Event Report by Rob Sloggett, Paul Jones, Geoff Jones, Tarquin Millard and Steve Blaxall
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.
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)(
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
Pre 65 – 27
Twinshock – 25
A/C Mono – 14
Modern Mono – 24
Total = 90
Expert – 12
Intermediate – 42
Clubman – 22
Beginner – 14
AJS – 1
BSA – 10
Drayton – 1
Francis Barnett – 2
James – 2
OK Supreme – 1
Trifield – 1
Triumph – 9
Bultaco – 5
Fantic – 8
Honda – 5
Kawasaki – 1
Majesty – 2
Ossa – 1
Montesa – 2
Yamaha TY – 1
Aprilia – 2
Fantic – 1
GasGas – 4
Honda – 4
Scorpa – 1
Yamaha – 2
Beta – 12
GasGas – 1
Honda – 1
Montesa – 4
Sherco – 6