Event Report – Pen Y Graig (Oct 19)

Event Report by Rob Sloggett

Luckily, the 2020 calendar does not have any Aqueduct Classics clashes with the Kia rounds, but this year we have had several and Octobers event was up against the Central Wales Auto event so a few of our riders traveled across to ride that. Back at Pen Y Graig quarry a slightly damp morning threatened the odd showers but the 59 riders who turned up were greeted with a welcoming signing on team, a bunch of happy observers and of course Chris’s butty van.

The 59 riders were broken down into 20 Pre 65’s, 14 Twinshocks, 5 AC Monos and 20 Modern Monos with 7 Experts, 23 Intermediates, 19 Clubman and 10 Novices making up the distribution.

Mark Newman – Pre 65 Inters

One if the best venues around ..it has everything and some nice climbs. Once again Russ and the team did a great job setting out some fantastic sections and a whole compliment of observers. I had 3 favorite sections.

Ffirstly number 2, in and up around a tree, the drop back down tight left between two more trees you need a good pull on the bars to avoid the roots, then off camber to another right and you had to run the front wheel around a tree stump and the back wheel would go over it nicely. Down a drop back up over a cluster of more roots …it flowed beautifully….

Section 4 between and round trees and you had to make a big figure 8 to line up for a tricky slippy sharp hill up tight between two trees and tight left as soon as you get to top again. Some roots to negotiate with a tug on the bars ….a left and a good climb up around a tree down, a drop and a loose climb up and out .. nice

Section 5, I think Russ Jones observing is always a challenge…! Nice flowing section up and round a tree and an off camber drop onto a group of stones navigation between two trees on the rocks. It was slippy and the James went a bit quicker than I was ready so I needed a dab …its the first time I’ve rode this bike for 18mths and it revs quicker than the big Norton I’ve been riding all year. Tight u turn and back over more rocks onto a big climb off camber around a tree and back down. A bit of a choice around or over the rock to get out and once again a nice flowing section.

All in all good flowing sections with sOmeting to catch you out if your not aT full concentration. Massive thanks, had a great day .

Geoff Jones – Section 1

With the abysmal weather that appears to be none stop at the moment , we set up base in the farmyard as per usual to await the arrival of our competitors for the day. The sections had been set a little bit more relaxed to accommodate the conditions down in the quarry. So the 60 riders all set off to tackle the trial in less than favorable conditions.

Section one, white route was set as an innocent looking ride through but the muddy greasy surface still took a few points from the overconfident.

Yellow route obviously a touch more difficult was set to climb a rocky bank and traverse the base of the quarry wall before sharply turning back down a rock strewn outcrop around a tree, the turn obviously took the unwary by surprise with riders being caught out by the greasy moss covered rocks which altered in condition due to the on:off showers.

Green route was a tighter longer variation of the Yellows with a large slippery rock situated at the start of the section before a steep rock strewn climb, I could overhear lots of discussion re the best way and angle of attack at the section start to ease the turn after the rock before the climb. The section ran level with the quarry wall along a rocky camber, which in itself proved quite difficult due to the greasy conditions, to continue and drop down the same rocky route as the Yellows to the end boards.

Reds again was a more severe version of the Greens with an awkward deviation down the rocks around a tree and back up which for a lot of riders necessitated a long safety dab before the rocky climb back….

Julian Price – Twinshock Expert

I will call this report Remember…..

I would start this report by mentioning the 56 marks I dropped during this trial, and the report is more of an explanation of how not to do it.

Lesson 1. Remember, why Preparation is important. For a reason I won’t mention (Ian), my Fantic buddy and I went off early instead of the usual wait for everyone else to go, in the vain hope that they will scrub the sections and make them easier. So, we arrive at our first section (section 3), quickly look at it, and go for it. Ian makes a tricky long section look easy, and cleans it. I stall on the bottom of the first descent because I have failed to set my tickover! Preparation.

Lesson 2. Remember to be Confident. When you come across a technical looking section, AND Mark Samuel is the observer, keep your confidence. He may have been watching Tony Bou videos the night before, but he may have also remembered that he may have to wipe up your tears when you can’t do his section. We know he will be there with sympathetic words (not), and be ready to assure you that Dougie Lampkin tried it earlier and said it was easy, and all this was to HELP you remain confident. I didn’t remain confident and suffered the consequences. Many dabs dropped.

Lesson 3. Remember when walking the sections. When walking the sections, try hard to forget about previous poor efforts, and remind yourself you can do this! Oh, and remember this is your opportunity to actually study the section and remember where you are going. As a Human you do have a memory superior to goldfish, although a fishes ability to swim would come in handy sometimes. So, remembering the way through is a huge advantage. They are already tight enough without making last minute detours.

Lesson 4. Remember The Power of Positivity. When the section setters devise these cunning routes for our pleasure, they have a pretty good idea what is, and what is not possible. I do not recall going to a trial in the last 7 years where a section was impossible to all the field, was set out. So, on the basis of this, the sections are always possible to someone, and if he can do it, so can you. When riding the red routes there is always requirement at some point, to have large testicles. Now, some of my fellow riders have this area covered, and even have whole testicles to spare! I am, sad to report that mine resemble dried up sultanas which is only an advantage when you land heavily on the tank. Here the power of Positivity can help you, and elevate your gonads to the size of “space hoppers”. It is amazing what a difference a can-do attitude can make. So, I must remember, If Dougie can do it, so can I!! (Yeh, whatever) So in summary. Make sure your preparation is done. Be confident. Walk the sections and commit it to memory and grow some testicles. It’s like rugby, if you go in half hearted, you’ll come off worse as the bruises from going over the handlebars twice will testify!! Feet up.

Ps. After the trial was over, Paul O and I were re doing some sections and Mark Sams I could do for a 1, and section 3 that had me over the bars twice I could clean. Frustration.

Paul Owen – Pre 65 Inters

The day started off nice but we knew the rain was coming but so conditions would definitely change for the worse. Luckily most of the trials was under the trees inside the old quarry.

Here is 3 of my best sections.

Section 4 was tight and twisty. You dropped down into a bomb hole and climbed up left around a tree and back down into a really tight right turn and up a slippy rooted incline and between 2 trees that the handle bars just fitted through. Once at the top it was a tight left over some rocks and across to the bank on the far left as you climbed it on loose quarry stone that had no grip. Then turn right and up a slippy muddy off camber climb to the exit gate.

Section 6 was a getting wetter and slippy as the day went on. You entered it on the flat and turned left up a bank and had a sharp right turn, top side of a tree that the roots were showing so got slippy if you didn’t carry enough speed. But not to fast, as you turned right back down the bank and straight into a left turn and getting on the power to send you back up the bank, but there were 2 solid rocks side by side that you had to hit straight on and turn immediately right back down the bank. I always felt like I wasn’t in control on that corner until the bike slowed to the exit gate.

Section 7 was a basic path into a big bomb hole but I had to use 2nd gear as you headed to the left bank to get the speed for the very step climb up a greasy wet bank which you had to turn sharp left and select 1st gear to drop back down it to the exit gate. It wasn’t much of a section, but I’ve done a lot of improvements to the BSA bantam and got it revving more now so can try 2nd on bigger banks.

To be honest all the sections were challenging and enjoyable. Big thanks to aqueduct classic trials for another great event

Rob Sloggett – Section 9

Having assisted with the marking out the previous day and doing the white route, I was quite looking forward to grabbing a board and observing what the other guys had cooked up for the other routes. I had a section in a part of the quarry we had not used for a while. Basically it was graduated uphill channel with trees, some rock steps and a few banks, finishing with a large rock cluster near the end cards approached (depending on your route) by a number of snaking loose material banks.

Whilst the white route was fairly straight forward and the gradual bank only took a few dabs off the odd rider, the main challenge I had set which was an exit between two trees just over a handlebar width across, then a immediate left turn to the end cards did not really set anyone a challenge.

The yellow route had a great exit and after the straight forward front and mid section which took them around a rock step, they then had a left / right / left snaking climb finally running around the outside of the final rock cluster for the end cards. The early bank surprisingly took a number of dabs from riders but the uphill snake was certainly a good challenge needing good throttle control and line management to stay off the loose stuff.

Green (Orange) route incorporated in the middle section a really tasty rock step. Whilst it had a natural V in the middle and the line I was expecting riders to take was right in the nook (as it set them up for the main banked climb), most riders actually ran more right (i.e. hitting the flat edge of the right hand V rock) which forced a small turn on the bank. So strange to see as it was the consistent line! Quite a few fives, lots of threes but also regular clean rides.

The Experts had a complex section starting with a long climb up a bank, drop  (4 ft.) down the other side then immediately run parallel and turn back up  the 4ft wall to then drop back down a similar length to the run in. The mid section had the same step as the Inters (Green) but then the snaking climb had more tighter forced turns flagged in, taking them through a rock gully to the end cards. Some great rides with a number of riders coming out with clean sheets.

Mark Gaskell – Pre 65 Inters

After a few modifications, the Triumph’s first test was to be in Aqueduct’s trial at Pen Y Graig. A damp day, with promise of more rain meant it was going to be less than pleasant for the observers to be stood out watching us enjoy ourselves, so I’ll thank them first! Thank you!

Section 4. Gordon. Taking a wide line to the left allowed you plenty of room to turn right in the bottom of a gully before a short climb between two trees. Left and let the front wheel roll over a couple of rocks, then right over a fallen log, and finally a steep off camber climb to the exit. Other than a stray dab on the exit, no problem for the first three laps. On lap 4 light rain had made the first climb slick. I watched Paul Moz Owen struggle for a 3, but then Mark Newman flew up it, so I thought I would be ok. Wrong. I didn’t get enough momentum at the bottom and lost traction, which resulted in both bike and I reversing rapidly for a 5.

Section 8. Mark. The rockery. Not helped by watching one of the other riders fall heavily, I was a little nervous of this section. The first pile of rock looked likely to catch my clutch case if I went too far left, and the right hand side didn’t look appealing. A sharp right over a rock, followed by some loose rock, then right around a tree before choosing which rock to ride over. As it was the bike coped far better than the rider, but the rider didn’t have enough faith and put his feet down. A lot. 3,0,3,2.

Section 9. Rob. Starting in the bottom of a gully and swinging left up the bank, then right and over a rock step between trees. An off camber downhill left with exposed roots to another, bigger rock step, then a loose climb with an overhanging branch to distract you before the top. Slalom round the trees to the exit. This was deceptive, the bits that looked easy were difficult, and vica versa. I managed to escape with only 2 marks lost.

Yet another excellent trial from the Aqueduct team, thanks again for all your hard work. As for me, “Must try harder”. Just like my school reports used to say!

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

Another amazing trial! John Warren and myself are already looking forward to the next one! Will try and get some of the guys we practice with to come also! Glad to see loads of familiar faces 🙂 Massive thanks to all the observers and to the organisers! Plus Chris De Burger for his “yum yum” De munchies – David Williams

Another great trial today. Thank you to everyone who observed and set up sections. Thank you to Alan Dyson and Chris De Burger for riding round and helping start my bike – Talei Mallard

Thanks for the organisers, observers and riders patience while the grandson bashed round his first full adult trial with you all, good easy going trial, well set out for the recent weather – Karl Kavanagh

The venue for the next event is Nant Ucha, always good for a chilly November, but as always we have to close this report with a big thank-you to all of the observers, sections setter uppers, admin staff and Chris DB for the catering, plus the landower for the use of this great venue.

Top Places:

Pre 65 Expert: Chris Gascoigne, Francis Barnett (11); Tiny Gush, DOT (12); Alan Miles, Drayton Villiers (25)

Pre 65 Intermediate: Tim Lewis, BSA (3); Paul Owen, BSA (5); Roly Jones, Ariel (7)

Pre 65 Clubman: Jeremy Sutton, BSA (6); Steve Jones, BSA (6); Tim Godsmark, BSA (7)

Pre 65 Beginner: Kevin O’Toole, Triumph (3); Alan Dyson, BSA (18); Chris Kenny, BSA (20)

Twinshock Expert: Ian Jones, Fantic (17); Steve Thompson, Yamaha (52); Julian Price, Fantic (56)

Twinshock Intermediate: Stephen Knight, Fantic (5); Jed Downes, Honda (14); Craig Howard, Fantic (15)

Twinshock Clubman: Graham Pennington, Ossa (18); Allan Thomas, Fantic (23); Darren Riley, Bultaco (28)

Twinshock Beginner: Chris Jones, Yamaha (11); Jeff Hughes, Montesa (20)

AC Mono Expert: None

AC Mono Intermediate: Paul Cartwright, Gas Gas (4); Martin Powell, Honda (13); Gordon Wilson, Honda (14)

AC Mono Clubman: Ken Williams, Honda (14)

AC Mono Beginner: None

Modern Mono Expert: None

Modern Mono Intermediate: Mark Diggie, Sherco (9); Andrew Dean, Beta (9); Neil Lyth, TRS (20), Steve Walker, Sherco (20)

Modern Mono Clubman: David Williams, Montesa (6); Spence Bradley, Gas Gas (12); Elwtn Beedles, Sherco (14)

Modern Mono Beginners: Chris Matthews, Beta (6); Talei Mallard, Beta (32); Jonathon Hughes, Sherco (34)


Section 1 – Geoff

Section 2 – Izzy

Section 3 – Dave

Section 4 – Gordon

Section 5 – Russ

Section 6 – Suzanne

Section 7 – Mark

Section 8 – Chris

Section 9 – Rob

Section 10 – Jan

Bike Stats:

Pre 65 – 20

Twinshock – 14

A/C Mono – 5

Modern Mono – 20

Total = 59


Expert – 7

Intermediate – 23

Clubman – 19

Beginner – 10


Pre 65:

Ariel – 1

BSA – 8

Dot -1

Drayton Villiers – 1

Francis Barnett – 1

James – 1

Triumph – 7


Bultaco – 1

Fantic – 5

Honda – 2

Montesa – 1

Ossa – 1

Yamaha TY – 2

Aircooled Mono:

Fantic – 1

GasGas – 1

Honda – 3

Modern Mono:

Beta – 9

GasGas – 4

Montesa – 2

Sherco – 4

TRS – 1

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