West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 67 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2020

Sidecargate Trial - 2007

Report by Ben Falconer

AN ANNUAL trial for sidecars only attracted a small but select entry to the Wye Valley on Sunday, December 9.

The Sidecargate Trial covers similar territory to the Wyegate Trial, which has not catered for three-wheeled entrants since 1998.

The West Glos and Dean Forest MCC's extra effort to put on an event for three-wheelers only was rewarded with a tight contest for supremacy, over 24 observed sections.

Following a silence to remember club member Jack Pegler who died recently, all seven crews headed off from the start venue of the Miners Arms, Sling to Pingry Lane for a tough challenge on some slick sections. Most crews struggled here at some point but the trial eased for most as the day went on. The Lord's Grove group of sections provided another stern test and Julian and Clare Bishop rose to it. They coaxed their Royal Enfield around the second section of the group, the only crew to do so.

They finished on 29 marks lost on the easier route but won the Sidecargate trophy - hard route winners Pete Pesterfield and Keith Laker dropped 31 but all crews knew beforehand that the winner would be that with the lowest score, regardless of the route ridden.

Pesterfield and Laker did provide a stellar moment on a classic Wyegate and Sidecargate section too, at Niagara. Having seen John and Paul Young get in to difficulties on the succession of underwater rock steps, and Ian Hannam and Debbie Smith get within one step of the ends cards, the pairing aboard their 650 Triumph gave it everything. Roaring up each step, they carried enough momentum to edge through the ends cards for an impresive clean ride.

They pipped Hannam and Smith by one mark. Gerald Dyer utilised the experience of national sidecar trial and enduro expert Roger Tuck in his chair to finish on a competitive 46 marks.

Local crews filled the easier route, with the Bishops taking a convincing win. Former sidecar road racer Alan Bale teamed up with course setter Stan Howitt and they finished just two marks ahead of Merv Morgan and Steve Cooper, who yet again improved on their annual outing.

Thanks to all landowners, observers, travelling marshals and the Miners Arms for a successful event.

Next year's Wyegate Trial is set to be a two day celebration of the 25th anniversary of the event - and day one will be open to sidecars. A Sidecargate trial is also planned for next autumn.

  • Bishop/Bishop (Royal Enfield) 29 marks lost - Sidecargate trophy.
  • Bale/Howitt (Montesa) 66
  • Morgan/Cooper (Montesa) 68.
  • Expert route:
  • Pesterfield/Laker (Triumph) 31
  • Hannam/Smith (BSA) 32
  • Dyer/Tuck (Triumph) 46
  • Young/Young (Ariel) 53