When the clock strikes nine on Saturday morning, overseas entrant Mark Coombes (the Isle of Wight counts as overseas, doesn’t it?) will get the Scott Trial underway as he leaves the starting ramp with hours and hours of misery, erm, I mean fun, ahead of him.

Over the next 60 minutes, almost 180 riders will follow him – at 20-second intervals – as they take on one of the absolute classics of the off-road sporting year.

There are a few things about the Scott that are magical to me and it’s partially its history – and the fact that most of the course is a mystery – but it’s mostly down to the fact that it’s mainly about my favourite bit of riding trials (splashing about in streams on a motorbike) with my least favourite bit (queuing for sections) removed.


Every single year I think ‘I wish I was doing it’ while telling everyone ‘I wish I’d done it’ because as each edition passes it becomes more and more unlikely that I’ll ever sack up, learn to be a better trials rider – or even be a regular trials rider for that matter – and get myself an entry.

But at some point, I’ll be old(er) and grey(er) and I’ll be able to convince people that I nearly did the Scott this one time but *cough*, *mumble*, *snore*… and no-one will give a toss how the story ends, but I’ll be considered cooler than the cardigan-wearing fool next to me in Bay View care home who doesn’t even know what the Scott Trial is – or can remember, anyway.

And that’s what’s called playing the long game…

As I get older (I turned 44 last week – thanks for all the birthday messages by the way) I keep on getting faster and faster, to the point where I sometimes have to stop myself before I need to hastily rewrite the history books.

Funnily enough, I came across a Wikipedia page the other week that was a list of motocross champions of some distinction or other.

Anyway, some US-based whipper-snapper had added his name into the list and then set-up another Wikipedia page that explained how this random YouTuber/gamer had been the youngest ever factory KTM rider and won a bunch of world championships as a 13-year-old before a knee injury had sidelined him and forced him to get a job delivering pizza or something.

I wish I could share the link to the page as it was hilarious but unfortunately, I can’t find it now and had to delete my browsing history because I’d been doing some online shopping for the wife’s birthday and I didn’t want to ruin the surprise. That’s a legit enough reason, right?

Actually, that’s a total lie because midlife crisis me has been looking at things that I really shouldn’t have and could potentially lead to divorce. What kind of depravity could I be on about?

Well, it started with Evo-class two-strokes, meandered around Montesa 315Rs, skirted into twinshock territory before ending at used sidecarcross machines for sale.

Is a splashing of cash imminent? I very much doubt it but a man can dream, can’t he?

So while my dreams of returning to the track, or taking part in the Scott, will most likely remain just that, there are 180 guys who are living my dream this Saturday so if you wanna see what kind of depravity I’m into, head on over to the Arkengarthdale/Reeth/Marske area of North Yorkshire and enjoy a great day of sporting action for absolutely zero cost (except a donation to the Scott Charities of course)…

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