Event Report – Pen Y Graig 200920

What does a club, which has grown exponentially over a decade, gathered an incredible following and hosted some of the top twinshock events in the country do when Covid hits? Exactly what it should do. It stops competitions, respects the rules and then works silently in the background making sure when it is allowed to recommence, it does it in the best possible way… And what a cracking event it was!

I had to start this report that way, not as a political statement about following the rules but to really show the thanks and gratitude on behalf of the 60 riders who got the chance after 6 months of lock down to get back to the sport we love. With the IOPD attending, it is honest to say that nothing was forced or “for show”, just a bunch of enthusiasts respecting the rules and being grateful to the club team for getting us back riding.

Well enough of that, what of the day? Well Paul, Rob and Elwyn are here to tell you all about it.

Paul Beswick – Pre 65 Novice

The trial was my first with Aqueduct Classics and my first for 2 year’s since moving to Wales. It was a long drive from Aberystwyth, about 2 hour’s which I wasn’t used to having lived in Derbyshire near Matlock all my life and being spoilt for choice never having to drive more than 30 minutes max lol, but well worth the early start and I’ll definitely be back if you’ll have me.

Excellent organisation especially in these difficult times and it made the day so much more enjoyable having every section manned. The sections were nice and flowing, just as I like them, but I was so unfit not having ridden for so long I was glad we were in our “bubble” of six because not only did I have someone to talk to I could have a breather between attempts. I also found that it took me 2 laps to remember where I was going and to remember which flags to follow, totally my fault due to old age and being a bit dim 😅, but the observer’s were so helpful and put me right.

My only bogy section was section 8 when I somehow managed to miss the fact that there was a ruddy great big rock. I might have missed it was there but sadly I didn’t miss it derrrrr. Oh I’ve stopped err might be something to do with this rock I’m wedged on 😂 Really haven’t enjoyed myself so much in year’s loads of laughs and 4 laps flew by in a blur 😳.

Looking forward to the next time and hopefully I will be able to introduce myself to more of the team and other rider’s. As I said before “if Carlsberg did trials they would be Aqueduct Classics ones ” 

Rob Sloggett – Twinshock (Clubman)

Its been a while….. but they say good things come to those who wait, and gosh it was worth the wait. We were lucky to have a training day a few weeks before and I had spent a few hours practicing figure of eights and this did help on a couple of sections (but more on that later). The main event for me of the day though was my rear silencer coming apart and making the newly restored prototype Bultaco sound lounder that is should have. It was my first competion out on Mk3 of its journey and it rides just lovely, shame the rider is not is sync with its capability now!

So what of the sections? As we had not ridden for a while and the revised Bultaco was new to me in competition I rode clubman. A nice steady uneventful start I thought? My “riding bubble” of Ian, Paul, James, Steve and Graham started on Section 1 which was basically an adaptation of the section we used on the training day. I had no excuses not to clean this! but still felt the front wheel pushing away on the 180 turn. A dab could have happened at any time here but I was lucky to carry a clean card on this section.

Turns on cambers have been one of my key weaknesses and a number of sections had these incorporated (at least three from what I can recall) and normally I feel the bike tipping in and would carry a dab. I’m please to say that the teachings of body position and my subsequent practice meant this time out I didn’t drop a single dap on these challenges.

So what of a specific section? Well Russ was on Sec 3 and this dropped down a bank, turned right to snake through some rocks and trees then the final stage was a very slight ride across a camber and climb a small bank to exit. First lap took two silly dabs where it should have been clean and showed that I still wasn’t settled on the bike but the last lap showed that really I should just put the bike on EBay and give up! A simple ride along the camber and up the bank turned into me getting slightly off line and then basically laying the bike down at the base of the banked turn. To this day I can not work out why or even why it didn’t take the dab to save whatever was going on…Oh I love this sport!

My second lap was also interesting as riding to Section 4, the engine note changed. It got louder. Now the Bultaco was being ridden without the clubfoot on for the first time in competition. It was always the aspirational design but the clubfoot had been added to tone it down a bit. I had been practicing with it off and the pick up was so much more peaky and suited how I like the bikes so after doing a Db test and confirming that with it off, it still fell below the ACU 100db at 2m measured 45 deg from the rear spindle (yep I checked the regs) I have kept the bike like that. What I did not realise is that the end cap was a press fit (not the 4 small bolts I thought which purely connect the end cap to the baffle pipe) and as it no longer had the club foot holding it in, you guessed, the pressure of the exhaust popped the end cap off. The baffles now rested part out on the swing arm. Sorry to anyone who thought it was a bit loud, it wont be like that again as its currently being stripped and rebuilt with pop rivets to hold it together.

Another great part of the day was actually riding in groups of 6 and with Graham also riding clubman it was good to have someone riding the same line and actually almost 1 for 1 on the scores. Unfortunately my silly 5 on the last lap pushed me out further but it was interesting to feel that competitive spirit as we completed each section even if it was purely in a fun way!

Elwyn Beedles – Twinshock (Clubman)

Well it finally arrived after months of Covid lockdown and restrictions the Accy team made the decision to organise a trial for our enjoyment. Always ahead of the game we entered via the website and payed via bank transfer. Very bold move when you are dealing with mainly old fossils who don’t know one end of a keyboard from the other !

Limited to a lucky band of 60 riders we were pre selected via email into teams of 6 and allocated a start section. Signing on was by individual pen after using the sanitising station then the girls presented us with coloured laminated numbers one for the bike and one for rear of helmet not the customary bibs for obvious reasons. We had been informed via email prior to the event our riding number !

Masks were mandatory around the paddock including the organising team. Fuel cans were loaded in the back of the pick up as we were not allowed back to the vans during the event. The Accy guys must have spent weeks making and laminating signs so no one could say they were not informed as to what was expected. I did hear a few moans but come on lads if we want to ride we have to adhere to well thought out guidelines.  

After the briefing by Russ and Mark at 10.45am prompt we rode down to the quarry in our group and started at Pauls section 6. Took a little bit of finding initially but we soon got into things. My group had captain Mark along with Neil, Richard and Roly riding intermediate then Graham and myself on the clubman route. I was on the TLR and Graham was on a very trick Cub so it was great comparing notes and watching each other progress especially as he was pre 65 and I was twinshock.

Bit rushed so never really studied the green route to comment on but the yellow route was spot on twisting through the trees then a tricky rooted camber to section ends. We all waited at the end of the section to re assemble into our group then made our way to the next section following the well marked route. At that section we waited behind the yellow line for the section to clear then moved forward into the zone. This was the routine throughout the event with Roly ‘I don’t do hanging about’ Jones leading the way from section to section and Mark ‘can I give you some advice’ Newman taking overall control of the group.

Russ was overseeing section 4 (I think) with the lovely Suzanne. It was good to see Suzie after her recent problems. This was my bogey section when on lap 2 for some unknown reason (oh yes rider error) I found myself on my ear when the front washed out along a loose camber much to the amusement of the observers and a very unnecessary 5 on the card

The evergreen Elwyn Williams was looking after section one. We go back a long way and it was good to have a brief catch-up with him. I think I heard Elwyn shout to one of the lads he was 81 and only stopped riding last year so there is a long way to go for some of us to match that. Tricky turns and cambers were the order on his section but safe and rideable as were all the sections. The one downside of the Group of 6 rule was that I never got to see any experts strut their stuff on the section and come to that I hardly saw another rider all day we were so equally spaced out.

Overall the sections were very sensible given that we had not competed for a long time. Russ commented that from an observers point it was good just having 6 at a time at the section, easier to explain the route initially then a small break as one group left and the next group arrived.

The inspection by IOPD was welcome and they left more than happy with the way things were running. Geoffers and the team have taken on board a bit of feedback that I am sure will be attended to for the next event. It was very enjoyable in a group as we got to know each other a little as we rode around and with no queuing  we travelled at a good pace. Importantly we all finished at the same time with no stragglers keeping the observers waiting at the end which normally happens.

Great event and now roll on 11th October

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

Top Places

Pre 65

  • Expert – Jim Hough (Ariel) 0; Ian Smart (Triumph (6); Darren Walker (11)
  • Intermediate – Jerry Hawker (Francis Barnett) 1; Simon Thornley (BSA) 3; Roly Jones (Dot)3
  • Clubman – Keith Gardner (BSA) 2; Steve Jones (Triumph) 6; Graham Miller (Triumph) 10
  • Novice – Paul Beswick (BSA) 14; Jack Curwell (BSA) 10; Kevin O’Toole (Triumph) 20

Twinshock

  • Expert – Jim Williams (Honda) 14; Steve Williams (Honda) 18; Kev Ellis (Yamaha) 30
  • Intermediate – David Matthews (Bultaco) 11
  • Clubman – Elwyn Beedles (Honda) 9; Graham Pennington (Ossa) 9; Owain Charles (Yamaha) 13
  • Novice – No riders

Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Peter Ruscoe (Honda) 6
  • Intermediate – Ian Emery (GasGas) 7 T; Paul Cartwright (GasGas) 7T; James Hornby (Beta)11
  • Clubman – No riders
  • Novice – No riders

Modern Mono

  • Expert – Mark Diggle (Sherco) 15;
  • Intermediate – Steve Sherwin (TRS) 29
  • Clubman – Bobby Chadwick (Beta) 7; Ken Williams (Beta)10; Ade Robinson (GasGas) 15
  • Novice – Chris Matthews (Beta) 30; Tony Williams (Scorpa) 37; Alan Hotchkiss (Beta) 43

Observer List

1 -Elwyn

2 – Dave

3 – Russ

4 – Chris

5 – Gordon

6 – Paul

7 – Mark

8 – Jan

9 – Roger

10 – Izzy

Stats

Bikes Classes

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

Route Classes

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

Bikes

Pre 65

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

Twinshock

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

Air Cooled Mono

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

Modern Mono

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

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