Category Archives: Event Report

Event Report – Pen Y Graig 101021

A typically mild early October greeted the 65 riders who turned up at Pen Y Graig quarry ready for a great days spot. As usual, the sections had been marked out with 4 routes making perfect use of this venue. Generally dry under foot, the break down of bike classes was 19 Pre 65’s, 9 Twinshocks, 7 Air Cooled Monos and 30 Modern Monos.

Right from its inaugural competition, whilst being a club with its roots firmly in classic trials, it has always valued the modern class as a feeder class to catch peoples interest in the classic scene or as a more forgiving bike to ride for beginners coming into the sport. Therefore it was no surprise to see 9 beginners in the modern mono class including a number in the youth class.

The overall breakdown of route classes was 11 Experts, 30 Intermediates, 11 Clubman and 13 Novices.

Paul Owen – Pre 65 / Intermediate Route

Another great event with aqueduct classics, and the club set out another amazing trial. I was riding the old rigid frame bantam in the intermediate class as the expert class has gone even harder for me and I know my limits….ish haha 😄. Here are my 3 favourite sections but all 10 were equally as good.

Section 2….With a gentle right hand climb onto a flat then a steep downhill slippy rooted off camber bank immediately into a sharp right turn and a tree to the left . But it was a fallen tree and was the same height as your handlebars. You had to be 100% committed to the drop in as there was only one line. Once around the corner it was a simple left, right between 2 trees and up the climb to the out gate. I drop two 1’s on lap 1 and 2 just because I had to pull the front around from hitting the tree but I cleaned it on lap 3 and 4. It was the trickiest section of the trial for me but it gave you a big grin if you cleaned it.

Section 4… with another straight forward uphill start to a platform then up onto a big rock that was so easy to lose the back end as it wanted to slide to the left and if it did it would kick you towards a tree. Once over the rock slab there was a slippy off camber that looked nothing but could catch you out on the gravelly footing to the exit gate.

Section 10…this was at the very bottom of the quarry near the entrance. Yet again another climb up the banking from the start and into a left hand turn back to the bottom, and a very tight right hander and up a 5ft climb over a rock then straight into the left and up again. You had to keep your momentum over the rock and turning. Then you followed the off camber banking to a rocky drop to the exit gate. It was a steady section but took 5 marks off me as I’m sure the gearbox locked up and stopped the bike dead as I was attacking the 2nd climb on my last lap. Luckily I stayed upright but bent my wrist back and hit the headstock really hard with my chest and it knocked me for six. I finally got the bike started after about 20 kicks and the bike seemed ok. But then I heard a clacking noise in 2nd and 3rd gear. Which is a common thing to break in a standard bsa bantam chocolate gearbox. Apart from that hiccup it was one of the best trials I have done even though I ended up in 6th on 11 points.

Plus the group of lads I was riding with made it very enjoyable with banta and laughter. Massive thanks to the organisers and observers for another great day.

Stephen Harding – Modern Mono / Novice Route

A big thanks to everyone involved in setting up another great trial at this brilliant venue, a massive thanks to all the observer’s without whom it wouldn’t be possible to have such a good day, so thanks to everyone  for  giving up there Sunday so we can do wot we love doing, cheers, and not forgetting Chris deburger for keeping us fed and watered, cracking bacon butties and a brew to start the day.
Here’s three of my favourite sections although it was hard to choose as they were all great.

Section 5 – Mark on watch, So you start off from the main track looking straight down a steep shale slope to where Mark is standing, into the section, back brake on and front on quite a bit and roll down to where Mark was then a bit of a tight right and in to a bit of a wooded area and some loose rocks then left across some more mossy rocks between some more trees and then a tight right past another tree and then fire it up another steep shale slope and out of the section and then up an even steeper slope back up on to the main track, a bit of everything on this section but I enjoyed it. 

Section 7 – Russ and Sue on watch. Another one of my favourites. You start off from the bank and drop down a bit of a shale bank and a bit if a right past a tree and on to a rocky base along and through a couple of more trees .Then a tight right up another shale bank and an even tighter right out of the section, I managed to clean this one every time so was made up.

Section 9 – Dave on watch. A great section this one. Again you start off from the main track straight into the section and up a steep shale slope and head towards a large tree and then a tight left round the tree and on to some good sized rocks keeping an eye on the big rocks then on to the top of the section through the flags and the a really long very steep slippery shale slope back down to the end of the section trying to avoid the tree to the left on the exit.


Overall I had a great day with some great riders, had some fun and good banta along the way.

Big thanks to all the aqueduct team for all the hard work that you put in so we can do what we love doing, cheers Can’t wait to see you all at the next one,..

Tony Williams – Modern Mono / Novice Route

Here we are back at Pen Y Graig, great weather which made all sections very grippy. We will start on the white route, Section one.

A short steep drop on to a slow left turn with loose rocks everywhere. Then tight left over a small bank, then into a dip before a steep climb to out flags. Everything going well until the last bit and who walks straight in front of me, the one and only Peter Edwards a yard before out flags! Had to hit the brakes, missed the out flag, but great observing – as he had seen what happened and did not down mark me! 

Later on I got Peter back, my Honda was running a bit rich, smoking a tad and he was in a queue behind me so I left engine running for a while……

Next section 7, a short one but over loose rock & marbles underneath you. Down short bank tight right, then a full lock exit to the outs. Got it right three times, but the last one eagle eyed Sue spotted me having a safety dab on exit!

Then on to section 8, up a bank, round a tree, drop down into dip, up steep bank right turn on & flat for ten yards. Then right turn in between two trees, very tight, then full lock left to out. I hated this one, first time got it all wrong missed the out flag, well flattened it. A 5 off from Ian.

An enjoyable trial, a tad easy in some sections, but the young ones loved it, gives them great confidence for the future. Well done Aqueduct. Many thanks.

Steve Blaxall – Air Cooled Mono / Intermediate Route

I arrived at the farm yard in my van, wound the window down to get parking instructions off Mark Samuel. To be greeted with “Its your fault” and he pointed to the rip in his trousers. Apparently last minute alterations that morning to a section they were not happy with had caused a little accident. I wont repeat what I said, but we both had a laugh and the banter had started. It was the start of a good day. 

Here are  3 sections that tested me in different ways.

Section 2 – Ride into the section, slight uphill across to the right, then left after the markers and across the level ground. The hard bit is now in front of me. its a short steep decent with a right hand u turn at the bottom to come back up the bank. This was a tight turn. and what made it worse was being all closed in, the ground sloping away and a tree that would not let you past if your turn was not exactly right. Once out of there you rode out looking up to the left. The end cards were at the top of a steep climb. You had to ride between two close together trees before you got there. They were the type of trees that could jump out at you if you weren’t concentrating.  I made a complete  hash of this section first lap, taking lots of dabs going into and around that turn in the dip. I cleaned it once, which pleased me and a strategic dab in that turn for the 2 other laps. 5 marks lost in all.

Section 5 – Only 2 marks lost here. but it had the type of turn that I dont have much confidence in. The section starts down a long steep bank, followed by a fairly tight right in front of the observer. Now ride up the bank in front of you and turn left at the back of the tree, now its a shallow climb to the rear of another tree. Its now a tight turn left to go back down the bank switching from up hill to down hill in the turn. I was never settled doing this turn and basically winged it!. At the bottom of the hill it was a right turn back on yourself and a gentle climb to the end cards. I could quiet easily of dropped a lot more marks on this section. Definitely need to practice more on this type of turn.

Section 6 – A section we have seen before but now in reverse. A steep downhill left required a lot of attention and smoothness with the throttle as it merged into a steep uphill climb. At the top was an immediate right turn down a bank that was scattered with rocks. Remember to keep turning left through the trees then right – it was  tight  here and could easily catch you out then a straight run before turning right at the foot of a bank, aim for the end of the rocks, before turning right to cross the mud and up the short steep bank remembering to keep left, so as to make the end cards down the other side. Cleaned this on the first lap. Second lap coming down the rocky bank I must of freewheeled with the clutch in ,just using my brakes (not a good habit of mine ) by the time I let the clutch out i was already in the tight turns, this upset my balance and several dabs were now required. Not good. Third lap I excelled my self and made an effort to leave the clutch alone and I was clean right up to bank at the exit, only I was off line going up the bank, being too far over to the right. Not a problem I thought. I will correct it all the other side. I didn’t get that far. I used to much back brake at the top, stalled the engine, lost balance and fell down the bank, nearly making the exit cards but without the bike!. Think that’s a 5? Fourth lap was uneventful with a single dab. Clutch use seems to be hard wired in me. Need to force myself to use it less. 

Was happy with my ride, only one five which i think is a new 1st for me on greens. It was a great day, saw a few more faces returning again, the banter was flowing and it was great to see the youngsters on their 50’s & 80’s. We really are fortunate to be doing this.  Many thanks to all the crew and observers for taking the time and effort to make this all happen. Last but not least,  Chris De Burger for keeping us all fed. 

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.

Top Places

Pre 65

  • Expert – No starters
  • Intermediate – Peter Edwards, Drayton Bantam (1); Kevin Walker, Triumph (5); Mark Lucas, Drayton Villiers (8)
  • Clubman – Graham Miller, Triumph (2); Paul Brimlow, Cotton (4); Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (13)
  • Novice – Paul Beswick, BSA (0); Paul Jones, Triumph (16)

Twinshock

  • Expert – Tony Gush, Majesty (12); Paul Sagar, Honda (19);Jim Williams, Honda (22)
  • Intermediate – No finishers
  • Clubman – Darren Riley, Bultaco (24)Joel Riley, Yamaha (17)
  • Novice –

Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – No starters
  • Intermediate – Shaun Mountford, Beta (0); Mike Jones, Fantic (2); Steve Blaxall, Fantic (21)
  • Clubman – No starters
  • Novice – Pete Rainsford, Yamaha (18)

Modern Mono

  • Expert – Mark Blackwell, Beta (60); Mark Diggle, TRS (78);Declan Marsden, Gas Gas (81)
  • Intermediate – Spence Bradley, TRS (0); Robin Foulkes, Sherco (5);Ken Williams, Montesa (7)
  • Clubman – Gary Jones, Beta (6); Jeff Hughes, Beta (19); George Jones, Beta (24)
  • Novice – Jay Hanmer, Oset (0); Logan Price, Beta (3);Glyn Roberts, Montesa (5)

Observer List

1 – Pail Cartwright

2 – Dave Lovell

3 – Chris

4 – Gordon

5 – Mark

6 – Steve Jones

7 – Russ / Sue

8 – Ian Jones

9 – Dave

10 – Elwyn

Stats

Bikes Classes

  • Pre 65 – 19
  • Twinshock – 9
  • Air Cooled Mono – 7
  • Modern Mono – 30

Route Classes

  • Expert – 11
  • Intermediate – 30
  • Clubman – 11
  • Novice – 13

Bikes

Pre 65

  • BSA – 5
  • Cotton – 1
  • DOT – 1
  • Drayton – 3
  • Francis Barnett – 1
  • James – 1
  • Matchless – 1
  • Triumph – 6

Twinshock

  • Bultaco – 1
  • Honda – 5
  • Majesty – 1
  • SWM – 1
  • Yamaha – 1

Air Cooled Mono

  • Beta – 1
  • Fantic – 2
  • Gas Gas – 1
  • Honda – 1
  • Scorpa – 1
  • Yamaha – 1

Modern Mono

  • Beta – 10
  • Gas Gas – 5
  • Honda – 1
  • Montesa 3
  • Oset – 1
  • Scorpa – 1
  • Sherco – 3
  • TRS – 2
  • Vertigo – 3

Event Report – Nant Ucha Farm 190921

It had almost been two years since Aqueduct used the excellent Nant Ucha Farm as a venue, in fact the last time was November 2019 before the world entered its crazy phase! The venue has change quite a bit, with Dave and the family investing the time is clearing some great new areas and settling the land and streams after harsh rainfall had modified the woods in places. To highlight how good this practice venue is, whilst Mark and Russ were marking out, some riders were using the venue to get some practice in for the upcoming Scott Trial. Says a lot that really.

So back to the day. Good weather, hearty spirits as we get use to the new format and this being the 5th consecutive month that we were able to hold an event, a sense respectful competitive normality has been resumed.

A total of 69 riders rucked up and quickly filled a dry field with vans, cars and 4×4’s with a great selection of bikes filling the classes with 23 Pre 65’s, 13 Twinshocks, 7 AC Monos and 26 Modern Monos. Whilst not back to the pre Covid levels, it is great to see the attendance up in the high numbers. This support for the club is really appreciated.

From a class viewpoint, the numbers of Expert riders remains slightly lower at 7 in this class with 31 riders running as Intermediates, a healthy 20 at Clubman and 11 Beginners.

Paul Beswick – Pre 65 / Beginners

Battle of Britain memorial day dawned and another early doors start to get to Nant Ucha Farm, another venue I’d never been to before, for a Battle against Dabs. What a stunning venue Nant Ucha Farm is with so much wonderful terrain including STREAMS 😀 I love stream sections and no mud even better. I was blessed. Now just because I love streams doesn’t mean I can ride them and I really had to dig deep today.

Three sections in particular highlighting my talent deficit areas.

Section 6 a simple meander along the bank of the stream then a drop into the stream and out along the far bank which was littered with awkward slippery rocks. There was a flipping great log across the right line which forced you onto the wrong line over those rocks making a sharp right turn as you exited the stream. Marks lost grrr. 

Next came Section 7 a run in over loose rolling rocks, which seemed to be different every lap, then into the stream and across up a steep bank strewn with rocks and tree roots. Again more Marks lost another grrrr.

The final section on my Nemesis list was Section 9 which was basically a ride through but, and here’s the BIG BUT, a VERY tight right turn trying to avoid some big rocks EXACTLY where you wanted to place your front wheel and strewn with rounded river boulders like ball bearings to catch you out AND THEY DID. More Marks lost grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. 

A very enjoyable trial smoothly organised and excellently laid out and executed. The only reason I lost those 5 marks was down to lack of talent on my part. Must do better. Reminds me of my school days 🤣 Looking forward to the next trial wherever it may be and another chance to shout at myself lol. Thanks to the Aqueduct classic team for giving me so much enjoyment along with all the observers who are the cherry on the cake. Thank you one and all. One last thing nice to see Geoff has finally found his purpose in life he he.

Rob Sloggett – Twinshock / Clubman

Last month I gave the Majesty a run after its being sat around for 12 months so this month was a chance to get the Bultaco out. The last time, the exhaust had exploded so this was the first outing with it all repacked, sealed up and running with the clubfoot. Both bokes have very different characteristics but I have to say that the Bultaco is my secret favourite!

A final leisurely ride on Clubman’s before jumping back up to inters next month and apart from the 6 silly dabs it has been really enjoyable riding the clubman route. It has allowed me to work on two areas of weakness I wanted to target but I am sure it will got to pot in October!

Sections 5, 6 and 7 make up my write up this month all for different reasons. Starting with Sec 5, I was really expecting this one to take more marks off of me. It had my weakness which is a cambered left hand turn and half way up the bank after the turn you hit a root step which if you got it wrong would either bring you to a stop on the front wheel or spin out the rear so a good confident attack was needed. Knowing that if I struggled on the camber I would be be late on the power this had all of the markings of a mark taker. A single dab on the first lap as a steady after the step following a good secure turn on the camber set my head up for three following cleans. Could have been much worse if I let it get to me.

Section 6, at the far end of the venue was a corker. Hearing the green route was a bit of a tasty one, I was happy that I was on clubman’s but even looking at the scores, with this route taking an average 3 marks per rider it had the potential to trip you up. A simple entry into the section led you towards a rock slab with a left to right camber and triangular in shape o you were not hitting it square. The wrong speed or line, especially for the early riders were guaranteed to cause the rear to spin or slide away. Once again a single dab on the first lap built my confidence for other 3 laps to run as cleans. The rest of the section in the early laps had enough loose rocks to tickle the front wheel if you you not careful and I suspect a few marks were lost on the first few laps as a result of these.

Section 7 was an interesting one as it presented multiple routes on the first element. As you came into the section you dropped into the stream the had a sweeping left turn within the banks of the stream to then turn right and up a bank. You could either run in the centre of the stream bed with a more acute line to the bank or run your front wheel around the bank edge in front of you, closing the initial turn but giving you a straighter line at the bank. I have never really adopted this technique so thought the event was a good chance to practice that line and technique. Once again a single dab from a loose rock that caught me out and 3 further cleans set me up nicely for the day. What was interesting about this section when looking at the results was that the average clubman loss was 3.8 but specifically in the Modern Mono’s it was 5.4 so something about it did not favour the modern bikes over the older steeds?

All in all a fantastic days competition with the observers, as always being thanked on the last lap for taking their time out.

Our next event is due to be held on Sunday 10th October where we will be returning to Pen Y Graig Quarry.

Before we move into the usual stats, we have to close by once again saying a huge thankyou to the club team for all of the effort they put in to make this happen, the observers for still taking the time to support and the land owner as always.

Top Places

Pre 65

  • Expert – None
  • Intermediate – Keith Gardner, BSA (6); Keith Wells, BSA (10); Mark Newman, BSA (12)
  • Clubman – Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (3); Keith Lloyd, BSA (26); Henry Lewis, Triumph (40)
  • Novice – Paul Beswick, BSA (5); Kevin O’Toole, AJS (37)

Twinshock

  • Expert – Jim Williams, Honda (33); Jack Lycett, Honda (41); Steve Williams, Honda (78)
  • Intermediate – Jed Bownes, Fantic (50); Alex Barrie, Honda (69)
  • Clubman – Rob Sloggett, Bultaco (6); Owain Charles, Majesty (7); Darren Riley, Bultaco (10)
  • Novice – Alan Hochkiss, Majesty (27); Joel Riley, Yamaha (52)

Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Terry Musgrave, Aprilia (58)
  • Intermediate – David Matthews, Yamaha (12); Paul Cartwright; Gas Gas (22); James Mylett, Honda (24)
  • Clubman – None
  • Novice – None

Modern Mono

  • Expert – Mark Diggle, TRS (53)
  • Intermediate – Tony McKenzie, TRS (5); Ade Robinson, Gas Gas (8); Ad Gray, Gas Gas (11)
  • Clubman – Ken Williams, Beta (8); Gary Jones; Beta (10); Martin Howard, Beta (10)
  • Novice – George Jones, Beta (9); Steve Harding, Gas Gas (21); Simon Davies, Sherco (26)
Geoff discussing the merits of the “non stop” rule in modern trials

Observer List

1 – Terry

2 – Russ

3 – Suz

4 – Mark

5 – Dave

6 – Gordon

7 – Paul

8 – Izzy

9 – John

10 – Annette

Stats

Bikes Classes

  • Pre 65 – 23
  • Twinshock – 13
  • Air Cooled Mono – 7
  • Modern Mono – 26

Route Classes

  • Expert – 7
  • Intermediate – 31
  • Clubman – 20
  • Novice – 11

Bikes

Pre 65

  • AJS – 1
  • BSA – 9
  • DOT – 1
  • Francis Barnett – 1
  • James – 1
  • Matchless – 1
  • Triumph – 7
  • Villiers – 2

Twinshock

  • Bultaco – 3
  • Fantic – 2
  • Honda – 4
  • Majesty – 2
  • Ossa – 1
  • Yamaha – 1

Air Cooled Mono

  • Aprilia – 2
  • Fantic – 2
  • Gas Gas – 2
  • Honda – 2
  • Yamaha – 1

Air Cooled Mono

  • Beta – 8
  • Gas Gas – 6
  • Honda / Montesa – 4
  • Sherco – 3
  • TRS – 4
  • Vertigo – 1

Event Report – Plas Onn 150821

After developing the post Covid way of doing club events at Pen Y Graig, it was time to expand the venues and take a visit to Plas Onn which we last visited in December 2019! It was good now that the restrictions are being lifted to see 70 riders participate and also the club continuing to be supported by a great set of observers who turn up in all weathers to allow us to enjoy a days sport.

The entries were split evenly across 3 classes with AC Mono having a slightly lower intake compared to the rest. Intermediate saw the biggest class turnout with 30 rides and an additional 20 in clubman with the balance split across Experts and Novice to a good level.

Mike Griffiths – Observer / Section 7

Grand day out at the Plas Onn trial…

We had the usual rider complaints. Bit stiff first lap followed by ‘I’m cream crackered’ on the last lap. Had the usual ones that were either trying to be another Percy Thrower or should join the dry stone wall building course at Buxton. Mind you some of them looked more like Charlie Dimmock when they tried a crafty rock kick when they thought I was otherwise engaged….

Yes a bit of banter on my section as normal but all in good fun. My section was one of the easier ones but still claimed a mark of two. Some lads were looking for more than the section needed and was well designed and set out. An ideal adversary for trials riding for the newcomers and the wrinklies.

Some of you don’t forget to say thanks to the observers for their time as they are out on the section all day with no relief and some of you lads amble round, stop for brew and butty while we are out in the wet and cold waiting for you lot and bags of 5’s waiting for the unsuspecting.

It was nice that some of the lads rode round and thanked us. Thanks lads. Oh yes I nearly forgot there was a dodgy butty van there and he’s riding at the next trial…. I’ll be waiting ??????????????

Rob Sloggett- Twinshock / Clubman

Yes! at last! back on the bike for a competition! Pen Y Graig 20th Sept 2020 was my last time out so it was almost a year since the Bultaco had been dusted off. I was living at Nant Ucha Farm then so the journey to the competitions was a short drive, now living in Blaenau Ffestiniog, its a 90 minute drive in Stanley (my little Series 3 Landrover where you dare not go over 40 MPH in fear of the drum brakes needing at least 5 minutes notice you you want to stop)!

I decided to grab the Majesty and give that a run out and as I had not rode in 12 months and felt it best just to have a fun day on the clubman route and dust off my technique. To say it was a blast is an under statement. I love riding down a class as I find it a different tye of pressure. You know you should not lose any marks so every dab really gets analysed plus because everything happens that little bit slower you have more time to think. This time I was really conscious of the times where on the Inters I would have taken a dap, you know that little unsettled back wheel or tip in into a turn where a steadying foot down is an automatic reflex. This time a found myself really conscious about my feet on the pegs and on those borderline dabs really fought the urge to put the foot down. Dont get me wrong, I still dropped 8 marks but I know where each one cost me and what I dod wrong so actually i was happy with that…..

I also got the opportunity to walk the sections with Moz’s lad Tommy and it was great fun just discussing the sections, talking about lines and chatting to him after the sections on the first lap about how he got on.

Even on the first lap you could see his technique getting refined and him being more confident on the bike. Keep it up Tommy….

So a couple of sections spring to mind for me. Section 5 was my favourite and one I always enjoy at Plas Onn. In the top corner of the furthest field, it is your typical meander up through the trees, picking your way up a range of little rock steps with challenging turns between each challenge. A great opportunity to really refine the accuracy of your line and perfecting the front wheel around the bank to drive out the best route. A single dab (cant remember which lap or where) but it could have been a few more so a happy total for me.

Section 1 was my silly section and took way to many marks from me. A total of 3 does not seem a lot but against my total of 8 and a 2 on one lap it was a silly tally. I know where and why and it was a lapse of concentration on lap 3 as the turn caught me out with the softer eroding surface. The rest of the section was a nice set of camber turns to get the bike moving between the legs and get that technique flowing again.

Finally Section 2 whist dropping no marks was my favourite challenge. The exit was a really nice cambered bank with a right hand turn which I felt confident on, This is a big difference to Section 3 which had a left hand cambered turn which I always felt unsettled on!

I think a trip out on the Bultaco next month the try the fixed exhaust out (yep its still loud but I’ve checked the Db output and its legal!) and the baffles and end pipe have been sorted….

Thanks to everyone for a great day and it was great chatting to loads of people in the queues.

Mark Gaskell – Pre 65 / Intermediate

Plas Onn, or “Barry’s Farm”, has been the venue for some of my best rides on a trials bike. Sunday was not one of my best rides on a trials bike!

It was a great day though, and I enjoyed myself immensely! Some sections I let mess with my head too much, and so failed them spectacularly!

Section 2, Paul’s daughter. High above the farm, with glorious views, lay the fabled section 2. Not one, but two steep downhill right turns, on grass, followed by a tight uphill right to the ends. It’s not often that I need to supplement the Triumph’s engine braking with the drums, but I was very glad I had recently serviced them. If things got out of hand she could become a very expensive toboggan! The buttock clenching downhill turns went without a hitch. Instead I missed a flag on one lap, messed up the exit on another, and saved face with a single and finally a clean.

Section 3, Dave’s. I have a very small practice area at my disposal. A gentle grassy bank, with trees to slalom round. Just like section 3. On lap one however, my front wheel deflected off the root between two trees and bike and I parted company. Next lap I paddled over the root for a cowardly 3. On my third attempt I cleaned it easily, and so to celebrate on lap four I missed the turn after the root for a 5. Wonderful. 

Section 5, Bill’s. Bill Beveridge, the observer for this section, knows my engine intimately, having rebuilt it for me after it “let go” in the Manx 2 day. He now knows that it’s rider gets target fixation on a rooty step, and couldn’t ride past it to save his life. Walking the section, he warned me not to step in a boggy bit, as I might get stuck. Instead, I threw the Triumph in it.Two 5’s, and two generous 3’s.

Section 6, Ian’s. There was no reason why I couldn’t clean this section, as I did on lap 4. Tight downhill right turn, to three gentle rock steps, which for the first three attempts I made an utter Horlicks of. Three 5’s and a clean.

Brilliant trial, thank you to the Aqueduct team as ever for all the hard work!

Paul Owen – Pre 65 / Intermediate

It was great to be back at Plas Onn and seeing so many friendly faces. My son Thomas and me turned up with both the bantams . Thomas was on the yellow clubman route and I was on the green intermediate route. We were put into groups and they were mainly green route rider apart from my lad Thomas and Rob Sloggett. So I asked Rob if Thomas could shadow him as they were both on the yellow . Here are 3 of my favorite sections.

Section 2 was catching lots of riders out. You entered the start gate and dropped down between 2 trees and only just get the handle bars through them then you carried on down on the slippy damp grass from a rain shower. You had to turn sharp right on the off camber and feed the power on very slowly but enough to get you up over some roots and back onto the path. Then you repeated the same on another off camber but this had a tighter right turning less of a run up back up to the path. On lap one I picked up a 5 as I got up the 2nd incline and we turned right. Another rider was stood top of the bank just in-front of the left flag and as I looked up I seen 2 greens. But then I realised I’d missed my turn and gone between the wrong flags. I managed to pull it around to exit the section but then I heard the cheers, laughter and banta off all the lads waiting in the group to rip me. Haha

Section 4 looked easy as you rode up the bank on the right. Across the banking to the left and dropped down into a right handed off camber turn and then attack a uphill 2 foot high rooted step and just as you got up that you were having to get over a big rock and straight into a sharp left hand turn to the exit gate.

Section 10 you dropped into the rocky stream for a few metres and turned sharp right onto the bank then sharp left back across the stream and up a short slippy rooted bank. At the top you turned right down a big step into the stream and over some rocks to a very tight right turn up the bank and to the exit gate.

Big thanks to all involved from organisers, observers and fellow competitors. Myself and Thomas both had a great day. Can’t wait for the next one

Steve Harding – Modern Mono / Beginners

First of all a big thanks to all the Aqueduct team for putting on another great day and all the observer’s for giving up there Saturday so we could have a trial, thanks to Chris De-Burger for keeping us fed and watered and Russ & Mark for marking out the sections on a Saturday, big thanks to the land owner for letting the club use the venue.


On arrival we were directed to parking by Sue and Geoff, plenty of space for everyone, after signing on, a final check over the bike and  a bacon buttie and a quick brew and a look at the far reaching view down the valley to see how far the sections were spread. At 11o’clock every one was in the main yard to observe a 1 minute silence for  David Carter which was observed with respect by all, then we were put into our groups and given our starting sections, so here is a few of my favourites.

Section 3, David on watch.  You start off coming down a bit of a grass bank into the start then up a slightly off camber bank into some fairly thick woods then a really tight left round a tree, again a slippery off camber bank. I think I dabbed it every time  then up a steep climb through the trees and then a tight right past another tree and along a ridge and close to the fence and out of the section. 


Section 9, Geoff and Jan on watch. A great section for me this one. As you enter you drop down a slippery bank and into the rocky stream and then out of the other side to climb a bit and over a couple of rocks then right along the top of the bank before a right back down to the stream through some long grass into some fairly slippery mud the left back up the banks with a few rocks to dodge and up and out of the section.


Section 10, Sue and Russ on watch. Another one of my favourites. After leaving 9 you had to cross the stream and back up a slippery bank and left to the start of the section. On entry you crossed the stream and back up the bank and a bit of tight right and place the front wheel on a large grassy lump as you turn tight right again and drop back down into the stream and straight back up and out the left along the top of the bank before dropping back into the rocky stream and follow it up and a tight right up over some slippery roots and right out of the section.

  
Overall I had a great day although my score doesn’t say that  lol, I was absolutely knackered at the end but it wouldn’t be such fun if it was mad easy. Great venue as the club all ways manages to do and a big thanks to the guys I rode with,had some banter and some good tips along the way.  Well done aqueduct you guys smashed it again, cheers.

Before we move into the usual stats, we have to close by once again saying a huge thank you 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.

Top Places

Pre 65

  • Expert – No riders
  • Intermediate – Les Richardson, Drayton (29); Kev Williams, Triumph (35); Mark Lucas, James (45)
  • Clubman – Philip Clarkson, Triumph (2); Paul Brimlow, Cotton (5); Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (6)
  • Novice – Alan Hochkiss, Villiers (35)

Twinshock

  • Expert – Tony Gush, Majesty (7); Jim Williams, Honda (12); Julian Price, Fantic (40)
  • Intermediate – Tony Dillon, Fantic (18); Dave Pengilley, Kawasaki (23); Alex Barrie, Honda (80)
  • Clubman – Rob Sloggett, Majesty (8); Trevor Bennett, Beta (19); Dave Lycett, Honda (21)
  • Novice – Steven Williams, Bultaco (64)

Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Paul Edwards, Beta (42); Robin Foulkes, Honda (49)
  • Intermediate – Ian Emery, Gas Gas (28); David Matthews, Yamaha (31); Paul Cartwright, Gas Gas (36)
  • Clubman – No riders
  • Novice – No finishers

Modern Mono

  • Expert – Paddy Edwards, Vertigo (10); Mark Blackwell, Beta (29); Mark Linge, Gas Gas (39)
  • Intermediate – Martin Evans, Gas Gas (41); Colin Steele, Vertigo (44); Michael Warburton, Vertigo (47)
  • Clubman – Ken Williams, Beta (8); Ryan Rogers, Gas Gas (16); Oliver Roberts, Beta (18)
  • Novice – Glyn Roberts, Montesa (32); Tony Williams, Scorpa (73); Steve Harding, Gas Gas (77)

Observer List

1 – Elwyn

2 – Izzy

3 – Dave

4 – Paul

5 – Bill Beveridge

6 – Ian Jones

7 – Mike Griffiths

8 – Gordan

9 – Geoff

10 – Russ

Stats

Bikes Classes

  • Pre 65 – 20
  • Twinshock – 18
  • Air Cooled Mono – 12
  • Modern Mono – 20

Route Classes

  • Expert – 13
  • Intermediate – 30
  • Clubman – 20
  • Novice – 7

Bikes

Pre 65

  • BSA – 7
  • Cotton – 1
  • Drayton – 2
  • Francis Barnett – 1
  • James – 1
  • Triumph – 5
  • Villiers – 1

Twinshock

  • Beta – 1
  • Bultaco – 3
  • Fantic – 5
  • Honda – 5
  • Kawasaki – 1
  • Majesty – 2
  • Montesa – 1

Air Cooled Mono

  • Aprilia – 1
  • Beta – 2
  • Fantic – 1
  • Gas Gas – 3
  • Honda – 1
  • Yamaha – 4

Modern Mono

  • Beta – 5
  • Gas Gas – 6
  • Montesa – 2
  • Scorpa – 1
  • TRS – 3
  • Vertigo – 3

EVENT REPORT – PEN Y GRAIG 130621

13th June saw Aqueduct Classics back on form with an increased rider count up to 50 riders as per the relaxing Covid restrictions. Still adhering to the rules of masks in the public areas and riding in groups of 6, a return visit to Pen Y Graig (which is probably going to be the main venue this year, once again to limit exposure to other venues) started with a lovely sunny day.

Alan Hotchkiss – Twin-shock (Novice – White Route)

I arrived at 9:50 am on a lovely Sunday morning at the top carpark of the farm to be greeted by the carpark attendant (Geoff ) brandishing a large coffee. After unloading the bike I wandered down the hill, facemask adorned and swiftly signed on by two chatty ladies. The hours traveling and coffee had taken its toll so I swiftly had to sort that out but midway through admiring the wonderful scenery I noticed I was surrounded by flies and a pungent smell, Needless to say I think the farmer must have lost a ewe a few weeks earlier! That smell was soon replaced with the fumes of 50 or so bikes firing into life as Russ summons us to the meeting point at section one. The ride to it is one to be enjoyed, down a steep twisting bank , through some water under a bridge which as you pass through resonates with the sound of the bikes. At the meeting point we were placed into our covid safe groups and then dispatched to our allocated start sections.

Off to section nine we headed, which for the white route started with a drop down a loose bank with a tight right turn in the bottom, across a camber,around a tree and up and out up a short bank.

Section one was pretty straight forward, a bit of a meander finishing with a long steep climb which I managed to finish flamboyantly semi in control on the back wheel on all four attempts.

Another favourite section was (I think 7 ) across a little camber, drop in to a bog out across some loose rocks around a tree and up a steep incline to finish.

All in all a great day out accompanied by some very experienced riders who were keen to share their knowledge and banter.

Signed The Whiteroute Wobbler

Steve HardingModern Mono (Novice – White Route)

First of all a massive thanks once again to the Aqueduct team for putting on such a great event under the circumstances, and all of the observer’s who gave up a sunny Sunday so we were able to do what we love doing, also a big thanks to Russ and Mark for giving up their Saturday to mark out and clear the sections for us to use. All meeting up in the farm yard some time before the start and a chance to have a walk round and have a look at some of the machines that were taking part in the event and there were some excellent examples. 11o’clock sharp start We were put in to groups of 6 and  all covid safety measures were applied. I was with a great bunch of guys and we had a good day and had some good banta along the way ,

Here are some of my favourite sections .

We started on section 7- You started off from the main track and drop down through the start gate down a bit of a bank then straight back up up and a tight left past a tree and  across a bit of loose rock then up to the left again tight past another tree and along a ridge and out of the end gate ,

Section 5 – Russ and Sue on watch so no mistakes on this one haha,, It was like a white route just to get down there, but once down there you start and straight into the section and on to some good sized rocks and along through to a tight right between two trees then a tight left and then up a really steep shale slope and out of the section, tough but I enjoyed that section. 

Section 6 – A bit of a nemesis for me this one. At the start gate Steve was there keeping an eye on things,  from the start you drop down a bit of an off camber bank into some fairly deep sticky mud (and it was a bit of a deep rut by the time our team got to it ). I dabbed it every time on the 1st 3 laps, then a bit of an up hill left and back up and a tight right over a few rocks then fire it up a steep shale slope and out of the section, I decided to just attack it on the 4th lap and managed to clean it,
All in all a great days riding with some great guys, extremely warm and humid weather but had a great day. Again thanks to all the Aqueduct team, cheers. 

Paul Owen – Pre 65 (Intermediate – Green Route) and

Thomas Owen – Pre 65 (Clubman – Yellow Route)

It was great to get to riding a bike again as it’s been a long time away from competition . Also I had my son Thomas doing his first ever trials. I rode the rigid bantam as Thomas was on the twin-shock bantam, I rode greens and Thomas did yellows. Here are 3 sections we both enjoyed.

Section 3 – A steady ride into the section and around a tree to the left. Over a tree root and up a banking. Thomas had to ride the off camber banking to a left hander to the exit and I had to drop back down the bank and between the trees to a longish climb up the bank to a left hand turn to the exit. It wasn’t hard or technical but it was on little loose stones and could easily catch you out. –

Section 6 – You dropped into a mud bath that got easier as it dried out with the warm sunny weather. Once across the mud we had a few slippy rocks that could easily take a dab off you. Then across into another muddy wet section. Thomas had to ride through it and up the bank to the exit and I had to turn sharp right up rocky slippy banks that turned to the left and dropped you back down the banking and a tight right turn up to the exit gate. –

Section 9 – You started the section on the old lane and dropped down across the banking and around a tight right turn straight into a drop into a left hander and down into a gully for Thomas where I had to turn right up around a tree and drop left into the gully. We then turned right on a very tight turn and up a steep bank to the exit gate.

Big thanks to all involved from riders. Organisers and observers

Our next event is on Sunday 11th July and based on the current known restrictions, this will be once again capped at 50 riders.

Top Places

Pre 65

  • Expert -Danny Littlehales, Francis Barnett (15); Kev Ellis, BSA (29);
  • Intermediate – Paul Owen, BSA (6); Phil Alderman, Triumph (7); Jim Droughton, Triumph (10)
  • Clubman – Mike Roberts, Ariel (14); Tim Lewis, Matchless (12); Peter Cocking, BSA (14)
  • Novice – Paul Beswick, BSA (0); Chris Kenny, BSA (26); Alan Hotchkiss, Fantic (37)

Twinshock

  • Expert – Tony Gush, Majesty (6); Julian Price, Fantic (26); Jack Lycett, Honda (37)
  • Intermediate – David Matthews, Bultaco (1); Dave Pengilley, Kawasaki (3); Tim Cuffin, Honda (14)
  • Clubman – William Leigh, Yamaha (8); Steve Blackburn, Montesa (10); Graham Pennington, Ossa (17)
  • Novice – No entries

Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Ian Jones, Yamaha (17); Robin Foulkes, Yamaha (23); Mark Blackwell (31)
  • Intermediate – James Mylett, Montesa (5); Paul Cartwright, Gas Gas (14); Ian Emery, Gas Gas (17)
  • Clubman – No entries
  • Novice – Tony Williams (18); Chris Matthews, Fantic (26)

Modern Mono

  • Expert – No entries
  • Intermediate – Dave Riley, Vertigo (2); Steve Serwin, Gas Gas (5); Paul Hempkins, Gas Gas (11)
  • Clubman – Martin Howard, Beta (11); Kev Finney (46)
  • Novice – Glyn Roberts, Montesa (0); Steve Harding, Gas Gas (21)

Observer List

  1. Elwyn
  2. Dave
  3. Ian Jones
  4. Izzy
  5. Russ
  6. Steve Jones
  7. Michael Griffiths
  8. Gordon
  9. Mark
  10. Paul

Event Report – Pen Y Graig 090521

As I started to write this report, I popped over to the last one to see the format and structure and took a look at the date. The last competition was 20th September 2020 when 60 riders enjoyed what we thought was going to be the first on many Covid friendly events but things moved on and lockdown hit again. Wind the clock forward 231 days (yep that’s the number) and Aqueduct, after official guidance being checked, opened the regs up to 30 riders to get things moving again.

Before I go any further I have got to say that even though it was only 30 riders, Russ and Mark still marked out 10 sections with 4 routes and made sure each section had an observer. This was only cut down in entries and the same fantastic level of effort was put in by the club to make sure as we returned to completion so on behalf of all of the riders a huge thank-you to all of the organisers for Sundays competition!

So back to the event… as I had volunteered to dog sit I was unable to grab an observer board so I cant give you the usual niceties such as “it was a lovely fresh morning when 30 keen riders turned up at Pen Y Graig for the first event of 2021”, but if I could that’s probably how it would read… so lets just cut to the chase and listen to the riders views.

Now a word of warning…. we encourage our riders to express their personalities in their reports so just bear that in mind when reading ahead….

Stephen Harding – Modern Mono Novice Route

First of all I would like to give a massive thanks to all the team at Aqueduct putting on such a great event again and keeping us all informed of the mine field of government regs throughout this tough time ,big shout out to Russ and Mark for spending a day in the pouring rain to mark out the sections .

I was so nervous starting as I had not ridden for 7 months and a bit worried about my fitness (lockdown belly) haha, so here are some of my favourite sections of the day, and also  a massive thanks to all the observer’s , without them the event couldn’t take place.


I rode with 5 other guy’s and we started at section 9, It was a bit of a tricky start ,a drop down from the start, down and then straight back up a slippy shale bank on to a ridge and then left along a ridge and a steep drop down over a tree root and then still a drop and a tight left past a tree through the flags and then up and out of the section.


Section 10, down at the bottom of the quarry, a nice easy entry into the section and a fairly straight line through the slippy mud through a couple of rocks and then a tight left exit , a nice flowing section to calm the nerves and a bit of a breather to be honest.


Section 6,Deep in to the quarry,  we start from a fairly muddy puddle through the start gate and a really tight right round some rocks in some really slippy mud, then up on to a bit of a ridge then down past Paul the observer and up tight left past a tree and on to an off camber shale bank and round to the left over some rocks and a couple of tree branches and out .

Section 7, a bit of a nemesis for me. From the track you could see the start and finish but not an easy section, from the start you drop down a very steep slope and as you get to the bottom you have to climb a bit  and then tight left past a tree and then straight up a long a really steep shale climb where I just kept on getting the back wheel spinning and a few dabs. On the 4th lap I took some good advice from one of the guys in our team , I think it was a Mr Williams on the Honda TLM (really nice bike too) and I cleared it on the 4th lap.


Section 8, one of my favourites ,as you drop in you are straight back up and a really tight right through the flags and then along a shale ridge then a small drop down and back up and a tight right on to an old concrete platform and over a small gap and then out of the section.
Over all I had a brilliant day, big thanks to everyone involved , without all of your time and effort we wouldn’t be able to do what we all love and enjoy. Thanks

Paul Beswick – Pre 65 Novice Route

Great to be back on the bike again and we the few, 30 actually, gathered to enjoy the four laps of ten sections laid out for us by Russ and Mark. Rob asked us to add a few words about our three favourite sections. To be honest it’s all a bit of a blurr and to be honest I can’t remember some of the sections but I do remember how easy it was to get lost in them but that was probably more down to me and my one brain cell than anything else. It took a lot of concentration to keep your feet on the pegs and I’m really pleased how things turned out. More luck than judgement as I’ve never made so many skin of the teeth recoveries for ages.

Talking to the other members of the group, I really like riding round in groups of six and I hop we retain this when all the covid restrictions are just a dim memory, I wasn’t the only one. Us wobblers never change lol.

Sections 5, 7 and 8 come to mind thinking back but I think it was section 3 especially on the first lap that was particularly challenging. All the sections were flowing which I love with some loose rock’s and shale thrown in to catch the unwary and punish lack of concentration. What a great venue this is because with the recent weather I was expecting mud, mud, mud but no what we got was smiles, smiles and even more smiles. Hopefully I will be lucky enough to get a ride at the next trial and fingers crossed I won’t get lost in the sections so often. Either way I can’t wait. Thank you to every member of the Aqueduct classic team that consistently put on such enjoyable events. 

Mark Gaskell – Pre 65 Intermediate Route

Trying to remember when I last rode in a trial? Certainly more than six months ago. That’s the excuses started already! Arriving at 2 minutes past the start time in the instructions,  I’m met by the familiar faces of Russ, Mark, Geoff, Jan, Suzanne and Christine, albeit behind facemasks!  Sanitising and signing on completed, time to say hello to the rest of the 30 competitors, and hope that they are as rusty as me! At the briefing we are split into groups of six, and allocated a section to start at, in order to avoid contact as much as possible. Our group is Mark Newman, Ian Emery, Paul Young, Graham Miller, Steve Blaxall and myself.  5 inters and a clubman.

Our first section is No.3, the first element of which is a full lock, downhill, left hander between tree stumps. My first attempt goes wide for a 5, me underestimating how tight the turn is compared to the momentum of the Triumph. Not the best start to the day. Still, it can only get better from here can’t it? Next lap I make the turn, but need a couple of dabs. Third lap I try an alternative line advised by Mark, and clean. Last lap I have a plan to pivot turn on the back brake. It fails, and 5 again!

Section 7. Down an off camber slope, round to a tight left, then a tight right at the bottom of a steep bank, weave uphill to the end. The steep bank has a slippery tree root just where you would be asking for the throttle. Safety dab on lap one, annoying dab on lap two, clean on lap three, and disaster on lap four! More grip (and right hand) than expected turned a floating turn into a falling dismount. 5.

Section 1. Should be easy, but the middle element is a left around a tree on a polished off camber slope. Target fixation on the flags means a two on lap one, a dab on two, before remembering not to look at them for cleans on laps three and four.

I hadn’t realised just how much I missed this sport, and the way this club organises it. Superb, safe days riding. Many thanks to all for your hard work!

Julian Price – Twin-shock Expert Route

I would start by saying writing one of these reviews is something similar to the Catholic Confession so I’ll start by saying my name is Julian Price, may the Trials Gods bless me, and it is a couple of years since my last review (and I still haven’t grown a set).

Anyway, when I saw Robs increasingly cunning request for reviews come through, I thought having recently retired, and I should make the effort, so here it is.

I’m calling this one “Listen you Pillock”

Introduction

In a previous paragraph I referred to being under- endowed in the testicular area.

I would like to point out that unfortunately, this hasn’t quite made me feminine enough to take advantage of a wonderful characteristic that the fairer sex has in spades. The ability to listen! This would have been huge benefit when dealing with the challenge on section 8 on the red route! More of that later.

With a reduced entry of 30 there were only 7 riders entered into the expert route and we formed a cosy bubble. These guys really deserved to be in this class, whereas did they deserve to have me tagging along? I guess we’ll never know. It was a great group and with the event having no championship points, advice flowed and the chatting was amiable. I have noticed since moving on to the reds five years ago one advantage of being less able and no threat to any standings means guys are happy to advise and help. This is assuming they save the shouts of “oh god, what’s the fool done now” until I’m out of earshot. 

Ok, this review is not going to be of every section but suffice it say I was not going bad for me with dabs here and there. 

Now, I have made several observations over the years, and one of which is these high achievers I was riding with really seem to be able to focus, and have a real determination to not dab at all costs and this can do attitude helps further by keeping traction with full weight on bike giving something of a win win. Note to self, must try harder and hang on a split second longer before dabbing!

Section 7 Red route.

This section was ably manned by our mate Steve Jones having rendered himself unable to ride on a previous two wheeled “venture” and decided to observe to the delight of the riders, as we all know a fully manned up trial is great to ride.

Aware that our group of 7 did not have to rush looking at the sections given the entry was only 30, I was getting used to a quick couple of minutes and we were off! ( me and Ian Jones usually prefer a good 10 minutes per section)

So far, a particularly talented rider in our group had gone first on every section and pretty much “showed us how to do it” by cleaning them straight off!

Now, you might well say well this fella has shown you how to do it so get on with it but you have to factor in the chasm of difference in my ability and his so I literally felt no better off.

My turn came, and down the first descent I went, weaved through the trees  (I couldn’t do the lovely floaty turn the real experts were doing) so I dabbed my way round, up the bank and over the loose rocks for a fairly satisfied 3, Yay!

Now remember the title of “listen you Pillock”? Well, here, while watching the others I get some good coaching from the maestro on what to do next time.

Well, for a reason unknown to science I managed to listen. I still couldn’t do the show off floaty turn, but the other advice was heeded and I even managed to clean it on another lap. 

Anyway, buoyed up by my 3 on what I initially thought looked like a hard section we moved to the next section.

Section 8

Now section 8 looked simple.   It was simple and was probably the shortest of the day. A flat start followed by a tight turn through a pair of trees, all doable then to the final part. A small rock step followed by a left turn and up short steep, slippy bank. No problem for the willing “first in every section maestro”, but hey, it looked tricky at the end. The next rider was a very good rider and the slippy bank caught him out. A five! What! These guys don’t five much so suddenly everyone took notice. Suddenly there was doubt in the air and it was contagious! 

Well I think only 2 guys got around the section maybe 3 but the rest failed.

I took my turn and of course failed completely. I might as well have just thrown the bike on the floor after I went through the start flags. I did what others did and rushed the tight turn and didn’t commit to the steep bank. It didn’t help that there were some hard looking lumps of concrete either side of the section waiting to do you extra harm. That little bank was just long enough and just steep enough to stop you from forcing your way up.

Well the news was out that the clever dicks were making a fool of themselves and sure enough the cameras crews turned up to add insult to injury. With all the fog going around in my brain I couldn’t think of anything witty to say and resorted to sign language. 

I’ll cut to the chase. It took 20 points of me but I will also refer to my “Listen you Pillock” title. After failing next lap, (and I wasn’t the only one) another proper expert turned and advised just go really slow. Do not rush it, and you will get straight up from the bottom. Well my brain was just too male. I couldn’t listen.

I just did the same rubbish attempt lap after lap safe in the knowledge that better riders than me were failing too!

So, when the trial was over me and another riding buddy could not accept we had been beaten by such a simple little section. We returned to the scene of the crime. By now a little less adrenaline was flowing and my brain decided to listen to the advice earlier freely given. 

Up to the step, slowly does it, look up the bank because that’s where you are going and the bike flew up like there was nothing there. Round and round we went time after time, looking at each other both thinking WTF!!!!

Brilliant trial, testing well set sections took marks off all in the class without killing the making up the numbers me. Result! I had a smile on my face the rest of the day. I am safe in saying the bubble really enjoyed it.

So that was a flavour of my trial. As ever, I try to improve my riding and I think I have over the last few years. I’m just not sure if the pace of the sections difficulty is growing faster than my ability to improve????

I will share my own mantra with you. 

If you do what you’ve always done, You’ll get what you always got!

So, listen to advice because what have you got to lose?

I’ll finish by saying being 2021, I will not be changing my gender in order to improve my riding, (still don’t understand how you can do that, Is it just me?)

But I will try to improve.

Big thanks to all that help make these days happen.

Ps. I may have to go into hiding after upsetting the gender police and religious types in a single review!

Feet up.

Top Places

Pre 65

  • Expert – Ian Smart, Triumph (18); Jim Hough, Ariel (20); Danny Littlehales, Francis Barnett (20)
  • Intermediate – Jim Droughton, Triumph (25); Phil Alderman, Triumph (26); Kev Williams, Triumph (27)
  • Clubman – Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (2); Graham Miller, Triumph (13)
  • Novice – Paul Beswick, BSA (2); Keith Lloyd, Drayton Bantam (4); Kevin O’Toole, Triumph (11)

Twinshock

  • Expert – Phil Houghton, Fantic (2); Julian Price; Fantic (56); Terry Musgrave, Aprilia (74)
  • Intermediate – Dave Pengilley, Kawasaki (7); David Matthews, Bultaco (11); Mark Newman, Ossa (35)
  • Clubman – Paul Hornsby, Fantic (10); Owain Charles, Yamaha (22); Allan Thomas, Fantic (32)
  • Novice – Alan Hotchkiss, Fantic (32)

Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – No finishers
  • Intermediate – Ian Emery, Gas Gas (25); Paul Young, Gas Gas (33); Neil Francis, Aprilia (52)
  • Clubman – Ken Williams, Honda (0)
  • Novice – Pete Rainsford, Yamaha (27)

Modern Mono

  • Expert – No enteries
  • Intermediate – No enteries
  • Clubman – Dave Riley, Vertigo (0)
  • Novice – Chris Matthews, Beta (5); Steve Harding, Gas Gas (19)

Observer List

1 -Karen Newman

2 – Ian Jones

3 – Martyn Humphries

4 – Gordon

5 – Paul Jones

6 – Mike Griffiths

7 – Steve Jones

8 – Dave

9 – Graham Pennington

10 – Russ

Event Report – Pen Y Graig 200920

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.

Top Places

Pre 65

  • 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

Twinshock

  • 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

Modern Mono

  • 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

Observer List

1 -Elwyn

2 – Dave

3 – Russ

4 – Chris

5 – Gordon

6 – Paul

7 – Mark

8 – Jan

9 – Roger

10 – Izzy

Stats

Bikes Classes

  • Pre 65 – 21
  • Twinshock – 16
  • Air Cooled Mono – 11
  • Modern Mono – 11

Route Classes

  • Expert – 16
  • Intermediate – 17
  • Clubman – 18
  • Novice – 8

Bikes

Pre 65

  • Ariel – 1
  • BSA – 8
  • DOT – 1
  • Francis Barnett – 2
  • James – 1
  • Triumph – 8

Twinshock

  • Bultaco – 2
  • Fantic – 4
  • Honda – 4
  • Majesty – 1
  • Ossa – 1
  • SWM – 1
  • Yamaha – 2

Air Cooled Mono

  • Aprilia – 2
  • Beta – 1
  • Fantic – 1
  • Gas Gas – 3
  • Honda – 4

Modern Mono

  • Beta – 4
  • Gas Gas – 2
  • Scorpa – 1
  • Sherco – 1
  • TRS – 1

Event Report – Training Day 130920

All photos courtesy of Roger Kenyon

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.

Martyn Humphreys

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.

Gavin

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.

Event Report – Pen Y Graig (Mar 20)

Someone did well last year….

Event Report by Rob Sloggett, Elwyn Beddles, Paul Jones, Mark Gaskell and Mark Newman

With the recent poor weather and flooding in the local areas, a number of local trials had been cancelled and with March’s event being in a relatively dry quarry area, as well as guaranteeing the venue integrity we were also expecting another high turn out. A fresh morning greeted the riders who were all asked to turn up a bit earlier to allow last years Championship Trophies to be presented and you can see some of the photos at the end of this report. Whilst having its roots firmly as a Pre 65 and Twinshock Club, Aqueduct has always allowed AC Monos and Modern Monos at the events and runs a Championship Class alongside the Classic Classes. This has always been well supported as the more flowing nature of classic sections lend themselves to people coming back into the support on the more modern bikes but dont want the severity of the way modern clubs mark out their sections or those of us who are in our later years and just don’t want to get injured!

This months event saw 93 riders contest the day with 24 Pre 65’s, 19 Twinshocks, 11 AC Monos and 39 Modern Monos. The split across classes was 15 Experts, 36 Intermediates, 31 Clubman and 10 Novices.

As mentioned above, the event started with a presentation of last years Championship Trophies which this year once again were a very nice style which I am sure will be taking pride of place in a number of trophy cases / shelves. The full results can be found here. It was lovely to hear the number of kind words said about the club during the presentation and I think it is a true testimony to the warmth felt by the riders for the huge effort put in but the club team and the observers!

Elwyn Beedles – Twinshock Clubman

With the weather battering us and the trial in doubt it was lovely to see the sun shine last Sunday for round 3. It was more of a relief to Russ who had been worrying so much he left the lovely Suzanne in bed to go and inspect the venue at 4am then proceeded to put the road signs out. I was one of the first riders to rock up (I do look forward to these events) to find Geoffers with a bit of a stress over parking. With other local trials cancelled the expectation was for a lot of vehicles turning up. After a survey of the newly stoned top area Geoff had it sussed so sorted him out a cup of tea and gave him a bit of a hand with Mark and Russ on the road guiding vehicles in. The walkie talkies are a godsend in these instances.

After a Chis De Burger breakfast courtesy of the club (many thanks all) we had the presentation. This again takes a lot of organising things don’t just happen and it was kind of Dave to explain a little of what goes on behind the scenes and thank the club for their hard work. I took a few piccies that should appear somewhere for those that are interested. Anyone who has done any successful organising will know that the events do not come without a lot of organising, stress and time committed. Landowners have to be looked after, local residents have to be informed and looked after, endless paperwork with H and S etc, then on the day will we have enough parking spaces, enough observers, have we enough signing on sheets, shift that van who has parked irresponsibly etc etc . Perhaps when we are moaning that our score is a mark out or we had to park a bit tight time to think outside the box a little.

On to the sections, Marks section 6 :Unbelievable that the lads found a stream in the quarry ! Tricky section drop into the water left around a large rock through some rocks in the gulley that could easily catch you out then with a choice of a wide left turn or a more direct route to a slippy bank for section ends. Perfect length and a section that was very satisfying if ridden well

Gordons section 7, on first inspection looked pretty straightforward a rocky climb over a small step bearing right with a tight right turn at the top and a drop down to section ends. Riding it was a different matter. With the slope trying hard to push the bike left after the step meant a re adjustment but if you didn’t commit enough the very loose stone under the wheels caused a lack of forward motion with Gordon recording more fives than he can remember. Looks like your name had to be Steve on a modern mono to record a clean on our clubman route. Well done both of you.

Section 8, Lovely little trail through the woods with a bite in the tail at the end with a tricky right turn that wanted to wash the front out. Perfect length for a section, felt it wasn’t just in and out and the turn required a certain skill to negotiate and miss the trees directly after it. Few more cleans recorded on this one but noticed a few lads battling with the turn. For me it was another well organised event that gave me the opportunity to test myself on my ‘new’ Honda TLR.

Great to see half a dozen youngsters who appeared to have a great time and a lovely photo of Allan with one of the lads on his bike. Really captured what trials is about no matter what your age it can be enjoyed by all.

Paul Jones – Pre 65 Novice

I always enjoy Pen Y Graig quarry and this event lived up to my expectations, I met up with the Wigan massive only to be taunted by Mr Newmans protege about looking forward to the big boys challenge and didnt reveal that he was riding his latest weapon the BSA C15. During the annual presentation including free bacon butty which cant be a bad thing, it became apparent just how big the entry just showing how this club is going from strength to strength with regular entries of above 90 riders for past few events. With all the recent rain we were no surprised that some new streams were running in the quarry where it was normally dry but they did provide some good sections.

My three favourite sections of the day were:

Section 5: As we entered the section we dropped straight into a water trough then climbed onto a camber and dropped back into the stream feeding the initial water trough exiting the stream up a slight climb around a tree then between a couple of rocks and up a final slippy bank through the end gate. This was a really nice flowing section but you couldnt be too complacent whilst riding it.

Section 9: This seemed quite a straight forward section on the face of it but I had my heart in my mouth a couple of times, we dropped in through the start gate and down a steep g gully which as the day went on became more slippy providing some excitement trying to pull the Triumph up whilst going sideways at the bottom before taking a right up a bank and out the end gate to the left.

Section 10: This was observed under the beady eye of Mr Ellis, once through the start gate we proceeded down a slight incline to round to the left where you had to be careful your front end didnt wash out as it became slippy, up another slight incline between two trees then drop down a steep shale bank, this is where Mr Dyson decided to show off with a very impressive forward somersault over his handlebars to win the observers claim to be the best of the day. I just decided no I wont try that and dropped down the back and turned right up the next bank and out the section. Being a true sportsman I wouldnt like to mention who won the big boy challenge but I was smiling the rest of the night once the results came out.

Mark Gaskell – Pre 65 Intermediate

After all the warnings about storm Jorge it was a pleasant surprise to wake to a bright, clear morning. Second surprise was to find that the farmer had made some improvements to the land giving far more parking space! The Aqueduct crew always manage to make great use of the quarry to give us 10 interesting sections, and it is difficult to narrow them down to just 3 notable ones, but these are mine. 

Section 4, Russ. Start by dropping into a bomb hole, turning right to climb out across the camber. 180 degree left and over or round a rock step, then 90 degree off camber right which tried to pull your front wheel from under you. Over a jumble of small rocks to a 180 degree left round a tree, then into the sting in the tail, a 180 degree downhill, off camber right turn before a fallen log. Around a tree and out. First three laps took a 2 and two 1’s off me, as I couldn’t manage the last element without footing, but on the last lap I put the wheels in all the right places at the right times for a clean.

Section 10, Kev. Kev didn’t have a working bike, so generously offered to observe. I tried to make his day more entertaining with my antics. A gentle roll downhill, tight to the right hand side of the section, then up an off camber slope towards a small tree. Over its roots, then turn right after it and down slope to another right, across the slope and out. Simple, yes? Lap one I tried to climb the tree, with the Triumph. This has never been successful in the past, so quite why I thought I should attempt it again is beyond me. Needless to say this was a 5. Second lap was easy, and clean. Third lap I struggled to get round the tree, and lost the front immediately after it, dumping the bike onto its side and me on my knees for a 5. To add injury to insult, I scratched the fork leg and the tank, then rolling out of the section the chain jumped off. Last lap was easy, and clean.

Section 9, Ange. I couldn’t see any green flags, so asked the observer. “No problem” she said “you follow the red, expert route!” This put us (inters) at a psychological disadvantage, as we are now scared. Down a deceptively slippery bank, then a right/left slalom round trees to a fallen log at a slight angle. Less than a bikes length after the log was a downhill right turn, hemmed in by saplings on either side, so the turn had to be made with your back wheel still on the log. Down and back up a short gully, left over some rocks and back down into the gully, tight right and blast up a steep bank to the exit. First lap, and I am surprised to find that the bike rolls perfectly over the fallen log and into the right turn with ease. So surprised that I nearly overcooked the next element, but managed to hold it for a clean. I must have been holding my breath throughout, as I felt dizzy after the end cards! Thankfully for me there is video evidence of this clean, as a few people were sceptical. Second lap and again, the log caused no problems, but I did overcook to turn to the last bank and needed a dab. Third lap and a silly dab on the deceptively slippy entry, but that doesn’t matter, as over the log I am distracted by a broken mudguard on the floor, (my excuse) and drift into the saplings on the left. These pull the bars left and furious paddling is required to get back on track for a three. Last lap and disaster! I am too far to the right before the log, and catch a sapling which pulls the bars, and therefore the bike further to the right, but I am by now going left. Over the log, without bike, and headfirst into the bushes. Five.

Superb trial, yet again. A huge thank you to all concerned.

Mark Newman – Pre 65 Intermediate

First things first, a massive thank you to Russ Geoff, Mark, and the whole team for putting on another great even that was run without any problems. Weather was cold and a couple of showers of light snow but on the whole very good.

Riding the inters on my Francis Barnett, Section 1 was wet and deep mud but totally cleanable took at dab on my first lap just because it was the first section and putting pressure on myself to do well ..you dropped into the muddy water about a foot deep up a short steep bank round a tree and back down into same mud crossit and up the opposite bank and round another tree….acrossthe muddy bit again and up a short steep bank across a chamber back into the flat muddy path to the end gates..

Section 3 Dave’s A nice flowing section up and round the trees and banks all good if you keep wide and smooth finished off with a muddy patch the up a very steep bank you had to go for it or it bit you immediate tight right turn over a nicely placed group of logs and out ….1 silly unnecessary dab on my third lap …

Section 5 Mark Sam’s I was expecting a tricky one ..but to be fair it rode really well my favourite of the day …you dropped into a good 2 feet of muddy water which has rocks and branches in it from previous experience, across and up a offset chamber upto the top sharp left back down making sure your on the left side deep mud again and having seen people dabbing and Niel stalling his bike here…then up tight around a tree over a nicely placed rock which went fine with a slight tugg on the bars…the up a loose stoney waterfall smoothness reqd here dropped back down the a short step bank to get out…lovely

Geoff Jones – Chairman

I woke, on the morning of the trial, after a restless sleep. The weather and size of the entry had been on my mind all night, but thankfully we were blessed with a dry sunny day and a large but acceptable number of riders. Everyone arrived early and were parked up ahead of our awards presentation. With a full quota of observers I was not required. I thought my day would consist of getting an overview of how things were running, and “socialising”. How wrong could I have been. I drove down into the quarry to find a queue on section 1, so I jumped in to help Izzy get the riders through. It was on this section where we had our first breakdown of the day, good job I had a tow rope in the jeep. With my foot to the floor to gain momentum, wheels spinning we negotiated the climb up the steep, slippery track. I’m not sure if the rider appreciated the tow as I had kicked up a bit of muck and he looked like he had just he’d ridden a motocross event!.

Whilst back in the farmyard I thought I would take my opportunity to partake in some light refreshment, but that was not to be, a shout came over the radio another rider had broken down, fuel issues, four stroke !!! I grabbed the first can of four stroke fuel that I could find, headed back down and met a distraught rider. Looking at his bike the realisation was that it was a two stroke not a four, so back up to the farmyard we went swapped the fuel, went back down and got him on his way.

Now time to socialise I thought, but again, how wrong could I have been. Another shout over the radio, “ where is the four stroke fuel for the broken down rider”, who would have thought that more than one rider would run out of fuel, so back up to the farmyard yet again, and down to the rescue. As I was down amongst the action, I thought I would have a drive around and check that all the observers were OK. I couldn’t believe it, another refuelling required, big Mark was hungry and wanted a bacon and cheese butty, so back up to the farmyard, again !!!!

Within the blink of an eye it seemed, the day came to an end. Flags collected, observers transported back up to the farmyard, no time left for me to socialise as we needed to load the trailer and get back home to collate the results. All in all, a hectic, enjoyable and exhausting day.

The feedback on Facebook from the riders provided a few sound bites as follows:

Thanks Aqueduct Classics for another top event and to everyone envolved will be back again – Ade Robinson

Many thanks to all at Aquaduct for putting on yet Another fantastic enjoyable trial! Also a big thanks go out to the observers without them there would be no trial….PS Thankyou to the main man Jan Geoff Jones for fetching me some fuel – Alan Dyson

Another fantastic day out in sunny Pen y Graig Quarry with the Accy Classics team. Thanks to all organisers, section setters, observers and catering for a great trial. Absolutely honoured to be awarded the Chris Davies memorial trophy for 2019. See you next time – Graham Pennington

Guys you put on a brilliant trial today, well set out great sections thanks to all the observers and all who put time and effort into a great day. Well worth the trip from not so sunny Southport. Will defo be coming down again thanks – Jeremy Clark

Top Places:

Pre 65 Expert: Paul Edwards, Drayton (9); Chris Gascoigne, Velo (43)

Pre 65 Intermediate: Roly Jones, Dot (12); Phil Alderman, Triumph (22); Mark Gaskell, Triumph (38)

Pre 65 Clubman: Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (11); Jordan Hobbis, Triumph (18 – Tie); Tim Godsmark, BSA (18 – Tie)

Pre 65 Beginner: Kevin O’Toole, Triumph (4); Paul Jones, Triumph (13); Alan Dyson, BSA (21)

Twinshock Expert: Chris Garlich, Honda (31); Mark Blackwell, Yamaha (76); Steve Shelly, Honda (76)

Twinshock Intermediate: Tim Cuffin, Majesty (19); David Matthews, Fantic (27); Jim Droughton, Majesty (31)

Twinshock Clubman: Paul Hornsby, Fantic (14); Elwyn Beedles, Bultaco (28); William Leigh, Yamaha (28)

Twinshock Beginner: No enteries

AC Mono Expert: Ben Butterworth, Hoda (18); Pete Ruscoe, Honda (22); Shaun Montford, Beta (23)

AC Mono Intermediate: Paul Cartwright, Gas Gas (36); Ian Emery, Yamaha (43); James Mylett, Honda (52)

AC Mono Clubman – No enteries

AC Mono Beginners – Tony Williams, Scorpa (25)

Modern Mono Expert: Shaun Hadlington, TRS (37); Mark Linge, Gas Gas (65); Neil Jackson, Gas Gas (78)

Modern Mono Intermediate: Mark Diggle, Sherco (16); Robert Reese, Beta (19); Nigel Sproson, Montesa (28)

Modern Mono Clubman: Paul Hadlington, TRS (1); Mike Jones, Beta (5); Gary Jones, Beta (11); Ken Williams, Beta (11)

Modern Mono Beginners: Chris Matthews, Beta (6); Alan Jones, Beta (12); Glyn Roberts, Montesa (17)

Observers:

Section 1 – Izzy

Section 2 – Mike

Section 3 – Dave

Section 4 – Russ

Section 5 – Mark

Section 6 – Roger

Section 7 – Gordon

Section 8 – Annette

Section 9 – Ange

Section 10 – Kev

Bike Stats:

Bike Classes
Pre 6524
Twinshock19
Aircooled Mono11
Modern Mono39
Total93
Routes
Expert15
Intermediate36
Clubman31
Beginner10
Bikes
Pre 65Ariel0
BSA6
DOT1
Drayton2
Francis Barnett3
James2
Triumph9
Velo1
TwinshockBeta0
Bultaco1
Chase TY1
Fantic6
Honda3
Majesty2
Montesa0
Ossa1
Yamaha1
AC MonoAprilla1
Beta1
Fantic2
GasGas1
Honda3
Montesa0
Scorpa1
Yamaha2
Modern MonoBeta16
Gas Gas12
Honda0
Montesa4
Ossa0
Oset1
Scorpa0
Sherco2
Tenaci Wong0
TRS2

Event Report – Nant Y Ffrith (Feb 20)

Event Report by Rob Sloggett, Stephen Harding, Paul Owen, Mark Gaskell, Kev Williams and Russ Jones

The first event of the year gave us a great turnout of 132 riders and traditionally Round 2 normally drops to the average run rate of 75-80 riders. It was therefore great to see a turnout of 117 bikes as we returned to Nant Y Ffrith for another crack at the great terrain which this area offers. As well as using a number of the previously tried sections (albeit with a bit of a variation), Russ and the section setters picked a couple of new spots to add to the mix. This also incorporated a nice extended ride from Section 4 to 5 then 5 to 6 to dust the cobwebs off.

The 117 entries were broken down into 41 Pre 65’s, 23 Twinshocks, 13 AC Monos and 40 Modern Monos with 22 Experts, 44 Intermediates, 34 Clubman and 17 Novices making up the distribution.

I think it was fair to say that the precipitation over night made the day challenging and whilst everything was rideable the score count on some sections and in some classes was probably higher than the norm. That is probably one of the great things about this sport, as a rider you are basically presented with a set of start gates, a set of end gates and a path in-between and regardless of what skills you have practiced before hand, that’s the route you have to ride. The skill of the course setter is to make sure that regardless of the condition changes the sections remain safe and whilst it was a tough event I hope everyone felt that a good balance was achieved.

Stephen Harding – Modern Mono Beginner/Novice

Well where do I start, first of all a massive thanks to all the team and observer’s for putting on such a great event and Chris deburger for keeping us fed and watered.

Section 1, looking up at the observer and wondered how am I going to get up there but having seen a couple of others go first I had a good go and made it up the steep banks past the tree stumps and up on to the the top and then along a narrow ledge then drop down over a large loose rock and out. Not to many dabs but really challenging for me.

Section 2, Look all the way back down a very steep slope and as you start you drop off a very slippery rock and straight down in to a bit of a dip up and over some slippery roots and down to the exit.

Section 4, A bit of a tough one for me from the start, you have to navigate past a large stone and tight right then almost full lock left and up over a small wall and tight right back then up inbetween two trees and tight left back out of the section not my favourite but a good one, them out for a fairly long slippery ride all the way down to 5

Section 6, A bit of a steep bank up to the start where Sue had her beady eye on the job, an up hill start then dropped in tight left down in to a bit of a dip tight right back up the hill past some tree stumps and out straight on to.

Section 7 where Geoff was standing at the top of another steep climb, from the start you have to gas it up over the first bank then straight away get back on the gas up the steep banks past a long log then up past Geoff and out of the section over the wall and back on to the track.

All in all a great days riding with some great people cheers acc.

Russ Jones – Pre 65 Expert, Clerk of the Course and Red route setter

It’s very rare I get a chance to ride our trials due to lack of observers so here it goes…. The week leading up to the event I was thinking of a lap in my head due to a big entry in the first trial of the year. After communicating with Mark Samuel via phone calls we came up with a plan, so up 7.30 Saturday morning dogs in tow load buggy with equipment and on the trailer she goes. Off we go to Nant Y Frith meeting Rob Slogget and Mark in a very cold and windy forest but very dry we soon battled the elements put against us the ten sections were plotted in with a nice long lap.

Sunday morning soon comes around after listening to the rain and wind thinking of the days sections ahead what can I do ease them off?? Sunday morning we arrive early at the forest only to get out of the car to listen to the trailer tyre going down (yes I caught and split the tyre). I eventually get the trailer off to be reversing back and caught my bloody bumper on the buggy trailer causing a little damage can the day get any better?

YES. 117 riders turning up . So after the briefing and a minute silence for John Cruchlow it was helmet on and ready to ride. So off to sections I go, I’m going to write about two, three and four.

Section 2 – was quite a simple down a slab down a long right hand turn with a fallen tree to the left of us, after walking the section back to my bike thinking of a different line I’d seen, so in I go dropping off a rock I caught my foot rest resulting in my foot down but managed to hang on to it for the rest of the section which was down a Bank tight turn around a tree and out through the end gates.

On to Section 3 – as I arrived there quite a few red route riders shaking their heads at me so off I walk it with abit of banter on the way it was a steep climb up turning left across a off camber going through some trees was quite a hairy drop down then the rest was quite straight forward. Back to bike with red route riders still standing there I was thinking I need to clean this, so Gorden calls me in up I went and holding on very tight to survive the roller coaster drop but to my amazement I went round for a clean.

Section 4 – was in through the gates up a little wall with a right hand turn dropping back off it then into a bomb hole which caused a few problems for some riders you had to get the rut bang on. After the bomb hole was a little wall to climb up then an off camber bank through some tight twisty trees stood there for a while watching and thought shit or bust! On bike off through the start cards managed the bomb hole, going up off camber bank had two silly dabs the only time I cleaned was last lap.

I hope you all enjoyed the trial was a very tricky day but with the rain poor during the night there wasn’t much else we could of done. Thank you keep your feet up ….

Paul Owen – Pre 65 Expert

This took place on the hills high above Wrexham town. We had rain the night before so I knew it was going to be challenging as a lot of it is in the woods and the roots and rocks always stay slippy. 6 weeks early I’d hurt my wrist and have been struggling as I’d broken it many years ago. Yes old age catching up to me (ha-ha). I was contemplating dropping back to greens but said sod it let’s stick with reds and try and learn off the experts and was great to see 110+ riders ready to tackle the tricky sections.

So here are 3 of my favorite sections.

Section 1. I thought this section would be gentle to ease you into the trial. How wrong was I! You entered the start gate and had to turn left to get a tightish right turn up a meter high rock and immediately into a tight left as soon as the front wheel landed. You threaded your way between two trees with slippy roots and then up a bank and over a rock. Turn right across a someone roots and drop into a dip with a sharp left turn and then squeeze between two trees and over a slippy set of roots to a steep incline of a mossy slippy rock face with a groove in it for some grip. If you got that wrong it was a 5 all day long that I found out later in the event. As you crested the rise there was a meter drop off or you could opt for the smaller step down that was going to catch your cases and pegs and send you straight into a tree. Then a right turn and a left up a small rise. Over a few rocks and a tree then to the out gate.

Section 5. This section was at the far end of the trial and a good mile or two of narrow dirt track riding that was muddy rocky and slippy as I found out as I lost my front wheel and slid into a big thorn bush (ha-ha again). and all this before you got to section 5. I liked this section, as you rode into it and a tight right turn up a bank and back down an off camber to a right then left around a tree and a tight right hander up a 3 meter steep bank with a left turn and drop back down a vertical drop to the out gate. I cleaned it 4 times but managed to hurt my wrist again on that final drop off but the top lads made it look so easy. Think I need to possibly move my bars or something to find a smoother ride.

Section 7. You climbed back up the wooded lane about a mile and almost back to the paddock. This section was in the woods and you rode through the rocky remains and footings of a old cottage or quarry house . It was all up a steep hill. We started on the right and up the bank to a left turn between 2 trees. And into what looked like a doorway. With a little shimmy to the left over some rocks and up a short steep climb of what seemed like the old rocky stairs and a sharp turn right to another level and out the side door to a slippy rooted greasy bank as you had to turn left and climb to the out gate. I think this section got worse with the roots and big rocks moving so your line changed every lap. I actually had a lay down twice in the top bedroom on this section!

All in all it was another great trial set out by a great friendly club. Big thanks for the observers for there time as well and well done to the winners and all who competed as they all looked tired but still smiling at the end for the post trials banta. Hope to see you all at round 3 of Aqueduct Classic Trials

Kev Williams – Pre 65 Inters

The day started with a 5 minute trip up the road to my local Nant y Ffrith so I was there on the ball to have a cup of tea and admire some stunning machines and have a few chats then before I knew it a hour and half had flown by then it was time for briefing off Russ and Mark then off we go.

Section 1: Starting with a right hand turn up a bank over slippy roots then kept gradually climbing and weaving in and out of the trees with the odd hole and exposed tree stump to try and catch you out then when you got to the top there was a foot high rock to jump off through the out gate.

Section 3:This one you approached with a gentle climb turning to the left around a tree then dropping into a little gully then over some tricky positioned rocks up a bank then as soon as you got to the top it dropped back down around a tree to the left and over some really slippery exposed roots while trying to get over to the left for the out gate.

Section 7:Another gentle climb along to the left then a tight right 180 degree turn then in to a old ruin over some loose rocks then out the other side then turning left up a steep bank with exposed roots but seemed to be plenty of grip.

All in all a great day sections were spot on and a big thanks to all observers and all Aqueduct team and everyone involved.

Mark Gaskell – Pre 65 Inters

After my first ride at Nant Ffrith last year, I was really looking forward to seeing what the Aqueduct crew had got in store for us this time. It has quickly become one of my favourite venues. Apparently with quite a few other people too! “Green” Intermediate route, Drayton Triumph Twin. Riding with Mark Newman, also on the green route, and Tim Godsmark on the yellow.

Section 3, Gordon. A reverse of last years section, the two main elements being the off camber gully that needed the front wheel to be in the right place, but you couldn’t see it until you crested the rise beforehand, and the rooty left hand plummet at the end. There was a final sneaky little left to stop riders from launching off the top and avoiding all the slippery roots. This concentrated the mind, but the Triumph handled it better than I did. On the third lap my front wheel went a tad off line, which resulted in a wide eyed panic stricken two, and a chuckle from Gordon.

Section 4, Dave. On first inspection, this looked easy. It wasn’t! Through the cards then up a low crumbling stone wall, immediately turn right between two trees and back down crumbling stone wall, which changes each lap. Left and over ruined remains of stone wall, then immediate right before a tree. Roll down to ride into an uphill left bank which got rougher and looser each lap. If you lined each element up perfectly it went smoothly, get one slightly wrong and it went to pot. One saving dab doesn’t reflect how hard I found this section!

Section 6, Suzanne. Again, looked easy. Cost me the most marks of the trial! Gentle climb to a 180 degree left, down a steep 6 foot bank with exposed tree roots, to an immediate 180 degree right on loose sandy soil, and back up the bank to the end. On the first lap I stretched a long single dab on the right turn to keep the plot upright. On the second lap I tried to manage without the dab, and dropped three instead as I nearly missed the turn. On lap three I thought I had managed it, but lost two more marks when I hadn’t. Last lap, and a different line at the top to give a wider line into the right turn, and I tucked the front wheel by not leaning the bike far enough over and fived it.

Section 7, Geoff. An old ruin on a hill  [Ed… the section of Geoff?] . From the start, up a gentle slope, through the front door of the hut, over a jumble of rocks and out through what would have been the window. Left before a large log and then climb up a steep bank to the end. On the first lap, the bike didn’t go where I expected over the rocks and needed 2 to recover. On the second lap I took 2 to be safe. On lap three, I approached too cautiously and stalled for an annoying 5. On the last lap it rode as if it were a motorway for a clean. Geoff asked why I couldn’t have done that before? I couldn’t answer as I had held my breath throughout the section and had now gone faint!

Brilliant trial, thanks again to all involved in the organising, setting and running of the event.

Rob Sloggett – Twinshock Inters

After a bit of a break from riding and getting my legs back on the clubman route it was time to hop back into the Inters and push myself to start chasing the middle of the pack from the lower end. 40 marks dropped on the day was only about 15 marks off the middle and a silly 5 and quite a few needless dabs (with the odd 3) made me comfortable that its possible this year and to be honest for me that is what the sport is about. Man and machine against the section and striving for personal improvements each time you go out. So what were my favorites of the day?

Well you have to start with Section 1 kindly observed by Ian and the route as reported by Kev above. This for me epitomizes the sport! Having dropped silly dabs and threes on much lesser sections this complex entry and flowing turning climb laced with roots and rocks should have taken marks, but for me I only dropped a single dab all the way and it was such a great feeling nailing the entry into this section each time, especially as it deteriorated as the day went on. Its quite interesting looking as the marks dropped on this section across the bike types with Modern Monos having a much higher level of dropped marks as an average per rider on the Inter route?

For something a bit different, you had to look to Section 4 (Dave). This seemed simple. A straight entry towards a rock step but with scattered embedded rocks prevented a clean line. Tight right turn on the flat then drop down at a diagonal across the bank. Turn left but with a set of rocks that regularly moved so never the same path each lap. Now the first rub, two choices, a small step up the bank and tight turn right or try and squeeze both wheels through a nine inch gap between the flags and the step, without running over the flags for a 5! Once through that, a sweeping left hand up a bank, cresting then running out toward the end cards. This took 9 marks from me through out the day, mainly as singles through the section but over the 4 laps I learnt two things. Russ once coached me “if you can its better to ride over something than around it to get the straighter line” and for the entry to the first rock step, whilst the run in had a long rock at a 45 deg angle it was not high and set far enough back not to impede the area where the wheel needed to be lifted. This allowed me regular cleans at that part of the section, The final banked turn seemed to be where I was loosing marks and playing around between first and second across the laps taught me that the shorter gear favored this part as I carried much less speed albeit using the higher part of the rev range. I an sure the last 2 laps saw me at least clean on this part as well.

Finally Section 10, which was Petes section. This one, I was out of kilter with the rest of my class, losing 6 marks (3 on the last lap!) compared to mostly cleans across my class. Once again a simple, unimposing section with a cross camber run in, traverse a ridge downhill, a right hand turn still downhill over some roots then a longish climb up a bank which scrubbed out as the day went on. As the last section on the last lap of the day I an still unsure what happened! The final bank just turned into a dabfest! at least 3 up the bank where before I had cleaned it. Probably totally not committed at the bottom…

All in all a great days competition. Some sections had single elements that were highly challenging such as the final exit on Sec 3, others looked tight and mark takers but once in the section rode very well. I am slowly getting use to the Majesty after years on the Bultaco and will be staying on that bike for this year. Thanks to Mark for setting the Green route, you certainly made it interesting and thanks for not putting the exit drop the same as Red on Sec 5! Observers, as always a huge thanks and to all the other people who make this happen, 117 riders on the day must mean you continue to do the right thing each time.

The feedback on Facebook from the riders provided a few sound bites as follows:

Mega trial today absolutely loved it can’t wait for the next 1 – Chris Garlick

BIG thanks to all the Aqueduct team especially the set up crew for the really fantastic sections, the observers for being out in the cold for so long and the De Burger team for the fantatic service, as always with a smile, great day was had by all, already looking forword to the next one. PS so much mud on the bikes, feel like i took part of the event home with me, should mayby offer to return to the land owner fantastic site love that place – Jeff Hughes

Great trial today some brilliant section and some buttock clinching ones !!. Thanks to all the organisers and marshalls – Mark Lucas

It looks like the next event on the 1st March is at Pen Y Graig Quarry. Round 3 of the Championship. Also make a note in your diary for 17th May. If you are not riding the Kia round, the club will need 20 observers plus a few spare if any of the sections are long and would run best with 2 observers. If you can help out, please let the team know as quickly as possible.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Expert: Jim Hough, Ariel (20); James Francis, BSA (21); Russ Jones, Francis Barnett (25)

Pre 65 Intermediate: Simon Thornley, BSA (1); Carl Winstanley, James (4); Peter Edwards, Drayon Bantam (10)

Pre 65 Clubman: Graham Miller, Triumph (9); Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (14); Mike Hughes, Triumph (23)

Pre 65 Beginner: Graham Turner, Triumph (42); Kevin O’Toole, Triumph (44); Alan Dyson, BSA (56)

Twinshock Expert: Paul Smart, Fantic (24); Dave Wood, Ossa (27); Chris Garlich, Honda (34)

Twinshock Intermediate: Tim Cuffin, Yamaha (5); Josh Matthews, Fantic (6); Dave Matthews, Bultaco (7)

Twinshock Clubman: Stephen Knight, Fantic (3); Perry Tatum, Fantic (25); Ian Thomas, Bultaco (35)

Twinshock Beginner: William Leigh, Yamaha (20)

AC Mono Expert: Pete Ruscoe, Honda (7); Robin Foulkes, Yamaha (73)

AC Mono Intermediate: Paul Young, Gas Gas (10); Shawn Mountford, Beta (13); Martin Powell, Honda (20)

AC Mono Clubman – No enteries

AC Mono Beginners – No enteries

Modern Mono Expert: Colin Sagar, Beta (16); Dan Charles, Beta (68); Steve Williams, Tenachi Wong (72)

Modern Mono Intermediate: David Ellis, Beta (15); Hayden Rainforn, Montesa (15); Nigel Sproson, Montesa (21)

Modern Mono Clubman: Steve Sherwin, GasGas (17); Ken Williams, Montesa (18); Mark Kelly, Honda (21)

Modern Mono Beginners: Sean Halstead, Gas Gas (20); Charlotte Bloor, Gas Gas (27); Alan Jones, Beta (29)

Observers:

Section 1 – Ian Jones

Section 2 – Annette

Section 3 – Gordon

Section 4 – Dave

Section 5 – Mark

Section 6 – Suzanne

Section 7 – Geoff

Section 8 – Izzy

Section 9 – Chris

Section 10 – Pete Thomas

Bike Stats:

Bike Classes
Pre 6541
Twinshock23
Aircooled Mono13
Modern Mono40
Total117
Routes
Expert13
Intermediate44
Clubman34
Beginner17
Bikes
Pre 65Ariel1
BSA18
DOT2
Drayton2
Francis Barnett3
James2
Triumph13
TwinshockBeta0
Bultaco4
Fantic6
Honda4
Majesty2
Montesa1
Ossa2
Yamaha3
AC MonoAprilla1
Beta1
Fantic2
GasGas2
Honda2
Montesa2
Yamaha4
Modern MonoBeta13
Gas Gas10
Honda3
Montesa6
Ossa0
Scorpa2
Sherco2
Tenaci Wong1
TRS2

Event Report – Nant Mawr (Jan 20)

Event Report by Rob Sloggett, Paul Owen and Ian Emery

The first event of the year has become a bit unpredicatable. Only in the way that the normal entry is in the mid 80’s but for some reason last few saw over 100 riders sign on. For some reason Russ had “a feeling in his water” that this event was going to top that so picked the brilliant Nant Mawr Quarry as the January venue again. Luckily the natural hardstanding bowl in the centre of the venue can accomodate a large number of vehicles regardless of the weather so its the ideal choice.

Well he got his prediction spot on because 132 riders signed on (up from 104 the year before) and these were broken down into 40 Pre 65’s, 30 Twinshocks, 24 AC Monos and 48 Modern Monos with 34 Experts, 37 Intermediates, 46 Clubman and 15 Novices making up the distribution.

Whilst the ratio of modern bikes was quite high, the last few events has seem a number of newcomers to the sport and obviously the forgiving nature of a modern bike on sections laid out mainly for the Pre 65 and Twinshock scene is a great way to ease yourself in. Aqueduct has always welcomed the modern bike scene into the events (obvously with the hope that at some point the rider will “see the light”, sell their modern bike and buy a nice Twinshock or Pre 65). But that is not compulsory…. the friendly nature of the club is just happy to see riders having a good days sport on whatever they are happy riding.

Paul Owen – Pre 65 Expert

A early January crisp winter morning saw the 2020 aqueduct classic trials kick off. I’d decided to move up to the expert red route from the greens after clinching the championship a few times now. I knew it was going to be a big learning curve for me and with 130+ competitors turning up that morning, I had a look around to see some very experienced expert riders. Here are 3 of the 10 sections I did.

Section 1. This was a muddy entrance and across a small slippy bank. Then you dropped across the water and out up a bank to a immediate right turn and a off camber climb up a muddy bank to the top and then a very tight right hand turn down where I thought I was going over the bars every lap. And as you just got it stoped you turned sharp left on a small steep drop into the water and then turn right to the out gate.

Section 5. I was dreading this section as it was a big challenge for me. You dropped in right after the start gate and with a tight left turn in the slippy mud it was straight up a very steep bank as you had to turn sharp right on the off camber around a big massive rock and plunge back down to the flat. I suppose it wasnt bad but was something new for me with moving up. As you slowed at the bottom you turned left between a log and rock and gentle back up a mound. Around a tree and out to the exit.

Section 8. This one looked impossible for me but I gave it a go. You started on the quarry path and rode over a big mound as you dropped to a tight left then right as you climbed up some big rocks and then with a sharp left and keeping the clutch covered with high revs you either skipped up them or found every holes going like I did. Just as you got out, there was a sharp right turn and you followed the path along to the right and over a few more rock to the out gate.

This was a cracking trial and a great venue at Nant Mawr quarry in Oswestry. A big thanks to the observers and the club officials for a great start to 2020 and to burn off some excess turkey. Happy New Year everyone .

Ian Emery – AC Mono Inter

Here’s a few of Sunday’s sections which stick in my mind for good and bad reasons………

Section 1: this started with a cross camber traverse alongside fairly deep water filled ditch, to then turn 90 right dropping off the bank, into the water and out the other side, climbing the bank and round a slippy, rooty tree. A steep descent followed dropping sharply into the ditch which had a dog-leg left right where you had to be careful the far bank didn’t grab the front wheel and halt progress. I watched a few people slip off the first camber into the water which made the climb out and up the hill impossible. First section, first lap, always a bit nervous, but managed a steady clean which I repeated each lap.

Section 2: tricky one this one. Started with a drop into the gulley bearing slightly left to then fire up the far embankment and swoop round a tree to the right. A descent followed with a drop back into the gulley and a bike’s length u-turn up a 2 foot rooty step and round and out. The turn round the tree was technically very hard. You needed enough speed to get round the turn wall-of-death style. Too slow and your right hip or footrest would hit the tree, too fast and the front wheel would float and you needed it to be on the ground to traverse the camber. Oh, and just as you were climbing there was an exposed root on the turn meaning if you had any power on you would spin to a sudden halt and crash into the tree. First lap I rode round on the back wheel but couldn’t control the planting of the front wheel back on the ground as the camber fell away without a steadying dab. Following laps I got it right twice and needed a dab again for a high front wheel. Overall very pleased with a score of 2.

Section 3: another one where you had to be careful. Started with a left turn and steep climb dropping onto a grooved track of slippy grey clay. A 90 right turn was required which was tricky to keep the front flowing before going up and over a hump. A cross camber followed where you needed full control of the front to place the wheel in a narrow slot as the traverse continued. The bank on the left was very steep and offered no traction and the slot was beginning to collapse only being held in place by a small sapling which threatened to snag your right hand as you passed carefully through. It really was like tip-toeing through with gentle throttle only. If you got through OK a tight right followed with a sneaky dog-leg just before the ends. Happy with 1 for the day.

Section 7: My nemesis! Technically didn’t look that hard but cost me a lot of marks. Started with a 90 right had to done as a left right 270 as you needed to gain a bit of clear ground before shooting up across a flat rock slab on the hillside followed by a long left turn over a jumble of loose rocks, still climbing before turning back down. First lap I just didn’t have enough momentum and escaped with a 2, second lap even worse with a 3 losing speed and chucking rocks out behind, third lap much more speed but hit a displaced rock with the front and ran over a marker for a 5, last lap rode it like a main rode clean asking myself why I couldn’t have done that previously.

Section 8: Geoff on duty, better not mess up. Started with a climb up and over a steep embankment with a 90 left followed by 90 right, to then climb a series of big jagged rock slabs, up round a high flag on loose gravel before dropping back down over more big rocks and out. Got it right 3 times but needed a 1 once when I slipped off my rear brake pedal on the descent down from the front which messed me up for lining up for the rocky climb. Lucky to escape with a 1. Section 10: didn’t like this one either. Too many big rocks, too many big holes between the big rocks. All in the wrong place in relation to each other and where my wheels were at any point in time. Rode the Yam round like a pogo-stick gritting my teeth.

Happy with my score though, couldn’t have done better. All in all, a really good day. Thanks as usual to the section setters, observers and results team.

The feedback on Facebook from the riders provided a few sound bites as follows:

Well!! What can I say about last weekend?!! The turn out of riders was unbelievable!! Fantastic sections as always My first time riding intermediate, dropping 43 marks which I think was ok for my first time! Even tho I had a bit of a crash on section 2 on first lap But thanks to whoever picked me and bike up? As it’s still a bit of a blur!!? Got some bumps and bruises but the bike didn’t even get a single scratch! “cheers Russ for helping me ride a better line after” as I managed to do it lap 3 and 4. I am already looking forward to the next trial next month!! Massive thanks once again to all the observers!! – David Williams

Great trial today well worth traveling to it, big thanks to all involved and to the observers. Well done will be down again for sure. Cheers – Jeremy Clark

What a brilliant trial today . The green route was just testing enough for me cleaned most of the sections once and then made some mistakes the next time. Section 10 was my bad one but bloody brilliant. Thanks to all organisers and Marshalls for a Bostin day – Mark Lucas

Well that sort of round off the event report for the first comp of the year. We are always rooking for riders to provide copy and as you can see from the reports above, they are very personal and different and thats what we like…. different. So after the next few events, if you have enjoyed reading this, why don’t you put 30 mins in your diary to write a short report. I mean the observers stand around for a full day so its not a lot to give back for a day sport is it……

Top Places:

Pre 65 Expert: Phil Houghton, Triumph (7) tied with James Francis, BAS (7), Chris Chell, BSA (10), Tony Gush, DOT (10)

Pre 65 Intermediate: Simon Thornley, BSA (3); Sam Alderman, BSA (10); Peter Edwards, BSA (16)

Pre 65 Clubman: Chris Forshaw, BSA (0); Roger Smith, BSA (2); Peter Elvidge, BSA (2)

Pre 65 Beginner: Alan Dyson, BSA (18); Graham Turner, Triumph (18); Chris Atherton, BSA (44)

Twinshock Expert: Chris Garlic, Fantic (7); Paul SMart, Fantic (13); Dave Wood, Bultaco (29)

Twinshock Intermediate: Paul Cook, Montesa (8); Andy Cope, Fantic (12); Mark Blackwell, Yamaha (14)

Twinshock Clubman: Tom Houghton, Honda (1); William Leigh, Majesty (5); Graham Pennington, Ossa (8)

Twinshock Beginner: James Griffiths, Yamaha (10)

AC Mono Expert: Pete Ruscoe, Honda (14); Jim Williams, Honda (35); Stephen Burgess, Montesa (43)

AC Mono Intermediate: Paul Cartwright, Gas Gas (15); Shaun Mountford, Beta (22); Paul Young, Gas Gas (22)

AC Mono Clubman – No starters

AC Mono Beginners – No finishers

Modern Mono Expert: Daz Miller, Gas Gas (7); Jake Jones, Beta (12); Ian Jones, Yamaha (19)

Modern Mono Intermediate: Dave Ellis, Beta (8); Paul Hempkins, Gas Gas (13); Jack Curwell, Gas Gas (14)

Modern Mono Clubman: John Hunt (2); Mark Tagg, TRS (5); Timothy Crampton, Montesa (9)

Modern Mono Beginners: Mike Jones, Beta (4); Sean Halstead, Gas Gas (7); Chris Matthews, Beta (8)

Observers:

Section 1 – Suzanne

Section 2 – Elwyn

Section 3 – Dave

Section 4 – Mark

Section 5 – Mike

Section 6 – Annette

Section 7 – Gordon

Section 8 – Geoff

Section 9 – Izzy

Section 10 – Ian

Bike Stats:

Bike Classes
Pre 6540
Twinshock30
Aircooled Mono14
Modern Mono48
Total132
Routes
Expert34
Intermediate37
Clubman46
Beginner15
Bikes
Pre 65Ariel1
BSA18
DOT2
Drayton1
Francis Barnett2
James1
Triumph13
TwinshockBeta1
Bultaco3
Fantic10
Honda5
Majesty1
Montesa5
Ossa1
Yamaha5
AC MonoBeta2
Fantic1
GasGas2
Honda2
Montesa1
Yamaha5
Unlisted1
Modern MonoBeta13
Gas Gas15
Honda1
Montesa5
Ossa1
Scorpa2
Sherco2
Tenaci Wong1
TRS3
Yamaha1
Unlisted4