Author Topic: Harder or easier?  (Read 278 times)

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Offline rick howell

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Harder or easier?
« on: September 01, 2019, 12:13:10 pm »
A couple of weeks ago I had an...er...interesting discussion with a former MCC member about trials and the state of the hills.

His contention was that we were losing members because the hills were "too easy". I didn't agree, as personally I think our future lies in the word "classic" as opposed to "all-wheel-drive", but it got me thinking- what do other people think? Should we leave the repairs of hills to the statutory authorities (who probably won't repair except on complaint from a member of the public walking or riding on it. And then they will most likely close the hill altogether under a TRO and subsequently emasculate them) and thus make them increasingly impossible to climb for the majority of entries? Would that really increase membership because the hills were "competitive"?

Or would it be better to encourage and keep the new riders/drivers with something not too damaging. And spending money on repairs so that everyone has a good trial? Or would that be just "dumbing down"?

Should class O be the "main" trial and the toughest hills be alternatives (such as Simms once was) for special awards or for certain classes only? And to go on with that should we make the night run an option - for a Gold and therefore a Triple - coupled with stringent time keeping penalties?

Or do we have it just about right with the options (main,O, R, Breakfast start) currently available?  :-\

Offline Mark Gregg

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Re: Harder or easier?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2019, 04:54:33 pm »
Excellent question and everyones answer will differ as we all have different expectations of MCC sections vs other ACTC events. Our events are huge and the costs associated with them are growing hugely. What other club would print 900 programmes for each trial and post them to all its members?

To meet these costs we need hundreds of entiries hundreds and hundreds. the club is raising the entry fees significantly next year So far more than all other clubs we have to know what our customers/competitors want.

And that is why class O was developed and brings 35 entries to the Edinburgh ( about 15% of the total) class R has 15 entries (about 8% of the total) the daylight class will have similar numbers to class R so 20+ % of the entry have deliberately chosen easier options . trials too easy though.. last years Edinburgh only had one car  get a gold.. yes only one car and it wasnt a 7 or 8 special it was a very well driven/prepared vw golf so clearly the Edinburgh isnt too easy unless your friend was driving the golf!

less than 90% of cars failed on Litton.. too easy? gold medals were lost on the special tests triples lost on only the second section. This is not an easy trial its a challenge , do - able but not easy.

we ve a record entry for recent years for our do -able challenging not easy trial in every class and striking the balance is where we work hardest it must be as tough for class 1   as class 8 but challenging and do -able.

motorcycles equally wont say the Edinburgh is easy a dozen triple hoepfuls started out from tamworth and about a third of them ( the very best riders in the club who had ridden the LE and exeter clean) succumbed to the sections/elements.

I ll all ways set a hard trial for what my predesscor called the ''likely lads'' you come to the trial in a fully loaded special and you can expect a tough Edinburgh come along in a class  2 and i ll recognise you cant see in the dark, brake or steer and are most likely out in the open and you ll get a challenge that is proportionate for your class. The VW golf last year would nt say he had it easy even though he had no restarts and didnt attempt corkscrew.

we ve ordered 400 finishers certificates I ve told the printers to review that figure.

On the other hand our toughest section last year was cleaned by a guy on his first every trial, and its my aim to keep those engrvavers busy but only to the extent that when that little package pops through your letter box and you open the case and your smile is reflected in that 40mm metallic disc it will be because you and everyone else who was talented or lucky had to work to earn it.   

Offline Stephen Bailey

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Re: Harder or easier?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2019, 06:10:35 pm »
I figure they are getting harder, Both on a bike and in a car.....

So make them a bit easier..... Note Easier, not Easy... :)

Offline Paul K

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Re: Harder or easier?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2019, 06:59:10 am »
I figure they are getting harder, Both on a bike and in a car.....
Could be that the competitors are just getting older ;) .  Back in the 1970s, I competed on a pre-unit Triumph T100 cc and a pre-unit Triumph Thunderbird 650 cc.  The bikes were bog standard; the only concession for the trials was to fit Dunlop Trials Universal tyres, a bigger rear wheel sprocket and trials handlebars.  I even won a class award on the T100.  Would I compete on those bikes now?  No way!  I don't have the physical strength to lug one of those beasts around :(.

Now I compete on modern 350 cc / 400 cc trail bikes and get the occasional award.  I wonder what the age data is for our competitors, both car and bike?

Offline Tony Bishop

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Re: Harder or easier?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2019, 09:14:32 am »
Definitely harder now, but I agree with Paul that age is also a major factor.
I rode my first MCC event, the 1985 Edinburgh, on my ride to work MZ Supa 5 in the old Class A on road tyres, 16 inch rear and 18 inch front. The only concession to it being in a trial were a pair of slightly wider bars and a crude bash plate. To my surprise and pleasure I cleaned a few hills, footed on a few more and I don't recall being stopped ( but that may be through rose tinted glasses ).
Riding the same bike over the next few years I gained bronze, silver and gold awards awards and even the South Somerset Cup one year for best in Class A.
As an MZisti, around 1999, I upgraded to a modified MZ with 18/21 inch wheels and trials tyres with lowered gearing but the awards definitely diminished.
Ultimately accepting that the MZ was too heavy I succumbed to the inevitable, first with a Beta Alp and then a Serow. Very few awards, if any, have followed.
I now own both the Serow and a Cub, the latter having only done one MCC event with a finish but no award.

As I am now rapidly approaching 74 I have decided that the 2019 Edinburgh will be my final main trial MCC event, on the Cub. I am finding the night runs too onerous and stressful now but also the sections are just too much effort. I may well ride the Derbyshire Class next year and wholly intend to ride other daytime LDTs like the Yorkshire Dales which is a stonker.
I appreciate that in 1985 I was 39 and probably a bit more able to cope with the night runs but my successes then on a wholly inapropriate machine surely speak for themselves.

In no way is this missive intended as criticism of the way the MCC events are run, I have great admiration for the efforts and dedication of all the members and officers in what is a very difficult job.