Despite the fairly average weather conditions a good bunch turned up to contest the aptly named Winter Cup for 2014. More than half the riders were from Ixion, so well done you fellas for making the effort on a day when a cup of tea and a lie in would have seemed much more attractive.
The property at Foley Road is a mixture of stream bed, steep banks, and logs that always seem to be super slippery whatever the season. Phil and Kevin had laid out 8 sections, some old and some new, and they set them about right judging by the range of scores in each grade.
First up, section 1 with a hop over a slippery log at an angle followed immediately a seemingly impossible to clean sharp left turn or you end up in a hole in the stream. Everyone struggled here – the only clean on the section was recorded by Hannah Rushworth who rode very well all day and ended up cleaning up the crusty old club men. Perhaps we will need to rename this grade Clubperson?
Sections 2, 3 and 4 were all along a steep gravelly bank. Two was harder than it looked, for the intermediate line anyway, and 3’s and 5’s were the order of the day for most riders. Three was next door and a bit easier for all the grades, as was four a bit further along.
Sections 5 and 6 were similar – short blasts up steepish hillsides, but plenty of traction meant they weren’t too difficult. Points were lost mainly through getting offline and into the loose slippery rocks.
Section 7 started in the stream with a climb out a muddy bank, then across a log and up a steep bank. Not too hard, but section 8 challenged most grades and particularly the Inters with a tricky ride into and out of the stream, then up and out via a nasty little bank made by a fallen tree. Pinpoint accuracy with your line was the order of the day here to make it out clean or a five was the likely result (aye Andy!).
Kevin managed to take the honours in the A grade, and once again Oscar (aka the Flying Dutchman) showed us Inters a clean pair of heels. Oscar’s riding has improved markedly in the last 12 months and really highlights the benefits of doing loads of riding and challenging yourself by riding higher grades. Another rapidly improving rider is Hannah who also spends many hours on the bike. Jane took sole honours on the Sportsman grade, as did AJ Wheatley in Social.
Next trial is round 3 of the club champs, at the Mangatainoka quarry on 17 August.
- - Adrian Walcroft.