Milton Buzzard MCC
Milton Buzzard MCC

Challenge 1

The first challenge is up already - you may have seen it. It's just a circle mapped out with pink flags and one yellow one on the flat ground in the middle.


It's very simple in concept but quite difficult to master. The challenge is thus:


"Enter between the yellow and nearest pink flag, and complete 10 circles one way without touching the flags, and exit again via the same way you came in, then do the same 10 circles in the other direction. Please don't even touch the flags...none of this mashing them up like in the real trials ;) Let's keep this clean."

Re pic above: rout is per the red line, but passing the entrance 10 times before exiting



Even with just that simple little challenge.. there'a a lot to it.


It's about:

- clutch and throttle control (obviously)


but less obviously:

- it's about entry angle and position (so you get the best line),

- it's about using all the space you have so you don't box yourself in later on

- it's about body position and how you lean the bike (lean it towards the middle of the circle as much as you can, ideally with the chassis resting against your boot/calf)

- it's about how many fingers you use on the clutch  since 10 circles is quite a long time, one is preferable but it's a question of stamina - figure out what works for you. You may need to change partway through

- it's about how you pace yourself for a challenge which will tax your muscles


These are all things you'd need to think about on a section at a real trial event, but there you'd only get one go at it and then you have to move on to the next section. Here it's the same sort of thing but in little bitesize chunks and with time to try different approaches and figure out what works for you and build a bit of that when it comes to a real trial you'll have relevant experience to refer to and draw on.


Pointers / general advice:

This is just stuff which became apparent to me as I was setting it up and testing it. I also couldn't do it initially but after practicing a while I was able to complete it. There may be more to it than this and don't be afraid to grab a more experienced rider and ask them for advice, or even ask someone to film you doing it on your phone so you can see what you're doing right or wrong.


With the circle - entry angle is key since it sets you up for the rest of the run. go in too steep and you'll be trying to correct it the whole rest of the run.


Keep your knees apart and bent and use your weight on the footpegs to control the lean of the bike rather than wrestling with the bars.


Lean the bike in towards the middle - the more you can lean it the less you'll need to turn the bars and the tighter you'll be able to go with less effort. Ideally rest the chassis of the bike against your inner boot/calf as best you can, That ought to mean you can relax your grip a little which will mean your hands don't get tired so quickly.


Clutch control and a little gas and (for me) front brake was the key.


Your body position for left and right will likely be different, due to the position of the throttle. For left I needed to have my weight further back, not sure why, for right I found being more forward over the bars worked better.


Also if you find you can't even get close to completing it but others can, perhaps it's an opportunity to look at how your bike is set up, maybe there's stuff that needs adjusting there


- look at the angle of your levers/bars, are they comfy for you or is it forcing your wrists into a position where you get tired sooner? If you don't know how to adjust them ASK someone and I'm sure they'll be delighted to help.


- look at tyre pressure - if it's too high your front braking may not be effective because your wheel will skip. Look at how much more experienced riders tyres squish and try to get closer to that. The squish is KEY to grip since as the tyre deforms around an obstacle the blocks CLAMP onto the obstacle. Even on flat ground more squish means more blocks on the ground and hence more grip.


- look at gearing - if the bike keeps getting away from you or is going too fast reducing the size of the front sprocket might be helpful to slow things down and give you more control and time to think. Splat shop have been useful for me in the past (for old gasgas sprockets), i don't know re others, but again, other riders will know.



If you've done it right, your inner thighs should hurt the next day!


Ask in the group or again, grab an experienced rider if you get stuck with any of this.



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