A last minute decision to do a trial (after all the other ones were cancelled) was well rewarded with a venue I’d not been to before. a farm near Mynyddislwyn.
Gwent Classic trials are AMCA (and theoretically no helmets) and usually no observers, so you observe yourselves as groups. This has disadadvantages, but one main advantage. Last time on the venue, they ran a single lap, 30 section trial. This time it was two laps of 15 sections, with a single route (which makes a nice change too)
5 groups of riders (with 4,5 or 6 in the group), made up of 1 pre-65 group, 2 twinshock groups and 2 modern mono’s., Sections 1-4 were set out in woodland with some nice camber’s, loose corners and tight-ish turns.
Sections 5 to 12 were all in the stream, the main feature of the venue. Its a good place for classic trial and allows sections to be set out Scottish syle, that is a marker on each bank. The bottom section, number 5 was probably the most difficult, with some greasy solid steps, rather than the loose rocks further up. Picking the right line was key and having a go at the sections. Proper trials.
Sections 13 was an awkward turn off-camber followed by a sharp climb to the end cards, whilst 14 was an off-camber route through trees, followed by an awkward slope and step to the exit. The last section, 15, was a through a muddy stream before a turn right out and up a slope.
All good sections, and which made for an enjoyable day out. Riding as a group can slow you up, but it can be a pretty social occasion. I rode the SWM 320TL, which was fine except for a broken brake lever (section 5 on the first lap) and slipping kickstart (which was a result of not putting it back on right after using on the SWM-Gori project.
Maybe its the assumed unreliability of my SWMs (an urban myth as I never failed to finish a trial on one), but there are now more Honda’s than ever on trials, though it was nice to see a couple of Montesa’s out, even if the 349 sounded like someone shaking a bag of marbles.
Many thanks to Sean and Mark for running the trial, as I’d forgotten how good the venues they have are.