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The Red Tape Trial 2015

Although cold on Sunday, 1st February, the weather was otherwise 'seasonal' as the parking area filled up with vans, cars and trailers and the banter began. Before we could get near the sections, machines had to be inspected by the official scrutineer, GRA member Peter Meek, no easy task. Dick and I completely forgot of course and received a 'home visit' on the start line - there was no escape!

The clerk of the course had laid out a cunning set of sections on Bagshot Heath, Surrey, definitely harder than last year and more technical. Having said that, the course was very well laid out with sections capable of taking marks but with absolutely nothing dangerous or bike-breaking at all. The first section was deceptively easy but section 2 was not! This comprised of a fairly sharp turn and then diagonally across a muddy ditch. This took marks off a lot of people including me. I had one of my typically bizarre 5's here when I wanted to dab but the spiky bits on my footrest would not let go of my foot in time. I pirouetted through 180 degrees getting nearer to horizontal and shot off in the opposite direction!

Unfortunately, this was about as far as Andy Belenkin got as his Scottish ran out of sparks. Testing revealed a failed LT coil in the magneto. Absolutely rotten luck following on from his gearbox troubles at the start of the recent Mike Kemp trial. His ambition must surely be to actually finish a trial and his list of jobs attended to grows with each event!

We escaped the mud for a while although the section down by the railway arch was fairly sticky but seemed to become easier as the trial went on. From that point on, the sections were all on the hillside and although dry, the chief hazard was exposed routes. The combination of climbs and descents mixed with turns and cambers continued to take marks.

Having completed 2 laps, the third and last was fairly uneventful for most riders. Terry Sewell however, did exceptionally well to complete the lap for a loss of only 2 marks! The special test was a climb up the bank between trees with a couple of tricky, tight turns on the way down. This was timed only with no observation. Dick Faggetter showed his usual enthusiasm and shot off up the hill only to almost miss a turn and got himself stuck! I finished up in a heap in the stop box thanks to the front brake but the rules didn't say anything about finishing the right way up!

Although on the same ground as the previous few 'Red Tapes', the sections were very different from last year and even the route was laid out in the opposite direction to 2014. The general opinion was that it was a very good event. I had a chat with the Clerk of the Course and he seemed happy with things and had tried hard to make it enjoyable whilst at the same time, considering the possible effect of inclement weather which, fortunately, did not materialise. All in all, an excellent day out and one in which a Greeves could really be enjoyed.

Dick's Anglian Grazes With The Rest Of The Herd!
(Picture courtesy of Malcolm Grubb)