SSDT 09 - Pre-65 2 Day Trial


Main SSDT page

Four Western Centre club riders rode the historic version of the SSDT, staged in Kinlochleven on the Friday and Saturday preceeding the modern event.

Chris Harvey at Pipeline

Chris Harvey, Ian Wixon, Doug Nolan and Dave Eeles all finished - no mean achievement, given the arduous nature of the event. Most of the sections we saw were set out for the aces on trick bikes (let's leave that argument for another day!) but none the less, we saw some awesome riding on Pipeline on day one and Mamore onwards on day 2. Here's video of Mick Andrews, Dave Eeles, Dave Eeles again, Victoria Glover chucking it away, with the best of them - Arthur Browning. And another sweet sounding James, ridden by Alan Wright.

Chris Harvey at Pipeline 1

Chris's knew it would be tough and he was right - he buried the Norton 500T about six times on the moors on the first day. The Norton though, withstood all the Highlands had to throw at it, despite being manufactured in 1949.

Chris Harvey's 500T at Mamore

Well, I suppose it hasn't been around that long without good reason. For the younger readers amongst us, the "T" stands for trials, which means it was designed for section work - up to a point! Chris's dogged determination saw him miss out on last place, which he was a bit disappointed at (!) losing 266 marks.

Chris Harvey's 500T

No mean achievement just to get round, but it puts rigid class winner Clive Dopson's 93 marks lost over 60 sections in to perspective.

Chris Harvey's 500T

Doug Nolan's tried for a ride in this massively over-subscribed event every year since 2001 and got a ride 3 times. He escaped the Western Gazette's camera at the start, as he was slipped in to the starting order at number 8, under another rider's name.

Doug Nolan

So thanks to that and the appalling weather on day 1 we only have one good pic of him. Asked whether he'd do it again he was absolutely certain he would try, even though he had to walk down the stairs sideways, very gingerly, afterwards. He was in excellent company for the duration, as part of a Stroud Valley MC deputation of Rob "RT" Taylor, Billy Andrews and Pete Collins, which gave the area's hospitality a rigourous examination.

Anyone who rode this year's Wyegate will know that Ian Wixon is the owner of some rather fine rocks, which accounted for Henry Bendall's crankcase, and a hatful of marks this year.

But he discovered that this neck of the Highlands has some huge boulders, even bigger than the infamous Hippo back home near Monmouth.

Ian Wixon at the start

His aim was to keep his score under 100, which he very nearly achieved. Maybe next year Ian?!

Ian Wixon at Pipeline 2

Dave Eeles spent days and nights spent fettling the Triumph twin, along with many others, including Keith Wells, Chris Harvey and Roy Savery. The bike was built as a project between Jeff Phillips and the late John "Hubbo" Husband.

Dave Eeles at Mamore

Dave Eeles at Mamore

Dave Eeles at the start

Dave's rides improved on day 2 and he learned a fair bit about what makes these bikes tick (more money for trick bits, mainly!). He was well chuffed to finish. Expect to see an improved Triumph return next year.

Dave Eeles at Pipeline 2

Dave Eeles at Pipeline 2

Regular Western Centre visitor Martyn Wilmore dropped just 24 marks, to win a first class award. He missed out on a special first class by a single mark, which showed just how tight it was at the pointy end of the results sheet.

Martyn Wilmore at Mamore

There was no doubting the efficiency of the organisers - results sheets handed out to all at the prize giving, ahead of the presentation of awards, and every finisher had the chance to collect their gong from 1969 SSDT winner, Bill Wilkinson. A nice touch by co-compere, and competitor Colin Dommett, was a heartflet mention for the late Johnny Draper. Colin, a former employee of Cottons in Gloucester, pointed out to us youngsters that Johnny is the only SSDT rider to win all capacity awards. Colin's son Scott won the John Draper award for the best 350 in the trial.