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)


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


Expert – 7

Intermediate – 26

Clubman – 19

Beginner – 13


Pre 65:

BSA – 8

Drayton Starmaker – 1

Francis Barnett – 1

James – 1

Matchless – 1

Triumph – 9


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

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