry, made it a good section. Rob and I lost 1 each here and were quite happy with that.

After that a shorter ride across some stunning scenery and overlooking the coastal vista between the haze, a few miles of narrow farmland paths and very rutted they were, where more than a few were to come to grief, next came our last section and special test before the lunch stop. This was a good climb over loose chalk followed by an adverse left turn that finished with a slippery grass exit. The special test was a start from a boxed area and then a large oval circuit on the side of a hill around several trees and stop in the box/ Last year I made a pigs ear of it and slid off but this year made a flyer of a start but could not stop in the box, slid and locked up about 15ft past it. Rob by now had fallen off his bike with laughter.

Now onto the lunch stop at a golf course where bikes and riders were refueled. After more banter with others we had to move on although our Chairman would have been happy to have stayed with the barmaids! A nice bit of tarmac lanes and cross country took us to a group of 3 sections near Shaftsbury. The first was a nice twisty gulley with a steep exit. Here Rob was lucky to get out clean as the bike stopped just after the ends card with the fuel tap in the off position. Next he had a very unlucky stop on a grass climb (as I think the last section problem was still on his mind). Never mind, we both stopped on the following climb up over loose soil and rocks. Last year it was wet and 2nd was the gear and we cleaned it , so as it was dry, first gear was used only for us both only to hit a rather prickly tree.
Now heading back we went up Zig Zag hill with 6 hairpins. One machine had slithered across into a bank loosing a lot of oil!! This is a main road and not part of the course! Eventually, we came to the last two sections, a steep grass hill, which to our amazement we both cleaned, the last a nasty path up and down in a wood on the side of a hill, not one I liked (never did like cambers). I footed and Rob excelled himself with a well earned clean, a good ride back and finished at 4 30 pm. Tired and knackered, a good pint finished off the day. Dicky Faggetter

Dick Points Out To Andy The Quickest way To Destroy A Scottish