Page updated August 15th 2022
Roof of Wales Ride Report
A brief report and 2 pictures of Sunday’s “Roof of Wales” ride……..” What a fabulous day and what a pity there wasn’t a bigger turnout. The high mileage and the very high forecast temperatures made staying at home look like a better idea. As might have been expected, the A44 to Crossgates was frustratingly busy, but once we left the main roads we were able to enjoy some of the finest roads and scenery in Mid-Wales in almost complete isolation. We didn’t meet a single car on the divine 15 miles of the Nant-y-Moch reservoir road. Why people ignore this wonderful piece of Tarmac is a complete mystery to me. Even the legendary Mountain Road - from Rhayader to Devils bridge was quiet (for a busy mid-summer Sunday)”. Terry and Adele Gibson summed up the day perfectly….” Good company, awesome scenery, super weather - What more could you ask for? Thank you.”
TRAIL RIDE 6 - Report
A report and 3 pictures of the recent Trail ride 6 – “10 local lanes” - by Roger Bibbing
…..”As the marriage guidance people often say, - second time around it may well be better but it'll certainly be different. At about midday on Thursday 11th August Mark Evans, Andy Spanjers and I set off again to take Steve Leighton around the Ten Local Lanes circuit which nine of us had just completed. Apparently it's 37 miles not 25 as I had assumed. BMW HP3 mounted Steve Leighton, who had ridden from Shrewsbury, had not got the message about the cooler 8.30 am start and looked a bit crest-fallen when nine of us arrived back at Coco's Cafe just when he thought we were supposed to be starting out. We took the Old Bosbury Road again and then the lane to the Slatch from Southfield Lane in Bosbury but my Honda 185 XL, which had gone brilliantly up to then, started playing up. So as we were going through Colwall where I live, I dropped in home and swopped it for an MZ 250 (which also later proved troublesome). The Purlieu, which had been clear two hours earlier, was now impassable due to a long trench and the presence of a mini-digger, so we went straight up to West Malvern only to find the road at Cowleigh Bank blocked by more road works. So it was a detour via Leigh Sinton back to Storridge, over Birchwood, out to Suckley and the lanes there and back along the old railway service road (normally a quagmire but now hard as concrete) from Lulsley to Leigh. We stopped and took photos of ourselves crossing the Leigh Brook. Then my MZ refused to start. Sweating and swearing - because I had forgotten my plug spanner - did not help. But eventually it did start - but I hit the bank on the way out - only bending a footrest. We then went to Bransford for fuel from the self-service pumps and went back over Crumpton Hill, then the Ridgeway to turn right onto the Bromyard road and then take the green lane that goes down to the back of the old Wells Farm. Then it was back to Fromes Hill for iced coffee and pop from the convenience store there. It was very hot, the tracks were really dusty but we still had fun - and fun is what it's all about. Happy days.”
Roger on the MZ
“Trail ride 5 (better known as Mark's Trundle), based on Craven Arms and the Long Mynd was a great success. Thanks to Mark Evans for planning and leading it. David Mead brought his Nimbus powered "Rough Superior", the most unlikely trail bike we've ever seen. We're delighted to report that even with no ground clearance and running boards, he still made it round.”
Thursday April 14th - "Trail ride 2” - Regent House Filling Station, Clyro HR3 5SB
We are trying to follow the accepted riding protocols of the TRF by keeping group sizes to 6 and leaving substantial intervals between groups. This leaves us highly dependent on leaders knowing the route and may, in the short term be unable to satisfy the demand, but we are sure this is the way to conduct our rides in the future. 11 machines started in two groups from Clyro, one group riding the route anti-clockwise and the other clockwise. Amazingly they both arrived back at Clyro at the same time. There were zero breakdowns, but there was one new member of the “Submariners” club. Mike Healey dropped his Honda XL 250 in a very slippery ford and had a full baptism!
The rutted Offas Dyke path close to Clyro proved problematical again, being horribly slippery with most riders dropping their bikes and suffering from clogged wheels.
In a prolonged dry spell, this becomes a very easy section, underlining the influence of weather on many Mid-Wales trails.
Today was VMCC Brunch Meet at Honey Café in Bronllys. There were only seven of us but hard core motorcyclists to a man - even those that came by car! Only one proper bike spotted. Geoff our Chairman on one of Roger Bibbings’s Velocette LE’s. He’s familiarising himself with the power curve before attempting a 1400 mile nostalgia ride or a remake of "The Great Escape" .
We’ll all keep our fingers crossed
Trail Ride 1 - Hundred House - March 26th
· Report on Saturday March 26th - Trail ride 1 - Hundred House.o Fantastic weather and the prospect of dry trails saw an excellent turnout for the first(Official) trail ride of the year. Lots of bike envy at the start, with Nick Barrow’s Triumph TR5T Trophy Trail drawing admiring glances. (pic 4).Terry Pickering’s 1952 Austin A40 pick-up caught the eye too (pic 5). John Roach’s well sorted Moto Morini Kanguro completed the Trans America Trail 4 years ago, but goes just as well on the Stony Welsh Hill tracks. (pic 6). The ride succeeded in making a lot of old men happy! (pics 7, 8 & 9)
Brunch Ride-in to Kirsty's Cafe - Bishops Castle March 23rd
Report on the Brunch ride-in, to Kirsty's Café, Bishop's Castle - Wednesday March 23rd
o An excellent turnout and a great atmosphere, with more than 30 machines.
The food at Kirsty’s is first class, as is the service. A well sorted Commando will always draw a crowd and this one was no exception (pic 1). This rare 1939 500cc HRD Meteor proved to be “eye-candy” for many (pic 2),but it wasn’t the only interesting machine to stand out on a bright and sunny day. (pic 3)
Brass Bull Ride January 2nd 2022
The “Brass Bull” New Year ride – Hundred House Inn – Sunday Jan 2nd 2022
Buoyed by the success of the Boxing Day “Brass Monkey” ride, we decided at the very last minute to hold a similar event based in the west of the section. Our expectations were low, but despite an indifferent weather forecast and very mixed messages about the availability of food, something clearly attracted our members and more than 30 enjoyed a splendid scenic route on an eclectic mix of ancient and modern machinery.
Around 35% of those who made it to the Hundred House Inn also rode the Brass Monkey ride, suggesting that, weather permitting, there is an appetite for these seasonal rides.
Thanks to Chris Richards, Gary Jones and John Munday for making it possible and thanks to Ciaran Spencer and Jack England for the excellent photos (you can see lots more on our Facebook page….. and we can assure you that nothing bad will happen to you if you click on it!)
There will definitely be a New Year’s Day ride based in or close to Builth Wells in 2023
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Brass Monkey Ride - December 26th - 2021
There was an excellent turnout for Brass Monkey 2021, despite the gloomy weather and the renewed COVID threat. Thanks to all those who came to The Moon Mordiford from far and wide and thanks to Ciaran Spencer & Cliff Osenton for the pictures
Wed Oct 27th - Breakfast ride-in to the Lion at Leintwardine. Great venue, good food, good company and wonderful bikes for this last ride-in of the year. It was great to see some pre-1930 machines alongside the Douglas, and the Laverda. The rarer than rare Riverside Benelli definitely stole the show.
(3 pics attached)
Thursday Nov 11th - Trail ride. Clyro - Mud is good! Another excellent turnout and, thanks to Paul Farley, another excellent route.
Geoff Brown and Geoff McGladdery both managed to drown their engines at the ford at Park style Mill and after drying out their ignitions both opted for early retirement with oil tanks brimming with mayonnaise instead of oil! (Pic attached)
Chris Richards brought his SCS – a Sachs engined special built into a Cheney frame by the late Ivor Smart and used in the 1975 ISDT in the Isle of Man. (2 pics attached)
Tuesday 12th Oct. Brunch ride-in to Kirsty's Café, in Bishop's Castle Another well attended event with riders arriving from all over the section
Thursday Oct 14th – Old men on old bikes! A great Trail ride to the North of Clyro - Thanks to Paul Farley and Maggie Smith for scoping this excellent route and thanks to Paul for leading us.
Stay muddy - live longer!
Trail Ride - November 2021
Cafe' Racer Ride - September 19th 2021
o Report - 15 riders logged on at the start to tackle the 60 mile route and 13 made it to the finish to collect their stickers. Rob Woodford surprised us all by rocking up on his recently acquired 1962 250cc Cotton Continental, complete with sea-boot socks and silk scarf. Another machine in the true café racer tradition was Dave Mead’s mighty 1959 Norvin. A 1951 Vincent Rapide engine is neatly grafted into a 1959 Norton “wideline” frame and it really looks like it grew there. We are not the only ones to admire the bike, it has won the “Best used Café Racer” award at the “Rocker's Reunion” at London’s legendary Ace Café. Another bike to demand attention was Keiron Spencer’s wonderful Hailwood replica Honda 4. Thanks to all who took part. The event will run next year in a similar format and we hope to attract riders and machines from all over the West Midlands, Powys, South Wales, Shropshire and Gloucestershire.
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Breakfast Meet - Holloways Cafe' - August 25th 2021
Excellent get-together at the Glasshouse café at Holloways Wednesday August 25th. Good food, good company and as ever-some excellent machinery. Thanks to the phantom photographer at Holloways and to the "Marshmallow Kid" for showing us just how "grown-up" we have become.
August 15th - How Many Bridges Ride - A good turnout for this full days ride
August 10th -
Brunch ride-in to the Red Kite Café at Ponterwyd - right on the
Western edge of our patch. Pity the café wasn't as enthusiastic - it was
closed!!! No problem, we decamped to the Woodlands café at Devils Bridge, who
were delighted to see us.
These two "specials" caught the eye.
Forest of Dean Ride Sunday July 18th 2021
Bright sunshine brought out a good group and some interesting machinery. The new stop at Harold's Stones at Trelleck provided an interesting diversion
Reservoirs Run 2021
The Bob Bufton run held on Sunday June 13th was very well supported and organised by the Worcester VMCC section. Around 30 bikes started from The Square Bromyard to Shobdon Airfield where there were around 100 fellow bikers and lovely weather
TuesdayJune 8th 11:00 - Brunch ride-in to the Woodlands Tea Room, Devil's Bridge. Great weather and the prospect of riding the wonderful Mountain Road from Rhayader brought out a good crowd and some interesting bikes
Wednesday May 26th - Breakfast at The Nest - Ledbury
A good crowd travelled far and wide to enjoy the sunshine
Some interesting bikes too
Report on the “Roof of Wales” ride – picture below
“Seven riders and a pillion (Tom Richards), trussed up like trawlermen tackled the ride. It was too wet and cold to get the camera out on the road, but we did make it in time for tea and cakes at the Unicorn in Llanidloes.”
Sunday May 23rd " The Roof of Wales"
Sunday 23rd May - “The Roof of Wales” ride – meet at Dom's Bike Stop, Stoke Prior Rd, Leominster HR6 0QJ at 10:00 for a 10:30 start A full day’s ride on some of the best roads that Mid-Wales has to offer, skirting the Elan valley Dams and then over the Mountain road toDevils bridge where we will stop at the Woodlands café for a quick lunch. Then on to the superb Nant-y-Moch reservoir road and back to Leominster viaStaylittle, Llyn Clywedog and Llanidloes where we will stop for tea and(fabulous) cakes at the Unicorn Hotel - 160 miles in all – our longest of the year. (about 95 from Crossgates – Crossgates) If you prefer, you can meet at the alternative start at Crossgate Services - Llandrindod Wells LD1 6RE, ready to move off at 11:30 .
Sunday May 16th - First Ever Trail Ride
Sunday May 16th - First ever trail ride. Despite the soggy ground and the depressing weather forecast, this was a resounding success. 19 Made it to the start, with another 7 choosing to cancel on the Saturday due to the muddy conditions and the dire forecast. There was a great mix of bikes including John Webb’s Enduro outfit and Pete Howell’s Lawn mower engine special. Paul Farley and his partner Maggie Smith, plotted and proofed a wonderful route taking in some of the best trails including the famous “Water-break-its neck”. Our thanks go to them for all their hard work and to John Munday and Geoff McGladdery, who volunteered to lead groups on the day. This will definitely not be the last of our section’s trail rides.
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Tuesday May 11th - Brunch Ride In, Cafe' Hafan, Tregaron
Tuesday May 11th - Brunch ride-in, Café Hafan, Tregaron SY25 6JL.. The weather saved its worst for hour when we were safely tucked under the porch at the Café Hafan! A handful of brave souls ventured out and were rewarded with an excellent day’s riding mostly in bright sunshine. A small group made their way home via Cwmystwyth and the café at the Elan Valley visitor centre. The minted lamb pasties come highly recommended!
Wednesday April 28th 2021 - Coffee Meet Pontrilas
THE NORMAN CONQUEST!
What a difference the weather makes!! After Sunday's massive turnout in the sunshine, just 3 hardy souls made it to Rachel's and one of them was in a van!
Martin Lyall and Alan Williams came on their wonderful 49cc Norman Nippys. Martin's - a 1959 pre-facelift model was just one year older then Alan William's nicely restored machine. Well done them and shame on you chocolate soldiers who hid behind the settee!
Sunday April 25th 2021 - Bromyard - Three Wheels Run
A few words on the TWOMW run “THREE WHEELS ON MY WAGON - What a grand day out. Sunny weather brought out more than 30 3-wheelers, bikes and a 4 wheeled Riley! There was a fantastic range of machines to admire, but strangely only 1 (proper) sidecar! Thanks to Granville Orange for some wonderful pictures”