21 March 2012

Robregordo 2 Day Classic Trial, Madrid, Spain. May 2012

The annual Robregordo 2 Day Classic Trial is comming up at the end of May and entries will be released in the next few days. This trial is known as one of the greatest classic trials in the world and has attracted many top riders such as Mick Andrews, Bernie Schreiber and Yryo Vesterinen.

This year Adrian Griffiths is offering bike transportation to and from the event by means of a box lorry. Transportation costs will be split among the riders. Spaces are limited and filling up quicky so if ayone is interested in riding the event, please get in contact as soon as possible. (Entries are limited to 200 and wont sit long!)

The trial has 3 classes: Pre 65, Pre 72 and Twinshock. There are also 3 lines: Easy ( suitable for even a rigid I am told), Medium ( Leadmines MCC 'A' route level) and Hard ( Similar in difficulty to a 1970's World Championship Trial!!)

If anyone is interested please contact Ricky Moore for further details as soon as possible on 07731977229. Preferably before 25/3/12.

12 March 2012

Round 5 Results

Results are now available on the Results page
for Saturday 10th March 2012
at Whites Farm

Many thanks to all the riders who turned up and a warm welcome to all our new members.
A very special thank you to all the observers, land owners and organisers who made the event possible. Your help is very much appreciated!

The championship table will be updated shortly.

Leadmines MCC.

6 January 2012


We are stunned to learn of the sudden death of Tom McBride on Wednesday 4th January. Deepest sympathy to daughter Nicola, son Stephen and the wider family circle. Tom was one of Irelands top trials riders in the late 1960's and throughout the 1970's. He was winner of the first Ulster Championship held in 1978, beating the legendary Benny Crawford over the 22 round series. During his motorcycle career he won many premier awards North and South of the border as well as best Irish rider in the Hurst cup. In the 1980's Tom collected two Irish sidecar titles in memorable battles with brother Davy. He retired from trials when the sidecar class faded in 1990. When the sidecars returned at Leadmines MCC events in November last year, Tom brought his Fantic oufit out of retirement and was accompanied by original passenger Ken Greer. It was the first time the duo had sat together in 21 years. He was looking forward to riding again in the newly formed sidercar class but sadly only got to compete in one event. He will be sadly missed and the sport has lost another of its great characters. Tom's funeral will be held in Conlig Presbyterian Church at 10.30am on Saturday 7th January.

24 October 2011

19 October 2011

To all Members: Have we got your details?

In order to keep in touch about up coming events and other club news we would ask all members to forward your contact information as soon as possible. Please go to our 'about/contact' page and enter your details.(Your info will be kept safe on the new Leadmines data base pictured here. Our Hi-tech system offers the latest in data protection and space invaders.)

16 October 2011

Historical tour of the Lead Mines

Sunday 20th October sees another of Ards Council's guided walks around the mines. These tours explore the biodiversity, geology and industrial heritage of the area which some years ago was declared an area of special scientific interest. Leadmines MCC members Ricky Moore and Ricky Griffiths were in attendance at the last tour which took place a few weeks ago. Also joining the walk was Ards MCC's Philip McClurg. The 3 riders agreed the tour was very informative and brought up many interesting facts.

As we often view the mines through motorcycling eyes its easy to miss some of the other unique features of the landscape. The tour includes facts about the various mining companies that worked the area, rare plant and animal species, the geology of the mines and how many of our well known sections were formed!

One thing we did pick up on the tour was of course a rather negative view towards motorcycling in the area. Indeed the last tour was accompanied by an anti-social behavior officer complete with landrover to ward off any evil bikers which may intimidate the tour! It is however a good chance for trials riders to show that not all riders are 'scramblers' and indeed there is such thing as a responsible motorcyclist. The tour guide does encourage those in attendance to put their views forward so its a good opportunity to make your voice heard and build bridges with other users of the mines. Perhaps by learning from each other and gaining an appreciation of how others view and use the area, we could all peacefully co-exist and enjoy and preserve the mines for years to come.

If you plan to take a tour there is two available on the day. They leave the Somme Centre car park at 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Admission is free and pre booking is advised. To reserve a spot you can contact the council on 02891826846 or email tourism@ards-council.gov.uk

4 October 2011

Whitespots Country Park??

Here is a photo that recently turned up in a skip! As you can see its a view of the mines and the year is around 1984. In the middle foreground you can see a blue van. Just at the back of it is Davy McBride about to fire up his Beamish Suzuki sidecar outfit that he rode around that time. This was of course when the mines was far from how it is today. John Melvilles scrap yard was just to the left and most of this area was piled high with cars . Dumping still went on in the area and the smell of burning often hung in the air. Before the Somme Centre was built we parked in the mines for trials and the 'mine lane' was a lot rougher then! Since it was declared an 'Area of Scientific Interest', much has been done to tidy it up and make it more suitable as a country park. Of course thats for the better, but I think that many of us that grew up in and love 'the mines' still have a soft spot for the way it used to be! If you have any old pictures or film footage of the mines, please get in touch. We would love to share it on the site.

11 September 2011

Nail-biting victory for Brandon.

Twinshock 'B' is one of the most hotly contested grades and Saturdays trial at Whites Farm really did go 'down to the wire'! Geoff Hillis and Brandon Craig again battled it out for the win. Both riders however managed to hang on over the five laps to tie-break on no marks lost. In order to separate the tie, both men agreed to a friendly 'sudden death play off'. The first section, which was a series of slippy turns and banks, was to be ridden by both riders till a mark was lost. First rider to 'dab' would have to settle for second place. To spice up the action the guys would have to ride the section on a machine they were unfamiliar with. Shane Gallagher stepped in and kindly donated his 300 Fantic for the shoot out.

Already a crowd was gathering to watch the nail biting finish and as the riders made their first attempt it was a 'clean' each! Now the pressure was on and the battle of nerves began. Geoff entered the section on his second attempt but on the tricky exit turn his foot went down. As the crowd gasped at hillis' dab it was now up to Brandon to produce a steady ride and take the victory. The Dublin rider seemed unaffected by the pressure and he confidently rode through for a clean. The two gents shook hands after the good spirited duel which sees Brandon extend his points lead in the Twinshock 'B' series with two wins to his credit. For full results visit our results page.

10 September 2011

News update:
Statistics prove it...older bikes are better!

Round 2 of the Ulster Classic Trials championship proved something many of us have known for a long time. Now its official - classic bikes are better than modern machines! In fact the older the bike, the better the result!

On Saturday the 10th September LMMCC hosted a trial at John Whites farm which started in very wet and muddy conditions. As the day progressed the sun began to shine and strong winds rapidly dried the course. The trial therefore turned out to be a low scoring event and when the results came in they certainly had a few surprises!

On the 'A' route you might imagine the best ride of the day would have been by an ultra-lightweight modern bike with all the aftermarket bits and bling available? Not so. The lowest score on the day was set by Marty Drennan on his Pre-1965 350 BSA with the loss of only 1 mark, giving the oldest machine on the 'A' route the overall win! Second best overall went to Matt Millar who also took victory in the twinshock class with a loss of just 2 marks. The Carrick man was mounted on his recently restored 1978 350 Bultaco twinshock.

Moving up the years, Bangors Stephen McKee put in third best overall performance. Riding his immaculate Yamaha TY250 'Pinkie' he also took victory in the Aircooled mono class with a loss of 3 marks. Russell Houston rode his beautiful 1991 K-Roo Fantic to fourth overall on 4 marks lost and in the process another Evo class win.

So where did all the modern machinery feature in the results? Young Alex Lennox of Portstewart was the lowest scoring modern bike with 4 marks lost. The best modern adult result was Robert Scott who dropped 6 on his Beta.

So, for all of you who are drooling over the new 2012 bikes or you are just considering 'moving up the years', it might be worth giving some thought to these results first! It clearly shows that as the bikes get older the scores get better! Fact - classic bikes are better.

8 September 2011

Only real men need apply....

The reason Leadmines MCC was founded was to give guys a chance to compete on the machines of yesterday. Traditional trials had become increasingly difficult in recent years and this spelt the end of classics in modern trials. LMMCC hopes to offer riders of classics of all ages the chance to ride on courses well suited to their bikes. By greatly reducing the risk of damaging both man and machine, we hope to see the classic trials scene grow. Already we are seeing many bikes being pulled out of sheds to be ridden or restored! The club plans to cater of classics of all ages and one machine that isnt for the faint hearted is 'the rigid'! These machines make a Pre65 feel like a Gas Gas Pro with their solid rear suspension and heavyweight components but its a class we would love to see grow.

Two local men that are leading the rigid revival are Griffiths brothers Ricky and John. The Whitespots men grew up with the Leadmines as their back garden and whatever has been leaking into their drinking water over the years has made them the right men for the job!

Ricky (pictured top left) has been riding his beloved 500 T Norton in the pre 65 Scottish for the last 5 years and always finishes the difficult 2 day trial. Out of the 180 starters in the international event there are only usually 8 rigid machines. Most of these are lightweight 2 strokes proving that only the brave can handle the big bore 4 strokes. The roar of the big single and the big man fighting with the bars is a wonderful sight- watch out for him this season as he looks for honors in the Pre 65 class.

John was drafted into the team when father, Adrian, decided to go even older and build a 1937 250 OK Supreme. The 250 J.A.P engine hangs in a rigid frame which sports girder front forks and a hand gear shift. Girder forks mean even less suspension movement with little over an inch at the front end! Something to think about when the top right photo shows John wrestle the OK up Scotlands famous rocky 'Pipeline' section. Johns bike was by far the oldest machine in the event and indeed the only girder-rigid. Such was his popularity with the crowds, he even made the cover of Trials and Motocross News!

Dont expect to see the boys in modern riding gear either. 'If you're gonna ride classic you gotta look classic too!' is the philosophy and I must say, I have to agree with them! Wax cotton jackets, 'pudding bowl' helmets and a checked shirt are a rigid riders only style. The brothers hope to do battle with each other this season in LMMCC events. If you are thinking of building or buying a classic bike why not help boost numbers and give the Rigids a go? But remember....only if your man enough!