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Social Ride-out July, 2017

They say ‘if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail’. Well not in this instance!

The twelve riders and two pillions, turned up at Eccleshall with Richard Bowman volunteering to be Tail End Charlie (TEC), but no lead rider! Oh how we were courting disaster!

Up to the plate steps Gary Chantry, a reliable chap, with loads of experience in leading rides. ‘Got an idea’ he says, ‘I call it ‘The Welsh Lakes Ride’ he says, ‘follow me’ he says, and so we did!

The group mounted up under blue skies and headed out up Eccleshall High street, dodging tractors, and away into the countryside towards Loggerheads. Second man drop working well, the pace was brisk enough without stretching the group out too much. On then to Woore, then Audlem and the road to Whitchurch. Now on to Sleep (funny name for an airfield to be honest). First stop of the day at the Airfield café. Surprisingly quiet from a flying stand point, but a few other bikes, both motorised and pedal powered frequented the café. As we left an old looking warplane type aircraft, taxied to fuel up. Not being an aviation expert, I’m not sure what it was, but it looked impressive.

Now for the second leg. Gary’s plan was to use mainly ‘B’ roads, to transport us to Lake Vyrnwy. Oh! What glorious roads! And bathed in a bright warm Summer sun, even better. Not stopping there, we pushed on through some stunning scenery, across a gorgeous valley, ( Oh! And a little re-surfacing, requiring a bit of care). We stopped for a photo shoot in the scenery, then continued on to Bala. A quick stop for fuel and ablutions in Bala , then a short ride to the National White-water Centre for lunch. The food was stunning! I mean that. Great quality, and all freshly cooked. We ate and drank in the heat, then sauntered down to the river to watch inflatable white-water rafts carrying groups of folks, stag groups? Work mates? Just friends? Who knows?, travel down the rapids, some getting a dunking in the process. Then a group of young kids came down in what looked like sawn off kayaks, which didn’t seem to have enough room for legs. They played in the eddies for a while, before clambering ashore and heading back up stream for another run. A waterborne version of riding a motorcycle?

Now fed, we headed back on an interesting route to the A5, past the Bison farm, then left towards Wrexham. A bit of dual carriageway then Ruabon and on to Overton before a right turn to Ellesmere. Great ‘B’ roads then took us back towards Whitchurch. A quick stop for a final cuppa at Mc D’s then a reverse of the mornings route through Loggerheads and back to the Fire Station.

All in all, a fantastic day out in glorious sunshine, and a big thank you to Gary Chantry for stepping up, and Richard for sweeping up at the back.

Thanks also to all the other riders, who conducted themselves admirably, making the day an enjoyable and memorable one!

Gary G




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