Sidecargate 5 Dec 2004
Report Ian Hannam
Well, Stan had set the route and I had some input into the sections (which took 5 hours Saturday to mark out) and we had the basis of the 5th Sidecargate 2004. (Before that it was a class in the Wyegate, hence the name. ed.)
Saturday night a dozen of us had a meal and with some later arrivals we had a pre event social in the form of a sidecar quiz followed by a general knowledge quiz thanks to Carol and of course a few “sherberts” at the “Bird in Hand”.
Sunday morning came around far too quickly but at least it was dry (had we been blessed again?).
On arrival at the “Rising Sun” Bream most people were ready to be signed on and ready for the off, only six competitors this year but that I am afraid is the trend with sidecars at the moment.
At 9 o’clock it became official that Debbie Smith was to be new passenger and this obviously was our first event together and off we all went to Bream Lane. Our club jokers Merv / Steve had an unfortunate stop here and Cliff had brain fade thinking that the section had finished but with copious encouragement from Marlene got through for 3.
We then had a long run to "Bigsnap" and as I took the role of “sweeper” I was able to chuck the outfit about on the lanes to help Deb find the balance of the bike, this machine needs a lot of input from the passenger as 2 inches body movement forward or back can mean the difference between grip or spin and also where the front wheel goes, by the time we had got to “Pen-Y-Fan” she had picked this up and all felt comfortable and easy.
Nobody had any major problems with the morning run but “Pen-Y-Fan” did take 5 from Gerald Dyer / Mark Kirby, and Merv, 3 from Cliff and 2 from Stan who also had a stop in “Bucklewood 2” and so it was into Nick Jones’ at "Whitecliffe Farm" for the graded hill climb and special test.
The hill climb is really just somewhere to be able to give it all a big handful and make a lot of noise. I decided to have a quick practice up the side and to my surprise every one else followed, Cliff span to a stop but Merv was on full chat ( Bultaco on full chat !!!!!) right behind him, consequence one broken back mudguard and Steve in a giggling heap. I hit the hill flat in THIRD but still had to clutch it over the top, so those following then had knowledge of how quick to make their attempt, Stan could not quite get there on 1, Cliff and Merv span out at 2.
The special test this year was the moped enduro course and if the moped takes “Big Air” through the trees you know you are motoring, I had all 3 wheels airborne and Debbie was there somewhere, managed to be quickest by 3 seconds but after a stewards inquiry Julian said FAIL, ever seen a “gnats c—k”. Into the dinner stop and Margaret and Shelia had done a great array of cakes, where Steve pigged out followed by tea, coffee and squash.
Twenty minutes later it started to rain so off we went to “Forge Wood” via the “Burial Path” for 8 sections.
Our outriders quickly positioned themselves so that we could keep a flow going and here on section 14 I had to take a dab on a tricky uphill right hander over some rocks, it stopped the rest of the entry except Dave / Steve Burdge who I thought would be winners on the day but 2 sections later they were caught for 2, so all was to play for again. 3 more sections in “French Lane” 1 of which we all mucked in and changed for the better and it was off to “Coxbury” and “Mork”.
“The Mork” last year became the sting in the tail but this year had a bigger part to play. 5 of us had no problems with Merv / Steve riding the wheels off the Bully but it caught Cliff / Marlene good and proper.
Cliff went for more grip and the Ossa bit back putting all 3 wheels facing the sky but Marlene was stuck underneath, she had had the stuffing knocked out of her and was gasping for breath but whether this was due to a rock in her back or the fact that Cliff was ON TOP ( with the bike ) we still don’t know, anyway after this unfortunate incident and with the light failing quickly Stan took the decision that enough was enough and that we would return back to the pub and miss the last section on “Bream Lane”. I of course with Debbie was very sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!! As we were still on 1 with Burdgy on 2 but they accepted graciously.
So at the pub we all enjoyed soup, sandwiches and a few “sherberts” and Debbie and myself accepted the Sidecargate Cup. A record also was set in that I am the only Driver and Passenger named on the cup, I feel proud.
We as a team first time together had a great day as I think everyone did but we could not have done it without Stan, our landowners Nick Jones and Barry Davis, Carol who took our petrol, our dinner ladies, the outriders for observing, Jim and Jack for tidying up behind us and of course our fellow competitors for the competition.
According to Messer’s Burdge the cup is only on loan so do we have to do it all again next year????
Yours In Sport…………..Ian & Debbie.