Event Report – Plas Onn 030324

With Spring knocking on the door but the usual threats of snow, the climate was good to Aqueduct Classics as the second round of the 2024 series got under way. A good turnout of 93 bikes saw almost 1/3 (30) being Pre 65’s and another 15 being Twinshocks. With almost half of the bikes being in the clubs roots of classic trials this was a really healthy showing. The new Pre 2000 Water Cooled Monoshocks had 8 bikes and the Pre 96 Air Cooled Monos having 16. This just left 24 Modern Monos to make up the count.

Whilst we only had a single Novice rider this time, a good showing of 13 Experts mixed up the day with 44 Inters and 35 Clubman riders.

Mark Newman – Pre 65 / Intermediate

Riding my Francis Barnett…well just a quick insight first. Back in August 2023 I damaged my right elbow and was instructed not to ride ( well to be honest told no riding , lifting, no mountain biking , no tinkering, no nothing as my muscle was badly torn where it connected to the bone ). So if had a long layoff and to say I was going mad is an understatement, but I did manage a couple of easy outings on my big Ariel getting ready to ride the Talmag at the end of Jan 2024 but I decided to ride it at our Jan trial and had a big off which ended my ride. Then a fantastic 3 weeks in New Zealand to get to the point I was rusty, also I’ve not rode the Barnett for yonks.

I found the sections brilliant and even though challenging, slippy rocks and deep mud I had a cracking day and found I was doing ok. I rode round with Mark Gaskell who did his best to make me look even better, I found I was getting grip and the bike was feeling good. I especially liked section 2 (Kevs) , it had everythin,g steps, mud tight turns more steps and more mud , and I did cock it up on the second lap and incurred a 5. I then cleaned it again and on the last lap ( yes the sun was in my eyes as well ) I needed a steadying dab, it as like I said, challenging but the satisfaction at cleaning it was enormous. I was like a big kid…

Same with section 10 (Gordon) and his apprentice. He always has a tough one , tight turn , step banks , and slippy drops. I cleaned it 3 times and just once needed a steadying one. All in all, it was one of the best trials I’ve done and I thank everyone again for their efforts…keep it up. I’m looking forward to riding again . To sum up, by god it was slippy if not the mud then the rocks , but it was a great day and I’ve got the bug again so thanks .

David Riley – Twinshock / Expert

Turned up at this great venue expecting it to be a typical winters day however it was gorgeous and even quite warm. Although there were a lot of riders, the classes were split to start at different sections which cut down a lot on the potential queues.

All the Green sections were well laid out with the following 3 gaining most of my attention

Section 2 – A long windy route through the bomb hole in the lower brook. In through the start gate with a steady right turn into a muddy run up to a good root step and continue up the rocky brook. Next came another root step and right turn on to a grease bank. Down a greasy bank with a couple of roots and an angled rock just to keep your attention levels elevated? This was followed by a left uphill slippy turn into some rocks and a root gully which tended to kick you into an awkward angle of attack for another root step. Along a greasy bank, drop onto the brook path and uphill out of the section

Section 7 – Greasy downhill approach into the stream with a right turn which had a few holes to drop your front wheel into. Up the stream and a tight left out of the stream up a greasy bank and turning right back towards the stream. Dropping into the stream there were a number of lines into a left turn but these washed away after the 1st lap. Short, steep uphill over a tree root to a right turn on a grass bank and back across the stream and out.

Section 10 – Top end of the far gully, this section had a tight left turn over rocks to a steep muddy bank and a floaty right turn over a couple of roots. Back down the hill and turning left into the stream. Up the bank on the right and a nasty left turn over roots back into the stream

There were a number of riders and Observers went for a beer in the Butcher’s Arms on the way home and all agreed that it was a great trial which really took away your energy. Thanks very much to the Aqueduct Team, Barry and Sarah and the Observers

Michael Griffiths – Observer / Section 3

 Plas Onn must be one of the best trials venues the Aqueduct use
and Sundays trial was no exception. My section (3) was a beaut. Easy to
clean but easier to drop marks on. Early riders suffered a bit but then
again the later rider had it change. Jim Hough had an unfortunate 5 when his back wheel slipped on the moss and had a look at the outside of the blue flag. Some heroic dabs and a spectacular flight out of the last
climb by Nye Pugh-Hutchinson, alas he failed to hang on but did  a
gallant effort. Yet another rider to watch out for. On about young
riders and Ryan Garlic was outstanding and what a future star we have in
our presence. Mike Jones performed well on the Bulti as did Dave
Pengelly on the Quacker. Yes I prefer twinshocks… The section planners
got it right and the atmosphere was spot-on . Thanks lads for the banter
though no insults from Pinkey or Moz so I was safe …

One or two needed livening to get on but as there were best
part of 100 entries we got finished nicely.  Mr (more chops than a
butchers shop) Foulkes was last man (a usual place) claiming a puncture
had delayed him. Well I suppose it’s a new name for gabbing. All in
all lads a grand day though my section proved to be in the shade and I
missed the sunshine. No not too cold. I  thoroughly enjoyed the day and
the chocolate cake at the start was the best yet. I think Geoff gave
Russ a lesson of towing a bike back with his recovery technique . Grand
job , roll on next month….

Stephen Harding – Modern Mono / Clubman

First of all as usual a huge thanks to all the Aqueduct team for putting on such a great event once again,  big thanks to Russ and the team for spending their Saturday setting out the sections in the wind rain and snow , also a huge thanks to all the observer’s for giving up their Sunday without whom it wouldn’t be possible for us to have a trial, Chris deburger for keeping us fed and watered, and the land owners for the use of this great venue, 

So we get underway at 11oclock as usual after the short briefing on where we should all start , we (yellows), we’re instructed to start at section 1, so we made our way down the valley to the bottom field where we got to the section. So here are a few of my favourites of the day ,as usual it is  hard to choose as all sections were spot on as usual ,so here we go.

Section 1 – You start off from the field and drop down into the stream and back out onto the opposite bank then a bit of a right and along the side of the bank before a slow left between two large rocks. A bit of an up hill and tight right over slippy rocks and drop down off a log into the stream and turn left on to the loose moving slippery rocks and follow the stream up. I personally went a bit left on to the bank before turning a tight right back across the stream and up the bank on the opposite side and out of the section,  very slippy but doable 

Section 2 – You start off from the very slippy field and drop down into the stream and across some slippy rocks before a bit of a bank then straight away turn tight right round a tree. Then drop back down over some more loose rocks before turning a tight left and climbing up and over a good sized step carry on up to where  kev was observing. Carrying on up the stream over loose rocks before a bit of a left round a tree and follow up out of the section. A tricky one but managed to clean it once

Section 10 – After a ride up the stream (that was like 2 green sections joined together) you get to 9 and 10. I started from the opposite side of the stream to the start gate, across the stream and and up onto a slippery bank before turning a tight right past a tree on slippery mud. You then dropped back into stream and back out up a steep slope and a 180 round another tree and drop back into the stream and turn right and though the exit. Only managed to clean it once haha , 

Some tough sections but really enjoyable, well done everyone involved, 

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, Triumph (20); Tony Gush, DOT (23); Chris Chell, BSA (51)
  • Intermediate – Adrian Kent, Drayton Villiers (7); Sam Alderman, BSA (11); Peter Shone, James (11); Robin Foulkes, Francis Barnett (11)
  • Clubman – Steve Walker, Francis Barnett (2); Paul Brimelow, Cotton (4); Jon Flower, BSA (7)
  • Novice – No Riders


  • Expert – Peter Sagar, Honda (19); Steve Cliff, Fantic (45); Paul Smart, Fantic (55)
  • Intermediate – Dave Riley, Fantic (5); Mike Jones, Bultaco (6); Dave Pengilley, Kawasaki (9); Tim Cuffin, Majesty (9)
  • Clubman – Phil Cottiga, Honda (17); Graham Pennington, Bultaco (25); Dave Lycett, Honda (38)
  • Novice – No Riders

Pre 1996 Air Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Peter Ruscoe, Honda (24)
  • Intermediate – David Matthews, Yamaha (3); Paul Cook, Yamaha (7); Ian Tracey, Ossa (13); Craig Barkley, Yamaha (13)
  • Clubman – Rian Garlick, Gas Gas (4); Ian Emery, Gas Gas (10); Andy Steele, Yamaha (12)
  • Novice – No Riders

Pre 2000 Water Cooled Mono

  • Expert – Richard Webster, Montesa (15); Chris Garlick, Gas Gas (19); Mike Jones (73)
  • Intermediate – Jim Droughton, Yamaha (14); Alec Roberts, Montesa (16); Mike Smith, Montesa (30)
  • Clubman – Marcus Greer, Beta (56)
  • Novice – No Riders

Modern Mono

  • Expert – No finishers
  • Intermediate – John Petrek, Gas Gas (7); Elwyn Beedles, Beta (26); Oliver Cookson, Gas Gas (27)
  • Clubman – Oscar davies, Gas Gas (9); Martin Howard, Montesa (16); Spencer Davies, Beta (21)
  • Novice – Gordon Evans, Tenaci Wong (156)

Observer List

1 – Jeff Hughes

2 – Kev Ellis

3 – Mike Griffiths

4 – Wendy Smith

5 – Elwyn Williams

6 – Ffion Gush

7 – Brian Cliff

8 – Ian Jones

9 – Paul Winter

10 – Gordon Francis


Bikes Classes

  • Pre 65 – 30
  • Twinshock – 15
  • Pre 1996 Air Cooled Mono – 16
  • Pre 2000 Water Cooled Mono – 8
  • Modern Mono – 24

Route Classes

  • Expert – 13
  • Intermediate – 44
  • Clubman – 35
  • Novice – 1


Pre 65

  • BSA – 11
  • Cotton – 1
  • DOT – 1
  • Francis Barnett – 3
  • James – 1
  • Matchless – 1
  • Sprite – 1
  • Triumph – 9
  • Villiers – 1


  • Bultaco – 2
  • Fantic – 4
  • Honda – 6
  • Kawasaki – 1
  • Majesty – 1
  • Ossa – 1

Pre 1996 Air Cooled Mono

  • Fantic – 2
  • Gas Gas – 5
  • Honda – 2
  • Ossa – 1
  • Yamaha – 6

Pre 2000 Water Cooled Mono

  • Beta – 1
  • Gas Gas – 2
  • Montesa – 3
  • Yamaha – 1

Modern Mono

  • Beta – 5
  • Gas Gas – 9
  • Montesa – 4
  • Sherco – 2
  • Tenaci Wong – 1
  • TRS – 3