Monthly Archives: March 2012

2012 Sandiford Offroad Championship 25th March Sid Humphries Trial Rd 2 of 5

Results rochdalemc250312

Glorious sunshine greeted the 60 riders to Shawforth, Lancs, where the Rochdale & DMC staged the Sid Humphries trial, a North West Centre Championship and Sandiford off road Championship round.

With clear blue skies and an almost Mediterranean climate, there was a relaxed ambience in the paddock – with the exception of Alan Lord, a previous winner of the “It worked OK last night” trophy – who was feverishly attempting to rectify the cooling system on his Gasser !

Four lengthy moorland laps of ten was the order of the day  and proceedings got under way at section one on the edge of Middle Hill, where observer Bill  Francis was basking in the sunshine, with a fabulous vista of the open Pennines. “Better than Benidorm  this !” Bill was herd to behold. Exactly what Bill meant I am not sure – but I’ll leave that to your imagination!

A short jaunt round Hades took riders to section 2, a narrow shale gulley which, to my recollection, was last used in the Red Rose trial in the days of Rathmell, Lampkin and Shepherd etc. The section itself proved straightforward enough, but whilst dropping down off Hades down the very steep fell side, Ross Law decided to go “off piste” on his own line, picked up speed and needless to say, his front wheel  located a large hole, nicely concealed beneath the heather. Ross had to be extrapolated from beneath his Gas Gas  by observer Brian Mills (when he could stop laughing !)

The river and rock step of Higher Slack proved less fearsome than previously, the double subber being totally dry and consequently the rocks far more grippy. The same applied to the isolated Cranberry Clough – another old Red Rose favourite- although the long steep rocky gully took marks aplenty , particularly on the hard route, where a sheer rock step proved troublesome. Here , steam was coming from more than just  Lordys engine, I can tell you – for as Alan failed to nail his approach to the step for the fourth consecutive lap there was an abundance of steam emanating from his helmet ! Russ Carter, clear winner of the intermediates, showed his class here with one of the few clean sheets, for all four visits on the hard route.

A moorland ride toward s Rough Hill, took riders to two subs at the quarry, and it was section 6, a climb over large awkwardly spaced quarry delights, that took overall winner Dec Bullock for his solitary mark of the day. A splendid effort!

Jack Spencer also cast his first dab here – a mark which was ultimately to prove his downfall on the furthest clean decider, as Crippsy went clean. Both riders were to finish on 5 marks.

For the middle route riders , lulled into a false sense of security on the earlier sections, there was to be a sting in the tail, with the final three sections all set to determine the various class winners. Number 9, manned by regular observer Harold Isherwood, utilised a water filled rock pool – usually unavailable due to the depth of water! Riders circumnavigated the water, crossing a loose rock banking , and a tight approach took them into the water, prior to  a difficult rock step out. The step was the major mark stealer, but there was still work to be done to exit over a jumble of tricky , rocky furniture ! Only Andy Cripps and Jack Spencer equalled Bullocks excellent clean ride over this hazard, and over 40 winner Mark Robertson hosted best performance of the middle route with two single dabs. However entertainment award went to Crippsy senior, who got off line and thrust out a hopeful limb into the depths of the lagoon, only to find his leg was a metre too short. He took an early bath !!

So to the final hazard where some intimidating looking Shawforth rockery actually proved more ride able than it looked, and indeed some fine cleans were recorded by Graham Williams (Over 40) Mick Whitlow (Over 50) and a brilliant clean sheet by Paul Hayes on his twin shock Tiger Cub, en route to what proved to be the second best ride overall on the middle route. Nice one Paul!

Riders were unanimous in their acclaim for another fine Rochdale & DMC production- so thanks to all concerned, organising team and observers.