RC Live Ltd was formed in August 2018 by me Robert Crawford. I am a former World No 7 in the sport of motorcycle Trials. Having worked my way up through the British youth ranks with B Class & A Class British Championships. I won the famous ‘Kickstart’ televised event on the BBC. I was the youngest ever World Championship point scorer at the Hurst Cup Trail at the age of 16 in 1986 and had a 4th in an adult British Championship as a youth rider, then went on to achieve a 2nd at the British Experts Trial at Hawkstone Park in Shropshire England. I also won the adult Irish Championship in that year.
My adult career began in and on the back of my youth successes I moved to Silsden, Yorkshire at 16y to ride full time for John Lampkin, riding his Italian Beta machine to promote his bikes and ride national events including British & World Championships, as well as the Scottish 6 days & Scott Trial.
Career highlight’s –
7th in the World Trial Championship (overall)
2nd in the British Championship
Twice winner of the Scott Trial
Twice 2nd in the Scottish 6 Days Trial – once by 1 mark.
Multi Irish Champion
Finalist in the Madrid Indoor Trial
Represented Great Britain (ACU) in the Trial Des Nations (World Team Trial) in 1990, 1991 & 1992 in France, Germany – with the team finishing on the podium and I was leading overall by 20 marks after the 2nd lap but had bike issues on the final lap to come home 5th on the day. Almost my all time best position against the best riders in the World – & America respectively.
I represented Ireland (MCUI) in the Trial Des Nations in 1989 in Belgium and came back to represent them from 1993 – 2006. This was a fantastic journey for me and the Team! I was appointed Rider/Trainer in 1994 by the long time Team Manager Billy Rodgers, to help build the teams skill sets and competitiveness at this great event. Using the experience I had gained in my then current professional career, we arranged training days in Ireland throughout the year in order to progress the riders & minders (minders ride along side their rider offering support during the event but do not ‘compete’ so to speak. We carried on this programme until we won our ‘B Group’ once in 2004 & again 2006! Beating countries such as America, Canada, Australia to name but a few. A really awesome achievement form everyone involved, for a small but determined nation of Trial Bike Riders.
After my Pro Trial career I rode MX in the semi expert class in Ireland in 1997 taking the Ulster Championship and getting 2nd overall in the Irish Championship. A very enjoyable time but one of my overall bike riding highs was heading off to the Sheffield Supercross to have a go at that side of things. I went on my own with my 250YZ Yamaha & TYZ Trials bike and arrived at the stadium on Friday evening and went straight away to sign on – totally star struck, I was in the queue along with American MX gods – Larry Ward – the Beast from the East, Damian Bradshaw on his come back & Mr Showtime Jeremy McGrath! Pretty nerve wrecking! The qualifying programme for me started very early the next day and at 6 am and I realised I needed some help to make it through so I called my mate Mart who lived near by and he kindly came along early the next day. I managed to scrape through all my pre-event races and got right through to the Main Event late on in the evening. A really awesome experience.
My Father Benny Crawford was a legend of Trials back in his day and still holds the record for national titles of 16 Irish Championships & one Grass track Irish title. I absolutely love the fact that if they wanted to ride an event in England they had to ride their machines to it! No vans or transporters back then. They had to get the boat from Belfast to Liverpool and then take the train down to as near as they could get to the event and then ride to the trial. The trials were on Saturday and Sunday, and then back up the road and back to work on Monday My father worked in Tughan Crane Piano Shop in Belfast. Benny’s career highlight was second in the British Experts Event which would have been equivalent to a very high ranking if there was a World Championship at the time, with most of the top riders in the World coming from the United Kingdom.
Benny took a stroke in October 1997. In 1998 I carried on in Expert Class Motocross and with an event best position of 5th but was feeling the pressure of having to carry on the family business and retired at the end of that year due to a risk of injury.
In 1999 I went back to British and Irish Championship Trials and became a Red Bull Athlete. Having performed many Trial Bike Demos in Ireland, United Kingdom and Europe I was then asked to go to Dubai and perform at events for Red Bull. I ended up there for a month performing shows. On the success of that Tour I then got asked to go to Jordan and do a Road Show which became that successful in Jordan I was asked by the King of Jordan to perform at his Palace for his family. This was one of the highlights of my life.
I continued to work in the family business piano tuning and Red Bull Athlete duties as well as Irish Trial Championships. This took me up to 2006 when I decided to concentrate on building up the family business and then met the love of the life Emily. I branched out within the Piano Industry and secured a show room for new and second hand pianos and this continues to the present day.
Over the years I have enjoyed extreme sports including off-piste skiing and boarding in Bulgaria, Italy and Whistler, Canada. I have also enjoyed mountain biking since 1989.
RC Live is all about what I am passionate about and helping people achieve and improve.
I am now focusing on building on my previous experience in facilitating Trial Training Schools across the UK and Ireland.
I am in the process of gaining my All Mountain Award for hiking and mountain biking. Please check out my progress with these disciplines on my hiking and mountain biking tour tabs.
I will be running Moto Enduro tours in Bulgaria check Moto Enduro tab.
Another passion of mine is off-piste skiing and boarding. I have enjoyed the views and along with great friends. This has been some of the best experiences of my life. Having bought an apartment in the mountain town of Bansko in Bulgaria in 2008 I have enjoyed many holidays both in the winter and summer.
Bansko is at the foothills of the Pirin Mountain range in South West Bulgaria. There are also two mountain ranges that come together in the Razlog Valley, the Rila and Rhodope mountains. The Pirin range has Vihren at just under 3000 metres. The town of Bansko lies at 1000 metres. My wife Emily and I have made some amazing friends and have loved what the mountains have had to offer us. In the summer months we have enjoyed hiking and staying overnight in the mountain huts taking in the amazing vista. These mountain ranges have varying levels of difficulty.
I have also enjoyed hooking up with the mountain bike paternity in Bansko enjoying trails the guys have built over the last couple of years.
I will be offering hiking and mountain biking tours in 2019. Check blog for updates.
I have extensive knowledge of the town and ski terrain. I am organising a ski/boarding tour in March 2019 for any like-minded folk who want to check out this part of Bulgaria. Check Off-Piste ski Tour for dates.
When did I first start Trial Bike Training? – 1994
Some of the areas I have ran Trial Training in the past – Scotland, Wales, England, Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland.
I also ran a ‘clinic’ for Supercross riders in Dubai in 2005 for Rebull.
Any notable people that have gone on to some successes –
Martin Crosswaite Yorkshire – top 4 in the British Championship
Ian Austermule – Scott Trial winner
Ben Hemmingway – represented Team GB in the Trial Des Nations in 2003 – as part of the winning Team, consisting of Dougie Lampkin, Graham Jarvis & Sam Conner.
Sam Conner – 12th Overall in the World Trial Championship.
I have trained approximately upwards of 500 riders so far – from 1994 – 2018.