The decision to move the first Dead Easy Trial of the year back a month from the previous freezing Februarys certainly paid off last Saturday when clear skies and sunshine , albeit with a little fresh wind greeted the competitors for the first of this year’s Manchester 17’s Dead Easy Trials. A bumper entry of one hundred and four including an encouraging six sidecars, turned up to tackle the rocky limestone outcrops and grassy climbs and turns of Haslins Farm, with ten sections for the solos, and eight for the sidecars to be ridden four times.
As ever with these trials there was a huge range of machinery on view, ridden by a wide age range of riders, from youngsters on Osets to some veterans in their seventies. Peter Cottrell enjoyed himself on an immaculate 600cc Norton, a man’s machine if ever there was one, and Sam Slack only lost six marks on a lovely looking 350cc Triumph twin. Sounded as great as it looked.Expert rider and Club Trials Secretary Mike Roberts turned up to support friends and have a day off and ended up being persuaded onto a Bultaco for a gallop round. A huge culture shock for Mike, and no doubt the bike! Thank goodness he stayed clean.
Given the dryness of the ground and the nature of these events, plus some very good riders entered, it is no surprise that nine riders stayed clean on the Harder Route. However this does not tell the true picture as further down the results plenty of marks were cast away.
On the Easy Route only Arthur Tomkinson on his Yamaha and Chris Wilson on his tidy Bantam kept their feet up. An encouraging entry of six sidecars entered and all rode the Harder route despite there being an easy alternative. The winners on five marks lost were Carl Baker with the very experienced top man in the chair, Wayne Kershaw. They beat Josh Dando and Leah White who dropped seven in to second place. The man behind the sidecars at these trials Henry Gaunt swapped roles for the afternoon and rode passenger for his good friend Larry Gartside. They had a decent ride dropping twenty five and clearly didn’t have too many fall outs! Toby Eyre with Kiri in the chair, made their debuts in to this brave new world. With Toby’s nick name of Captain Crash, let’s hope any bumps and bruises have settled by now.
Thank you to all the riders for their support, the Observers without whom it is difficult to run trials, and all who helped on the day.
Report: Roger Townsend