Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Ride

 Easter Friday promised to be a dry and sunny day, so we arranged a ride out to Bala. Col arrived 1st at the usual layby in Stourton followed by Me, Matt a new rider to come with us and finally Rich. We decided to go for a breakfast sandwich at a favourite roadside cafe in the layby just out side Wenlock on the A458.

 Refueled we headed on through Shrewsbury and got split up along the A5 for a short while, I was leading followed by Matt on his awesome sounding ZX10r. I slowed down to give Col and Rich time to catch back up. Col came past 1st and Rich not far behind so I pulled out into the right hand lane and we had some fun on the 3 roundabouts. Out of the last roundabout I pulled past Col followed by Matt and passed a convoy of trucks before turning off towards Knockin. Matt was right behind me, but there was no sign of Col or Rich anywhere. The convoy of trucks continued past the turning and still no sign of the others. Matt said shall we go and look for them. My mobile phone rang before I could answer Matt and saw Rich was trying to get hold of me. I answered and he told me Col has broken down.

 Matt and I headed back toward Shrewbury and Rich flagged us down from the end of a lane on the right. Cols bike was parked in the gateway to a field with the seat off and Col was wandering around, phone in hand. I thought that don't look promising.
  I asked "whats up?"
Col said " the lights went out, dash went off, and engine cut out."
 It had all the hallmarks of a Stator problem I had had 6 months earlier on the R1, so the RAC was called.
Oh dear, there goes the no claims discount!

 The RAC turned up some 30 minutes later only to find it was not fixable so he charged the battery a little to give it some power to make it to a petrol station a couple of miles up the road.
At least we could get a coffee there.

Some 90 minutes later the wrecker truck arrived, loaded the black Fireblade and took it and Col away  along the scenic route to Col's repair shop of choice.

    I suggested to the others the ride need not be a total loss if we did a couple of good roads that I knew which were close to where we were and could be on the way back home from there if we so wanted.
 I introduced Rich and Matt to the Hope Valley run.
 Hope Valley is a twisty tree covered few miles, winding up a hill, it opens onto a flatter green fielded section across its highest point and slowly drops down under some more trees to wards Lydham on the Bishops Castle road. We met a few too many cars on the climb up the valley and passed them over the top giving us a fairly clear run down into Lydham. I turned off onto the A489 towards Craven Arms a favourite road of mine in either direction, but I like this way better. I held a good pace along there, not too fast to leave the others but fast enough to realize I was having fun and that this new bike of mine feels just right.
  Two days before I had fitted a new exhaust, a Scorpion Red Power system, it gives a nice amount of noise and sounds sporty like it means business when the throttle opens. This pace had the exhaust sounding sporty as I came out of each of the tight corners. This had been the first time I had really noticed as up until now the sound of Matt's bike could have been heard over mine as he had always been so close but he was somewhere behind Rich along here.
  I arrived at the end of the road followed by Rich and then Matt followed up shortly after.

 We headed off then over the Clee and stopped to talk bikes and all agreed that part of the ride had been good. Matt had told me that his front forks had been fitted incorrectly and had been back to the shop to have this remedied earlier in the week, he was not happy with the settings on the roads leading to here so adjusted them slightly before we left for home. He says the bike felt a lot better from that point.

  I enjoyed the day with you guys lets do it again but finish with all of the ones who started next time!

 Jon still hasn't been out on his bike this year, his GSXR needs the rear brake repairing and a wash as it still has last years road trips dirt on it from Germany.

Col's turn for a piggy back home

Phill - Honda Fireblade
Col - Honda Fireblade
Rich - Kawasaki ZX636
Matt - Kawasaki ZX10R

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