Following Septembers event which was attended and audited by the IOPD we have received the formal report. Whilst we are unable to run Octobers event due to the local county lockdowns, we look forward to resuming events as soon as we can.
Thanks to everyone who made the event and this outcome possible, it stands us in good stead for the next one.
What does a club, which has grown exponentially over a decade, gathered an incredible following and hosted some of the top twinshock events in the country do when Covid hits? Exactly what it should do. It stops competitions, respects the rules and then works silently in the background making sure when it is allowed to recommence, it does it in the best possible way… And what a cracking event it was!
I had to start this report that way, not as a political statement about following the rules but to really show the thanks and gratitude on behalf of the 60 riders who got the chance after 6 months of lock down to get back to the sport we love. With the IOPD attending, it is honest to say that nothing was forced or “for show”, just a bunch of enthusiasts respecting the rules and being grateful to the club team for getting us back riding.
Well enough of that, what of the day? Well Paul, Rob and Elwyn are here to tell you all about it.
Paul Beswick – Pre 65 Novice
The trial was my first with Aqueduct Classics and my first for 2 year’s since moving to Wales. It was a long drive from Aberystwyth, about 2 hour’s which I wasn’t used to having lived in Derbyshire near Matlock all my life and being spoilt for choice never having to drive more than 30 minutes max lol, but well worth the early start and I’ll definitely be back if you’ll have me.
Excellent organisation especially in these difficult times and it made the day so much more enjoyable having every section manned. The sections were nice and flowing, just as I like them, but I was so unfit not having ridden for so long I was glad we were in our “bubble” of six because not only did I have someone to talk to I could have a breather between attempts. I also found that it took me 2 laps to remember where I was going and to remember which flags to follow, totally my fault due to old age and being a bit dim , but the observer’s were so helpful and put me right.
My only bogy section was section 8 when I somehow managed to miss the fact that there was a ruddy great big rock. I might have missed it was there but sadly I didn’t miss it derrrrr. Oh I’ve stopped err might be something to do with this rock I’m wedged on Really haven’t enjoyed myself so much in year’s loads of laughs and 4 laps flew by in a blur .
Looking forward to the next time and hopefully I will be able to introduce myself to more of the team and other rider’s. As I said before “if Carlsberg did trials they would be Aqueduct Classics ones ”
Rob Sloggett – Twinshock (Clubman)
Its been a while….. but they say good things come to those who wait, and gosh it was worth the wait. We were lucky to have a training day a few weeks before and I had spent a few hours practicing figure of eights and this did help on a couple of sections (but more on that later). The main event for me of the day though was my rear silencer coming apart and making the newly restored prototype Bultaco sound lounder that is should have. It was my first competion out on Mk3 of its journey and it rides just lovely, shame the rider is not is sync with its capability now!
So what of the sections? As we had not ridden for a while and the revised Bultaco was new to me in competition I rode clubman. A nice steady uneventful start I thought? My “riding bubble” of Ian, Paul, James, Steve and Graham started on Section 1 which was basically an adaptation of the section we used on the training day. I had no excuses not to clean this! but still felt the front wheel pushing away on the 180 turn. A dab could have happened at any time here but I was lucky to carry a clean card on this section.
Turns on cambers have been one of my key weaknesses and a number of sections had these incorporated (at least three from what I can recall) and normally I feel the bike tipping in and would carry a dab. I’m please to say that the teachings of body position and my subsequent practice meant this time out I didn’t drop a single dap on these challenges.
So what of a specific section? Well Russ was on Sec 3 and this dropped down a bank, turned right to snake through some rocks and trees then the final stage was a very slight ride across a camber and climb a small bank to exit. First lap took two silly dabs where it should have been clean and showed that I still wasn’t settled on the bike but the last lap showed that really I should just put the bike on EBay and give up! A simple ride along the camber and up the bank turned into me getting slightly off line and then basically laying the bike down at the base of the banked turn. To this day I can not work out why or even why it didn’t take the dab to save whatever was going on…Oh I love this sport!
My second lap was also interesting as riding to Section 4, the engine note changed. It got louder. Now the Bultaco was being ridden without the clubfoot on for the first time in competition. It was always the aspirational design but the clubfoot had been added to tone it down a bit. I had been practicing with it off and the pick up was so much more peaky and suited how I like the bikes so after doing a Db test and confirming that with it off, it still fell below the ACU 100db at 2m measured 45 deg from the rear spindle (yep I checked the regs) I have kept the bike like that. What I did not realise is that the end cap was a press fit (not the 4 small bolts I thought which purely connect the end cap to the baffle pipe) and as it no longer had the club foot holding it in, you guessed, the pressure of the exhaust popped the end cap off. The baffles now rested part out on the swing arm. Sorry to anyone who thought it was a bit loud, it wont be like that again as its currently being stripped and rebuilt with pop rivets to hold it together.
Another great part of the day was actually riding in groups of 6 and with Graham also riding clubman it was good to have someone riding the same line and actually almost 1 for 1 on the scores. Unfortunately my silly 5 on the last lap pushed me out further but it was interesting to feel that competitive spirit as we completed each section even if it was purely in a fun way!
Elwyn Beedles – Twinshock (Clubman)
Well it finally arrived after months of Covid lockdown and restrictions the Accy team made the decision to organise a trial for our enjoyment. Always ahead of the game we entered via the website and payed via bank transfer. Very bold move when you are dealing with mainly old fossils who don’t know one end of a keyboard from the other !
Limited to a lucky band of 60 riders we were pre selected via email into teams of 6 and allocated a start section. Signing on was by individual pen after using the sanitising station then the girls presented us with coloured laminated numbers one for the bike and one for rear of helmet not the customary bibs for obvious reasons. We had been informed via email prior to the event our riding number !
Masks were mandatory around the paddock including the organising team. Fuel cans were loaded in the back of the pick up as we were not allowed back to the vans during the event. The Accy guys must have spent weeks making and laminating signs so no one could say they were not informed as to what was expected. I did hear a few moans but come on lads if we want to ride we have to adhere to well thought out guidelines.
After the briefing by Russ and Mark at 10.45am prompt we rode down to the quarry in our group and started at Pauls section 6. Took a little bit of finding initially but we soon got into things. My group had captain Mark along with Neil, Richard and Roly riding intermediate then Graham and myself on the clubman route. I was on the TLR and Graham was on a very trick Cub so it was great comparing notes and watching each other progress especially as he was pre 65 and I was twinshock.
Bit rushed so never really studied the green route to comment on but the yellow route was spot on twisting through the trees then a tricky rooted camber to section ends. We all waited at the end of the section to re assemble into our group then made our way to the next section following the well marked route. At that section we waited behind the yellow line for the section to clear then moved forward into the zone. This was the routine throughout the event with Roly ‘I don’t do hanging about’ Jones leading the way from section to section and Mark ‘can I give you some advice’ Newman taking overall control of the group.
Russ was overseeing section 4 (I think) with the lovely Suzanne. It was good to see Suzie after her recent problems. This was my bogey section when on lap 2 for some unknown reason (oh yes rider error) I found myself on my ear when the front washed out along a loose camber much to the amusement of the observers and a very unnecessary 5 on the card
The evergreen Elwyn Williams was looking after section one. We go back a long way and it was good to have a brief catch-up with him. I think I heard Elwyn shout to one of the lads he was 81 and only stopped riding last year so there is a long way to go for some of us to match that. Tricky turns and cambers were the order on his section but safe and rideable as were all the sections. The one downside of the Group of 6 rule was that I never got to see any experts strut their stuff on the section and come to that I hardly saw another rider all day we were so equally spaced out.
Overall the sections were very sensible given that we had not competed for a long time. Russ commented that from an observers point it was good just having 6 at a time at the section, easier to explain the route initially then a small break as one group left and the next group arrived.
The inspection by IOPD was welcome and they left more than happy with the way things were running. Geoffers and the team have taken on board a bit of feedback that I am sure will be attended to for the next event. It was very enjoyable in a group as we got to know each other a little as we rode around and with no queuing we travelled at a good pace. Importantly we all finished at the same time with no stragglers keeping the observers waiting at the end which normally happens.
Great event and now roll on 11th October
Before we move into the usual stats, we have to close by once again say a huge thankyou to the club team for all of the effort they put in over the preceding months to make this happen, the observers for still taking the time to support and the land owner as always.
Expert – Jim Hough (Ariel) 0; Ian Smart (Triumph (6); Darren Walker (11)
Intermediate – Jerry Hawker (Francis Barnett) 1; Simon Thornley (BSA) 3; Roly Jones (Dot)3
Clubman – Keith Gardner (BSA) 2; Steve Jones (Triumph) 6; Graham Miller (Triumph) 10
Novice – Paul Beswick (BSA) 14; Jack Curwell (BSA) 10; Kevin O’Toole (Triumph) 20
Expert – Jim Williams (Honda) 14; Steve Williams (Honda) 18; Kev Ellis (Yamaha) 30
Intermediate – David Matthews (Bultaco) 11
Clubman – Elwyn Beedles (Honda) 9; Graham Pennington (Ossa) 9; Owain Charles (Yamaha) 13
Novice – No riders
Air Cooled Mono
Expert – Peter Ruscoe (Honda) 6
Intermediate – Ian Emery (GasGas) 7 T; Paul Cartwright (GasGas) 7T; James Hornby (Beta)11
Clubman – No riders
Novice – No riders
Expert – Mark Diggle (Sherco) 15;
Intermediate – Steve Sherwin (TRS) 29
Clubman – Bobby Chadwick (Beta) 7; Ken Williams (Beta)10; Ade Robinson (GasGas) 15
Novice – Chris Matthews (Beta) 30; Tony Williams (Scorpa) 37; Alan Hotchkiss (Beta) 43
Following the very successful and enjoyable training day for Inters and Clubman on the 16th August, the club were able to arrange an additional session for Beginners and Clubman who wanted to improve their skills further.
Below is a set of reports kindly provided by Martyn and Gavin and photos by RogerKenyon.
I arrived for the Beginners/Novice training day a full 24 hours early, that’s how keen/desperate I was. So having realized my mistake I’d either got a long lonely wait and be very early or I come back tomorrow. I messaged Geoff to explain what a plank I am and that I couldn’t get my bike to the venue on Sunday. No problem says Geoff, come anyway.
I am so glad I turned up, even attending a training day without a bike worked for me; the Aqueduct Team as usual were spot on, ever friendly, welcoming and effortlessly creating a very special environment for those attending their events; people today of all ages and ability.
Pen-Y-Graig has so much to offer, great to build experience. Arriving without a bike turned out not so bad; having the option to sit, listen and watch the delivery and participation of training sessions worked out perfect for me. The size of the groups today certainly seemed beneficial; I think there were two groups of ten-ish. Come the afternoon a bike became available and Russ offered me the use of his Montesa,…
Brilliant. I spent the afternoon learning the Montesa, I think it was a 250, very positive, very forgiving, very different from the TY’s and TLR I’d been using. I went back to the early sections Russ and Mark had laid out and repeated their sessions, starting with the Figure of Eights, by now quite muddy, the Montesa rode very sweet, the front end sometimes gently washing out in the mud, but having listened and watched the mornings sessions it was good to put into practice the body position and balance techniques the guys had spoken about, the front wheel slightly washing out was manageable, another new experience.
Moving on from the Figure of Eights I gave the white sections ago, again I was really surprised how confident you could be with the Montesa, ample power when needed and good useable engine braking. I’m now quite pleased, I’d just completed my first section, albeit White.
Completing the second section as well really boosted my confidence. Back to the beginning and this time giving the yellows ago, again, I am really pleased, another success; the guidance and instruction given by the guys throughout the day had been spot on.
Having just a couple of hours riding in the company of these guys has certainly improved my humble ability, I’m confident others will agree, sitting there at the end of the day watching the last practice session there were beaming tired content faces everywhere, the youngsters were doing laps and loving it, Russ was fine tuning to the end, taking that extra time with the youth riders to hone their skills and provide memorable life experiences.
A Good Day. Many many thanks for your time and patience, just the right pace for me…Oh, and the bike.
Arriving at the venue selected for the training day, seeing all the vans and trailers with sweet smell of 2 stroke engines in the air just gets the blood flowing. With it being the first time at a trials event after lock down it just made everything seem back to normal. After signing on and grouping up at the bottom of the quarry, we were asked to ride in a figure of 8 between 2 logs while one of the instructors watched us, this was done to work out the level of the riders abilities as the training day caters for all riders some of which where attending for the first time at an event, as throughout the day it was done in a relaxed and unpressured environment, I feel is consistent within any aspect of trails whether competing or just at a practice day everyone always wants you to enjoy yourself and help you improve.
Once the groups had been figured out we followed the instructors Moz and Jimmy , to the first section of the day we would be working on, the section had been set out with white, yellow, green, blue and red routes, I normally ride the yellow routes so I choose to first have a walk of that, while walking through it with Dave we both started looking at the green route and both switched to ride the green routes, as we were walking through our instructors gave us advice on which lines they would take and which areas to watch out for, as it worked out the two instructors had different lines from each other which I thought was brilliant for learning as everyone is different so to get two opinions helped me see there’s not just one line. After I had 2 rides though there was one area where I was spinning out on an causing me to either take a dab or completely taking both my feet of the pegs, the area was on a off camber incline straight after a sharp left turn, with the ground in this area being loose stone I was just loosing grip, while I was riding the section Moz had been carefully watching letting me try it twice and then stopping to have a quick chat, he showed me how I needed to slow down take the sharp left at a wider angle in which to give me time to open the throttle to give a little blip before starting the incline, then to roll off the throttle to tickle it up the rest.
We then moved onto the next section which had some nice features in it, come through the start sharp left, up a short but steep incline to then turn back on yourself back down to then ride over loose stone off camber area, with a slow turn right to the end gate. What I found with all the sections set out was that they all had a lot in such a short area absolutely fantastic, as for me it was taking that next step in my riding having more to remember and link together. Jimmy gave me some great advice he said that within the sections there will always be key areas in which to focus on and then the bits in between you can usually just ride through, this advice made me see the sections in a different light as I had always seen them as one where from Jimmy’s helpful advice it broke it down into more of a slower and manageable area which helps your mind focus instead of thinking of the whole section.
We then all regrouped for a spot of lunch an in which the learning carried on with Jimmy having a quick chat with us asking how we were finding the day and if we had any issues that he could help us with.
After lunch we moved onto the next section had a walk through but this time with all the hints and tips fresh in my mind, myself and Dave started to eye up the blue and red route we both agreed that we might as well have a go as where better to learn than to do it on the training day. The route took a lot more concentration I had to really think on every move I was making, I can’t remember how many times it took me till I was able to clean the section but what I can say is the smile on my face was absolutely huge I was grinning like a cheshire cat.
I was only able to reach being able to clean the red and blue section due to the ever so helpful advice and guidance from the instructors, I would highly recommend for everyone to take part in a training day because you can always learn something new.
This will be in force until either advised that they are lifted or superceeded by newer guidelines.
1. Face covering are mandatory at all times within the farmyard before the event start.
2. Please sign on in immediately in order to avoid queues. Sign on is necessary to comply with IOPD conditions and also C19 ‘Track and Trace’.
3. Hand sanitiser must used before sign on. Pens must be placed in the container provided after use, not be handed to another rider unless from the same household. This will avoid any risk of contamination occurring to the riders or any club official.
4. HELMETS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES WHILST RIDING.
5. Riders will be split into 10 groups of
6. Your group number will be displayed on your rider number which you will receive when you sign on.
6. You must attend the Pre Event Brief at 10.45 am prompt, where you need to maintain social distancing of 2 meters.
7. You will be dispatched from the farmyard, in your group of 6 into the quarry where you will be met by an official and directed to your start section.
8. You must stay within your group. Any rider found ‘out of group’ will be asked to leave the event. The only exception being mechanical breakdown in which a rider needs to return to their vehicle for repairs.
9. You will be allowed to leave fuel or tools in a designated area within the course to avoid unnecessary movement around the venue. Please ensure that you have enough fuel to complete the event. Tools and fuel can transported down in an official vehicle (see Marshalls prior to start).
10. When in the section, you must not approach the observer under any circumstances, please keep a safe distance from the observer.
11. If there are any unobserved sections please nominate a rider within your group to observe. Sanitising wipes will be available and MUST BE USED for wiping the observer board ahead of the following group of riders.
12. Walking a section is to be kept to a minimum to avoid queuing, once walked you will return to your machine in readiness to ride.
13. Each group will attempt a section and then move on together to the next, if the next section is still occupied by the group ahead then your group will remain in the holding area behind the yellow line until the section is clear, before proceeding.
14. Once all sections have been completed you will be required to return to your vehicle, and leave the venue. There will be strictly no ‘Practicing’ after the event.