After a hot summer in the lower North Island you wouldn't read about it. First classic trial in months and we get two days of rain and showers on the rock hard farmland in Turakina.

As the land for this early trial included steep hillside access, it didn't take long for the venue to become super slippery. I had planned to debut my latest Kawasaki KT250 but too much building work is getting in the way of the fun again. The joys of being self employed, they tell me.

But I did get out to the trial venue by lunchtime to catch up with the riders, grab a few pics and deliver a new Mitas trials tyre to one of the Wellington Montesa 200 riders. And that's the cool part about riding in classic trials — it is the social side during the event and over lunch. Riders from Pahiatua, Manawatu, Kapiti and Wellington always join the Wanganui riders for some good old low intensity competitive fun, on old bikes.
The machines used today are the Japanese, Spanish and Italian bikes, from the early Honda TL125s, sometimes a TL250 to the ever popular TLR200 four-stokes, to the TY 175 & TY250 Yamahas and Kawasaki KT250 two-strokes, plus the Spanish Montesa and Bultaco and Italian Fantic and SWM.

Merv, Honda TL200, cautious downhill at Midwest Classic Trials 2020. Picture / Robert Cochrane
Merv, Honda TL200, cautious downhill at Midwest Classic Trials 2020. Picture / Robert Cochrane

So after a few pics in the pits I headed off down the steep track, being careful to stick to the grassy sides. Only 25m down the track and the new gumboots proved their grip was not up to the mark and down I went on my backside with both myself and camera taking a good tumble. So a few mud stains later and I was back on my feet getting into position to get a few snaps of the riders now starting in the long tricky section one.

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I rode at this venue a year or so ago on the Club loaner bike, a TL125 Honda in the lead up to the Masters Games Classic trial, a major event for the local guys with around 25 riders. And with stock on this land at times the ground can be a bit bumpy in places, but has some good shelf track areas too. I found it interesting to note experienced hand Merv shifting a lot of loose leaves from his eventual path — I must think more like that when I get back into the routine of riding again. Top marks to the local riders creating another great weekend pastime in our district. Info on monthly rides is at www.facebook.com/TwinshockTrialsNZ/