Only two of the usual suspects headed north for a hot sunny weekend in Yorkshire for the latest Sammy Miller Products round .
A much reduced contingent headed north to Yorkshire and the 6th round of the Sammy Miller Products series, hosted by Ilkley and District Motor Club. With just myself and Mark carrying the flag, it was a hot, sunny weekend centered around Pateley Bridge. Drove up on the Saturday evening and the 4 hours from Hereford was a result of low levels of traffic and a driving style aimed to economy.
Put the tent up in the Nidderdale showground and after trying some tea infused with methanol [One of the main problems with Trangia stoves is where the burner gets put when you pack it, in the kettle] we decided to adjourn to the Rose and Crown. Despite being torn between being eaten by midges outside, or being assaulted by a pub singer inside (who had previously owned a TY125 it turned out) we stuck it out till around 0h30 before heading back to the tent. We now had our excuse for the poor performance on the morrow.
No doubt that the Ilkley club organise a good trial. The scruitineering was closer than many, with a few loose spokes coming to surface on the Beta and Mark’s steering being 3% out-of-true. Also, they’d arrange the fuel stop etc, which was excellent given that it was a 30 mile lap and the range of the Beta is about 26 miles before reserve.
Signing on in triplicate, followed by a bacon roll and we’re ready for the off. As usual away at the back of field of 70-odd bikes. Though overcast, there was the expectation that this was going to be a hot day out on the road.
Watergate : 5 Sections
Just a short run up the hill (a steep hill with a couple of hairpins) and nice to see the Beta running well back on its diet of Castrol TTS. Some smoke, but the that smell was back (not as good as Castrol R though)
Amazingly, both Mark and I clean the first section, though I had a slack dab on the 2nd section. This was like the others; grass banks with rocks and loose boulders. The 3rd sub had an awkward corner, and then a sharp exit over rocks. The 4th and 5th subs were similar but managed to come away only having lost 5 marks. Not too bad for me.
By the time we left the group, the sun was coming out and it was clear the day was going to be a hot one ! Nice run across the moor, and then a short off road section took us to the next group.
Cock Hill Mine : 3 sections
Saw a dab from some of the top boys on the first section and then managed to go to slow, so a 3 in the first section, then a dab to prevent the front wheel washing out in the second. I hate those type of sections.
Nearly got run over by Neil Gaunt’s Ariel in the first section whilst attempting a photo,. That would have been a good way to finish the trial.
A quick look at the onlooking crowd indicated that the third section here was the crux. A very rocky stream (more rocky that Wales, we’re in Yorkshire !) which was wasn’t going to get any easier the more you looked at it. It saw me take 3 early on, but got it back on track and get through the section. Mark lost control of the Kwak, followed by a comment from the audience “eee, they were like that back in the 70’s”. It was the beginning of his love affair with stream sections for the day.
Bit of a spin on the road, back down the steep hill into Pateley Bridge and back past the show ground before heading out past the reservoir to the next group. By now a glorious day, coupled with some great scenery which made the road work not too tiresome.
West Wood : 2 sections
The first section in the wood was an interesting beast; a tight drop into a stream and then a 2nd or 3rd gear run up the stream and then out into a full blast through mud to the end cards. Turns out probably the crux section of the day and lots of 3’s and 5’s. Got through with a scrambled 3, but wasn’t getting easier at the back of the field. Second sub was an interesting up-and-down-round-trees was, with a small step out of the end. A clean.
Rayners Field: 3 sections
Just when you think things are going well; you screw up. Twice in my case. On probably the easiest section of the day, I simply missed a marker. On the next section I choose the route over a rock rather than round it, another 5. Mark showed the way to go by riding round the rock and cleaning the section. I blame a large thistle in the first section, but actually being a prat is a better summary of events. Last section was a short stream section with a bank and turn out to exit. Didn’t get a 5, but took a slack dab instead.
I still not good at a) avoiding stupid 5’s and then b) loosing others by being annoyed for loosing the first one.
Covill Farm: 3 sections
Short run over to Covill Farm for 3 subs, the second of which being the most tricky, My crap run of form continued when stalled the bike in the turn out of the stream. The collection of 5’s building up. The last section took another slack one on the traverse across the camber. The good start was a distant memory so the focus was on trying to not come last.
West House Farm: 3 sections
First section was out on the grass slope at the farm and wasn’t too bad. The second sub, across a rock bank and then up through a stream bed with a sharp exit to the right. It didn’t look straightforward and was happy that I got through for a 3.
Thought I clipped a marker on the last section, which was straight-forward but managed to loose the line early on and then struggled to stay on the bike.
To the lunch stop was just outside Lofthouse and picked up the sandwiches ordered at the start, as well as a coke. Quick chat with a few people, though didn’t take up the ice-cream on offer.
The route card showed a 13 mile run to the next group, which usually means a numb bum. But, this was a different, with a superb off road run across the moors. Superb going with some great views.
Back onto the tarmac on the other side of the moor and then a run down some narrow lanes to the next group.
Winksley Moor: 3 sections
Thw Winksley more group started with an interesting a run up a rocky gully followed by a couple of stream sections. I managed a couple of 3’s and a 1 whilst Mark continued his water aversion and picked up a set of 5’s/
A great spot to spectate and by now the roar of pre-65 sidecars and the nice weather brought out a few onlookers to watch the action.
Kingstone Farm: 4 sections
The first section was interesting, with the only way of cleaning it involving a run-up and launching off one slab to clear the next rock. You could weave you way through them, but this involved at least a dab. I went for the airbourne route and got it wrong, so another 5 was come my way. Mark, after stating his desire to make it into work the following day decided on the twisty route and only two dabs.
Next couple of sections were fairly technical and though dry plenty of places to drop marks. Managed one clean, but then had a 5 at the last twisty number that curved round the rocks. Again, once off line you were then doomed. Fairly short bit of road work and off to the last group.
Wath Quarry: 5 sections
It was the last two sections that finished me; a 5 for missing a marker followed by a careless 5 when by back wheel washed out a marker; should have done it in 2nd. A lovely place for sections here, with some great views out over Pateley Bridge, but by now it really was hot and my thoughts were on getting back to the start.
Short run back down the hill to the finish, though not really waymarked you just followed your nose. Through Pateley Bridge and back to the showground. A brilliant day out, with about 6.5 hours on the road.
Well organised trial and given its only the second year the Ilkley Club have done I am really surprised there wasn’t more that the 70 or so entrants.
Though Mark beat me by one mark (you can find the results on the Ilkley Club website ), we didn’t come quite at the bottom of the field. The usual low score rides, but some people dropped more than usual on the way round.
One of the aims of writing these articles is to encourage more people to enter the Sammy Miller series; though I dropped a few, it wasn’t hard. The good riders will drop low marks, but the aim should be to encourage the clubman riders to make an appearance also.
Thanks to Anthony Searles father for his photo’s, which I’ve included in this article.