Monthly Archives: August 2017

2017 3rd September Dale trial, Championship Rd 4 of 5

Results rochdalemc2017.09.03

Following its successful use in 2016, Bill Francis’ Diggle homestead was again the venue for this years Dale Trial. Though small in area, this picturesque venue is more than capable of accommodating todays average entry.  On Sunday, 3rd September , 30 enthusiasts presented themselves and were faced with 4 laps of 10 lengthy, but very rideable sections. Plotted several days earlier, in dry and pleasant weather, one eye was on the forecast for Sunday – which was wet !

However, the weather remained kind throughout the day, and my concern as C of C was that the sections would be on the easy side without the addition of some H2O !  My fears were unfounded as all sections took marks, without proving too difficult .

With the attendance of several R& DMC members of years gone by, all 10 sections were officiated , resulting in smooth and flowing circulation of riders throughout the event.

Sec 1  utilized the trees at the foot of the valley , winding between the trees before a short hop over a fallen log . This caused few major problems, though it could have been different had the rain arrived ! Riding No 5 , Jacob Ryder got his day off to the worst possible start here, misjudging the banking before the exit. Sam Sagar also found this section expensive – I wonder if he was intimidated by the observer !?!? ,  ( special thanks to whom , for picking up the board despite having your dogs along for the day ! )

Sections 2-5 followed the river quite naturally upstream ,and were plotted with strategic entry/exits to stiffen up their severity accordingly. This worked nicely, as riders in all classes rode the sections with very few fives being recorded, but no one going clean through all four.  Notable rides here were from Steve Ellis ( Gas Gas ), who dropped just 2 dabs over the four sections, and winner of the O-50 class John Duffy ( Sherco ) who shed 5 marks in total over the group. On lap1 , Barry Sanderson leapt off his machine in Sec 3 , happy with feet up ride – only to receive the news from observer Bill Francis that he had , in fact , stopped adjacent to the easy route ends cards , 2 metres short of his own section ends !

Sec 6, a first gear,  lock to lock snake between the large deciduous broadleaves on the banking, looked innocuous enough, but it took its fair share of marks. Lee Sagar, on his Fantic twinshock,  impressively negotiated this one clean on each visit.

Dropping into the river, Sec 7 was modified for the experts, but is otherwise my idea of a perfect section, needing little more than a ‘begins’ and ‘ends’ card . Pete McCanna ( Honda ) and John Duffy were the only riders in any class to tame this little belter . Due to the topography of the land here, the easy route did not pass under the bridge at Sec 7, but exited the river via a slippery gully, before diverting round to Sec 9. William Sagar, first time out on his new Beta, demonstrated an impressive ‘Superman ‘ impression here on lap 2, but to his credit jumped straight up with a large grin , and recovered to comfortably win his class .  Martin Jackson ( Honda ) tried his best to emulate William whilst cresting the slippery rock step beneath the bridge, but, with age against you Martin, I’m afraid your dismount was a distant 2nd to the athleticism of young William !!

With club Chairman Alan Lord not having, by his own admission, his steadiest ride, it appeared at times that his footrests were fitted with ball bearings . But his reason for wholesale mark losses ?

“ Its them Wrights observing – they keep staring at me in the section !” ……….    Make of that what you will folks !

So onto the final section of the day, and with the muddy slot of No 10 providing more grip than expected, riders completed their 4 laps by early afternoon, resulting in ample time for a stroll up to the farmhouse for bacon butties and a welcome  brew !  No sooner had the flags been pulled than the rain arrived.

Several riders took time to express their appreciation of the event , and the R & DMC would like to extend a big thanks to all observers , especially of course our good friend Bill Francis.


Report : Andy Wright