Category Archives: Event Report

Event Report – Pen Y Graig (Jul 19)

Ready for the mandatory riders briefing….

Event Report by Rob Sloggett, Robin Ayres, Paul Corfield, Ian Emery, Tarquin Millard and Julian Price

Another clash with a Kia round saw slightly lower numbers turn out this month but the 65 riders on a nice warm day enjoyed 10 sections of absolute fun.

The 21 Pre 65’s were joined by 17 Twin shocks, 6 Air Cooled Monos and 21 Modern Monos. The class mix saw 7 Expert rub bars with 26 Inters, 19 Clubman and 13 Beginners.

Robin Ayres – Beginner Route, Twin shock

Pen Y Craig was the first event I took part in with Aqueduct Classics, the club and venues have become the benchmark I judge other trials by, so a tough act to follow.

Sundays trial was great, the way the sections are set out for novices were spot on, a few easy ones and a few to test you a bit, it demonstrated that us wobblers are given the same consideration as seasoned riders.

Section 3 (Geoff’s I believe) was tricky, with a few rocks to navigate along a gully, then a sharp uphill exit was a favorite, as was 7, did not want to bin it on this one, with rocks a plenty to weave through, I managed to only drop 7.

Section 9 and 10 were a different sort of challenge, with loose soil and turns that are gradually educating me regarding throttle and brake control, with the emphasis on gradual!

With all the sections closely linked, laps 2, 3 and 4 were covered swiftly and despite an entry that would be the envy of most modern trials very little waiting took place at any of them.

Without a doubt I really do want to move up a class and feel that the clubs sections are graduated so steadily that the leap would not be a dangerous one, albeit I may drop a few marks here and there!! Big thanks to everyone as usual, roll on the next trial!

If Carlsberg did trials….. they would probably be Aqueduct Classic Trials

Rob Sloggett – Inters Route, Twin shock

So a slightly different start to my report (mainly as I only have one lap to write about as I ended up as a DNF but more on that later)… Each year I set out a number of personal challenges, not quite New Years Resolutions, more things I want to do that year and on 2019’s list was to offer a hand in marking out the sections. When we practice, we take a set of flag with us and having introduced my kids and a few others to the sport I wanted to offer up a pair of hands to mark out the Beginners route as this where my comfort zone was. 

Russ and Mark kindly let me help out and trusted me with the White and Yellow routes and I must say I felt under pressure not to mark it out to easy but also make sure the riders had a safe day but one that present sufficient challenges across the spectrum of riders. My approach for the white route was to find routes and turns that developed throttle and brake control (and gave a mixed terrain to ride over) whilst for the Clubman I wanted to make sure their was at least one obstacle or terrain contour to challenge them and on a couple of sections allow them to experience something closer to the green route.

I hope I got this balance right and the riders in these classes enjoyed the day. Looking at the scores, Section 10 seemed to take the most marks on the Clubman route and if you think that the climb was last used on the Inter route the last few times (we did cut the roots out for this weekend to make the crest more manageable) I hope whilst a little daunting, everyone enjoyed it. For the beginners, section 9 seemed to take a higher number of marks but at the end of the day, their was only way out and hopefully the straight run into the bank allowed you to have a safe attempt.

So what of my lap? Well I can promise everyone that I did not ride any of the green routes the day before! My first lap was great fun with only 2 single dabs dropped and I felt like I was aiming for a good day. Their were a number of section I saw Russ mark out the day before which I was sure were going to be mark takers for me (Russ’s section being a prime one) but the bike felt good and it was moving well between my legs, I was happier attacking where I needed to and being controlled in the slow stuff… then Section 10….

Up the bank, clean !!!! sure I was going to foot it at the top, drop down, slow left turn, wind the throttle on for a short climb and the bike bogged down. Not enough power to get me up the bank, clutch in, recover the engine, try to keep on line but no chance and exit the section for a 5. It felt like fuel starvation but with something else mixed in

Section 1 and 2 rode OK then as I got to Section 3, the over run on the engine on deceleration instead of being clean indicated heavy engine braking more akin to a 4 stroke and it not ticking over unless on the choke. A funny noise from the flywheel side and a hot engine case signaled time to call it a day. Bike on the trailer before serious damage was done and early bath.

But what was my favorite section of the day? Once again, one the day before I felt would take a odd 5 or maybe 2’s from me. Mark was the observer and the section started with a reasonably tight right turn over a set of rocks with a short step up to hit them. Across a jagged rock bed, you then exiting with a left downhill camber of loose soil. You then turned right through a pair of trees, a left, right, left and then drop down. You were then presented with tight right 270 degree turn hitting an immediate climb up but across a steep bank.

I had seen Russ ride it for the Expert route the day before and saw his technique on the final bank. The top part of the section rode brilliantly and I was clean at the turn. First gear (Russ used second the day before but the bank was not scrubbed), lined it up perfect, a committed squirt of the throttle and the bike sailed up and across (but I think a stable dab may have been taken).

Paul Corfield – Beginners Route, Pre 65

What a great venue for me to enter my first trial. After signing on I warmed the bike up, rode to the riders briefing, met so many friendly people who all have one thing in common … trials bikes, got talking to a fellow beginner who introduced me to Chris De Burger who was willing to ride with us and give us for some much need advise.

So my first trial was about to begin…..

Section 1, a little rocky to start, then up through some trees onto a left, then on up to the end. A good start for me to get confidence up.

Section 2 was one on my favorites, climb up to a left round a tree then up over fallen tree to a small climb then down into a dip and up and out to end another clean !

Section’s 3 and 4 were nice and flowing, getting out of section 4 was good fun as well.

Section 5 another favorite on mine, good drop down into a turn between some trees then flowing through over some loose stones slightly covered with moss. Another fun time getting up and out onto next group of sections.

Section 6,7 &8 were through nice and stead fairly flat but tight in places so needed some steady riding and balance to get through.

Section 9 started dropping into a dip then up to right turn and down onto loose stone with a slight camber falling to left and then up to gate out. I cleaned this first lap then next 2 laps I came off twice on the loose stone with shouts from Observer … you’re going to fast … slow down ! Lesson learnt as I have the bruises to prove it .

Section 10, another good one for me. Soft and loose in places as you climbed up, turn left and down over some exposed roots which looked like steps as you walked it but looked so different when you ride it on a bike. Good one that.

I was so happy that I did the full 4 laps and also happy how my tigercub ran and celebrated by treating myself to a very good cheeseburger, provided by a very good catering van. The observers were really encouraging , which gave me confidence as entered each section.

Big thanks to Chris for the advise as we rode round and to all members of the club, you’ve got a fantastic atmosphere and I cant wait till the next .

Ian Emery – Inters Route, AC Mono

The Club’s third visit of the year to Pen Y Graig but my first as I’d missed the others due to Kia clashes. So good to be back though with a set of 10 really good sections which flowed nicely but needed full concentration with some tight flag marking. Here’s my feedback of three of them. Section 4 was a tight one! A narrow entrance on a slight off-camber to then turn right and right again, over exposed roots, threading carefully between two sets of narrow trees. As the second right tightened there was an exposed log which threatened to push the front out for the next set of flags. Cost me a 1 on the first lap. Thereafter was a swoop up the bank and down past some large rocks and a sneaky tight right which caught a few out before approaching the ends. Section 6 was my nemesis. Started with a traverse over a jumble of loose rocks with a gentle left followed by a drop into more loose rocks before a narrow left followed immediately by a right to the ends. The issue was in the middle of this left turn was a big pointy rock stuck just where you didn’t want it to be. I watched my riding buddies Paul and Jim clean it several times riding around the outside of the rock with ease. Could I match them? No! Tried the inside line on lap 1, needed a 1, lap 2 rode around the outside, needed a 2 ( which annoyingly doubled my total score at that point), lap 3 rode straight over the rock for a 1, and lap 4 went round the outside again, needing a 3 as the rock knocked the Yam out of gear. Section 9 was my favorite of the day. Slight descent into a dip with a full lock right turn onto another jumble of loose rocks to climb up and over and down through more rocks on the other side. A cross camber right/left descent need in bit of height on the left bank to get a tight right in between two trees. Threading between several more trees lead to a full lock U-turn right, with the ground falling away to the left so control of the front was key. With zero run up there followed a steep climb at an angle across the face of the gradient so lots of footrest weighting required to guarantee enough grip to reach the top. The Yam squirted up on half throttle each time giving me 4 cleans which I was very happy with. I really enjoyed the day and thanks go as usual to the observers, section setters and admin team for all their hard work. t

Tarquin Millard – Beginners Route, Pre 65

My second trial so i asked my family to come and watch, I said it would be fun, so they drove over to Pen y Graig for a day out. I sent them off through the wood, to meet me at the bottom of the quarry. It was much easier getting down on my bike, than it was on foot for them, as it was a very step walk and very wet and muddy.

I started my first section, with my family watching, thinking to myself, I’ve got this, the section doesn’t look to bad! As I started off I slipped off the pegs and ended upside down with my bike on top of me but as the day went on I started to get my confidence back. All the sections were set out well but they became a bit of a blur.

I think it was section 8 and 9 that really threw me off, as there was no run up to them, you only had about a 4 foot start before you were in the section but they were good.

Section 10 was a nice one but very loose as you came to the first hill, but if you got up, it became easy. I think it was section 6 or 7 that had a flat start and a good run up, then you had to go around a tree and over some small rocks and you were out of the section, it was a really enjoyable one.

The section Russ was on, was a rocky U shape, a really nice section, but at the end there was a big rock you had to come around. Because I was focusing on the rock I kept dabbing. At one point a rock got dragged up between my tyre and mudguard, it stopped me dead. Russ had to help me pull it out so I could carry on the trial.

All in all had a great trial, was bruised and battered and felt like I had had a kicking the next day, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

BIG THANKS to the aqueduct team for their hard work.

Julian Price – Expert Route, Twinshock

Hi all, bit of a hectic start to the trial day helping Dave Pengillly fix his brake plate to the fork on his Goloner Kawasaki. Good spot for him before he set off and we managed to repair it with a couple of Jubilee clips a bit of wire and sheer invention!

So, the trial… One of my favourite venues with the added bonus that I can see it from my kitchen window. It’s worth saying the section setters at this club almost always get it spot on. Despite no running water at the venue the setters always make the most of what they have. I had the company of fellow Fantic rider Ian Jones and Ady Green on Russ’ (chief setter) Francis Barnett, to increase the pleasure of all the ‘humming and hahhing’ we do trying to guess how we can get round these sections.

If you did no more than look at the results of the red riders you will see that we all dropped marks but there was nothing ridiculous or dangerous in my opinion. I’ll mention a couple of my favourites.

I enjoyed the rocks on Section 4. It was a tight right just before the rocks which made no room to get it wrong, and you could say the only section with consequences if you spilled it on the rocks. Pleased to get that one done first lap.

Section 6 was very tight at one point so much so, I knocked my knuckles on a tree every lap, as you had to be inch perfect to get around the corner.

 Section 7 was Russells, loose rocks that remained unpredictable, possibly due to a lower expert entry this week. Not enough riders through to kick out the loose ones. The really difficult bit was a loose cambered turn with a shallow root. It required care, a deft touch and the ability not to react when the rear wheel slipped out as it passed the root. Repeating “don’t dab” over and over as I rode up this obstacle failed to save me, and it was the only section I didn’t clean at least once. It took a further 4 go’s at the end of the trial to finally master it!

Lastly Mark Sams Section 9 was a real test. We had a tricky wall from a tight turn, tight corners and a tight camber on the loose stuff. I think all the red route riders lost some marks here, myself included. Another section that showed marks could be taken from riders without subjecting them to too many risks.

So, there is a quick summary of what was a hugely enjoyable day. I have got used to the club having a great friendly atmosphere, being well organized, having capable marshalls on every section and section setters who really know the way to put a trial on and this report has given me the chance to put it in writing. Thanks to all involved.

As always, we received great feedback on social media and some of the comments are below:

First class event, well done boys and girls and I got to do my centipede impressions on one or two sections – Mike Hughes

Thank you everyone for an amazing day! My first trial in 15 years! Looking forward to the next one!! Cheers everyone – David Williams

Thanks for all your hard work to all involved in the setting up and running of todays wonderful trial, had a really good day – Jeff Hughes

Reading the beginners route reports, I am glad that those riders found my attempt as selecting the section lines enjoyable and I have got to say a big thank you to Russ for allowing me to lend a hand. As you know the club is ran by a small number of people for our benefit and their are a number of ways that as riders we can help out. Marking out the sections is one but either observering on the odd round or providing an observer is probsbly one of the most important aspect as without those our sport just not exist. If you know someone who would like to get involved as an observer please let Russ and the team know.

The usual close by thanking everyone involved and I look forward to seeing you all at the next round.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Expert: Ady Green, Francis Barnett (77); Bill Woodcock, BSA (83)

Pre 65 Intermediate: Paul Owen, BSA (4); Kev Williams, Triumph (10); Dave Lovell. Triumph (14)

Pre 65 Clubman: Peter Elvidge, BSA (4); Stephen Leyshon, BSA (6); Steve Jones, BSA (6)

Pre 65 Beginner: Kevin O;Toole, Matchless (11); Graham Turner, Triumph (14); Paul Corfield, Triumph (25)

Twinshock Expert: Ian Jones, Fantic (16); Julian Price, Fantic (20); Grahan White, Honda (26)

Twinshock Intermediate: Dave Pengilley, Kawasaki (1); Jim Droughton, Majesty (16); Alex Barrie, Honda (16)

Twinshock Clubman: Andy Steele, Yamaha (16); Neil Parker, Honda (20); Allan Thomas, Fantic (30)

Twinshock Beginner: Rob Ayres, Majesty (19); Chris Jones, Yamaha (20)

AC Mono Expert: no riders

AC Mono Intermediate: Ian Emery, Yamaha (8); Gordon Wilson, Honda (15); Paul Cartwright, Gas Gas (15)

AC Mono Clubman: no riders

AC Mono Beginner: no riders

Modern Mono Expert: Peter Beottcher (10)

Modern Mono Intermediate: Andrew Dean, Beta (6); Steve Walker, Sherco (13); Richard Corbett, Beta (18)

Modern Mono Clubman: David Molyneaux, Montesa (9); Elwyn Beddles, Sherco (10); Ken Williams, Honda (10)

Modern Mono Beginners: John Roberts, Beta (1); David Williams, Montesa (1); Jeff Hughes, Beta (8)

Observers:

Section 1 – Izzy

Section 2 – Jan

Section 3 – Gordon

Section 4 – Mark

Section 5 – Geoff

Section 6 – Suzanne

Section 7 – Russ

Section 8 – Christine

Section 9 – Mark

Section 10 – Harry

Bike Stats:

Pre 65 – 21

Twinshock – 17

A/C Mono – 6

Modern Mono – 21

Total = 65

Classes

Expert – 7

Intermediate – 26

Clubman – 19

Beginner – 13

Bikes

Pre 65:

BSA – 8

Drayton Starmaker – 1

Francis Barnett – 1

James – 1

Matchless – 1

Triumph – 9

Twinshock:

Bultaco – 2

Fantic – 3

Honda – 5

Kawasaki – 1

Majesty – 2

Montesa – 2

Yamaha TY – 2

Aircooled Mono:

Aprilia – 1

Fantic – 1

GasGas – 1

Honda – 1

Montesa – 1

Yamaha – 1

Modern Mono:

Beta – 7

GasGas – 4

Honda – 2

Montesa – 3

Sherco – 1

Other – 1

Event Report – Nant Ucha (Jun 19)

Event Report by Rob Sloggett, Paul Jones, Geoff Jones, Tarquin Millard and Steve Blaxall

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As anticipated, the lack of clashes with the local Kia rounds saw the number of entries swell back to the usual numbers and Sundays event actually saw 90 riders sign on at the very popular Nant Ucha Farm venue. The recent weather had caused the stream to swell in some places so the club took the safe and logical decision to use the stream where appropriate but also capitalise on the range of banks and stand alone clusters of obstacles to set out 10 fantastic sections for the four routes.

Pre 65’s saw 27’s bikes enter and Twinshocks were close by with 25 bikes in the class. AC Monos also saw a good entry with 14 bikes and the modern monos had a great turnout with 24 bikes. It was also great to see 14 riders contesting the beginners route and we hope some of the new riders have enjoyed the sections, club spirit and we look forward to seeing more of you. 22 riders picked up clubman route and 42 riders signed on for the inters route. That left 12 riders to contest the Expert route who were set up with a great hill climb and drop down in one of the latter sections of the day.

The event opened with a message from Dave Kynaston (part of the family who own the venue) to report of the loss of a local rider during a practice session at another local popular practice venue. Dave and the family have continually developed the Nant Ucha venue, keeping practice costs low for us riders. In order to provide even better facilities the family have decided to invest in a defibrillator and the land fees for todays event will go towards its purchase, along side a sponsored 1 mile swim being undertaken by his daughter…Opportunities to sponsor still exist and would be welcomed. 

Paul Jones – Pre 65 (Beginner)

During a recent trip to the Outer Hebrides a certain Wigan pie muncher cajoled me into having another go at trials after over 4 years out of the sport. Borrowed my dads Triumph 400 and the big day came, entered and signed on only to realise that I was first there and got the Number ‘1’ bib, Jeez i thought I’m going to get some stick over this.

I had decided to ride the white route and see how I got on. Whilst eating the obligatory bacon butty supplied by the Bambi De Burger  a few bets were being made as they realised I hadn’t even started the Triumph let alone ride it before. So the Wigan massive were getting quietly confident about their bets.

Following the riders briefing I took a deep breathe and to my relief it fired into life and away I went to section 1. Parked the bike then realised oh sh*te its only my dads section which upon walking it made me think how the hell do I get the triumph round the right tight turn upon getting through the start gate, so I decided to go for a long dab and managed to get out of the section within a shaking of the observers head on just a one. Nice little section that made you think.

Onto to section 2, on an off camber but nothing too tight and flowed nicely around the trees, during the event we had a rain shower which made it slippy and think about what you were doing.

Section 3 was a nice little section in through the start gate and right turn between some rocks then a left between more rocks onto a bank between two trees dropping back to the left for the end cards.

Section 4, when I first saw this, in through the start gate, left turn drop down a steep bank into the brook then straight across exiting with a good climb out with a 90 degree right at the top onto an off camber which got slippy during the trial. When I came to grief and ended up having a lie down next to the bike I thought its ok my dad cant see me from where he is.

Section 5 was simple, made you think again though. In through the start gate with a log across your path where you had to turn right and climb the bank. The Triumph did its job however I did have a couple of dabs due to being unsettled by the log.

Section 6 Into the section and over an old stone wall onto a wet slippy off camber, then a right turn off a step and exiting into the brook. Nice little section, nothing too technical but still a joy to ride.

Section 7 In through the start gate along the side of the stream between rocks with a right turn at the end up a bank. It didn’t look too challenging but you couldn’t be complacent either as a dab could be easily lost.

Section 8, a bit longer this section. In through the start cards and then a slight climb dropping you onto an off camber with a right turn and a log to your left to make you climb to the top of the bank and turn left and continue the climb over roots to the end cards. This was more challenging that you thought as the day went on and the section got greasy following the rain.

 Section 9. didnt look a lot for the white route. Down bank in through the start cards followed by a right turn on old sediment brought down by the recent flood water. You had to be careful not to let the front end wash out. We then went up the bank and out through the end cards.

Section 10 last but not least, a nice little section in through the start cards coming in from a steep uphill track, up a step and along behind a tree then a 90 degree turn dropping you off the bank and out through the end cards, again didn’t look much but still took a few dabs off me during the day.

As the day went on my confidence grew and I remembered why I loved this sport so much and my grin just bigger, I managed to finish the trial and immediately thought right when is the next one. Only disappointed I didn’t bet on myself finishing the trial and taking some money off the pie muncher, ah well always another day.

Rob Sloggett – Twinshock (Intermediate)

So after my first lap score disaster (and last lap wheel falling out) at the last event, I tried to find time to do two things before this event . Firstly spend some time prepping and checking the bike and secondly trying to get out for a practice.

Well the first (1) section came, I walked it and got on the bike and confidently entered the section in front of a group of onlookers. The first challenge was a nasty right hand turn between trees with a stubby route pointing up just at the wrong place. I saw several riders takes double dabs and the odd three at this point and was happy with a wasted single dab. I felt in a good place to the short bank, left turn, 180 degree right into a bomb hole and then a tight left up over the roots to the end cards. Hang on rewind……….back to the 180 deg turn. Yep trying for the single dab only I lost concentration and allowed the front wheel to wash out and then tuck under. A really embarrassing 5 at a point on a flat turn… Was this going to be my day (again). Well more on that a bit later on. But what of section 1 for the other three laps? I knew this was cleanable, if I could get the first obstacle in hand the rest of the section just needed better concentration. Lap 2, a double dab on the first turn and root plus another dab elsewhere, Lap 3, clean all the way to the last bit, overcooked the power lifting the wheel over the roots and had to have a big dab to pull it around to the exit flags. Lap 4 all to play for. Full concentration and a clean in the bank. Yippee!

The rest of the first lap was much better and I felt that all sections were cleanable and should be taking singles at best. I felt I was on for a good day.

Section 9 was another great section. In the stream it looked simple. Drop down the bank into the stream, ride for a bit picking a good line the full width of the river bed then a tight 90 deg right across the stream controlled by a set of well placed flags, across the flat bank and a sharp left turn uphill to the out flags. This was a great learning section as at the drop in you could not see the exit. All you had was a point of reference of two large rocks which gave you reference point to turn in at the exit stage. Cleanable but ready to take the odd dab if you caught a rogue rock on the turn out. A total of 5 marks lost, I recall at least one clean and a single dab so it must have been a pair of 2’s.

How do I pick my last favorite section to write about? Section 3, a variation on a spot of the land we practice regularly or Section 5 with another lesson in learning landmarks to pick the best line? For me its either Section 7 or 8 which both offered something different. The exit of 7 which was in the stream had a shallow right turn into a blind spot cluster of rocks. The layout only came into view once you were committed to a line. My first two attempts I think were clean (with big smiles), lap 3 caused me to go off line and really clack my boot on a rock and took a single dab. I rewalked the section on the last lap and saw what I thought was a better line. Mistake! a silly 3 took my section total to 4 marks. Section 8 was another great stretch section on the inter route. A straightforward entry with a couple of root strewn banks was OK if you keep your concentration high but after that a right hand turn into a steep climb with an elevated tree stump at the crest of the climb. You had to be smooth with the power as the turn transitioned into the straight line for the climb. Three cleans and then the last lap. The bank had deteriorated with the showers and I struggled to find grip. Saved for a 3 but it was still cleanable and I kicked myself for not finishing this one on a clean sheet!

The time spent checking the bike over and having a practice certainly felt like it improved my ride and I was quite happy how close i was within my group. I have got to say it was brilliant sections, everything rideable and some great technical aspects for an Inter improver who is normally in the bottom 1/3rd but aspiring to move up the table.

Geoff Jones – Observer (Section 1)

Well what a turnout for today’s trial, 90+ riders all poured into to the confines of Nant Ucha wood. We had lost the use of a good group of sections due to young cattle being in the locality and the previous heavy rain causing flooding in the brook, but with skillful planing of the course, setters Mark and Russ we were able to realize the full potential of the wooded section.

I observed on section one, which in itself looked fairly straight forward, but that did not prove to be the case. The start for the whites/yellows and green routes consisted of a tight turn around a slim tree sapling and over the stump of a previously felled small tree, followed by a drop down to a flat slippery corner. This proved to be the sticking point for a majority of riders, with the small tree stump either taking a purposeful one, an untidy three or the dreaded five, with one or two having a classic handlebar excursion !!!!

Whites then followed a more simple line to the end gate, so it was a case of a bit a of skill development and having to think on a bit of technicality leading to an easier end.

Yellows was set just about right with their follow through into a small bomb hole to exit up over several tree roots into the end gate. Again a good test of their development and skill.

Reds and greens more or less took the same path with an exit out of the bomb hole and a tight turn back to exit via different tree roots set at an angle. The initial lap was fairly good but with a couple of heavy rain showers the sections were quite dramatically changed, to test another level of skills to be experienced by the riders.

Tarquin Millard – Twinshock (Beginner)

My day at my first trial…..

The day was a great eye opener for me and lots of fun. It started with me wandering around chatting to a lot of people to get an idea of what was to come, everyone was so helpful and kind and the organisers were very professional as they were struggling with the parking situation as we had lots of rain.

I started off riding with Chris De burger , Paul Jones and Alan Dyson on the white route, as the day went on Chirs had to go so Paul kindly offered to ride with me and show me the ropes. He was very helpful and we had loads of banter that helped with the nerves.

I liked section 2, it was nice and flowing and 3 also, but I struggled on 10 as you started up hill and it was right next to a fence that messed with my head as there was not much room.

All in all, I had a brilliant day and just watching and seeing all the lovely bike’s was good.

Steve Blaxall – AC Mono (Intermediate)

This was my first time using the 305 fantic in a trial. A trial which almost ended before it had really begun. I had completed the first two sections then on to section 3, parked the bike, walked the section, came back to the bike, would it start? No – not a chance. A big thanks to Chris Mathews for offering the use of his bike, so i could go back to the van for a spark plug and a plug spanner. Yes that’s right no spark plug spanner in the van!. I pick an adjustable in the vain hope it may work, back at the bike, I thank Chris for his kind gesture and set about changing the plug. No chance with the adjustable but in trying i notice the plug is actually loose and can be undone by hand. I put the new plug in-hand tight she fires up 4th kick. Something’s not right I think, but its running, lets see how it goes.

Here are the 3 sections that i was having the most difficulty with :-

Section1 – A very compact, twisty & technical section. I struggled with the first right turn over/between the roots. There was an obvious gap for your front wheel but this made the rear ride up on a small stump making me take a dab or 2 !. The step up out of the bomb hole near the end of the section immediately after a left turn also posed problems.

Section 3 – Simple enough or so I thought. Cleaned it first lap, then second lap, up the bank, turn 180, back down and across to a left turn which at the end was a cluster of rocks. Really not sure – perhaps i was off line, but those rocks had me on my backside! 5!. This unnerved me and I paddled through next lap, I cleaned the last lap though. The other part of the section which got my attention was the last turn around the back of the tree before descending – I am still not fully confident with those off camber turns.

Section 9- Down the bank, turn right and up the stream – then the hard bit, turning right almost 180 degrees climbing out the stream followed by an uphill left to the exit. For three laps I was always taking a dab or 2 on the right turn out the stream. On the last lap I made the final right turn and still feet up. Taking a wide line to make the left easier I got too close to edge of the streams bank, hit a loose rock and had to take a supporting dab with my right foot, problem is fresh air is not very good at supporting you, and into the stream I went! Despite my mishaps, I managed 3 fives!

I had yet another great day. Many thanks to the Organisers, observers and landowners for making it all happen.

As always, we received great feedback on social media and some of the comments are below:

Pleased to take the win on the AJS yesterday with 5 marks lost. A great trial thanks to everyone involved. I even beat the old man by 2 so he wont be too happy about that, especially on fathers day! – Richard Beddoes

Really good trial again Russ and Mark well done. Thank to everybody including the Marshall. My wife did quite a good job as well  – Mark Lucas

Great trial again with a great bunch of organisers and riders. This old wobbler really appreciates it – Elwyn Beedles

Loved seeing my old friends and some good action along with a nice bacon butty and coffee keep enjoying the fun all – David Calvery

The next event sees us return to Pen Y Graig Quarry on the 14th July. As always we have to close by thanking everyone who made this event possible and wishing Daves daughter all the best with her sponsored 1 mile swim to raise funds for the Defib machine.

Top Places

Pre 65 Expert: Danny Littlehales, Francis Barnett (26); Kev Ellis, Trifield (27); Ady Green, Francis Barnett (84)

Pre 65 Intermediate: Paul Owen, BSA (6); Dave Lovell, Triumph (10); Gerry Minshall. James (12)

Pre 65 Clubman: Peter Cockins, BSA (37); Stephen Leyshon, BSA (39); Graham Miller, Triumph (41)

Pre 65 Beginner: Richard Beddoes, AJS (6); Dave Beddoes, OK Supreme (7); Chris Atherton, BSA (21)

Twinshock Expert: Chris Garlich (6); Ian Jones, Fantic (21); Andrew Williams, Honda (30)

Twinshock Intermediate: David Pengilley, Kawasaki (4); David Matthews, Bultaco (10); Josh Matthews, Fantic (10)

Twinshock Clubman: Graham Pennington; Ossa (33); Neil Parker, Honda (36); Alan Thomas, Fantic (46)

Twinshock Beginner: Chris Jones, Yamaha (32); Rob Ayres, Majesty (45); Darren Riley, Bultaco (45)

AC Mono Expert: Robin Foulkes, Yamaha (33); Jim Williams, Honda (38); Paul Young, Gas Gas (64)

AC Mono Intermediate: Martin Powell, Honda (14); Gordon Wilson, Honda (18); Paul Cartwright, Gas Gas (24)

AC Mono Clubman: Lee Churton, Gas Gas (28); Ken Williams, Honda (30); Andy Steele, Yamaha (43)

AC Mono Beginner: No enteries

Modern Mono Expert: Neil Sproson, Montesa (35); Paul Edwards, Beta (36)

Modern Mono Intermediate: Mark Diggle, Sherco (5); Steve Walker, Sherco (11); David Ellis, Beta (12)

Modern Mono Clubman: Paul Grocott, Montesa (18); Macauley Quiney, Beta (24); Elwyn Beedles, Sherco (26)

Modern Mono Beginners: Chris Matthews, Beta (11); Nigel Rigg, Honda TRS (12)(

Observers

Section 1 – Geoff

Section 2 – Suzanne

Section 3 – Dave

Section 4 – Mark

Section 5 – Russ

Section 6 – Julia

Section 7 – Chris

Section 8 – Jan

Section 9 – Harry

Section 10 – Izzy

Bike Stats

Pre 65 – 27

Twinshock – 25

A/C Mono – 14

Modern Mono – 24

Total = 90

Classes

Expert – 12

Intermediate – 42

Clubman – 22

Beginner – 14

Bikes

Pre 65:

AJS – 1

BSA – 10

Drayton – 1

Francis Barnett – 2

James – 2

OK Supreme – 1

Trifield – 1

Triumph – 9

Twinshock:

Bultaco – 5

Fantic – 8

Honda – 5

Kawasaki – 1

Majesty – 2

Ossa – 1

Montesa – 2

Yamaha TY – 1

Aircooled Mono:

Aprilia – 2

Fantic – 1

GasGas – 4

Honda – 4

Scorpa – 1

Yamaha – 2

Modern Mono:

Beta – 12

GasGas – 1

Honda – 1

Montesa – 4

Sherco – 6

Event Report – Carrog Isa (May 19)

Event Report by Rob Sloggett, Rob Ayres, Mark Gaskell, Talei Mallard, Ian Jones and Paul Owen

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A bright Sunday morning welcomed 67 riders back to Carrog Isa, a venue which had not seen a visit from the club for a few years. Whilst the club had a clash with another local Kia round which saw a number of riders take part, we still saw a great turnout of 29 Pre 65, 12 Twinshocks, 11 AC Monos and 15 Modern Monos.

8 Experts enjoyed a challenging set of sections, with Russ Jones getting the opportunity to get back on the bike. Almost half of the riders (32) took to a very challenging but enjoyable Intermediate route with the Clubman and Beginner routes taking 16 and 11 riders each.

Rob Ayres – Twinshock (Beginners)

After a health related lay off, it was great to get out and Sunday’s venue did not disappoint. Even though I am very much a White route rider, the feeling of achievement cleaning a few sections still does it for me.

After an off on section 6 of the first lap, the rest of the day was a bit painful, but achieved! And finished all 40.

Section 9 & 10 were my favourites, 9 with the little stream on the entry and exit and 10 with some good old mud! Most of the sections put something in there that stretched you a bit, whilst not being dangerous for someone who still has loads to learn. Doing the white route also allowed me some time to watch competent riders doing what I keep saying in my head that I should do!

This was my third Aqueduct event and like I said in the beginning, it did not disappoint, a great day. It is without doubt, the friendliest club I have had the opportunity to ride with and I certainly do not aim to miss any more events on this years calender!

Talei Mallard – Modern Mono (Beginners)

Section 1: I thought this section was a good starter (beginners) section because I had to think about the best line, and I had to ride over loose ground which I haven’t done before. I only lost 1 mark over the four laps.

Section 10: This was difficult because the mud just before the hill was sloppy and wet, so you got stuck at the bottom. If you got past that bit it was easy enough to ride out. I lost 16 marks overall, and snapped the back mudguard !

Paul Owen – Pre 65 (Intermediate)

Aqueduct classic returned to Carrog Isa. A great venue on the green hills above the Carrog valley.

There was a great turnout and a few riders still chatting about their Scotland tour.

The sections were spot on, I was riding the green route and looking at the sections they looked like yellow route but actually rode like red route! There was nothing dangerous there and with plenty of slippy banks and rocky streams it made for a great day. Here is 3 of my favourite sections.

Section 2: With a muddy left hand turn up the bank and a sharp right turn along a slippy off camber and then between 2 trees and down right to a short right-hand banking with a drop off into a sharp left to the out gate.

Section 3: A slight uphill climb into the start gate and a 180 left turn with a long right handed climb that turned into a tight zig zag up a good steep climb and a slippy descent between the trees to a trick left with a old tree stump that could easily catch you out. This was followed by a drop off into a left muddy turn and out gate.

Section 8: This was a drop down a banking into the rocky stream and a steep climb over the slippy rocks to a green mossy slab were we had to turn left but still keep traction and momentum as you then turned sharp right up some slippy root to the out gate.

I’d like to thanks the organisers and observers for a great trial and Mark Gaskell and Mark Newman for pushing me all the way.

Oh …. and my toolbar on the bike was in demand with some poor lad who’s front wheel spindle had fallen out……

Rob Sloggett – Twinshock (Intermediate)

I was so looking forward to getting back to Carrog Isa. It always conjours up memories of when I rode the Beamish and could not get grip at the start of a section and accidently sprayed the rider behind me with mud…. or the brillaint section just up in the top right hand corner of the parking field which always brings something new each time…. And I was not to be diasappoints as that Section (3) resulted in 15 marks being taken off me, but more on that in a minute.

They say bad news come in threes. A few weeks ago we lost our beloved pet dog of 13 years, a few days after we lost the Suzuki Jimny we had for 15 years to a major MOT failure and on Sunday 19th May I lost what few trials skills I possesed!

Yep, first section (2). Did not walk it correctly and got a five, next section (3) the climb was unscrubbed and I failed to get grip and got a 5, the rest of the first lap I think tallyed 6 x 5, 2 x 3, a 2 and a clean. I actually was ready to drop down to yellow to try and regroup my self esteem or put the bike on the trailer, take it home, put in on ebay and take up basket weaving. Don’t get me wrong, the sections were not massively difficult, walking the sections my head was saying in most cases they were single dabs at the odd place and maybe the odd two but when I got into the entry gates it just all went wrong.

I took the decision to regroup in my head, reset the aim of the day to complete each section by the end  with a 2 or less and rewalk the sections on the second lap and if I ran out of time as a DNF so be it. At the end of the day I wanted to enjoy myself and have fun (as thats what the event and this club is about) and I genuinly could not get my head around the first lap disaster.

Well I’m please to say the day got better until the last lap (but more on that at the end) and a couple of sections stood out for me. Section 8 (Gordons) section was the first one which lifted my spirits. A long gradual shallow drop on grass into the section led to a wide left hand turn which then presented you with a 50 ft run up a narrow stream bed with a few challenges on the way to keep you thinking. You then hit a flat rock slab about the size of a car bonnet with an uphill, left camber profile. Once over that you had an immediate (and I mean immediate) left turn to be presented with a reasonably steep dry mud climbing bank with roots in the middle and a left/right switch combination. Immediatly on walking the section I was planning deliberate dabs to make the turn than a couple of footings to be be expected up the bank and after the run of five’s up to this point I was very much about getting through as opposed to getting clean! I think the first lap I had a single footing on the bank, second lap another single and then two cleans with the tricky bit (in my mind) of the rock slab being cleaned each time.

Section 3 was my worse scoring section with I think two x 5, a 2 and a 3 and I really could not get what was a truely great section. As Paul had described previously, a wide entry with a 180 switch back led to a great climb between trees in a left / right / left snake pattern. Loose soil to push the front wheel out, just enought dryness in the ground to break traction and enought turns to mean body postion and movement of the bike was key. I really could not get this. I know what I needed to do but my execution was a disaster. Their is a similar section we mark out at Swans Farm when we practice and it gets me every time so definately a skill and technique I need to focus on.

So what of the last lap? Well a 5 on Section 3 should have alerted me to a problem on the bike as I actually managed the climb but the front end did not feel right in hindsite and caused me an error later on. I rode to Section 4 which had an up bank entry, turn left, tight right turn between two trees (whith a root to the left) and then drop down etc etc. The previous lap I dropped a couple of dabs at the root stage as I went to far left and had my head dialed in (for once) for the final attempt. I knew the line I wanted and felt confident. As I approached the right turn with the root the front out pushed out wide for no logical reason and then the back wheel lodged in the root and spun out. The root was shallow and a bit of footing should have got the bike through but it would just not budge. It was almost like the front brake was jammed on…. hang on, it was almost like the front brake was jammed on!

Yep disaster, what had actually happened was that the front spindle nut had come loose, the spindle had forced itself 1/3 of the way out causing the front wheel  to twist down between the fork legs jamming the front brake tie bar under the fork leg and as the brake plate had rotated, the front brake was now solid on.

So a few problems…. how to get out of the section with the front brake wedged on, how to get the bike from section 4 to the car to fix it and how to finish the trial which I was really enjoying and riding better by this stage. Luckily Messers Owen, Jones and Ellis were on hand and with a few tools at the section side we were able to release the brake cable, reposition the wheel, drive the spindle throught and tighten up the pinch bolts. Luckily the main nut had contained itself in the fork recess so Kev pinched this up with a pair on long nose pliers and I was able to finish the last 6 sections to end what was a bit of a nightmare day but still really enjoyable.

In the good old days in the 80’s, youth club events had scrutineering and it forced you to make sure your bikes were ready. Working away from home I know my bike prep has slipped between events and this time I played the price and embarresment! I definately need to pull together a basic check list of minimum checks and get back into a discipline of commiting a few hours between events to check things over better.

Ive got to close by thanking Paul, Russ and Kev again for helping me out and also the last 6 observers for waiting around as I think I was probably the last rider through!

Mark Gaskell – Pre 65 (Intermediate)

Perfect weather conditions for Carrog Isa on Sunday thankfully, as it can be a tad slippery in the wet! Drayton Triumph 350 twin, on the green, or intermediate route.

Section 2 caused me more grief than it should, the first right turn at the top of the bank getting the better of me for a loss of 6 marks. Only managed to clean it once. One of those annoying bits that despite knowing the right way, you always go wrong!

Section 5 was a slalom across the main track, with four tight turns up on the banks to negotiate and a root/rock step combination to catch an unwary wheel. The bike handled this perfectly, another rider asking me if it had a hinge in the middle. Sadly the pilot didn’t handle it quite as well and nearly went the wrong way on lap 2, requiring a couple of hefty dabs to get the plot back on course.

Section 6, slight downhill to a left up a bank, then a downhill right that got slippier as the day wore on. Onto a lower path, then tight right and immediately up a short steep bank between two trees. How fast you went up the bank dictated how much time you had to make a left over some loose slate, then a right out of the section. Watching a couple of riders fail the climb made me a little nervous, but the Triumph dispatched it with ease. I lost one mark on the last lap for not concentrating on the loose slate.

Section 10. My only 5 of the day. Drop down into a stream, turn right and up and over a jumble of rocks and roots. Left and over a large tree root before turning right and around aforementioned tree, then a short blast through a boggy hollow to the end. I overshot the left and ran wide outside the flags on lap one, and lost three subsequent marks, only managing to clean it on the last lap.

Ian Jones – Twinshock (Expert)

A dry overcast morning greeted nearly 70 competitors, showing how strong classic trials is in North Wales now, to Aqueduct classics Round four of the ten round series at Carrog Isa roughly halfway between Llangollen and Corwen beside the historic A5 with fantastic views of the Dee valley and its famous steam train running throughout the day.

After a short briefing from head honcho Russ it was off to the first of ten sections on this mountain side course, I’ve nicknamed this my joker card event as having ridden around here many a time as a hare and hounds course I sort of knew what type of sections they would be.

So on Saturday I went out for an hour on the Fantic near my home to practice on similar terrain, off cambers tight turns and climbs to get the feel of things which hopefully would benefit me in the trial.

After studying the first section for ages I noticed it was getting easier as every passing bike was taking the moss off the rocks and the loose soil on the tricky climb, so I was pleased with a clean start.

Section 2, one of my favourites,proper old school section, after watching Kev Ellis and Russ blasting their triumph twins up the steep climb someone thought that they’d heard thunder!! This was either a clean or a five section you’d be lucky to get away with a dab on this one.

Section 4 was different as this one got tricker on the last 2 laps , lost 2 dabs on this one (but didn’t loose a wheel!) sorry Rob….

Section 6 seemed to cause a few issues on the Expert route with a few 5s, by the time I got there, a nice path had been made, steady throttle in bottom gear was the order, section 7 was a cracker very easy to get it wrong up the narrow slippery slate bed, had three cleans and a clumsy 3 on this one.

My other favourite was section 9, another 2nd gear one up a stream bed then a blast up a jumble of rocks then a sharp left to the exit cards, managed 4 cleans, happy days!

All in all a fantastic days trialling with well thought out sections, all cleanable but ready to take a mark or two if you let your concentration lapse. Many thanks to the regular and new observers, Chris de Burger catering, landowners and organisers and the super quick results team.

A thoroughly enjoyable day, all credit to the Aqueduct team for putting on yet another excellent trial. Many thanks to all concerned.

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

Hi just like to say thank you to everyone for making me very welcome on my first trial shame my gear selector broke. Look forward to having a go at your next trial – Tarquin Millard

I must say that the yellow route rider that shone today over the tricky boulders was, Ken “Bou “ Williams, he floated over as if they wernt there – Geoff Jones

Big thanks to all the Aqueduct team for another great trial today-really enjoyed the sections and the workout in between!!! – Ken Williams

Great trial today, thanks to all organisers, observers and caterers – Chris Forshaw

The venue for the next event has been confirmed as Nant Ucha on Sunday 16th June.

As always we have to close this report with a big thank-you to all of the observers, sections setter upers, admin staff and Chris DB for the catering, plus the landower for the use of this great venue.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Expert: Kev Ellis, Trifield (14); Russ Jones, Triumph (17); Danny Littlehales, Francis Barnett (17)

Pre 65 Intermediate: David Beddoes, Francis Barnett (12); Paul Owen, BSA (13); Dave Lovell, Triumph (18)

Pre 65 Clubman: Roger Smith, BSA (14); Chris Forshaw, BSA (18); Graham Miller, Triumph (29)

Pre 65 Beginner: Kevin O’Toole, Ariel (31); Harry Barefield, BSA (46)

Twinshock Expert: Ian Jones, Fantic (7); Paul Smart, Fantic (14); Julian Price, Fantic (22)

Twinshock Intermediate: Dave Pengilley, Kawasaki (4); Adrian Kent, Bultaco (8); Alex Barrie, Honda (27)

Twinshock Clubman: John Sowden, Bultaco (52)

Twinshock Beginner: Chris Jnes, Yamaha (31); Rob Ayres, Majesty (65)

AC Mono Expert: No enteries

AC Mono Intermediate: Gordon Wilson, Honda (21); Paul Cartwright, Gas Gas (24); Alec Roberts, Scorpa (29)

AC Mono Clubman: Ken Williams, Homda (20); Colin Ashton (33); Andy Steele, Yamaha (40)

AC Mono Beginner: No enteries

Modern Mono Expert: No enteries

Modern Mono Intermediate: Peter Boettcher, Gas Gas (12); Spence Bradley, Gas Gas (30); Steve Walker, Sherco (31)

Modern Mono Clubman: Elwyn Beedles, Sherco (18); Jim Marsden, Gas Gas (46); Carl Jackson, Beta (80)

Modern Mono Beginners: Chris Matthews, Beta (28); Nigel Rigg, Honda (37); Talei Mallard, Beta (47)

Observers:

Section 1 – Geoff

Section 2 – Fiona

Section 3 – Izzy

Section 4 – Dave

Section 5 – Jan

Section 6 – Harry

Section 7 – Suzanne

Section 8 – Gordon

Section 9 – Mark

Section 10 – Chris

Bikes Stats:

Pre 65 – 29

Twinshock – 12

A/C Mono – 11

Modern Mono – 15

Total = 67

Classes

Expert – 8

Intermediate – 32

Clubman – 16

Beginner – 11

Bikes

Pre 65:

Ariel – 1

BSA – 11

Dot – 1

Francis Barnett – 4

Norton – 1

Saracen – 1

Trifield – 1

Triumph – 9

Twinshock:

Bultaco – 3

Fantic – 4

Honda – 1

Kawasaki – 1

Majesty – 1

Montesa – 1

Yamaha TY – 2

Aircooled Mono:

Aprilia – 2

Beta – 1

GasGas – 1

Honda – 3

Montesa – 1

Scorpa – 2

Yamaha – 2

Modern Mono:

Beta – 6

GasGas – 3

Honda – 1

Montesa – 1

Sherco – 4

Event Report – Pen Y Graig (Apr 19)

Event Report by Rob Sloggett and Mark Newman

With such a busy classic calendar in the North Wales area it was always going to be inevitable that clashes with the Kia rounds were going to take place and with Congleton being local to us a drift to the national championship was probable so it was great to still see almost 70 riders turn up for a warm Sunday at Pen Y Graig. Having visited the venue the previous month,the clerk of the course and his team had promised some new terrain within this great venue and the riders were not left disappointed!

The 68 riders were broken down into 27 Pre 65’s, 12 Twinshocks, 9 AC Monos and 20 Modern Monos with 12 Experts, 30 Intermediates, 18 Clubman and 8 Novices making up the distribution.

Mark Newman – Pre 65 (Intermediate)

Riding the green intermediate route on a 350 Norton pre65, my report on Section 1

It turned out to be my favourite one of the day as I watch a couple go through and thought to myself its getting through the tight turn after the hill thats causing a problem. So I set off up a short but steep off camber climb across and behind a group of trees then a sharp drop back onto the main path, up the opposite bank and around trees and rocks where its a bit loose under the wheels but all is well.

Then facing the steep but short bank with the tight turn to the right between said trees, I took a wider left hand approach taking it easy on the big Norton knowing to much speed and I will not make the turn. Perfect line eased through the tree, another full lock turn had me back down the bank before I knew it, just over a cluster of rocks and out the end cards for the perfect ride

 Big grin, all sections cleanable and did clean them all just not on all 4 laps ! …great trial. Huge thanks to all.

Rob Sloggett – Twinshock (Intermediate)

I woke up in the right frame of mind… right 6 months off of inters, 4 months with the bike being rebuilt and the last two months getting back into it on the clubman route. It felt the right time. Then I walked section 1! I have always said trials is 60% skill and technique and 40% mental attitude and seeing the 10 ft cross camber climb with minimal lateral run up filled me with doubt (and almost made me walk the clubman route). But it was time to bite the bullet again, get back on the horse, take control in the driving seat… yep all that motivational stuff you hear…. Being one of the first riders through the line was unscrubbed and a traverse entry was likely to slide out so I postioned the bike diagonal in the entry gates (but straight on to the bank), put the rear wheel as close to the wall with a slight downward run in and selected first gear. I was genuinely expecting the rear wheel to spin so took maximum opportunity on the compacted track entry line and lo and behold the Butaco dug in, found grip up the bank and flew up with ease. The rest of the section whilst complex comprised of up and down bank routes with turns around trees. Happy with the outcome and a clean on lap 1. By lap 2 the line had been scrubbed and it was obvious that a new entry line of traversing the track and turning in and up the bank was ridable and in the spirit of learning I took this line lap 2. Another clean and a tick in the box. Two further cleans gave me a clean sheet.

Not the same on Section 3! If you look at the results, this section took 9 occurrences of 15+ marks in the Inter classes including 4 maximums which included mine. Fair play to Mark Gaskell, the only Inter to clean it I think. You truly were a brave man to throw that Triumph Twin up there! So what was the challenge? Well the twist for the Inters was simple. Run into the section with a right hand drop down a bank, then a left hand climb across two small bumps to be presented about 15 foot in front of you with a tall off camber bank with roots across it. OK on its own probably BUT at the foot 7 ft back from the bank between two flags were two lines. To the right a rock slab about 2 ft across but sloping down right to left. To the left a cluster of rocks with a tight line through it but causing you to approach the bank off line to the left. Neither were good but you had to pick one, commit 110%. hope you got to the top and if you did not, have a plan to lay the bike over on the slope face or let it come down on its own accord. My first attempt blew my confidence, I took the right hand slab, got 75% up the bank, got caught on the roots and a scrappy exit saw the bike come down hard. The next 3 attempts took the left hand line but after the first off, my brain could not commit and all three attempts were lack luster the truth be told. I really wanted to get the bike up there but in my head I knew I was not going to get up there and the way down was not going to be pretty. My 3rd lap was probably my best effort with 80% of the slope being achieved but I had to dismount and push the bike across the camber to stop it dropping down the bank and this really sapped my strength.

The effort on Section 3 lap 3 really sapped my upper body strenght and the next few sections saw a couple of silly 3’s and two 5’s on sections I had cleaned previously, purely due to a lack of upper body / arm strenght. This was a big learning to my cimb backup into Inters and something I need to work on.

So what were the other highlights. Whilst I dropped a silly 5 on Russ’s Section 7 on lap 1 down to stalling it on a downhill element, the next 3 laps saw cleans and the refining of my rock gully technique the last few competitions I think showed as I felt more confident picking the line as opposed to letting the bike take me where it wanted . The same was found of Section 1 and 8 with a great set of rock gullies and specific lines being needed and the bike felt planted and I certainly felt more in control of my destiny.

All in all a great event. The Inter route was challenging and on a couple of occasions I knew the obstacle was a stretch. It showed me my weaknesses both in technique and mental capacity but also gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling where I could see the improvement in my technique so hats off to Russ and the guys for a great days competition…

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

First trial in 15 year and to say I sooooo enjoyed myself! Youve got a great little club Russ and the team. So friedly and welcoming to a first timer, sections perfect and organisation spot on. Cant wait for your next one. Really appreciate your hard work #itjustdoesnthappenonitsown – Elwyn Beddoes

 Great trial today. I think we got more than our moneys worth. Thanks to all the team. Will sleep well tonight. Thanks Again – Garry Shaw

Another cracking event. Thanks to all. Some challenging sections on the yellow route today. Persuaded my “young un” Charlie to step up to yellow today which he found hard going but managed to do them all. Thank you to all observers who helped him on the way – Neil Parker

What a great trail, sections were spot on in the clubman route with no long queues! I felt it my duty to provided a bit of entertainment for the observer at one section! Thanks to the team for stepping up to observe where needed. Much appreciated – Tim Godsmark

The venue for the next event is just being confirmed with the land over but as always we have to close this report with a big thank-you to all of the observers, sections setter upers admin staff and Chris DB for the catering, plus the landower for the use of this great venue.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Expert: Danny Littlehales, Francis Barnett (17); Pete Morris, Triumph (31); Kev Ellis, Triumph (32)

Pre 65 Intermediate: Roly Jones, Ariel (16); Mark Gaskell, Triumph (17), Mark Newman, Dave Lovell, Phil Alderman all tied on (17)

Pre 65 Clubman: Graham Miller, Triumph (3); Terry Lloyd, Triumph (4); Keith Baddeley, James (16)

Pre 65 Beginner: Kevin O’Toole, Matchless (3); Alan Dyson, BSA (25)

Twinshock Expert: Ian Jones, Fantic (24); Julian Price, Fantic (30); Steve Thompson, Honda (45)

Twinshock Intermediate: Alex Barrie, Honda (33); Rob Sloggett, Bultaco (64)

Twinshock Clubman: Chris Foreshaw, Fantic (7); Neil Parker, Honda (23); Matt Hopkins, Yamaha (33)

Twinshock Beginner:Chris Jones, Yamaha (7); Darren Riley, Bultaco (21)

AC Mono Expert: No Enteries

AC Mono Intermediate: Gordon Wilson, Honda (23); Martin Powell, Honda (25); Alec Roberts, Scorpa (30)

AC Mono Clubman: Ken Williams, Honda (34)

AC Mono Beginner: No Enteries

Modern Mono Expert: Alan Mills, Beta (39); Declan Marsden, GasGas (82)

Modern Mono Intermediate: David Ellis, Beta (9); Ronald Corbett, Beta (15); Steve Walker, Sherco (16)

Modern Mono Clubman: Elwyn Beedles, Sherco (15); Perry Tattum, Beta (27); Jim Marsden, GasGas (43)

Modern Mono Beginners: Nigel Rigg, Honda TRS (6); Guy Cowper, Sherco (12); Chris Matthews, Beta (13)

Observers:

Section 1 – Izzy

Section 2 – Annette

Section 3 – Gordon

Section 4 – Jan

Section 5 – Geoff

Section 6 – Mark

Section 7 – Russ

Section 8 – Dave

Section 9 – Christine

Section 10 – Suzanne

Bike Stats:

Pre 65 – 27

Twinshock – 12

A/C Mono – 9

Modern Mono – 20

Total = 68

Classes

Expert – 12

Intermediate – 30

Clubman – 18

Beginner – 8

Bikes

Pre 65:

Ariel – 1

BSA – 10

Dot – 1

Francis Barnett – 3

James – 1

Matchless – 1

Norton – 1

Triumph – 9

Twinshock:

Bultaco – 2

Fantic – 4

Honda – 4

Yamaha TY – 2

Aircooled Mono:

Aprilia – 1

Fantic – 1

GasGas – 1

Honda – 3

Scorpa – 1

Yamaha – 1

Modern Mono:

Beta – 10

GasGas – 3

Honda – 1

Montesa – 1

Sherco – 4

TRS – 1

Event Report – Pen Y Graig (Mar 19)

Event Report by Rob Sloggett, Ian Jones, Paul Owen and Mark Gasekell

With a clash of Round 2 of the Kia Championshp their was always a risk that numbers could be down but although a few club members were taking part at Lancs County MCC, the club still opened this March event with 75 riders. Of these, 33 were Pre 65’s, 16 were twinshocks with 8 Air Cooled Monos and 18 modern mono’s making up the count. The Intermediate class was the highest subscribed with 31 riders taking the popular “green route”. 27 riders tacked the clubman “yellow” route and 10 Experts on Red and 7 on Beginners / White route finished off the entries.

The event started slightly earlier with a 10:30 gathering to award the final Championship places for 2018. It was great to see so many riders taking pleasure in the presentation and congratulating their fellow riders and set up the second round of this year nicely by reminding us that whilst we all say that we only do it “for fun”, actually their is an underlying Championship going on in the background….

Ian Jones – Twinshock Expert

If Carlsberg made trials venues Pen y Graig would be top of my list, so much scope that the section setters put to good use in this old limestone quarry last worked in the 1950s. also a plus factor is after heavy rain all day saturday the nature of the quarry means that it drains pretty well leaving the 10 sections in prime condition for sundays action where an excellent turn out of over 70 keen riders considering there was a kia round and a local wrexham trial waited in sunny conditions to do battle over 4 laps.

After a nice presentation of last years award winners at 10,30 it was time to start engines smell some castrol R and ride down the narrow track to the quarry. I buddied up with fellow fantic rider Julian Price as i always find it easier to ride round the first lap with a competitor doing the same route to get ideas on different lines and sometimes the correct route as i’m colour blind and get mixed up with red and green markers.

We started at section 3, a twisty ride through the trees and a tricky exit up a narrow bank between two trees. First gear selected and off to a steady start until the last bank where the back wheel spun and had to have a steadying dab, its going to be one of those days I thought to myself.

Section 4, I cleaned and my confidence came back a bit then onto the 5th where you had to ride up a short steep bank then back down again into a tight left turn then a tight right turn with rocks and ruts hidden under a foot of murky water were a steady throttle and clutch control was required,another clean, this was my lucky section because if Julian had’nt of ridden it first i would have gone the wrong way up the first bank and had a five from the eagle eyed Harry.

Section 6 and 7 were rock sections and were new to me, very easy to mess these 2 up. A nice steady pace over the slippy moss covered rocks was the order and then onto section 8, a gentle decent into a narrow gap between 2 trees and a choice of lines over some rocks then a short steep shaley climb then over a fairly big log that got slippery every lap. I watched 4 experts go clean on this one, everyone on a different line, so this messed my head a bit as I could not decide which was best. Anyhow when i got to it i followed Danny’s line over the rocks then sharp left then opened the fantic up to blast up the hill, because the bike had been cold for a while it choked up badly and i was glad it had enough momentum to carry me clean to the ends cards.

Section 9, a gentle meander through the trees then down into a steep bowl, tight right turn, “you can go wide ,but dont take the mic” were the stern words of observer Mr Samuel.

Section 10 next up and I had to work this one out on my own as all my classmates had moved on, just a tight tricky finish to this one as I had to lift my front wheel over a rock on full lock but got away with it with a clean. Section 1 would have given a modern mono never mind a twin shock or pre 65 a good suspension workout with its mud covered sharp edged rocks ready to catch you out, same as section 2 where good brakes where required.

So first lap was done and 1 mark lost and I’m feeling better on the bike but also knowing that a mistake or a 5 would put paid to a good result. 2nd and 3rd laps managed to go clean, now I can feel the pressures on for the final lap and I’ve drank all my water in my backpack. lm convinced that drinking water helps me to concentrate, but I kept it together and finished the day with 1 mark lost.

Thanks to the organisers and observers. I feel I’m really lucky to have a hard working trials club within a half hour drive,

Paul “Moz” Owen – Pre 65 Intermediate

Round 2 of Aqueduct Classic Trials. It was a sunny fresh start with the 2018 Championship presentation held before the days event. Was good to see everyone in good spirits and plenty of banta being splashed out. Or as my dad says.. “plenty of oil being spilt” haha.

So here are 3 of my favourite sections from the 10.

Section 5: With a straight forward incline up a bank to a right turn and back down the slippy mud as you slid to the waters edge and over slippy roots and rocks it was up a wet muddy bank to a sharp left and then into a muddy bog to a uphill exit.

Section 7: It looked easy as you just rode around a rocky banking. But with some largeish rocks to get between and over on the narrow path, if you lost your balance a dab would be easy to pick up.

Section 10: A slight left downhill start to an off camber left over a slippy wet root that could easily take a dab, then a sharp right turn down a long bank that was greasy. Then another right turn down between some trees into the bottom of a bomb hole then a left off camber rocky bank to the out gate. It was so easy to lock up the front wheel on this down hill section.

It was a honour to win the Chris Davies memorial trophy as well as the 2018 inters championship.

 So another great trial at a great venue by such a great little club

Mark Gaskell – Pre 65 Intermediate and Talei Mallard – Modern Mono Beginners

It was a stroke of genius to have the club awards presentation before the trial, and I’m not just saying that because I received one! A much larger attendance was guaranteed, and with a free bacon sandwich from Chris de Burger’s fine foods emporium, everyone was smiling.

The weather had even abated, the storms of yesterday all but forgotten. I was contesting the green, intermediate route on a Triumph Twin, my almost step-daughter the white, novice route on a Beta Evo 200.

Section 2 on the white route took a right turn, over a jumble of rocks, then left turn to the end. I pointed out to Talei that if she took a wide sweeping right, it would give her a straight line over the rocks, but it didn’t quite translate to the handlebars. She did however manage 3,2,1, clean, so improving all the time. The green route took an uphill right turn around a tree, then down to a left over some loose rocks, and out to the right over a rockery. I had a silly dab on lap one, another on lap two, cleaned third lap, but fell foul of a displaced boulder on the last lap and paddled my way out for a 3.

Section 5 caused Talei some concern after seeing two riders in succession take an early bath in the mud hole. The prospect hadn’t escaped my notice either! Her route was a straightforward crossing of the mud hole, but with a short steep bank for the exit. Mine involved a 90 degree right turn in the mud, which hid some roots and rocks to add interest, before a short bank up to a 180 degree slimy left and out via the same bank as the white route. Talei had two cleans and two 5’s. One for missing the turn at the start owing to too much throttle, one for not getting up the bank at the end owing to too little! My first attempt involved some legwork to save a wayward front end and avoid disaster. The second a dab to do the same. The third I tried a different line, unsuccessfully for 5, but cleaned it on the last lap.

Section 8 white route started by riding down a long descent off the haul road, turn along the top of the embankment and then a steady climb back out to the haul road. A trifle daunting for our novice at first, but she soon got used to the idea and only dropped one mark. The green route followed the same descent, but then went further down, took a wiggle between two trees and over some rocks, then turned tight left to bring you a bikes length from what looked like a vertical wall. Probably only 15ft high, but quite steep and difficult to walk up. Waiting for my attempt I saw two expert route riders fail to get up the hill, and although their turn was a deal tighter than ours, I was just a little nervous as I got the go ahead from the observer. Holding my line through the turn, then possibly the first time I have used full throttle in a section on the Triumph saw me cresting the hill with ease, almost overshooting the next turn before the exit! Brilliant stuff, and happily repeated for the remaining laps.

I had a great day, and felt that I rode pretty well, but the scoresheet shows that quite a few other people rode better. Must try harder! (funny, sure I’ve heard that before!) Talei learned a lot from her ride, met a couple of types of obstacle that she has never ridden before, and is now plotting a determined assault on the novice championship.

Rob Sloggett – Clubman Route (Twinshock)

A few years ago I had a ski-ing lesson. Now I have ski’d for a few years but thought a couple of hours 1-2-1 would help hone my technique. After the lesson my ski instructor gave me some great advice. “Take what I have taught you and go on the Green and Blue runs only. Go where it is easier and focus on your technique. You will learn nothing that I have taught you by going down a black route, all that will do is teach you how to survive getting down a black route.

And that has sort of been my challenge to myself the last couple of events. As well as getting use to the new bikes characteristics I have wanted to focus on two things, slowing myself down in the sections to give myself time to think and also trying to ride a more defined line. In order to o this, I had dropped into the Clubman route and have really enjoyed the challenge. Whats the challenge in an easier route I hear you ask? Well as well as the self imposed pressure of “its an easier route so I really should not drop many marks should I?”, the walk of the section force me to pick out specific elements of the section that I knew were in my weak spot. Let me explain with my favourite sections from the day…

Section 1: the second half was straight forward, run across a high gully, drop down to a simple exit, but the start was a peach. An open run in presented a cross camber climb at a 45 degree angle. About a 5 to 6 foot incline with a flag width of about 3 foot seemed OK but the bank face was rocks of different sizes and varying gaps. No natural line, just a pick a route and ride it out. This is where the mixture of “I want to ride this section clean” and “I want to pick a specific line for the front wheel” came into play and it felt a real challenge trying to keep my speed down (where I would have normally attacked it) and visualising and controlling the front wheel. Four cleans left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Section 5: As pre the report by Paul above, this was a variation for the Clubman route and a great opportunity to try the bikes second gear. Probably not needed but a good chance to see how the bike picked up in a higher gear. The first incline was OK then you had a 180 degree right turn on the top of the bank to drop back down. Two options here, run out wide on the turn but traverse some small gullies and have a more straight on approach to the drop down the back or run inside on the turn parallel to the bank but have a move accute transition into the drop down. First two laps I was unstable across the gullies (taking the wider route) and lost a dab on the first lap and got close to a dab on the second lap so for the last two laps I took the inside line which force me to work on more controlled braking down the bank as you were tipping in at an angle as opposed to straight on. The second part of the section was up the bank, turn left, drop back into a muddy gully then up the opposite bank and turn left through the out cards. A single dab but maybe a close second one which the observer gave me the benefit of the doubt on.

Section 8: This was another great learning section. A meander through trees allowed precision and slow throttle control to be emphasised but then the mid secton threw in a nice curve ball. My initial walk made me thing “thats not the yellow route, thats more like a green” and thats the great thing about this sport. The psycological barrier that you have to overcome and the elation when you master it is just the best. So what was the challenge? Well from the top of the bank you had to tip down into a basin withj a relatively tight looking right hand drop but then once in the bottom of the basin you had to turn 180 degrees left and straight up the opposite bank. My immediate reaction was that the basin turn was tight and could force a dab but actually if you ran high on the opposite bank (albeit changing direction on the bank wall) you actually got a good run up the adjacent bank. A great excercise once again in picking a single element out from the section as a point of focus. Clean for the day on that part but a stupid silly dab on the way out! Typical.

Hopefully next month a return to Intermediate route but I have really enjoyed riding the clubman route and learning a lot from it! As always, huge thanks to the organisers, observers and additional helpers of all shapes and sizes.

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

Thanks to all a good trial again. Riding yellow route . I liked a few of the longer sections. All were dooable but still managed to drop 15. I think I need to slow up a bit! Section 5 seem to catch a few out including myself. Enjoyed 6,8,9 best – Neil Parker

I’m a novice observer, thought my section was well planned out! Loved the Red route with riders 71,72,73 I think they were, all totally relaxed. Loved my day – Suzanne Bowkett (Observer)

Well done aqueduct classic team. Brilliant trial. Red route today. Enjoyed it muchly. Thanks to the observers – Gary Shaw

Great sections,bike running well & my favourite venue but I didn’t do it justice today-terrible 1st& 2nd laps then got better for last two-but had great day anyway. Big thanks to all involved in making it happen – Ken Williams

We return to Pen Y Graig again next month and look forward to seeing you all there. As always a huge thanks to the club team, the observers, land owner and Chris and his catering team.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Expert: Danny Littlehales, Francis Barnett (3); Gary Shaw, Triumph (16); Guy Rogers, BSA (21)

Pre 65 Intermediate: David Beddoes, Francis Barnett (1); Tony Dillow, Triumph (2); Craig Howard, BSA (3)

Pre 65 Clubman: Roger Smith, BSA (2); Graham Miller, Triumph (8); Peter Cockins, BSA (9)

Pre 65 Beginner: Kevin O’Toole, Matchless (6); K Lloyd, BSA (6); Chris Atherton, BSA (19)

Twinshock Expert: Ian Jones, Fantic (1); Julian Price, Frantic (33); Jack Lycett, Yamaha (47)

Twinshock Intermediate: Stephen Knight, Yamaha (2); Alex Barrie, Honda (5); Jeff Hurley, Fantic (14)

Twinshock Clubman: Rob Sloggett, Bultaco (3); Graham Pennington, Ossa (11); Dave Lycett, Yamaha (20) (

Twinshock Beginner:No Finishers

AC Mono Expert:No enteries

AC Mono Intermediate: Gordon Wilson, Honda (2); Martin Powell, Honda (5); Alec Roberts, Scorpa (17)

AC Mono Clubman: Richard Corbert, Scorpa (0); Ken Williams, Honda (7)

AC Mono Beginner: No enteries

Modern Mono Expert: No enteries

Modern Mono Intermediate: Andrew Dean, Beta (0); David Ellis, Beta (3); Paul Hempkins, Gag Gas (14)

Modern Mono Clubman: Martin Howard, Beta (6); Hayden Rainford, Beta (8); David Molyneaux, Beta (12)

Modern Mono Beginners: Chris Matthews (20); Talei Mallard, Beta (34)

Observers:

Section 1 – Izzy

Section 2 – Suz

Section 3 – Celine

Section 4 – Chris

Section 5 – Harry

Section 6 – Russ

Section 7 – Gordon

Section 8 – Dave

Section 9 – Mark

Section 10 – Jan

Bike Stats:

Pre 65 – 33

Twinshock – 16

A/C Mono – 8

Modern Mono – 18

Total = 75

Classes

Expert – 10

Intermediate – 31

Clubman – 27

Beginner – 7

Bikes

Pre 65:

Ariel – 1

BSA – 16

Dot – 1

Drayton Bantam – 1

Francis Barnett – 4

Matchless – 1

Norton – 1

Saracen – 1

Triumph – 7

Twinshock:

Bultaco – 2

Fantic – 5

Honda – 2

Montesa – 1

Ossa – 1

Yamaha Majesty – 1

Yamaha TY – 3

Aircooled Mono:

Fantic – 1

GasGas – 1

Honda – 3

Scorpa – 2

Yamaha – 1

Modern Mono:

Beta – 10

GasGas – 2

Montesa – 1

Sherco – 4

Unlisted – 1

Event Report – Nant Mawr (Jan 19)

Event Report by Rob Sloggett, Paul Owen, Graham Miller & Alan Dyson

 I started the January 2018 report with these words…. “When 82 bikes turn up to the first event of the season with some riders travelling a couple of hours to get to the start you know you are onto a good thing as a club“. So how do you start it when the opening number for January 2019 tips the balance at 104 riders? I suppose you just continue to appreciate the hard work of the club team and report on what was a fantastic event.

The incredible turnout saw 41 Pre 65’s joined by 30 Twinshocks, 9 AC Monos and 24 Modern Monos. The increase was significantly biased towards the Pre 65 and Twinshock classes which was even more appreciated by the spectators at this great venue where the sections are marked out around the edge of a quarry giving quick and easy reach to the competitors.

It was good to see 24 riders take to the Expert route with 44 riders tackling the Inter route, 28 in the Clubman and 8 in the Beginners class.

Alan Dyson – First time spectator

What a fresh start to the New Year!

A cold Sunday watching my first classic trial invited to by a club member and good friend Mark Newman. Having rode trials bikes previously but never attended a competitive club trial, I was keen to come and see what it was all about having spoken to Mark about trials bikes and future club events on various occasions. I didn’t expect such a large turnout of riders and spectators at club level however when we arrived there I was taken by surprise as to how many people were actually competing and what was involved in organizing a club trial.

I was introduced to Russell the ‘boss man’ of the event and also many club members who I have to say were a great group of guys and girls who made me feel very welcome and answered any questions I asked. As a 1st time spectator I was keen to see as many of the sections as possible, so armed with my camera off I went. The sections were all very well set out with a varied set of routes and were suitable for all level of riders. The safety and organization around the event was excellent…and the butty van was second to none!

Watching all the riders I was impressed with the level of skill but more the level of fun they were having and even though the event is competitive, the camaraderie between the riders was impressive. After taking quite a lot of ‘No Pressure’ pictures during the day I had a wander between sections to look at the different types of classic trials bikes, where yet again everyone I met and spoke to was welcoming and accommodating.

I have well and truly been bitten by the bug! I’d like to thank Aqueduct Classic Trial Club for a great day and not forgetting Mark Newman for the invitation and the experience of watching a competitive classic club trial.

Paul “Moz” Owen – Inter Route (Pre 65)

With over 100 riders it was a busy day for all observers. What a great venue and a very enjoyable trial. 10 challenging sections of rock, mud and slippy roots. Here is my pick of 3 of the 10 sections.

Section 3. Starting off with a 10ft climb and onto some large loose rocks into a left turn and another climb to a off camber bank. Then a sharp left down loose chippings to a right turn and the out gate.

Section 9. Starting on the flat you entered the section and did a 180 degree turn between some trees in a muddy bog then you turned left up a muddy bank but it was grippy. At the top you turned left and stopped back down to the flat and the end gate. But it was slippy and you didn’t want to touch the brakes!

Section 10. A muddy start gate then across the stream and up a short steep bank to a left around a tree then to a off camber bank and along some slippy tree root covered in wet mud. Then over a big tree root to a steep left bank and back into a muddy stream and along to the end gate.

It was great to see so many riders and all of them smiling and happy to be on a bike after the Christmas break. Big thanks to aqueduct classic for another great trials run by a very successful dedicated team . And success breeds success

Rob Sloggett – Clubman Route (Twinshock)

At last! After 5 months off the bike, the Christmas break allowed me to finish it off and after a couple of practices at Nant Ucha I was ready to throw myself back into another season at Aqueduct. After making the mistake a few years ago of taking a newly rebuilt / modified bike straight into a completion and not really being use to it I cracked a rib (my fault!) so for this re-boot I decided to drop down to the clubman class, have an enjoyable days sport and make sure I was happy and confident before going back up into the Inter class. And I was so glad I did ….. because I had a blast! The clubman route gave me enough pressure in the sections where I knew I should clean it not to fall into silly dabs but enough variety to throw the odd challenge at me to develop my skills and test the bike out.

So what were my highlights? Well it started with Section 4. This seemed quiet unassuming. A straight entry on the flat and immediately do a quick right left on flat ground to line up to a straight uphill gradient. Whilst the surface was loose stone this was compacted and not an issue but at the top of it was the main challenge of the section. Positioned across a 1 meter width span was a nook in the rock to the left but a large stone to the right big enough to catch your cases it you got the left hand line wrong. To the right was a rock large enough to make you consider the left hand side but not so large that you would consider riding over it. After that a small gradient up, a shallow right hand turn then a downhill run to the end cards. As this was a learning ride, I wanted to see how the bike took the rock so that was my target. Two cleans and a silly dab on the first 3 laps so on the last lap I tried the left hand side to see how my bottle lasted with the smaller gap. It was the wrong move and cost me 2 daps but at least I learnt its better to go over than around!

Section 7 was my Achilles heal. You started on a blind bank where you could see the start cards but not visualize your line. You were then presented with an uphill gully with a rock cluster (uphill attack) or peel right and go around the rock. Unfortunately you then had a sharp left across two groups of rocks before dropping down to the end cards. On this occasion I tried the “go around” as opposed to over and on the first 3 laps took 3’s (some with more than 3 dabs). I spoke to a couple of other clubman riders on the last lap who had tried going over the rock and felt it was a more rideable line. For the last lap I rewalked the section and felt comfortable with the challenge, selected first gear and attacked it. Two silly daps but nothing like my previous attempts and felt with another pass I probably could have mastered it for a single dab or maybe a clean.

Section 9 was my only self inflicted 5 (I had one on Section 1 but that was as a result of the chain jumping off so I’m not counting that…) A simple section on paper, enter in with a 180 right loop them an uphill 270 left over a sludgy base. This was the main obstacle and my natural line was go wide on the 270 and kiss the outside flag. I could not get this consistently and dropped a single dap each time as the transition on the bank tipped the bike in. For the last lap I wanted to try a tighter line and have 2nd gear selected in-case the bike lost traction and I needed a bit of grunt. Needless to say the line, gearing and technique aligned in the perfect storm and I was rewarded with a 5. After my lap had finished I went back to the section, asked the observer if I was OK for a practice ride and cleaned it straight away. Such is the joy of this sport.

Graham Miller – Clubman Route (Pre-65)

Later start than usual knowing that parking at the quarry would be plentiful and pleasing to see a 100+ rider entry today. Congratulations to the organizers and observers for providing a great trial, severity just right to test but not punish us and perfect weather conditions.

Section 1: drop in down a steep bank, don’t get too ambitious and turn too early, out of the water up the bank and head for the V between the trees. Over the roots and home and dry after a sharp left followed by a right bringing the end cards into sight.

Section 2: can’t get too close to the start so kept peering out to see the lady observer’s welcome beckoning. Tricky little section and decided to keep close to the left otherwise the rocks bite back. Fourth lap went too close to the left and the tree snapped the clutch lever off – wondered why it was dangling in front of me and wished I had invested in a pair of Domino’s instead of the cast Amal copies !

Section 3: again a long distance entry up a steep bank and immediately into the section. Watch out for the landing after the descent over the rock step but generally manageable.

Section 4: more rocks to attack the chain when running a large rear sprocket on the Cub so keeping right over the rock step proved to be the safest approach. Grip the handlebars tight to outwit the loose rocks and sail through to the finish.

Section 5: awkward hill waiting to get into the section but thankfully the Cub’s brakes weren’t too wet so they worked OK today. A tricky manoeuvre through a pair of rocks and a left turn at the finish.

Section 6: first queuing encountered but a good time for a catch-up with friends. Winding section with an adverse camber in the middle which I thought might get worse through the day. However, all was well and although the surface broke away, there was plenty of grip underneath.

Section 7: probably the hardest section of the day. Avoid the daunting looking rock step at your peril as trying to turn on the smaller rocks was taking marks of most riders. Straight up the rock step which provided a surprising amount of grip, or maybe it’s the difference between a Pirelli MT43 and my new sticky IRC, hold tight and bounce out with only the end cards in mind.

Section 8: straightforward entry until after the right turn when the rock/root step is quickly upon you. Blip the throttle, pull back on the bars and climb to the summit.

Section 9: figure of eight with an adverse camber over a rut. Go wide and end up too high for the banked turn risking the front wheel cutting away; too tight, loose traction and take a dab – the choice is yours.

Section 10: second gear to maintain momentum up the hill followed by a tight left turn heading through a narrow gap between trees and down into a murky mire. Avoid the two hidden rocks, sweep around and out to start lap 2 to do it all over again.

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

Just like to say thanks for a great day Sunday it was my first comp ever and I really enjoyed it. Great club with a great attitude.Big Thanks to Paul Cartwright for keeping me going in the right direction – Paul Corcoran

A few photos of a fantastic day out with Aqueduct Classics, a great bunch thanks for making us so welcome, im hooked, got to give this a go, looking for a bike now – Jeff Hughes

Great start to 2019, cracking venue and challenging (for me anyway) Green route. Thanks to all observers, organisers and caterers. You must be doing something right for 100+ entry – Graham Pennington

February sees us hosting the opening round of the 2019 Kia Championship at Plas Onn and as always we are keen for observers, but for this report, all that is left to say is a huge thank-you and well done to the club for accomodating the 100+ riders and putting on such a great event. The observers as always did a fantastic job and a big thank-you to them and finally to the land owners, the back room team and the caterers, you know how much you are appreciated.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Expert: James Francis, BSA (2); Danny Littlehales, Francis Barnett (5); Russ Jones, Triumph (13)

Pre 65 Intermediate: Stephen Knight, BSA (3); Paul Own, BSA (4); Paul Cook, Francis Barnett (5); Phil Alderman, BSA (5)

Pre 65 Clubman: Graham Miller, Triumph (5); Rob Godwin, Francis Barnett (16); Roger Smith, BSA (16)

Pre 65 Beginner: Chris Atherton, BSA (23)

Twinshock Expert: Matt Spink, Fantic (3); Steve Thompson, Honda (8); Ian Jones, Fantic (11); Tim Cuffin, Yamaha (11)

Twinshock Intermediate: Gary Hawkins, Fantic (2); Dave Pengillery, Kawasaki (4); Jim Droughton, Yamaha (6)

Twinshock Clubman: Keith Jones, Majesty (9); Rob Sloggett, Bultaco (30); Philip Roberts, Fantic (34)

Twinshock Beginner: Ken Garfield, Yamaha (4); Stuart Smith, Armstrong (7)

AC Mono Expert: Jim Williams, Honda (10); Robin Foulkes, Yamaha (43)

AC Mono Intermediate: Gordon Wilson, Honda (8); Alec Roberts, Scorpa (12); Paul Cartwright, Gas Gas (28)

AC Mono Clubman: Andy Steele, Yamaha (13)

AC Mono Beginner: David Evans, Fantic (9)

Modern Mono Expert: Dan Charles, Beta (35); Neil Jackson, TRS (36); Declan Marsden, Gas Gas (39)

Modern Mono Intermediate: David Ellis, Beta (12); Paul Hempkins, Gas Gas (12); Steve Walker, Sherco (13)

Modern Mono Clubman: Ken Williams, Unlisted (11); Harley Lewis, Gas Gas (12); Pat Forde, Beta (17)

Modern Mono Beginners: Chris Matthews, Unlisted (20); Talei Mallard, Beta (36)

Observers:

Section 1 – Geoff Jones

Section 2 – Ange Godsmark

Section 3 – Matin Pengilley

Section 4 – Dannny Knight

Section 5 – Mark Samuel

Section 6 – Harry South

Section 7 – Dave Williams

Section 8 – Izzy Cartwright

Section 9 – Chris Samuel

Section 10 – Suzanne Bowkett

Bike Stats:

Pre 65 – 41

Twinshock – 30

A/C Mono – 9

Modern Mono – 24

Total = 104

Classes

Expert – 24

Intermediate – 44

Clubman – 28

Beginner – 8

Bikes

Pre 65:

Ariel – 1

BSA – 18

Dot – 2

Drayton Bantam – 1

Francis Barnett – 6

James – 2

Matchless – 1

Saracen – 1

Triumph – 8

Twinshock:

Aprilia – 1

Armstrong – 1

Bultaco – 3

Fantic – 11

Honda – 5

Kawasaki – 1

Majesty – 1

Montesa – 1

Ossa – 1

Yamaha TY – 4

Unlisted – 1

Aircooled Mono:

Fantic – 2

GasGas – 2

Honda – 2

Scorpa – 1

Yamaha – 2

Modern Mono:

Beta – 11

GasGas – 6

Montesa – 1

Ossa –

Scorpa – 1

Sherco – 2

TRS – 1

Unlisted – 2

Kia Event Report – Plas Onn (Feb 18)

Event Report by Rob Sloggett, Patrick Forde, Steve Bird and Mark Gaskell. Photos kindly by Gillian McAveety

Well it was a cold start to Sunday morning but a warm reception greeted the 140+ riders who had pre-registered for the opening round of the 2108 Kia Twinshock Championship. This was Aqueducts third year of hosting a round and we felt honored to carry the responsibility of the opening event in its fourth season. Plas Onn is a great venue and the club team had exploited the area to its full potential, mixing the areas used for the regular club event sections with some new land opportunities. I was observing on Section 8, one of the new areas and if my section was anything to go by, it was clear everybody was going to have a great day.

Many thanks to those people who have contributed to the report and the soundbites in italics have been grabbed from social media.

Steve Bird – Yamaha TY250R, Aircooled Monoshock Expert

We warmed up for the Trial with one of Chris De Burgers full English breakfasts. Well fuelled and time for a little wander round the new car park, specially built for the trial, to catch up with people after the break and check out the lovely variety of bikes. The venue was fantastic with a wide variety of hazards. Rocky streams, muddy banks, roots and even some icy patches to add to the mix. Not forgetting the breath-taking views of course.

Sec 6 was my favourite and undoubtedly the hardest section on the day. It was only my 2nd section so still a bit cold. Having dropped down the stream there was an awkward rutted approach through mud up some very difficult root steps which tried to throw you the wrong way into the fence! I hit the roots a little off balance and needed a dab on landing. Next there was an awkward camber leading to a steep, slippery muddy bank. I had spotted a new line on the bank which although was much steeper, did away with the turn that was catching everyone out. It was a bit risky and would only work if I was on line with good speed. With the Yam in 3rd I hit it as fast as the sparse grip on the short run up would allow and thankfully sailed up. I managed to keep feet up for the turn and drop, knocked down a gear and picked up good drive for the slippery rocky climb to the exit. It was a good confidence booster and I was pleased to finish the lap with just another 5 separate dabs.

All was going well for lap 2, cleaning all the sections I’d dabbed on until Sec 12. A relatively easy section, I didn’t take another look for the second lap and promptly took a wrong turn missing the flag. I tried to recover with a big foot down pivot, but quite rightly the observer was having none of it!! A stupid 5 to give away. This was a bit of a wake up and seeing rivals near me have some excellent rides I dug deep and managed to finish the 2nd lap for no further loss.

I have to say I thought the sections were brilliant, the organisers managed to get the severity perfect. Some easy, some hard but nothing dangerous. A good ride rewarded a clean but you had to work for them and mistakes were punished. I think most riders appreciate a Trial where they can recover from a mistake, I certainly did. Thank you to everyone involved, see you all soon.

Helen (on behalf of Paul Hobson) – Paul really enjoyed the whole event but enjoyed Sections 6,7,8 and 9 the best. Over the hill, a bit of mud and tree roots. As an watcher, I enjoyed watching sections 14 and 20 and may have a go myself next time.

Mark Gaskell – Drayton Triumph 350 Twin, Clubman route

First of all, I must congratulate all the team at Aqueduct Classics for such a fantastic event. To cater for so many riders at such a level requires a huge amount of work and organisation, and a lot of thankless hours. So it’s a big thank you from me!

Section 7 – A slimy start, into a deep water filled rut, then a short upward slope to a choice. Slippery clay on the left, wet mud over rock on the right. Hmm. Then up a cambered slope to an evil looking root step. There was one spot where two roots crossed and your back wheel could gain purchase and keep you pointing ahead. I made the right hand choice, but then slipped off a rock and had to paddle hard to keep going forward. Managed to get through to the root step, pointed and squirted and cleared it nicely, but then hadn’t enough momentum to get out through the flags. The observer generously judged that my axle was through, and gave me three.

Section 8 – This should have been bread and butter to the Twin. Cross a small stream, then blast up a hill, turn right over some roots and out. Sadly, I messed up the hill, had to turn round at the bottom to try and get out, got stuck on the roots and needed a hefty pull from Barry to get me moving again. Unfortunately at this point I hit a metaphorical wall, which I blame on some sort of virus. I decided that one lap was enough, discretion the better part of valour, and slunk off home to sleep for 11 hours straight.

Section 15 A familiar section, but in reverse. The entrance caused the most stroking of chins and scratching of heads. A downward slope to an off camber root step between two trees. Choosing an angle of approach anywhere in a 90 degree radius gave options between finesse and momentum. I took momentum and 60 degrees, clearing the step with ease, but then finding myself in a spot with no grip! Thankfully it picked up and made the right turn into the streambed, following it down to a gap which didn’t look wide enough for the Triumph, but was. Left turn at the bottom then pick a path over some rocks before a greasy bank to the exit for a clean.

Section 19 Another reversed section. Right, across the stream,up a short greasy bank and turn left round a tree before going back down the bank and recrossing the stream. Round the trees before turning left up a rooty climb, with a step just before the end cards. Could you get front axle through if your back wheel stopped at the step? Hmm. I found too much grip on the greasy bank, which launched me down the other side with my front wheel in the air. Spectacular, but ineffective, as I had to dab to steady myself. Applying plenty of right hand on the rooty climb meant that the step became irrelavant, but scattered spectators on the fire road above as momentum carried me too far.

Section 20 Do not try to pose for the camera. That is all. Three.

Graham Pennington – Small Club, Big Event, superb organisation thanks to all for taking the time to plan set up and run. Huge thanks to Landowner Barry for use of his farm and ‘new’ van park

Rob Sloggett – Observer Section 8

Wrapped up in plenty of layers, I took my trusty 175 Sherpa for the long run over to Section 8. Getting there and walking the two routes, the Expert route looked daunting. A straight entry into a stream gully was straight forward but the whole gully was strewn with shale and slate fragments that just shifted underfoot. The first set of riders were going to struggle with this! Then a steepening climb still in the gully traversed left into a 180 right on an upward camber. Into a mud pit for a few meters then fire up a mud bank with an over handing thick branch as you got on the throttle. The Clubman route looked OK. Enter the gully but this time you did not enter the main gully but traversed across it then up a muddy bank between some trees. The area then opened out wide to line you up for a set of flags over a root and rock cluster (still moving up hill) and  simple right turn out of the end cards.

As the day went on, the Expert route tended to ease up as the shale stream bed scrubbed out giving more grip but the turn and the mud pit did still catch some riders out. The Clubman route was a different story, and the later riders were definately caught out as the sun trap drew the frosty moisture out of the ground and made the first phase of the section slippery. Unless you were really committed and got the line right, twos and threes (and a number of fives) came into play.

We had some great rides on this section and as always, it is great to see the cross section of riders and bikes. My ride of the day has to go to Jacob Potts on his little TY125 on the clubman route. After missing the section, he came to the section late and missed the advantage of the ground conditions on the early part of the day. A tough 5 on his first try, he dug deep, dropped a gear, gave it the beans for a lovely clean.

Fredina Minshall – Huge thanks to the Aqueduct Classic for hosting the first round of the Kia National Twinshock Trials Championship. It’s a big challenge for the rest of the clubs to follow. Great to see everyone .

Patrick Forde – Observer Section 19

From the point of someone who normally competes, section 19 looked like it would not proved too difficult, at least for the clubman route. This didn’t proved to be the case. The riders started by immediately turning right to ride up a bank , before rounding a tree and dropping back down again. This proved to be the first hurled for some, especially as the terrain began to show signs of use. Quite a few found themselves dropping marks as they rounded the tree, getting stuck, or occasionally hitting the tree. This was followed by crossing the rocky stream bed to round another tree, with what then looked like a simple straight ride up a stream. The sting in this was a rock step which due to the cold weather proved to be more slippy than expected. This was the cause of a number of riders dropping a 5, as they often ended up struggling and going backwards.

The expert route started with a sharp left to round a tree, followed by crossing the stream bed. This was follow by riding up a bank, turning left to round a tree and back down again. Now came probably the hardest part for them. As they dropped back down, they had to turn sharp right and without much time or space, ride up a rock bank, with water running down. These rocks were unstable in places. Immediately after getting to the top of this, the riders performed a left u turn and dropped back down. Over time quite a rut formed at the bottom, with quite a few nearly getting caught out by this. This followed by arching to the right, to pick up the rock step used by the clubman, follow a stream over rocks and out the section.

It must be said though that the riders , regardless of how they did, rode with smiles on their faces.

Peter Thomas – Great day out, thanks for use of the van to sit in and observe and thanks to Gordon for the lift to the trial. My section (20) looked difficult, no cleans on expert route until three experts arrived and cleaned what looked impossible. Riders said the event was difficult but its a national trial

I think I can close by saying that the club can hold its head high with a great event and a level of organisation that is expected with such an established National Event. As always thanks have got to go to Barry for the use of the land, Chris for keeping everyone fed and full of hot tea plusthe team who spent the last 3 weeks marking out the sections. A big thanks have got to go to everyone of the observers who stood out on a very cold day. 20 sections is alot to man and its testimony to the friendship within the club that makes people want to support events like this.

Finally acknowledgement has got to go to Russ for keeping the vision of the club growing and with the close family and friend approach makes reports like this such a pleasure to collate.

Top Places:

Twinshock Expert: Richard Allen, Honda (15)

Historic Spanish + Pre78 T/S Expert: Christopher Kyers, Bultaco (52)

Monoshock Expert: Steve Bird, Yamaha (11)

British Bike Expert: Philip Houghton, Triumph (18)

Twinshock Clubman: Gary Hawkins, Fantic (9)

Historic Spanish + Pre78 T/S Clubman: Robin Oliphant, Suzuki (23)

Monoshock Clubman: Paul Whittaker, Fantic (16)

British Bike Clubman – Jim Pickering, Drayton Bantam (7)

Observers:

Sec 1 – Fiona Brimelow

Sec 2 – Geoff Jones

Sec 3 – Trevor Bennett

Sec 4 – Harry South

Sec 5 – Bryan Devereux

Sec 6 – Paul Cartwright

Sec 7 – Tim Godsmark

Sec 8 – Rob Sloggett

Sec 9 – James Bell

Sec 10 – Angela Godsmark

Sec 11 – Gordon

Sec 12 – Steve Walker

Sec 13 – Pete Raisford

Sec 14 – Dave Williams

Sec 15 – Andy Steele

Sec 16 – Mike Sutton

Sec 17 – Vernon Roberts

Sec 18 – Roger Kenyon

Sec 19 – Patrick Forde

Sec 20 – Pete Thomas

Bike Stats:

British Bike – 53

Historic Spanish + Pre78 T/S – 20

Twinshock – 49

A/C Mono – 38

Total = 160

Classes

Expert – 53

Clubman – 107

Class Detail

Twinshock Expert – 20

Twinshock Clubman – 29

Historic Spanish + Pre78 T/S Expert – 4

Historic Spanish + Pre78 T/S Clubman – 16

Monoshock Expert – 14

Monoshock Clubman – 24

British Bike Expert – 15

British Bike Clubman – 38

Bikes

British Bikes:

Ariel – 4

BSA – 22

DOT – 2

Drayton – 4

Francis Barnett – 4

Greeves – 1

James – 5

Triumph -11

Historic Spanish and Pre 78:

Bultaco – 9

Jawa – 1

Montesa – 1

Ossa -5

Suzuki – 2

Yamaha – 2

Twinshock:

Beamish Suzuki – 1

Fantic – 18

Honda – 8

Kawasaki – 2

Montesa – 1

SWM – 5

Yamaha Majesty – 7

Yamaha TY – 7

Aircooled Mono:

Beta – 4

Fantic – 9

GasGas – 4

Honda – 7

Yamaha – 13

Unlisted – 1

Event Report – Plas Onn (Dec 18)

Ian Emery about to burst into a verse of “Somewhere over the rainbow…”

Event Report by Rob Sloggett and Mark Gaskell

The last event for 2018 had most of the Championship already sewn up, although a number of places were still up for grabs. It was a bit of an overcast day with the risk of changing weather but that did not stop the 66 riders  turning up at Plas Onn to see out the year in style.

A good measure of 22 Pre 65’s were joined by 14 Twinshocks, 12 AC Monos and 18 Modern Monos. It was great to see some real exotic Pre 65’s come through the section with a Saracen and and OK Supreme seeing the event through to the end. Grahams Whites recently restored Honda TLR 200 also looked fantastic as it rested against the tree by my section.

It was good to see 8 riders take to the Expert route with 36 riders tackling the Inter route, 15 in the Clubman and 7 in the Beginners class.

Mark Gaskell – Inter Route (Pre 65)

My last trial of 2018 before all the family commitments kick in, Plas Onn with Aqueduct Classics riding the Green (Inter) route on my Drayton Triumph Twin

Section 1) Ride down into the stream bed, carefully up the loose rocks, turn between two boulders and back avoiding a low tree, blast to the end. Silly dab I didn’t really need.

Section 2) After a great ride along the stream for a couple of minutes we came to section 2. Up a slight bank, then tight right then left across the stream to line up for the greasy clay rut that climbed up to a right turn around a tree. Slippery descent back to the stream, climb over some roots and back into the stream to the end. Managed to stay clean, and didn’t run over the observer! (sorry Harry)

Section 3) A hillclimb, up a stream. This was relatively straightforward, but the two diversions from the rocky streambed were slippery early on, and required either commitment or legwork. Hence my three marks. The Twin sounded glorious though!

Section 4) Should have been simple, but I made it difficult. A greasy downhill turn, followed by a greasy uphill turn. Drop into a small stream and turn before a large rock, up the stream and out over a root and round a tree. First lap I messed up the greasy uphill turn and had to paddle. Second lap tried to ride over the rock so needed a couple of dabs. Third lap didn’t concentrate for the greasy downhill turn, and didn’t for a five! Cleaned it easily on the last lap.

Section 5) Again, greasy slope down to a root step, then slalom from one side of a wide stream bed to the other. A loose rock and slow reactions gave me a silly three on lap one.

Section 6) Climbing up a short bank, then dropping off the steep face of it back to track level with only a bike length to line up for a cross camber path to the ends. Not as scary as it looked.

Section 7) An old favourite with a new entry. The last climb out over the jumble of rocks took marks off me though.

Section 8) Climb up a grass bank over some slippery roots, then down and back into the stream, crossing it twice, before exiting up the waterfall.

Section 9) A gentle descent into the stream, then ride up allowing the bike to find the rocks you can’t see. Carefully line up the exit in a cleft between two rocks that doesn’t look wide enough for the Twin, but was.

Section 10) Cross the stream, at a bike length point, then immediate right turn and re-cross the stream, a little wider here. Drop back into the stream and ride loose rocks, up two shallow steps before turning to the exit.

Superb trial, as we have come to expect from Aqueduct. Definitely could have done better ( as my school reports used to say) but enjoyed myself immensely ! Thank you to everyone involved, see you next year!

Rob Sloggett – Observer (Section 9)

I was issued with Section 9 which was only a short walk from the start. This was on the stream section just below the car park which normally has 3 or 4 sections over the whole lenght. A quick walk of the section gave me to good positions to observer from so I took the upper bank where I could clearly marshall the riders in and have a good direct view of the main challenge, a waterfall with different two routes for the Inters and Experts and a slightly more moderate route around the tree and up a extra part of the stream for the Clubman.

So what was the section like?

Well the Beginners and Inters shared the same entrance across the stream and up the adjacent back with the Inters having a tighter left hand turn and the Beginners having the option to take the same route or run more verticle up the bank (which was a bit muddy) but having the benefit of a broader sweeping turn. At this point the beginners had a straigh run along the bank to the end cards but the Clubman had to drop back into the stream via an off camber right descent and then following the stream as it forked around a tree. They had a route via the left hand fork which had a relatively challenging right curve. A number of non movable rocks were visible but this did not stop riders catching these, regularly taking dabs. All credit to Peter Cocking (BSA Bantam) who takes my rider of the day award for taking the time to reassess the section after his 2 and 3 on his first two laps. This rewarded him with a single dap on his third lap and it was great to hear his whoops of pleasure as he took the last lap for a clean.

The Inters and Experts once again shared the same entrance but this time is was a forced run straight into the stream gully only to be presented with the main challenenge as they approached the tree where the Clubman forked left. On this occasion the Inters and Exterts took the right hand side of the tree with the Experts keeping closer to the trunk and having what looked like a really crafty double step with flowing water. The first step looked to be a V shaped root quickly followed by a rock step about 18 inches higher. Apart from a single five, the Experts found this OK with regular single dabs being taken. The Inter route was a steeper bank adjacent to the waterfall but with no running water, although the cut out had a number of exposed rocks set to just unsettle the rider enough to take regular marks.

So how has this left the Championship?

The top places were taken as follows:

Kev Ellis. Pre65 Expert

Paul Owen Pre65 intermediate

Graham Miller Pre65 Clubman

Ian Jones Twinshock Expert

Steve Williams Twinshock Intermediate

John Sowden Twinshock Clubman

Gordon Wilson AC Mono intermediate

Ken Williams AC Mono Clubman

Pete Thomas AC Mono Beginer

Paul Hempkins. Mono Intermediate

Steve Walker Mono Clubman

Congratulations to all of those rider aboves as well as those who came close as Runners Up. The season is always well supported with some great class rivalry playing out.

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

Great trials today. Sections were spot on. Company was good. Great to see so many friendly happy faces from riders. Organisers and observers. Big thanks to all involved in this years championship. Roll on 2019 – Paul Owen

Great trial as usual Russ,Thanks to all the gang who make it happen!- Gordon Wilson

Cracking trial, was spot on that! Thanks for all the efforts – Graham White

So that closes out the 2018 season in style. As well as hosting the opening round of the Kia Championship, we have regularly been in the mid 60 enteries for the club events with the mid classes being strong and popular, a regular influx of beginners, the addition of some juniors on Osets and a continued strenght in the Pre-65 and Twinshock classes where the clubs roots lie.

All that is left to say is on behalf of the club can I wish you all a very good Christmas and New Year and we will see you all at the first event of 2019.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Expert: Danny Littlehales, Francis Barnett (16); Kev Ellis, BSA (19)

Pre 65 Intermediate: James Beddoes, Villiers (3); Craig Haworth, Undeclared (5); Paul Owens, BSA (5)

Pre 65 Clubman: Graham Miller, Triumph (7); Peter Cockins, BSA (27); Andrew Lane, BSA (31)

Pre 65 Beginner: David Beddoes, OK Supreme (15); Chris Dean, Ariel (33); Chris Kenny, BSA (65)

Twinshock Expert: Graham White, Honda (8); Ian Jones, Fantic (15); Julian Price, Fantic (17)

Twinshock Intermediate: David Matthews, Bultaco (5); Steve Williams, Aprilia (6); Stephen Knight, Fantic (15)

Twinshock Clubman: Graham Pennington, Ossa (20); John SOwden, Bultaco (29)

Twinshock Beginner:

AC Mono Expert:

AC Mono Intermediate: Jim Williams, Honda (6); Robin Foulkes, Honda (6); Gordon Wilson, Honda (15)

AC Mono Clubman: Ken Williams, Honda (13)

AC Mono Beginner: Pete Thomas, Fantic (18)

Modern Mono Expert: Declan Marsden, Gas Gas (52)

Modern Mono Intermediate: Kev WIlliams, Gas Gas (15); David Ellis, Beta (19); James Mylett, Beta (20)

Modern Mono Clubman: Paul Trevor, Beta (24); Jim Marsden, Gas Gas (25); Dave Lewis, Ossa (26)

Modern Mono Beginners: Chris Matthews, Beta (16); Ewan Evans, Beta (31); Jim White, Gas Gas (37)

Observers:

Sec 1 – Ange

Sec 2 – Harry

Sec 3 – Dave

Sec 4 – Gordon

Sec 5 – Annette

Sec 6 – Mark

Sec 7 – Ady

Sec 8 – Russ

Sec 9 – Rob

Sec 10 – Celyn

Bike Stats:

Pre 65 – 22 (+3)

Twinshock – 16 (-6)

A/C Mono – 12 (-1)

Modern Mono – 15 (-3)

Electric – 1 (-1)

Total = 66 (-3)

Classes

Expert – 8 (-2)

Intermediate – 36 (+8)

Clubman – 22 (-1)

Beginner – 7 (-2)

Bikes

Pre 65:

Ariel – 1

BSA – 9

Dot – 1

Drayton Bantam –

Francis Barnett – 2

James – 1

Norton – 1

OK Supreme – 1

Saracen – 1

Triumph – 3

Unliasted – 1

Villiers – 1

Twinshock:

Aprilia – 1

Bultaco – 2

Fantic – 4

Honda – 4

Majesty –

Montesa – 1

Ossa – 1

Yamaha TY – 1

Unlisted –

Aircooled Mono:

Aprila – 1

Beta –

Fantic – 2

GasGas – 1

Honda – 4

JCM –

Scorpa – 1

Yamaha – 3

Modern Mono:

Beta – 9

GasGas – 4

Honda TRS- 1

Montesa – 2

Ossa – 1

Sherco – 1

TRS –

Unlisted –

Electric

Oset – 1

Event Report – Nant Ucha (Nov 18)

Event report by Rob Sloggett, Chris De Burger & Paul Owen

It was another one of the those “it was dry but it could turn wet” days, but the temperature was mild enough to see 69 riders return for the November visit to Nant Ucha for the penultimate round of Aqueducts 2018 campaign. Always a great venue and well known as a practice spot for a lot of the club riders, a slight increase in the Pre 65 turnout saw 19 bikes (an increase of 7 over the last event) line up against 20 twin shocks,13 AC Monos, 16 modern bikes and once again an entry into the electric class with a single Oset. The Intermediate class was down by 5 but it was great to see 9 beginners (and increase of 6) over the last event.

Chris De Burger – Observer (Section 8)

You will have to forgive me for any grammatical errors or for just plain boring you as these hands and mind are far better suited to flipping burgers than typing words.

I had the pleasure of observing Section 8 which had been laid out to make all classes of riders make some key decisions, ie taking a more cautious route and sacrificing a dab or going all out for the clean.

Whites, a simple drop in to the river with wide open markers and then a climb out of the river to exit the section to the top of the bank. Russ had been quite clever in spacing the marker flags so wide apart as this really put the onus on the rider to plot their route and pick a good exit line for the bank. It was kind of straight forward but if you went the wrong way in the stream then it messed up your exit.

Yellows, very similar to the whites but exited the stream a bit further up. The riders had plenty of room to go over far side of the stream to straighten their exit, but once out of the river they had to make their decision for the section. Basically, there was a boulder half a meter out of the river bang straight in the middle of the line. So the choice was to go over or go around. The problem with going around the rock meant losing momentum and being off balance which could result in lack of traction at the top of the bank. Any one who rode over it soon realised it looked worse than it really was and cleaned the section. This was a big learning point for a novice rider like myself, far to often I would chose to go around such an obstacle when the bike is more than capable of going over it.

Greens, straightforward start to the section with a sting in the tail as they climbed the waterfall before a sharp right through the exit gates. I say straightforward but at least one rider was so focused on the waterfall that he forgot he had to navigate the stream 😉 Now the decision on this route was to either keep to the right on the waterfall and a take a dab on a rock on the left as you climbed up or go big and go straight up and onto the slab and grab the clean but get it wrong and it was a three at best. I still dont know which was the best way but over the slab was sexier.

Experts, again all the interest in this route was the waterfall go straight up or go around, now being poor clubman rider I didnt even see there was a straight up route until Kev Ellis cleaned it on his first attempt. It certainly made good spectating especially with the sharp right exit as too much speed going up meant an extremely tight turn to exit the section without a five. The alternative was to go to the right which involved some good balancing skills to prevent a dab. Again on the route there was no clear best option as each way suited different riders bikes and skill.

Credit has to go to the course setters because they certainly made the riders make decisions rather than just follow the markers.

Paul “Moz” Owen – Intermediate (Pre 65)

After the last event at aqueduct classic I only stopped 2 marks but still didn’t win. But this trial at Nant Ucha was made a lot harder. There was nothing dangerous but just really challenging as the sections were longer and if you messed up the first part of it you would struggle to keep momentum going and get back on line. Here are 3 sections but all 10 were spot on. I was riding the green route.

Section 3…. You started of on the flat in the field and entered the edge of the woods. The First obstacle was a big log to get over and then a immediate left turn down to the stream were you turned right into the water. Between to large rocks the over some roots and stopped back down into the water to a really tight right hand uphill bank to a sharp left and along to the out gate.

Section 8….You stopped into the slippy rocky stream and rode 30 meters between the small loose rocks up to the waterfall. As approaching that you had 2 lines. Over the big rock slab or around it and over smaller tricky rocks to the end gate. I managed to stall my bike on this section so picked up my only 5. I stopped 28 marks in total but it was enough to win the green route.

Section 10….You stopped in down a bank to the stream were you had a slight right turn over solid rocks and into the deeper water. You then had to exit the stream up the first of 3 rocky sections. If you got the first bit wrong you were in trouble and had to take a dab or 2. Then you crossed the stream again to exit the rocky river bed to the exit gate.

It was a really good challenging trial with lots of tight turns that suited a smaller lighter bikes.

Rob Sloggett – Observer (Section 5)

“Have a look at the white route when you get down there, if it looks a bit greasy, move it to the bottom”. Good words of advice from the Clerk of the Course. For me the white root is the grass roots of trials. As well as being the sections where you get newbies inspired, its a place to learn the basic techniciques as well as in a Pre 65 club (where the riders tend to be a bit older), its a place for people just to have a good day out on the bikes without coming to any harm. The original white route was across a camber and whilst rideable if anyone got their wheel the wrong side of a rutted group of roots, it could have pushed them down a shot bank and we would not want that to happen would we… so I grabbed the flags and followed Russ’s instructions and took the riders low with a simple left right turn across some mud and across a very low hump. It was enough to take a few daps but most importantly watching the beginners, the mud and turn gave them the chance to practice some throttle control so I think the adaptation worked.

Yellow route was a good step up for the clubman and with a cambered approach on the bank the first main obstacle was a set of roots. Some riders took the “lift the wheel” technique with others just choosing to steadily roll it over the cluster. A few dabs from here but as the riders came through en-mass this part eased up. The top of the section was a turn on a flat part of the hillside then a cambered decline rolling left to run out to the out flags.

Inters had it harder (as you would expect). Once in the section, they had a tight left hand turn whilst on the bank and a short run up to the trees. Between two large trees for a right hand 180 then then dropped down and turned a tight left to be presented with a tree to their right (that they had to 180 around). Now this was the killer! The 180 around the tree started with a profile of roots which offered two lines. Most took the lower line (with larger roots) but this took you close to the tree. Think of it as an up over the roots, quick 180 as the profile changes to downhill, then a run out to the flags. The cambered right hand turn, the quick change of direction and the drop off which pushed the front wheel out really tested the majority of this class with some taking planned single dabs and others really calling this their “Achilles Heel” of the day.

The Experts followed the inters into the section but instead of the first left turn, they dropped down right into the muddy basin used by the white route then a flowing anti clockwise 180 degree then a full climb up the bank. Sounds OK? well it had two routs up the bank with different root profiles. The left hand side more complex but an easier line up to the flags at the top of the bank but the right a better climb but offset to the right from the top flags. The rest of the section was the same as the Inters.

It was great to observe again and watching the routes and techniques of the inters and experts was really useful, but…. for the first time in ages I actually found myself missing not being on the bike. Hopefully in the next month or so it should be complete again and I can get back on it but until then you have to put up with me with a clipboard.

So how has this left the Championship?

Based on the normal regularity of entry for the riders, the Pre 65 class Expert honors for runner up is still open. Both James Francis and Danny Littlehales can still secure this spot with only 3 marks between them. In the Inters class 3rd place is once again tight with Tim Lewis and Mark Gaskell fighting it out. In this case a slender 7 marks separates them.

Twinshock class shares a very similar story with the Expert class honour for top spot separating Ian Jones and Jim Williams by only 5 points.

Down in the AC Mono group a very interesting battle is going to play out at Plas Onn with Ian Emery and Paul Cartwright tied at 128 marks a piece. Observers can message both riders via Facebook with their Christmas tipples …….

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

Clief Roberts – Thanks Russell and team.A very tricky trial and the first time for me on the expert route, I was so tired by the last lap but with a big smile…Diolch yn fawr.

Paul Owen – I actually said that today’s trials was harder than a 6 lap superbike race at the TT

Ken Williams – Brilliant trial-yellow route spot on again (challenging but nothing too severe) thanks to all the team

Ken Garfield – great trial, thanks to all involved, worth every mile of the 180 mile round trip to ride, will definitely be back.

As always a huge thank you to the observers, the team who manage the signing on and results, as well as Russ and the guys who spend time before the event marking out the sections. Finally a big thank you to Dave and the Family for the use of the venue and of course Chris for the catering.

See you all at the next event.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Expert: Danny Littlehales, Francis Barnett (10); James Francis, BSA (11)|; Steve Thompson, BSA (29)

Pre 65 Intermediate: Paul Owen, BSA (28); Phil ALderman, BSA (35); Mark Newman, Norton (54)

Pre 65 Clubman: Roger Smith, BSA (12); David Beddoes, Villiers (15); Tim Godsmark, BSA (17)

Pre 65 Beginner: Chris Kenny, BSA (87)

Twinshock Expert: Ian Jones, Fantic (16); Tim Cuffin, Majesty (36); James Samuel, Fantic (40)

Twinshock Intermediate: Steve Williams, Aprillia (22); Adrian Kent, Bultaco (22); Stephen Knigh, Fantic (24)

Twinshock Clubman: Steve Blackburn, Montesa (11); Chris Forshaw, Montesa (18); John Sowden, Bultaco (21)

Twinshock Beginner: Ken Garfield, Yamaha (37)

AC Mono Expert:Terry Musgrave, Beta (27); Colin Hughes, Yamaha (73)

AC Mono Intermediate: Paul Cartwright, Gas Gas (31); Gordon Wilson, Honda (39); Jeremy Sutton, JCM (48)

AC Mono Clubman: Ken Williams, Honda (23); Matt Sinnott, Beta (58)

AC Mono Beginner: Pete Thomas, Fantic (25)

Modern Mono Expert: Clief Roberts, Beta (98)

Modern Mono Intermediate: James Mylett, Beta (66); Andrew Dean, Beta (92); Iain Probert, Sherco (95)

Modern Mono Clubman: Mark Diggle, Sherco (0); Davvid Ellis, Beta (12); Steve Walker, Sherco (15)

Modern Mono Beginners: Joel Diggle, Beta (29); Ewan Evans, Beta (44); Henry Lewis, Montesa (67)

Electric Clubman: Lewis Edwards, Oset (100)

Observers:

Sec 1 – Geoff

Sec 2 – Suzanne

Sec 3 – Ange

Sec 4 – Mark and Zak

Sec 5 – Rob

Sec 6 – Gordon

Sec 7 – Russ

Sec 8 – Chris

Sec 9 – Izzy

Sec 10 – Dave

Bike Stats:

Pre 65 – 19 (+7)

Twinshock – 20 (-4)

A/C Mono – 13 (+2)

Modern Mono – 16 (-4)

Electric – 1 (-1)

Total = 69 (0)

Classes

Expert – 10 (0)

Intermediate – 28 (-5)

Clubman – 22 (-1)

Beginner – 9 (+6)

Bikes

Pre 65:

Ariel – 1

BSA – 12

Drayton Bantam –

Francis Barnett – 1

Norton – 1

Triumph – 3

Villiers – 1

Twinshock:

Aprilia – 1

Bultaco – 2

Fantic – 4

Honda – 3

Majesty – 1

Montesa – 2

Ossa – 1

Yamaha TY – 5

Unlisted – 1

Aircooled Mono:

Aprila – 1

Beta – 2

Fantic – 2

GasGas – 1

Honda – 2

JCM – 1

Yamaha – 4

Modern Mono:

Beta – 9

GasGas – 1

Montesa – 3

Sherco – 2

TRS –

Unlisted –

Electric

Oset – 1

Event Report – Training Day 160820

the dreaded Section 2… normally used as the Elite route but why not chuck some inters and clubman up it?

With Covid lockdown still limiting competetive events, the team at Aqueduct arranged a training day for Intermediate and Clubman route riders on Saturday 15th August 2020. Kindly hosted by Dan Clark and Ben Butterworth, approx 25 riders enjoyed a great days tuition. What was it like? Well read on…..

Ian Emery (Very capable Inter, rides the Kia rounds and really should know what he is doing by now….)

I was one of 10 in Dan Clark’s group. The first exercise in the clearing centred around two upright logs about 10ft apart and we were instructed to ride figures of 8 around then, practicing tight turns in both directions, whilst Dan studied our every movement. We all looked a bit bemused. Bit easy this, where’s a proper section? It soon became clear how important this was. Dan watched me have my go, stopped me, made me stand on the pegs whilst he held the bike upright. With a big smile he said “OK Ian, 4 things, you’re too upright, your bums not far enough back, your legs are too close together and you’re weighting the wrong footrest as you make the turn…..” I was a bit shocked but took it all in and quickly realised how right he was. 


The first section. Two routes, yellow as the main route, with a set of green flags to make it harder. The approach was up a rock strewn embankment with a 90 right dropping back down and along to a 180 U-turn up and round a camber to then cross the camber and peel gently right, up the hill and out at the top. The green route had a tight right turn here leaving little room to get settled for the steeper climb out. As I approached, the hardest thing for me was overriding my automatic pilot which had Dan shouting “remember your legs” as I made the turns. Through the big U-turn left I had to keep thinking right, right, right to make sure I put all my weight on that footrest as I made the left turn. Felt so alien but managed to clean OK. My first attempt at the hard route was clean until the tight turn before the climb when the front pushed out needing a big dab, then the rear gripped and with my body weight in the wrong place, I rode out of the section missing the markers. Dan said I’d leant into the turn too much hence the failure. Second attempt, Dan’s words in my head, I cleaned the section and it felt great. 


We moved on to section 2. There was Mark with a big smile to welcome us. ” Come and look at this green route lads!” A few of us walked to the edge where the green flags were and looked over at a near vertical 10ft drop made worse by a deep undercut part way down . I’m thinking no way am I going down that. ” Don’t worry, lads, you’ll be going up it! ” He wasn’t joking. The section consisted of three consecutive U-turns, undulating up and down as you went round them. Quite tight. Needed to switch auto pilot off again and concentrate on footrest weighting. The exit for yellow flags was to take the climb at 45 degrees to vertical with a request from Dan for a pivot turn right as you crested the top. I managed that, even getting the front wheel in the air and turning on the rear. I looked at the green route. It was so, so steep and very little room to get any traction, speed or momentum to get up it. Along with others I’d already decided it was too much for me. I was queuing for my second go at the yellows with alongside Moz. ” Go on Ian ” he said, ” I think you’ll fly up there. Have a go. Oh, and you can go before me.” A sucker for punishment, I’d worked out if I was going to do it I’d get more whoomph in 2nd as I felt 1st might be too low. But that needed a gear change which I managed after the first very tight U-turn, got great lines round the next two turns and flew at the climb using a kicker rock to lift the front. Dan and Simon stood at the top waiting to catch if required which was a great reassurance. I shot over the top with the front wheel in the air and needed a big dab to regain control.

this is the upper view of the picture at the top of this article

The rush of adrenaline hit me and I queued again ready for another go. Second go, I just couldn’t get a gear change in so I made the final turn in 1st and screamed it at the bank. Another big dab needed at the top along with helpful hands on my shoulders from the minders making sure I didn’t slip backwards. Third go, getting tired, 1st gear all the way, messed up the last turn, should have aborted but didn’t, flew up the climb at an angle and half way up the tree on the left. Thankful to Simon and Dan for catching the bike as I jumped off backwards luckily landing OK at the bottom. That was enough for me.  I was very happy to stop for lunch. 


The afternoon session had two more sections which were testing but a little less fraught. Both with tuition from Dan along the way.


Later that evening I checked the data my I-watch recorded and my heart rate went from a resting 60bpm to 3 spikes of 166bpm, averaging 119bpm for the session. I’m still buzzing about the day now as I write this and would like to repeat my thanks to everyone in the Club who made the day possible, to Dan and Ben for their words of wisdom, and to all the guys in my group for the great banter and laughs we had. Roll on the next one.

Rob Sloggett (Confident Clubman, regularly bottom 1/3 of Inters, happy to have a go at most things if there is someone to catch the bike…)

The day started with a look in the garage and me picking a bike. The Bultaco has just been rebuilt and I had ridden it a few times at Nant Ucha, but the Majesty was probably going to be my main competition bike once lockdown was lifted. It seemed sensible to take the Majesty and learn on that, but now having ridden some of the practice sessions it would have been great to see if the Bultaco would have got up section 2 (but more on that later!)

Arriving at the venue, it was nice to get that “buzz” of common minded riders enjoying a day out. It did not feel like a competition day but it had all the normal markings of an Aqueduct gathering. We had all been asked where possible to pre-enter to limit the Covid risk and it was great to see the norm of hand sanitiser and disposable pens just reminding us that we were operating under Covid guidlines.

But down to the teaching…. we all gathered at the lowest point of the quarry where Sec 1 is normally set up, to be met with 3 sets of “figure of eight” markers. The task was simple, split into small groups then each rider enters the zone, do 3 circuits of the figure and ride out. The kicker here was one simple adjustment to a lot of peoples learnt techniques. Focus on the outside leg on the turn and weight that foot. What was apparent is that most of us subconsciously weight our inner foot and keep the outer foot light. I could explain the physics of the difference as I worked it out in my head whilst waiting and once you get it you go “ahhhhhhh” but needless to say a lot of us have a lot of brain reprogramming to do and expect a lot of riders just at Nant Ucha or Swans doing endless 8’s for a while!

The rest of the day comprised of the group being split into 2 smaller groups (one with Ben and one with Dan) and for our group (Dan), we just slowly moved around 4 sections, each one having a moderate route and a challenging route, with Dan giving small adjustments to our technique and being there to spot on the harder parts (see Sec 2 below). If you are trying harder obstacles / techniques, especially when you are at clubman / inter level, the reassurance of a couple of good spotters to grab the bike gives you the confidence to attack the challenge knowing that it you get it wrong someone is there to get the bike leaving you to jump clear.

So why Sec 2? Well Aqueduct had used an element of this previously for the Elite route. The primary challenge was at the end of the section where after a left hand 180 change of direction, the harder challenge route presented about 10 ft in front of the final change of direction a bank. When I say bank, it stood 10 ft high, it was not flat, it had an undercut and it comprised in places of rocks (which moved). To the left of the top was a large tree but after the crest you had a clear run off.

Myself and Ian Emery walked the route and a number of us said “maybe not today”. I remembered having ridden it on my Beta Evo 200 a few times but that was a modern light bike that generally went where you pointed it. The ask now was a 35 year old twinshock weighing much more.

Dan demonstrated it on his Honda TLR, limited throttle, no effort, not a care in the world… yep older bikes will go up there…. go on then guys I will stand at the top and catch your bike and when you are ready…. have go….

First two attempts, I took the easier route, so instead of the wall, you continued left the rolled up up a gradual cambered bank arching right to the out cards.

Third time in, a few riders had tried the bank, so making it, some not. I was unsure. Entered the section in first, felt OK started to make the final turn where I had the option of the wall or the easier route, spotted forward, towards the wall, lined it up and launched it……….

Well the front wheel crested but as I had entered the section unsure, I was in first gear and it just did not have enough grunt to make the full climb BUT it was smooth, no surprises so next time select second and try again.

The next two efforts were epic, second gear had enough but my entry line toward the wall was just pointing me a little to the left so each time whilst I had drive and height, as it crested my front wheel was right by the tree. The spotters in all occasions made sure I was safe.

this is the upper view of the picture at the top of this article when it goes drastically wrong!

Final attempt, 2nd gear, line perfect, fired it up the bank in the sweet spot, front wheel crested lower and out for a clean.

Would the heavier Bultaco have got up there? Maybe. Would I have felt as confident as I did on the Majesty? Who knows. That is the enigma of this sport….. But it was great to see Dan grab my bike after my second failed attempt and effortlessly fire it up there…

So in summary what did I learn? Well I think there were a few things. Firstly we all have learnt behaviour and bad habits and sometimes you need someone to take you back to basics. Secondly, everyone can improve. You may not get it right first time, but small changes to technique, line and confidence slowly get you there.

Finally, its great to learn with others because when you watch someone either clean it or drop silly marks if validates at the end of the day its just a sport where we pitch ourselves and our bikes against a set of obstacles and if you are lucky you might move up a few places from where you normally end up, and actually for us in the lower ends of the grouping that is just as good as a win….

A huge thankyou for the Aqueduct team for having the vision and time to arrange this during these testing times and a huge thank you to Ben and Dan for being great coaches…. oh and finally whoever else was helping Dan spot on Sec 2, it was appreciated!