West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 71 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2024

The Old Hendre Trail Bike Trial - 28 Oct 2006

Ben Falconer's Press Report

A NEW kind of trial with the emphasis on fun more than competition attracted 26 trail riders to Hendre, intent on enjoying a relatively easy three-lap jaunt around 10 sections and a special test.

Even in dry conditions the event proved to be a little harder than anticipated but it was no less enjoyable for that and many riders improved their scores as the laps went by. More importantly, all seemed to be enjoying themselves, particularly around the timed special test.

Overall winner Steve Venn lost all of his three marks on the first lap, with a two on section eight's adverse camber and a dab on the tightest section of all, number six. Going clean on laps two and three put enough distance between him and Ben Falconer, who could not clean section six, losing four marks there on top of a dab at section three's twist through trees and another on section eight. Section six was where third overall finisher Yoshi Adams lost six of his 11 marks - and he notched fastest accumulated special test time of the day, at 107.3 seconds, over three attempts. Although only a tie-breaker, the special test sparked intense competition, and Colin Jones recorded the fastest single time of the day, at 34.54 seconds.

John Edmonds produced a consistent ride to lose 25 and Drew Moore's guest outing on a Honda CRF 230 produced some stunning cleans later in the trial, including one at a deteriorating section eight. He led home a gaggle of riders in the 40 mark bracket including John Hartley, Steve Hancox and Andrew Weddle. And not too far behind was Jack Pegler, the only other rider apart from Venn to clean section six.

Thank you to the land owner and the organising team for an excellent event.

The bad and good things from an organiser's perspective. (CofC Ian Vessey)


1.) It quickly became apparent that the sections were set too tight. The 'fun' event became a hard challenge - which was OK for the top riders but not so encouraging for rest. At least being a 'test' event for this venue we were flexible and were able to modify a couple of real problem parts.


1.) The venue turned out to be very suitable for trail bikes. Even though some of it turned a bit slippery it quickly started to dry, and there is still plenty of scope for a multitude of different sections.
2.) The timed test proved to be very popular.
3.) Even though it was hard, all but 2 riders continued to circulate to complete the three laps, and at the end all appeared to have enjoyed the afternoon's sport.
4.) The organisers have learned a lot! Knowledge which will be retained for future events.

Lessons learned:

1.) Sections should not be so tight!
2.) Separate trail bike and Enduro routes should be marked, and sections should be test ridden - perhaps by a CCM!!

Future events:

I've been floating the idea of running maybe 4 or 5 of this type of event next year at various venues, an idea I'd seriously like to pursue. We got close to getting it right with this one and the response was positive. The next one(s) should be a little easier and I'd like those who struggled not to be put off - we've learned a hell of a lot from this event.

Thanks to Glen and Jack who put a huge effort into this trial and to Suzi and all her helpers for the tea and burgers.


Colin's Snippets

An easy fun event aimed at Trail Bikes and Enduro bikes. Well that's what we said!

I think the results speak for themselves. The lads managed to take marks off the acknowledged whiz kids (Whiz Kids! at that age!) and by the look of it, us lesser lights all seemingly improved as the day went on. Some of us even wriggled some cleans out of the course plotters! There was such a variation of bikes and abilities we could never keep everyone happy, maybe we should consider a course variation for those of us riding barges that need 3 miles to turn!

I was very pleased to see some newer faces both out riding with me and doing some of the Observing, and chatting with a few of the observers reminds me we do need to come up with some better instructions for how to use and cope with the potential problems of punch cards. As I had the pleasure of compiling the results onto the computer and saw all the puchcards, I can say they appeared to be the most accurate lot of observers we've ever had, only two mistakes that were clearly marked and one that Simon has got away with unless there are any protests! Well Done Observers.

Whilst fiving my way through the sections, I was forcefully reminded of how much mickey taking I've done in the past as revenge was being taken by all and sundry. To be fair to Steve and Merv, who've suffered unmercifully from my Camera, I actually got the most sensible advice from them which was put into place on subsequent laps to great effect. I never realised 5psi was a tyre pressure before!

Speaking of new faces, it was good to meet Thomas Lee who was the guy on the Husky 125 which was having its first outing which included running it in. Tom has already had some excellent rides in Hare & Hounds and is desperate to try some timecard enduros, held back only by his age, but look out for him at the Hafren Rally where he can get some experience of the easier forestry going. I think we should be looking at entering a club team or two! (Perhaps we should be pointing him towards one of our Trials riding club members who will help get him his road licence when he's old enough at www. gobiketraining.com)

Glenn's Bits (Sec.)

A good entry turned out on a beautiful sunny day for this my first event from the other side of the fence, so to speak. With a few of our local'ish experts & one or two not so expert but very enthusiastic riders riding. It's harder than I thought to cater for the needs of everyone riding in these events, so I tried to be fair with a couple of challenging but ridable sections, and some a little tighter, (it was a fun event after all ha ha ha!). But (ahem!) I was overruled on some of the sections by the rest of the setting-up crew, (who shall remain nameless Jack, Simon & Vess) it seems the speed test went down very well, (and so did one or two on it I heard! (Damn! You were watching. ed.)) with Colin Jones setting fastest lap, although Yoshi set fastest combined time. Jack made some excuse about his 'buns,' not sure what he meant.

Darren set fastest time at the catering tent, downing his burger in 1.1 seconds. He did start to slow down when he got to 4. Carl Pollock set fastest time on ditching his Husberg 600 back by the van and sharing Darren's Serow. (He does like bending Darren's levers!)

Some sections did need adjusting after lap one, but grip improved as the day wore on. I did see Jack resting at the top of the hill in section 4, muttering to himself something about a TLR.

I was on section 5, which appeared to be a fairly easy section with only three 5's. Simon came through it like he was riding a H&H. I did manage to speak to most of the riders and they all seemed to be enjoying it, except one who kept on to me all day about how tight it was. (Bigger pants jack.)

Well done to overall winner Steve Venn. Many thanks to Gerrard & Valerie the land owners, the rest of the team, Vess, Jack, Simon, to Suzy, Julie & kids for catering, the observers: Rod, Stuart, Amy, Kipper and son, Kev, Jim, Nick, Steve, Merv and Matt.

I very much enjoyed doing it, learnt a few lessons and look forward to doing it again.

Love and kisses Glenn