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Exeter Trial saturday 4th Jan 2014
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HowD1
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January 2, 2014 - 11:17 pm
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The Exeter Trial starts on Friday evening assembling at Haynes museum in Somerset around midnight. The 250 or so entrants then wend their way through the south west countryside over a 160 mile route which takes in such delights as Norman's Hump and Jobbles Lane, Fingle Hill and Simms, finishing at Torquay on saturday afternoon.

There's 5 Bantams taking part, 2 on the main trial (both 150 plungers) and us 3 (Cornish Rooster, AlaninDevon, HowD1) on our brave steeds on the easier class O trial (well, me and Phil are on road tyres, though Alan has a rigid rear end on KatyM - well he will have by the time we finish!), and Skippy1970 and Bantsam are on MT350 Harleys (the Army bikes).

The weather is predictably unpredictable but we might be lucky! If anybody's about on Saturday please note there's a shuttle bus system operating at Ilsington to alleviate the limited parking issues for spectators at Simms. Please use it and help the village coffers.

 

CIMG0581-800x421-1.jpg

 

              

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bart
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January 3, 2014 - 3:11 am
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Hope you all get on just fine and the weather stays kind ,  good luck !

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HowD1
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January 3, 2014 - 12:18 pm
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thanks Bart - Phil's got the first test.....he's riding over Dartmoor to get to my place first.....could be amazing or dire. At least he has the wind behind him!

We'll report back tomorrow pmcheers

Rick

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Mags 1
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January 3, 2014 - 11:54 pm
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It's gonna be no picnic!

 

(As regards the basket-sorry!) I'll get my coat.....

Two on the road and several in bits.

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HowD1
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January 4, 2014 - 8:14 pm
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HowD1 said
.....could be amazing or dire. 
Rick

which one do you think it was?

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HowD1
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January 4, 2014 - 10:42 pm
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Well, what happened was......

it all started well - we (Alan, Phil and I) arrived early at Haynes courtesy of Den Legge's Transit - a dark, starlit evening with nary a cloud. The roads were mainly dry and everyone was in high spirits. Paul and Vince were on their MT350s. At our allotted time of just after 1am we set off on the first test of the night.

CIMG0584-800x445.jpg

Within a couple of miles it started to rain. Cold, hard, into-the-wind rain. The sort of rain that fills your boots in no time with all the spray and turns your gloves into sodden lumps. The first section pitched up after 20 or so miles and despite being in lanes thick with gravel and silt and, by now, rivulets of run off, the section wasn't too tricky for our little bikes. Further on, nearly up to Honiton, we just managed to spot the direction markers through the gloom to the next section - a track up into a conifer wood. The section wasn't bad but the long, slithery track afterwards was murder and our standard D1s couldn't cope with the ruts and puddles, added to that our road tyres had some grip but..... 

The first control point (a timed stop point where a signature on your control card is required) was Musbury Garage. We'd been riding about 2 hours in continuous rain and the bright lights of the garage were a welcome relief, and a chance to grab a hot chocolate and refuel. We set off again into more rain but Alan had an issue with his clutch slipping and I soon realised he wasn't following. We waited, and then turned back. Alan, Paul and Vince were trying to readjust Alan's clutch to it's absolute limit to stop slipping but it was clear it would be an issue. We carried on to the next section - a rough and muddy little lane that our tyres found difficult to cope with. And again we realised that Alan hadn't followed so we rolled round the lanes to find him struggling with starting woes and oil in the carb. That done the headlight failed to light up and needed to be removed - all done in the pouring rain, in the dark. Great.

We got it sorted but it was clear that Alan himself was in trouble. We had Den shadowing us in his Transit so we found him and retired Alan which I think he was very grateful for.

Phil and I carried on (!) to Gatcombe but we were in amongst the cars by now (you know cars -  roof, heater, dry, warm, navigator etc) and waited whilst a couple of four-wheelers got stuck. Then we had a go - I had a nightmare, Phil shinned up through without a problem - fairplay!. It was still raining (of course) and we had miles of tarmac covered in inches of water to ride. The next section was a little short, sharp beauty at the back of Sidmouth which we both managed, and then we had to retrace our steps to access the next section. The rain was relentless, the roads awash with puddles and run-off (which were difficult to judge), so with the bikes (and us) being constantly washed with gallons of water it was probably inevitable that one puddle would be too much. And yes, it was. My D1 gave up the ghost, and despite checking for sparks (tick), stripping the carb (tick), blowing through the jets (tick) there was just no-go.

CIMG0585-800x653.jpg

Game over.

But the story of the night belongs to poor Vince.

 

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CharlieCeng
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January 4, 2014 - 11:22 pm
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You guys are heroes! Makes me feel like a couch potato!

cheers for now,

Simon.

 

'58 Ariel Huntmaster, Masquerading D3, '51 Ariel Square Four Mk1 http://ariel-square-four......ogspot.com

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Katj
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January 5, 2014 - 12:11 am
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Well done all of you for getting out there ... Hope Alan has recovered, you have all dried out and the bikes have suffered no harm

But what happened to Vince???

regards, Kathy -- 1950 D1 De Luxe, Plunger Frame, Lucas Electrics....Being Resuscitated...

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HowD1
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January 5, 2014 - 12:30 am
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Oh, I forgot. Whilst Phil and I were administering carb rebuilds to JSJ 230 his D1 got the sulks too and let the front tyre down!

Vince will tell his tale in due course. It's not for me to tell it, but safe to say I hope it never happens to me.

Hi Katj - yes you can assured that no Bantams were harmed during the trial (though I had dire thoughts at one stage).

Rick

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Cornish Rooster
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January 5, 2014 - 11:24 am
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Just to add to the above account by Rick: 

What a night ! It actually started a bit earlier for me as the ride across Dartmoor friday afternoon to get to Rick's place in Exeter was a "Trial" itself. I often go this route as it's a fairly direct and quiet route and I thought I had a "window" with the weather, blimey either it was hail or snow but the sides of the road on the moor were white ! and some nasty rain as well, the only consolation was that the wind was directly behind me so the D1 was cracking along well. Plenty of fully and partially flooded roads when I got off the moor as well, but ten times easier in the daylight at least you know they are there unlike during the event when we ploughed through God knows what so many times.

More to follow.

BSA Bantam D1 "150" in use regularly often as general purpose transport, quite a few other bikes as well. Cornwall Area Rep. 

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Oily Rag
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January 5, 2014 - 12:04 pm
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Epic tale clap

 

:::  1968 D14/4 Supreme  :::  1989 MZ ETZ 250 Not quite as supreme  ::: 1963 NSU Quickly :::

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January 5, 2014 - 2:16 pm
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As Rick said the rain soon came when we set off on the event, this was the real bouncing off the road full on variety as well as showed no sign of abating (it didn't), the first section was a taster of what was to come, I somehow managed to squirm my way through the section though didn't do too well on the track out. I was ploughing through a tractor tyre gulley that got so deep and full of water I ended up wedged in it by the footrests and groaned and heaved to get the little critter out, then it didn't want to start. I eventually managed to get out of these woods a bit breathless still where Rick started it up almost immediately (he always does that).

From then on somehow we managed to keep going and somehow again managed to get through the sections. Things started to go on a downwards spiral after the fuel stop where Alan had more than a few problems, the section after this was a real nasty piece of work, we watched a couple of cars attempt it, then we were next !  A start from the section meant getting going on a quite steep rocky lane with some real deep claggy mud, I watched Rick slither and slide up it somehow and on my attempt opted to try getting on a part of the lane right up next to the hedge as I reckoned there might be some grip there, and there was, once on the flatter part and generally bounced and slithered around everywhere but keep in a forward direction.

After this one way or another we sorted out the pick up (Den's van) for Alan, and learnt of Vince's "incident" , we will let Vince tell his own story but let's say Vince was not injured or involved in an accident but his bike is no more (MT 350).   

BSA Bantam D1 "150" in use regularly often as general purpose transport, quite a few other bikes as well. Cornwall Area Rep. 

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HowD1
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January 5, 2014 - 2:52 pm
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Just a little update on the trial....friends Andy and Xanthia Petherick were also taking part on the trial on a 350 BSA and a DT50 respectively. Both are "old" hands in the trialling world and even they experienced the most odd events.....

Firstly Xanthia's DT50 - a brave but lightweight choice and one she's ridden lots of times before - tried to shed the swinging arm when the bolt came loose and began to escape for freedom having completed a good number of sections before breakfast, then Dad Andy nearly got his usual "Gold" and first trip up Simms on his B40 when he realised the handling seemed a bit weird and found the front downtube of his C15T frame snapped right through and an inch apart!!

A weird trial and no mistake!

Rick

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bantam1954
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January 5, 2014 - 3:45 pm
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Well done you 3 . Im actualy rather suprised the MCC were allowed to run the event by the Police.

Just sent off my entry for the Lands End . !

D1 plunger comp, D3, Wassell Trials Bantam, BSA B31 rigid / tele, MZ 150, MZ-ETZ250, MZ250 sprint / hillclimb / track day , Yamaha XS650. 1925 Raleigh model 15, Matchless G3 rigid trials.

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January 5, 2014 - 3:46 pm
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So just Rick and myself soldiered on (still raining) after one particular section (can't remember which) it seemed that we had only a couple more sections and around 45 minutes to go to the breakfast stop. I could tell we both had the same thing in mind, just let's get to the breakfast stop, dry out a bit, have some food and drink, meet back up with Den and Alan, plus from then on it would be light and maybe even the rain would stop ? Unfortunately as we were hacking down yet another wet lane Rick's Bantam abruptly died, I was convinced we would get it going, after checking all the normal things still nothing, this was one of those Bantam conundrums, you have a spark, fuel etc, etc, but still it won't start. So the decision was made to call Den to the rescue, I didn't want to continue on my own although my D1 was still going well with no issues, although fate intervened again as when we loaded my D1 into the van I found my front tyre had punctured ! 

BSA Bantam D1 "150" in use regularly often as general purpose transport, quite a few other bikes as well. Cornwall Area Rep. 

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Cornish Rooster
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January 5, 2014 - 3:56 pm
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Best described as an adventure all round this event, I agree I would not have been surprised if the event was cancelled although I reckon the thinking is get on with it whatever ?

The last part for us was to get everyone back home, we headed back to Rick's place after breakfast, Den and Alan headed off in the van then me and Rick sorted my front wheel puncture. Then I headed back home on the D1, it's about an hour and a half run but was no problem buzzing along in the daylight, I saw plenty of competitors on the way and had a chat with a fella on a modern Triumph in a petrol station who had been spectating, he said how fantastic an event it was, quite agree but you get a different angle on it when you actually in it, a "Trial" in more ways than one.

BSA Bantam D1 "150" in use regularly often as general purpose transport, quite a few other bikes as well. Cornwall Area Rep. 

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January 5, 2014 - 4:55 pm
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Still has piles of mud everywhere !

http://i1125.photobucket.com/albums/l585/bsathunderbolt/IMG_1242_zpsae96cc74.jpg

BSA Bantam D1 "150" in use regularly often as general purpose transport, quite a few other bikes as well. Cornwall Area Rep. 

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Cornish Rooster
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January 5, 2014 - 4:57 pm
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Leaves, twigs, mud etc in top of the crankcase.

http://i1125.photobucket.com/albums/l585/bsathunderbolt/IMG_1247_zps3eef0037.jpg 

BSA Bantam D1 "150" in use regularly often as general purpose transport, quite a few other bikes as well. Cornwall Area Rep. 

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January 5, 2014 - 5:04 pm
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Safely home on saturday, it's amazing really what punishment a fifty odd year old small capacity machine can take, when you think it was flat out in first gear mostly during those sections, then all that rain and wet. To be honest I don't think I would subject it to this much abuse again, it gets enough in the usual course of things.

http://i1125.photobucket.com/albums/l585/bsathunderbolt/IMG_1243_zps308aad63.jpg

Finally big thanks to Den for acting as our "Support wagon" It seems it was quite a night for a lot of folk, anyone up for the Exeter Trial next year ??

BSA Bantam D1 "150" in use regularly often as general purpose transport, quite a few other bikes as well. Cornwall Area Rep. 

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HowD1
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January 5, 2014 - 6:28 pm
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We're not selling it well, are we Phil?

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