With temperatures never rising above 2C and forecasts of snow on this Easter Saturday, an entry of 76 solos and 7 sidecars was excellent for the second in this year’s series of Manchester 17 club’s Dead Easy Trials. The venue was Haslins Farm near Buxton, high in the exposed Peak District. Sidecars were appearing at these trials for the first time and and judging by the success of the pilot won’t be the last.
Four laps of ten sections consisting of turns over and around limestone rocks, grassy banks, and a bit of mud for good measure, were the challenges for the day. The sidecars, under the supervision of Henry Gaunt, the prime mover in their inclusion, shared four sections with the solos and rode four separate sections, a formula which worked well.
Sections three, four and five proved to be the hardest for the solos, with the turns over the rocks getting very greasy. Although there were ten clean rides on the harder route, talking to riders after the trial they confirmed they had to have their wits about them otherwise it would have been easy to get off line. There were some experienced riders amongst this group, including Colin Fray and Garry Shaw who were shaking their bikes down in preparation for a certain event coming up in Scotland. Riding no 69, Andy Foot had a great ride on the hard route on a Gas Gas Pampera trail bike losing only two dabs!
Just two clean rides on the Easy route, veteran Ray Critchlow on a Comerford Cub, and Edwin Wooliscroft. They would have been joined by legendary Barrie Rodgers making a welcome return to these parts, if he hadn’t slipped the wrong side of a marker.
The sidecars as ever had great fun, apart from their leader Henry who sadly broke down after a couple of sections. A variety of machinery was on show, Bultaco, Montesa, Suzuki, Beta, Sherco, and even a Wasp! On the harder route, the Baker/Kershaw duo triumphed over the Gartside/Waldron combination by eleven marks to twenty six. Two outfits competed on the easy route with Stanley/Harman overcoming Alpe/Darkin by nineteen marks to thirty eight. Let’s hope this venture encourages more people to drag those chairs out of the shed and have a go.
The weather although freezing remained dry. Huge thanks to the Observers for bravely standing at their posts. Smiles all round at the end signalled a good day’s trialling with enjoyment being key.
REPORT: Roger Townsend