Northern British Bike Championship 4th Round - The West Riding Trial

Fair weather welcomed the 73 riders as they assembled for the start of the Yorkshire Classic's West Riding road Trial at the Guide Inn, Cullingworth. Butties and drinks were provided for the riders and officials as the skies lightened to make conditions ideal for the 73 entrants on their British Pre1965 steeds at round 4 of the Northern British Bike Championship.


One lap of 30 sections on a 30 mile lap had been set by Colin Pawson and his 'merry ' men. John Maxfield (Cub) continued his recent run of form pipping Nick Shield (Triumph Twin) by the narrowest of margins with both riders dropping a single mark on the rocks at Manywells. Yorkshire Classic rules decide ties in favour of the older rider giving the outright win to John. The Northern British Bike Championship use the traditional tie break system but as Nick dropped his dab on section five and John's prod was on the following section, the result stood no matter which method was used. On the Clubman route it was only senior Citizen Geoff Walker on his Bantam that managed to stay clean and top the lot.


Section 4 at the first group in the brook at the bottom of sidecar ace Robin Luscombe's garden was the first to test the premier route riders. The rocky slabs and cambers took fives from the unwary here. The clubmen were happy to be relatively untroubled here although Gary Marshal on his Triumph TRW lost the first of his rigid class winning two marks in an excellent ride.


Manywells Farm came next where the loose rocks of section six proved to be the one that took marks from all but a handful of riders. Only the runner up Nick Shield and Lancashire's Jack Butterworth, also Triumph twin mounted, stayed feet up through the tight rock field turns. Carl Batty was unlucky to drop five, his only marks of the day here. The uphill section 7 was kinder this year although Eric Atkinson was shocked to go over the bars without warning.


Upper Slippery Ford was in a good mood this year without the traditional crossing of the bog but assistant Clerk of the Course Tim Pawson ended up in hospital after going AOT with a dislocated collar bone.

The next two groups at Lumb Waterfall and Cowling Beck are always amongst the riders' favourites being excellent rocky stream sections. The jumbled rocks needed constant care to avoid the dabs and the sections were in benevolent mood for a change. Consett's Ossy Byers (James) dropped his only mark on the first here leaving him in the runner up spot at the end of the day.


Pinnacle overlooking Cowling Village again saw drama when first man through Chris Haigh on his immaculate Velocette was lucky to escape injury when he lost control on the sharp camber of the first and took a big tumble breaking his bars and denting the tank causing his retirement from the event. Andy Webbe's bad luck contined here when his Norton's doll's head gearbox again slipped out of gear forcing two feet to drop to keep the bike moving.


Lower Slippery Ford is another annual favourite where the rock strewn path after crossing the stream requires concentration to avoid loss of marks as Andrew Cooke found which a rock in the stream caused the feet to drop along with his chances of winning his clubman class. The Turkey Inn at Goose Eye came before Branshaw Quarry where the old favourites had been lost to quarrying necessity. Their stand-ins took few marks except for the sharp turn to the ends cards where last year's winner Ben Butterworth (Ariel) dropped his second dab.


So it was back to Lord Lane with only Jacks garage standing between the riders and the pie and peas at The Guide after what had been an excellent day's sport in beautiful Bronte Country.


Looking forward to the next round to be held on the 2nd August around the beautiful town of Llangollen, North Wales.


Series sponsored by Rock Oil - Venhill - AW Race Engineering - Trials UK - The Magicals - Classic Dirt Bike


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