Poachers at the Arbecey, France Trial

Mark Francis, Shane Lockley and Pete Kitching travelled down to the trial at Arbecey nr Vesoul not far from the swiss border around  350 miles from Calais- organized by Joel Corroy Trail 70 Classic Club (with all proceeds going to Japanese Red Cross for earthquake/ tsunami fund).We found a great campsite at a small place called Scey –s-Saone – camping right beside the river Saone – about 6/7 miles from start of trial—weather was fantastic all the time we were there around the high 20’s to 30’s.

We had a day in Vesoul then called in at the trial venue on Fri afternoon to sign –on, the trial was a mix of Pre65 & Twinshock machines with 3 routes  Expert / Master/ Gentleman – Mark & Shane rode Master ,Pete rode Old Gentlemens Route   the expert route was too servere for older bikes.

Back early next day  for 1st day -2laps of 15kms -12 sections per lap in very hot conditions needing plenty of water in our Camelbaks but fortunately most of  the sections were in the very large forest – a lot of sections were rocky on slippery limestone & some quite steep climbs plus the French version of Pipeline long uphill rocky climb.The last section of  the lap was an arena style set in the start venue in the village –over different sized logs. Me & Shane rode around together & Pete rode with fellow Brit –Midlander Joe Howells as they started  at different sections to us.

After the trial  everyone took part in parade around the village  then a lengthy wait  for the meal & rock band –late back to campsite after 11.30  very long day.

Day two still very hot -2laps of 30kms -20 sections per lap –some sections were used again but we went further into the forest & surrounding area – had to keep pressing on because of time limit –but they forgot to tell their own riders as –Joel Corroy and others came in well over an hour after the sections should have closed- everyone else waiting for the results & prize presentation.  Shane finished 2nd – Mark 8th– Pete 5th with his riding pal Joe Howells 1st Pre65, Old Gentleman’s Route.


Back to camp-site and we went out to sample the local beer,wine & food ,the following day we took it easy by having a hot cycle ride exploring the local area –trying to  find a different bar but failed as most places seem to be shut on a Monday . Took steady drive home stopping at Arras on Tuesday night



Editor – Whats wrong with getting wet at the Manx and the Bars don’t shut on a Monday?