The Pennsylvania-based ROVERS Club held its annual spring trials April 24th and 25th in the small town of Robesonia, just west of Reading. For several years now the McMullan family has hosted Land Rover enthusiasts on its 25+ acres of wooded, rocky hillside property for a competitive, skills-based event that challenges drivers and machines alike.
The trials format features a series of short courses, each with ten set of gates each vehicle must pass through without touching either of the PVC gate markers, or canes as they’re called. Each successive gate is marked with a descending number, with drivers scored on the furthest gate they reach. The goal is to acquire the lowest possible collective score at the end of all runs, which this year totaled ten in all.
The courses can range from purely technical – such as choosing a line through one gate in order to best set yourself up for the next one – to physically challenging, given the muddy terrain, abundance of loose boulders, and the steep inclines of certain trails.
While certain sections certainly give advantage to more heavily prepared off-road rigs with additional lift and locking differentials, several of the courses could be easily tackled by stock vehicles piloted by patient, thoughtful drivers. With loose surfaces prevailing, those equipped with proper tires and a good handle on vehicle momentum were the best prepared.
Scoring is taken seriously, though the prizes are hardly the goal. The winner gets bragging rights, backed up by a travelling commemorative trophy. More importantly for most participants, the trials are a great way to get together with other enthusiasts and put their trucks through their paces. Participants numbered just ten or so, but several dozen people came to spectate and to camp overnight among friends.
The ROVERS Club and the McMullans also host a fall version of the Robesonia Trials. Check out www.roversclub.org for more details on that event.