The collective noun for a group of mountains is, of course, Wales. They are my mountains and I get very upset when other bikers arrive – especially when they sweep past me in the villages because I’m observing the speed limit like a good citizen and then they can’t pass a white van half a mile down the road. London riding may not be much good for handling small twisty rural roads – though Wales is giving me lots of practice on them – but it does teach you how to overtake White Van Man (as quickly as possible because the smaller they are in your mirrors, the safer you are!).
The collective noun for a bunch of BMW riders I am less sure about – I pulled in for petrol in Mallwyd, Snowdonia to a filling station swarming with GS Adventurers – at least 30, maybe more. The one lonely car driver looked deeply uncomfortable and others simply drove on. Is this an image thing – bearing in mind that a shiny new GS costs on the upside of 10 grand, I don’t think this was a group liable to erupt in violence! – or maybe they were just too worried about manoeuvring to the pump without causing a very expensive domino race? ! The GS boys were off to ride through some fords. I’ve done a couple to get to landmarks on the other side – the first was nice and easy, the second I took a bit quick (overconfidence!) and nearly came to grief, the current was much faster than I expected and nearly had the back wheel from under me. No idea how we got to the other side – I think the bike took control and saved itself! Anyway, I think the collective noun for GS pilots is probably a Gore-Tex, given that the majority of the throng were wearing their Ewan-and-Charlie approved, all-weather adventure suits.
Today was mostly about riding down very tiny back lanes. I remain suspicious that Dave the Disorganiser doesn’t actually prepare the rally on a motorcycle at all but in fact drives some huge Humvee-type ATV – “road less than four feet wide with a giant stripe of crap down the middle, leaving a strip of tarmac only just wider than a tyre? No problem!” When I was riding round these in Pembrokeshire in the morning looking for Dewi Emrys (the landmark remained elusive until I turned round at Fishguard and tried finding it from the east, from which direction it was surprisingly easy – see Rule Two) I consoled myself with the thought that once this landmark was found, the rest of the day would be on B-roads.. But no! The road to Flounder’s Folly is even smaller and narrower, and if I hadn’t been waved at by 2 rallyers coming back down it on their giant Honda, I’d have given up. Because I have promised the bike that this year, I am not going to drop her on some gravel-strewn backwater and have to rope in passing dog-walkers or house renovators to rescue us.
Then just to finish my spine off, the road to the hotel was a mile of corrugated concrete. I think I still have all my fillings but tomorrow I am having a day off to count them.
Today’s photo is of the Welsh coast nowhere near anything to do with Dewi Emrys at all.