Riders return to Coverdale for Blue Bar 2 Day Trial

Club secretary Sandra Fowler and Blue Bar Trial clerk of course Sam Lambert presented a cheque to rider Robin Luscombe on behalf of Richmond Motor Club as a donation for his Prostate Cancer Charity Marathon. Photo: Charlotte Brown.

Richmond Motor Club was back in action for the second week in a row during the Spring Bank Holiday weekend.

Just seven days after hosting the monumental S3 Championship Gerald Simpson Memorial trial, it was now time for the annual Blue Bar 2 Day Trial hosted in Upper Coverdale.

Clerk of course Sam Lambert and his team plotted the two-day event with two laps of 18 sections facing the riders each day.

The course followed similar routes to that of the Gerald Simpson Memorial trial the week prior, however with more simple and traditional sections catered towards the Pre ‘65 and twinshock trials bikes.

The trial had a very healthy entry of around 135 riders with a range of classes tailored for the full spectrum of bike enthusiasts, both classic and modern. This included classes spanning Pre ‘65-Pre Units, Pre ‘65-Unit, Pre ‘65-2 Stroke, Twinshocks, Air-Cooled Monoshocks, and modern machines.

A total of 30 riders spread over the 3 Pre ‘65 classes with a collection of stunning classic bikes including classic brands such as Ariel, Velocette, Triumph, Royal Enfield and BSA to name a few. An equally prosperous entry on the heavily competed Twinshock class with 35 riders behind the bars of Bultacos, Fantics, Honda TLRs and Ossas.

The remaining entry was made up of Air-Cooled Monoshocks and modern machines.

Before the riders kicked off for the weekend, club secretary Sandra Fowler and Blue Bar Trial clerk of course Sam Lambert presented a cheque to rider Robin Luscombe on behalf of Richmond Motor Club as a donation for his Prostate Cancer Charity Marathon, which will be held on Saturday, August 10 in order to raise both awareness of prostate cancer and money for Prostate Cancer UK.

Robin was diagnosed with prostate cancer in late 2023, but was able to get an early diagnosis and is now back on his bike again! He is raising awareness of the importance of catching it early in order to save lives, as many trials riders are males over 45 and should be getting themselves checked early.

Robin thanked the club for their donation and support for the Prostate Cancer Charity Marathon.

He said: “I was stunned by your generosity and hope you can share my determination to raise awareness of the importance of early testing so it can be dealt with before this silent killer spreads to cause far more serious and potentially fatal consequences”.

Robin went on to say his aim is to “reduce the stigma attached to prostate cancer and ensure anyone involved in trials who is affected is diagnosed early and is back at trials within 2 months like I was”.

Day 1 started at noon with the riders tackling the first tricky sub over the River Cover observed by Barry Watson. Due to the torrential rain throughout the week, this made for some nervous dabbing with riders not wanting to get wet feet! From there, the riders were met with narrow gorges at Sections 5, 6 and 7.

The loose sandstone rocks were kicked up and dislodged after every bike, making for a very scrambled section with no two attempts being the same. The traditional double sub at Sections 9 & 10 made for an interesting watch, with riders clinging onto their bikes as they fought their way up what seemed like a never ending gorge of washed out rock.

The trial then crossed the River Cover once more and headed up to the west side of Coverdale, where eight more sections awaited the riders. Section 11 at Deer Close, a 3ft. limestone slab, proved to be most challenging for the riders with only a dozen or so double cleans across both laps.

The remaining sections of the day made for an enjoyable end to the afternoon for the riders, with the final section providing one last challenge; a narrow and steep rocky incline giving away all but a handful of double cleans.

Riders finished the first day around 4pm, where the smell of BBQs and beers awaited in the Start Field. Around half of the entry spent the evening under the stars camping, with the local bustling pub The Thwaite Arms offering to refresh the riders’ thirst after an enjoyable afternoon riding in the sun.

Sunday kicked off at 10.30am, the rain was holding off down at Horsehouse, but the dark clouds further up the dale, where 18 sections awaited, suggested different.

As on Saturday, Section 1 was nested on the banks of the River Cover. The heavy downpours overnight meant that the river levels had lifted, which required confidence behind the bars as the riders crossed over.

Those that thought it was a good idea to have one too many the night before may have regretted their decisions as a clear head was needed to embark across the river and not fall to an early bath.

The riders followed the course up the dale to Braidley, where a loop of 16 sections awaited. Sections 3 and 4, observed by AG Brown and Steve Lambert, were most difficult for the riders due to the torrenting water lashing down the becks, making it difficult to see obstacles submerged under the white water. Similar to Saturday’s double-sub, Sections 6 & 7 saw another double section requiring strength and balance on the footpegs as riders navigated their way up a very slippery stream.

The remaining sections of the day were all mostly straightforward traditional sections up streams and gorges. Nothing too daunting for the riders, however the added difficulty of the torrential water lashing down made for every section requiring skill and the correct mindset to tackle and complete without incurring penalties.

Russell Rooksby was clearly in the correct mindset on his Pre ‘65 Ariel after riding both days without putting a single foot down across all 72 sections, resulting in a very respectable ride and one that won him the Blue Bar Trophy.

Narrowly behind him was Richard Allen (Velocette) on 3 marks lost and 2023 Blue Bar winner James Noble (Ariel) on 6 marks lost.

 

Results:

Pre ‘65 Pre-Unit: 1. Russell Rooksby (Ariel) 0, 2. Richard Allen (Velocette) 3, 3. James Noble (Ariel) 6

Pre ‘65 Unit: 1. David Watson (Royal Enfield) 11, 2. Ian Myers (Triumph) 44, 3. Duncan Macdonald (Triumph) 57

Pre ‘65 2-Stroke: 1. Paul Dennis (BSA) 6, 2. Robin Luscombe (BSA) 8, 3. Andrew Scott (BSA) 41

Twinshock: 1. Aldis Blacker (Ossa) 12, 2. Fraser Proudlock (Fantic) 18, 3. Leigh Smith (Fantic) 25

Air-Cooled Monoshock: 1. Stefan Walters (Fantic) 11, 2. Andrew Dawson (Yamaha) 16, 3. Mark Butler (Fantic) 40

Modern Machines Age 17-39: 1. Cameron Brunskill (GASGAS) 30, 2. Matthew North (Beta) 31, 3. Jack Colley (Beta) 37

Modern Machines Age Over 40: 1. Torbjorn Eyre (TRRS) 11, 2. Philip Perry (GASGAS) 12, 3. Ryan Ewers (Beta) 29

Modern Machines Age Over 50: 1. Tony Wild (Beta) 25, 2. Greg Williams (Montesa) 28, 3. Mark Proudlock (Vertigo) 29

Modern Machines Age Over 60: 1. Paul Sadler (Vertigo) 9, 2. David Braithwaite (Montesa) 22, 3. Mick Marshall (GASGAS) 34

Modern Machines Age Over 70: 1. Paul Lowther (TRRS) 141

Ladies: 1. Seren Walters (Beta) 44, 2. Cerys Walters (Beta) 121

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