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Leven Valley Preview

 

Trial preview

Words: Trials Guru
Photos: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven; Fin Yeaman

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The second Leven Valley 2 Day Trial takes place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th September 2019, its base is the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven.

Satisfying a ten year desire for a Twinshock/Britshock style event, it is an alternative event to the well established Pre’65 type event held in the Kinlochleven area, as the classic trials movement moves onwards.

The word ‘twinshock’ wasn’t even used in the 1970s through to the mid 1980s when the mono-shock framed machines stole the trials show with the advent of the game changing Yamaha TY250S developed by Nigel Birkett, followed by Beta with their TR machines and of course Honda with their RTL250S model.

O. Andersson'79 Pipeline
O. Andersson (348 Montesa) on ‘Pipeline’ – Photo: Iain Lawrie

Riders of the original twinshocks are now into their 60’s and original Pre’65 riders are moving into their 80’s, hard to believe but true!

The Leven Valley began life in 2018 with 150 competitors, a fantastic achievement in its inaugural year, but the popularity mushroomed and this year the enthusiastic local club, Kinlochleven & District have pushed the boat out by accommodating 250 competitors, exceeding the limit of the Pre’65 Scottish and coming close to equalling the SSDT itself.

Local businessman and club chairman, Martin Murphy summed it up well when interviewed by Trials Guru last week: “We are satisfying a long felt demand for a good twinshock type trial in God’s own trials country. The event is organised by local people and that was important to those of us who live and work in the village. Last year we held a raffle at the prize giving ceremony and the funds raised went to local good causes. we like to put something back into the community. We are also very grateful to the local landowners and businesses that support us, including Jahama Estates who hold a sizeable amount of the land we use. I hope the riders appreciate the hard work that the club have put in to present a fantastic event, while maintaining good relations with the landowners and government agencies that manage our land here in the Kinlochleven area. Thanks also to Jamie Smith for facilities at the Ice Factor.”

The trial starts at 10.00am Saturday and spectators are welcome to watch the action at Hydro, Pollock, Cieran Burn, The Kennels and Lower Mamore at the start of the lap, and Mambrec and Lochiel Burn at the end of the day.

Food and refreshments will be available all day at The Ice Factor and the venue will have entertainment including a live band on Saturday evening.

LV2DT - Saturday Route
Map courtesy of Kinlochleven & District Motor Cycle Club Ltd

On the Sunday, the action starts earlier at 9.00am with spectators accessing the sections at Hydro, Pollock, The Kennels and Lower Mamore on the outward loop, with  sections at Pipeline and Aluminium Works at the end of the second day.

LV2DT - Sunday Route
Map courtesy of Kinlochleven & District Motor Cycle Club Ltd

Once again, The Ice Factor will be open all day for food and refreshments, and this venue will also host the Trial Awards on Sunday evening with some input from Trials Guru’s John Moffat and a trials celebrity presenting the awards.

Finale - Fin Yeaman

Remember to obtain your copy of the Leven Valley Two Day Trial official programme available at the Ice Factor and start area.

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Great Scott 2019

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Barry Robinson captures Graham Tales at the 2016 Scott Trial at Orgate Falls – Photo copyright.

The annual time and observation Scott Trial takes place on Saturday, 12th October this year, starting on the usual start field at Feldom Lane, near Richmond on the Reeth to Marske road.

Following on from the devastating floods in July, some old sections have been swept away and new sections have been ripped into the landscape, many taken down to bed rock, so there will be some changes to the normal Scott route.

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Scott Trial finish 2018 – Photo: Trial Magazine

Ken Wallis, the hard working trial secretary spoke to Trials Guru: “The area has suffered this summer with the extensive flooding, but we are well supported by the landowners and there are still a few entry places left, so contact me now on: 07703222147”.

It could be that some riders thought that the event would not be run because of the flooding, but matters have been put in hand in Swaledale and it’s all systems go for the big day on 12th October.

Great Scott 2019 advert
Trials Guru has taken a full page advert in the 2019 Scott Trial programme, supporting the local Scott charities and the sport. Photos: David Wood (C.H. Wood Bradford) & John Hulme (Trial Magazine UK)

Proceeds from the sale of the official Scott Trial programme will once again go to the local Scott charities, the publication costs £5.00.

Scott Trial 2019
Scott Trial 2019 official programme front cover by permission of the Richmond Motor Club (Yorkshire) Ltd – copyright.

More on the Scott Trial: HERE

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John Little, Scotland’s Enduro Supremo

JOHN LITTLE 13th May 1935 – 8th September 2019

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of John Little, former trials and enduro rider who had suffered two dibilitating strokes recently and slipped away peacefully on Sunday, 8th September 2019, aged 84 years.

John was originally from Edinburgh, but made his home at Elgin, Moray in the 1980s with his wife Eileen.

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John Little on his 1966 Bultaco Sherpa seen here in the 1967 White Heather on ‘Sonny’s’ at Rogart – Photo: Grant Family Collection, Rogart

Father of top Scottish enduro rider Derek Little, John or Johnny as he was also known was a prime mover in the Grampian MCC and Elgin Enduro clubs with his friend Gilbert Rae. He was a passionate supporter of both trials and enduros.

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1995 ISDE Poland – John Little was an enthusiastic supporter of the ISDE squad for many years.

He rode in the 1973 International Six Days Trial in the USA at Dalton, Massachusetts on a 169cc Greeves Pathfinder enduro, then switching to Laverda for the 1974 ISDT and finally Husqvarna machinery. John was a regular competitor in the Welsh Three Day Trial.

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John Little on his Husqvarna at a Borders Enduro – Photo: Jimmy Young

He was life-long friends with Jimmy Ballantyne who also died earlier this year.

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An early 1960s photo of John Little (left) and Jimmy Ballantyne (right) taken in Edinburgh. Machine is a DMW.

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John Little and Jimmy Ballantyne at the ISDDT ReUnion at Carlisle – Photo: Campbell Chatham

After retiring from active competition, Little took up support work for the Scottish ACU ISDE teams along with friend Ballantyne.

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John Little (Husqvarna) – Photo: Jimmy Young

John Little also served on the SACU Enduro committee and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award by the SACU management some years ago.

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John Little was a keen trials rider, seen here on his Bultaco Sherpa (FFS169D) on Sciberscross in the 1967 White Heather Trial – Photo: Grant Family Collection

Trials Guru’s John Moffat said: “I have known John Little for well over 50 years. He was one of those people who rode competitively for many years, but put more into the sport than he took out. He worked tirelessly for the sport and encouraged many riders to take up enduro racing, that included myself. It was Johnny that insisted that I try my hand at enduros and I was grateful for his encouragement. I spent time in his company in 1976 at the ISDT in Austria and it was then as an 18 year old that I realised how helpful he was in supporting the Scottish ACU riders in that event. He had the ability to talk to anyone, of any age and his enthusiasm was infectious. He told me many times that motorcycling was a ‘disease’, to which there is no cure.

John was a true enthusiast, he rode trials, enduros and road bikes, he restored and prepared machines to a very high standard. There are many stories I could tell which involved Johnny, but this, for me, isn’t the time. I will miss his enthusiasm, I will miss his friendship. Johnny Little was one of the good guys.”

John’s funeral will be held on Friday 13th September 2019 at 2.30pm at William Watson Funeral Directors, 17 Blackfriars Road, Elgin, IV30 1TY – all welcome to attend.

Our sincere condolences go to the Little family at this difficult time.

John Little (2)

Leven Valley is the Alternative

Dubbed the Alternative Scottish Two Day Trial, the Leven Valley event at Kinlochleven, Argyll has, after only one year, become the most sought after event to ride in Scotland, second only to the SSDT.

Kinlochleven

The brain-child of local enthusiasts, Martin Murphy and David Dougan, the event fills a gap that opened up in the trials market, that of twinshock trials covering the era 1970 – 1984. Remember most who rode in that era are now appraoching their 60s!

Named after the picturesque Leven Valley in which it is run, the event traverses many sensitive areas covered by the National Leven Valley SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) controlled by the Scottish Natural Heritage agency on behalf of the Scottish Government.

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Such areas are only open to permitted events and careful negotiation and permission is required. Covering 558 hectares, it is a significant parcel of land which covers the entire valley which is rich in bryophytes, the plants that prevent flash flooding which acts as a retaining ‘sponge’ of vegitation.

The event itself started last year, 2018 and was oversubscribed. This year the entry has been elevated to 250 competitors and was still oversubscribed. One noteable entrant is celebrating 40 years since his World Championship title win, Bernie Schreiber, who will ride a 350 Triumph to mark the achievement and not a Bultaco, which carried him to victory back in 1979.

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Bernie Screiber was World Trials Champion in 1979 and won the Scottish Six Days Trial in 1982 – Photo: Trials Guru Copyright

The action gets underway on Saturday 28th September in the centre of the town. A souvineer programme will be on sale at the start to keep you alerted to where the route goes.

The Kinlochleven MCC was reformed in 2018 after being wound down in the 1990s.

For more information on the area click HERE

Kinlochleven MCC