The busy Inverness & District MCC, the most northerly trials club in the UK have a busy time ahead with the promotion of their Highland Classic Two-Day Trial on June 9/10 on the picturesque Alvie Estate, four miles south of Aviemore.
The event has grown in stature over the years and now plays host to 150 riders plus 9 Guest Riders which includes Yrjo Vesterinen; Montesa ace from the 1970s, Clive Smith and from the racing world, Donnie McLeod and Iain Duffus who will be watched closely by Nick Jefferies, who makes his second appearance at the Highland Classic.
The trial starts at 11.00 am on the Saturday when the riders will be piped away by local piper, Sandy MacDonell and will enjoy two laps of 18 sections traversing the highland shooting estate.
The landowner is Laird, Jamie Williamson who has permitted trials on his ground for over 30 years.
The event is supported by Trial Partners: Putoline Motorcycle Oils; Apico Factory-Racing and Classic Trial Magazine.
This year the theme is The Montesa Cota Edition, recognizing the 50 years of the ‘Cota’ since it’s creation in 1968. Guest of Honour is the 1968 Scottish Trials Champion, Douglas Bald.
Once again Nevis Radio, in association with Michelin and Trial Magazine, were broadcasting live from the 2018 Scottish Six Days Trial.
The final audience figures show 322,000 listeners and viewers in 22 separate countries enjoyed the lively banter from the team supported by ‘Trials Guru’ John Moffatt over the six days.
The team consisted of Simon Abberley in the studio and John Weller and John Moffat live at the Parc Ferme start area. The camera crew for the week were Pam Weller, Deborah Weller, Sean McCartney and Ian MacDonald and everyone aside from Simon Abberley of Nevis Radio are volunteers.
John Hulme, Trial Magazine: “On behalf of Michelin and Trial Magazine we have once again enjoyed the privilege of being involved in this live outside broadcast bringing the action from the event daily as it unfolded to a global audience. We would like to thank everyone who makes this happen”.
Just a small selection of the highlights of the 2018 Scottish Six Days Trial!
With special thanks to:
Nevis Radio, Fort William; Iain Lawrie; John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK; John Hird & Matt Betts for their pictures, videos and imagery.
The live Bernie Schreiber Interview – Courtesy of Nevis Radio, Fort William (Trials Guru’s John Moffat chats live on air to 1982 SSDT winner and 1979 World Trials Champion, Bernie Schrieber in Zurich.)
The live Dave Burroughs Interview – Courtesy of Nevis Radio, Fort William (Trials Guru’s John Moffat talks with ‘Man in a Van’ from the Dave Channel production of ‘Ross Noble Off Road’ series).
The live Liberty British Aluminium Interview – Courtesy of Nevis Radio, Fort William (Trials Guru’s John Moffat talks to Mr Duncan Mackison of the Liberty British Aluminium group, major landowner and employers in the Lochaber area).
The Guru heard that:
Dougie Lampkin’s new book ‘Trials and Error’ was available at the weigh in, but the supply was sold out within an hour. A second box of books was despatched to Fort William and that too was sold out almost immediately!
County Durham SSDT veteran Colin Ward brought a TY250R ‘Pinkie’ to ride the trial that had been extensively rebuilt, to have the indignity of having the kick-start shaft snap rendering the machine unuseable.
Ward said: “I tried hiring a bike, but all the available machines had been issued, so I sent my son Travis back home to collect my Beta”. This was a very long round trip of many hours from Fort William to Stanley County Durham. Unfortunately Ward sprained his leg and had to retire from the trial.
Scotsman, Robbie Allan lost his false teeth at Fersit on the Thursday and frantically searched for them in the whote water to no avail. Fortunately he had packed a spare pair which he pressed into service for the Friday Road Trip run and finished the event without any further drama!
Trials Guru commissioned a limited edition one-off comemorative decal for the SSDT in 2018. These were given primarily to the riders and observers at the event registration in the rider packs.
Rider 131, George Gage from Oban was raising money for Cancer Research, George is a regular competitor in Scottish trials events and is a cancer survivor, having had lung and testicular cancer.
SSDT Secretary, Mieke de Vos announced her retirement from the post and Kirstin Pennycook will take over the job for the 2019 event. Kirstin effectively ‘shadowed’ Mieke at this years’ trial.
Northern Ireland rider Johnny Hagen fractured the T6 vertibrae in his back on Trotter’s Burn on the Tuesday. After scans and medical attention at Fort William’s Belford hospital resulted in Hagan being released and was spectating at Town Hall Brae section on the Saturday.
Special Guest, Eric Kitchen was presented with a photographer’s waist-coat by Clerk of the Course, Jeff Horne to mark his 40 years of taking photos at the SSDT for Trials & Motocross News.
News at the SSDT 2018 was that the event secretary, Mieke de Vos had announced that this would be her last year as the Scottish Six Days Trial Secretary after a four year stint.
Mieke is from the Netherlands and a retired school teacher who became involved in the event through her partner, James Ried who is Deputy SSDT Chairman and a former Assistant Clerk of the Course.
The new SSDT Secretary who will be appointed later this year is Kirstin Pennycook, the current secretary of the Dunfermline & District Motorcycle Club and wife of trials and motocross rider, Martin Pennycook.
We at Trials Guru wish Mieke a well-earned retirement, but she wont be too far away as she has offfered her services to support the 107 year old event. We also take this opportunity in welcoming Kirstin into her new post for 2019.
As a post script to the BSA that Alf rode story, we have great pleasure in disclosing that the machine will have its original registration number returned.
Registered in Dundee in 1959 as JTS139, the number was sold separately from the bike and after negotiations between the owner of the machine and the owner of the registration a deal was done and the BSA had its identity returned. A true happy ending!
The SSDT weigh-in Sunday is usually a hive of activity, but for the crowds of on-lookers and spectators there will be a trials cycle-bike demonstration at 13.30 in the town centre, with another demostration right after the parade of riders.
The rider is Aaron Duke, who was 2016 European champion, ranked seventh in the world in his age catagory. Aaron is an eight times Scottish champion and a previous British champion.
It is described as a one man demo showing extreme stunts performed on a bike that only a handful of people in Britain can perform.
Worth putting into your diary, Sunday 6th May at 13.30 before and after the riders’ parade.
The SSDT have just released details of their daily routes for the 2018 event.
This allows spectators to plan where to go and watch the event and a link is provided to them on the official website below.
The committee ask that anyone making use of these online maps respect landowners wishes that strictly no following of the riders on private land is permitted under any circumstances by vehicles of any kind.
Also the online maps are not a substitute to buying the official programme which went on sale in Lochaber and surrounding area on Monday 23rd in good time for the event which starts on May 7th.
Early reports indicate that sales are very brisk, so make sure you grab a copy (price £4.00) whenever you arrive before they are sold out!