Monday, 9 January 2012

Exeter Trial 2012

The day after the day after, that's when it hurts and that's today!

I am spending the evening lounging on the sofa and reflecting on the weekend I have some smiles and chuckles, some sucking between teeth" mmm" moments and some ...actually quite a lot of, "ouch" moments as strained muscles are forced to shift position sunken in soft settee cushions.

This years trial was as you might expect, full of surprises. Never have I finished a day so physically shattered as that Saturday evening.

As last year, the little Troll T6 performed admirably although toward the end, having dragged us up through the infamous Simms Hill, we began to have an ever increasing transmission noise and vibration. We also broke a small supporting rod to the front mudguard, quickly corrected by zippy ties and tape.

Arriving Friday in Cirencester early (6pm) for the initial scrutineering and sign on, I was able to meet up with the bikes and riders, including Anthony Brown and his dad from DBA blog (  also "Co Built" Video featuring Anthony Brown). It is nice to put a face to the blog.
We admired the two C90 Type "step through" Hondas, with a few appropriate modifications.
 They had already ridden through the drizzle blurred traffic from Shropshire!

Watching the bikes and sidecars leave at their allotted slots, followed by a quiet hour before the cars began to converge, I had a small pang to be riding with them.

Some 18 hours later, we have a compulsory break, just half a mile from Simms.
 Sitting in the sunlight, surrounded by the rattle of tea cups and the sound of tired but excited chatter resonating around the Islington village hall. Feeling carefully fettled and fed with tea and cakes by WI ladies in a timeless British setting. Here I noticed one figure that seemed to have a presence and quiet unassuming dignity. To add to this, I also noticed the audience that this figure calmly spoke with, one by one in turn, each giving him great respect, much like a tribal elder or statesman. The gentleman is the driver and owner, partnered by his equally respected wife, of a "special", similar to a Dellow but evolved in a way that many years of successful partnership creates.
Eric Wall, is an older gentleman, swept back, reasonably long silver hair, a serene, confident, quiet observing expression presents a distinguished and noble character. All are seeking Eric's advice and perhaps his approval and all answers are given in a wise and thoughtful manner.
Later we were to benefit from a few of Eric Wall's careful words.

Eric and his wife can be seen in the following video, climbing that nemesis of Exeter Trial hills "Simms", this video paints a thousand words:
 An older master in an unassuming low power car doing exactly as required, followed by eager, highly strung, hyper "just one good run" hopeful protagonists!

Eric Wall in his leaping Special is at 15.30 min and we follow afterwards at about 15.59min into the video.

Thank you to "therunleader" for placing this excellent video on You Tube

Some further photos by John Baker on the EOS Photographic magazine forum


  1. Great article - hope the aches and pains have subsided. I was nearly there - but it wasn't to be. May make it to the Land's End.

  2. Great to meet you. Had a fun time!