Scottish Six Days Trial 2015


Previous years: 2008, 2009 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Official SSDT site

The Scottish Six Days Trial is around the corner, with plenty of riders with Western Centre connections. One of them, Bretton King, takes us through them all. Good luck to them and those in the Pre-65 trial.

So, here we are again, as the first Bank Holiday Monday in May signals the start of another Scottish Six Days Trial. “Nothing new there!!" you may well say, and you wouldn't be wrong as that Bank Holiday has always been the event's start date for generations of trials enthusiasts.

What's more, 2015 will once again see a not insignificant number of Western/Wessex Centre regulars competing in what is widely regarded as the toughest reliability trial in the World... after all, the likes of the late Johnny Draper, Rick Ferrier, Steve Grindle, Mark Kemp, John Luff and more recently, multi-centre champion Simon Welch and many more have graced the pages of the official programme with a local Club's name emblazoned alongside.

Indeed, in 2015 there is a strong contingent with West Country links heading for Fort William in less than three week's time. Only this time, the younger generations from families with long links to competing in The Highlands are featuring, these families having the surnames King and Talbot.

This year, Will King and Gareth Talbot will both be “SSDT virgins", pitting themselves against the elements and terrain that form integral parts of the trial's challenge. Gareth (no.53) has been riding for a good many years and decided to “throw in an entry" so that he too would follow in elder brother Craig's (no. 50) wheel-tracks, as well as those of his father Mark.

Becky Talbot/nee Cook will be gunning for the best Ladies award and the triumvirate of Talbots will all be grouped closely together with Becky (no.49)having the dubious honour of being first away on Tuesday morning. Also destined for an early start on Tuesday is Fred Adams (no.57) who is becoming a bit of a “big event" fanatic, having recently competed and podium-placed in the Tough One extreme enduro, completed the Scott T & O Trial and entered the British Trials Championship for the 2015 season.

Will King has been riding trials since he was 7 and first did Surrey Schoolboys trials but he has spread himself across horse riding and downhill mountain biking too, so is perhaps not quite so familiar with what lies in store in early May.

However, Will (no.30) has a target to chase as old-timer Brett King (no.29) still hasn't hung up his Scottish boots and will be competing yet again – Monday is their early day and they will be in good company as David Luff (no.20) made a late charge for an entry and got in.

David first rode in 2005 when he just turned up on the off-chance he would be able to fill a vacancy. Consequently, even by his own admission, his preparation that year was not what it could have been and he spent most of the week nursing a very sick bike around with some assistance of elder brother John and evergreen Andy in the family van.

Hopefully 2015's preparations will make for an easier week (although the word easy is not what I would usually use in the same paragraph as “SSDT"). Other West-Country-ites include Adam Norris (no.180), Scott Cameron (no.179) and – exiled to Yorkshire nowadays – Mark Cameron (no.178).

Mark rides pretty regularly in Northern trials but Adam and Scott only seem to wheel the bikes out once a year (or two in Scott's case) and then still ride absolute blinders. Clearly, they have lost none of the ability or talent that saw each of them compete at the highest level when at schoolboy and young adult ages.

So all in all, a good mix of riders will be flying the flag for the West Country. Going back to the family theme, one final bond with SSDT's of yore goes back a long way, and Gareth and Will are both inadvertently linked to it. Many moons ago, a trio of markedly younger West Country riders met up in the West End car park for the first time, readying themselves for the nervy moment when you have to heave your frame onto the kickstarter and pray that Sunday's overnight exposure of the beloved steed (all TY monos back then) had not dampened electrics or worse.

Back then, Chippenham's John Wilkie had ventured north with Mark Talbot and nestled neatly between their numbers was a certain Bretton King – all three were SSDT virgins that year, and good fortune was such that all three finished that year too, claiming 2nd class awards... and the date that these three first made one another's acquaintance? 4th May 1987... so, as coincidences go, Will King and Gareth Talbot are upholding family tradition by also venturing forth into the wilds of Fort William on the date, precisely 28 years after their fathers first did the same... roll on 4th May 2015!! Good luck to one and all.