It was with some degree of trepidation that five of us set out from Barthomley Services at 10:15 on 28th June. The roads were wet and we’d had a number of dropouts for that reason who’d indicated that their enthusiasm for a days riding had been dampened (literally?).
Present and correct were Dave(1200RT), Graham(Blackbird), John (MT-07), Matt(Z1000) and Steve(800GS).
The wet start made for a brilliant opportunity to practice our advanced skills as we headed to the roads of North Wales via a reasonably straightforward route to the Ponderosa Café on the Horseshoe Pass near Llangollen. The promise of nicer weather looked remote at best.
Despite operating the second man drop off system, a phantom mechanical issue for Steve’s 800GS on the dual-carriageway section of the A483 near Wrexham saw the group split with Graham and John heading onwards towards the Ponderosa, Matt waiting on the exit slip of the 483 for the ‘reliable’ BMWs of Steve and Dave. Having agreed that if we did get split up we’d meet up at the Café everyone got back on bikes and headed towards the Horseshoe Pass. By blind luck we met up again at the cross roads of the A525 and B5430 which was extremely fortunate as Graham had a detour planned via the A5104 – a beautiful piece of road and in keeping with what he had in store for the group following lunch. Pasties, Pies, Fish and Chips at the Ponderosa Café were excellent as usual, the weather was still cold and wet and the car park was far from busy.
The trip up to Abergele took us via some of the most spectacular scenery and roads that North Wales, and arguably the UK, has to offer. The weather was getting warmer and brighter the further North we travelled and by the time we arrived at Abergele it really was ice cream weather.
The sun stayed our and roads remained dry for our trip back for an intended stop for tea and cake at Corwen. One look at the queue at the Rhug Farm Shop convinced the group that in a toss up between having tea and cake or missing out on a pint back at the White Lion there was only ever going to be one winner. A unanimous decision.
We arrived at said 16th Century public house at about 6pm, still in blazing sunshine and had a well deserved drink after a 250-ish mile day.
Awards are maybe something left for another ride to be agreed on by the group afterwards but from this writers perspective:
Most improved rider – John (so much more fluid by the end of the day)
Dodgiest Overtake – Anonymous (there may have been a solid white line involved)
Nearest Miss – Matt (pulled out on by an elderly occupant of a red Ford Focus and definitely would have ended in tears he thought, had it happened prior to preparing for his advanced test)
Least reliable bike – 800GS (although Steve maintains that it didn’t really break down….)
A brilliant ride with a great group of people. Next ride is planned for 26th July, all are welcome and if you’d like to join us then get in touch.