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Ride out in Wales

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Ride out in Wales Empty Ride out in Wales

Post by JT on Wed 13 Jun 2012, 19:57

Now then

XJR ride out w.end in Wales.

Fri 8th June
It was very, very wet in Thirsk in the morning and the weather forecast was very poor for the whole 210 miles to Rhayader in mid Wales. Lesley and myself had taken the fri off work and the plan was to set off by 10:00 at the latest and be in Rhayader for mid afternoon. I decided to leave later because of the weather and eventually decided to get a van from work and put the XJR in that, transport it down to our destination in relative comfort and do the planned ride out on the Saturday. I couldn’t get a van till later in the afternoon by which time the rain had stopped and it had dried out but we were loaded and off down the street by 16:20 anyway.

Ride out in Wales ElanValleyJune2012001

The rain soon appeared again and pretty much stayed with us the rest of the journey. In fact it was miserable over the M62 and when we got down into Wales the wind made an appearance and mixed with the rain made driving a high roof, short wheelbase transit very interesting. We arrived at the Elan Hotel at 20:40 and while I was guided, reversing the van through a very tight ‘ginnel’ by Adam (Sharky) who had drove his same transit round earlier, Lesley rushed in and ordered a meal for us before the 21:00 deadline. Ste & De, Adam & Sue, Pete (Spasm) & Debs and Dave (Dieffe) were all in the bar having a drink and our evening meal soon arrived after we’d chucked the bags in our room. Ste had to work unfortunately, after arranging this weekend and so left to go home and get some ‘kip’ before his 12 hour shift started at 06:00 on Saturday morning. He’d rode his XJR to Rhayader and De had driven their car. We had a couple of drinks and while popping out for a smoke the wind and rain was horrendous outside, it was a horrible night and we were glad to be there in one piece safe and sound. The fire alarm went off and made for an exciting end to the evening. Pete & Debs went back to their hotel and we all ‘hit the sack’.

Sat 9th June
I was up early and went for a walk down to the river to see how much water was about. It was dry and bright outside which was nice to see and the forecast was good for the morning and getting better as the day went on. The river was raging, very loud, aggressive and spectacular. Even though I didn’t know how the river normally looks or at what height it would normally be, I just knew it was faster, bigger and louder than it should be.

Ride out in Wales ElanValleyJune2012003

Ride out in Wales ElanValleyJune2012005

Back to the hotel, breakfast and then I unloaded the bike and Adam got his Fazer out of his van ready for the ride out. Freddy & Marilyn had set off early from home and arrived as we finished our breakfasts and Pete & Debs popped round to our hotel ready for our ride to the meet at Crossgates.

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With Ste going to work Sue decided to stay and keep De company so Dave followed Adam, Me & Lesley, Freddy & Marilyn and Pete & Debs in his Volvo, to Crossgates where we met, Mick SP, Andy (Powermouse) and his Mrs, sorry, can’t remember her name, Andy (XJRAndy) and his Mrs, guess what, I’ve forgot her name too, doh ! and RF Demon.

Ride out in Wales P1020248

Introductions were made and some had a drink while others had something to eat before we set off on the ride proper. RF Demon wasn’t coming on our ride, he was meeting Mates at Crossgates so Adam led off with Pete, Mick, Andy, Fred, XJRAndy and Moi as tailgunner. We normally take the same route, from Crossgates we ride through the Elan Valley and finish up on Aberystwyth promenade. We had discussed the weather and the potential of poor roads through the valley because of so much rainfall and Pete had seen the forecast that morning and heading South was definately the way to go for the best of the day’s weather. At Crossgates it was decided to go back up the A470 and instead of going through the Elan Valley we would go up to the A44 and go into Aberystwyth on a main road. It didn’t rain thank god, as we headed North but the amount of water we saw in swollen rivers, ‘becks’ and streams aswell as in fields we passed and the water we rode through, as it was either sat in puddles or was gushing over the road as it made it’s way from a hill or mountain on one side of the road to the other, was unbelievable. I’ve never rode through water as deep on the road in 31 years and the stones, rocks and general debris and ‘crap’ the water brought with it and dumped on the road was ridiculous and very dodgy in places where there had been so much water gushing that it had lifted the tarmac from the road leaving, large potholes 2 and 3 inches deep by up to 3 feet wide. We pootled on until we came to a traffic standstill leading down a hill. We made our way slowly down the side of the traffic but didn’t make the bottom because Adam had turned around and was heading back up the road, he’d seen the road where the hold up was and the water was running across the road 2 feet deep so we all made a u turn and headed back through the waterfalls lol and then took a right turn onto the A4120 to Devils Bridge and a coffee and cake stop.

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Some people who were there asked where we’d been and where we were heading with a foot note of ‘Don’t try to go to Aberystwyth along the valley road, it’s not passable so we decided to go and see if we could get back to Rhayader in the opposite direction back through the valley on the B4574. We came across a ‘road closed’ sign but nipped through the cones and onward. We didn’t know what to expect or what we would find but we soon knew. The road wasn’t as bad as the last bit of A44 we’d rode but then we came upon this :-

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A mud slide completely blocking the road and about 2 to 3 feet deep in the middle, even Pete’s ‘mudplugger’ wouldn’t have got through that. It was a glorious day weather wise now and we returned to and passed Devil’s Bridge then turned right onto the A44 and headed back to Rhayader. Adam led away down the A44 and we were heading away from the waterfalls so could push on a little. As he was leading we caught a BMW tourer, two up. Adam went passed them and the rider suddenly woke up and was on the case, 'wey hey' I thought Ride out in Wales Icon_dance . I followed waiting for my opportunity to follow Adam but this guy was having none of it and was on Adam’s back wheel, fair play to him, he wasn’t messing about Ride out in Wales Applause . They both got past a caravan and I didn’t Ride out in Wales Icon_anger , so lost the contact as we came into some double whites, gutted. By the tme I had my chance to pass the caravan Adam and the BM were outta sight. I pushed on a little and saw Adam appear up ahead. He'd had a little dice with the BeeMer but let him past incase he was a copper and we never saw him again, he was gone. We rode straight through Rhayader and on down the A470 before Adam pulled into a garage not far from Rhayader itself. Mick, Pete and Fred pulled in behind us but we never saw the two Andy’s, even though we waited while having a toilet and smoke break.

Ride out in Wales P1020259

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Adam, Fred & Marilyn and Mick decided to go and have a look at a Dam from there because it would be spectacular with all the rainfall we’d had but I’d seen enough bloody water to last me the rest of the year so decided to go for a blast South and I’m glad to say Pete & Debs came with Me and Lesley and what a decision that turned out to be Ride out in Wales Icon_biggrin . Pete led away down the A470 on the back wheel as we left the garage, in what was now beautiful warm sunshine. The afternoon traffic was light and the road surface was smooth as we ‘poured on the coals’. The A470 is a lovely road, long straights leading into long, fast, continuous radius corners that are to die for. This is what excites me about biking, ‘cracking on’ down roads I don’t know, not knowing what is round the next corner but trying to read the road that lay’s in front of me and smiling ‘big style’ when getting a series of corners that follow each other ‘just right’. I love the feeling coming out of a corner I’ve never rode before, on the gas and thinking ‘I couldn’t have got that any better for a first time’, it’s magic. I enjoy the freedom of biking, the lack of hold ups in traffic, the ‘All for one and one for all’ camaraderie amongst bikers wherever we go and obviously the speed but personally, nothing compares to riding an unknown road for the first time and getting it right.
We saw so few cars and caravans I thought everyone knew we’d had a shit morning and thought ‘You know what, them lads need clear roads to have some fun, let’s go home and leave them to it’ lol and did we take advantage Ride out in Wales Icon_twisted . Pete set a good safe pace and we devoured the road infront of us. We missed a couple of turns, Pete Ride out in Wales Wicked but that just added to the fun. We rode through Buith Wells and following the A470 swept round into Brecon. This looked a nice place to stop for a coffee so that’s exactly what we did. It was busy but we found a parking spot almost right outside a coffee shop in a one way street opposite the church, lovely Ride out in Wales Icon_cool .

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We picked up the A40 out of Brecon to Llandovery where I needed petrol, so a quick pit stop and we were on the A483 to Beulah then the glorious B4358 back onto the A470. Pete had led the ride so I thought I’d shove my nose in front, which I did from a set of traffic lights on the B4358. We made swift progress back to Rhayader and touched gloves as we slowed down through the 30 mph limit. It was a sign of how much we’d both enjoyed that 90 mile blast and appreciated each others riding Ride out in Wales Applause . P.S. Pete can make that 'mudplugger sing' Ride out in Wales Respekt
A quick drink and catch up with the 'water babies' back at the hotel

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then it was upstairs for a shower and a meet up in the bar for us all. Ste arrived from work and we all ordered food and sunk a few drinks too.

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Food was eaten, drink did flow and bollox was talked which ended the day perfectly. Ste and De left to go home because he had to do another shift on Sunday. The next thing I knew Lesley and I were the only ones left out of our group in the bar and so we retired to our bed around 00:30.

I was up and rough and out for a morning walk by 06:10. It was cool but it woke me up and helped clear my aching head lol I walked along by the river and was amazed how much it had dropped overnight and now it was a small river as opposed to a raging river the morning before. The evidence of how high it had been was a real eye opener and scary at the same time, nothing can stop mother nature.

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If you look closely at the last two photo's and look at my earlier photo's in this thread, you will see they are from the same places but dramatically defferent levels of water. Dave was first down and then Lesley and the rest slowly appeared. Pete & Debs came from their hotel to say goodbye and off they set for their long journey home to the south coast. We all finished our breakfasts, loaded up and set sat nav’s to Home.

All in all, despite the weather in the area and the chaos it had caused, this weekend was another triumph for the XJR club.

Cheers Ride out in Wales Icon_wink
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Post by stuart on Thu 14 Jun 2012, 08:36

What an adventure. A ride out to remember there JT.
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Post by chilli on Thu 14 Jun 2012, 09:41

Yep, cracking write up of your trip. Shame the weather was bloody horrendous tho.

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Post by clive1286 on Thu 14 Jun 2012, 14:02

Hi JT, was in Rhayader for the jubilee weekend camping at wyeside ( all beit in the car as 'project whenever still isn't done) and pissed down all weekend then aswell rain1 The river was high then, so not suprised at your photo's. As you say really great roads around there done them a few times. the A483 from Crossgates to Newtown is a good one aswell.
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