It was an interesting rideout yesterday.
First thing I met Stuart Gay at my local supermarket petrol station but it was closed so we beetled off to the next one on our way to Hafodrynys. At the top of Crumlin Hill we met with Lloyd Williams and Stephen Llewellyn. I explained how we were getting over to Abergavenny but somebody wasn’t listening. Steve announced that he had forgotten his glasses and had to go home for them. As he only lives a half mile away he would catch us up. The three of us set off. At the first roundabout about 3 miles away we were down to just Lloyd and myself. Somehow Stuart had got himself lost on a straight road with only 2 turn offs (we did wait for him and I went back to try and find him). Never mind he knew where we were meeting in Abergavenny (well so I thought). Lloyd and I took the scenic, shorter route over the mountain and by the time we had reached the carpark Steve was already there having taken the longer, faster route. Stuart was nowhere to be seen. After a few minutes John Hawkins turned up complaining bitterly that he had been waiting in the Bus Station and had decided that it must be the wrong car park. I did say the Castle car park. For those that don’t know, and there are quite a few of you, Abergavenny does have a castle and there is quite a big car park near it on Castle Street. If you pass the bus station on your right hand side about 100 yds. along the road takes a 90 degree turn to the right. There is also a 90 degree turn to the left up what looks like a small lane. This is the bottom end of Castle Street and is a one way.
At 10:30 we had waited long enough and had tried ringing Stuart as he had tried to ring me. Let me put the record straight now. When riding the bike the phone is in my pocket and I can’t hear it and do not have it connected to my headset (which is turned off anyway). When away from home I do not have internet access unless I connect to a free Wi-Fi hotspot, so other forms of internet communication does not work either.
Off we headed toward Talgarth. The road over the top of the mountain was closed and has been for weeks now. I don’t know what they are doing that is taking so long. So we headed for Bwlch and a run down past Llangorse. Unfortunately somebody had been involved in an RTA and the road was blocked so we had to about turn and go back to Crickhowell and cross the river to get into the lanes to Llangynidr. This was fun as the lanes are narrow and had extra traffic on it due to the road closure. Eventually we made it to Talgarth and got to the A470 heading for Builth Wells. At the rickety bridge we turned off and crossed the bridge to take the back road north.
We rejoined the A470 north of Builth and made the run up to what was the Halt cafe but is now a Greggs. It had taken ages to get there so we had a tea/coffee break.
We decided that it wouldn’t be fun to get up the Elan Valley due to it being a nice, sunny Bank Holiday weekend so opted for the old coach road that runs to Devil’s Bridge. That was busier than I had ever seen it before. Loads of cars and power rangers making it quite difficult on times. We made a stop at the old lead mines at Cwmystwyth where we chatted to some other riders. As it was busy we decided to bypass Devil’s Bridge and head for Tregaron using a short and very twisty short cut, great fun and no traffic. The run down to Tregaron was good with, surprisingly, little traffic.
At Tregaron we had a chat and decided to take the back road to Llandovery via the Lyn Brianne. Steve and Tony Johnson needed to get home reasonably early so would head off home once we got to Llandovery. The road is narrow and very twisty and was a lot busier than normal, so caution was the watchword. The reservoir was absolutely full, which is unusual at this time of the year. Shows how wet it has been this summer as this time last year it was only 1/3 full and the old bridge and farmhouse were high and dry.
At Llandovery 5 of us headed for the Owl’s Nest where a harassed Ian was going bonkers in the kitchen as he had been so busy all day. We got there at about 3 when things had calmed down. He must have lost his marbles as he gave me extra bacon, something never heard of before.
After a long chat, etc. Brian Hudson and Peter Casling headed off home via the A40 while John Hawkins, Lloyd Williams and myself headed over the Black Mountain. This is a great road that was use a lot by Top Gear. I am afraid that the road does bring out the hooligan in me. From there we headed for Glyn Neath and went through Banwen where there were police everywhere. We thought there may have been an illegal rave going on there and this was later confirmed as it was on the national and local news later in the evening. We said goodbye to John in Rhigos as he head over the Rhigos and Bwlch mountains for home. Lloyd and myself taking the more sedate road down the valley to ward home.
I got home at 6:30pm and covered 200 miles. It was a great day’s riding and for the main part I don’t think we did more than a few hundred yards of straight road at any stretch. the weather was superb, sunny and dry and not too warm (never saw the temperature above 15 degrees all day). As always the company was great and that always makes for a good ride.