Reports of 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 Lounge dropdown button above.
the photos use a slide show type of presentation, just click any photo to start there.

12th March
It 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.

3rd February
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. He said 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 Saturday morning.

“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 wall.

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 once. 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 her I'd 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 again. 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 happened.


29th January
AGM - 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.

3rd January
Another 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.  Next meeting is a noggin and natter on the 14th at the Llanharry club, with the AGM on the 28th.