Ode towards Wales

Our own bard-of-the-bike Matt Howes penned this homage to the recent Weekend to Wales, which he rode on his Pan-European. Thanks, Matt, for sharing your contemplations on the ride to Snowdonia

Ode towards Wales

Full tanks of fuel and we’re off
Well, maybe not….
A run across the forecourt
Oil smeared from the back tyre
And this time we’re gone
West towards Brum
… and fun

Winding roads, open skies
Noisy exhausts
Tractors & trailers, mud on the road
Keep Left signs, roundabouts
Slow down, speed up
Roll on, roll off
Out & round, out & round

West Midlands a hard slog
Road works, traffic lights
Garage food, garage loos
A detour or two
The SatNav defects and U-turns required
But we are all smiles
As today, no work is required

We are moving again…
As the Borders approach
Sunshine and dry roads
Twisties; what a delight
But then the rains come
and the SatNav recoils
Wet leathers, no view…..

We stop for a drink
And siphon the python
Or water the plants in a field by the road
We reprogram the SatNav
Back on the bikes we get separated
2 to the left, 2 to the right
Oh well, only 20 miles to go

Fueled once again with petrol & coke
Caked in road spray
We get to the village &…..
Surprise; 2 come from the left
We meet once again for the final 2 miles
Dolgellau here we are
Park up, clean up, the proprietor says Hi

Hang up the gear it’s time for a drink
Leathers in the drying room causing a stink
But who else is here ?
3 bikes came before us
2 arrived in a car
2 bikes come later
11 beers please, ‘Iechyd Da’ !

19:30 arrives & time for the meal
We sit at the table, but….. hang on
One person is AWOL
He never arrived
As he fell from a ladder
and injured his pride
A toast to our fallen comrade !

Tomorrow we ride into the mist
That’s another story…
For now you get the gist
Roll on, roll off
Peg down to the left, peg down to the right
Overtake that big lorry
Drink coffee and peeeeee !!

Weekend in Wales

An imposing Victorian house stands sentinel before the bend on the Bala road, announcing the end of the long journey to the Bikers Retreat. In twos & threes the 9 bikes found their way to Dolgellau, Snowdonia National Park. After some careful motorcycle Tetris all were squeezed into the covered bike shed, with one accompanying car left forlornly in the rain

Hosts Nigel and Tiv made us welcome for three nights, providing comfortable rooms, home-cooked evening meals and biker-friendly full Welsh breakfasts. Accomplished riders themselves, on Saturday Nigel and Tiv book-ended a challenging loop through Bala, the Llyn Brenig Reservoir (the Visitor Centre offering refreshments with beautiful views over the water), and the former Llechwedd Slate Caverns. The clouds gathered in the afternoon, and at altitude we were soon enveloped in drizzle. With rain settling in for the rest of the day, Nigel led us back using the direct route to Dolgellau via the A470

Evenings were spent in the cosy bar, where ale, Guinness, cider, wine and improbable tales were enjoyed. Precipitation was forecast, but its variety – mist, mizzle, drizzle, showers & occasional rain – caught some by surprise. However, the scenery is breathtaking (if you have time to glance at it) and the roads are extremely well maintained and afford great grip. True, there is the odd sheep wondering whether to cross the single track road under your wheels to nibble the greener grass on the other side, but this is terrific biking country

Thanks to Martin Pinion for suggesting this weekend and to Janet Pinion for organizing it

Aldeburgh – a rider’s account

8:30am and the temperature was climbing nicely for the ten riders gathered in Ely. Janet Pinion had devised a meandering backroads route through beautiful Suffolk countryside to picturesque Aldeburgh, where the pebbles on the beach shimmered and the sea had taken on Mediterranean hues. Although we arrived in time for an early lunch, an impressive queue had already formed at the fish’n’chip shop

As Janet’s program did not allow for a siesta we climbed back on the bikes, heavier but happy, to start the journey home. We lingered over drinks at our refreshment break in Stonham Barns, feeling the heat even under the parasols. The trip continued without incident, for a while following the fast A143, before a final regrouping at Mildenhall. Three riders peeled off here, whilst the rest of the pack rode together to Fordham where they finally parted company. A great ride & a great day: thank you Janet!

i2i Machine Control

July 2nd & 3rd: former RAF Coltishall was the venue for 2 days of advanced training with Tom Killeen of i2i Motorcycle Academy. This subsidised event saw 10 CambsIAM members work through Machine Control topics: bike stability, braking whilst cornering, body posture & much more

Tom explains the physics of machine control, then has participants prove & practise the theory for themselves on their bikes. The heat and high-grip runway surface made for optimal traction, and participants left Norfolk with new or improved skills. Read the British Motorcyclists Federation’s assessment of i2i’s Machine Control course here

TT legend John McGuinness supports TyreSafe’s Don’t chance it, change it motorcycle campaign

How often do you check your tyres – really?

Tyres are the only part of your motorcycle in contact with the road surface. Safety in acceleration, braking, steering and cornering all depend on this relatively small area of contact.

You can view the video of John McGuinness supporting TyreSafe’s Don’t chance it, change it campaign below.

 

Le Grand Weekend en France

Thanks to Matt Howes for this ode to a recent trip to Normandy with four other members of the group!

Le Grand Weekend en France
aka  Five go to Honfleur

Five guys met up to go to Normandie one fine summer’s morn
They left from Duxford to arrive in Honfleur
And had the full English as is de-rigueur
There was much seafood & steak bleu
Excellent bières to wash it all down and some vin rouge too
Moules frites with cider and expresso with Calvados
Ice cream and apple tart, but no Crème Anglaise

They stroked cats in cafés
Gate crashed divorce parties
Moved locals from tables
Fought petrol pumps that weren’t able
Watched police race from the scene

There was much complaining about mushrooms
Tyres, suspension and setups
Impromptu off-roading
Lanes with grass in the middle
Fish soup……

There was lots of jeshing & joking too
With tall stories all told as the evenings progressed
Oh and yes we did do some motorcycling too

Weekend in Wales – three places still available

It’s not too late! There is still one twin room available, and also one single bed in a shared twin room, on the Weekend in Wales trip to The Bikers Retreat in Snowdonia which takes place 17th-20th August

To book a place telephone hosts Nigel & Tiv direct on 01341 423192 
The events calendar here provides more information, but for details of the journey and what to expect when there contact Janet on 07952 149122 or supergran4@icloud.com

All day ride to Kent, 9th September 2018

This is a longer all day ride for full members only and will be led by Barry Dickinson

Meet at Cambridge Services at 8:30am with a full tank as it is about 150 miles each way!! Depending on how long we stop, expect to be back between 7:00 and 7:30pm. The ride starts down the M11 and over the Dartford crossing bridge to the Oakdene truck stop (about 100 miles). From there across the Kent countryside (the garden of England) to Hythe, Dover (past the castle) and St Margaret’s Bay for lunch (this is where the cross channel swimmers leave for France, so your phone will tell you that you are in France and we should see the French coast)

After lunch north to Kingsdown, Deal(another castle) and the quaint village of Sandwich then west to Canterbury, Chartham and the Hook & Hatchet for a quick stop before heading for the A229/A2, Dartford tunnels, M25, M11 and home

The numbers are limited so if you wish to go please contact Barry Dickinson on konac@waitrose.com or 07733 388712

Viking Night in Bury St Edmunds

A regular attendee at Krazy Horse events, Janet Pinion wanted to flag up their forthcoming Viking Night. This will be held at the Krazy Horse premises on Thursday 5th July from 6pm to 10pm

Krazy Horse provide the following event description..
On the first Thursday in every month during the summer in Bury St Edmunds we fire up a barbecue, put on a band and people turn up. 5th July is Viking Night featuring the return of Beardo Weirdo. Prize for the finest growth.
The band will be Chuck Wills Widow. Strictly over 18 as we have a bar

Blues & Twos in Kimbolton

Image reproduced courtesy PFB-999 via Flicker

Beautiful weather and quieter than usual roads, thanks to an England vs. Panama fixture, made for terrific biking conditions this Sunday. If you grabbed this opportunity for a ride and passed through Kimbolton you might have been dismayed to find blues & two behind you, as were two members of the Cambridge Advanced Motorcyclists group

Once the R1200RT had you at the side of the road it became apparent that a ticket was not on the cards – this was in fact a police initiative to promote road safety, first-aid knowledge and extended training amongst bikers – in particular the Cambridgeshire Police’s BikeSafe and Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue’s BikerDown events