The club caters for all classes of riders from the complete beginner to the more accomplished, the class you ride is determined by ability.
Trials riding is the safest form of motorcycle sport, competition takes place on sections aimed at agility and skill rather than speed, with safety being of paramount importance. This introduction is intended as a brief introduction to the sport of trials at club level.
Routes are provided for all levels of ability
- Over 65/ Sportsman / Youth Beginners marked yellow
- ‘Pick and Mix’
- Novice/Over 50/Pre 67/Youth Novices/ Twinshock. marked red
- Intermediate/Over 40/Youth Inters marked blue
- Expert/Youth Expert marked white
If you have never ridden before, or never competed in a trial, don’t worry. Talk to the clerk of the course when you arrive and arrangements can be made for you to either practice or try some of the sections you feel capable of riding. You are expected to provide an appropriate machine that’s safe to ride and riding kit suitable for the event; crash helmet, boots, and clothing covering arms, legs and body are mandatory. If you have a problem with your bike, don’t be afraid to ask other club members – they may be able to help, or know a man that can. Of course, the most important thing is – having fun. The trial will generally be held over 4 laps of 10 separate self-observed sections, each with 4 routes, marked by coloured ‘gates’ with a ‘start’ and an ‘end’ gate. The idea being to travel through the section with the minimum gain of penalty marks. All our club trials use the “Stop Allowed” rules.
Basic guide to lost marks
For a more comprehensive list of detailed marking and definitive rules, please see the ACU handbook
- 0 points (clean) – cleaning the section
- 1 point – putting your foot down once
- 2 points – putting your foot down twice
- 3 points – putting your foot down 3 times or more.
- 5 points – failing to complete the section
For club championship trials, the club expects all riders to compete in groups of similar ability to observe each other and ensure fair scores are recorded. A lot can be learned from watching and riding with other members. For ‘Open’ trials an observer will be allocated to each section. You may want to bring a friend or family members along to the trial; sometimes, just having them with you helps your confidence. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, every rider you’ll see did the same.
So, take your time, make sure you know which colour route you are riding, and always walk the section first to be sure. Watch the other riders in your group. If you then feel you can’t manage a particular section, don’t worry; you can take a five, and you can then go on and ride the sections you feel more comfortable with. Between the sections, don’t ride faster than people walk.
At trials where there are observers, please thank the observer on your last lap; they have given up their time to enable you to ride, and a ‘thank-you’ goes a long way. Don’t expect too much too soon. Not every section has to be ‘cleaned’ and you’ll be amazed at the satisfaction you get from finishing your first trial. Remember this is your club, and any help you can give, in any form, is always welcome. When you join the club you agree to help out when requested either by observing at one of our open trials or clearing up after a club trial.
Below is a list of general rules for the rider
- No riding before or after the trial, unless agreed by the clerk of the course
- Don’t ride faster than people walk between sections
- Should you have a reason to disagree with an observer or official, do not argue, the observer’s decision is final. Any disputes can only be settled later with the event secretary or clerk of the course
- Always be polite and thank the observers
- Events are held on other peoples’ property, so please treat it with respect: no litter, and please try to stay on the appointed route
- You must volunteer to help the club when asked.
- Self-observed sections and trials: please try to do your best to ride and mark yourselves in groups, and as honestly and accurately as possible- Unmarked Club officials will be watching to ensure fair marking takes place at all times- remember if you make an honest mistake you can correct it at another time, but if you conceal the true marks, you only really fool yourself.
- Last, but not least, always try to check your bike over after a trial, or before the next one. Simple maintenance not only extends the life of your bike and helps reliability, there is nothing worse than not being able to ride because the bike won’t run.
On behalf of the Committee we hope that you find our trials enjoyable.