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The Mike Kemp Trial 2014

The weather was well organised and after a cold start, the sun shone brightly and the day was a perfect antidote to the excesses of the festive season. Even the caterer's failed to show which although preventing further over-indulgence, did not amuse the organisers who had had to pay for a catering licence!

Surely the most unlucky rider was new member Andy Belenkin who on arrival at the first section, found his bike in neutral with an inoperative gear lever - game over. He is now hoping for better luck in the forthcoming Red Tape trial!

Martin was Clerk of the Course and laid out the 3 routes just about right although I'm not sure about the 'gentlemen's route, for those who want a gentle ride round'! Section 11 was not too gentle and I crippled myself on it on each of the 3 laps! That was just me though as I watched a couple of big old rigid 4 strokes sail over the iron pipe that brought me to earth on 2 of the 3 laps! The hard route was primarily aimed at the championship-riding twin-shocks and was only chosen by a handful of riders, the intermediate route being a popular choice but a good few opted for the easy route including me. Martin laid out a good route too and this was very suitable for our Greeves with nothing at all dangerous.

Riders were free to chose the section they started at and this virtually eliminated queuing, a marked contrast to the last Talmag I rode in on the same ground which was all queuing. My son Ian rode with me on an Armstrong that has been laying about the shed for a good few years, not a Greeves maybe but at least it was British!

Given how well used the land is, Martin did well to carve out some excellent sections around the familiar spots but there was something for everyone, even a variation on the classic Hungry Hill climb itself of Talmag fame. Being on sand, the ground was well drained in most places and every section was dry, the bike ending up cleaner than when it started.

The good weather did not encourage an early finish and the pair of us took our time and enjoyed the sections. The observers were also a friendly bunch who had given up their day for us but were probably equally glad to have also got out of the house!

All in all, an excellent event and well-suited to anyone with a Greeves. If only we could have a few more events of this type, I'm sure that if we did, numbers would creep back up. Thanks Martin and the Thames MCC!