Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

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Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Snowcat on Sun Feb 12 2012, 21:17

As some of you are aware I have just returned from my trip from Betws-y-Coed which was my first decent ride out and first EVER camping trip. I thought I'd just give you a little insight into how it went. So here goes, not the detail of Mr Nutt but then again we didn't do much riding once we got there so this centres around the ride down and a few comedy highlights.

It all started at 7am when I awoke a little startled thinking "sh*t, I'm riding further than I've ever riden before and I'm going camping for the first time EVER today"!! After I got over the initial shock I settled in to planning what I needed to do between now and 1:30pm when we were leaving from my friends house. I needed to decide what I was taking and work out how to get it all onto my bike. I'd managed to get my airbed into one side of my panniers but as the ventura bracket was now fitted the big Aero delta pack plus panniers was overkill for two days so decided to ditch the panniers, bungee my sleeping bag, airbed and sleeping bag to the seat and cram the rest in the bag. Bag packed and everything bungeed it was now relax, get fed and await leaving time but then looking out the window, SHOCK, HORROR........it was SNOWING!!! Decided not to panic, give it time and see what happens. Anyway by kicking off time nothing was really sticking and the snow was light so headed off to meet the other lads, there was 8 of us in total going, 4 setting off this afternoon and the rest meeting up with us later. Realised the first problem immediately as I stood looking at the bike fully loaded and in all her glory and thinking "how the feck am I going to get on it"??? With my several layers flexibility and mobility were compromised slightly plus there was nowhere to actually "get my leg over" because of the stuff on the seat so pushed my bike out of the garage and out the gate, locked everything up, took a run up and jumped on the bike (literally). Arrived at my mate's house to find out we'd had 2 drop outs already but undeterred we decided to go for it. So there's me (new rider Thundercat), Mike (new rider, passed a week after me but lacks a bit of confidence FZ6), Dave (Triumph Sprint 900) & Mark (triumph Daytona 595) (both seasoned veterans with many miles, bikes, run ins and accidents under their belt, a good combination me thinks.

So off we set onto the M60, M56, A494 & A55. As we left the M60 onto the M56 the temperature noticeably dropped and the wind really picked up, just as we passed Mcr Airport it started to snow a little heavier and the cross winds meant I really had to concentrate on my riding as we were taking a battering and nearly got blown out of my lane a couple of times. I had my heated grips on 40% and could feel my hands starting to get cold but because of the positioning of the controller and my need to concentrate 100% on my riding I couldn't turn them up (job 1 when I get back move the controller!!) Snow continued but the winds subsided and the ride continued without drama but in the back of my mind was the high part of the motorway where the oil refinery is in Ellesmere Port where the cross winds are bad on a clear day!! That came and went without incident (thankfully) but I was ever more aware that I was quickly losing the feeling in my hands, they were bitterly cold so I made sure I kept them moving and rolling my fingers on my leg to keep the blood pumping and keep the feeling until we could stop and warm up a bit. The snow had started falling again (quite heavy but thanfully not sticking) but we continued to make good progress along onto the A55 into Wales.

We managed to stop at the end of the end of the A55 for fuel, It was bitterly cold and snowing a bit but the sky appeared to be clearing so we were confident the snow was going away. I peeled off my gloves and my fingers were white, I'd already by this point upped my grips to 100% and after a few minutes coaxing, manipulating etc I'd got enough feeling back into them to press on, only problem I couldn't fasten my helmet so was assisted with that by one of the lads. We pressed on with about 15 miles to go to the campsite and as we rode into town the lads in front dissapeared up what I thought was a side road, it was actually a small entrance to a pub car park, the gates were locked but we parked in front of them (on quite a steep hill) to nip in for 10 minutes and get a coffee and a warm as it was agreed I was going to struggle to put up my tent for the first time with numb hands!!

Coming out of the pub, (a lot warmer and hands returned to a normal colour) we return to our bikes. Two things you need to remember now.

1) I can't easily get on or off my bike at the moment
2) Mike lacks a bit of confidence and he's quite short and sometimes struggles to push/move his bike.

Backing the bikes out the Daytona goes first and moves up the road a few yards, I'm already on my bike so Dave helps Mike down the incline and towards to road, gets him in position and goes for his bike. I'm looking in my mirror watching for him to set off so I can move and the bike just drops!!!!!! I'm stuck and can't get off my bike so I shout for Dave and he and a passer by get the bike upright (yep Mike kind of left em to it!!).

Anyway got the bike started and set off about 3 miles up the road to the campsite where we checked Mike's bike over to assess the damage which very luckily was just a scratched crash bung and nothing more, (and slightly dented pride!!) but we were all sympathetic (For now) and made sure he knew that everyone has done it and not to worry, setting his mind at ease.

Then on to my almightly cock-up (fuelled by a wind up)!! We were camping on an elavated ridge away from the car park and I needed my bike to pump my air bed up as it was a snug fit. I explained this and was told to blow it up outside then put it in, and to hurry up as they wanted to get in out of the cold and hit the bar!!! Whilst common sense said get the bike on the ridge and blow it up in situ, angry faces were rushing me so I decided to do it at the bike and put it in after and get changed while it was inflating. A few mins later picked it up and offered it to the door of my tent.....it wasn't going to fit in a million yrs... I knew this all along yet continued to do so because I was getting grief to get a move on (bar open). I turned to ask for help to see my mate stood with his video camera pointed at me saying "go one, get it in then!!" Done up like a kipper!! [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] After sending Mike into the tent, (suddenly his height becomes an advantage!!) I folded the bed in half and with a little persuasion got the bed in, job done (and video evidence for future entertainment/torture).

Later in the evening the two other lads arrived Tony (Fireblade) and Rob (R1) having set off at 5:30, rode through snow drifts and pitched tents in total darkness [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] , I take my hat off to the pair of them.

Now this was no massive rally (although the Dragon was on this weekend and we met up with a lot of bikers). I did also see a cat whilst sat outside a pub after a hike on Saturday (Silver & Yellow) I think (anyone on here??), we didn't go on a rideout, we spent a lot of time in the pub but the weekend was about getting the bikes out dusting them off, getting out and having a blast, camping with the boys and getting ready for the year ahead by getting the worst one out of the way first. It was my first ever camping trip and I got out pretty much unscathed, I really enjoyed it and now look forward to Into the Valley, Farmyard & Yorkshire Pudding alond with Assen and a few rides out with you guys later in the year.

The weather held out until we got home and then absolutely p+ssed down the closer we got to Manchester but we had a lot of banter and a truly unforgettable weekend. Cant wait to get the mistrees out again for more fun and frolicks around the roads, fields & campsites of Britain (and europe)!!

There will be a few random pictures (and hopefully the infamous airbed video to follow) [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Now who do I see about changing my screen name, the shortlist is
Snowcat

Icecat

frozencat

cat on ice

snowcat

completeravinlooncat

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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  ady66 on Sun Feb 12 2012, 21:31

Well done mate, glad you decided to go for it. Kept an eye out but I didn't see another 'Cat all weekend. I got back home this afternoon - we were at Beddgelert so not far away. Look forward to the pics clink
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  past-it on Sun Feb 12 2012, 22:17

Good on you, if you can ride in the cold, wind, rain and the snow things from now on will be a lot easier [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] , the photos and video are some thing to look forward to [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Rosco on Sun Feb 12 2012, 22:28

You're all mental......in the nicest possible way!

Well done for surviving and glad you enjoyed while you endured it.
You'll have learned from your experience on so many levels I would imagine......CrazyCat

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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  billyw on Sun Feb 12 2012, 22:37

Well done, sounds like very good, if cold fun!
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  MrNutt on Mon Feb 13 2012, 01:28

Well done on the trip!

Nice write up too, really enjoyed it, sounded like a great if not slightly testing experience for a first trip.

Glad you had a great time
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Snowcat on Mon Feb 13 2012, 08:19

Thanks all for the kind words, it was damn enjoyable.

Ref the names I'm leaning toward Crazycat, Icecat or Snowcat.

Will try and get the pics on tonight Smile
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  billyw on Mon Feb 13 2012, 08:56

Steve - it might end up being Lilolil following the air bed incident!
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  0ldcat on Mon Feb 13 2012, 11:09

New Avatar - [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] - New Username - Lilo (or Lilo no fit) rofl

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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Snowcat on Mon Feb 13 2012, 11:30

You've made me feel really deflated with that comment Oldcat :(
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Snowcat on Wed Feb 15 2012, 12:17

A few select pictures as promised, (still trying to get the video of Airbed gate!!)

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The bikes of choice, mine second from the left flanked by a Triumph Spirit, Triumph Daytona 595 (900cc), Fazer, R1 & a fireblade)

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My Chariot for the weekend, and what a stunningly brilliant bike she is, performed brilliantly in snow, rain and on some slippery Welsh roads.

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Home for the weekend (with my bike geting in on the picture in the background!!

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Analysing the damage following Mike's 'drop' incident and finding only a scrape on the crash bung, lucky B@#t@rd!!!

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My fellow campers on the Saturday just after a 2 mile hike through some pretty challenging forrestry (just to get to the pub!!)
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Snowcat on Wed Feb 15 2012, 12:22

And finally a picture of The Mistress back to her stunning best following a pretty intense Mani Pedi cleanup, lube etc!!!
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  SteveCat on Wed Feb 15 2012, 12:47

Very good, like the matching blue puk - attention to detail Very Happy
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Snowcat on Wed Feb 15 2012, 13:09

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Very good, like the matching blue puk - attention to detail Very Happy

It's all about the little things Steve (as my wife said)!! Shocked

Even panniers and tail pack are blue, to be honest puk was with the bike when I bought so last owner takes credit for that Smile

Chose NOT to fit the cheesy blue Yamaha grips though, he should've been strung up for that, can't believe he gave em me!! [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  SteveCat on Wed Feb 15 2012, 13:22

Come on lets have a look at the blue grips Very Happy

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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Snowcat on Wed Feb 15 2012, 13:42

Sorry Steve I binned the in disgust but found this pic on the net to give you an idea.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Ends weren't included BTW!!

My 9 yr old lad asked me if I could fit them on his pushbike and we're still rarely talking [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  SteveCat on Wed Feb 15 2012, 14:20

I'm sorry I asked now Laughing Good decision great
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Rosco on Wed Feb 15 2012, 14:45

Aw Steve. One man's blue grips is another man's emmmmm blue grips (unless you bin them) you might have gotten a sale on here.
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Snowcat on Wed Feb 15 2012, 16:10

Anyone buying them on here should be barred from the site immediately Smile
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  ady66 on Wed Feb 15 2012, 19:33

Nice pics - did you have that tent all to yourself? I took my £15 Tesco jobbie in the interests of weight saving and disposability!
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Snowcat on Wed Feb 15 2012, 19:37

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Nice pics - did you have that tent all to yourself? I took my £15 Tesco jobbie in the interests of weight saving and disposability!

I did have it all to myself Ady, only weighs 7 kilos and actually packed smaller than my sleeping bag. Luxury on the road and that!!
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  greencat on Wed Feb 15 2012, 20:03

stevedj2000 wrote:Anyone buying them on here should be barred from the site immediately Smile
So yellow/pink ones with tassels are acceptable? Cos we know someone on here who's got 'em.

I feel a bit like I've just walked up to someone in The Middle Ages and shouted 'heretic'!
And it feels good deal Let's see if they bite back.

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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Snowcat on Wed Feb 15 2012, 20:34

rofl I've seen that picture somewhere, now let me think, who could that be??
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Rosco on Wed Feb 15 2012, 20:38

Don't look at me.
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Re: Feb 2012 - First Camping trip Swallow falls Betws-y-Coed

Post  Snowcat on Wed Feb 15 2012, 20:50

I remember it was a black fireblade from memory, pink tassles and a little pink bell
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