Well....my bank balance was finally....in the words of AC/DC`s Brian Johnson... "Back In Black".
I`d been badly overdrawn for about ten months after the building of a new garage at home,laying a new driveway,laying a new patio,a new side path and a new front path.
I`d done every last hour of overtime that was available and offered since Christmas and finally come out on the good side...no overdraft and money in the bank.
So....a sunny day.
A day off work.
And a new to me,(despite my sig line stable already being owned) recently bought Suzuki AN650 Burgman Executive sat in the new garage.
That`s that then.....a day out riding it`s going to be!!!
My new bikes are never truly mine until I`ve serviced them and until I`ve ridden my favourite roads on them....the Burgie didn`t need a service yet but my favourite roads beckoned.....so here we go.
The route is effectively the same as my Enfield 500 Ride Report from a year or so ago called 'Giving North Wales the Bullet' but I don`t think anyone who read that will mind revisiting the awesome Welsh scenery and some of you may not have seen it anyway.
Right then,time to kit up and get riding.
Here`s my new Burgie.
To get to Wales,the border of which is only about 20 minutes away,we`ve got to leave the Wirral Peninsula where I live ( a rectangular peninsula between Liverpool and Wales) and luckily there`s a fine selection of country lanes to choose from instead of dual carriageways or motorways.
Hmm....but shall we turn left or turn right......????
Left it was......and ten minutes later we`re whizzing along this lovely lane.
You can see it covered in ice and snow in some of my Ural Ride reports!
From here I rode to my oft visited Ponderosa brekky stop atop the Horseshoe Pass...again,featured in my Ural and quad Reports...but I forgot to take any photos today.
You`ll have to imagine how my bacon batch and mug of coffee looked like!
Anyway,we were headed to something very spectacular and a real favourite of mine.....the Pass of the Cross which is the highest road pass in Wales and thence over the moors to Llyn Efyrnwy (Lake Vyrnwy in English).
To get to this pass,you need to ride the single track lane around the South side of Lake Bala (in Welsh it`s Llyn Tegid !)...and today it was looking awesome with the still water and the reflections on it.
It looked so awesome that I kept stopping and gazing at it...I could feel all the weeks of extra hours overtime in my factory starting to lift off me and I could feel myself restoring from all the nice riding time that I`d put on hold temporarily.
The Burgman was riding great..really comfy and fun in the bends...and I was happy.
How could I not be happy with views like this ??
The railway visible is the tiny narrow gauge Bala Lake Light Railway.
Never ridden it...and must do one day soon!
Not sure who this weirdo is,mind......
Once you`ve just about reached the end of the South side of the lake,there`s a junction marked Machynlleth (dontcha love the Welsh language ? Sort of pronounced 'Mack Un Leth ' ) and when you take this the road narrows to exactly one Land Rover width with occasional grass down the middle...or loose gravel....and no runoff or verge,no safety barrier,and often no fence or posts at all!
Add to that free roaming sheep and lambs,and running water from the moors, and it makes for fun,fun fun...especially with hardly any passing places for oncoming vehicles.
Here`s the Burgie partway up...look at the height over the fields below.
Now you can really see just how high we were getting......look down!
I never,ever,tire of riding this route....I love it!
And what a fantastic day to enjoy such scenery....wow!
Once you`ve crested the Pass of the Cross there`s a massive 17% and increasing drop down a glacial valley officially known as Bwlch Y Groes but which I call the Cresta Run due to the effect of gravity accelerating you down it...beware there`s a 180 degree negative camber hairpin bend near the bottom!
And occasional free roaming sheep!!
It`s a gruelling and scary climb up,too.
My Enfield made lots of noise and battled its way up here,but the Burgie flew up like a magic carpet.
Here`s me on the Burgie at the top of the climb....photographed by a pedal cyclist who was doing the same route as me and who had cycled the Italian Alps which I thought I`d done well by riding a BMW R1100GS on a few years back!
From this point I took the rather technical,slightly taxing moorland single track over to Lake Vyrnwy....again only a single car width with blind crests, no verge,free roaming sheep,running water and loose gravel.
I love it but you can`t get complacent and have to concentrate fully....and I defy anyone to travel at over 40mph.
But why hurry anyway?
It`s beautiful....and an awesome riding experience.
Again...the Burgie coped just fine.
It did seem odd just sitting back,feet up and forward,and simply twisting the throttle,but it was so comfortable,so easy and so relaxed that I loved every moment of it.
Then we finally reach the lake...ride around either side...and arrive at the spectacular dam.
This dam was used in the original film of the Dambusters and even today you see and hear very low level jet fighters 'buzzing' the lake and the dam.
You can ride across the dam and do a complete loop of the lake.
Or in my case,cross the dam and turn left to the Artisan tea shop for a slice of apple and toffee cake with ice cream and a coffee!
Not before a very friendly Polish lady took a photo of me aboard the Burgie though.
Once across the dam I couldn`t resist taking a photo looking back to where I was in the previous picture....I took a self portrait here on my Enfield in the other report!
Apple and toffe cake with ice cream duly consumed....pleasantly washed down with a strong black coffee....and it was time to take a different but maybe even more thrilling route home.
This tree lined and very steep climbing section was fantastic....
It reminded me of my last European ride last May,through the Belgian Ardennes forest on my 750 Ural combo.
And then...the trees ended...the sun was dazzling...and we were in open moorland again.
All part of the Snowdionia National Park.
Simply wonderful...perfect weather...perfect roads..a great bike...hardly any traffic at all...and swooping bends with superb scenery.
It was like being on holiday...somewhere in the Alps.
But I was only about an hour from home!
Even the locals looked happy !
Yessir...not even "Wild Horses" could have stopped me going for a ride today!!!
Hope you enjoyed!