An excellent entry of 65 riders turned out for the Manchester 17 Club’s first Dead Easy Trial of the year, despite the poor weather forecast and the bitterly cold day, accompanied by frequent snow and sleet flurries. The venue was Heaton House Farm, Rushton Spencer, which does provide some protection from the worst of the weather.
With the promise of poor weather the course plotters set out eight sections, mainly in the woods, and on the day it was decided that four laps would be enough “enjoyment”. This proved a popular decision enabling people to get a decent start in battling some of the high roads home.
Section one on the Harder route proved to be a cracker. A tight entry twisting through trees, followed by a blast through deep rutted mud, then a slippery left turn out , proved a real challenge, with very few cleans. One of the rides of the day has to be Owen Thomas on this section who managed two cleans on a twin shock 125 Yamaha, proving that power isn’t everything in this trials game. Then followed a series of sections in the woods, comprising tight turns, climbs, drops, a few logs etc which proved just the right severity on the day.
The last section observed by Club President Ken Roberts proved a sting in the tale. A couple of turns over rocks, followed by a roll over a fallen telegraph pole caught many out on the Harder Route, and was a teaser on the Easy Route.
No one managed a clean ride overall on the Harder Route. Nick Gregory, and David Matthews, on a Bultaco, were first home on seven, with Andrew Slack and Bryan Cook following on eight.
On the Easy Route, there were five clean rides, with Alan Critchlow pipping his brother Ray who lost one mark, to earn the bragging rights. Young Lucy Baker on her Oset had a cracking ride to go clean.
Thanks to all the riders for supporting the event in the conditions, and the stalwart observers for braving the cold. Despite the weather, it couldn’t diminish the smiles and obvious enjoyment of the majority of the riders at the end.
REPORT: Roger Townsend