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Offline redbikejohn

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Dirt bikes in wales -Second day (pics) NOW WITH ADDED VIDEO!
« on: September 23, 2006, 12:47:56 am »
Our Welsh Trip ? the second day.

For our second day I had planned an extended trip over the Gap Road, crossing over the Pentwyn Reservoir and down to the Talybont reservoir incorporating a short road section to the Grwyne Fawr route, but approaching from the rear and riding down the main rocky section.

Once again the weather forecast was a bit gloomy with heavy persistent rain expected for that afternoon. However it was supposed to be clear in the morning but the Gap road was veiled in clouds as per our trip in March.
Pete and Tyron shot off in the lead again and I followed taking it easy this time and enjoyed the views down into the valley on our left. In wasn?t long before we had caught up to Pete again!

Lovely shot of the leading up to the Gap


Pete having some trouble on a step


I overtook as I wanted to clear the actual gap section first so that I could film the others coming up with the camcorder as the remote microphone on the helmet cam had proved to be u/s on closer inspection the previous night (two wires broken off).
Only problem was that once again being a bit blas√?¬© proved to be my downfall, literary! I cleared the actual gap section no problem in March so was embarrassed to fall off in front of everyone (again).
Before I could walk back with the camcorder Andy and Scott had both made it look easy buy flying up the slope completely unruffled! Well as far as I?m concerned - if it?s not on film it didn?t happen! So we all had a few moments on the gap section J (oh I can hear gnashing of teeth and key board tapping now already).


Tyron about to start  his run up the Gap

The mountains were looking very picturesque what with the clouds swirling and billowing about our heads, revealing different sections of the mountainside as they moved. Lots of photos were taken but I just wish we could visit the gap itself when the sun was out! I?m sure the views down into the valley would be even more spectacular.

Scott posing for a few pic?s

We pressed on and after a mile or two came to the next item on the agenda, a deep gulley that cuts down into the mountainside. However it looked very different to last time in March. The path down into it had been flattened and turned into a road! Previously it was a steep side gulley itself and led down to a rock strewn river and the path climbing out the other side was a bit tricky. Now it was a walk in the park and I cruised down and up no problem. L I told everyone to hold off until I had the camcorder out and Mike decided to make it a bit a ?change day? by stopping in the river (a trickle today) and doing a standing start from the bottom. Now in March this would have been difficult but the powers that be have deemed fun and danger as ?illegal? so every one sailed up. It had quickly become England vs South Africa so I had to go back down and do it again, having done a rolling start last time. Luckily I did not let the side down and made it to the top just as easily as the others.


Pete being chassed by a group of wild KTMs just before the gulley!


Scott and Tyron ? mountains covered in cloud behind.


Scott looking very stylish riding  though the gulley.


RBJ being told to go back and do it again! No problem!

We set off down to the Pentwyn Reservoir and again I notice that work had been done to the track. Leave them alone, you?re spoiling everything!!!  What say we start a campaign to stop councils repairing dirt roads, less cost to them and more fun for us!
As we were skirting the reservoir I noticed that the water was staggeringly low. So low in fact that we stopped to take photo?s when we crossed over. There was even grass growing on the far slopes so it had been a while since it was full. Obviously this little valley of Wales does not get much rain!


John, Scott and Tyron ? low reservoir in background


After the photo?s we set off again following the RUPP up the hill on the other side and made our way though the Cwn Callan woods. Mike was in the lead and we were all riding along nicely until the track dropped away unexpectedly in front of Mike as water run off had cut into the surface. Unable to react in time Mike?s front wheel dropped into the gap and he was over the bars, but not before the end of the bar went though the opening of his helmet and smacked him in the eye! H jumped up immediately and put on a brave (if slightly bloody) face. The bike was surprisingly unfazed and we were quickly on our way. Half a mile on you come out into the open to start the boggy section called Bryiau Gleision, and I stopped so Mike called have a breather and compose himself. The shiner was already coming out at this stage!

Mike showing how the ground just opened up in front of him!


Black eye due to face / handlebar interface!


After a bit of poking fun at Mike, we continued downwards towards Talybont. I stopped for I bit to allow everyone to catch up and Scott came up last complaining that he just been cross rutted and although he did not fall off, his knee had caught on the rut bank and twisted it quite painfully.  He seemed ok so we pressed on, once again being really surprised how much dryer it was now than when we were hear last. At least the puddle that Scott went swimming in last time had dried out!
As the track continues on towards Talybont we turned left just before the path enters the woods. This was a small RUPP which doubled back down the hill through the woods and crossed the source of the reservoir. It did have too many annoying gates to open and close but it turned out to be a really nice little lane. On the way back up I kept everyone moving at a nice fast pace by telling guys to ride ahead and open the gates. Andy volunteered to take up the rear and shut the gates, which was kind of him.


Talybont reservoir also showing signs of the dry summer.


Mike on the Talybont dam wall

Again pictures were taken on the reservoir wall and as we pulled away I pulled a bit of a wheelie that sadly was not caught on film. Bit risky though as the drop down towards the right is fairly substantial, with only a flimsy wooden fence to guard the edge.
Then came the road section L, we travelled via Crickhowell were we stocked up on sandwiches and chocolates to have for lunch at the Grwyne Fawr Reservoir.
However boring the road part was it did give Scott a chance to try out his new lower gearing. Two teeth bigger on the back did not seem to slow it down at all as I had 90mph on the clock behind him! At the moment I?m running standard 14/50 gearing and to be honest why would anyone want to have a 90mph top speed on a dirt bike in the UK? I?ll get a 13 tooth front before I go out again.

Once at the start of Grwyne Fawr, Pete and Tyron took the lead with my last words ringing in their ears ?stop when you get to a nice scenic picnic spot so we can have lunch?.  I think they must have heard ?last back to the B&B buys the beers? as off they shot into the distance. Following on behind we stopped right next to the reservoir and unpacked for lunch, without Pete & Tyron who pitched up about ten minutes later wondering where we were.
During lunch Andy asked if you get jets flying low around here to which I replied that I was not sure but I supposed you do ? about two minutes later a Tornado tore up the valley and banked right next to us! Does Andy have super hearing or was it just one of those strange coincidences?
After lunch we carried on up to the top of the mountain and while not a challenging ride is does have a few enjoyable sections. Scott took up the rear as by now his knee was swelling up and restricting movement. To make things worse for Scott, on the last rocky section before cresting the rise, he caught a rock badly, fell and hit his head on another rock dazing himself for a while! It wasn?t his day!

What followed was the downward track on the other side, although this time we were going down and not up as I?m used to. It?s a lot more challenging going up but as I was linking this with the gap road it made more sense with less road work to tackle it from the other way. The journey down did not take long and while the scenery was fantastic I somehow feel that it lacked the excitement of coming the other way. Riding dirt bikes should have a bit of a challenge built into it so I felt a bit let down, plus it?s over too quick! Poor old Scott was getting a bit behind and was have to trail his leg by the side of him as the knee was so painful. Once at the bottom Tyron, Pete and I waited for Scott at the gate where a group of kids on some sort of school outing were gathered. Several of the kids started to call out ?do a wheelie?, so Pete went up and down a few times to cheers and applause! Ok I?ll show them how it?s done I though, mmm the grass was a bit more slippery that I thought and I nearly bind it so quickly road off as if I was supposed to do that! Showing off, a receipt for disaster without a doubt.

Going up the Grwyne in March had proved to be a bit of an epic, mostly as we were already knackered by the time we got to the rocks! Words cannot describe just how water logged and slippery the grassy section was. It was like ice, the merest touch of the throttle above idle had the back end spinning out all over the place and trying to go up the grassy slopes was almost impossible. Trying to explain that to everyone now I could see in their eyes that they though I was talking b*llocks!  Oh yes and lets not forget about us having to push a bike to the top due to a fried clutch! (see earlier report).

As the Grwyne Fawr had finished so quickly I thought we could do some more exploring so we turned left and a couple of non descript rupp?s and short sections of road work to get to another rupp by Heol Llygoden. We followed this down to Twynffrwd, crossed the A479 turning right just after Dolfawr and jumping onto another rupp at Blaenau-draw. Boy I?m glad I?ve got a map to refer to as these Welsh names are something else!
Anyway this rupp was really enjoyable as it was rutted single track with some twists and turns. We came up behind some horses, so politely waited for them to get out of the way. crossing a road a short while later the lane become even better and Tyron and I were riding along at a nice progressive pace (I was following) when all of a sudden I knew I was in trouble! A thick, mud filled hollow was right in our path and I spotted it too late ? Tyron gave it an extra big handful and roosted me good and proper! All I had time to do was lower my head so the helmet?s visor took what would have been in the face. I was covered in thick red mud that has stained my shirt! Tyron ? I?m sending you the dry cleaning bill!
Oh just remembered, when we were turning onto the A479 a couple of girls in a small hatchback came past hooting the horn and waving! Mike started to pull away but stopped to have a look but by now was out - IN THE ROAD! A van came past from the other direction and it was a bit close for comfort.

So it was back to Brecon via the A479 to Talgarth and then the A438 into Brecon itself. Looking at the time I realised that we still had time to get some more riding in, everyone agreed but where? As the sun was now shinning it suggested we head up the Gap again as I really wanted to get some photos in the good light.
We set off up into the mountains again and this time I was determined to make amends for the shoddy display of riding in the morning. Well if you want to see how it?s not done call me as I got stuck again! This time as the bike toppled over (at a standstill) my right leg stretched out and I felt something ?ping? at the back of the knee and immediately thought ?that did not feel good?. Got the bike to the top and thankfully was in no real pain so filmed the others coming up.
Anyway the rest weren?t any more stylish than I was as each one got stuck at some point or other, even Mike the hill climb expert!  Pete can always be relied upon to entertain the rest of us, and promptly flipped it right in front of me with the camcorder, so much so that in a panic to get way (I though bike was coming for me) I pressed the ?stop? button! Luckily I pressed record again straight away so managed to get the rest of the spill on tape!

Pete diving for cover!

Scott in the mean time was having a hard time of it, what with the leg and seeing double so I walked back down and took his bike up for him, easily clearing all the obstacles but whoever used the camcorder to film me, missed it, Pete was that you?!
Andy wasn?t there to show us how it was supposed to be done as the back wheel bearing on his bike was on the way out, so he had gone back to the B&B to change the wheel. Don?t do anything by half us lot you know. We had spare wheels, clutches, filters, oil, brake and clutch levers, brake pads in fact as long as you have a ktm you?re ok for almost anything! Ok no smartarse comments like you need to carry them!

Once we were all at the top, I realised that the clouds had come over again, doh! Still not managed to get that ?magic? sunlight shot.

We carried on to the gulley washout and then turned around as I could see everyone was tired but would not admit it! So all in all another great days riding!
Tyron and Pete had to drive back to London that night! Andy and Mike were due to ride on the Thursday with Scott and myself but a phone call from home stopped play and they headed back on Thursday morning. Which just left me with ?hop-along? Scott, who quite plainly was going nowhere on a bike as he could not even bend his knee! So it was home again for us too, a day early but still having had a great time.


Roll call of injuries:
Scott - torn tendons in the knee, needed to go to A&E on Friday
Mike - black and blue eye.
Pete & Tyron ? unknown but I?m sure Pete must have some bruises the way he falls off!
Andy - none, but since complaining of bruised arm? Didn?t fall off so must be roost.
John - leg/knee/calf area a bit sore and I should stay off mtb for a while I think but otherwise ok.

Roll on the next one, already got plans to grab a quick weekend by staying at my mum?s place in Hereford ? I can?t wait all that time until next year! I want it now!
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Kev

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Dirt bikes in wales -Second day (pics) NOW WITH ADDED VIDEO!
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2006, 11:25:22 am »
Very nice! Haven't the green laners shut all these roads down now?
 

Offline redbikejohn

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Dirt bikes in wales -Second day (pics) NOW WITH ADDED VIDEO!
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2006, 03:17:26 pm »
the gap road is only open march and sept.
the NERC bill was passed this year contary to all recommendations. some high profile lanes have been shut ie the ridgeway (section of it) but for the most part most byways are ok. strictly speaking RUPPs are supposed to now be 'restricated byways' but so far not many have been changed.
so there are still plenty of places left (in curtain areas)
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Offline redbikejohn

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Dirt bikes in wales -Second day (pics) NOW WITH ADDED VIDEO!
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2006, 04:23:53 pm »
www.redbikejohn.com check it out
 

Kev

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Dirt bikes in wales -Second day (pics) NOW WITH ADDED VIDEO!
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2006, 12:22:48 pm »
Quote from: "redbikejohn"

here's Pete Head Butting the rocks on the gap road!


Ag shame!  :(  :lol:  
 
I wonder if he could of saved it if he had actually been standing ont he pegs instead of sitting down?  :dontknow:
 

Offline redbikejohn

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Dirt bikes in wales -Second day (pics) NOW WITH ADDED VIDEO!
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2006, 08:43:36 pm »
'stand up' is what we do shout a him! Well Tyron normally shouts something that i can't repeat on this forum but it has lots of 'what the' with 'F' closely followed by 'are you doing' :lol:
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Offline Mark Hardy

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Dirt bikes in wales -Second day (pics) NOW WITH ADDED VIDEO!
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2006, 04:10:10 am »
Nice report and pics, thank you. Soory about your friend head butting the rocks but the video is  :lol:  :lol:  :twisted:
I've the hard way too, standing helps
 

Offline Welsh

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Dirt bikes in wales -Second day (pics) NOW WITH ADDED VIDEO!
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2006, 07:41:43 pm »
Cheers boys,
Know the area,

Welsh
They said Iíd be no good at poetry because of my dyslexia, but so far Iív made 3 pots and a vase and going well
 

Offline Lootch67

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Dirt bikes in wales -Second day (pics) NOW WITH ADDED VIDEO!
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2006, 05:25:05 pm »
Excellent. Wales sure is a beautiful place.
98 Black AT & the wheel from a 04 KLR 650.