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Worrying the Sheep
by Tunguska, pictures by various and sundry

Yoda and Nismo devised this daring cross-border raid from Chester to Bala via the Horseshoe Pass, deep into hostile territory. Yep, we're in Brunstrom country. You'll never take us alive, Heddlu!

Worrying the Sheep photo 6
Plodder realises that he's
out of uniform

Chris' friend Neil was already waiting at the filling station in Sandbach when Yoda arrived. After many phone calls and chatting to Stu (Nismo) who was rounding up the northern posse, Malc, Dave and Andy turned up about 10:15, knackered after riding through rain and across the moors. They'd already done a day out just to get here.

From here we moved onto Bill Smiths in Chester. In Chester we got split up at the traffic lights right by the meet point. So Neil, Malc and Andy decide to take a tour of Chester and end up out on the Wrexham road. Eventually Yoda answered his phone and Stu directed Malc to Saltney where we were going to meet up again.

Reunited again, we all set off for the Horse Shoe pass. Chris and Stu leading and Yoda tail end charlie. At the Ponderosa Cafe, a suspicious character attached himself to the group, in dayglo livery... uh-oh. Setting off from the cafe everyone decided to go for it, except poor Yoda who got stuck behind a car and had to play catch-up.

At the roundabout leading up to the pass road everyone blitzes past a car, so still catching up Yoda scooted past at 75 ish to find Mr Dayglo behind him. He nodded and set off after the others. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Yoda followed. Police escort thankyou very much.

At Bala, after a very good ride down from the Horse Shoe Pass, it was time for er, refreshments. Sorry Ted, you got it wrong. No rain! Then it was out of Bala and onto the A4212 to Trawsfyndd. Big grins. This piece of road was unbelievable. Everyone made their own pace and it's definitely recommended. The only problem was no one had ridden it before, but what the heck.

Down here no matter how fast Yoda went, Dave and Malc shadowed him. Faster went Yoda, but they were still there. Faster still, no the buggers were still there. More grins. Unfortunately Stu found his rear tyre was about to delaminate, turning the grins into an "eek!". It still didn't slow him down, though. From the grins on everyone's faces when they stopped, fun was had.

A random stranger tagged himself onto the convoy and followed the boys for a fair bit going home. From here we took the A470 to Betws-y-coed. Well Dave and Yoda did; everyone else turned right for Llangollen. Still couldn't shake our new friend off, even throwing some cars in the way. Yoda got so paranoid he ended up messing up a hair pin wondering where the chap had gone. He was that close Yoda couldn't see him in his mirrors (which worried him no end, after being torpedoed once years ago).

Dave definitely has plenty of pace; next time we'll have to let his tyres down. The troop had got a bit strung out so Dave and Yoda pulled in to a garage to wait. After about 15 minutes and a couple of "Where are you?" phone calls they set off again just to see the rest of the group at a cafe getting some food in (it's true, Malc ate all the pies). Traffic lights at some roadworks forced them to halt, only for Yoda to get a nudge from behind - Nismo and Plastic, whom he'd passed without noticing.

Rendezvousing with the rest at a handy B&B, Dave's hugger is hanging off because the bolts have come undone. Even emergency surgery with zip ties couldn't prevent it rubbing on his wheel, so off it came. Mystery Man produced a tie-down to hold it, and Stu volunteered to carry it home. Later we found out that Plodder too had been struck by the Mudguard Fairy - his front guard threw a bolt and cracked the front mounting. He managed to retrieve all the bits and bring them home, hopefully to effect a repair.

At the B&B most folk went off home as it was getting late, and some of us with pass outs were already in deep doggy do by then. Chris and Neil had ended up in Llangollen so after Stu got some fuel, we met them there outside yet another pub. There they met another biker with a tidy looking Genesis, which he said had stood for years in a garage and had only done 7000 miles in 10 years. From here we went home via Wrexham, Stu heading off for Chester after a bit of fun on the dual carriageway. Chris and Neil shot off and we played catch up. More fun!

This was a great day out, if only more folk could have been there. Many thanks to everyone who made the effort, some of them came a very long way for this. Yoda did nearly 200 miles, so God knows what Malc, Dave and Andy clocked up.

You can find all the pics from the day here.

Wales thumbnail 21
"But black leather's
so butch!"

Wales thumbnail 10
At the Ponderosa Cafe, the lads discover a Fifth Columnist in their midst
Wales thumbnail 13
Saucy native lasses try to turn our chaps' heads with a flash of shapely ankle
Wales thumbnail 28
"There was only this much of him left!"
Wales thumbnail 14
Watching the horizon for any sign of enemy fighters
Wales thumbnail 23
Veterans are marked by their thousand-yard stare, even their beer forgotten
Wales thumbnail 20
Dave's not sure whether this new laser-guided targeting system is any improvement over the old Mark I eyeball
Wales thumbnail 39
Sheep on the runway force takeoff to be delayed
Wales thumbnail 42
We few, we happy few

Roll-call: Dave 59, Dave's mate Andy, Jasegee, Nismo, Plastic Scouser, Plastic's mate Ade, Plodder, Thunderacemalc, Yoda, Yoda's mate Chris, Chris's mate Neil.

Half Pint Bladder Award: Thunderacemalc - there is some corner of a foreign field that is forever England!

Ponderosa Cafe,
Horseshoe Pass, Llangollen.
 Click for map   Link to Streetmap.co.uk

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