"How do I get Started in Trials?"
introduction to the world of Trials
are unsure about just turning up and riding an event, why not come along to
our next trial and have a walk around and see some sections and
some riders in action, this will help you to get a feel of the event and how its run.
Maybe even help out by picking an observer board up, again this
helps you get an understanding of how trials work, and helps the
WHAT EQUIPMENT/GEAR DO I NEED?
OK, you've bought or borrowed a bike, so all you
need now is some riding gear.
When starting out there is no need to spend a fortune on
all the very latest kit - helmets, boots, clothing etc, you can save money by
buying older versions/second hand stuff (no one will know once its covered in
There is usually plenty of
second hand stuff on sale on Ebay etc.
(Probably best not
buying second-hand helmets though, you never know what's happened to them
Trials clothing tends to be on the "close fitting" side, this is to
prevent you snagging up on all the vegetation etc you ride
past/through! It may not be the most flattering or
complimentary look, but once
you are at the trial, you will only stand out if you AREN'T wearing
are probably fewer rules for trials than any other form of
motorsport when it comes to safety equipment/clothing etc- but there are some:
YOU MUST WEAR A HELMET (AT
TIMES)- either a
"designed for trials" lid, or, if you must, an open face motocross-style helmet
. (Cycle Helmets are NOT adequate!)
It must be worn at all times when you are on your bike and needs to be fastened
legs need covering, this affords some protection from the rocks, thistles
and nettles you will undoubtedly encounter! Again, trials
specific gear has padding and reinforced areas where you need them
most, i.e. shins, knees, inner thigh etc.
MUST wear long sleeved tops and gloves however HOT the
weather may be!
motorcycle boots are a must!. Invest in some proper trials boots.
They're not cheap (again you could get 2nd hand ones, YUK) but they'll
last for ages if you look after them.
Trials boots have different
soles than motocross type boots, giving you better traction when
dabbing/pushing the bike in the mud!
CAN'T WAIT TO RIDE!
you've seen an event, or your just a "go for it" kind of person and
you cant wait to come along and have a go;
well all you need to do now is:
our membership form
here, (fill it in and bring it along to our next event with a
cheque for £5.00).
ACU membership affiliation form (which needs
signing and stamping by a club official). We can provide you with a
blank form but you'll need a passport size photo.
You can also get a form by
clicking the 'ACU'
and selecting the "Competition License Application & Renewal 200x
for all Disciplines" option, (remember you still need it
signing/stamping by a club official BEFORE you send it off).
ACU License Application Form
for our next “Dead Easy” trial; the dates are listed on this website
and will also be in the Trials & Motocross News (TMX).
Come along with your bike
bring your completed membership form and the £5 club membership fee.
Once you are a club member we can get your ACU form signed and stamped ready for you to send
(Remember whilst our “Dead Easy” trials are designed to be just
that, you must be have basic bike skills and be capable of
controlling of your machine.
The sections aren't dangerous but you
AT THE TRIAL
- Try and arrive between 60 minutes and 30 minutes PRIOR to the official*
start time for the trial (*this is shown on the website and in the
TMX). This helps us get
everyone signed on, answer any queries with regards to memberships,
ACU forms etc. It also helps gauge the number of observers we are
likely to have, and plan accordingly.
(Please do not
arrive TOO early though. We tend to get a bit grumpy if we
have a queue of people wanting to sign on 2 hours before the start
when we are still finishing the route marking etc!!)
It also benefits YOU if you arrive early as you can assess which route you
wish to ride during the trial. By scouting out a couple of sections
BEFORE you sign on you will have a better idea which route you
(Dead Easy trials usually have two routes, a VERY easy route, for
absolute beginners and a slightly harder, more technical route).
Also PLEASE try and bring the correct money with you, it helps
prevent us running out of change, and a much quicker signing in process!
We are always very grateful if you bring a friend or family member
along who would be willing to observe, not only that, you get a
reduced price entry! Don't worry if they have never even been to a
trial before, we can show them the ropes and explain the rules!
Before the trial starts
– once you have signed on, please don't fire up your engine until
the start of the trial. This helps to avoid loads of bikes riding
around the “parc ferme” where there are vans, cars and trailers and lots of people
sorting themselves out.
Not surprisingly, young riders/beginners, motorbikes and parked cars tend to make it
an “accident waiting to happen”. Understandably, owners tend to get
a little upset when they end up with a '95 Gas Gas as a bonnet
ornament on their brand new Audi estate!
it is not a British Championship Round, so you DON’T get a practise
lap, NO riding of the sections is allowed prior to the official
start, "Dead Easy" trials may be on a
“no award” basis, but we like to keep things fair!
Briefing - Just prior to the start time, we will
call all the riders over into a group (usually by a prolonged blast of a car/air
horn) to brief them on the course/safety etc.
PLEASE ensure you arrive promptly to listen to this talk, EVEN if
think you’ve heard all you need to know. We WONT start the trial
until all riders are together and we have gone through the safety /
course information. If you mess about turning up late, all you will do is delay the
start of the trial!!
At this briefing we will hopefully explain all points necessary for
you to have a safe enjoyable days trialling, including:
– whilst all our Dead Easy trials are designed exactly as that, we
cannot legislate for hazards between the sections,
such as deep “bomb holes”, large rocks etc. We will, however, warn
you about them!
We route mark ALL our trials, and this is there to both help you
find the sections, but ALSO to help you avoid any other hazards,
wherever possible. REMEMBER though it is YOUR
responsibility to follow the route marking, AND to ride safely and within
YOUR limits, don’t get carried away and try to exceed your skill
levels, this tends to lead to broken bikes and bruised / broken
Weather conditions can also massively affect the trial, we will
always try to allow for adverse conditions, but, put quite simply, grass
gets slippery when it’s wet, ground gets muddy when it rains and
rocks with mud on are slippery! If it has forecast rain later in
the day, get going and get the trial finished!!
- this will include the location of the sections, the number of
sections per lap, and the number of laps we expect you to complete.
Dead Easy trials are designed to be fun, if four laps of 10 sections
is just TOO much on your first outing, complete the number of laps
you wish, but PLEASE inform the observers that you
are not doing any more laps, this helps prevent them sitting out
(quite often in the cold and wet) waiting for you to come and finish
your last laps!
Generally you would start a trial at section one and do the sections
in sequence, however at our Dead Easy trials we may ask riders to
“split up” and go to different section numbers, this saves 80+
riders all descending on section 1 and there being massive queues
all day. Again we will inform you of this at the briefing.
Bike/Equipment Check – we like to start our trial off by
inspecting bikes and ensuring the riders have adequate (i.e. safe)
clothing/footwear on (see above). This helps ensure all riding
bikes are within the rules but also gives us the opportunity to have
a nosey at the latest bike “bling” out there!
(Amongst other things we check to ensure that all bikes have trials
tyres, ball/round-ended levers, no loose bits or sharp edges and
youths should have a working kill-switch)
Again, it is entirely YOUR responsibility to wear adequate
protection and to ensure your bike is safe to ride.
respect the observers; remember they are giving up their time just
so you can ride. If you upset them they may not come back and if you
really upset them, YOU wont be welcome back!
until they give you “the nod” before starting the section, this
ensures that they are ready and the section is clear of any other
Sometimes we unfortunately don’t have enough observers to cover all
the sections. When this is the case we will put the observer boards
at the unmanned sections, and it is up to the riders to observe
Remember, NEVER write your own score down, however honest you
may be it is still classed as cheating, always get someone else to
mark your score for you.
If every rider has a turn of marking someone else through the trial tends
to run smoothly.
REMEMBER – if you provide an observer at the start of the trial we
will reward you with a reduced price entry!
Marking (Observation) –
marking starts as soon as your front wheel spindle (axle) crosses
between the start flags in a section and ends when it passes the end
17 use the TRS 22A rules which means it's just one mark if you stop,
(not a five as per the rules some other clubs use).
of - TRS22A -
1 = Footing once or stopping
2 = Footing twice
3 = Footing 3 or more times
5 = Failure or moving sideways whilst stopped
5 = rider asking for a 5 rather than attempting the section.
10= missing a section completely.
When ANY part of a riders body touches the ground or
The rider benefits from any part of his body leaning on an obstacle
(e.g. a tree) without stopping.
Failure is considered to have occurred if:-
-The rider dismounts (both of the rider’s feet on the ground on the
same side of the bike).
-The bike does not stay within the intended limits of the section and
within each flag.
-If either wheel crosses any boundary tape or flag whether on the
ground or airborne before the spindle passes the end flags.
-The bike or rider displaces a flag.
-Going forward against the direction of the section.
-The bike or rider gets outside assistance.
-A rider (or 'minder' dad etc) alters the severity of the section
without the authority of an official
HANDBOOK FOR FULL RULES)
this will have been confirmed in the briefing but we generally run
two routes at a Dead Easy trial. ALL sections start and finish at
the same place (highlighted by the “Section Begins” and “Section
Ends” cards, which also have the section number on it.
– this will be the blue and red flags/markers, just remember
RED on your
BLUE on your left)
- this will be marked with
YELLOW flags (although we may use whites)
Part of a typical Dead Easy section, note the red and blue harder
route, and the (wider) yellow markers for the easy route riders
(allowing them to avoid the rocks!)
get to the section and get totally confused ask the observer, and
always “walk” the section, this helps you understand where you are
going, but also what obstacles you will encounter / need to avoid
whilst actually riding it!
Remember stay within the flags at all times and whilst we try to
mark sections to be as clear and unambiguous as possible, stay
within the natural line of the markers, so on a turn that isn’t
clearly marked, DON’T go taking the “wide line” that has you half
way back to the van, keep within that (imaginary) natural line!
the sections/trials etiquette –
whilst turning up at your very first section of
your very first trial can be very daunting (yes I remember that
feeling well!) if you remember a few simple points you will soon
relax and start enjoying it:
arriving at the section:
park your bike up sensibly and safely in a position that doesn’t block access to
the section for other riders, and where it is not likely to fall
over causing a domino effect on all the other parked bikes (NOT a
good way to introduce yourself!).
Walking the section:
section, keeping an eye out for riders entering it, and
listening out for the observer’s instructions. If he/she asks you to
“clear the section”, do so straight away! Again, if you are confused
by anything ask another rider or the observer, they’re a friendly
bunch, even if they all look very serious prior to their first
are happy you know where you are going in the section, get in the queue, again this can be quite
confusing with a jumble of bikes/riders, but try and get your position
and keep it, if unsure ask the rider at the side/slightly in front
of you who is in front. However eager you are to get that
section over with DON’T go pushing your way to the front of the
Conversely, don’t allow ALL the other riders in the queue to go before you, it may not be fun having other riders watch you wobble
your way through those early sections, but you will never finish in time if
you let everyone go before you!
Take time when queuing to have a friendly chat with other riders,
the "older guys" will always have some good tips for you!
When you are at the front of the queue and it is you turn WAIT
for the observer to wave you into the section
(they use different methods, a nod of the head, a wave of the
observer board sometimes they may even use a whistle). This
ensure they are ready to start to observe you, and that the section
is clear. They tend to get upset when there is more than one
rider on the section, or you blast through it and they were in the
middle of pouring themselves a brew!
Tip: try not to get to close to the section begins, give yourself a
bit of room to set off and get steady on the bike BEFORE you enter
After you have completed three laps you will be getting the hang of
things, remember, when completing each section for the final time, to
thank the observer.
Observing in the rain and the cold is NOT a glamorous job, but our
sport would die out without them, so don't forget a "thank-you!"
there is no official time limit on completing the trial,
observers and the rest of the organisers have got homes to go to,
and a lot of work to do AFTER the trial (pulling the sections/route
marking, washing bibs, doing results, reports, ACU paperwork and so
on) so please DON’T hang around.
Stop for a quick drink/refuel by all means, but don’t start firing
the BBQ up half way through the trial!! Newer riders are generally
slower at finishing than more experienced riders, but if you keep
going at a steady pace you shouldn’t be that far behind the rest!
the Event –
have finished, please:
your number bibs:
these are relatively expensive items to the club, but it also causes us great
trouble at the next trial when numbers are missing!
Please remember a
LOT of work has gone into organising the trial, and we ALWAYS
appreciate some feedback in terms of the organisation, section
severity, route marking etc. If you feel it was great tell us, if
you feel it was not so good also tell us, and tell us why!
Try not to be too critical about factors outside of our control, we
are after all trying to ensure a lot of riders with a range of experience and skill levels
have a good, and most importantly
Remember what was too easy for you, may not have been for another
conjunction with Bill Brown from Macclesfield T.C., we have
developed a Cheshire Trials forum to allow you to post your views/comments and other
trials related gossip online! Click Here:
We are on property that has been kindly loaned to us by local land
please repay their generosity by ensuring you take home ALL of your rubbish
etc. NEVER discard of any petrol/oil/chemicals etc on the land
(there is quite often livestock on it).
Anyone found doing so, or
wilfully damaging fences, gates or walls will be permanently
excluded from ALL Manchester 17 events)
FINALLY - (THE
MOST IMPORTANT POINT) - ENJOY THE DAY
Images courtesy of "the club camera", the Green family and John Shirt.
See all our photo albums by clicking