The Merthyr Motor Club Trials have a fearsome reputation for some and I do remember dropping 80+ points on my Gas Gas in Morlais Quarry. They are good riders and they do know how to put on a good trial, so it was no surprise when all others were cancelled under the Mayan pre-end-of-the-world deluge during the week, it was Merthyr that ran.
It was also the last round of the Welsh Twinshock Championship (which looking at the website, seemed be a contest between 3-4 riders) . Anyway, with enthusiastic text’s from Mark, I’d spent 10 minutes prepping the TY250 from its last outing (in August) and headed over on what was a relatively dry morning. More rain forecast however.
Grabbed some fuel and arrived at Glyn Mill to find Mark’s van marooned in the field and therefore decided to stay firmly parked on the track. Paid the £15 entry to find around 10 twinshocks on the course alongside 30 or so modern bikes competing on a 7 section, 4 lap and 3 route course. The (easiest) Sportsman route for me (and Mark and Kevin) and it was good to see that a lot of sections were laid out in the streams. Glyn Mill is a bit bleak in the rain (though it could be argued that there are bleaker, habitable, parts of Merthyr Tydfil, and the rain did duely arrive. Watching Rob Cobley and his pristine mini Majesty, taking a dive in the first section (started at number 5), followed by a Kevin failure, didn’t inspire confidence it what was to come.
Managed to get through for a 3, followed by another on Section 6, where I’d opted for the tight-line following the drop-off and then struggled to get my foot off the badly positioned rear brake pedal. Another 3 in Dai Bedford’s section 7 (a classic streamway one) and I was resigned to a difficult afternoon. However it was nice to be proved wrong.
Managed to clean sections 1, 2 and 4 on each lap, with only a stupid 2 on the last lap of section 3 (which I think proved to be costly in the grand scheme of things). The couple of dabs here might have been caused by a flashback of me (and all the other riders) seeing Chris Bonds naked behind halfway up a tree on the way to the first section. I’ve deleted the photo evidence.
Back to the tricky section 5, and I then managed to clean it on each lap, excellent, but section 6 retained its mental block. Some mindgames from Mark, as he commented on my low score bring me certain victory in our mini championship. Dirty tactics.
Only bike issues were with Kevin’s chain on the new Honda ‘Metisse’ coming off a couple of times and him also suffering from a misfire (water in the carb). We also lent some spanners to Nibbs Adams and his 156cc Fantic so he could complete the clubman route. He was spied coming off in section 5 and he managed to collect up all the valuable bits falling off the Fantic en route.
Given the weather and that it was a combined modern and classic trial, it was a cracking (TMX speak) event and set out at the right level. Excellent fun, and proper trials.
Left fairly promptly as I’d promised to pick a kayaking friend up in Crickhowell and drop him back in Llangynidir after a rapid trip down the Usk (mad). Got back to the house to find a puddle of water in the kitchen and a bulge in the ceiling. The rain during the week had finally got into the house; bugger.
On the positive side, the results appeared on the Welsh Trials website. Managed to beat Mark and Kevin, and Rob Cobley based on most cleans. Makes a change from coming last.