Author Topic: Exeter 2017  (Read 10319 times)

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Offline rick howell

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Exeter 2017
« on: January 08, 2017, 12:41:37 pm »
Good night on class O, tin claimed.

After starting at Haynes I felt something odd by Queen Camel - yes, about 2 miles - then realised my sprocket bolts were loose and one of them had gone and around 6 more (of eight) were about to do the same. Crikey! brain fade before we'd even started....

The first section was scrapped - Redscrip, then after Musbury was slippery Emmetts lane - ok if you could get some grip. Gatcombe was not too bad but lots of loose rocks to ride over, and I thought that the Jobbles section crew had gone home it was so far up the lane! Stewarts had the typical sting in the tail but then the Plywood entry lane was blocked by a stuck car; after clearing him out of the way, some of the bikes ran through before the chief marshal re-set the section up again. Some of us then attempted it but as I think later cars were sent around I expect it will be cancelled as a section. Pity as it was a good test.

Maybe with the conditions and little scope to exit except up the hill they need a tow vehicle to be available - a central "group" tow for all the sections there via radio if the phones have no reception. If they had that set up already, it didn't work. We ended up with a 12 man - or more - tug of war team by competitors to clear the car and then half a dozen managed to bumpstart it uphill (no clutch by this time). Well done to all of them - no mean feat.

Sandy Lane and Core Hill followed - some of those waterfilled pits are becoming decidedly deep and dodgy on a light bike. Crealy  stop was welcome and then we were into daylight and the M5 (alternative route at 9am not relished) over to Windout and ford - no water! not like last year when it was a torrent - up the hill and restart on the bend as ever; at Tedburn Fry's garage was doing a good trade in fuel replenishment - maybe it should be noted in the route card rather than M5 services - then down to Fingle and the ride along the river was a delight. Hitchcombe went without a hitch despite the slop at the top as did Pepperdon. Down to tea and cakes at Ilsington hall - and missing the buzz of the Simms entry road and Plantation but made up for by Donkey trot which is a great little hill with enough roots and leaves to test the skills.

Then down to Teignmouth and over Shaldon bridge - always a visual feast - to Stokeinteignhead and French's. Quite cobbley with stone and ruts and a definitely good alternative to Slippery Sam; the lane out is much more difficult than SS! Then the usual dash along the A379 in the traffic to the Palace and sign off. For such a big hotel it has such a small bar....but welcome all the same.

Our mate Jason was on his road-tyred CZ and managed to not only finish but even cleaned a couple of road sections too. All credit to him. I'm sure he'll put his slant on his Exeter shortly.

A good trial, generally well executed, weather mild and a bit drippy, good fun as ever.

R


Offline Paul K

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 11:22:14 am »
Rick, Jason, good to meet up with you at Haynes Museum and beyond.  Itíll be interesting to see what Jason is going to ride next after the CZ  :D.

My competitive trial didnít begin. A faulty AC regulator kept blowing headlamp bulbs so I had to return from the M1 and dump the bike in the garage  :-[.  A quick phone call to advise Iíd be a non-starter , then I volunteered to marshal and was allocated Ilsington Village Hall car park with Nick Jones.

Jumped on my road bike and tore off to Popham through rain and much traffic in time to see off my riding companions, Andrew Berry and Alison Daniels (Wasp outfit) and Jon Rob (DRZ400).  Had a cup of tea, a sandwich and a warm-up, then followed the trial route to Haynes Museum. I was tempted to ask for a go on Steps Lane OT1, but thought better of it (slippy road surface, 500 lb bike, 100 bhp, road tyres, me riding; a poor combination  :) ).

On to Crealy Park for another social, more to eat and a warm-up. Continued an enjoyable ride to Ilsington Village Hall in spite of the rain and grabbed a half hour snooze before going on duty in the car park.  Luckily, Nick had more of an idea on organising the positioning of the cars than me, allocating spaces such that, in theory, first in would be first out.  Unfortunately, that theory was based on the criteria that crews would spend the allocated time at Ilsington. Consequently, if a crew over-stayed the time, a car parked behind theirs could be blocked in  ::). All seemed to work well, however, with only the one period of minor congestion.

I certainly got an appreciation for what the marshals have to experience.  I reckon I started about 10:00 hr and finished about 16:00 hr.  Nick and me were on our feet the whole time with just a quick dash for the toilets or to grab a cup of tea; had to eat on the hoof.  If it werenít for Pilates my back would Ďve been crippling me!  :)

Another pleasant ride to the Palace Hotel; now without rain.  What a brilliant venue; clean, bright room, pleasant staff and good food. It made the Trecarn look like a halfway house for the homeless.

Then the announcement that a competitor had been killed and his companion injured. Your thoughts go out to their families and friends.  Devastating.  Trials is a low speed sport; you anticipate injury, but not this.


Offline Jason Potts

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 06:40:38 pm »
Hey Paul, really nice to have met you itís always good to put a name to a face.

It went pretty much when how Rick has described but I will get my thoughts down later in a bit more detail. When my body has stopped aching that is.  :( seriously I canít even cough or sneeze without my ribs hurting. hahahahaha ouch.

I did meet some really nice people at the weekend, obviously Rick who's been like my big brother through this as well as Alan also, another top bloke. I canít thank you guys enough for your support this weekend.

I met two really nice fellers on Friday, Richard Houlgate and Simon Price who also invited me to dine with them on the Saturday. Thanks guys and I owe you both a drink.

I had breakfast with the mad pair who were driving the sawn-off robin, George and Celia (I love their three-wheeler). and they in turn introduced me to Mick with the excellent green MZ.

The little CZ did really well, there were many issues along the way but she still kept going. it was a shame about the chain coming off and vandalising the engine near the end but I was very pleased the bike finished. 
 
I need to rebuild the bike for the next one including the engine as its smashed the inboard casing and also wouldn't mind doing some much needed improvements to it too. I'm going to stick with this little CZ for a bit, its earned its stripes in my book. hahaha itís not going to be a quick job getting it ready for the next one as life, jobs on the house and work are always going to get in the way.
 
I wouldn't mind doing the LE but not sure if I can get the bike sorted in time. but I'm not ruling it out at the moment.

Jason


Offline rick howell

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 10:22:46 am »
In the scheme of things and in the light of the sad news from Woosten our trials and tribulations seem utterly minor issues. But a lighter tale befell my preparation.....

Before I left home I'd already found a major problem and one that took some doing to rectify. Mechanical? No. Electrical? No. Physical? No. Something much more insidious.

I left my numbers propped up on the top of the book shelves in the dining room. So I could see them. To remind me. Then when I decided to fit them.....gone. Entirely gone. Nowhere to be seen. Had my wife moved them? Was she sure? (cue build up to WW3). Then it dawned on me that potentially the gap at the back of the bookshelves (they're at floor level) was just big enough to allow a pair of pristine numbers to letterbox down behind the shelves (the shelves have their own backing t and g of course) and end up at the bottom. No chance to slip something down with double sided tape or use suction (though I tried). To add misery to my situation the shelves are built into an alcove so no opportunity to access the ends either....

With rising frustration - and no guarantee that they had slipped down there anyway - I removed all the books. Then unscrewed the mounting fixings. Then realised I'd used gripfix-type adhesive to attach the skirting which runs along the plinth so that had to be eased....crack!....away. Depression started to set in. The "plinth" was screwed to the floor, and the shelves attached to that so since there was no way past the plinth, the shelves had to come off.

Not easily shifted due to paint/filler/etc (but not where it was needed - at the back of the top) it became clear that a jemmy bar was required to break the "seal" and move it away from the wall. So that's plaster now needed too. And a new bit of skirting. Jemmy-ing a set of shelves off the wall to retrieve trials numbers was not really in my preparation planning but away they came and revealed....(at this point I was half waiting for Chrissie to shout "here they are after all" with a cheery wave of the things in her hand)....but, no, I was right, there they were, sniggering in their naughtiness having hidden away and created such mayhem. The impulse to rip them up and teach them a lesson they won't forget needed some suppressing.....it's ok I'm over it now.

So, 2 hours additional hassle I didn't need leading up to the "off" and probably another hour or two to re-fix the damage. Two things came to mind afterwards - first that I needed to stop up the "gap" (done) and secondly that it would probably have been a lot easier to just draw up a couple of numbers "in the style of".

But where's the fun in that.


Offline Tony Bishop

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 08:43:36 pm »
You must have a very long suffering partner Rick if you were allowed to tear half the house apart just to retrieve a couple of numbers but full marks for effort and perseverance !!!

My trial weekend started by packing Paul Davey's van with stakes and tools as I was Chief Official on Plyford again this year and at 7.30pm Paul and I left Ipswich with Paul's Serow also in the back as he was riding in Class O. My Serow was still on the bench with oil leaks and a rusty swinging arm being attended to.
At 8.30pm we picked up Gary McCarthy from Chelmsford and mercifully had an uneventful run around the M25 and onto the M3. Then the rain which was forecast to be light and intermittent started to come down by the bucketful and as we passed Popham I felt very smug in a nice warm van whilst my normal riding pals were getting rather wet on their way to Sparkford.
We arrived at Haynes just before midnight to find out that MZ Roy Jeffreys was a non starter whilst his bro Mick was having electrical problems with his MZ also somewhere between Popham and Haynes. Add in the fact that Ian Collins had scratched that morning due to sickness and our normal riding posse of eight was down to three, Paul Davey, Richard Nixon and Mark Harding and even Mark was struggling as he had dropped the Matchless in a garage bending the clutch lever and shorting out the map reader !!!
About 12.45am Gary and I left for Plyford and had the section set out and ready for action by about 4am. At 4.30am Alan Treloar joined us to help marshal as his VW Beetle was a non starter and around 5.30am or so the first cars arrived - no bikes - strange.
By 6.00am we had only seen a couple of vehicles and then we could hear a car revving it's nuts off somewhere along the entrance lane but with no idea of the location and no ability to help in any case.
Class O competitors will know now that an MR2 had slid off the track completely blocking the access and it was only some quick thinking by TM Roger Bibbings that prevented a massive build up. Finally the car was physically manhandled back onto the track and somehow started in gear and climbed the hill. Unfortunately by this time most of the field had been re-routed around Plyford and a few of the vehicles that were still on the track decided to climb the hill before Gary could get back to his start position which would have negated their attempts if the section had remained open. In the event I received a call from Roger Ugalde who said that in the circumstances the section had been scrapped so we packed up somewhat dispiritedly as we only seen about 10 or so vehicles.
Gary and I then drove into Exeter for breakfast of porridge and tea in a Waitrose supermarket, along the coast road to Dawlish Warren where we managed to get an hour's kip before more tea and a buttie in Teignmouth. This set us up nicely for Slippery Sam just over the river where we watched for an hour or so before the short run to Torquay.
At the finish we found Paul, Richard and Mick, who had sorted the MZ electrics. Mark on the Matchy was a no-show and we were unable to contact him so presumed he had been recovered home.
Palace Hotel. What can one say after the Trecarn. Excellent choice by Dave Sapp who negotiated a terrific deal at £29 per head. Beer perhaps a little expensive but not excessively so.
Horrible to hear the news about the accident on Wooston which obviously put a bit of a dampener on the evening.
Breakfast excellent and all the staff very friendly and efficient.
Drive back included a detour to Trowbridge to collect yet another MZ for Gary, this time a 1962 ES175 a fairly rare beast, he has already got six MZs in his garage, but we all know that one MZ is never enough !!! Maybe seven is.
Hope to see you all again in 2017.

Offline Tony Bishop

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 04:46:55 pm »
Sorry Rick, probably should have started a new post instead of replying to yours.
I still find these new fangled compooter thingies hard to fathom.
Probably comes from being an MZ enthusiast.

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 09:16:12 pm »
Hey Rick, I just read your post and nearly wet myself. You kept that quiet on Friday. You looked so calm when I saw you at the petrol station too. I think I'd have been in a different frame of mind if I'd just recently turned Hulk on a set of fitted shelves.  ;D

Offline rick howell

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2017, 10:33:11 pm »
Sorry Rick, probably should have started a new post instead of replying to yours.
I still find these new fangled compooter thingies hard to fathom.
Probably comes from being an MZ enthusiast.

No probs Tony. I've looked over the Berlin wall as well in the past and I ride the MZ's b*st*rd cousin - the Bantam. It's odd to think that we thought ourselves so superior to the Soviet Bloc countries and yet just look at the difference between a '71 Bantam and the same year MZ. No wonder BSA disappeared; the arrogance of Turner et al was breathtaking!

Offline rick howell

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 10:44:30 pm »
Hey Rick, I just read your post and nearly wet myself. You kept that quiet on Friday. You looked so calm when I saw you at the petrol station too. I think I'd have been in a different frame of mind if I'd just recently turned Hulk on a set of fitted shelves.  ;D

It's all true. *sigh*  :( Another one of my "dopey-things-that-you-shouldn't-do-just-before-a-big-event" calamities.

It's up there with the engine falling off the bench one year about 3 days before another Exeter. That's why the centreplug head on the Bantam has half a Yamaha head welded to it....also true >:(

So by the time I'd met up with you thankfully there would be precious little time for more cock-ups! Then I changed the sprockets... :-\

Offline Tony Bishop

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2017, 05:26:40 pm »
Sorry Rick, probably should have started a new post instead of replying to yours.
I still find these new fangled compooter thingies hard to fathom.
Probably comes from being an MZ enthusiast.

No probs Tony. I've looked over the Berlin wall as well in the past and I ride the MZ's b*st*rd cousin - the Bantam. It's odd to think that we thought ourselves so superior to the Soviet Bloc countries and yet just look at the difference between a '71 Bantam and the same year MZ. No wonder BSA disappeared; the arrogance of Turner et al was breathtaking!

Hi Rick. For some strange reason in the past I used be be a Triumph enthusiast riding a '69 650 Trophy from Plymouth to Deal and back every weekend ( don't ask, but I did finally make an honest women of her ). Now, I know that might be asking a bit too much but the amount of time spent "fettling" during the week, fortunately at the expense of HM, was ridiculous to say the least, and the number of times I spent on my hands and knees in the gutter certainly wore out my Barbour trousers.
I don't know a lot about Bantams but they do appeal to me, but then I get one of my MZs out and think "stop being so bloody stupid", this antiquated Eastern Bloc marque is absolutely brilliant - so much so that in 2012 I rode my Supa 5 to Eastern Poland then down to the Czech Republic and home with just a minor gearbox issue that went away almost as soon as it appeared.
If you want to get really angry and haven't read it then try "Whatever Happened to the British Motorcycle Industry" by Bert Hopwood. It will make you weep.

Offline rick howell

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 09:16:11 am »
Hi Tony

unfortunately I have never read it but I am aware of some of it's content - though some of it has now been disputed - and the recent book by Brad Jones "BSA - the final evolution" is also a grim read of opportunities lost and egos bolstered.

For some insane reason I have not one but two BSA Dandys sitting in the garage more or less as a reminder of just how cheap and nasty it all got. I mean pre-selector gearbox with two speeds - why? Overhung crank - ugh; points in the middle of the engine which has to be split to access them...though the engine also forms part of the frame and swinging arm so points cleaning is a major bike rebuild as it all has to come apart. Who thought this stuff up?

What they probably started out with is a good idea, well presented (very similar to the early honda step-thru's), and then they costed it. The bean-counters held sway and chopped the thing to bits lopping decent stands off (it's a poor quality coathanger), using cheap components (a smiths bicycle speedo - why? it can't even reach the speed limit), and substituting iron for alloy in the cylinder. Result; unstartable tosh aimed at the ladies. I have two 'cos I almost feel I must get one to work just to show that they could!

I don't know why I'm so attracted to such complete lost causes....I look longingly at things like the Beagle(!) and the Ariel Pixie(!!!) for some unknown reason. Makes the Bantam for MCC stuff seem almost sensible!

I have, however, no desire of any sort to possess or ride an Ariel 3  :o so there is a chink of light in my darkness.... ;D

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2017, 08:50:28 am »
chaps I think there's so much to say on this subject I don't even know where to start. it's a shame that all of our industry has gone really and its still very much happening now to the bits that are left.  >:(

anyway, at least there are some diehard enthusiast like yourselves out there still keeping these bikes going. And its really nice to see them in action on these trials. From a Marshalling and spectators view point, everyone loves to see a Brit bike go by. Everyone cheers them on, just look at the youtube clips.

I've had a few BSA's myself including several bantams, an A65, an A10 goldflash, a B31 plunger, a B441 Victor and a M21.

But I really like JAWA's and CZ's though so I don't know what that makes me. ahahahaha

I still look at Bantams and think it might be nice to get another one, but then I look at how much they are and think 'I could buy 4 more CZ's for that money'.  ::)

we should probably start a new thread for this subject. call it the 'vent your spleen therapy session' a thread where you can get it off you chest about how they could have done it better.  ;D

if I could go back in time... I'd show them how to build a two stroke engine  ::)

sad thing is, they wouldn't have listened.. :-\



Offline rick howell

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 12:58:52 pm »

But I really like JAWA's and CZ's though so I don't know what that makes me. ahahahaha


I think "Leftie" comes to mind!  :)

Or "Checkmate" ::)

Maybe just different. And therefore interesting. It would be a dull world indeed if we were all on Serows or Beta Alps.

Offline Paul K

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 06:26:56 pm »
It would be a dull world indeed if we were all on Serows or Beta Alps.

It certainly would. How I'd love to have a Cheney Triumph, or similar, but when they pop up, the price is outside my budget.  Even a basket case is pricey.  Looks like I'll be keeping the XR400.

Offline Jason Potts

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Re: Exeter 2017
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 07:16:25 pm »
Sounds like you need to start working on that GS project Paul. That's a much better prospect than a triumph. That will be a one of a kind. Can't wait to see that.  ;)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 07:21:42 pm by Jason Potts »