Bishops Castle 4 - NOW WITH PICCIES!!

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Bishops Castle 4 - NOW WITH PICCIES!!

Post  Radar on Mon Jun 04 2012, 10:02

First topic message reminder :

Part 2: Some people will do anything for a ride in a helicopter!!

Due to the large number of bikes on this run we adopted the twin marker system, where two riders drop off to mark junctions that had worked so well on the Wee Mac recently. The first section from BC took straight into the action on the A488 and the group quickly settled into a rhythm as each rider settled into a pace that suited them and little groups of three or four well matched riders were forming.
All was going swimmingly well, the sun was out the tarmac sticky and the roads inviting.

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Early on and the marker system is working well as the group streams through on of the local towns

Then perhaps only 30 minutes into the ride the start of a somewhat eventful day kicked in. I had been towards the back of the line as we picked over of section of the A488 towards Ponybont I saw that sight that you hate to see on any ride-out...a group of familiar bikes huddled together at the side of the road and somebody running towards you flagging you to stop...This generally only means one thing – rider down. I felt sick to my stomach, as at this point you don’t how serious it might be. I hurriedly pulled up to discover that not one bike was down, but TWO!! Oh shit...
Smig, on his first group ride out had dropped his Thundercat on a right hander just after a cattle grid. He had gone off exploring the Welsh countryside and according to the following Dai-san had made a pretty good job of holding it together until a huge grass filled ditch got involved, flipping him off the bike and into the air. Somewhat distracted by all this, Robcat’s R1 riding mate Tony had pulled up, got onto the gravel at the side of the road and his front end went from under him as he braked to a halt.

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Smigs Thundercat after exploring Wales a little TOO closely!

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Smig, or as we now call him Muddycat...

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Tony repairs the R1 using bits supplied from Rosco's mobile parts store!

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The bend that caused all the hassle

Thankfully the only things bruised were egos and pride and the damage to both bikes was minor. Tough things Yamahas! Smig’s cat now sported a nice mud patina on the one side and was an indicator short of a picnic, while Tony’s R1 was missing a brake lever. Rosco came to the rescue here and produced from his top box, which is a hybrid of Doctor Who’s Tardis and Mary Poppins handbag, a selection of replacement levers! A few minutes tinkering at the side of the road and both bikes were back up and running once more. We took a little time to let jangled nerves settle and Smig and Tony get their heads together, before gingerly setting off once more. We skipped stopping at Crossgates cafe, a famous bikers’ halt I often frequent in search of a light salad and made straight for the show piece road of the ride for me: The A483 that snakes, bobs and weaves its way across stunning Welsh countryside to Newtown. It is a fantastic strip of tarmac, and despite being the only rider with a pillion I thoroughly enjoyed myself where possible. My wife Mandy is a superb pillion and I can ride in a way pretty similar to the way I can solo...that is too say, bob and weaving in tune with the road....the poor old Thundercat really could do with a new rear shock in truth. I seem to remember having a bit of fun with Chris who was pushing his KTM along very nicely. He eventually swept majestically around the outside of me as we speared across the scenery at reasonable rate of knots while I tucked in behind Weasley and kept him company on the run into the first tea-halt.

Being honest, despite riding this area fairly often I am not actually sure where we stopped for a cuppa, but I have been there before, and it was a friendly roadside cafe that sported a rather large lay-by come car-park. Green-cat caused a stir by overshooting the lay-by and then being harangued by an irrate pensioner in a Rover 416 after executing a somewhat scruffy U turn/ stop manoeuvre to join us. I noted it for possible Numpty point nomination, but much better was to follow! About half the group helped Mr. France get his brake lights working and we all had a refreshing and nerve settling cuppa. It was an inviting spot to line up the impressive row of 12 Thundercats, so with Smig’s mud splattered example proudly at the head of the line we caused uproar as formed up as a squadron:

The roll call:
1. Smig
2. Cheshirecat
3. Rosco
4. Radar
5. Weasley
6. MrNutt
7. Stevecat
8. Mr.France
9. Dai-san
10. YZFJohn
11. Snowcat
12. Annabana

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The 12 Thundercats

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Enjoying a cuppa, is that YZF John doing a Larry Grayson impression??

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Luckily Dai-san had a lot of help fixing the brake lights on Mr.France's cat

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Eddie990s bike does its' best to block the view

So after the excitement early on, things seemed to of settled down as we formed up, once again causing chaos and hacking some caravanners off, and pulled out the lay by. Initially all went well, and we turned onto the B4518, a tight and twisty road that took us over some spectacular Welsh hillside. I marked the junction with Dai-san mate, the GSXR600 mounted Dave. Most of the line swept past and then we waited, and waited, and waited a bit longer. Eventually I sent Dave back to check what was going on. About 10 minutes passed before he and backmarker Stevecat rolled up. Tony on the R1 was still having brake trouble and was awaiting recovery. So we pressed on to catch up with the others, initially enjoying ourselves as we worked around the twists and turns. Then coming the other way YZFJohn appeared. At first I thought he had just come back to see what had kept us. But no, we pulled up opposite each other and I could see by the anxious look on his face that all was not well.

‘There’s been a bad one, the lad on the SV is off and hit a post, and we are waiting for the ambulance’

Once again that sickening feeling hit me and as we rolled up to the scene it did not look great. Poor Mark was lying next to his bike, conscious (thank God) and being comforted by Anna. The main group had stopped just up ahead. The Ambulance soon arrived, but they called out the Air Ambulance. It seemed best to clear the area now so Stevecat and I got the main group to head for Machynlleth and just wait for us. Nick and Ellie had got back by now, so we hung on along with Stevecat and Anna who continued to stay with Mark and comfort him, she did a brilliant job, keeping him calm. The paramedics took charge and looked after Mark until the Air Ambulance swept in to whisk him off, while Nick had the tough call to make to his wife.

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The mangled SV

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Mark being whisked off to the chopper

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Away he goes!

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Lee helps load the SV into the council van, thanks to him and the loads from Powys CC for their help!


At this point I must thank the lads from Powys council who just happened to be in the area. They were superb...they closed the road and once Mark was away they helped us get his bike up and even took away in their van. In other moment that restores your faith in human nature one of the people stuck in the traffic turned out to be a fellow biker and offered to look after the bike until it could be picked up. So big thanks to Lee Morgan, you are indeed a gentleman!

So once the helicopter had departed and the bike loaded into the council van, the remaining the five bikes set off on our way across the very windy last few miles down into Machynlleth to join the group. At this point Nick, Ellie and I were all for calling it off and heading back to BC. Just so much had gone wrong. But then Tony arrived back on the R1, he had got it going again and news filtered through that Mark was basically ok. People had travelled far and wide to be here so the vote was made to carry on. We had lost some time obviously so a truncated but fun ride followed. By now the Augusta and 675 Daytona turned for home, but we still had an impressive group as we headed towards Tywyn and its’ famous ice cream factory.

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A much needed rest halt and a chance to get our heads straight after a very stressful hour or two

As we approached the coast, the sun glistening off the crystal blue sea, and Wales once again did its’ surprisingly good impression of the Med! My spirits lifted and we all enjoyed some superb ice creams and a chance to chill.
We all filled up with fuel again, and from here Snowcat made his way home, I think he had enjoyed his first group gathering to the full, despite all the fun and games and he was quietly kicking himself that he couldn’t stay for the second night.

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Impressive line up at the Ice Cream Factory

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The ice-cream was GOOOOOOD!!!

Initially we picked up the B4405, then the A487 before turning onto the A470 and passing through, I kid you not, Commins Cock (say it out loud...), then we had to pull again. Chris had noticed that his rear tyre was let us say a little past its’ best. I am no expert, but I don’t the canvas should be showing! Then we got the news that Rosco had got lost. Classically on pulling out of the last stop he saw some bikes in the distance, assumed it was us and gave chase...it wasn’t....he had joined the wrong ride out! The penny dropped when he caught them up! Numpty point....easily won! We tried to guide back to where we were and Greencat and I had the bright idea of getting the location from a nearby by post box. I proudly read out what I thought was the name of the village only to be informed what I had announced was ‘Monday-Friday collections’ in Welsh....doh! Numpty point runners up slot secured!!

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The group waiting for Rosco, who had had got bored of us and decided to join another ride out for a while!

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Greencat does the Ducati Dance while waiting for Rosco

Rosco did eventually come back into the fold and we finished off the last section of an all too eventful day without incident. It was with considerable relief that I pulled up outside our digs and parked up the Thundercat. Phew. But that was not the last off it...oh no. Poor old Anna, now known as Mother Teresa of Powys for her sterling work comforting Mark earlier in the day, thought it would be a good way to finish off the day with a little more excitement. The poor girl clipped Ellies and my bikes as she parked up, sending them both to ground as both Nick and I looked on helpless to intervene, Jesus, what a day. My cat was not too bad, but Ellies 650 had borne the brunt of it sadly. On her birthday too...and knocked over by her old bike!!
Well we all really needed a pint and a dam good evening now! By now we had discovered that Mark had not broken anything and had been discharged from hospital...what a relief!

Well luckily the Three Tunns duly came up trumps, with a superb meal and the beer flowing as once more the evening flew by in a banter filled haze. Ellie celebrated her 32nd birthday in good spirits, all the site admin, mods and organisers were in one place for once (apart from Bea), Rosco was awarded his Numpty point and T shirt prize, Nicks Mom and sons joined us too as we all enjoyed an excellent evening. We wandered back to The Boars Head where the fun continued. Rosco got out his Dice game, he showed us how to play and we promptly beat him at another of his own games just as we had at the Wee Mac!

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A well earned meal and pint for the group at The Three Tunns

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Ellie celebrates her 24th birthday

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Is this really a Triumph?? I think not!!

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Ellies is at ease with large sums of cash...

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MrNutt makes his steadily to The Boars Head. Drunk? Him? Nooooo....

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Rosco shows us the dice game, before loosing!

Another packed weekend was rounded off the next morning over breakfast as we gathered to say our farewells and head home. It was great to meet everybody old friends and new and this run really brought home that what superb group of people we have on this forum.
The adventure was not quite over for Chris (Eddie990) and me as his back tyre was now so knackered it was showing the steel banding through the rubber. No way could it make Yorkshire on that! He had some tyres at home, so he followed me the 40 miles to Kidderminster, where he left the KTM and took my Thundercat to Yorkshire and back to collect his new tyres. A mate of mine has proper fitting gear, so he popped them onto his loose rims that evening and Chris set off for Yorkshire at 10pmon his fit again KTM! 600+ miles in the day!

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The Great Leader, Oldcat ready for the off on his CBF

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Eddie990 shows off his high speed steel tyre!

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Whisking the wheels out of the KTM

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Off to re-introduce himself to the joys of a Thundercat on a 400 mile jaunt!

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Back after a 400 mile round trip loaded up with fresh tyres

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Back on the KTM, only another 200 miles to do...

It is fair to say that was the most eventful BC to date! Here is to BC5 and I hope it is a bit dull in comparison with this year!

Thank you mentions:

Nick and Ellie for doing most of the organising, I did help a bit, but it was mainly on the going to the pub side of things!
Stevecat for superb back marking on day when it was really needed
Get well soon to Mark (SV) and hope you are back on the road soon
To Mandy for her usual superb pillion work
To Anna for looking after Mark
To the paramedics, air ambulance crew, the lads from Powys council and Lee Morgan who were all superb in a crisis.
To Klitcat for making Nicks beard look attractive
To everybody on their first big rideout and to everybody who made such a memorable run.

More pics here:
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Last edited by Radar on Tue Jun 05 2012, 10:38; edited 8 times in total
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Re: Bishops Castle 4 - NOW WITH PICCIES!!

Post  prime on Fri Oct 11 2013, 18:48

have fun mate, hope the weather is good for you.

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Re: Bishops Castle 4 - NOW WITH PICCIES!!

Post  Rosco on Sat Oct 12 2013, 13:21

Enjoy. It'll be quieter without that other noisy bunch.

Cheers
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Re: Bishops Castle 4 - NOW WITH PICCIES!!

Post  Radar on Sun Oct 13 2013, 17:19

I will be down at the Villa watching us being murdered by Spurs (again...)
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