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  • domchallinor

Social Ride-out January, 2017.

Updated: Apr 19, 2019

Visor covered in mist, bike covered in the dirty brown stuff, roads greasy, and all this before I got to Eccy Fire Station!

First ride of 2017, a damp claggy January morning. I wondered how many would turn up!

On arrival at the Fire station, I was third up, behind Edward and Mole, although all things being equal, it must be pointed out that Mole could fall out of bed and still be first.

So that was at least 4, ( assuming our leader for the day, Dave Hall, would turn up). And they did! First, one, then another and another and more, Surprisingly Yam turned up eventually, unusual, as he’s normally there a week early!!

After some brief chatting and handing out of arm bands, the group was ready to leave, Dave Hall at the helm, Phil Elkin taking on the shepherding job for his first time, and eight other bikes, all graded riders except Jeff Allen, the only trainee to brave the conditions, ( well done !).

Off we set towards sunny (hopefully) Wales. Out the back entrance to Eccy, we headed for Loggerheads and then on towards Whitchurch. Road conditions weren’t great, but they were manageable. The temperature was good, about 8 or 9 degrees, so frost and ice weren’t a problem. However, lack of rain and farming activities meant for using all your advanced skills to plan your ride as smooth and fluent as possible, through the mud patches and damp.

Off we headed to Llangollen with it’s tourists and not so swollen kayaking river, through the town before climbing up to the famous Horseshoe pass, roads tyres now warmed, and roads surprisingly grippy enough to enjoy the bends.

First stop, the legendary Ponderosa. A few other bikes adorned the car park, along with a number of sporty looking cars (best description I can give, I’m not a car person!!). In we went for a late breakfast stop

. JC watching his waistline!!

Most of the group enjoying some banter!

After a brief stop, we all rallied, and Dave lead us off down into Wales finest countryside, the odd break of blue sky promising better things ahead, Some fine roads carried us on past the Bison farm and then left towards Bala.

With the occasional splash of sunshine, Dave decided to park up near the lake, to take advantage of the light, and the obvious photo opportunity.

Clockwise from top right, A fine view over still waters, Yam thinks he might just be able to walk on water, Group photo on a welsh slate car park ( not the best surface in the wet!).

So after a short stop (and I’m not talking about Yam) we ventured forth once more to our second stop at Lake Vyrnwy.

Whilst last month’s graded ride had been at a good pace, it had been quite a serene affair, this month saw the return to airwave banter!!

Off we headed, up out of Bala and through some very picturesque countryside, which even on a dull, grey day, is still inspiring. Even more so, as we dropped down to the lake, most of which had a glassy smooth surface, showing reflections of the far bank, and the occasional spotlight of sun highlighted the colours. (if only we could get the cameras out quick enough!!).

The ride round the lake was interspersed with a number of photo stops, until eventually reaching the Dam and down to the Artisan Café for lunch.... it’s a wonder they let us in!

So it was , we departed the café and turned to home, hoping to be back before dark. Dave lead off and soon we were back in to Shropshire. AS the temperature began to drop, the mist began to rise, and some amazing views of mist covered fields, with only the tree tops showing above, were all around us. Soon the mist patches spread over to the roads, making riding a bit more cautious, overtakes harder to judge, and surface conditions harder to see.

However, we all arrived safely at Newport, where members split off heading for their respective homes.

All in all a great ride, in what initially looked less than promising conditions.

Our thanks to Dave Hall for leading , Phil Elkin, for doing a cracking job on his first time as Tail End Charlie, Dave and Irene for coordinating, and everyone else for making it a memorable day!


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