This has grown somewhat so has been moved to its own section:
Challenge 1: Basic circles (pics & text)
Challenge 2: Less basic circles (pics & text)
Challenge 3: Top end section (wet) from 21/09/2023 (video with tips)
Challenge 4: The sleepers section from 28/09/2023 (video with tips)
So the basic idea with this is that whist we all know we should be practising our circles and figure-eights etc, on your own it can be difficult to maintain focus and motivation as it can be kinda boring.
The other day when I was doing circles I decided to try mapping out the circle i was doing with flags and it changed the context somehow ... and i realised that this might be something that could help others in the same boat.
You might think that the best way to learn is to just enter a trial but entering an actual trial is a LOT to deal with - it's not just about the riding, there's so much other information coming at you - in terms of where you're meant to be, figuring out how to ride sections you've never seen before, what sections you've done or not etc and people and bikes and noise everywhere.. and that can be a little overwhelming and possibly offputting. I didn't really enjoy my first trial (at a different club) and it kinda soured me on the concept in general a little and that's rubbish because it's actually meant to be about fun... and it IS, if you're not feeling like you're lost/late the whole time.
So the idea with this is that there's no time pressure, no "you must do the sections in this order and only get 4 goes etc.. there will be "challenges" (sections) which will be simple, but that doesn't mean easy. They should help develop the actual skills you'll need for a real trial and should require some practice to complete but should be manageable too once you've put a bit of time in.
The challenges will be put up
and stay for a week or two (still figuring that out) ge put up on youtube as short guides with notes..
and there'd be a general "challenge" for each one.
Over time these challenges should mean when you come to enter a real trial, you've already got a degree of "muscle memory" in terms of breaking a section down in your head and deciding how to approach it, as well as a bit of routine in how the whole thing works, so then you can focus on your riding, and actually enjoying the day :-)
Whilst the first challenge is just a circle on level ground, for example maybe the next challenge would be the same circle but on a slope so then there's camber to deal with, or the same circle but then there's an obstacle in the path..over time we'll add complexity and make the sections longer and build on what we've learnt, hopefully with a view towards putting it all together at the end as a sort of informal "trial" of our own.
And then ultimately you/we should be better prepared for a *real* trial, and can actually focus on enjoying the riding rather than being overwhelmed by it all :-)
There will be no scoring and no observers...the challenge is the challenge and you score yourself. If you can't do it then get as close as you can and hopefully you still get something from it, but ideally let someone know and we'll try to figure out why it's not working for you.
The idea is that we're ALL able to complete the challenge - whether that's possible or not I don't know but every effort will be made to achieve that.
In the whatsapp group there are no stupid questions so if you don't know, please ask - whether it's bike/technical, or about kit/clothing, or riding-related or about the comps/structure, club rules, whatever.
Experienced riders take a lot of knowledge for granted.. stuff that somehow you're just expected to *know* magically somehow. If we (the group hive mind) don't know the answer then there's lots of people in the main group who we can ask.
Even with this first simple challenge there's a lot of facets to it.. but this way you'd get time to stop, go adjust things and try again rather than in a real trial where it's all under time pressure and you only get one go before having to move on. We can work up to that but we also need to develop an understanding of how to break a section down into its components first.
Also with the flags staying up for a week or two, whenever you're able to ride is fine. The training day was excellent but relied on everyone being there at the same time. That said the aim would be to do more of the advice/training days because it was quite good practice, particularly with respect to being around a bunch of bikes who are all waiting to do the same sections - so again, elements of a real trial but with less pressure. Personally I found it very useful and it boosted my confidence re entering the next trial.
Thanks for reading - if you have suggestions or feedback then please ask in the group :-)