Dragon rally - in memory of Steve W

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r80rob
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Re: Dragon rally - in memory of Steve W

Post by r80rob » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:42 am

Arrived at Y Giler Arms just gone 5pm , got tent up just before dark.
Was a good ride up and last 50 miles had stunning views.
Woken up this morning to wind rain and a pubble in the tent, fun and games.

dmw1950
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Re: Dragon rally - in memory of Steve W

Post by dmw1950 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:28 pm

r80rob wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:42 am
Woken up this morning to wind rain and a pubble in the tent, fun and games.
Must have had a good drink last night
:) :oops: :)

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r80rob
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Re: Dragon rally - in memory of Steve W

Post by r80rob » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:31 am

Update time, sitting in a nice warm hotel just outside of Telford.

We rode to the check point and then found an Argos, brought a 2 man £30 summer tent and headed to the rally.

Site was a bit wet and windy a few tents ended up airborne but we his behind a hedge and the tent survived.

Rode Steve's route from Bala via the Hirnant pass some of the most stunning scenery I've been through. Got lots of great photos to upload later.

Off for breakfast then 200 miles to home :mrgreen:

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r80rob
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Re: Dragon rally - in memory of Steve W

Post by r80rob » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:04 pm

Thought I'd do a proper ride report for this as it was such good fun and may provide some entertainment for those that sponsored me and may encourage a few more...

Day 1 , Adventure time:

Alarm goes off at 4:30 am it's trying to snow and there is a fair amount of wind. I sneak around trying not to wake the wife or my daughter whislt pulling on thermals.
I've got 275 miles to do to get to the Y Giler Arms in North Wales from the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.
Whilst having a black coffee and some cereal I text my wingman Kerry who I'm planning to meet in Dartford. He's not the most reliable when it comes to an early start so I've told him to meet me at 6 with the expectation he'll be there about 6:30.

The bike was already packed apart from a few essentials a check of the list and double check the tickets were in my wallet I was ready for the off.

Bike rolled out onto the drive ,phone plugged in with Google maps, bottle of water on handle bars (with sippy cap so I can flip up helmet and drink at lights) keys in, ignition on, switch on the led spotlight so I can actually see and pull the cable tie that's attached to the choke on the carb and it starts first kick , brilliant adventure time :mrgreen:

Nearly forgot , photo of my start miles:

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As mentioned I live on an island the bridge to get off is fairly high and with the wind, sleet and it still being pitch black made the first few miles interesting.
All part of the adventure, straight onto the m2 and to Dartford, by now I'm getting used to the weight of the luggage versus the wind and the buffeting from the trucks passing also worth noting that although the thermometer on the handlebars was reading 2 degrees with all my layers and cheap thermal jacket I was warm and dry.

Made Dartford for 6:15 and headed into McDonald's to get a black coffee - it's about the only thing I'll consume in one.

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Kerry arrives at 6:45 and I give his bike a look over. It's a Varedo 125 he brought it 2 days before the trip and 'borrowed' some cable ties shoved all his gear in a rucksack and then strapped it to the seat. It's been dropped he's not checked anything but it's running and is probably in better condition than the Bandit he brought last year and at least the two are a bit more matched.
He has breakfast as the sun comes up and we kit up and head for the crossing. It's still chucking it down and luckily the traffic is moving at slow pace so the 50mph we are doing isn't causing people to act too stupid.
Things cheer up a bit by the time we are on the M1 it's fully daylight and it's stopped raining , I'm counting down the miles until the A5 as the plan is to get the motorways done before our first stop. Note Kerry's "feet condoms" :lol:

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More black coffee in another McDonald's and a pasty in the farm shop opposite before we shed a few layers fuel up and carry on up the A5. It was a fairly uneventful ride up apart from randomly meeting someone from Sheppey at one of the services , we stopped around every 80 - 100 miles for coffee , food and petrol and arrived at the Bruce Pollard rally around 5pm.

Information on Bruce Pollard (interesting gent):

http://www.realclassic.co.uk/opinionfil ... llard.html

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By the time we'd sorted out the tents and chatted to people snapped a few photos etc it was dark so we headed to the pub and had a pie and a pint.
We were both feeling a bit knackered and Kerry was fighting off the last of his man flu so after 3 pints we called it a night and went back to the tents.
It was a lovely clear night with a beautiful starry sky and all the tents were sparking with frost, I checked the thermometer before calling it a night - 1.4 !

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r80rob
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Re: Dragon rally - in memory of Steve W

Post by r80rob » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:58 pm

Day 2 - Check point

The wind and rain start about 1:30 am and woke me up periodically. I'm nice and warm in my 4 season sleeping bag that has a comfort rating of -7 plus the folding sleeping mat is stopping the cold permeating up.

The tent isn't coping too well, most of this was how badly I'd put it up due to being so tired, the outer and inner layers had touched and my sleeping bag was getting wetter and wetter.

When I finally gave up and decided to do something there was a puddle at the end of the tent , a 3rd of my sleeping bag and my downturned crash helmet were soaked. I pulled on all my gear including the wet crash helmet and started packing up. By the time I'd rolled the tent up I'd decided to ditch it.
Kerry had risen and his tent hadn't faired much better we decided to get to Betws get some breakfast then make a plan on a full stomach.

Whilst Kerry was packing up I wandered around to keep warm and took a few photos:

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We rode the few miles into town , spotting loads of dragon bikes and parked up by the river. Betws is a lovely place with a fast flowing river cutting it in two and above all a good cafe.

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After breakfast the plan was to head to the check point and get the ticket stamped , find out exactly were the site was and then go and have a look if it was looking rough we would bail and find a B and B or buy another tent if it looked ok.

The ride to the check point took us through some stunning scenery and along the coast line and into Conwy via the castle.

Check point was the Conwy MCC clubhouse which was cool :

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By the time we'd made it to here the bike was a bit worse for wear, the baffle had rattled loose, the rear light was full of water and kept blowing bulbs and the quality ( :lol: ) foam filter even with its waterproof dirt bike cover thing was clogging up.

I changed the bulb and as it had stopped raining and the sun has come out we were in high spirits so found an Argos brought a new tent (single skin summer one for £30 !) and headed the 40 miles to the dragon proper.

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r80rob
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Re: Dragon rally - in memory of Steve W

Post by r80rob » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:28 pm

The Dragon:

A lot of people moaned on the dragon Facebook page about how waterlogged the site was and how the wind picked up tents and blew them into the river with all of the owners belongings.

When we arrived at around 3 it was fairly full and we rode around the whole site before finding somewhere that wasn't too bad , luckily for us it was behind a large hedge which sheltered us nicely from the wind as I don't think our summer tent with its 4 guide ropes would've survived.

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After pitching I added my collection pot for St Christopher's hospice and the explanation for what I was doing this year to the bike's screen and headed off to get my soup and badge.

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Then ensued the usual drinking, chatting with strangers, talking bikes and taking photos before we ended up watching the band. Kerry's plan of buying two pints each so we didn't have to queue up resulted in us getting drunk quicker as we had to practically down a pint so we had a hand free.

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We left about 11 and wandered around chatting rubbish to anyone who would listen and called it a night about 12.

The next day we woke to a reasonably dry tent and a bit of snow and lots of hailstones.
I was up before Kerry so went and took some photos:

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My new favourite vehicle , powered by a lifan , 30 mph "gets through clutch plates" , wood burner , came from the Netherlands did it over two weeks wild camping.

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The 90s were with them:

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The second one:

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The cable tied catastrophe:

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Once Kerry had finally cable tied everything back on we aimed for Betws and that lovely cafe mmm

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From there it was off to Bala to pay tribute to SteveW and ride the route he had planned.

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r80rob
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Re: Dragon rally - in memory of Steve W

Post by r80rob » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:40 pm

I'll carry on later my daughter has just woken up from her knap....

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r80rob
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Re: Dragon rally - in memory of Steve W

Post by r80rob » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:06 pm

Day 3, Steve's route

We headed to Bala via the A5 and had a"gander at the lake" as Steve said in his route.
I set the camera up on a wall over the road and legged it back to Kerry and nearly got taken out by a van :lol:

That wasn't a great photo so here's another of Bala lake.

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From there it was small roads through the mountains to the Hirnant pass.

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The roads were perfect , enough snow to make for good photos but safe enough to ride and the scenery was some of the best I've ridden , thanks Steve :mrgreen:

The pass,

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Then straight into a pine forest !

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Round another massive lake and then this dam

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As I said amazing, at Hirnant village I set the route to Telford and we headed to a hotel for a well deserved shower and curry.

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r80rob
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Re: Dragon rally - in memory of Steve W

Post by r80rob » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:23 pm

Day 4 , Home !

Photo outside the hotel:

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After attempting to dry everything out and eating 3 rounds of breakfast we aimed for Kent and stuck to the motorways , it was just over 200 miles and the cub did me proud running at 45 the whole way.

Shame it didn't get a wash :lol:

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Got home at 4 pm Monday , end miles :

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Another one for the collection :

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Donations are up to £660 I'm going to pay them I'm on Monday and report back the total to Steve's family , here's the link if you would like to donate :

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/robin-watson2

Thanks to everyone who has supported , it really is appreciated.

Rob

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Re: Dragon rally - in memory of Steve W

Post by Diddly » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:56 am

Fantastic effort and thanks for sharing Rob and Kerry.

Respect, Diddly

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