Cheddar Weekend and 55th Cheddar Trial (April 2022)

Cheddar Weekend and 55th Cheddar Trial (April 2022)

After a break of two years because of the Covid Pandemic,  the Cheddar Weekend and Trial has returned – although the usual format for the event was slightly changed to allow some flexibility in case of increased Covid restrictions being imposed at short notice. Instead of a set 2-day event with a sit-down evening meal on the Saturday evening, the first day (Saturday) was organised as a ‘normal’ Section run with sign-on on the day and only the Sunday event (the Trial proper) had to be pre-booked. There was no Saturday evening meal but a mid-run lunch was included for Saturday and an after-run lunch for Sunday.

(A separate gallery has been created with many more pictures of the week-end, in ‘Galleries’)



Nether Stowey lunch stop, Saturday - clothing reflects starting temperatures!

Nether Stowey lunch stop, Saturday – clothing reflects starting temperatures!

Saturday was sunny but very chilly early on (with even the odd slight touch of frost). Sign-on 9.30-10.30 at Cheddar`Football Club, tea and coffee provided and very welcome.
The route took us out across the levels via Wedmore and Bridgwater and then into the Quantocks around Bishops Lydiard and Crowcombe and to Nether Stowey Church Hall for lunch and a warm-up – although by now it was very pleasant in the sunshine as long as there was some shelter from the breeze.

In the Quantocks - nice to get a cheery wave.

In the Quantocks – nice to get a cheery wave!







Saturday lunchtime, with a piano virtuoso.

Saturday lunchtime, with a piano virtuoso!


After lunch (with piano accompaniment!) the route back passed Hawkridge Reservoir (with some hardy, well-wrapped-up fisher-folk out in boats) to Bridgwater and Highbridge (a bit of a canter down the ‘big roads’) then to Mark and Wedmore, across the moors to Draycott and a short stint along the A371 back to the starting point at Cheddar for a total of 72miles.


There was only one casualty, at Crowcombe just before lunch – from the faint aroma of ‘baking’, a clutch problem. Fortunately James was sweeping-up with his rescue van and provided back-to-base support.







Start of day preparations at Cheddar FC.

Start of day preparations at Cheddar FC.


Cheddar FC again, 9:30-10:30 start, again with tea/coffee/biscuits.The weather was a replay of Saturday, slightly sunnier but also slightly frostier at the start (cold enough to deter one or two entrants from starting!)

As usually happens,many of the bikes used were different to yesterday’s (and as the Saturday run was a stand-alone ‘social’ a number of yesterday’s riders weren’t present and there were some new ones along just for the Sunday – although there were still a good number doing both, and some regulars from other sections some way distant).
As Saturday, after a few hours the temperature had climbed a bit and in the sun it was much more spring-like.



Lomax enjoying the Mendips after ascending Longbottom.

Lomax enjoying the Mendips after ascending Longbottom.


Two routes were provided, a shorter one for pre-1930 bikes that cut out some of the later mileage.

Initially everyone struck out north from Cheddar towards Shipham before turning east up Longbottom and looping into the Mendips, returning to Cheddar via Charterhouse and a run down the Gorge and then swinging out across the moors and levels via Wedmore (with a short ‘Highway Code Rules observed’ section in Mutton Lane that included a tricky, uphill tight right turn – a little piece of the course used in the 1925 ISDT).

Then to Westhay and Shapwick and on to Cossington before turning north across the levels through Mark and Chapel Allerton, back to Cheddar along the B3151 through Hythe and to the Football Club for the last observed ‘trial’ exercise (ride through the devilish wooden blocks with no clipping or ‘footing’) and lunch at 1.30.


AJW gets a tweak, out on the Levels.

AJW gets a tweak, out on the Levels.


A slightly shorter 51 miles on the full route today. A couple of retirements for health reasons (thankfully not enough to prevent lunch attendances) but no casualties for the support van, although Rod’s AJW needed a bit of nursing care. (Was James peeved at the AJW escaping the embrace of the support van or happy to have a chance to stretch his legs and enjoy the scenery in some warm spring sunshine?!).

A special mention to Julian Wells who returned after his traumatic 2019 Trial (which ended in a hospital visit).
And to Colin Durnall who rides his ’37 Red Panther to these parts from Wolverhampton several times a year no matter what the weather!

Also many thanks to Jill for travelling to Nether Stowey to deliver an accomplished piano recital, to Phil and all the others who organised and delivered Saturday lunch, to James for sterling support services, to the equally sterling marshals and to Sue for setting up another excellent weekend.





Vintage: 1st Richard Gray, 2nd Dave Atterbury, 3rd Morgan Thomas

Post Vintage: 1st Rod Thomas, 2nd Mervyn Panting, 3rd Colin Durnall

Post War: 1st Angelo Conti, =2nd Peter Bayliss, Simon Gardiner

Classic: 1st Shaun Moger, 2nd Les Thomas, 3rd Peter Fielding

Best Two Stroke: Nigel Percy

Best Sidecar/3-wheeler: Les Thomas

Best Team: High Tensile Steeds (Chris Taylor, Rod Thomas. Simon Gardiner)  


Entrants will have been sent full copies of all the results.

The points gained are a total  of the scores from:

Highway Code questionnaire +right turn into Mutton Lane +uphill right around grass triangle +line through blocks in car park +bonus points as per ‘rules and regs’ in entry form.  

Awards will be presented at the annual ‘Dinner and Awards’  or sent on to those who are unable to attend.






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