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Old 06-08-2008, 07:01 AM   #1
MarkN OP
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UK AVDRider Novice Rally - Wales 2008

What a fantastic time and in no small way this was down to Rich, Gaz, Garry, Nick and Jason (sorry if I'm unaware of anyone else who helped out).

To all the above people I'd like to say THANK YOU for making the weekend such a good one.

My pictures are currently uploading and I'll start writing my report as soon as they have.

I hope everyone else that attended will add their comments and their pictures to the thread as I'd love to see them.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:41 AM   #2
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I left home at about 9.30am on Friday morning and as it was a nice day I thought I'd take my time, enjoy the roads and the ride on my way to Rhayader, Wales where the rally was being held.

I stopped for petrol about 50 miles away from Rhayader and promptly fell off of my bike The side stand is sprung loaded and as I got off the bike rolled forward, the stand came up and man and machine landed in a heap next to the pump, thankfully, there was no one there to take the pictures but there was a chap who came and picked the bike off of me

After a few more miles I stopped for coffee and cake in Cwmdu at a very nice cafe I know and from my table in the window I saw a few other riders go pass, fools! This cafe sells really good home made cakes.

When I finally got to the campsite it was almost 3pm, so I paid my money 15 for two nights and found Rich (The White Rabbit) already putting his tent up, there were also a few others there as well and most of the next hour or so was spent meeting friends I had never met!

The campsite was in a perfect position next to a stream and it seemed wrong not to pitch the tent next to the stream.



A few others also had the same idea.

We then spent the evening in a local pub, passing the time, drinking, eating and getting to know each other.

The following day was an early start due to the fact that we had shared a cold night and everyone was glad to see the sun come up.

We were met with a beautiful day for riding and a heavy dew on the grass

More people had turned up the previous evening



After a briefing we split into two groups, "novices" and "intermediate", I chose the novice group, hoping for an easy but enjoyable day. I wasn't going to be disappointed.

There was 19 in out group which was lead by Rich and we were supported by Jason who acted as sweeper all day and I know that some were grateful for his help later in the day.

We had a road ride of about 25 miles to the first trail and stopped for some fun at a quarry.





We stopped after the first trail and we waited and waited for the rest of the group to catch only to learn that on the previous bit of road one of the group had layed his bike down quite badly and was receiving help.
It was a nice place to stop though

Finally they started to come down the hill

and we were once more all together

It was then time for our next trail.



and time for another breather

I'm sorry that I don't have more pictures of the trails themselves but I seemed to spend all my time trying to stay on the bike, I know that a few others have a few pictures though
After lunch it was time for something slightly more tricky with long rock climbs and lots of shale and gravel



Todd gives his Super 10 the full Dakar look







It was also time to sit and talk - Max and Kerry deserve a mention here as they did it all two up, and never falling off. Some great riding Max and if you had balls Kerry, they'd be made of solid rock





Just one last stop before heading back to the campsite

We could see that even with all the recent rain the lakes were still a bit low on water.

I finally made it home after a great weekend

Again, thanks to all those that made it happen, it was a real pleasure to meet everyone and ride with everyone. I hope we get the chance to ride together again soon.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:00 AM   #3
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Hi Mark; sorry we didn't get to chat, though I think I was riding behind you on some of those trails. I'll post up some pics in a bit, and/or add another RR.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:07 AM   #4
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Awesome ride, report and pics and a lovely place to camp!!
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ray_rev
Hi Mark; sorry we didn't get to chat, though I think I was riding behind you on some of those trails. I'll post up some pics in a bit, and/or add another RR.
Ray, really sorry to learn about your bike, I know that you were behind me on the rocks and then you weren't. I saw your bike come back in the van last night but thought you might have other things on your mind than me coming over! Hopefully, we'll get the chance to meet and ride together again in the future.

Hope the bike gets fixed soon.

Cheers
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:35 AM   #6
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No worries Mark. She's dead though; have to strip and rebuild, starting with new frame and wiring loom:

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Old 06-08-2008, 10:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkN

To all the above people I'd like to say THANK YOU for making the weekend such a good one.
Also big thanks to Matt and friends who did a great job helping out hugely in the middle of the pack on day 1 and putting on some entertainment on day 2 . Hope to see you all again at some point soon.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:46 AM   #8
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Stars of the weekend though were Ray


Ray gives it some

and Stef
(sp?)


a pic that, for me, sums up what the weekend was about

who did fantastically as novices to offroad, and in Stefs case to biking . Hope to see you both on the trails again .

Very sorry about the bike, Ray. It did happen on the gnarliest section though although I hadnt really intended us to go that-a-way never mind, eh.

Another Tenere had some modification this morning , I did see it progressing near to Abergavenny while I was having a coffee so finger's crossed Todd makes it home safe. No more smoking Tenere's for a while, I hope.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:49 AM   #9
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I was unfeasibly excited about this wekend, and felt very ADVish in my cheap but cheerful gear:


Me, a heavy super tenere, and some protective gear: carnage ahoy!

I met up with Alisdair (gingermonkey) at Manchester Airport and we headed across the M56 and M53 before cutting down into Wales on the A483.





In fact the tail-end of the A483 was so twisty-tastic that we missed our turn-off for Rhayader and ended up taking another 30 miles to get there. Todd (Todd5774) - who had been swiped by a car driver just hours before, had beat us to the campsite and was ready with his purposeful looking S10:



Todd and his one-off 'I'll kick your ass on the rocks' S10. It had to be bump-started all day, but she could really fly when the rider was firm..

[Continues..]
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the white rabbit
Stars of the weekend though were Ray and Stef (sp?) who did fantastically as novices to offroad, and in Stefs case to biking . Hope to see you both on the trails again .

Very sorry about the bike, Ray. It did happen on the gnarliest section though although I hadnt really intended us to go that-a-way never mind, eh.

Another Tenere had some modification this morning , I did see it progressing near to Abergavenny while I was having a coffee so finger's crossed Todd makes it home safe. No more smoking Tenere's for a while, I hope.
You're too kind, Rich. Just felt a bit of a pillock for holding people up due my off and the ensuing problems with the bike.

Hope Todd gets back OK; I can't believe he even turned up, all things considered
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:07 AM   #11
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As MarkN says, Night 1 was spent in the Crown Inn (and most of Night 2 actually). Very comforting atmosphere; me & Sophie will take a trip down to Rhayader again and use their B&B facilities:



Stef (left) and Alasdair. Steff came a cropper 6 or 7 times and had a huge smile on his face by Saturday night. He's only been riding 12 weeks and brought his Africa Twin to the Rally. Respect!! Alasdair flew around everywhere on his AT, he took to this like a duck-to-water. The big mallard.

Me and my ManBag: I must be more careful where I put my thumb..



Don't mess with Todd's forearms; they're boa constrictors I tell ye..


Up Next: the 'Novice' trails: mud, dirt, gravel, rock (big ones), water, and um, grass.

Not that I have a lot of pics. I was too busy hyperventilating and head-butting cudd when I was getting spat off the Super10..
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ray_rev
Alasdair flew around everywhere on his AT, he took to this like a duck-to-water. The big mallard.
Remember that comment for later, please
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:15 AM   #13
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Well just got back, she ran like a dream after this mornings electrical gremlins!

Although i do have a serious case of monkey butt.

Have to say a big thankyou to Rich and everyone else for organising this weekend absolutley first class! Well done!

Also a big thankyou has to go out to all the people who helped push start my bike throughout the day and to Jason? Who swept the trail and made sure i didnt get left behind, and apologies to everyone else when i left the bike running when all you wanted was abit of piece and quiet.

Will post up the few pics i took abit later, off to soak in the bath!
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:19 AM   #14
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Top: The S10 and Alasdair's 1992 Africa Twin.
Middle: Matt gets ready to help Todd bump-start the beast
Bottom: She lives!!

For some daft reason I was awake at 5am. Campsite looked great in the morning mist though. So we got the bikes sorted and headed out for a spot of breakfast and the meet-point for a 10am start to the day.





Matt and Todd break bread together: I was already getting nervous..


Pasties made out of 100% fossilised brontosaurus toes..


Rhayader's central clock tower and War Memorial..



Rich & Jason conduct the briefing; these guys deserve a huge pat on the back..
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:38 AM   #15
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After 20 miles of twisty B-Road we reached the Quarry; this is the view back to the valley we'd just ridden through.


You can make out a KTM (525?) having fun across the quarry walls..


The riders looking back are discussing Jason's R1200GS Adv, which has just taken a tumble down a steep embankment of scree..


Jason's 12GS: after a few minutes fiddling with cable-ties it was good to go..


The only photo I have of the morning's trails after the quarry: Stef's AT is stricken ahead, and he's getting help from fellow ADVers to get it out of the mud
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