Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Wales: A Weekend Around Barmouth

I organised another weekend in Wales,this time to the Barmouth area... a quick email around some of the TRF lads saw Ian, Graham & Mike meeting up with Gareth & myself for some riding and a bit of a craic!

As it turned out I had to miss the Saturday as the carb on my 400 had a hissy fit and was running awful. I took the bike to Martin at MHB Motorcycles in Kirby Stephen and we sonic cleaned it and changed the plug cap and the spark plug. This made the bike run better but it was still a bit hiccuppy now and then. But I decided to drive to Wales that night anyway!

Meanwhile the lads had a terrific day, playing all over the lanes to the south of Barmouth and I found them in the bar at the Hotel Min y Mor reliving their escapades of the day, videos, photos and smiles all round!

As our dog had been couped up in the van for most of the day, I took her for a run on the lovely long beach at Barmouth, then duties done returned to the bar for beers, some dinner and some gossip.

The next morning arrived far too early as we didn't leave the bar until 1am, kicked out by the hotel staff!

Bikes were prepped, kit sorted, the dog fed & walked, then we were off...

The first lane was a proper wake up call, steep, slightly damp cobbles. Graham had a mare on it for some reason and I managed to blip my throttle which dumped a ton of fuel into the carb and flipped my bike out from under me and upside down! Ooops... After this though the bike ran better albeit not the gentle beastie I was used to, it had become pretty savage off the bottom with the standard jets in it.

Gareth led the way again, having an encyclopedic knowledge of the Welsh lanes from his many previous visits. That said he still managed to find a few he hadn't done before. The clouds were low hanging, it was a bit damp and cool in the air, but for us it was great, no hot sweaty moments, even with some of the technical lanes.

Graham left us after a couple of particularly bouncy rough lanes as his arms were burnt out from the previous day, so that left us back to a group of four for the remainder of the day.

We passed through some fabulous scenery, small rushing streams bubbling over rocky waterfalls, superb woodland, down long forgotten lanes to the newer larger tarmac roads that are crisscrossing the country more and more in the chase for 'improvements'. Some of the houses in these areas have been here for centuries, tucked into places to shelter from the prevailing weather and built of whatever the local stone is nearby. I love the places you get to see in the UK when you trail ride.

We came through one lane with a plan to do a loop in a bit of forest, but a large tree down over the trail had us diverting back to a flatter forest track. As we passed through the forest and onto the single track section, we met a large group of mountain bikers, who were all cheery and happy to see others out on the trails.
Then we were back out into the fields and uplands before heading back down to refuel for the final ride back over some of the morning lanes and back to the hotel car park to finish the day out.

 A load of new lanes added to the list, a ride with a bunch of folks I only know a little and as usual plenty of laughs, memories and plans to get out and ride again.

Trail riding is an amazing sport for so many reasons, the places you go, the people you meet and the memories you create as you pass your life by. It's almost as good a travelling overseas!