After a few years' absence Classic Trials returned to the Handley Property at Rapanui Rd, Westmere in March. The boutique pine plantation in a gully where we had previously ridden was devastated in the major storm a few years ago that had rocked the west coast of the North Island.
The venue was used by Mick Andrews at this training school in 2011 and this was our first time back enjoying one of our best loved properties.
Local expert Glen Bullock (Honda TLR200) took on the Brown Brothers, Seton and Karl, on their (BBB Yamaha TX175) while a good mix of Honda, Fantic and Montesa A Grade riders found the old plantation area a new source of challenge. Wellington IT consultant Colin had his Montesa 200 performing at the highest level as he carded just a four point penalty. In B Grade a tight tussle was fought between Cayden Palenski and Robert Cochrane. The following note was penned by one of the riders about Colin's win: "Sunday newspaper readers awoke to the breaking news that international rider and ambassador Colin Richardson had obliterated the competition at the World Trials Round in Wanganui last Saturday.
Mr Richardson had recently taken part in an international 50cc trial in Thailand but unfortunately failed to finish due to damage on the hired machine.
His minimal score of a four penalty loss drew gasps from the other riders with some seen kicking dirt and whispering 'Little Sebastion' comments.
His closest competitor, veteran ace rider Gerald Bull was asked for his comments while still shaking his head and catching his breath on this outcome.
'By Gum, The Lud rode well so he did but methinks could be a dose of what em scientists call the 'Placebo effect' due to the tasty new riding clobber he wuz wearing'.
Maybe its time to change my wardrobe."
Other competitors have made comments along these lines with some going further than Mr Bull's.
It is known that Richardson works for IBM and is part of their development software team. Two items of his new apparel have set tongues wagging, his trendy spectacles and helmet.
IBM has denied any knowledge of the technology but it is believed that the spectacles have built-in features that show the rider the perfect line while riding and makes their eyes stay on the plotted course. Mr Richardson was seen smiling a lot throughout the day and this is thought to be a side effect caused by the software within the helmet suggesting small electric shocks are sent through the rider's body when the bike detects a turn or change in grade, forcing severe "body English" to compensate and do the correct manoeuvre for the occasion. Is it like electric mountain bikes where we just have to change with the times. Final word went to Mr Bull who said "Humbugs and Bollocks Richardson".
¦ The NZ Masters Games Classic Trial is on again next year, on Saturday, February 11. The event is open to 25-year plus riders on trial or trail motorcycles up to 1995 vintage. For details contact Robert Cochrane 06-343-7585, 022-154-0334 or firstname.lastname@example.org