Wales in Winter : Wales in a Weekend : February 2017

In February 2017 I took on the AdventureBikeRider Wales in a Weekend Route.  Starting South of Brecon and heading north I would take in the Beacons then head into Snowdownia National Park before crossing into England from North Wales and returning back to Northern Ireland on an overnight ferry.  All of this would be done in a mere three days.  If you lived close enough to the starting point this is a great route that can easily be done in 2 days – even in winter!

Day 1 : Northern Ireland to Aberdare : http://tbni.blog/2018/02/22/wales-in-winter-wales-in-a-weekend-day-1-20-02-2017/

Day 2 : Aberdare to Aberystwyth : http://tbni.blog/2018/02/26/wales-in-winter-wales-in-a-weekend-day-2-21-02-2017/

Day 3 : Aberystwyth to Betws-y-Coed (and Liverpool to Northern Ireland) : http://tbni.blog/2018/02/27/wales-in-winter-wales-in-a-weekend-day-3-22-02-2017/

Wales in a Weekend Route
Wales in a Weekend Route

Wales in Winter : Wales in a Weekend : Day 1 : 20/02/2017

If you happen to be a Twitter or Instagram User and do this route (or something similar through Wales) I have used the hashtags (Wales In Winter & Winter In Wales) #WalesInWinter and #WinterInWales – make sure to add to them!

This time last year (20/02/2017) I set off on a quick trip through Wales.  I was using up the remanants of my leave from work and in an effort to feel that I wasn’t taking time off just for the sake of it, I found a quick route that I could do for very little outlay that would take in the entire length of Wales.

Starting South of Brecon and heading north I would take in the Beacons then head into Snowdownia National Park before crossing into England from North Wales and returning back to Northern Ireland on an overnight ferry.

I found the route on www.adventurebikerider.com and having never seen Wales before, but with the ease and affordability of travel to and from Northern Ireland it seemed like a sensible option.  Accomodation was also easily sorted with a bucket load of options available on sites like Booking.com – and prices ranging from very reasonable to ‘oh that must be quite fancy.’

The route can be found here : https://www.adventurebikerider.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=140&t=36263&hilit=wales+in+a+weekend

Wales in a Weekend Route
Wales in a Weekend Route

Should you need it the sat nav gpx file can be found here : Wales in a Weekend Sat Nav GPX Download Link

The route is called Wales in a Weekend – which is realistically two days long especially in the Winter – if you like a good long distance challenge you probably could snort round it in a (long) day, but spread over two it is easily managable and very enjoyable.

Remember to factor in any travel time to get to the ‘Starting Point’ just outside Aberdare.  But from Aberdare to the end of the route at Betws y Coed you should set aside 2 days to complete.

Read moreWales in Winter : Wales in a Weekend : Day 1 : 20/02/2017

Isle of Man TT 2016 : Day 4

So this is it for this trip, the final day.  The boat is about 7pm so unfortunately that means no viewing of the practice session tonight.  That’s one of the bad points on coming over for Practice Week from Northern Ireland – the sailings aren’t perfect, but I suppose there is no way round it unless the Steam Packet put on an 11:00pm sailing – Hint Hint…

On getting packed up the hotel kindly offered to look after my gear and panniers so I could go and enjoy the mountain again – just another reason why I absolutely will go back to this hotel without any qualm.

img_3938
The Rosslyn Hotel – Isle of Man

After a meet up with the guys in Douglas, some breakkie and a quick walk around the town and a catching of the sights it was time to head out back out towards the track.

The Legendary Isle of Man Horse Drawn Tram
The Legendary Isle of Man Horse Drawn Tram

It was on this walk around the town that I called into the RoadSkin pop up store and purchased myself a nice Roodskin motorcycle hoodie (which I have been wearing regularly ever since) and a pair of jeans (which I have yet to pull on) – the pop up store saving me well over £100 on these two items alone, oh and I picked up a couple of neck warmers too.

(Long Term Review to follow on the RoadsSkin Gear)

Read moreIsle of Man TT 2016 : Day 4

Isle of Man TT 2016 : Day 3 – Isle of Man Motor Museum

As mentioned on my Isle of Man 2016 : Day 3 post I visited the Isle of Man Motor Museum.  Quite simply this is an outstanding collection of motor vehicles that is well worth a visit the next time you are on the island.

The Isle of Man Motor Museum
The Isle of Man Motor Museum

The Museum was founded and funded by father and son team Denis and Darren Cunningham to act as the public home for their collection of over 130 vehicles.  The Museum also hosts over 150 other vehicles on loan from other enthusiasts and collectors.

The Isle of Man was chosen as the location for the Museum due to the unique place the Island occupies in motoring and motorsports history. The Island is the motorcycle road racing capital of the world and has hosted the famous TT races on the public roads annually since 1907. The Southern 100 and the Festival of Motorcycling are also fantastic opportunities to see road racing here.

For 2016, the Museum is proud to host the Joey Dunlop Collection featuring many of his trophies, leathers and race machines. Joey is the most successful TT competitor of all time with 26 victories to his name earning him the title “King of The Mountain”.

Rallying and enduro are also a huge part of motorsport on the Isle of Man and the Museum features a Ford Zephyr which competed in the London-Sydney Marathon rally and World Enduro Championship winning KTMs from local hero David “Knighter” Knight OBE.

Read moreIsle of Man TT 2016 : Day 3 – Isle of Man Motor Museum

Isle of Man TT 2016 : Day 3

Another well rested and early start this morning and I meet up with the guys at a local pub for a bit of a breakfast fry up…

 photo IMG_3894_zpse2gbha07.jpg

It’s hard to recommend places on your first visit, simply because you have been to so few  but that won’t change the fact that if a place is good – it’s good, and this places was.  A nice breakfast down the hatch and it was time to make a move.

The guys I was with were keen to hit the Mountain Road again and get some fast miles under their belt, I however decided to go off the path less travelled and explore the Island a little more.

(There is a path much less travelled element to the ISle of MAn, with hundreds of miles of green lanes all over, and you will see lots of guys on scramblers and enduros coming off the countryside.  The path I travelled wasn’t their path although to be fair they looked like they were having an absolutely outstanding adventure!)

Read moreIsle of Man TT 2016 : Day 3

Isle of Man TT 2016 : Day 2

An early start after being well rested in my super comfortable hotel room!

A bit of breakfast down the hatch and the sun is already shining!  The Start / Finish Line seems like the perfect meeting place…

Isle of Man TT Races - Start Finisg Line - Practice Week - 30/06/2016
Isle of Man TT Races – Start Finish Line – Practice Week – 30/05/2016

To start of with a trip to one of the Island’s regular tourist attractions, The Laxey Wheel…

Laxey Wheel, Laxey, Isle of Man
Laxey Wheel, Laxey, Isle of Man

After the obligatory photo off we go to the mountain road.

This time however the road gets closed due to a collision.  It actually happens twice today, 1 rider is unfortunately critically injured, 3 others are hurt coming off their bikes, and unluckily for them were only wearing tracksuits at the time!

The Isle of Man Constabulary Twitter Account shares this information live time and is really one of the greatest sources of news on the Island.  Make sure you follow them for up to date info on all of the Island’s roads.

Isle of Man Roads Policing Twitter Account : https://twitter.com/iomrpu

Isle of Man Police Twitter Account : https://twitter.com/iompolice

Read moreIsle of Man TT 2016 : Day 2

Isle of Man TT 2016 : Day 1

Joey Dunlop Memorial at the Bungalow, Isle of Man

It is 29th May 2016 and the start of Practice Week for the 2016 Isle of Man TT Races.

It is also my first time over to the Isle of Man in many, many years, and actually my first time for any of the racing.

With it being my first time over I took some advice and went for Practice Week, actually four days of Practice Week.  The reasons behind this are…

  1.  It’s cheaper.  Much cheaper.  This year it cost £115 for the return sailing for me and the bike.
  2. It’s easier to get accomodation.  I picked up a ‘4 Star’ (according to Booking.com) Hotel for £60 a night.

That totals up to £295 for the four days.  That’s not too bad.

So I met up with a couple of lads and headed off to Dublin.  Reaching the ferry without drama and boarding the ship worry free.

 photo IMG_3805_zpsje6mmxnl.jpg

Here is where I meet my first (of few) difficulties.

Read moreIsle of Man TT 2016 : Day 1

Official Statement from Guy Martin…

Official statement from #GuyMartin:
Plenty of folk have been asking what I’m up to this year.

I fancy a change of scenery. I’ve been racing the TT for 11 years. All I’ve really done since I was 18, except the trucks, is race motorbikes and my brain needs something else. 

Every year’s the same: testing, racing, then start again. It brought it home to me when I was lying in hospital after the Ulster Grand Prix crash. 

I’ve been on about the Tour Divide, the toughest pushbike race in the world, for three years and I thought I’ll blink and next thing I’ll be 45, so I’m going to do it this year. I like breaking myself mentally and the Tour Divide will be tough, but it’s same time at TT, so that’s forced me to make a choice.

I’m not done with motorbikes. I’m attempting the Wall of Death record in the spring and having a go at the land speed record in the summer and if I do race on the roads it will be with TAS.

After the Tour Divide I might never want to see a pushbike again – or never want to go road racing again, I don’t know. But I do know Bruce Anstey and John McGuinness are still racing the TT, and they’ve got a few years on me, so maybe I’ll come back next year. Or maybe I’ll find something else interesting to do. 

I’ve got more interests than just motorbikes and I just think let’s bloody have ‘em.

Thanks very much as ever for the support. 

Guy.

Unfortunately to me that reads as a ‘farewell.’ Hopefully it is more of a ‘see you later’ than a ‘good bye.’