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Round 1 and 2 Chevenage Farm, Gloucestershire


British Sprint Enduro ChampionshipMax and I arrived on Friday afternoon, setting up our camp and pit area before he walked the course ready for the morning.

We woke to find clear skies and sunshine – conditions were perfect (when was the last time you heard that!) We joined other Witley members Dan Alldred, Dan Beaven, Neil Bowker and Aaron Smith up near the start for the sighting lap.

They all returned one by one and the general consensus was that it was going to be fast!

As each rider left and the course began to take shape, the many corners started to berm up, but it was Aaron who was able to make the most of the virgin track. The sheer power from the big 500 ripped up the ground and he looked impressive drifting every corner.

He put in some great laps, consistently getting quicker until he was in 4th place in the U23’s – no mean feat, as this is a tough group.

But we all know how cruel this sport can be, and on his last lap of the day, while pushing hard he crashed. Winded badly, he limped back to finish the lap but he would finish the day in 10th place.

Editor's Bit

Posted by: Laurence Richards in TrialsLDTISDEGeneralEnduroEditors Bit on

Well, spring is here and despite the ongoing rain and cold, we can at least hope for some improvement in the next few weeks! (I hope).

Before going on – please make the effort to come along to the AGM on 25th April to support your Committee and hear what has been going on during the last 12 months.

We have had a number of successful events since the last Newsflash, including the Day- After-Boxing-day-Enduro, as it has become in recent years, and two trials organised by Neil Bowker and Terry Tidbury – the open-to-Centre Weston Trophy and the G.D.Brown Trophy TVTC round.

More disappointing was the late cancellation of the Witley Classic Enduro in February, owing to the loss of the Forestry Commission land at Warren Heath. Regrettably the conditions for its use required by Natural England could not be met in the time available.

There is a break in our sporting event organisation for a while now, but there’s plenty to look forward to on the social front – read inside about the ISDE Fundraising events through the summer. Then, after cheering our teams on through the ISDE, it will soon enough be time to make final preparations for the Long Distance Trial!

Also, if you are a road rider, Bernard Jay has compiled an extensive list of suggestions for outings this year ( a few of which are noted inside). Please talk to Bernard and support the Club road riding tradition!

Whatever you are doing over the next few months – safe and happy motorcycling...


National Rally 2012

Posted by: Laurence Richards in National Rally on

The Rally seems a very long time ago as I write this (well, that’s because it is), but it was nonetheless a reasonably successful outing.

Another year, another National Road Rally. A handful of Witley members seem to keep coming back for more, and 2012 was no exception. However, this year Dave Kav, Gordon and myself bit the bullet and entered the Platinum class, which involves a bit of additional effort. A 7.30 start from the Hog’s Back for a 130 mile run via Newbury and Banbury to Nuneaton and the MIRA test track was uneventful, apart from my attempt to get Dave to ram me from behind by carrying out a late signalling manoeuvre into the emergency tea stop. Arriving around 11.15, we reported for Special Test duty and were set some bike handling and average speed challenges to keep us occupied for an hour or so. This was followed by lunch in the MIRA canteen, after which it was time to prepare for the Big Run.

We had decided to stay south this year – in fact unusually Nuneaton was pretty much the furthest north we were to reach. At 2pm it was off to Wolverhampton – managing to avoid the Olympic torch which had passed through shortly before – and then Telford and our long time favourite control at Sutton Maddock. Here, in a converted farmyard by the village church, tea and buns of the highest quality are served with a smile, which makes keeping to any kind of schedule a bit challenging. But onwards it had to be, over to the Welsh borders at Church Stretton (on this leg, I grabbed this year’s Redundant Flashing Indicator Award) before turning south to Leominster.

A good snack stop at another favourite control, Worcester Auto Club, where the burgers were excellent. Then onwards, but a bit of a navigational glitch set us back about 30 minutes.


It was very wet...

After a great day Saturday working on the bike in fine weather – new front tyre, new EBC front brake disc and pads, new Venhill front brake pipe and a change of master cylinder to one from another KMX that I bought on Ebay some time ago – had me in high spirits (and with a front brake that might work – the lever didn't come to the handlebar any more!) The heavy overnight rain that was still falling as I drove there in the morning made me question the sanity of going to the event – but I went!

It stopped raining for a while before the delayed start – but had started raining again by the 10:30 start time.

Having entered in the Evo class – pre-1990 machines – I benefited from starting ahead of the Sportsman class at number 51.

This advantage was soon of little value, as the experts and clubmen in front of me were on their second lap while I was still only half-way through struggling round my first lap, and the ruts were already multiple deep grooves. I bottomed out and stalled once, having gambled on the wrong route and had to lift the bike out. Wearing waterproofs (wish I hadn't), this was all a very hot, breathless and tiring affair. So I cut the first lap short and took a get-out route back to the start/finish and retired after an hour and a quarter of the 3-hour event, along with most of the rest of the less able riders. I still enjoyed the day – there were some good rewarding bits on the lap, and finishing early before damaging the bike (that ran strong and flawlessly throughout) or myself meant that I avoided spoiling the day. It was just too much full-on Enduro for an old man on an old trail bike! A narrow technical course that felt like one long trials section. I had also forgotten there were so many hills; none very long (at a reasonable riding pace) but some are steep and took a long time and a lot of physical and mental reserves to climb, and to come down the other side. There was no let-up – forget reserves, I was soon running on empty.

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