Author Topic: Welsh National Rally  (Read 164 times)

Offline Thrang

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Welsh National Rally
« on: 08.05. 2016 23:17 »

Welsh Rally Report.

The rain started after we had been on the road for about two hours, at first it was just that fine Welsh misty rain that leaves a delicious scent in the air when it stops... However as we approached the first manned check point it decided to turn very Welsh, and it was then I knew it was going to be a good day!

The Welsh National is a point to point navigation rally run by Clive MCC starting and finishing at Castle Caereinion in mid Wales. The rally consists of the start/finish control, along with 6 manned and 28 unmanned checkpoints through out Wales. The type of award you attain is determined by a set number manned (open from 10am to 6pm) and unmanned points which have to be visited between signing out at the start and returning before control closes at 11.30pm.  We had planned on a gold award, 12 unmanned points and 3 manned, but GPS failure combined with the weather and my first time rally goer team mates meant, we went home happy with a silver award. On the day we did 270 miles visiting 2 manned and 8 unmanned check points. 

My little team consisted of me (obviously) on the Bimbo my trusty R65ls, my wife on her new Harley Street, who's only been back on her own bike, after a five or six year break, for the last two months. An old Sunderland Polytechnic Motorcycle Club mate of ours Steve on his massive K1200LT who got interested in doing a Nav rally after seeing my posts on Facebook. The final member or our 'gang' was a mate of mine Ferrit who had entered the rally last year only to have the coils on his mid 1980's very customised Suzuki GS 550 fail the morning of the rally. This year however he said the GS was in fine form and other than a couple of teething troubles with a fuse box that did not want to close none of us had any mechanical problems.

Heading west then north even with the rain we were going great guns and even with the odd delay we were only about 15 minutes behind my timings to get a gold. That changed once the GPS packed up and I had to resort to my road map. Needing to follow the map my gold timings slipped enough that by the time we reached the second manned check point we were over an hour behind, and it was clear that the only way to make the gold would be go hell for leather. Since the idea is to enjoy the ride none of us wanted that, so we settled for a silver award. This meant we had more than enough time to take take the Llanberis Pass to Betws-y-Coed for an afternoon break of coffee and scones in the now pleasant sunshine.

Other than being a little thirsty the Bimbo ran like a singer sewing machine all day, although I did ask myself on more than one occasion how my simple flat twin evolved into the hulking great 1200GS's that kept flying past our leisurely convoy.  The route headed south to take in a couple of unmanned checkpoints before running out the Dovey Estuary and then up the magical coastal road to the Llyn Peninsular to pick up two more checkpoints before our second manned point a Caernarfon Airport. From the airport we headed into into Snowdonina and then on to Lake Bala before heading back to the start, which gave us an 11 hour 270 mile rally

Although the weather was rather Welsh, rain, sunshine and a thunder storm about ten miles for the finish for good measure we all had a good time, even the wife who had been more than a little apprehensive about her riding ability before we started. Much to my surprised she admitted that she would not be adverse to the idea of doing another one on her own bike- result! As an excuse to ride some of the best roads in the UK not a lot beats the Welsh National, and I can't wait until next year, so I can get that bloody gold!

What it was all for!

2013 BMW R1200r
1983 BMW R65LS
1956 A7 Shooting Star