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Old 18-07-2019, 11:43 AM   #1
twowheeler
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Default Slow Road through Wales to the Isle of Man

To graduate from New Marshal status to a plain ordinary Marshal at the IOM TT & ManxGP, besides attending mandatory training courses, you need to earn 10 points on your Marshal Association account (IOMTTMA - google it, anyone can be a marshal). 1 point is allocated for every practice session attended, and 2 points for a race. I’d only accrued 3 points in 2017 due to a short stay and a couple of bad-weather cancellations, so this year I booked 10 days on the island which would be more than enough to be able to swap my L-plate yellow ID card for a white one. Or so I thought .....




With only a 2 week ride window on this trip I rented a bike instead of buying/selling one like in 2017 – http://www.austouring.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6285.
In the questionable spirit of going the whole hog and getting a fully-dipped immersion, I booked a Ducati Multistrada 1260S from a rental firm in Woking, London.

A summary of my renting experience is on page 6 & 7 in this thread – http://www.austouring.com/forum/show...?t=6391&page=6 .


First though, a short family holiday, starting in Polruan, Cornwall –




where we breathed-in along the main road into town -




and did some beautiful walks -




before choofing off to Portsmouth to catch an overnight ferry –




to Brittany, staying in Rennes. -




Ned Flanders' ancestors clearly come from around here -




After a few days, champing at the bit , I left the family to it at 5am one Friday morning, caught a train, walked across Paris –




then caught more trains and did more walking to get to Woking. My planning for connections didn’t anticipate UK holiday-weekend crowds, which rippled back to Paris, so the magnificent plan on paper soon fell apart . By the time the rental paperwork and bike familiarisation was done, it was 4:30pm before I set off for Wales into full-blown Friday arvo London traffic on a new-to-me, fire-breathing-until-warm, almost-zero-rear-brake (they’re all like that sir), vlarge-insurance-excess 1260cc Ducati.

Melbourne peakhour has nothing on London, but not in the way I was expecting. Melbourne is all aggro with stressed drivers owning their piece of road while staring at their phone or checking they’re not doing 1kph over the speed limit lest they die or get fined a squillion $. London (& the UK in general) was all courtesy. WAY more cars and trucks jammed onto their roads, but most actually moved over to let me split or overtake, some gave little waves or head nods, it was really quite enjoyable .

5 hours of heavy holiday traffic later, I arrived in Dolgellau ("dol-geth-loo") in deepest darkest Wales -






More to come ...
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Last edited by twowheeler; 19-07-2019 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 18-07-2019, 12:06 PM   #2
Crustyvarmint
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Default Re: Slow Road through Wales to the Isle of Man

I feel another fantastic story coming.
Looking forward to this. Thanks Peter.
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Old 18-07-2019, 01:03 PM   #3
twowheeler
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Default Re: Slow Road through Wales to the Isle of Man

Relaxed the next morning by attempting to climb Cadair Idris.

Through local farmland and forest -



past Gwernan Lake -




then up. Increasingly low cloud then rain put paid to any idea of scaling the steep ridge to the Cadair Idris summit, but getting as far as the lake at its base, Llyn Gader, was worth the effort -








Trudged back to the B&B to rug up, - it might be nearly summer but it was bloody freezing - pickup the bike and go ride some local roads. The GOR-like road near Llwyngwril -




Looking up the Mawddach Estuary with its Barmouth Viaduct -




The next day I had to be at the Liverpool docks by 6:30pm for the evening IOM ferry. Liverpool isn't that far in a direct-ish route from Dolgellau, but I had a big day out planned, meandering all over mid and north Wales. But at 10am I was still standing in the shed where the bike was parked, shivering despite full thermals , willing the rain, which had been going for hours, to lessen a smidge. It was absolutely drumming down, deafening even on the slate roof .

Shortened the planned route a bit, then got out and sloshed through Wales. I couldn't remember nor workout how to lower the Multistrada's full-power mode to Rain mode - even youtube didn't cover the crucial keystroke - so it stayed in full-whack 158bhp mode throughout .

At Cwmystwyth, where friendly folk at a cycle-race aid station raised my core temperature with free hot coffee and cake -




Then onto the unclassified Elan Valley road, which a Welsh mate put me onto. Highly recommended -







Penygarreg -





Then followed a roundabout route. The Carno wind farm from the B4518 -




Then dialled in the satnav to take me to Liverpool, which took me to the Runcorn bridge which of course was closed for works this weekend. Of course it was . Signor Satnav could not be dissuaded so thank god again for paper maps to see me over the Mersey to the docks. The sun came out -




The Manannan, proudly built in Tassie -




Excitement in the air -




Note bike from Latvia - there were people from all over -




More to come ...
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Last edited by twowheeler; 20-07-2019 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 18-07-2019, 05:05 PM   #4
glitch
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Default Re: Slow Road through Wales to the Isle of Man

OH YES!! YESSSS!! YESSSSSSSSS!!


There he is again!


Sooo looking forward to this and a shame to just skim over the top.
Back later tonight with a glass of red and maps open for a real gawk and slobber.
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Old 18-07-2019, 05:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Slow Road through Wales to the Isle of Man

Beautiful!!!!
Please take us along for the rest of your ride, Peter
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