Section Runs and Meetings for 2019
Reports are listed in reverse order i.e. newest first. They
will then be removed to the page called the 'previous year' on the
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is reported that four hardy motorcyclists turned out for the St David's
Day run. Geoff was on his bike, whilst Howard and Carol went in their
car with Rob Jones in the back seat - so it was decided to follow Geoff
home and to pick him up in the car, where-upon the four intrepid
motorcyclists then went to Llanthony Priory in Howards BMW for a Sunday
lunch before heading home.
This weekend just gone, our Barry based Reuters Correspondent decided to go
to the Dragon Rally with a friend called Geoff. Bruce was to ride his
400/4 Honda, fitted with an Avon fairing and Geoff was to use
a mid 50's SV Ariel VB. The agreement was
to meet at 8am on Saturday morning - Bruce takes
over the tale:-
Dear Bill, just got home at 13.45hrs. The CB400. What a bike
! What an undemanding, reliable servant, needing just fuel and regular
attention to oil and filters.
340 miles in total on the Sat and Sun. Always on the
button,ready to go.
As I rode into the riverside Dragon camping location just 2
miles from Betws y Coed , two people on seeing the Honda rushed towards
me. The first , a Frenchman clad in red jacket and matching bobble hat
asked if he could take a photograph , not of me but “ of the motorcycle”.
The second said to me “you made me all excited”. I can tell you Bill,
it’s a long , long time ago when last I heard those words. But
disappointingly, actually, his reference was to the bike. He had a new
red CB400 in 1975, registration commencing MNY, not that far from the HNY on my bike.
although his Honda registered after Sept carried a suffix of P and not
N. He only saw the NY part on my plate and thought it was his machine.
given the chance he would try to purchase his old bike if it were
possible. Anyhow I know you are not satisfied with anything less than
a full account so we go back to the start , about 8.15am in Barry on
“Precisely 8 o’clock I’ll arrive” said my pal.
Yes, I thought, and pigs might fly. He arrived 8.15am with a tale of woe. He had filled the
Ariel VB full of fuel the day before. He put it away but omitted
closing the fuel tap. The carb happily flooded overnight emptying 3
gallons onto the garage floor. He had to drain some fuel from another
machine to enable him to ride to the same garage to fill once more. Anyway, we
set off and the first breakdown, well sort of , occurred at Nantgarw.
His ammeter was fluctuating wildly. He pulled the wiring harness where
it entered the headlight. The ammeter needle steadied at zero. We
carried on to a lay-by on the A470, our route all the way to Betws. The
Alternator drive belt tension was checked. I
told him to switch off his lights because the rear is getting
dimmer and dimmer , so that means your battery is
going down and you need it for your coil ignition. He has been an auto
electrician and is now a general motor mechanic and doesn’t take advice
from a lay person like me, so he left his lights on.
I told him to reduce speed. 60 mph for an old sidevalve
Ariel May be too much . I told him to nurse it, knock the speed back to
50. We have plenty of time in hand. I might as well have spoken to a
There was another stop, awkward on a busy road with no place
to pull in. And then the prefinal breakdown in
Builth Wells. I had told Geoff of the garage/Greggs cafe 2 miles before
Rhayader, the half way point. There I said we can top up the fuel and
have a short break with a coffee and a bun. This I told him more than
He stops at a garage in Builth Wells. He is at the pump. I
pull alongside. “ What the f... you doing here ?” I say. “Isn’t this
the stop ?” he says. “Is this two miles from f...... Rhayader ? “ says
me. My patience, so far very good, is wearing thin. His bike refuses to start. He tries the pilot light to prove
battery health. There is no light, the battery is flat. He has a spare
battery in a pannier. It too is flat. In the 45 minutes we are stuck he
at last discovers that the dynamo feed to the ignition switch is not
connected. The wire has come out of it’s terminal. He rectifies this and
we connect up the Honda battery and his bike starts. Off we go again
along the A470 to Betws as arranged.
In Rhayader, he turned
off the A470 onto the B4518 signposted Llanidloes. (I had a look on
the return today to check road number and destination). I think that he
has a problem again and is looking for somewhere he can park and attend
to the bike, so I follow him but no, we come to another roundabout and
he turns right. Then I realise. He has a bloody SatNav on his
handlebars and it’s sending him a different way to our agreed A470 all
the way to Betws. I return to the A470 and continue to Betws y Coed. I
expect to find him there, grinning, having gone like hell and saying “
where you been?”. No, he is not at the checkpoint or at the camping. I
have to put up the four man tent by myself in the bucketing rain.
I phone Dianne at three ( I arrived at 2) to tell
arrived safely but without Geoff. She says that she knows that Geoff is
not with me because he has phoned her to tell that the Ariel has seized
, he has had his final breakdown and he is awaiting the recovery lorry.
He phoned her earlier today to ask if I have arrived home yet, I
hadn’t, and then told her that he got home at 3am, yes 3am in the early
hours of today.
On two journeys previously his behaviour has
been identical. I reckon that i shall never ever go anywhere with him
The times before the rally I said to him “the A470 all the
way to Betws”. The times before the rally I said to him “ use your GS BMW,
it will be far more reliable than the Ariel “. There is an old saying “
he who travels fastest, travels alone”. Very true.
The Dragon with your memory of how it used to be would
disappoint you. Full of middle age and older yobs. My last time has
- attended by a disappointing number of only 18 members. Anyway, it was
all over with in 25 minutes with the same crew elected as the
section committee - see the office page.
good turn out at the Victoria Inn for the 'Day after New Years Day'
run. Some 24 members, along with over 10 bikes turned up.
meeting is a noggin and natter on the 14th at the Llanharry club, with
the AGM on the 28th.