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.
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.
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 !