Trip to Wales 02/07/2021 to 09/07/2021
Left home at 6am and met the rest of the group at beacon hill services at the bottom of the A140 to leave at 7am everyone was there in good time so 10 set off. First section was on the A14 to just past Cambridge then the A428 to the first stop at Caxton Gibbet.
Then continue on the A428 and the A421 past Bedford and Milton Keynes, lots of roundabouts, but straight over each one. At the end of the A421 cross country to the A361 heading for Chipping Norton.
First error at Chipping Norton went right from A361 onto A3400 towards Stratford upon Avon instead of continuing on the A44. Did not notice for 10 miles, then found we had lost Tony.
Found new route via Stratford upon Avon to Worcester.
Mistake 2 I went through Worcester as there was traffic on ring road, We stopped and ate at McDonalds coming out of Worcester.
Back on the A44 we go to Leominster and stopped at an American dinner for a milkshake. Out of nowhere Tony turned up just as we left so all ten back together again, followed the A44 and then the A483 to destination.
Our base for the week was Radnor revivals and what an excellent base it was. We had 4 cabins with 4 single beds in each, each cabin had a nice lounge/dinning/kitchen area and they where all nice and clean, well furnished and decorated. Our hosts cooked for us on out first night and then every other evening meal and breakfast, they only do this for larger groups. All in all I would give them 10 out of 10 for everything they did and we are already planning a return trip for 2023. Its an ideal base for touring this beautiful area of Wales.
Easy Saturday with a little run to Llandrindod Wells to check run starts at lake side cafe, then down to Builth Wells and up A470 and across the A4081 back to Llandrindod Wells and onto our base.
Sunday planned to go to Machynlleth via Rhayader up B roads. Richard crashed at Tylwch, unhurt but shaken, so taxi back for him, got very wet waiting for it, then back to base, back to crash site with pinion to pickup the bike and back to base again making it a 150 miles day.
Monday We did a run given to use by Val Newton. We went down some tiny country lanes to the Elan valley visitors centre, then onto a viewing point and back through the valley to Devils Bridge, we continued cross country getting lost down a dead end once and past another reservoir to our lunch stop at Talybout White Lion, then mainly A roads on the way back. A great run and a great day just what I came for.
Tuesday rest day for me they went to Machynlleth via the A roads this time don’t want to test fate.
Wednesday Val Newton’s 2nd run but only halfway to Lunch stop at Neaudd Arms Hotel, again a very good run. We attempted to make up our own route back and got lost going towards the Devils Staircase, turned around and found our way back via B roads. Got oil for Tony’s modern Triumph as it was low on the sight glass. Trevor’s bike returned with an oil leak from the rocker box, looked like lots of oil, bought oil at Tescos and topped up.
Thursday the others went to Llangollen using the A roads, about 65 miles each way. They stopped in the town and saw the viaduct etc. They also went up to the Ponderosa Café on Horseshoe pass. So a 150 miles day, I rested as we had a 270 miles return journey on Friday. Tardy returned early with a missing engine, eventually called recovery and got taken home. Trevor’s bike returned covered in oil but it had used very little.
The journey home. We lost a couple early going home on modern bikes the ‘quick’ way. For some reason Mike on his FJ1200 decided to carry back a 12 foot swimming pool in a very large box (see picture), this reminded me of my friends large frame tent that we carried down to Cornwall in the 1970s. He also returned the ‘quick’ way can getting home in just over 4 hours. The remaining 7 left just before 9am with a planned first stop in Leominster, the dinner was closed so we pressed on, went the right way around Worcester which was a little busy and then found a road closed on the A44 outside Evesham, it was an accident and after asking a police man and following his direction which took use back to the same road closed sign we found a local who very kindly escorted use around the blockage. First proper stop was at the Cotswold Café, Little Compton as a very nice Tuna Sandwich was consumed. The onto Chipping Norton (very busy through town an d nearly lost some of the group), Buckingham (fuel stop) Milton Keynes and Bedford. Approaching the A1 near St Neots found stationary traffic and was unsure it I should take the group thorough, Keith eventually decided for me and I tried to follow but he was moving to quick and he made his own way home. I bit of confusion ensued at the planned stop at Caxton Gibbet but eventually all 6 got to the services car park Trevor’s bike was still leaking oil and was a bit hot from the traffic. Mike led the way cross country from here, but Chris and Tony decided to keep on the A14, making their own way and so we were four. The trip thought Cambridge turned out to around 5pm and it was very busy, every time Trevor pulled up next to me he disappeared in a cloud of smoke, I was surprised nobody called the fire brigade. A little rain around Haverhill, but not enough to get us wet and then known road through Clare and Long Melford. Home via Needham Market and Claydon
An after thought
About half way on our 270 mile trip to Wales on the A7 I remembered how much long distance rides hurt in my 20’s. Now I am a little older and almost middle aged it hurt a lot more. I hate to think how much it will hurt when I am actually old. I think my idea of a nice overnight stop is the best plan for next time or take the van of shame.