A History of Nomads Trials

In the late sixties, Nomads had an “On The Road Championship” and an “On The Rough Championship”. The latter was decided on the combined results of grass track, scrambles and trials. Grass track events were often held on Noordhoek Salt Pan, scrambles at Sandvlei and Redhill, and trials almost anywhere suitable. Most bikes used were stripped down or converted road bikes and some even returned to commuter roles after the weekend’s fun. One bike that deserves particular mention is a special built by Warwick Williams and Pat Brown and christened the “Watrick”. It had a homemade frame and a Suzuki 120 cc engine. This bike, with a few small changes, was very effective in both trials and scrambles. By the early seventies specialised trials and scrambles bikes were becoming available and the sports were becoming equally specialised. The scrambles guys broke away from the club and formed their own club while the trials riders stayed with Nomads.

By this time John Fulcher had moved to Cape Town from Zambia bringing with him a Bultaco Sherpa 250, his family and years of experience. The three Spanish makes of Bultaco, Montesa and Ossa were well in evidence. The Ossa was initially the most popular, with Derek Fordham being the agent at Stadium Motors in Green Point. Soon after, Bunny Shandler became the Bultaco importer and Bultaco’s became more popular. In 1974 John Fulcher imported a Cotton Expert 220 cc from England, and this bike has been restored and is now used in an annual event held in his memory.

The club, with John’s direction embarked on a series of invitations to reputable overseas riders to come and show us how to do it. Over the years visiting riders included Mick Wilkinson, Rob Edwards, Sid Lampkin, Dave Thorpe, Peter Cartwright, Nic Jeffries, Nigel Birket, and Dave Clinkard. This policy paid off very well as within a few years Nomads riders went from being the new kid on the block to National Champion winner. The Nomads team, usually comprising Brian and Duncan Barson, Hans Klein, Johann Van Blerck and Ady Silberbauer would invariably win the team prize at national trials,

By the mid seventies Japanese trials bikes were on the market and well able to compete against the European bikes. Peter Bjergveldt, a regular trials rider himself, had a motorcycle shop in Bree Street Cape Town that became the local hang out of trials riders. Entries at local trials were up to about thirty and at one time entries had to be in at Peter’s shop by the Friday before the event.

Locally trials were mostly held at either Louw’s or Watermeyer’s farms in Elgin with nationals on two occasions being held at Ruyterplaats in Hout Bay. The fuel crisis of the mid seventies unfortunately took its toll as trials was included in the Governments blanket decision that all offroad motorcycle events would have to be run on methanol. Attempts by the riders to use methanol and other alternative fuels had some success but the casual rider wasn’t interested and entries fell. Methylated spirits was one on the fuels tried, much to the dismay of the local street people who could see it being poured into the petrol tanks of the bikes at Peter’s shop.

After a while the Elgin venues were no longer available and John Fulcher found new venues at Hels Hoogte (Bannhoek) and Groot Drakenstein. These venues served very well for a number of years until they were subdivided and developed.

At about this time a group of Americans who were working at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station joined the club. They included Sam Mc Nair, Chuck Stiles and Dwayne Strickland. They were soon joined by local boy Ben Van Der Westhuizen also from Koeberg.

The club started doing arena trials primarily in an attempt to take the sport to the people and to attract new riders, and make some money at the same time. Two of these goals were achieved, the recruitment of new riders being largely unsuccessful. Arena trials were often staged at Goodwood Show Grounds before the stock car races as well as at various agricultural shows and other events. The problem of not having suitable obstacles at these events was largely overcome by making of a number of portable sections that were taken from event to event. These included a see-saw, swinging bridge, barrels and tyres.

Peter Little decided that local trials were not enough and went off to ride the Scottish Six Days Trial followed later by Brian Barson. This started a trend that up country rides followed in large numbers.

By the nineties the other centres were producing the best riders in the country with local riders putting up a good show, though lacking the younger riders needed to take the sport forward. In the mid nineties the John Fulcher Memorial was started following the untimely death of John Fulcher. The event is meant to remember the good old days, and the use of old bikes such as John’s old Cotton is encouraged with the sections being made suitably easy. The event is the last one of the year and is also intended as a social event not counting towards any championship. Old photographs, magazines and memorabilia all help to make this a memorable event. Floating trophies are presented to the winners of each class.

By 1994 the sections were getting more difficult and the gap between the serious and casual riders was widening so a Clubmen’s class was then introduced. This involved the use of yellow markers to ease the difficult part(s) of a section and denote the clubman line. This was not unique to the club but happened nationally and overseas too.

In the last couple of years there has been a steady resurgence in local trials with many new bikes being bought, and, importantly, there are a number of young riders who have started, some being the sons of the early riders. Many of the older riders have an interest in classic bikes and a classic trials section has been introduced. This interest has resulted in two members, Hans Klein and Earl Krause taking part in the 2003 Manx Classic Two Day Trial in the Isle of Man. They competed in the clubman’s class where Hans came first and Earl seventh. They returned in 2004 this time with Brian Barson who rode in the Premier class. All rode Yamaha TY 175’s. Since then Hans rode again in 2006 and Brian again in 2006 and 2008.

As our events all take place on private land by kind permission of the landowner, venues come and go and new one are not always easy to find. A very good venue in Conterman’s Kloof was recently lost because of a change in ownership. In recent years venues are becoming more difficult to access because of security issues, so we are always on the look out for new venues. Local venues currently include Klein Constantia, Kuils River, Wellington, Zonnebloem and Hout Bay.

Trials are held on the third weekend of each month between March and October.

The constant improvement in riding ability and machines saw the introduction of further classes so that now there are different routes for Masters, Experts, Intermediates and clubmen. Occasionally there are even classes for youngsters on electric bikes.

Attached is a list of Championship winners, Clubman winners and John Fulcher Memorial Trial winners so far.

NOMADS TRIALS CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS

  1. Warwick.Williams & Seamus. Daly

  2. Warwick Williams

  3. Brian Barson

  4. Brian Barson

  5. Brian Barson

  6. Brian Barson

  7. Brian Barson

  8. Brian Barson

  9. Brian Barson

  10. Brian Barson

  11. Brian Barson

  12. Brian Barson

  13. Brian Barson

  14. Johann Van Blerck

  15. Ben Van der Westhuizen

  16. Ben Van der Westhuizen

  17. Ben Van der Westhuizen

  18. Ben Van der Westhuizen

  19. Brian Barson

  20. Ben Van der Westhuizen

  21. Ben Van der Westhuizen

  22. Brian Barson

  23. Ben Westhuizen

  24. Ben Van der Westhuizen

  25. Brian Barson

  26. Brian Barson

  27. Brian Barson

  28. Brian Barson

  29. Brian Barson

  30. Brian Barson

  31. Brian Barson

  32. Brian Barson

  33. Brian Barson

  34. Brian Barson

  35. Brian Barson

  36. Brian Barson

  37. Brian Barson

  38. Brian Barson

JOHN FULCHER MEMORIAL TRIAL WINNERS

EXPERTS CLUBMEN

  1. Ben Van der Westhuizen Ian Ruinaard

  2. Ben Van der Westhuizen Hans Klein

  3. Chris Tanner Tim Fulcher

  4. Johann Van Blerck Hans Klein

  5. Johann Van Blerck Tim Fulcher

  6. Brian Barson Tim Fulcher

  7. Brian Barson Hans Klein

  8. Johann Van Blerck Hans Klein

  9. Johann Van Blerck Charles Mast

  10. Brian Barson John Finch

  11. Johann Van Blerck John Finch

  12. Johann Van Blerck Craig McIver

  13. Brian Barson Tim Fulcher

  14. Brian Barson Anton Krause

  15. Brian Barson Anton Krause

From 2008, the trophies were awarded to the first classic bike. If different, the name of the winner is given in brackets

  1. Brian Barson (J van Blerck) Charles Mast
  2. Brian Barson Jorge Cardoso (C. Mast)
  3. Brian Barson Trevor Kinnear (Craig McIver)
  4. Brian Barson Charles Mast
  5. Brian Barson Trevor Kinnear (Craig Els)
  6. Brian Barson Mark Shearer
  7. Brian Barson Mark Shearer
  8. Brian Barson Trevor Kinnear
  9. Brian Barson Johann Van Blerck
  10. Brian Barson Duncan Barson
  11. Brian Barson Duncan Barson
  12. Brian Barson Mark Shearer

NOMADS CLUBMANS TRIALS CHAMPIONSHIP

  1. Ferdi Pretorius

  2. Dannie Heydenrych

  3. Riaan Schaake

  4. Brendon Loncq

  5. Earl Krause

  6. Hans Klein

  7. Hans Klein

  8. Hans Klein

  9. John Finch

  10. John Finch

  11. Roddy Mills

  12. Hans Klein

  13. Jorge Cardoso

  14. Jorge Cardoso

  15. Ryan Altern

  16. Jorge Cardoso

  17. Trevor Kinnear

From 2011, a Master’s Class was introduced, and from 2014 an Intermediate class.

Masters Experts Intermediate Clubmen

2011 Michael Krause Brian Barson Lourens v Rensburg

2012 Michael Krause Brian Barson Mark Shearer

2013 Michael Krause Brian Barson Mark Shearer

2014 Michael Krause Brian Barson Mark Shearer Martin Kelsey

2015 Michael Krause Brian Barson Sean Pretorius Steve Shearer

2016 Michael Krause Brian Barson Steve Shearer Will Gould

2017 Michael Krause Brian Barson Steve Shearer Shaun Matthews

2018 Michael Krause Brian Barson Mark Shearer Mike Sydenham

2019 Michael Krause Brian Barson Mark Shearer Dylan Klopper