Sunday, September 30, 2012


    We have been surprised by Jon during September as he has made 2 trips out on his bike with us and a another time out with his mate Figo.
  For our first trip on a Sunday morning the sun was out, the temperature good and the road was dry, perfect conditions, at last. We, Jon, Rich Col and me (Phill) met up as usual in the layby on the A458 at Stourton and set off to Newton to the start of our favourite section of the A483.

Title: Out of the light
Makes a good screen saver!

  Myself and jon attached the cameras on to our bikes, and we set off. I deliberately went at the back so that I could capture everyone with the camera to put into a film I have been working on.

Pictures from Google Maps
We have divided the road into 4 sectors. The first sector is From Newtown to the 30 limit at Dolfor, We call this the Twisty Sector. Along this part are lots of tight corners, woodlands and a couple of near hairpins.

  The 2nd sector, we call the Mountain section, it goes from the 30 limit to the 50 limit and runs along the contours of the hills eventually climbing up and over the ridge where it opens out into a lot of sweeping bends as it drops back down to the 50 limit at Lanbadarn Fynydd or Little Alps as we call it.

  The 3rd sector, we call the Long Sweepers section, has lots of  long sweeping bends that keep you leaned over on the side of the tyres for ages, they can all be taken at the speed limit and theres plenty of oppotunities to overtake slower moving vehicles if you want too, ending at Llandewl Ystradenni.

  The 4th Sector, we call Farmlands, is the winding down section as there's lots more going on around that area with more side roads, tractors and buidings, but it still has a couple of good corners before you arrive at Crossgates and the Cafe.

      As in sector 1 there's hardly any opportunity to pass, I followed Rich on the Kawasaki ZX636 for about 5 minutes watching him take some good lines around most of the corners, before passing him and catching Jon a few hundred meters further along the road with Col right infront of him, and we entered sector 2. Jon's bike a Suzuki GSXR 1000 has lots of power, so getting past him I knew was going to be hard work, I noticed Jon was much slower around the corners than me so thought of a couple of places with good clear visibility and broken white lines where a corner pass is acceptable. On 2 occasions I had managed to get along side him but he just pulled away as we came out the bend and onto the short straight sections, he was like a rolling road block. While this was going on, Col had got about 10 seconds away so pulled into a layby and we passed him so he rejoined back behind me. I stayed stuck behind Jon for for all of sector 2. When entering sector 3 I thought about the perfect corner to get by Jon. Its a right hander, about half a mile long with a great view of the whole corner so you can see if the road is clear from any part of it, that was going to be the place, and only a few minutes away!
 Approaching the corner we caught up with a car, Jon pulled out and passed it followed by me and Col, as Jon pulled back into the left lane I kept it leant over and passed him, I heard his loud exhast pipe give out a roar as the power came on but I was already away. Two cars were just ahead and entering the next corner, I eased off timing it right to pass them both out of the corner and along my favourite couple of miles to where sector 4 starts. I checked the mirrrors and they both had also passed the 2 cars and now Col was struggling with the Jon and his awesome power, but later got passed out of the last bend.
Over a coffee, the usual banta started, and Jon told us he was having to muscle his bike around the corners as the tyres were so warn that the front had gone 50p shaped!(flat across the width)
 Col says he had got that far ahead that he had to stop and wait for us to catch up! Video evidence from Jons camera shows him just stopping in said layby, I noted he didnt get ahead again.
 Rich says he got things wrong into a corner and ended up on the opposite side of the white line, which put him behind.
 And me.... Well the way we ride on the roads, Jons bike is no faster than mine!

 A few weeks later the 4 of us headed into Wales once again, probably for the last time this year, as Rich has changed his shifts and Jon needs new tyres. We did a similar route to the above, but stopping at the Station Cafe in Craven Arms a favourite of ours before continuing along to Newtown to test out a new loop I discovered thats worth a mention. It adds an extra 25 miles to the day, going from Crossgates, just follow the A483 to Bulith Wells turn Left onto the A481 which turned out to be our best tarmac discovery of the year, until it reaches its end, turn Left on to the A44 which takes you back towards Crossgates along an impressive set of bends. Unfortunately on this journey the weather was not so good so we are looking forward to our next adventure out there on a dry run around this loop.
 After arriving home Rich discovered he had a puncture on his rear tyre, so looks like a new one is on the cards.

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