Review: Trials and Error – Dougie Lampkin autobiography
Dougie Lampkin is the second generation of a successful Lampkin motorcycling dynasty and he is simply trials royalty – he has even been to meet the royals to claim his deserved MBE!
The Yorkshireman won a staggering five world indoor trials titles and seven world outdoor championships as well as British and Spanish national championship titles. From the late 90s to the mid 2000s he was the man in trials, the equivalent of what Jeremy McGrath or Stefan Everts were in supercross and motocross respectively at that time.
But these days he has also, thanks to his relationship with Red Bull, been pushed into the mainstream doing pretty much impossible challenges for mere mortals that have been broadcast all around the world, he has even been on Top Gear on a few occasions during his career.
Dougie’s Red Bull challenge exploits give an extra angle for the casual trials fan to a book that is detailed yet fast moving and gives a brilliant anecdotel journey of Dougie’s life and career.
From his idealistic childhood to the beginning of his trials journey including the famous Kickstart show, the books moves into the start of his professional career and even an insight into romantic Doug and how he wooed his wife!
All through the book lies the Yorkshire humour but more importantly the close relationship with his father, who was there by his side every step along the way. Dougie movingly recounts the sad passing of Martin from cancer and cited it as a motivating factory for his Isle of Man wheelie which he puts down as one of the greatest achievements of his life.
Another aspect of the book that stands out is Dougie’s determination that has clearly been passed down the Lampkin generations. For example, when he lost a toe at the Scottish six day trial but rode the rest of the day to ensure the win and went to the podium before going to hospital!
Dougie also shares what it’s like being the best in the world, the commitment required to not just get there but stay there and being courted and signed by Monetesa Honda in a huge deal. Dougie then takes you through having to deal with the fact you have been replaced by the younger generation and the gradual realisation that retirement beckons.
Whether you are an avid trials fan of curious bike fan, this book offers something for everyone and is a great insight into one of the greatest trials riders of all time and one of Britain’s best ever sportsmen.