This is my first year of competition on the Trials bike.
There were no 'sheep stations' at stake for me when I purchased my MA Licence at the start of 2022 and committed to compete in the Prestige Winter Series.
Knowing where I'd rank mid-way through the competition season was about as important to me as knowing political placings in Nauru or Tuvala (the two tiniest democratic nations in the world).
Or, at least, that was what I thought way back in February. Approaching the final event of the season I am questioning whether, or not, I still feel the same way?
Oddly, at every round of the Prestige Series I've found myself thinking more about my score than about how well (or not well) I am riding. I am certain that competition has corrupted me; even though I am a country mile from even the lowest step on the podium in my class.
That's a little sad given that I am 'supposed' to be out there for the joy of riding, rather than the thrill of winning.
So then, words can't describe how refreshing it was to get amongst if for the MotoDynamics TRS 2-Day at what has to be one of the best properties on the planet; the Thomas farm in Morangup.
Thomas Farm - a Mecca for Trials riders
A day earlier I had sat on the sidelines of the Hard Enduro event down at Mildwood, where the WHES riders were throwing themselves and their bikes at insane obstacles in Round 5 of the WA Hard Enduro season at Mildwood.
To say that their courage had heightened my ambitions and hardened my resolve for Trials on Sunday would be a reasonably accurate statement. So, with the sun shining and traction oozing out of every log and rock on the circuit, the TRS 2-Day seemed to me to be the perfect platform to step it up a notch.
When riding a section, providing you follow the arrows that define your Class, you are allowed to have a fair and reasonable crack at any obstacle within the Section. But, in a normal competitive event, you don't. Why would you? Why would you try to clear something that is above your pay grade if there was any chance it was going to bring you unstuck and knock you a few pegs down the podium? Instead you play it safe and, as a consequence you don't challenge your existing skill set.
But I, and no doubt many others, took a different approach on the 2-Day!!
The event welcomed us to challenge ourselves. Pete Jones was easily punching above his weight class!
If there was an obstacle that I thought I had even half a chance of clearing, I gave it a crack; regardless of whether or not the arrows were suggesting it was for a grade level or two higher than my class.
We were all doing it. It was like Thomas Farm was willing us to.
I even saw Black Plate (Beginner Class) riders, like Karen Douglas and Emily McCorkill, fearlessly charging along goat tracks from section to section like Ice Road Truckers!
Karen has found her feet and is now giving the new MotoDynamics Beta Evo 125 a flogging.
At the end of the day, I was a little bit astounded at what I had actually made it over. I consistently cleared a number of Red and Yellow rock climbs, log hops and one slightly ridiculous drop off that did not even have an arrow on it.
It looked like fun - so I gave it a crack.
How did I score on the day? Dunno - I didn't look.
If you want to see some wheels in motion then click on this link - Define Splat.