Like Peter & Wes have done, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the "Big Loop" 2-day trial last weekend which was a joint event hosted by the Logan River Motorcycle Trials Club (LRMTC) & Southern Queensland Trials Club (SQTA). I arrived on Saturday to help set sections. This was a great learning experience and gave me confidence going into the competition the following day, as I had helped set half of the Clubman (T6) sections that I was going to ride, and managed to have a look at the other half before the day was out. The first day of competition was on Sunday. We had 15 sections with 2 rounds. It had started raining at 10:00am during the riders briefing and continued until early afternoon. This certainly made for an interesting start to the day as most of the sections were primarily set in rocky outcrops with large boulders and rock ledges that became quite slick. The plus side was that the powdery dirt in-between had better traction once wet. Fortunately on day 2 we had fine weather and the rocks had dried out overnight. As predicted my scores were better in the drier conditions, and decreased with each round as I became more familiar with each section and learned from my mistakes, and discovered better lines. Learnings: 1. Don't volunteer to go first πŸ˜€. Three of us walked a section on the first round on the first day. I then went first. I thought I cleaned it until I turned around and saw the next rider go through. I saw him suddenly dart left of the line I took to the exit gate. I asked him if his front wheel deflected off a rock, only to find out he saw a marker at the last minute. I went from a 0 to a 5 on that section. πŸ˜” 2. Take my time to walk each section on every round. The track changes and can catch you unaware; and better lines can appear. I failed to walk one section during round 2 on the second day because I found it relatively easy. This was a mistake, as I was caught out when I came over a small ledge to find a rock the size of a soccer ball in my line to the left. This cost me a dab. In another section on day 2, I reassessed the approach to a difficult turn between two large rocks. My previous two runs through this section had cost me a dab or two each time. After reassessing the approach and setting myself up two turns earlier, it allowed me to take a wider arc in the last turn which then lined me up to place the front tyre over some small rocks & ride between the large rocks without scraping the foot pegs or handle bar ends, & taking a dab. The new approach allowed me to clean this section twice. 3. Don't feel rushed by my riding buddy if he doesn't want to re-walk a section. 4. Don't rush through sections thinking that I need speed/momentum to get over some obstacles as this would sometimes result in a dab as I loft the front higher than necessary. 5. Squat more on hills/rock slabs to improve traction & keep the front planted. Tractor up. Sliding backwards down a wet rock slab cost me a 5 on day one. 6. Shift my weight/head to the outside of turns more to avoid leaning in & dabbing. Whilst it's a little embarrassing to post my scores, I'm happy I improved with each round and came away with some learnings. Day 1 round 1 = 25 Day 1 round 2 = 18 Day 2 round 1 = 15 Day 2 round 2 = 10 Onward and upward!

Posted by Dan Evans at 2022-05-05 10:59:45 UTC