West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 66 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2019

Sphinx Trial 2011

Words by: Colin Jones

Colin's report

The results say it all, 'Alf is a superstar' dropping 4 miserly dabs, perhaps he has been held back by that Serow before, but borrowing Henry's Pampera for the Sphinx brought out the talent, 'with age comes experience'. Sadly I'm not old enough to find 'that' much talent but was successful in beating the stats! I not only got to the trial intact but managed to get all the way around and back home.

Unfortunately this year's event was plagued with good weather which meant Steve Venn and the team had marked out the tougher version of the sections....'what do you mean they were easy? you weren't looking through my eyes and on a CRM!' The results sheet tells the truth, won on clean and only one of those, and only a few of us were up around three figures. means they must have got it right.

My first choice of minder, Roy Breakwell, still had 43 lambs waiting to pop so I had to settle for young Jim 'swansong' Delahay. He may well have suggested all the right lines but it was no good telling me when the bike wasn't listenning!

We started off all wrong. I waited for Jim at the first section which was observed by West Glos Team member Bill Brown. With no inspection rules applied, Bill's full lock right followed by full lock left baffled my brain so I kept it on full right and headed for Bill. Likily Bill is more sprightly than me and hopped out the way, catastrophe averted!...well the first one anyway. I continued to do the first 3 sections in this group while waiting for Jim as he was starting 20 minutes later than me, with a pleasing clean and a 3 on Chris Harvey's lock stop polisher. Jim turns up and I park beside him and compare steering lock. His CRF230 looks to be th same as mine, so with warnings about the first corner in Bill's section I cross my fingers and Jim adjusts his mindset to clean, but his lock puts his front wheel just off the line needed and he copies my score.

Now don't get me wrong, if I'm stupid enough to ride a CRM unmodified then I know there are compromises, and I already know I have to be able to ride using every wide line and clutch and balance my way around virtually every hazard. It would have helped if I'd bought the correct gearbox sprocket to gear it down, but I'd got the same size as I was already using, doh! Anyway, the upside with the CRM comes when I get to the special test, there is so much power I have to use other feeble excuses to explain away any rubbish test times. This time there was a right hand bend and I don't do right handers (is that feeble enough?) I got a good thrashing on Sam Wilson's test with a DT175 winning it and 2nd fastest was Alf on a mere Pamp 250.

The 4th and 5th sections were in Withington woods which was a beautiful ride both to get to and away from. I followed Jim in on some single track through the trees and I just knew Jim was smiling, though all I could see was the back of his head, by his riding, it was just like the good times riding the Corinium enduro in Cirencester Park, he was flowing and flicking the bike about while up on the pegs...and , ok, I admit he was bloody dificult to keep up with despite my power advantage. We crept down to Stan Howitt and Dave Harris's sections able to see roughly where we would have to go and I couldn't see a sharp corner anywhere, so Steve Venn was thinking of me after all! This could be done for less than 10! Sure enough, I managed to stay feet up, either that or both Stan and Dave took pity on me. So far there were 4 West glos riders observing in the first 5 sections. Who are we going to bump into next?


Part 2 coming soon......