ABR Shropshire Rally Picture and report thread.

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James691
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ABR Shropshire Rally Picture and report thread.

Post by James691 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:39 pm

I'm just back in and having washed and WD40'd the VStrom I thought I had better open a thread to say thank you for a wonderful weekend, full of character, adventure and fun!

I will do a fuller ride report after a bath and post up the pictures - what a great bunch of riders that turned out and my jaw is still aching from laughing.

James :)
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Re: ABR Shropshire Rally Picture and report thread.

Post by Stevied » Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:48 pm

Hi Guys
Sorry i didn't camp, although it did look a bit cold Sunday morning!
had a great day, excellent ride out, seen a few new places.
Had a good blast home, even in time for dinner!
Defo camping next time.
Steve

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Re: ABR Shropshire Rally Picture and report thread.

Post by jonperry64 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:13 pm

Would like to add my thanks too. As ever - a great bunch of ABRs. Excellent campsite and rideout - thanks for organising. And thanks for the jump start on Saturday morning (I'm referring to the bike, although I think I could have done with one as well). Re, campfire banter on Saturday night "Remember, what happens in Bishops Castle stays in Bishops Castle." (Courtesy of The Hangover).

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Re: ABR Shropshire Rally Picture and report thread.

Post by jellyfinger » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:36 pm

just about warmed my fingers up enough to type. Great weekend, thanks to everyone that helped to organise it. Looking forward to the next one.

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Re: ABR Shropshire Rally Picture and report thread.

Post by luckiegar » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:43 pm

first time to one of these rallies , had a great time glad i could help with route , thanks to all , and cheers James for organising it , cant wait for next :laugh:

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Re: ABR Shropshire Rally Picture and report thread.

Post by special one » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:05 pm

Was it road riding only or a few lanes too?
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Re: ABR Shropshire Rally Picture and report thread.

Post by johnzxr750 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:34 pm

Evening gents what an excellent weekend.as i was last to leave being the slowest to get uplol.it warmed up and had sunshine alway back. did a mini mystery tour on way back via tenbury wellls bromyard the malverns and home and all back roads nice.then had lost one of my garage padlock keys so had to get the grinder out to get bike in oops there goes the oxford discloc...will stick up my limited pics tmrw when i use the computer....again great weekend good company good riding and roads and many laughs...will be revisiting some of those roads again.see you again soo cheers j :woohoo:

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James691
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Re: ABR Shropshire Rally Picture and report thread.

Post by James691 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:06 am

[center]Shropshire Shananigans. [/center]

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It has been a cold and dreary few weeks with some funky and unpredictable weather! Snow storms out of the blue and then lashing rain that seems to be followed by intermittent sunshine. So I had no idea what the Feb ABR rally was going to bring but I did know that it was going to bring the best of human nature out in whomever came along.

It was looking a quite affair and with the weather as it was who would blame them? There was also the MCN weekend event on down South that many people book in advance. The party was none the less for numbers that pitched up, I laughed until I cried and my jaw hurt. Here is how it went.

Get Going.

Packed up and the usual fight with bungee cords before hitting the roads down from Lancaster towards Bishops Castle. The roads are nothing special and the main route down into Wales before poking back out into England again.

We are right on the border and the town, not village as we are informed that the place has a Mayor and a Town Clock, is picturesque, nestled in the middle of some odd formations of lush green hill tops.

Bishops Castle is home to the oldest brewery in England and the lads all had a sample of the beer on the Friday night. When I arrived there were only two other riders that and it looked like it may be a sparse affair indeed. As the day went on more and more turned up until we had double figures and plenty of handshaking going on.


The camp is rather exposed but the weather gods are being more than generous to us, they must be bikers also, we always seem to get away with good weather. Of course there is the exception that proves the rule and Ullapool was that exception. Hot showers and toilets on the camp and as much room as we wanted.

Let’s all go down the pub.

As mentioned, Bishops Castle has the oldest brewery in England and just a half mile stole to the town. All down hill and we made light work of the plod and end up in the Three Tuns. Busy for a Friday night in a small arse town but we get served quick enough and settle in for some chat. We do not really know where we are going tomorrow, other than we will be going, no one really that fussed and a few ideas are marked about. I want to get over this Bur Way, reported as one of the steepest roads in the UK and from there then it is down to the group.

Plenty of chat about racing days of old and carbs Vs injection for tours. Each man having his own opinion on the matter and where to go with the said engine of choice. One rider is looking at heading over to Mongolia but for tomorrow we shall settle for a good breakfast and a tour of Shropshire.

The walk down was bliss, the walk back was hell! The youngest of the group is 36 and the oldest is still able to join the WWII honour parade I think! Almost halfway up the first hill back to camp and the banter turns to a heavy breathing phone call competition. Paramedics on standby and ‘oh my god has this town not got a taxi?’.

A rather frosty nights sleep - in my seriously over sized tent - I had been working on imperial when I bought it and it turns out that 2 metres high and 4 metres long is a lot bigger in reality than on the internet.

What’s the story morning glory.

We are up, we are sober and we are ready to rock and roll! Well, we are when all the bikes start that is - god bless the Triumph Tiger and those frosty starts.

First things first and we set off for a cooked breakfast and a coffee at Harry Tuffins! A supermarket, a petrol station and a café that does the traditional breakfast for £2.99 - bargain!

As planned, we head out down to The Port Way and the Bur Way. Back lane heaven and the track is sealed but broken in places to add a bit of funk. It took the pace slow as I figure the tyres are going to be cold and we have a Moto Guzzi in the mix having a pop at the ride.

The Port Way takes you up, dramatically up, I’ve only seen this sort of climb on the Hardknott pass before. The sign at the top states 25% climb and there is no barrier on the left as you climb, a bit of target fixation here will see you and your bike bouncing down the hill for quite some time. I’d not take this on in the snow or ice but the ice had gone and the reader on the Vstrom was at 4 degrees in the plus.


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Stopping to have a look at the gliders taking off and of course a smoke, we think about where to go next. Gary steps up with some great ideas about a rally location that we are camping at later in the year, Rhayader.

We took the Bur Way over to the Carding Mill Valley and the Shropshire Hills and we’re treated to the amazing view of looking down into the valley and over the tops of the hills as the snake of brake lights cut into the landscape. There are plenty of walkers and there are plenty of sheep - both tend to share the IQ and you have to take care on the bends - yes it is a tarmac road but we all know that a walker sees all as a footpath and they do make a right mess of your headlights with all that tweed - so ease down on the throttle.

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More to follow.
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James691
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Re: ABR Shropshire Rally Picture and report thread.

Post by James691 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:12 am

Off to Wales, isn’t it!


Off to Wales it is and Gary takes the lead with some ideas on the back on the roads. What a fantastic ride over we had, some almost dirt tracks and back lanes galore, a few sweeping bends to blow the cobwebs out the engines. Of course we all slowed down to the limit of 30 for the towns for the good name of motorcycling.

There are a few bikes out and about also, the odd nod and wave and now the sun is actually shining! Dry roads make for more fun in general and the mood is light and breezey with Gary at the helm. I have the details in the Zumo and take the tail end Charlie for the ride.

Stopping for some lunch Moto Guru (Motor Guzzi) advises that his front wheel is making some noise - there are 3 trained mechs in the group and bunch of tools is produced in matter of seconds. ‘Oh that wheel has got to come off!’ is heard and then like ants despatching a grasshopper on the discovery channel, the wheel is clinked and clunked and off. A large cheer as we find an entire bottle of Lilt is lodged up the front mud guard! A whole burnt into the middle for that totally tropical taste and the noise is heard no more. Got a broken bike? Get on an ABR Rally and complain about a noise - it’s like watching a Formula One pit change as the mech addicts get their fix. ‘What’s that!?! Something not working!?! Thank Christ for that - stand back I’m a Mechanic!!!’. Your Honda C90 will end up with 150bhp and a pair of TKC tyres to match.

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Damn beautiful Dams.

We have taken the B roads into the Elan Valley and stopped at Pen Y Garreg one of the fice man made lakes that provide the drinking water for Birmingham. Pen Y Garreg is the smallest holding around 6000 mega litre capacity, the largest holds over 48,000 - that’s a lot of toilet flushes but due to the high curry ingestation of Birmingham that may account for the need of 5 lakes!

There is always a natural awe of riding past lake and forest and the high tree line that towers over your machine as you drive past the bends and into nature always leaves a smile on the face. You would be hard pressed not to enjoy this, even the most miserable of sods would be forced to give a grin.

Take your time and look around, enjoy the sights of tonnes of water gushing over hard rock and the light pine scent of the forest rising to greet you. The place is awash of hues of greens and browns that mix, blend and contrast for as far as the eye dares to see.

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We did stop at one dam that you ride over that also has a cheeky little side road, it is labelled a dead end. I’m advised that it runs for about 10 miles and comes out at Devil’s Bridge, hard compact rock and gravel but about 200m at the end if private and rather than take the chance of pissing off the locals we headed on our way through the valley.

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Homeward bound.

Time has caught the intrepid bunch and we are heading home, again with Gary at the helm. Heading off we take a sharp side road and I’m greeted as the TEC with grey sloppy mud that can be seen to take a sharper left and up a hill out of view. Where the hell is Gary going? I’ve no idea but the MotoGuzzi went up so I was too!

Brocken rock, mud and shale on this steep climb and about 8inch of tarmac in the middle to balance your way up. Peaking over the eventual top you meet a steep, wet and muddy decline and in first gear a dab on the rear break sees the ABS kick in, glorious!

At the base we have all made it down and over the bridge, there is a ford but it is very green and the air is getting rather cold. No one braves a wet legged ride back, me included.

More to follow.
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Re: ABR Shropshire Rally Picture and report thread.

Post by James691 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:15 am

Back at the Ranch.

Home again, home again, jiggery jig. On the way back some of us cut off to see if the café is still open and we cut up and over a few under cared for tracks to the main road. I’m taking the lead now and at the junction I slow, the ride forward but spot a car out of the corner of my eye on the left and shove on the breaks. Meanwhile, Taff has seen me ’go’ and shoots off in hot pursuit only to find when he comes back from the lifesaver that I’m still static at the junction!

Whack!! Right in the back of the leg. Taff maintains his balance and due to quick reactions has banked his bike hard left to avoid a full on mounting of BMW on Suzuki. He is now in the middle of the road and trying to get off his bike as fast as possible to see if I’m OK. I’m throbbing in the left leg a tad but nothing to bother Matron and more worried about Taff’s bike in the middle of the road. Profusely apologetic, there is a big hug and lots of ‘I’m fine, I’m fine…..get yer hands off my arse and stop hugging me’.

I felt worse for him than my leg as I knew he was beating himself up inside but it was an easy thing that can happen to anyone - plus I got a free kebab out of it later on!

The café is shut, after all that, we head down to the town for the Chippy and I get a free ‘sorry’ kebab off Taff. Having a laugh with the Fella and Lady that run the place. One is a Greek Cypriot and the other a Turkish Cypriot - on the other side of the counter is a Welshman, an Irishman and an Englishman eating - nice when we all just get along.

Fire Time Tales.

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No one is up for the pub or rather the Everest base camp walk back from the pub and so we get the fire going, pull up the camping chairs and have a natter.

What a laugh - all you need is mates, beer and fire and you have it made. The simple things in life help to remind us that it is not that complicated and it does not need to be that hard to live your life and to do so in harmony with others.

The topic of conversations had us all laughing in that genuine boisterous belly laugh - as for the actual topics and details…. None of your business, for that you have to come to a rally - what’s discussed around the fire stays with the fire.

Gentlemen (and I hope Ladies next time) it has been a privilege and an honour to share ride and fire with you.
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