Category Archives: Event Report

Event Report – Nant Mawr Quarry 090122

The first event of the year is always a good indicator of how the season is going to pan out and Aqueduct tend to favour Nant Mawr Quarry for the January event due to the large parking area and the fact that if the weather is bad, you dont need to tow cars out of a muddy field!

Whilst Wales was operating under restricted Covid restrictions, fortunately this venue was just over the English border and whilst the club still maintained its good Covid protocols, its OK for me to report that 99 riders turned up without fears of a Chester FC type investigation happening!

The 99 riders were spread out over 26 Pre 65, 27 Twinshock, 18 AC Mono and 28 Modern Monos. The Expert route was contested by a brilliant tally of 23 riders with 39 running on the Intermediate route. The clubman class had a healthy 37 riders and those up and coming novices took the final 7 spots

Steve Harding – Modern Mono / Clubman

First of all I’d like to say a big thanks to everyone involved in setting up another great trial, especially Russ and Mark for spending a day in the rain on Saturday to set up the sections for all of us to enjoy on Sunday. So  a huge thanks to all the team and observer’s for braving the cold so we could have a trial on Sunday, and not forgetting Chris Deburger for keeping us fed and watered throughout the day.


Upon arrival we were met by Paul and Sue to guide us to our parking space, then a bit of time to get the bike and myself sorted for the day, a decent brew and a bacon butty off Chris Deburger and get signed on and collect my bib off the girls and ready for the day,. It was a cold but sunny morning so perfect conditions for the trial, all of the sections were spot on, some forgiving and then some tough ones, so here are some of my favourite sections of the day. 

Section 1: A bit of a queue, but it soon went down. You start off from the top of a steep bank, so slow past the start gate and down a very steep slippery slope towards a large pool of water trying to avoid the deep ruts into the water and then back out up a bit of a slippery muddy bank and then a bit of a tight right on a slippery off camber bank in-between two trees and then follow the ridge between two more trees. Drop back down into the water over some deep ruts and then a tight left back up a bank on to a very slippy surface and almost stop to turn tight right again and out of the section, tough but I enjoyed it,  

Section 7: Sue on watch. So you start off from a bit of a bank then straight into the section and turn a bit of a left and then right straight up a slightly slippery slope and over some roots up a bank and then a bit of a tight left on an off camber bank and follow it along to a tree and a tight left again and drop back down into the bottom of the section, then head towards a tree and a large rock and turn tight right between them ,and it was tight then back up a slippery bank and left through the end markers trying to avoid the deep ruts to put you off, another good section. 

Section 8: You follow on from 7 along a bit of a ridge and the stop before the start of section 8 in a bit of a deep muddy puddle,  you start off from the mud and through the start gate then  straight away turn left up a bit of a step and turn tight right again and head up a very steep slope and over the tree roots and keep right as it levelled out a bit before going up again and choose left or right to pass a large rock and the over a few small rocks turning left and then drop back down the slippery slope and turn tight right and out , I messed it up the 1st 3 laps but some good advice from Mark and I cleared it on the 4th lap,  

Overall I had a great day riding with Tony Williams, only us 2 from our normal crew but enjoyed it, Massive thanks to everyone involved and look forward to the next one.

Wal Cope – Twinshock / Intermediate

I guess the invisibility cloak worked well – I reckoned I’d dropped 6 but the results said 4 – definitely not complaining! I won’t mention where the cloak worked. 

Last time I rode an Aqueduct trial was before furlough and Covid 19 was in most of our vocabularies, when a huge entry turned up at Nant Mawr. I remembered enjoying the intermediate route that day so thought I would have another go.

Starting at section 9 (so I wouldn’t forget – last number on my bib) I was clean for the first 3 sections, but dropped a dab on the first rocks of section 3. This section proved by nemesis as I lost half my marks here.

Next dab went down on the very slippy middle turn of section 7 on the first lap, but the annoying one was section 6. 3 cleans taking the tight line on the first turn, but sat in the queue on the last lap, everyone was taking their front wheel outside the rock and rear inside, so thought I would do the same. Down went the right foot – should have stayed on my line!

Favourite section for me was number 8 – the blast over and between the rocks on the way up needed a good attack after getting the corner right at the bottom – 4 cleans was very satisfying!

Maybe the inter route was a bit easy for me – I’ve upgraded to the hard route at Red Rose so maybe next time out I’ll do the same at Aqueduct.

Thanks for a great day out, especially to the observers who stood out in the cold but kept smiling! 

See you next time.

Richard Osborn – Modern Mono / Intermediate

Arriving at the venue on a cold, bright, sunny Sunday morning in January you are met by what can only be described as an amazing view, the intimidating slabs of rock rising high above the car parking area forming an impressive arena. The quarry is a change to the other Aqueduct venues which tend to be more wooded areas, therefore the quarry offered an interesting mix of sections over rock, water, mud and shale. 

Section 1: At first the section looks pretty straight forward, but after walking the section it becomes apparent that there are some tricky bits. The initial drop down the bank seems ok, but then you find that the ground offers little resistance, at the bottom of the bank there was a tight little turn over a hidden tree root that caught a few people out resulting in a silly dab (me included). Once the turn and the root had been negotiated it was up and over a small incline in to the water. Out of the water and in to a tight turn between a couple of trees. A tree root sticking out in between the trees focused the mind before a muddy incline and tight left turn took you out of the section. The mud got increasingly deeper during the day meaning each lap was slightly different. 

Section 2: A completely different terrain to section 1. The start gate for section 2 raised questions regarding the new AMCA rules regarding the front wheel entering the section as it was proving difficult to undertake a standing start at the gate without poking a tyre past the flags. Therefore, it seemed better to start the section from further down the bank and enter the section a bit blind. The section started with a left hand turn in to a rocky ‘trench’ before turning right across the path which gave a little bit of respite before launching across a series of greasy rocks. I found out that any hesitation resulted in walking the bike through the rest of the section for a big 3. Once the rocks had been mastered, a 90 degree turn round a tree led to the exit gates. 

Section 3: The start gate was at the top of a steep rise that meant caution was the best approach before tackling a series of pointy rocks. I think I picked a different route over the rocks on each lap. Once over the rocks there was a tight left and right over loose shale followed by a tight left handed turn down over more pointy rocks, the tight right at the bottom of the rocks was surprisingly difficult as the bike had to be threaded between two rocks that offered the ideal place for a dab …..or two. 

Section 4 : Up the bank to the next level of the quarry led to the next section, and like section 3 the section offered a variety of pointy rocks to bounce off. A slight right turn led across loose rocks which meant that momentum was the key, hesitation over the rocks resulted in another embarrassing 3 as the bike was walked over the obstacles. Then just as you could see the exit flags, a big rock in the middle of the route that seemed to move to a different place on every lap, would catch the front wheel and lead to a silly dab as the front left the section, but as new AMCA rules were applied, what would have been a clean resulted in a big fat 1!

Section 5: Initially looked an easy clean, a rise through some pretty stable rocks led to a right hand turn around a tree, but this is where the terrain changed from rock to a shale down hill section. With the back wheel locked, the front needed to be threaded to the left between rocks before you could relax and exit the section.  

Section 6: This section was hidden away further down the quarry and the technical aspect of the section meant that queues started to form on the first lap. However, the position of the section meant that riders could look down on the section whilst queuing so they could pick their line. The section was short and tricky, with tight turns over rocks which meant that total commitment to a line was required, any change in route seemed to result in a dab or three as I found out.

Section 7: Now we were out of the rocky part of the quarry, we were back to muddy sections. Section 7 was a series of tricky tight turns that tested the rider but the terrain offered surprisingly grippy conditions. The final left turn required lots of concentration as the front wheel needed to be lifted over a slippery rock and tree root to successfully exit the section with a clean. 

Section 8: For me this was the most difficult section of all. A quagmire of mud and water needed to be negotiated before you even entered the section. Once in, a tight right handed up hill section required a bit of beans to get over the rock step, before making another tight right hand turn which required less speed and more precision. I got caught out twice by excessive use of the throttle on the first step resulting in both feet down to stop me ploughing into a tree. Once the second right hander had been negotiated, a smooth left handed turn around a tree led to an easy down hill section and out. 

Section 9: Where was the observer ?? A strategically placed van offered the perfect spot for the observer to view the short, muddy section. After picking your way through thick mud and water, the uphill left hand turn was tricky and required lots of smooth throttle control and shifting balance (and a tongue out of the side of the mouth) in order to keep the forward momentum. Once at the top of the turn eyes were focused on the greasy tree root running across the path, a little hop of the front wheel cleared the root, a tight left hand turn led in to a water filled ditch and out. 

Section 10: The terrain could not get any different to sections 1 – 6 ! Mud, water, tree roots, Section 10 had it all. The section started with a steep muddy incline and left around a tree on to a traverse across the bank and over a tree stump, then a tight left hand turn took you down to the water. There were a couple of routes to choose from in order to exit the section, but by the 3rd lap, I realised that the slow route straight through the water was better than trying to keep to the edges. A steep muddy step up the bank on the other side led to the end of the section and the end of the lap. 

Some tricky sections and a mix of terrain meant that it was a great trial. I’ve only ridden the venue once before but I hope it becomes a regular on the calendar, maybe a summer trial with Chris de Burger on the BBQ would be an idea!

Paul Owen – Pre 65 / Intermediate Route

Nant mawr quarry . This is always a full entry with it being the first event of the year and in the unique setting of the high walled dish shaped rock quarry. With 100 riders on bikes from pre65 to modern it was going to be another excellent event by the club. Here is 3 of my best and worse sections in the green intermediate class.

I dropped 4 marks on Section 2 . It was very challenging on a rocky terrain. You entered the start gate to the left and across a path with a rock sticking out that could easy take a dab off you. You then dropped into a dip then over a lot of bigger rocks that if you got it right you would just skip over then. But get the first one wrong and you got them all wrong. Twice I messed up and I manage to get my foot trapped in the rocks and as I was falling I hit the tree that squashed m fyingers covering the clutch. My hand slipped off the clutch and bars and the bike shot forward with the kickstart digging in my calf muscle but it also released my foot from the rocks. Lucky I still stayed upright and kept moving forward around the tree and out to the exit gate. This happened on lap 1, section 2. I knew it would be a long painful day after that (haha). I still have a nice bruised leg days after.

Section 5 was another rocky section. It was a simple easy section as you rode up a bank, turn right ,drop down to a left hander then out. But it was all loose rocks and so unpredictable as to where it will kick you on the climb up and down. I managed to stall the bike as I dropped down the bank just because I’d give it to much back brake as the front wanted to slide from underneath me. So that was another 5 marks to my score. But I wasn’t the only one picking up big marks on that section.

Section 7 was very challenging as you started off and up a muddy greasy bank over a big tree root. You had a very tight left hander off camber turn back down the muddy bank and straight into a tight right hand turn on the flat but the mud was slippy and so easy to tuck the front . Then it was up another bank and left hand turn but this time it had a steeper drop and with no run off you were onto some slippy rocks that you had to turn sharp right and over a rock and log then out to the exit gate. I had no dramas on that as the old bantam has a good tight steering lock. I dropped 11 marks from a possible total of 200.

I was hurting and aching after a poor first lap, but I was happy with the results as I came 2nd in class. Actually 3 of us were on 11 points .

Big thanks to the club and the observers for a great day.

This is why we ask riders to contribute to the event report… remember, 10 people like this kindly sit out in all weathers to allow us to do our days sport…..

Chris Garlick – AC Mono / Expert

Nant Mawr Quarry is one of the best venues I have rode at, possibly my favourite. I dont know if this is because I have raced Enduros there and driving into the quarry bought back memories or the fact that it has a variety of sections from deep water to muddy banks and roots, to big dry dry rocks and slippy ones. It really has a bit of everything.

Sunday saw a good turn out of riders, all ready to do battle but not before getting a bite to eat from Chris DeBurger who’s food is always on point. At signing on we were greeted by the usual smiling Aqueduct team who are always great to chat with and always helpful.

Section 1 was a steady one to get us warmed up, made up of muddy banks with rocks before diving into some deep water. The bottom of it felt solid enough but just before getting back onto the banking and going right for the end markers there was a soft spot which tried to grab your rear end wheel if you hesitated.

Section 2, this was a good section where your reactions had to be quick as there were slimy rocks, you had to be precise and ready to correct the bike at any time. One wrong touch and you could of been facing the other way.

Section 3 was probably the hardest, quiet technical and one wrong move would of put you over the bars into a rock pile. Riding high on the banks and around a small tree then dropping down naturally put you on your left then you made the next turn through the rock garden… tricky. After this it was a blast across the quarry to section 4.

This was my favourite section of the day. It looked easy until you rode it, it was a banking full of rolling rocks and stones that could and would move at any time.

The next 4 sections were more rocks with twist turns, then it was back across the quarry where we finished the lap with slippy banks, deep water and some rocks!

All in all another good trial and a well deserved overall win to Steve Martin on the Expert route. Looking forward to the next event.

We return to Plan Onn for Februarys event and will be closely monitoring the Welsh Covid rules to make sure we comply. . We always 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

  1. Expert – James Francis, BSA (6); Ben Butterworth, Ariel (7); Paul Smart, BSA (17)
  2. Intermediate – Paul Edwards, Drayton (2); Paul Owen, BSA (11T); Carl Winstanley, James (11T); Phil Alderman, Triumph (11)
  3. Clubman -Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (2); Paul Brimelow, Cotton (4); Mike Jones, Triumph (17)
  4. Novice – Terry Lloyd, Triumph (15)

Twinshock

  • Expert – Steve Martin, Majesty (2); Jim Williams, SWM (11); Kev Ellis, SWM (16)
  • Intermediate – Tim Cuffin, Majesty,(3);Andy Cope, Fantic (4); Robert Reese, Honda (6)
  • Clubman – Robin Boyd, Honda (6); Elwyn Beedles, Honda (11); Steve Blackburn, Montesa (17)
  • Novice – Peter Reese, Honda (30); Sam Swift, Montesa (36)

Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Chris Garlich, Gas Gas (4); Peter Ruscoe, Gas Gas (12); Mark Blackwell (44)
  • Intermediate -Paul Edward, Fantic (3); Mike Jones, Gas Gas (13); Alec Roberts, Scorpa (18)
  • Clubman -Andy Steele, Yamaha (24)
  • Novice -Pete Rainsford, Yamaha (72)

Modern Mono

  • Expert – Julian Price, Beta (18); Mike Hawker, Beta (73)
  • Intermediate – Dave Ellis, Beta (2); Steve Sherwin, TRS (9); Neil Matthews, Gas Gas (10)
  • Clubman – Oliver Cookson, Vertigo (6); Tomos Matthews, Beta (9); Phil Clarkson, Beta (10)
  • Novice -Logan Price, Beta (31); Jay Hanmer, Oset (43); Tony Williams, Scorpa (56)

Observer List

1 – Ian

2 – Chris

3 – Roger

4 – Gordon

5 – Martin

6 – Paul

7 – Suz

8 – Mark

9 – Elwyn

10 – Dave

Stats

Bikes Classes

  • Pre 65 – 26
  • Twinshock – 27
  • Air Cooled Mono – 18
  • Modern Mono – 28

Route Classes

  • Expert – 23
  • Intermediate – 39
  • Clubman – 30
  • Novice – 7

Bikes

Pre 65

  • Ariel – 1
  • BSA – 9
  • Cotton – 1
  • Drayton – 2
  • Francis Barnett – 3
  • James – 1
  • Matchless – 1
  • Triumph – 8

Twinshock

  • Aprilia – 2
  • Bultaco – 3
  • Fantic – 5
  • Honda – 8
  • Kawasaki – 1
  • Majesty – 3
  • Montesa – 2
  • SWM – 2
  • Yamaha – 1

Air Cooled Mono

  • Beta – 1
  • Fantic – 5
  • Gas Gas – 4
  • Honda – 2
  • Scorpa – 1
  • Yamaha – 1
  • Unlisted – 2

Modern Mono

  • Beta – 8
  • Gas Gas – 5
  • Honda – 1
  • Montesa – 4
  • Oset – 2
  • Scorpa – 1
  • Sherco – 2
  • TRS – 1
  • TW – 1
  • Vertigo – 2

Event Report – Plas Onn 061221

In order to make sure the last event of the year flowed smoothly the regs were shut early but this still secured an incredible 84 riders to Plas Onn on a cold but dry day. This is always a popular venue due to the range of sections for all routes and with a decent ride between them.

We had a great representation in the classic classes with 25 Pre 65 machines, 21 Twinshocks and 11 AC Monos. These were joined by 27 Modern Monos. Across the classes we had 16 Experts, 33 Inters, 30 Clubman and 5 novice riders.

Once again, it was great to see a number of juniors on low capacity bikes running in both the novice and clubman classes.

{We just need to get a nice Whitehawk 80s and Fantic 50 parked in front of the signing on to get them interested in the older classes……}

Many thanks to all of this months contributors, whom without these report just do not happen.

Mark Lucas – Pre 65 / Intermediate

A very cold morning welcomed a large number of competitors to the latest round of the Aqueduct classic trials series at the excellent Plas onn venue.

Suddenly we were all woken up by the warming up of Kev Ellis and his Triumph. Russell then appeared and did his normal rider briefing. The entry was split into different classes to avoid queueing as much as possible. This meant that the green inters route started at section 5.

Section 5: Started at the bottom of the top field, down the grass slope from the gate and drop into fairly deep water, I thought this may get deeper during the trial but the stream bed seemed quite hard at the bottom so the drop in did not change. The green route then had to climb the bank up the other side. I was only about the 3rd bike up the bank the first time and I did think this bank may get slipper during the trial but again no real issue. Turn in the field at the top, back down the slope over the tree roots into the stream. Turn left in the stream over about a 6-inch rock step. The step was slippy the first time but during the course of the trial the slime was taken off. Following the step, climb the bank to exit the section. As usual for Aqueduct, well laid out sections, many little rocks and tree roots that could catch you out for at least a dab.

Section 6: Sorry still not sure of people’s names in the club yet but this was marshalled by the rider of the Triumph twin not sure why he was not riding.?

I have done this section before, but it still catches me out. Start on the right-hand bank and enter the stream to ride uphill, turn sharp right over the slippy rocks over the first little hump on the right. Back down into the stream again followed by another turn to the right where a large rock is present on the left hand side of the groove as you leave. This rock does not stop you following the groove, “well only in your head anyway”. Continue up the stream where there is a sharp exit up some rock to the end cards. Once again, I found this section slippy on my first attempt where I dropped 3 marks, but the following attempts got a lot better.

Again, not a dangerous section at all but quite a few places where marks could be dropped.

Section 7: Mr& Mrs Russell on this one.

Started on the bank on the right hand side, tight right turn into the stream up over some rocks as you moved to the right hand side of the stream . My first attempt started so well but while moving over to the right-hand side of the stream I found a very slippy flat rock which stopped me accelerating out of the stream up the bank. Then in usual fashion for me on this Villiers the power came and the front wheel was in the air. Never mind got up the bank fast. Once at the top of the bank a right turn down a gulley to re-enter the stream. Then a sharp climb had to be negotiated followed by a tight left turn to exit the end cards. I saw a number of lines in the mud where riders had put on loads of power to climb the bank, I bet a few riders did not make the end cards.

Nice section, got easier during the trial but again many places where marks could be dropped.

Section 8: This was the first section in the upper valley as I like to call it.

Started by a steep drop into the stream bed. During the trial I saw a few riders on the green route drop down this slope very quickly but the bank on the far side was there to catch you out if you dropped in too fast. On my first attempt here I had the idiot rider syndrome, went down the drop in C15 mode however shutting the throttle on the Villiers did not slow it down. I then slammed the anchors on and stalled my brain (may work one day). Anyway, I was so annoyed that I started the bike and cleaned the section, not really sure if this made it worse. Following the first drop in, ride up the stream to a rock step which had 3 rocks placed at different angles. I did see some riders come to grief here but as long as the front wheel hit the front rock in the correct position the bike flew over them. From this point it was just follow the stream to the end cards. Quite a tricky section and marks could be lost easily.

Section 9: Started in the stream up a step, it was better if you went up the step to the right-hand side as shortly after you had to move off left up a small track. Once up this track drop back down into the stream for a very short time to turn left again up the bank over some tree roots. Quite a nasty little turn this for the green route dropping back into the stream and I saw many riders take a dab here or fall off into the stream. Following this drop back into the stream the route followed the stream following the up to the end cards.

I was doing well on this section and had cleaned it 3 times however I had some major grief the last time. Gave the bike far too much power up the step which put me out of line for the little track. I had a battle and tried to fight it up the track but unfortunately over balanced and needed a 10-foot leg to stop me falling into the stream.  I did lie in the stream for a bit working out if anything was hurting until Steve Bee came running up to check on me. Thanks Mate !!

Several other riders were taking the mick about my superman dive but I can say riding from section 10 back down to section 1 was bloody cold after being soaked.

Section 9 was one of the hard sections on the green route and rider concentration was a must or it would catch you out as I found out.

Section 10: This was the top section up the steam, it was a very long section and did cause some queueing. However, this gave the riders a chance to chat and discuss what had happened lower down the course.

Section started on the right of the stream with a good climb out of the stream, up the bank to the left. This bank did get slippy and the groove in the path did get deeper. The Villiers shot up this in second gear very easily. Once at the top of the bank it was a tight right turn to drop back down the bank. Once back in the stream,  cross to the other bank up a step, over some tree roots quickly followed by a tight left turn dropping back into the stream again. Once back in the stream power back on again to climb a bank on the right hand side of the stream followed by a sharp right turn  to drop back down into the stream. Once this was complete ride up the stream onto the right hand bank to turn sharp left up some tree roots on the right bank through the end cards. Again, a very testing section with plenty of scope to loose marks.

Once section 10 was finished the long ride had to occur down the top valley and fields to the very bottom to get to section 1, a great blast but the mud in the last field did catch a few riders out.

Section 1: Marshalled by Mr Samuel it must have been bloody cold in the middle of that field !!!

A gentle little trip up the stream with several turns to catch out the unwary. Interesting, following the turn to the left and then right back into the stream was the different lines taken by new bike riders and pre 65 riders. Several on the new bike riders made the turn to the right quite tight so that they could ride up the side bank where as the pre 65 riders just went wide into the stream. No matter all ways lead to the top of the bank .

Section 2: Started in the stream, up a slight step followed by a sharp turn to the left and right through the trees. Once this was negotiated another turn to the left up another step, not too hard but a lot of turns where dabs were easily made.

Section 3: This was the section that took the most marks off me and was tricky towards the end. Section started on the right-hand bank of the stream dropping down into a very muddy right turn, then up the bank to the right to the large tree. Left behind the tree then straight up the bank over some very greasy tree roots. Once over the tree roots a left turn had to be taken to exit the section up the little cutting into the field. This last turn I found most difficult turning and going over the tree roots at the same time. The mud from the lower part of the section did get moved up to the tree roots and I think this made them really slippy, well that’s my excuse anyway.

Section 4: The last section on the lap for the green route. This section was long for the expert route with a number of difficult turns so there was quite a large queue here. However, with this amount of riders and only 2 places that held the riders up I think is excellent.

Section 4 for green route was a steep drop down on mud to the left over some loose rocks followed by a right turn in the stream to climb the bank on the other side. Then there was a tight turn to the right up behind the tree then left of the big rock!!! Don’t go the normal way to the right!!!.

Up the bank followed by a left turn up the gully. This did start out alright however the tree root halfway up did get very slippy and to have a dab was the norm here.

Once again, a great trial, well laid out sections not dangerous but tricky and could take marks easily. Thanks to all the Aqueduct crew for a great trial.

Richard Webster – Twinshock / Expert

Sunday 4th Dec 2021 was my first ride with the Aqueduct club, and after a season of mainly riding the Rockshocks Championship it was another outing for the Fantic 300.  Like most Sundays out on the bike, a visit to Greggs en route with my mate Robin Foulkes was the order of the day for some “essential carbs” – although we should have gone for some Ready Brek if we had known how cold it was going to turn out. But we soon warmed up at signing on when Jan revealed her leggings to us – that got the blood flowing but we nearly had to pick Rob’s eyes up off the floor. 

After returning to the sport in 2018 following a short break of 25 years it was great to see so many riders ready to ride, entries at many clubs is often less than 50 and sadly it seems to be the youths that are missing. But with a field of 90+ riders it looks like there is plenty of interest in the events run by Aquaduct, well done to the team. 

The experts started at section 8, a fairly simple start to the section with a drop into the stream which shortly afterwards by a tricky little turn and climb out and up the left-hand bank before dropping back into the ends cards. Some took the high line approach to this turn, others opted for the tighter low line. I tried both, not much in it really. 

Onto Section 10 and one of the longer ones too, with the final turn out of the stream and to the left across the tree routes catching a few of the earlier riders out. The ride back across to Section 1 reminded us of how cold it was, and how cold it must have been for the observers who were stood still for all those hours – well done and thank you all.

Section 2 featured what we thought was a simple bit of navigation up through the rocks and out for a turn around a tree before crossing back across the small gulley. This was more of a test than we thought when it was walked it but I came away with a clean sheet. 

Section 3 was a simple enough beginning, however the end of the section up a small rock step and out over a set of slippery tree roots had a few people struggling, but surprisingly the scores didn’t reflect this with many cleans observed. 

Section 4 was another long one and the longest queue of the day. Despite 3 layers and a jacket, it was bloody cold when not moving. 2 words – little acorns, or was it just me, eh guys? This section took my first mark of the day, the final drop and tight left-hand turn up the gulley and over the rock/log proving to be highest scoring section of the day for the Experts. It took another dab off me on lap 2 and then on lap 3. I managed to forget how to ride my bike and stalled it for a maximum. 

Section 5 had a difficult little rock step combo midway followed by an even harder looking exit. What we hadn’t spotted was a cracking little line across the middle step and an easier route around the slab at the exit. I forget the rider who did this first, but thank you for being the guinea pig and showing us the line. 

An easy section 6 followed before we completed the lap at Section 7, the sloppy middle part took a dab off me on lap 1 but nothing on the following laps. I did manage to escape a potential trip over the bars on lap 2 when I caught my brake lever on a branch as I dropped back into the stream but somehow held onto to it without penalty. 

And that was it, all done, dry but freezing cold and smiles all round. A low scoring trial meant that mistakes were easily punished, and I can’t keep my concentration longer than about 10 sections these days. 

See you at the next one. Thank you to the observers and the team, I hope you’ve thawed out now. 

Logan Price – Modern Mono / Novice Route (Juniors)

I arrived, handy with grandad Karl Kavanagh with my bike on my nans car as his van was off the road. This meant grandad was going to have to walk round after me instead of following on his Fantic. I started on section 8 with a clean but had a fall on the rock step halfway through Izzys (section 9), bit of a wobble for a 3 on section 10 and then off down the yard to section 5 with dave.

We was allowed to loop as much as possible as I would of ran out of time, otherwise section 5, deep water caused my bike to cut out and gave me trouble with a couple of 5s for the rest of the trial riding with my choke on and revving high. Section 6 was Dave who taught us on the training day and I was keen to show him my skills, Section 7 with Russ was easy (ha ha), off down the field towards sections 1 to 3 playing on the bank as I went with grandad in his wellies walking behind.

Big mark was on section 1,  think my bike cut out and gave me a 5 and I also stumbled and fell on my last go. I messed up section 2 first time with a missed exit gate but then rode the other laps fine. Section 3 was a bit muddy but i’m using 2nd gear a bit more now and it got me through fine. I attempted section 4 once and hit neutral on the climb out taking another fall and the queues got too much later on so i left that for a 20.

Back to the 8 to 10 gully sections for the last 3 loops, the big queues gave me a chance to make a new friend and after falling on the section 9 step 3 times i finally hit it faster and cleaned it. There is a video of me on section 10 if you want to look on my youtube page under “logan price trials”, Plenty of fun stuff on my other bikes to watch too.

My feet were cold and wet but despite the bike cutting out, a few falls and missing section 4 i did ok on 65 points. Im finally growing into my bike and love riding. Thanks to Jan and Chris for the chocolates and all the Aqueduct people for giving me great day out and a big blister on grandads toe

Stephen Harding – Modern Mono / Clubman

First of all I’d like to say a massive thanks to all the team and observer’s for putting on yet another great trial and the land owner for the use of the venue , not forgetting Chris Deburger for keeping us fed and watered. 
On arrival, we were directed to parking by Sue and Geoff who must have been freezing stood out in the cold, then went to sign on only to be greeted by Jan dressed as Mrs Claus, (sort of) haha , I think a temps {and pulses} went up a few degrees! Got a decent brew and a bacon butty off Chris and got the bike ready for the day .


This was the last trial of the year and I have been one of the lucky ones who have been able to do all 12 and i appreciate how hard it has been for the club to put on these events for us riders over the last 12months with covid restrictions and all that, Having been encouraged by the team and some riders, I’ve moved up to the yellows ,so here are some of my favourite sections from the weekend, 


Section 1, Mark on watch. You start off from the edge of a stream and a small drop in to the water and head a bit left then a tight right round an old tree stump and a loose rock then a bit of a right and over some loose rocks left and up a bit of a step in the stream and keep left up on to a bit of a dry grass and mud bank and  then drop back into the rocky stream and right up a very slippy muddy bank and out of the section,.


Section 8, starts off from a bank of a very fast flowing stream. You start from the bank of the stream and drop down into the stream and keep left tight to the bank while negotiating a couple of large rocks in the water and then turn right in the stream and up out on to the bank on the opposite side and climb as you turn left past the observer and then drop back down a bit and up again and over a slippery tree root and along then out if the section.


Section 9, a good ride up the rocky stream and my feet are a bit damp by now after walking the routes haha . You start off in the stream straight away on to some big slippery rocks and then towards and gas it up a bit over a fairly big step up on some large boulders and carry on through the stream then a bit of a left up a wet slippery muddy bank and right round the tree and back right into the stream and out of the section.


Not going to mention section 4 !!!


A big thanks to everyone involved especially all the observer’s who stood out in the freezing cold for over 4 hours so we could have a trial,  Cheers all and have a great Christmas and a Happy New year to all . Look forward to the next one

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 over the preceding months to make this happen, the observers for continuing to take the time to support and the land owner as always.

We start 2022 with a return to Nant Mawr Quarry on the 9th January. Dont forget to visit the regs page and if you need an AMCA licence you can apply for one here.

Top Places

Pre 65

  • Expert – Chris Gascoigne, BSA (5); Martin Stanistreet, James (8);Danny Littlehales, Francis Barnett (17)
  • Intermediate – Kev Williams, Triumph (7); Mark Gaskell, Triumph (9); Roly Jones, Dot (10)
  • Clubman -Paul Brimelow, Cotton (4); Jordan Hobbis, BSA (14); Rob Goodwin, Francis Barnett (18)
  • Novice – No riders

Twinshock

  • Expert – Richard Webster, Fantic (8); Steve Martin, Majesty (9); Tony Gush, Majesty (12)
  • Intermediate – David Matthews, Bultaco (6); Jed Downes, Fantic (9); Craig Howarth, Fantic (9)
  • Clubman – Graham Pennington, Ossa (11); Perry Tattum, Fantic (11); Kenton Hackney, Bultaco (28)
  • Novice – Joel Riley, Yamaha (28)

Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Robin Foulkes, Yamaha (53)
  • Intermediate – Paul Young, Gas Gas (3); Mike Jones, Gas Gas (12); Ian Emery, as Gas (17)
  • Clubman – Andy Steele, Yamaha (18)
  • Novice – Karl Wilson, Beta (98)

Modern Mono

  • Expert – Jim Williams, Vertigo (27); Julian Price, Beta (33)
  • Intermediate – Paul Edwards, Beta (7); Hayden Rainford (9); Steve Sherwin, TRS (20)
  • Clubman – Oliver Roberts, Beta (12); Daniel Capper, Beta (25); Tomos Matthews, Beta (26)
  • Novice -Logan Price, Beta (65); Jay Hanmer, Oset (106)

Observer List

1 – Mark

2 – Bill

3 – Gordon

4 – Ian

5 – Dave

6 – Dave

7 – Russ

8 – Annette

9 – Izzy

10 – Ange

Stats

Bikes Classes

  • Pre 65 – 25
  • Twinshock – 21
  • Air Cooled Mono – 11
  • Modern Mono – 27

Route Classes

  • Expert – 16
  • Intermediate – 33
  • Clubman – 30
  • Novice – 5

Bikes

Pre 65

  • Ariel – 1
  • BSA – 9
  • Cotton – 1
  • DOT – 1
  • Francis Barnett – 2
  • James – 4
  • Royal Enfield – 1
  • Trifield – 1
  • Triumph – 3
  • Villiers – 1

Twinshock

  • Bultaco – 4
  • Fantic – 6
  • Honda – 3
  • Majesty – 4
  • Ossa – 1
  • Yamaha – 3

Air Cooled Mono

  • Beta – 1
  • Fantic – 1
  • Gas Gas – 5
  • Honda – 2
  • Yamaha – 2

Modern Mono

  • Beta – 11
  • Gas Gas – 4
  • Montesa – 4
  • Oset – 1
  • Scorpa – 1
  • Sherco – 2
  • TRS – 1
  • Vertigo – 2

Event Report – Nant Y Ffrith 211121

I think probably for the first time in the clubs history “sorry, regs are now closed” appeared on the Facebook page and website. That is never a message the organisers want to send out but maintaining a safe event and keeping queueing to a minimum has always been the priority of Aqueduct Classics. The flip side of that, is that it demonstrates the popularity of the club within the Pre65 and Twinshock sector but also the fact that it now attracts a good following of modern monos who like the layout of the sections for developing or older riders as well as a healthy stream of younger riders…

Long may it continue (and I suspect on current form…. it will…)

So what of the day? Well we ended up visiting Nant Y Ffrith (a stunning venue) with 107 riders of which 19 were Pre 65, 29 were Twinshock, 13 being AC Monos and 46 Modern Monos

Leading in with the Novice group, we had a fantastic 15 riders in this class, 34 in Clubman, 39 in Intermediate and 19 in Expert

Without going into the Regs forms in detail, from what I can see with the bike types and capacities, at least 7 of out riders were in a Youth class and that is also encouraging to see!

A huge thank you to Mark, Steve, Damien, Dave, Michael and Ian for their section reports below.

Mark Newman – Pre 65 / Intermediate

Massive thanks to everyone involved in setting out and  running this trial its a superb venue and as usual everything went to plan apart from my riding..
Some challenging sections and a great ride round but my best sections just happened to be the ones I cleaned  ….no really….yep !


Section 6 was looking tricky, in through the start gates over to the left due to a right turn up a steep bank between the trees, along the bank drop back down then a camber across between the trees, sharp right (looks slippy) but keep it going and you can find the grip. Along the bank and a steep drop down to the exit..


Section 9, a lovely flowing section. Up and down and round the trees over roots etc. I just love this type of section, even though it was a relatively easy one you had to be aware the roots will catch you out ..


Section 10 very similar to 9, down and between trees, an off camber up over some logs up and round taking it easy as too much and you can over shoot the tight left and right to make the end cards..


Got to mention all the sections we’re challenging but not dangerous and lots to think about, a great trial great company and cold but clear and dry. I felt for the observers as it was a really cold day stood outside for several hours, so we can enjoy our day. I can’t thank them enough..

Steve Harding – Modern Mono / Clubman

First if all a huge thanks to all the aqueduct team for putting on such a great event again, and not forgetting all the observer’s for braving the cold and without whom it wouldn’t be possible to have such a great day. 

I turned up at about 9:30 and was greeted by Sue who directed me to a parking space and then I started to prep myself and the bike for the 11o’clock start.  I had time for a brew and great bacon and egg bap from the great Chris  deBurger (bap ,barm, roll ,cob, batch, call it wot you like ) but it was good. This was my first time riding the yellow route with Aqueduct and I was a bit nervous as it felt like a bit of a big step up for me. So 11o’clock arrived and it was time to start, Russ put us into groups and I was in group 1 to 20 and was sent all the way down to section 4 to start . I wa​s not with my normal group and felt a bit nervous but I met up with Mark Kirk who I had met on  a previous trial and we were both doing yellows for the first time so I was glad I could ride with him and his buddies for the day , cheers boys .

Three of my favourite sections. 
From the start, section 4. After a good long ride from the car park along a very slippy mud and rocky  track you turn a tight right on to a very steep long rutted drop to arrive at section 4. You started on the main track and straight into a bit of a ditch and straight up a steep muddy slope with a small tree stump just to put you off then keep climbing and a tight right and drop down on an off camber bank and turn back up left to a really tight right between two close trees and drop down with a bit of a left and then back up on to the track. Phew my first yellow clean. #


Section 7, Russ on watch. You start off from the main track again through the ditch and straight up on to a very slippy steep incline and another log to negotiate before climbing even further and over a large sandstone to the top then a tight left round the tree and a slippery left and right down to the exit and back on to the track. A tricky section but enjoyed it,. 

Section 8. A bit of a tough one for me but I gave it a good go on each lap as I was determined to finish the yellows .You start off in the dark woods on a steep incline so I started well before the start gate to get a bit of a run on such a steep start. As you go through the start it was a very steep slope and straightaway you had to get over a big root and then immediately turn left and slow the bike down before going into the old ruins and negotiate the rough sandstone rubble before turning a tight right and firing it up the corner wall and climb the steep banks then a right and tight left over a small stone wall out of the section. Overall I had a great day, some tough sections but learning all the time. 

A massive thanks to everyone involved , a great venue and very well organised as usual. Well done aqueduct, and thank you…

Damien Morey – Pre 65 / Clubman

Yellow route was just right for me, very challenging, just about same as clubman on Redrose etc.

Section 1 Steady twisty climb with roots and walls Took points

Section 2 bloody horrible Tight turn back on yourself over roots and rocks manage that then horrible slippery log to go over before exit

Section 3 Up between trees tight turn between trees on exit that went worse as day went on

Section 4 Twisty slippy up and down on banking tight exit hard to keep grip

Section 5 Slippy start steady turn in mud High banking on exit 

Section 6 In round the back of trees over log tight turn between trees then exit

Section 7 In up slippy bank onto top tight turn round tree went very slippy later in day

Section 8 Up bank over rock pile exit through gulley and step that cut away as day went on

Section 9 Steady winding Section up banking tight left turn on exit

Section 10 Big drop then round trees and out

Rider verdict, Some went better, some went worse, 2 was very tricky, 5&7 went very slippy. All could take points if you lost concentration, 2&7 where the hardest for me 

Dave Pengelli – Twinshock / Intermediate

Arriving at this excellent venue early I was surprised to see how many eager riders were already kitted up ready for action, I was directed down a newly graded road to be parked by Geoff,

The action started promptly with a quick brief from Russel and the team where we were split up to ease the queuing, I opted to start at section 1 saves confusion later on when trying to decide when and where the 4 laps finish. must be an age thing!!!!!!!

Section one was a tricky opener under the watchful eye of Elwyn Williams. Into the section up a slight rise, over a rock then between two trees which had to be ridden accurately or the result was sore knuckles, quick turn to the left up another rise while turning right at this point there was an overwhelming desire to dab on the right whether it was needed or not, tried to resist the temptation but it got me in the end.

Section 2 had me pacing up and down looking at a root near the top of the bank before another tricky root just before the end card’s I did not like the look of it and could not decide on a line, the observer calls the next man in; yes, he is on the green route watching closely taking note of all the major issues I had been looking at, with steady throttle he rode the section as if was a mere grassy bank. Note to self don’t look too hard. Rode it not as good but a clean recorded,

Across the track to section 3 a nice little section to settle the nerves then a bit that I really enjoy a nice long blast along road and track to the next cluster of 3 sections, there was a bit of queuing here but what a great opportunity to catch up with lads that I had not seen for a few years and talking bikes/bits and banter, The Kawasaki seems to start a conversation I am always surprised how many people have owned one or know someone who has had one in the past, what could be better on a fresh Sunday morning.

From here another run up a track to where Russ was observing again a well thought out section which could catch you out if slightly off line, then off to section 8 set in an old ruined building it had everything a climb, tight turn’s, rocks and a cross camber turn to finish off which looked very tricky. I tell myself don’t look at it too hard remember section2 !!!!!! then a couple of very good riders 5 it while I sit in the queue, too late for another look! rode into the section nice and steady I had already decided first sign of trouble on that camber and a big dab was going to be planted firmly on the ground to ride around and boy did I need it…. well pleased to get out for a 1, second lap I cleaned it and thought I have got that mastered now, soon to be proved wrong with marks lost on laps 3 and 4, while others around me cleaned it with ease, oh well that’s trials for you.

Sections 9 & 10 were exposed at the end of the venue, could have been a different day there it was freezing cold; a special shout out must go out to the ladies observing here they must have been frozen by the time they had managed to get a hot drink and food from Chris.

Having had experience of running trials some years ago I know first-hand that to run a trial of this quality it is not just a matter of rocking up on a Saturday putting a few flags out and then a quick tidy after the event. The aqueduct team put an awful lot of time & effort into running trials and it is good to see all the positive comments on-line following an event.

Finally, but most important.

A massive thank you to all the observers standing out in all weathers so we can enjoy our sport, it makes a trial when all sections are manned and again credit to aqueduct members who give up a ride to observe, so don’t forget lads a cheerful thankyou goes a long way on that last lap you never know it may just get you the benefit of the doubt on that next iffy 5 or 3.

Michael Jones – AC Mono / Expert

What a trial, had to pull out the old trusted 1998 GasGas as the Tiger Cub and TRS were out of action.

To start section 1 & 2 were a lovely introduction to the treats the Forrest had to offer a mix of rocky steps and tight loose camber turns surprising how dry it was for winter which was nice.

Section 3 was great, had a technical part where you had to just clear rocks with your sump guard to get correct approach for a steep bank and immediate turn, it got easier with the day, noticed had a classy observer hut like ray mears would make. The trail riding in between was a highlight down towards 4/5/6 there was a bottleneck here which provided a welcome resting point it was a bit slippery down here but again nice selection of camber turns and banks. Section 8 was a stand out due to the atmosphere with the haunting abandoned house and the way the section weaved around it. 9 was my personal favourite probably because it was bone dry and had a lovely log to hop over which felt good. 10 felt easier that the previous 9 which provided a confidence boost going into the next lap. Great location was especially nice as I live in coedpoeth so only 5 mins away, thanks to all the observers/organisers.

Ian Jones – AC Mono / Expert

Good to be back, after a hip replacement in June my surgeon,  a keen motorcyclist said to me you’ll ride better now I’ve levelled you out, so having never ridden this venue before I was keen not to miss this one, so luckily I entered a week before, just as well really as the entries closed a few days after with just over a hundred entries .

As I arrived at the wooded venue I was greeted by Geoff, had a quick chat and I parked by section 10, after a quick brief by Russ it was off to section 1, my riding partners Julian price and Tony Gush looked at the rock step and said it caused problems at the last trial, instant panic for me, but good rides from Jim Williams and Kev Ellis eased the worry a bit. I cleaned the step but had a couple of dabs on the tight turn after,.

Section 2 consisted of sharp drop and a cambered turn then over a few tree roots and out, my first clean ride, we somehow missed section 3 and after a nice ride round arrived at section 4 , a ride around some trees made a bit trickier by the overnight rain, Julian was unlucky here as he thinks a branch caught his kill switch lance and stalled his beta instantly, after a shaky first lap I was settling down with some good rides and some daft dabs but I was trying not to put pressure on myself being a bit rusty.

The short wait at the sections was nice to have a breather and chat, section 7 observed by Russ was a slippery, had a couple of cleans on this one but on the last lap being over confident ended up on the deck with a worried Russ running over to offer his help, sorry mate.

All in all a cracking trial in which I managed to clean each section at least once but ended up with a score of 22, no favourites but all good sensible sections, nice to see Colin Sager who I’ve known for 40 years getting into the spirit of things on a tidy Honda Tlm .

Many thanks to the Aquaduct team , land owners and Chris de burger for everything they do in these

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.

Our next event is on December 5th at Plan Onn.

Top Places

Pre 65

  • Expert – Chris Gascoigne, BSA (19); Pete Morris, Triumph (43)
  • Intermediate -Carl Winstanley, BSA (10); Dave Lovell, Triumph (14);Paul Owen, BSA (14)
  • Clubman -Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (6); Peter Cockins, BSA (13); Paul Brimelow, Cotton (14)
  • Novice – Damien Morey, Cotton (20); Alan Dyson, BSA (22)

Twinshock

  • Expert – Tony Gush, Majesty (20); Kev Ellis, SWM (20); Jim Williams, Honda (24)
  • Intermediate – Tim Cuffin, Majesty (10); Dave Pengille (12); Tony Dillon, Fantic (13)
  • Clubman – William Leigh, Yamaha (16); Dave Lycett, Honda (16); Steve Blackburn; Montesa (22)
  • Novice – David Broderick, Bultaco (9); Steven Gardner, Yamaha (41); Joel Riley, Yamaha (58)

Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Chris Garlich, Yamaha (6); Colin Sagar, Honda (11); Ian Jones, GasGas (22)
  • Intermediate – Paul Jones, GasGas (10); Mike Jones, GasGas (17); Alec Roberts, Scorpa (23)
  • Clubman – Andy Onions, Yamaha (20); Andy Steele, Yamaha (54)
  • Novice – Mike Roberts; Fantic (19)

Modern Mono

  • Expert – Dafydd Belton, Vertigo (27); Julian Price, Beta (36); Neil Brooks (38)
  • Intermediate – Hayden Rainford, Montesa (11); Tony Mvkenzie, TRS (15); Zain Pugh-Hutchinson, TRS (16)
  • Clubman – Oliver Cookson, Vertigo (12); George Jones, Beta (22); Dyfan Smith, Beta (22)
  • Novice – James Onions, Scorpa (11); Kaan Pughe-Hutchinson, Beta (14); Logan Price, Beta (16)

Observer List

1 – Ewyn

2 – Dave

3 – Susan Caldwell

4 – Paul

5 – Roger Kenyon

6 – Mark

7 – Russ

8 – Carys Belton

9 – Suz

10 – Chris

Stats

Bikes Classes

  • Pre 65 – 19
  • Twinshock – 29
  • Air Cooled Mono – 13
  • Modern Mono – 46

Route Classes

  • Expert – 19
  • Intermediate – 39
  • Clubman – 34
  • Novice – 15

Bikes

Pre 65

  • Ariel –
  • BSA – 8
  • Cotton – 2
  • DOT – 1
  • Francis Barnett – 1
  • James – 1
  • Triumph – 6

Twinshock

  • Bultaco – 4
  • Fantic – 7
  • Honda – 7
  • Kawasaki – 1
  • Majesty – 4
  • Montesa – 1
  • Ossa – 1
  • SWM – 1
  • Yamaha – 3

Air Cooled Mono

  • Fantic – 2
  • Gas Gas – 4
  • Honda – 2
  • Scorpa – 1
  • Yamaha – 4

Modern Mono

  • Beta – 13
  • Gas Gas – 6
  • Montesa – 5
  • Oset – 1
  • Scorpa – 2
  • Sherco – 4
  • TRS – 7
  • Vertigo – 4

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.