The second challenge is now flagged out and builds on the first. Again it's very simple in concept but quite difficult to master. The challenge is thus:
"Enter between the yellow and nearest pink flag for whichever way around you're doing, and complete 5 circles one way without touching the flags, and exit again via the opposite way to which you came in, then do the same 5 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."
Please note: there is a trial on the 30th July so latest then this challenge will probably be removed.
Re pic above: the route is the red line, but passing the entrance 5 times before exiting
(via the other side)
I did shoot several video clips showing what the bike was doing whilst completing this (once I could finally do it) but it turns out the SD card in my gopro had died so the camera wasn't actually recording anything...grr! So sadly these pics will have to do.
This builds on the previous challenge in that it's a circle of roughly the same size and roughly the same tightness of turns, but it adds the element of being on a slope.
The nice thing is it's effectively "down in a gulley" rather than "up on a hill" so there's plenty of places to dab a foot when needed, and not really anywhere to fall should one dismount unexpectedly.
Initially I would imagine one would want to probably go wide of the flags at the top. Certainly for me coming up the hill and straight into that very tight turn was challenging, but I found that with leaning the bike right over so the chassis was leaning against my boot (as per challenge #1), as the front wheel crested the top of the hill, as long as the bike was leaned over enough, it would go round. If it wasn't leaned over the front wheel still gets kinda forced crossways but the bike wants to keep going forward, so the leaning seemed crucial here.
Make no mistake, the turns at the top of this are *tight* and deliberately so...if you were able to do the first challenge though you should be able to snap back to that "leaned over" pose and then these turns will be doable.
- Knees bent - can't stress this enough. If you want to see how it's done watch Kevin riding. In my head I think of it as "the Kevin stance", but whatever works for you :-)
- (obviously) Clutch and throttle control seemed to be key. First gear ftw and not a lot of throttle needed, gentle feathering of the clutch and throttle to deliver a bit of power as needed. I found I was almost stalling out as I crested the hill. Especially in first gear, these bikes have have a LOT of torque so let the bike do the work for you. You don't need to be giving it all the beans and the drama that comes with that. If it stalls it stalls, fire it up and go round again.
- Initially..go wide of the top flags if needed and work your way in tighter as you improve your lean
- Leaning the bike right over so the chassis leans against your boot seemed to be key to the tight turn whilst cresting the hill/exiting the gulley
- Have your body weight forward as you come up out of the gulley
- I found there was a point pretty much at bottom-dead-centre of the gulley where I was able to naturally stop and remain balanced (i.e. still on the pegs) and have a moment to contemplate and get the right body position before ascending. It was a useful breather.
- If you're going to dab a foot, try to dab with your inside foot, since you can always use that (keeping it planted) to pull the front of the bike around somewhat. In a trial this would be 100% allowed and is in fact quite a common/key tactic. You can't really do that if you dab your outside foot.
I found going round to the right was easier than to the left.
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 you may not have the grip coming out of the gulley, so then you need more speed (drama!), and your tyre may skip as you crest the hill. 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. More grip means we can go slower but stay in control.
- look at gearing - if the bike keeps getting away from you or is stalling out or 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.
Ask in the group or again, grab an experienced rider if you get stuck with any of this.