Tuesday, May 7, 2013

DOUGIE DOES THE BULL

Hmm, 3 weeks is a long time in F1, no? After waiting 4 months for action, we got 4 races then suddenly all quiet. Seems like 3 weeks is longer than 4 months. Only God knows how I made it through the winter. Anyway, we'll have the start of the European season next week in Barcelona. That should be fireworks as teams will be bringing big updates to their cars there. The order will be jumbled up again, not to mention the changes made by Pirelli to the hard tire. We'll see.

In the meantime, who the hell is Dougie? Well that would be Dougie Lampkin. He is the 12 times FIM Trial World Champion. And what the hell is the FIM Trial? Well, it's a motorcycle event. What?? Motorcycle? Blasphemy! Actually not. Since we're all motorsports fans generally and F1 fans specifically, we are allowed to talk about other motorsports besides F1. Any sport that uses a motor falls under motorsports, not just F1 or cars.

So what is the FIM trials? According to Wikipedia:

Motorcycle trials, also termed observed trials, is a non-speed event on specialized motorcycles. The sport is most popular in the United Kingdom and Spain, though there are participants around the globe. Trial motorcycles are distinctive in that they are extremely lightweight, lack seating (they are designed to be ridden standing up) and have suspension travel that is short, relative to a motocross or enduro motorcycle. Motorcycle trials is often utilized by competitors of other motorcycle sports (such as motocross or street racers) as a way to cross-train, as trials teaches great throttle, balance, and machine control.
According to this website:

Motorcycle Trials is all about riding a motorbike over and around obstacles. The idea came from manufacturers proving their bikes could go further and over rougher terrain than others. The original name was Reliability Trials, then came Observed Trials, and then just plain Trials. Today the emphasis has moved onto the rider as it assesses his/her ability to keep their feet up through the demanding and technical sections that make up modern trials.
The victor in a Trial is the rider who has completed the course, usually consisting of laps of up to 12 individual sections, on the least marks incurred throughout the day. On each section there is usually a judge, know as an observer, who watches each rider through their section (some Club Trials use self-scoring or a buddy system, if observers are not available). The parameters of the section are determined by flags, tapes and markers, and riders must steer their bikes through pairs of flags or between tapes, and over all obstacles, which may be in that path. Usually red flags/markers/tapes mark the right hand side of the section, and blue for the left hand side. The ultimate aim is to get through the section without stopping or putting any feet down. If the rider does dab (put his/her feet down) then a 1 point penalty is incurred, and up to a maximum of 3 marks can be incurred in one section through dabbing. Continuous dabbing is called footing and the maximum of 3 marks still applies, except that a maximum of 5 marks is awarded if the rider fails to get through the section. If a rider manages to get through the section without the loss of any marks then a clean is awarded (0 penalty points are incurred by the rider).
It's that sport where you see riders on these mountain type bikes go over rocks and 90 degree surfaces. It is incredible to watch as sometimes you see them going over seemingly impossible obstacles. So Dougie here is a 12 time champion. And he recently visited the Red Bull factory..on his bike. The video is here.

video

For more information about Dougie, visit his page here. And here's an interview with Dougie.

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