Event Report – Pen Y Graig (Mar 20)

Someone did well last year….

Event Report by Rob Sloggett, Elwyn Beddles, Paul Jones, Mark Gaskell and Mark Newman

With the recent poor weather and flooding in the local areas, a number of local trials had been cancelled and with March’s event being in a relatively dry quarry area, as well as guaranteeing the venue integrity we were also expecting another high turn out. A fresh morning greeted the riders who were all asked to turn up a bit earlier to allow last years Championship Trophies to be presented and you can see some of the photos at the end of this report. Whilst having its roots firmly as a Pre 65 and Twinshock Club, Aqueduct has always allowed AC Monos and Modern Monos at the events and runs a Championship Class alongside the Classic Classes. This has always been well supported as the more flowing nature of classic sections lend themselves to people coming back into the support on the more modern bikes but dont want the severity of the way modern clubs mark out their sections or those of us who are in our later years and just don’t want to get injured!

This months event saw 93 riders contest the day with 24 Pre 65’s, 19 Twinshocks, 11 AC Monos and 39 Modern Monos. The split across classes was 15 Experts, 36 Intermediates, 31 Clubman and 10 Novices.

As mentioned above, the event started with a presentation of last years Championship Trophies which this year once again were a very nice style which I am sure will be taking pride of place in a number of trophy cases / shelves. The full results can be found here. It was lovely to hear the number of kind words said about the club during the presentation and I think it is a true testimony to the warmth felt by the riders for the huge effort put in but the club team and the observers!

Elwyn Beedles – Twinshock Clubman

With the weather battering us and the trial in doubt it was lovely to see the sun shine last Sunday for round 3. It was more of a relief to Russ who had been worrying so much he left the lovely Suzanne in bed to go and inspect the venue at 4am then proceeded to put the road signs out. I was one of the first riders to rock up (I do look forward to these events) to find Geoffers with a bit of a stress over parking. With other local trials cancelled the expectation was for a lot of vehicles turning up. After a survey of the newly stoned top area Geoff had it sussed so sorted him out a cup of tea and gave him a bit of a hand with Mark and Russ on the road guiding vehicles in. The walkie talkies are a godsend in these instances.

After a Chis De Burger breakfast courtesy of the club (many thanks all) we had the presentation. This again takes a lot of organising things don’t just happen and it was kind of Dave to explain a little of what goes on behind the scenes and thank the club for their hard work. I took a few piccies that should appear somewhere for those that are interested. Anyone who has done any successful organising will know that the events do not come without a lot of organising, stress and time committed. Landowners have to be looked after, local residents have to be informed and looked after, endless paperwork with H and S etc, then on the day will we have enough parking spaces, enough observers, have we enough signing on sheets, shift that van who has parked irresponsibly etc etc . Perhaps when we are moaning that our score is a mark out or we had to park a bit tight time to think outside the box a little.

On to the sections, Marks section 6 :Unbelievable that the lads found a stream in the quarry ! Tricky section drop into the water left around a large rock through some rocks in the gulley that could easily catch you out then with a choice of a wide left turn or a more direct route to a slippy bank for section ends. Perfect length and a section that was very satisfying if ridden well

Gordons section 7, on first inspection looked pretty straightforward a rocky climb over a small step bearing right with a tight right turn at the top and a drop down to section ends. Riding it was a different matter. With the slope trying hard to push the bike left after the step meant a re adjustment but if you didn’t commit enough the very loose stone under the wheels caused a lack of forward motion with Gordon recording more fives than he can remember. Looks like your name had to be Steve on a modern mono to record a clean on our clubman route. Well done both of you.

Section 8, Lovely little trail through the woods with a bite in the tail at the end with a tricky right turn that wanted to wash the front out. Perfect length for a section, felt it wasn’t just in and out and the turn required a certain skill to negotiate and miss the trees directly after it. Few more cleans recorded on this one but noticed a few lads battling with the turn. For me it was another well organised event that gave me the opportunity to test myself on my ‘new’ Honda TLR.

Great to see half a dozen youngsters who appeared to have a great time and a lovely photo of Allan with one of the lads on his bike. Really captured what trials is about no matter what your age it can be enjoyed by all.

Paul Jones – Pre 65 Novice

I always enjoy Pen Y Graig quarry and this event lived up to my expectations, I met up with the Wigan massive only to be taunted by Mr Newmans protege about looking forward to the big boys challenge and didnt reveal that he was riding his latest weapon the BSA C15. During the annual presentation including free bacon butty which cant be a bad thing, it became apparent just how big the entry just showing how this club is going from strength to strength with regular entries of above 90 riders for past few events. With all the recent rain we were no surprised that some new streams were running in the quarry where it was normally dry but they did provide some good sections.

My three favourite sections of the day were:

Section 5: As we entered the section we dropped straight into a water trough then climbed onto a camber and dropped back into the stream feeding the initial water trough exiting the stream up a slight climb around a tree then between a couple of rocks and up a final slippy bank through the end gate. This was a really nice flowing section but you couldnt be too complacent whilst riding it.

Section 9: This seemed quite a straight forward section on the face of it but I had my heart in my mouth a couple of times, we dropped in through the start gate and down a steep g gully which as the day went on became more slippy providing some excitement trying to pull the Triumph up whilst going sideways at the bottom before taking a right up a bank and out the end gate to the left.

Section 10: This was observed under the beady eye of Mr Ellis, once through the start gate we proceeded down a slight incline to round to the left where you had to be careful your front end didnt wash out as it became slippy, up another slight incline between two trees then drop down a steep shale bank, this is where Mr Dyson decided to show off with a very impressive forward somersault over his handlebars to win the observers claim to be the best of the day. I just decided no I wont try that and dropped down the back and turned right up the next bank and out the section. Being a true sportsman I wouldnt like to mention who won the big boy challenge but I was smiling the rest of the night once the results came out.

Mark Gaskell – Pre 65 Intermediate

After all the warnings about storm Jorge it was a pleasant surprise to wake to a bright, clear morning. Second surprise was to find that the farmer had made some improvements to the land giving far more parking space! The Aqueduct crew always manage to make great use of the quarry to give us 10 interesting sections, and it is difficult to narrow them down to just 3 notable ones, but these are mine. 

Section 4, Russ. Start by dropping into a bomb hole, turning right to climb out across the camber. 180 degree left and over or round a rock step, then 90 degree off camber right which tried to pull your front wheel from under you. Over a jumble of small rocks to a 180 degree left round a tree, then into the sting in the tail, a 180 degree downhill, off camber right turn before a fallen log. Around a tree and out. First three laps took a 2 and two 1’s off me, as I couldn’t manage the last element without footing, but on the last lap I put the wheels in all the right places at the right times for a clean.

Section 10, Kev. Kev didn’t have a working bike, so generously offered to observe. I tried to make his day more entertaining with my antics. A gentle roll downhill, tight to the right hand side of the section, then up an off camber slope towards a small tree. Over its roots, then turn right after it and down slope to another right, across the slope and out. Simple, yes? Lap one I tried to climb the tree, with the Triumph. This has never been successful in the past, so quite why I thought I should attempt it again is beyond me. Needless to say this was a 5. Second lap was easy, and clean. Third lap I struggled to get round the tree, and lost the front immediately after it, dumping the bike onto its side and me on my knees for a 5. To add injury to insult, I scratched the fork leg and the tank, then rolling out of the section the chain jumped off. Last lap was easy, and clean.

Section 9, Ange. I couldn’t see any green flags, so asked the observer. “No problem” she said “you follow the red, expert route!” This put us (inters) at a psychological disadvantage, as we are now scared. Down a deceptively slippery bank, then a right/left slalom round trees to a fallen log at a slight angle. Less than a bikes length after the log was a downhill right turn, hemmed in by saplings on either side, so the turn had to be made with your back wheel still on the log. Down and back up a short gully, left over some rocks and back down into the gully, tight right and blast up a steep bank to the exit. First lap, and I am surprised to find that the bike rolls perfectly over the fallen log and into the right turn with ease. So surprised that I nearly overcooked the next element, but managed to hold it for a clean. I must have been holding my breath throughout, as I felt dizzy after the end cards! Thankfully for me there is video evidence of this clean, as a few people were sceptical. Second lap and again, the log caused no problems, but I did overcook to turn to the last bank and needed a dab. Third lap and a silly dab on the deceptively slippy entry, but that doesn’t matter, as over the log I am distracted by a broken mudguard on the floor, (my excuse) and drift into the saplings on the left. These pull the bars left and furious paddling is required to get back on track for a three. Last lap and disaster! I am too far to the right before the log, and catch a sapling which pulls the bars, and therefore the bike further to the right, but I am by now going left. Over the log, without bike, and headfirst into the bushes. Five.

Superb trial, yet again. A huge thank you to all concerned.

Mark Newman – Pre 65 Intermediate

First things first, a massive thank you to Russ Geoff, Mark, and the whole team for putting on another great even that was run without any problems. Weather was cold and a couple of showers of light snow but on the whole very good.

Riding the inters on my Francis Barnett, Section 1 was wet and deep mud but totally cleanable took at dab on my first lap just because it was the first section and putting pressure on myself to do well ..you dropped into the muddy water about a foot deep up a short steep bank round a tree and back down into same mud crossit and up the opposite bank and round another tree….acrossthe muddy bit again and up a short steep bank across a chamber back into the flat muddy path to the end gates..

Section 3 Dave’s A nice flowing section up and round the trees and banks all good if you keep wide and smooth finished off with a muddy patch the up a very steep bank you had to go for it or it bit you immediate tight right turn over a nicely placed group of logs and out ….1 silly unnecessary dab on my third lap …

Section 5 Mark Sam’s I was expecting a tricky one ..but to be fair it rode really well my favourite of the day …you dropped into a good 2 feet of muddy water which has rocks and branches in it from previous experience, across and up a offset chamber upto the top sharp left back down making sure your on the left side deep mud again and having seen people dabbing and Niel stalling his bike here…then up tight around a tree over a nicely placed rock which went fine with a slight tugg on the bars…the up a loose stoney waterfall smoothness reqd here dropped back down the a short step bank to get out…lovely

Geoff Jones – Chairman

I woke, on the morning of the trial, after a restless sleep. The weather and size of the entry had been on my mind all night, but thankfully we were blessed with a dry sunny day and a large but acceptable number of riders. Everyone arrived early and were parked up ahead of our awards presentation. With a full quota of observers I was not required. I thought my day would consist of getting an overview of how things were running, and “socialising”. How wrong could I have been. I drove down into the quarry to find a queue on section 1, so I jumped in to help Izzy get the riders through. It was on this section where we had our first breakdown of the day, good job I had a tow rope in the jeep. With my foot to the floor to gain momentum, wheels spinning we negotiated the climb up the steep, slippery track. I’m not sure if the rider appreciated the tow as I had kicked up a bit of muck and he looked like he had just he’d ridden a motocross event!.

Whilst back in the farmyard I thought I would take my opportunity to partake in some light refreshment, but that was not to be, a shout came over the radio another rider had broken down, fuel issues, four stroke !!! I grabbed the first can of four stroke fuel that I could find, headed back down and met a distraught rider. Looking at his bike the realisation was that it was a two stroke not a four, so back up to the farmyard we went swapped the fuel, went back down and got him on his way.

Now time to socialise I thought, but again, how wrong could I have been. Another shout over the radio, “ where is the four stroke fuel for the broken down rider”, who would have thought that more than one rider would run out of fuel, so back up to the farmyard yet again, and down to the rescue. As I was down amongst the action, I thought I would have a drive around and check that all the observers were OK. I couldn’t believe it, another refuelling required, big Mark was hungry and wanted a bacon and cheese butty, so back up to the farmyard, again !!!!

Within the blink of an eye it seemed, the day came to an end. Flags collected, observers transported back up to the farmyard, no time left for me to socialise as we needed to load the trailer and get back home to collate the results. All in all, a hectic, enjoyable and exhausting day.

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

Thanks Aqueduct Classics for another top event and to everyone envolved will be back again – Ade Robinson

Many thanks to all at Aquaduct for putting on yet Another fantastic enjoyable trial! Also a big thanks go out to the observers without them there would be no trial….PS Thankyou to the main man Jan Geoff Jones for fetching me some fuel – Alan Dyson

Another fantastic day out in sunny Pen y Graig Quarry with the Accy Classics team. Thanks to all organisers, section setters, observers and catering for a great trial. Absolutely honoured to be awarded the Chris Davies memorial trophy for 2019. See you next time – Graham Pennington

Guys you put on a brilliant trial today, well set out great sections thanks to all the observers and all who put time and effort into a great day. Well worth the trip from not so sunny Southport. Will defo be coming down again thanks – Jeremy Clark

Top Places:

Pre 65 Expert: Paul Edwards, Drayton (9); Chris Gascoigne, Velo (43)

Pre 65 Intermediate: Roly Jones, Dot (12); Phil Alderman, Triumph (22); Mark Gaskell, Triumph (38)

Pre 65 Clubman: Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (11); Jordan Hobbis, Triumph (18 – Tie); Tim Godsmark, BSA (18 – Tie)

Pre 65 Beginner: Kevin O’Toole, Triumph (4); Paul Jones, Triumph (13); Alan Dyson, BSA (21)

Twinshock Expert: Chris Garlich, Honda (31); Mark Blackwell, Yamaha (76); Steve Shelly, Honda (76)

Twinshock Intermediate: Tim Cuffin, Majesty (19); David Matthews, Fantic (27); Jim Droughton, Majesty (31)

Twinshock Clubman: Paul Hornsby, Fantic (14); Elwyn Beedles, Bultaco (28); William Leigh, Yamaha (28)

Twinshock Beginner: No enteries

AC Mono Expert: Ben Butterworth, Hoda (18); Pete Ruscoe, Honda (22); Shaun Montford, Beta (23)

AC Mono Intermediate: Paul Cartwright, Gas Gas (36); Ian Emery, Yamaha (43); James Mylett, Honda (52)

AC Mono Clubman – No enteries

AC Mono Beginners – Tony Williams, Scorpa (25)

Modern Mono Expert: Shaun Hadlington, TRS (37); Mark Linge, Gas Gas (65); Neil Jackson, Gas Gas (78)

Modern Mono Intermediate: Mark Diggle, Sherco (16); Robert Reese, Beta (19); Nigel Sproson, Montesa (28)

Modern Mono Clubman: Paul Hadlington, TRS (1); Mike Jones, Beta (5); Gary Jones, Beta (11); Ken Williams, Beta (11)

Modern Mono Beginners: Chris Matthews, Beta (6); Alan Jones, Beta (12); Glyn Roberts, Montesa (17)


Section 1 – Izzy

Section 2 – Mike

Section 3 – Dave

Section 4 – Russ

Section 5 – Mark

Section 6 – Roger

Section 7 – Gordon

Section 8 – Annette

Section 9 – Ange

Section 10 – Kev

Bike Stats:

Bike Classes
Pre 6524
Aircooled Mono11
Modern Mono39
Pre 65Ariel0
Francis Barnett3
Chase TY1
AC MonoAprilla1
Modern MonoBeta16
Gas Gas12
Tenaci Wong0

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