Wales trip

Two of my work colleagues (Chris and Ross) and I just got back from a motorbike trip to Wales. It’s been a fun weekend and we managed to cover 500 miles.

We left straight from work on Friday afternoon and headed down from Coventry to Wales via the A and B roads of Worcester and Herefordshire (past Hergest Ridge). We arrived at Llandindrod Wells shortly after 20:00 on Friday evening and checked straight into the guest house Ross had managed to book over the phone, before heading into Llandindrod Wells itself for an evening meal and a quick drink or two.

On Saturday morning we had a leisurely start, before heading off towards Aberystwyth on the A483, A470, then A44. The weather was great and the route was quite a fun one for the bikes, with a mixture of smooth and challenging curves in the road. Several other bikers were out in force – particularly the race bike crowd.

At Aberystwyth we stopped on the sea front and had an ice cream before getting back on the bikes and heading to Machynlleth (the ancient capital of Wales) on the A487. We stopped for lunch there and arranged accommodation in the area for the evening, then had a quick walk around the town and a pub rest before heading off further up the A487 to the Tyn-Y-Groes hotel in Ganllwyd, near Dolgellau for our evening meal. Once we’d filled ourselves beyond the comfort zone, we headed back down the A487 and slightly along the A493 to the Penmaendyfi Bed & Breakfast in Cwrt, Pennal, near Machynlleth.

Sunday morning was overcast and rainy as we set off on the A493 coastal road, which hugs the coast of Gwynedd up to Porthmadog, but the weather cleared up after an hour or so and the rain held off for most of the rest of the day. On the way up to Porthmadog, we stopped off late in the morning at Harlech for a quick coffee and look at the castle, albeit from the outside, before continuing up to Porthmadog for a refuel and sandwich stop.

Once we left Porthmadog on Sunday afternoon, we headed north on the A498 through Beddgelert and picked up the A5 at Capel Curig. Once on the A5, we carried on heading east, back into England, before hitting a massive queue of traffic around Telford. Thank God we were on motorbikes, as this allowed us to filter through the traffic, which was queued back on both sides of the road.

We arrived back at around 18:00 after a 500 mile round trip. The weekend seemed to last longer than just a weekend – probably due to the stops we took and the changing scenery. All the bikes behaved well, and Chris’ Suzuki 125 cruiser performed very well for a 125 and kept up the pace. My bike (a 1996 Yamaha Diversion XJ600S) was fully loaded with my GIVI top box and side panniers, but wasn’t adversely affected by the extra weight. Ross seemed to enjoy his new Honda CBF1000, which runs extremely smoothly and seems to hug the road.

The weekend gave us a real chance to fully test our Autocom noise-cancelling intercom systems, and aside from the fact that the speakers that come with the Autocom were absolutely unbearable for Ross and me (Chris seemed to have no problem with them in the model of helmet he has) and we ended up cutting them out, the intercom worked really well and was extremely useful.

A fun time was had by all and we’ve just got to work out where the next expedition will take us.

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