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|Borth or Bust, by Les Gray.|
The longest day of the year (and boy did the WACC'ers need it) we head off into a head wind on a 150+ miles trip. Will we get there? Of course we did.
This is the short story of our long moped trip to Borth and back. A bum numbing 300 mile round trip over a 3 day weekend in June 2003.
Every current member of the WACC'ers went on the trip and the line up and statistics where as follows;-
Paul, Our leader
1964 Raleigh runabout.
Laurie, Our moral support and navigator.
1961 Motobecane AV89
Mike, Our host.
Puch MSV50, and scooter
Pete, Our host, house keeper and van driver.
Ford Transit, back up fuel tanker, and a part time spell on Mikes bikes
Les, (My god why am I here.)
155 miles ONLY, only made it one way.
The plan for the trip was conceived in the pub on those dark winter nights when the reality of actually having to do it seems so far away, that one could easily believe one would not have to actually do it.
Unfortunately the time to do it came round and as is befitting with a trip of this magnitude it all starts at the crack of dawn fuelled up and raring to go at Paulís house in Solihull West Midlands. 7am.
We were out on the road at last ( no one else was ) and after about half an hours riding we stopped at our first pub albeit closed.
We set off again. Nothing had fell off the machines or riders for that matter and we had begun to settle into the convoy system with the van at the rear. It was not long before we arrived at our first refuelling stop for a full English at Tenbury Wells. Our navigation systems were functioning well, full satellite navigation electronics set to steer us away from all main roads and worth considerably more than the bike that it was affixed to. GPS controlled Mopeds. Sad but true. However this did enable us to travel 150+ miles through the lanes. Yes very few short tempered drivers. Magic, in fact so good Laurie was indicating before we could see the turnings ahead.
The machines buzzed on and on and after only 8 hours in the saddle we had reached the mountains of wales. The bikes were pushed to the limits on the Welsh mountain passes, riders working their machines to extract every fraction of the 1.5 horsepower or so. See the actual route at the end of this article.
After what seemed like hours of down hill travel we arrived at the famous AA box at Horseshoe pass. We called the AA from the box to tell them we did not need them and continued for the last leg of our journey to the coast, and it was not long only another 4 hours before sea and our home for the next two nights was in sight.
We soon settled ourselves into our rooms in our Home, The peace and tranquillity was stunning after a day of listening to moped engines, a quick wash and brush up and we were off out to eat and then to the Friendship Pub. Friendly lot of locals we found, Exhausted though we were we still found the energy to be part of the after hours lock in.
My room overlooked straight onto the beach, and to wake to the view and sound off the sea was stunning, I knew then I did not want to go home at all (and certainly not on a moped).
That morning we had a surprise visitor, a regular we were told afterwards, a blackbird, raven or was it a jay, not sure but very tame as it came in though the window at about 7 am and through the house to give Laurie a very unusual wake up call. This is the first decent looking bird Laurie has had in his bedroom for years.
We had breakfast on the patio above the beach, with Laurie's new girlfriend. The House is very well decked out in a Victorian style and after breakfast we went off to a car boot sale where Pete bought more Victoriana for his collection and then we went off to Aberystwyth for lunch.
Now no one will own up to the idea of what we did next, but we ended up leaving the van near Aberystwyth and taking what was reputed to be the short walk over the coast path back to the house at Borth.
It turned out not be short, several miles and several hours in fact, requiring frequent rest stops. In fact the rest stops look like scenes from the television series last of the summer wine, don't you think?
Now no one can we are adventurous especially when it comes to culinary matters, we collected fresh cockles on the return walk and purchased a whole lobster from a fisherman in Borth.
The walk proved that exhausting we stayed in for our meal that night. Laurie and Paul seasoned WACC'ers that they changed the rules again and decided that evening that evening that they were going to ride back the next day (nutters).
Les and Mike decided to go home in style a la Ford Transit and Pete went even one better and stayed on in Borth to play golf for the rest of the week. There were some great views on the way home.
Now , here is the big question to be decided by the Jury, Paul's moped broke down several times on the return journey as the result of a crank Circlip coming free, necessitating several road side repairs. There has been a great deal of speculation as to weather this was caused by a faulty weak Circlip or was it due to
vehicle preparation prior to the trip?
After considering all the facts and information surrounding the issue, conclusions were drawn as follows:-
Paul- Due to a Weak Circlip.
Les- Due to Poor preparation.
Laurie- Blatant disregard towards vehicle condition and last minute panic.
Peter- Due to Lack of basic maintenance.
Mike- Due to total disregard to proper preventative maintenance routines.
Paul's Wife- Due to not wallpapering the front room.
President of the National Auto cycle Club, summing up, - If it had not been for the foresightedness of Paul's fellow club members in carrying appropriate tools and spares to assist Paul in his self made predicament, Paul could still be stuck with the sheep out on the welsh mountains.
Too complex to explain here, let's just say I was 150+ miles of lanes and B roads. Sure beats the motorway!
COME JOIN THE WACC'ers.