West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 67 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2020

Tarenig 2007

Reports by Ian Vessey, Steve Biddle and Rod Jones. Photos by Vess and Matt Neale

Colin writes: Now the Provisional Results are out, it Looks like at least 12 of our members ventured into the forests, with Rikki Lane pushing Steve Biddle from his usual spot by just 8 seconds. Running on down the order: Darren Woodley, Martin Howitt, Vess, James Wilden, Jules Bish, Peter Neale, Dave Pinney, Wayne Hewitt, Glenn Thomas and Rod Jones. (Yes you did read that correctly. Rod came 5th in his class in his first rally! Hang on... I need to correct that to Bike Rally as Rod and Angela have done many Car Rallies.) If I have missed any of our club member's names out then please contact me. ed.

Vess' Report

Myself, Glenn and Dave travelled up early morning on Sunday 6th May, through the forecasted rain to the Tarenig Rally start, located behind The Glan Severn Arms just west of Llangurig. The rain had passed by the time we arrived, so the general verdict was 'It'll keep the dust down.' We signed on and then scrutineered, had a chat with the many other West Glos. members there, including Julian who was on our 'minute', and then spent some time starting Dave's bike. (A picture tells a thousand words, so glance to the right...)

We were all sorted by our start time, and set off across the improvised bridge into the forest. The course went quickly off the forestry gravel track onto proper Enduro going, recognised as part of recent Welsh 2-day enduros. Then we arrived at the start of the first test, where we waited to be sent off. On the first lap, tests were not timed so could be ridden more carefully (in theory!).

The first test was a pretty straightforward blast on gravel track winding up through a wooded valley. From the end of the test, the track took us up to the wind farm, and then turned right over some moorland, down a gully, across a steep hillside and then zig-zagged down the same steep hill. This was excellent 'going' which must have been very interesting for those on the Big Trail bikes. At the bottom of the hill, the route descended on down through trees and then across some (dry) boggy ground before returning to a gravel track. We continued on gravel then up to the beginning of the second test where we got in another queue. The start of this test was a steep loose stoney climb up to the right, to large deep ruts and on up to a fast gravel track to the test end. There were a few who struggled up here, but generally there was plenty of grip, it was just a case of keeping going. On we went then over more tracks to the start of the third test, recognised as another check in the Welsh 2-day. From the start, the route went immediately off the track up a bank to the left, across some fairly whooped-out ground through the trees, and then back down onto the track, up the hill for a couple of K's and back across towards the wind farm. The last part was across track which had been re laid with large stones, not the normal gravel, was very interesting to ride across at any speed, and especially difficult to stop quickly on.

After this test followed a fairly long ride through the wind farm, over various types of terrain, tracks and paths, including a couple of good climbs and descents, which eventually took us back over the temporary bridge and into the start area for refueling.

We all survived the first lap, Glen identified and fixed a misfire (loose wire) on the Sherco and the Gas-Gas now started on its own! The second lap was more of the same, just a bit quicker on the tests, as was the third lap.

This was certainly a more 'technical' rally than most others, which made it much more like an easy Enduro, possibly making it a bit difficult for those on the really big bikes, but certainly making it much more enjoyable for the majority of the field on Enduro machines. An excellent day's riding and we all appear to have finished with bikes and bodies in one piece!

Many thanks to the Hafren Dirt Bike Club for a brilliant day out.

Steve's Report

Myself, James, Rikki, Wayne, Darren and Martin went up to the Tarenig rally. Weather looked a bit bleak on way up and I was a bit worried 'cause I never had time to change the back tyre. Anyway weather was fine and so was the event. Vess (above) says it all really. A bit different to last year's - a bit better I think. A lot of gravel roads on the test to ride, where I struggled for top end power on the XR. I prefer the snarly bits. Rikki loves his rallies and he had a brilliant day. (As his 10th overall shows!) It was Martin and Darren's first rally and they said they liked it. Wayne had a good start but on his last test he went into a ditch and he was down for 10 mins. The start venue was superb and the bridge crossing was a good addition to top off a really good day. And with brilliant views.

Rod Says

It's ok coming 5th in class (and 1st in the Age Concern class, ie over 40, and 1st Trail Bike in the class) but my main objective was to finish rubber side down and without having to pick the bike up at all. When you get old you'll know what a chore that can be with the old back an'all. Lots of encouragement, tips and advice from Pete Neale did help. It was less technically difficult than an average trail ride on Wyegate territory, must be that you can go with hooligan technique or finesse and I was never big on finesse! Roll on the day when WGDFMCC can promote anything like the Tarenig.