VIDEO: Family fun on two wheels at Horsham Riders motorbike trial club

If you go down to the woods on the first Sunday of each month, you’re sure of a big surprise.

Because that’s the day the Horsham Riders trial biking group comes out to play.

Horsham Riders motorbike trials. Photo by Steve Hook

Horsham Riders motorbike trials. Photo by Steve Hook

A motorsport that values intricacy and precision over power and speed, trial biking involves its riders carefully passing through an obstacle course, attempting to make as few errors as possible.

Horsham Riders currently has around 70 members, most of whom compete in trials, usually held on the first Sunday of each month.

On the morning of Sunday May 4, woodland between Horsham and Mannings Heath is transformed into a playground for the riders to tackle the tricky terrain on two wheels.

Among the group is father and son Adrian and Adam Holloway, from Burgess Hill.

Adrian, 46, was introduced to trial biking by a work colleague more than ten years ago, and is clearly delighted that 13-year-old Adam has followed in his footsteps.

“I pushed him to get involved in it, to get him doing something different”, Adrian said.

“I would much rather us do this than Xbox or sit inside and watch TV. I hope he will get round to washing his own bike at some point!”

Adam added that he hopes to continue weaving in and out of trees on a motorbike until he is 60 or 70 years old.

He said: “Dad was doing it - one time I came along and it looked quite fun.

“I am starting to get better, using gears and really learning how to ride.

“Even when you are waiting to go to a section everyone talks to you so you make friends fast, everyone is really friendly.”

Horsham Riders was established 18 years ago.

The woodland near Mannings Heath is one of four venues within a few miles of Horsham that the group has regular access to.

In competition, the riders gain points for each mistake made around the course, so a higher score is a worse score - probably the only way the sport can be compared to golf.

Motorsport is notorious for its expense, but in comparison to a majority of related activities, trial biking is fairly cheap.

Adrian explains that for £22 he and Adam can enter a trial - and that is a day out for the father-son duo.

The motorbikes themselves, usually 125cc or 250cc, can cost less than £1000 when bought second hand.

The atmosphere at the trial is strikingly positive - every member of the group that passes me is happy to chat.

Some have ridden for decades, others are novices, but all are catered for through differing difficulty levels.

Motorbikes can often be viewed negatively, but trial biking is a friendly family activity, with many fathers and grandfathers riding alongside sons and grandsons.

The reputation of motorcyclists is a key focus of Horsham Riders chairman Ian McCulloch, who added the sport teaches riders the perils of going too fast or braking incorrectly, and that these skills translate to road riding and make for safer, responsible riders.

Motorbike trials is the largest motorcycle sport in terms of participation, and the group always welcomes new members.

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