“Everyone will come back to do another trial”

Unlike the Gwent trial on Boxing Day, the weather was good (first sun in the area for a week) and it meant that around 40 people were there at the start. As well as the usual trials riders, there were quite a few of the local classic motocross riders out on various bikes. That the trial, set out by Mike and Paul, was able to accommodate them with a choice of two routes and it made a really good event.

The start at the Baskerville Hotel

There were 12 sections set out in the woods behind the hotel and with no observers, each group marked themselves as they went round. Whilst in the past I’ve been a bit cynical of this, it actually does work well with classic events, it is more sociable and people tend to be fair and honest.

The sections used the usual rocky streams (which change each year with the passage of water and mud) and the Standard (harder route) was cleanable (not by me, but I’m sure somebody did).

Probably dropped around 25 or so, with a silly 5 on section 2 being the big black mark of the day. Failing to clean Section 12 on each of the three laps was the mark taker, though getting up the three stream sections (sections 5-7) clean each time was good fun.

Jon Britton, TY175

Kevin’s comment as we were going round, that there was nothing stupid and it enabled everyone, including those out on there first trials to enjoy themselves (and come back another time) summed it up pretty well. Nice to see Rob Griffith’s out on his very original Ariel HT, not quite so trick as Nick Woolley’s but that really summed up how much fun the event was.

Chris Bond and his Bultaco

Given that Scrambles / Classic Motocross does have a closed season (unlike trials) this type of event makes sense and running a few more in the October to March period makes a lot of sense. Most classic scrambles clubs are AMCA so Gwent Classic and the Herefordshire Classic clubs are well placed to attract bored motocrossers and people new to trials.

Getting a classic trials bike is still the fraction of the cost of either a new (and depreciating all the time modern trials bike) or a classic motocross bike. It makes a lot of sense. There is also a sense of fun, after all there was no real prize, (like with most games of golf) but the sense of challenge and getting the bike out. Chris Bond’s Model 27 Bultaco is still going strong and it was there competing with all the others (wish I still had a TL125 to be honest)

All good fun !

Section 8

[1] The hotel is now catering for a lot of bike meets and weekends, and is potentially an excellent venue for a classic trial weekend (now there’s a thought) with accommodation enough, a good bar etc. The International Laverda’s Owners Club and (my dads’) Vintage Motorcycle Club, Berkshire section have used it.

Gwent Classic Boxing Day Trial

Gwent Classic

Boxing Day arrives and after a low-key Christmas (8 mile walk up and around Mynnyd Llangorse) off to Brynmawr for Gwent Classics annual trial.

Not ridden a trial for a while and part of the process of my recent house move had seen me ferrying the TY250 back down from Reading on a trailer with a van full of Belgian IKEA furniture. Therefore looking forward to the trial with some eagerness and some tinkering with the TY had seen it start easily and topped up with fuel for the first time in 6 months.

Fine sunny day in Brymawr

Reports from Tredegar (ie Mark) had reported on a new venue and an some interesting sections. Driving over the top from Llangynidir to Beaufort and the weather was crap. Brynmawr not much better and the wind driven rain was a feature of the day, as was the tempreture, more of a seasonable freshness.

Good enough turnout, not the 70+ of Christmases past, but 30 people with a good twinshock entry and a couple of pre-65’s. 10 sections and 3 laps on a small, but interesting piece of ground that sees some four-wheel drive activity.

The golf-style marking system for Gwent Classic trials I think tends to work okay and avoids the need to observers; there is no individual cheating, but you do get some discrepancies on the scoring between groups, mainly over interpretation of routes and the rules etc (back wheel or front wheel out etc).

Rode round with a complete twinshock group, Mark (Kawasaki KT250), Kevin (Honda 250 or something), Terry on trick TY175 Whitehawk and Byron on a stock TY175. All evenly matched, though not on the same sections. Started at section 2, which was short climb, with a more serious drop back down, followed by a run round a mound of logs and rubbish. Section 3 next to it had an interesting finish and need a bit of the right wrist to get out of the end cards.

Section 4 was my nemesis, with 3 straight 5’s. Why the TY didn’t like going down hill I’m sure, but fluffed it everytime, with 2 stalls. Less said the better.

Section 5 was fairly straightforward and needed some tightening up to make it interesting, as the climb out of a small boggy patch had plenty of grip. Section 6, round under a cliff, them up round over the top I did like, the TY gripping like a champion every time to get round clean. Not the same for the rest of the team.

Section 7 was a muddy set of turns, which I took a 3 on first lap and then cleaned for the next two laps. However, 8 was the challenge of the day and despite being eased, I only managed to get out of the end-cards using the 3rd gear, wall of death approach once. Good fun and the conditions made the section what it was.

Sections 9 and 10 were pretty straightforward and had been eased out a little too much, a tighter bottom turn in 9 would have made it much more fun as it happens.

The start at the Baskerville Hotel

I managed to drop 36 and given 15 were on Section 4 and 10 on Section 8, all-in-all not too bad on the rest of the course. Keven also dropped 36, with Mark and Terry something similar. Bryon won it (for our group) on the day with a 28.

An alright venue and probably worth going back there for a trial in future, Saturday afternoon bit of fun makes the most sense really !