Despite the attraction of a certain event North of the border, the call of the beach and the BBQ due to the record temperatures, a bumper entry of 105 sun seekers turned out to ride the latest in the Manchester 17 club’s Dead Easy Trial series.
The venue was Heaton House Farm, set in glorious scenery between Leek and Macclesfield. The course was back in the old quarry for a change, land that had not been used for a couple of years. Due to the heat, the club provided a drinks station so that at the end of each lap riders could cool down with a refreshing drink, sadly only of water! It proved a popular service.
The course was four laps of ten sections, set out on the side of a steep hillside. The first four sections were tight turns on banking, some amongst trees. An interesting problem arose on section three when after a lap an alteration was required due to the appearance of a high number of wasps clearly intent on getting a closer look at the action!
For some, getting to section five was harder than the section but it was a cracking little ride, up a couple of turns before a steep climb and turn to the exit. The next two sections were turns on banks before arriving at section eight. This rode easier than it looked, a climb up a steep hillside, in and out of a broken down wall, with the Easy route having a separate exit to avoid the worst of the hazard, although a shower of rain would have made it very interesting. The final two sections were straightforward twists on banks and around trees.
The sidecars, making a welcome second appearance at the Dead Easys, rode a mixture of alternative routes through some solo sections together with three separate sections just for the chairs. Henry Gaunt again supervised and kept a watchful eye on proceedings. They really are proving to be a welcome addition to these events.
As expected given the dry weather, it was a low scoring event for the top runners. On the harder route there were no fewer than ten clean rides. Among them was Maurice Brayford, who made a lengthy journey to ride his special Dot, Rob Goodwin on his Barnett, Bill Brown on twin shock, and Nick Gregory on a modern Beta, showing anything goes at these events. No clean rides on the Easy Route but Chris Cunningham and Macka Burrows nearly pulled it off losing a dab apiece. Young Joe Day, in only his first trial, completed the top six losing just three marks.
Despite the heat, judging by the smiles at the end of the day, the majority of the riders went home tired but happy, no doubt anticipating the cool drink and the Barbie!
Report: Roger Townsend