Christmas came and went and it’s now a distant memory but on reflection we had – as always – a great time meeting up with the family, drinking, eating and playing games.

Everyone was very competitive at the games, not least nanny Sylvia who threw her weight about to win whatever game we were playing.

I spent some time playing on the trials bike so my thoughts were firmly set on the Boxing Day Trial but I had a sudden growth spurt and couldn’t get into my trials clothing! 

So I made a quick phone call to Sam Haslam, one of the UK’s top trials riders, who lives about 20 minutes away and I was all kitted out in Sam’s stuff – thanks mate!

Boxing Day came around and it was game on! Traditionally dad and my uncle Steve always ride this event, which at one time was run by my late granddad John Grimshaw and the Leavesden club. 

Dad started solid – leaving me on the back foot after a couple of sections – but I soon wore him down and trounced him in the end. 

He reckoned he was still suffering from injuries sustained in his horrific crash some months ago and while this was going on Steve went under the radar and beat us both!

Between Boxing Day and the New Year the weather was okay so I went training on the bike. I did some great sessions at Milk Run, one of my favourite practice tracks. 

The track was mint and perfect for deep rut training and it was great to see everyone enthusiastic about the new season and sporting their new team kits and bikes.

I celebrated New Year knowing that afterwards it would be time for hard work in the gym and on the bike until the season starts in March. 

Some good news that came in from Roland at Hardcore Racing was that Yamaha UK will start backing his HCR team riders with a view to building the relationship over the next few seasons.

The American SX and UK AX kicked off at the same time so there was plenty to take in, especially with all the hype surrounding Roczen – who didn’t disappoint – plus the bar-banging events at AX. 

While I’m on the subject, get well soon to my HCR team buddy Harry Kimber who had a big crash in Birmingham in the qualifying race and sat out the evening events.

The Hawkstone Park International is fast approaching and I will be riding one of my training bikes that weekend as my race bike is still being built. 

We are meeting up with Mark at RSS Suspension this weekend to dial in my new race suspension and make the necessary adjustments ready for Hawkstone. I was hoping to do a warm-up race before but unfortunately we’ve run out of time.

As I mentioned in my previous column, I will be competing in the Maxxis British MXY2 Championship and the British Youth Nationals Open class. This will be my last season racing the BYNs as I will be going MX2 full-time in 2018.

I’ve had a great time racing BYN and hope to sign off with the championship and some great memories.

#Tom 61