Wye Valley Classic series round 2, Lodge Wood Dulas. 29th April 2007

report by Chris Gardiner

Round two of the 'Classic' was held at Lodge Wood Dulas, which saw an excellent turnout of fifty three entries, all eager to face up to some challenging sections over a choice of two routes. Ten sections, each to be attempted four times, was the format for the day.

Section one was relatively straight forward, a couple of steep banks either side a sunken track gave little difficulty, Section two also rode well, only problem here was the awful smell of the wild garlic! Three however caused a great deal of pondering before anyone attempted it, Tim Wheeler chose to be the guinea pig, and cleaned it, after which there was a mad scramble for the bikes before anyone forgot where he went!

On to section four which was probably the hardest section in the trial. A fair crowd had gathered, and it was obvious that there was going to be quite a debate on how to get up the almost four foot rock step half way through the section. Martyn Wilmore however had obviously worked it out, the 500 Aerial was already fired up. The observer gave the signal and the comparatively huge machine was skilfully piloted through and over the slippery rocks at the beginning of the section to safely reach the flat gravel in the middle. Power on now, and a sideways bounce off a sloping slab of rock put the front wheel bang on one of the kicker stones to launch man and machine superbly up and over the step! Jaws dropped, some in awe, others in disbelief, and a well earned round of applause followed. The smaller rock step on the easier route now seemed very insignificant by comparison!

Nic Draper followed shortly afterwards and showed brilliant form to clean the step every time, and nearly everything else on the trial bar from one dab on six, Well done Nic.

Dan Sanders cleaned section four three times out of the four attempts, on one occasion nearly taking the Clerk of the Course's eye out with his right foot which he had stuck high in the air at one point to maintain balance! Dan went on to finish second overall on three marks lost.

Best on the alternative route was John Sanders on only one mark lost, which takes his cumulative score to a maximum 40 points over the two rounds. Another on full marks so far is Clive Smith who obviously has his sights set on winning the over 40's class again. Dropping thirteen in total he finished nine points clear of his closest rival in the class Brian Watkins on twenty two .

The alternative route twinshock class was depleted this time by non starters and retirements, giving Ken O'Brien top spot with a very good twelve, followed by Peter Lewis on eighteen. Alan Gould, last year's twinshock winner looked unusually out of sorts this time out finishing on thirty nine.

Others on the day trip to Dulas requiring a mention are; Malcolm Herbert (SWM), who I believe didn't break down this time, Malcolm Herbert (Beta), Lester Hammond, Gavin Spencer, Jono Phillips, John Sanders, and Brian Watkins. All the above either gave up their ride to observe or shared the observing with others. Thank you. Yes, this time we unfortunately fell foul to the lack of observers problem. We are of course extremely grateful to the three that turned up, Mrs Brown, Brian Valder and Mrs Collins.

A mention for new Club member Malcolm Howells for a very good attempt at his first ever trial. Malcolm managed to complete thirty four of the forty sections albeit with mixed fortune, but it is the taking part that counts. That's my excuse anyway and you are welcome to borrow it Malcolm!

Thank you to all competitors for your support, full results are on the website. Round three of the Classic series is on 24th June followed a few weeks after by the Club's Centre Championship round on July 15th. Both venues to be announced. We look forward to seeing you at one or both of them.