On a damp but mild morning two riders left Bill Smiths Triumph and headed south down the A483 to collect three more riders at a McDonalds just south of Wrexham. The five riders then continued the short distance down to Oswestry before calling in at the home of a couple of riders (Thelma and Maurice) who'd generously offered the group some breakfast rolls and a hot drink. Delicious!!! Thank you both.
The now seven riders left Oswestry with full bellies and headed down the A483 to Newtown and then onto Crossgates petrol station via the dizzying bends. Having refuelled, paid a call of nature and stretched legs the group decided to push on to the lunch time stop in Talybont-on-Usk, just south of Brecon, calling in at the village Cafe/Stores (http://www.talybontstores.co.uk).
As the group prepared to depart the Cafe after lunch to begin the zig zag over the Brecon mountains to Llandovery, one of the riders commented how the weather had not been as wet as he'd thought it would be. Famous last words... The next 70 miles was a mixture of brilliant sunshine and torrential rain. Despite this, however, the views were magnificent.
At the top of Black Mountain before descending down to Llandovery the riders stopped at the Lower Car Park to take in the views. A couple of riders from Peterborough, one riding a new XRx, doing a few days tour of Wales pulled in just after the RAT riders stopped. Turned out they were following sections of our RAT routes from earlier in the year that are published on the motogoloco.com website. Small world :-)
Descending the Black Mountain the group came across a farmer on a quad bike with his sheep dog driving a couple of hundred sheep and lambs down the road for a couple of miles. Slow stop start going along the road delayed the riders half an hour or so.
The riders arrived at the super biker West End Cafe in Llandovery (http://www.westendcafe.co.uk), mildly moist from the early afternoon rain, but in fine mood.
After a drink and a rest, the riders filled up with fuel for the ride home and took the wonderful sweeping route via Newbridge-on Wye, Rhayader, Llangurig, stopping at McDonalds in Newtown for a final rest before the final leg of the journey home.
It was a long days ride of just over 300 miles for those riding from Chester (around 11 hours including stops) but all the riders enjoyed the ride and the route. The rain did not dampen spirits, neither did the prospect of having to deep clean the bikes of muck, flies and a smattering of sheep poo for good measure.
Till next time (the Lakes and Cumbria)...ride safe.