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Thanks to all the riders and organizers for making it a grand day out.. and Tony for doing the driving.

British and European Championship round.. Hook Woods, Surrey....

Having only rekindled my interest in Bike Trials a short while ago I haven't seen any of the new crop of riding stars actually ride in real life. Tony had never seen a Bike Trial comp in real life, so this event was going to be good for us both.
After a bbq and a few beers the night before to help recover from our 5 hours of riding, and a relatively early night, it was off down the M4 and into deepest Surrey for my second trip to Hook Woods in 3 weeks. (the British motorcycle trials round was there as well). I had been worried that the cycles would have trouble riding as it was very wet and muddy for the motorcycles but upon arriving i could see that the ground was now dusty!! And the sun was out... bargain.
We had a walk around the sections and had to ask which coloured markers who was going to follow. The yellow route was for the top guys followed by the red route... this didn't actually look that much easier until we arrived at a few of the rock and log section near to "sand mountain". The gaps the yellows had to get across, and the small take off and landing spots were amazing and we couldn't believe that anyone would get through them at all let alone clean... turns out we were wrong!!

We first followed a group of riders that had a couple of yellow route riders, 3 red route riders and several of the easier colours competitors... including 2 ladies doing the orange route. The rider that stood out was a guy on an orange Pashley who chatted with us and even chatted whilst he was in the section balanced on something big! He reckoned there were some good riders at the event to look out for but he should have put himself in that group as he was brilliant to watch. And how nice to see a steel frame amongst all the Alluminium ones. I have since found out the guys name is Tim Steadman and the frame may well be available from Pashley soon. The after event play time was awesome to watch with Tim almost matching everything that Ben savage did... but with more laughs! ..
We managed eventually to see almost every rider and every section and were just blown away by what everyone was doing. The easy sections would have had us on our arse!! But I would like to try them one day soon...

Ben Savage diamondback
hook woods cycle action

... What a brilliant way to end the day, watching several of the riders just playing on some silly hard and big stuff. They started on a crop of rocks near the last section and rode it in just about every way possible... and some that I am sure weren't. They then moved over to the concrete section that will be familier to the motorcycle boys as it was also the last section at the event here a few weeks ago. Ben and Tim decided it may be possible to ride up the almost vertical 12 foot last step!!! A quick emoval of the barrier to give a few extra feet of run up and away they went for 20 minutes throwing themselves up it. Ben Savage made it look too easy, and eventually added a nasty looking ending to give him a challenge! Tim didn't make it up the huge step but had his front wheel over the top a couple of times before a backwards jump with bike. He was the first to try a horrible drop off to angled slab and back up onto the start step.... after several attempts he cleaned it and started other riders off, this resulted in some blood and scuffed alluminium!
A mention must go to the man on the left riding the fluro ex Scott Wilson bike. Turns out he is a couple of years older than Tony and myself... thats knackered our excuses for not riding then! He was having great fun and kept us entertained as well... sorry, no idea of your name mate but your a star and you may have several other old codgers riding with you soon.

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