The Dragon Tour 2014
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Words by Vince C and photos by John F

This is my own account of the Dragon Tour this year. It started with me loading the Comet onto the trailer, hitching this to the camper van and setting off for Llandovery College. I arrived at the college and met with Dave Danielson in the main hall. Food was scheduled for 6.30, by which time most had arrived and everyone sat down for grub.

After food I went for a quiet walk along by the river. By the time I reached the river the rain had started and it kept up all night. Most of the boys made their way to the bar alongside the cricket ground, and I joined them there for a very pleasant evening. I did not realise that we have the makings of a debating society amongst the members. The meeting was chaired by Kevin Gilbert and the subject was “What has the UKIP party to offer the voter, so as to gain their vote.” The debate was quite lively and most members had their say on the merits or otherwise of UKIP.

After a hearty breakfast everyone managed to start their bikes except myself and Charlie Mansell. Charlie soon solved his problem, water in the works, but yours truly was left kicking and kicking the Comet, before eventually it started and I set off at the tail end of everyone.
I managed to follow the route until it directed me to Pontrhydfendigaid. I missed this point but made my way to the stop at Devil’s Bridge. This was the tea stop and by this time I was dying to have a pee!! Unfortunately for me everyone was getting ready to set off, and so not wanting to play catch up again, I decided to tie a knot in it and carry on.

Following behind Geoff Harris and Kevin Gilbert we followed the route to Pontterwyd, Llangurig and Talybont. We then continued along the Dovey estuary, past the wildlife centre at Furnace and the Osprey centre further on. We proceeded to Machynlleth and onto the lunch stop at the Pen-y-Bont hotel. This delightful pub was situated alongside Tal-y-llyn lake, and everyone sat outside to enjoy lunch. The weather at this time decided to spoil things and it started to rain once again.

After lunch we made our way to Tywyn and back along the coast to Machynlleth, still raining. The route was pretty straight forward, going through Newtown, onto Llyn Clywedog and a tea break at Llanidloes.

After this we set off for Rhayader, on towards Builth Wells, before turning off for Beulah. Onto the trunk road for Llandovery, through Llanwrtyd Wells and onto the home run to the college. Lady luck had one more trick up its’ sleeve for both Charlie M and myself. Mine happened when I went to put the Comet onto the centre stand, my foot slipped on the wet rubber and in the wink of an eye, the bike was on its’ side. I think that when Geoff and Kevin went passed they must have thought I was giving them a friendly wave. I won’t say what hand gesture I made to them as they went by!! With Charlie I don’t know what he must have done to his cat before leaving for the weekend, but he not only picked up a puncture on the run back to college, but ran out of fuel to cap it all.

We all arrived back rather wet, but having enjoyed the Welsh scenery and the ride in general. Everyone changed into dry cloths and set off for the evening meal in the great hall. A few of the boys went to one of the local pubs for a pint, before heading back for a chit-chat at the college bar.

Sunday thankfully was dry and the Comet behaved itself and I set off on the Sunday run to Carreg Cennen Castle. This was supposed to be a short run. We all followed Brian Morris to Myddfai, where the road was blocked and Brian handed over to me! Big, Big mistake. Brian and a number of other members were led on a “mystery tour” of all roads on the Black Mountains. Needless to say after covering god knows how many miles we arrived, eventually, at Carreg Cennen just about when everyone was about to leave to head back to the College.

Everyone, including me, decided that in the interest of being sure of getting back in time for lunch, we would let someone else to lead the way back.

All in all I enjoyed my Dragon Tour and I’m sure there are a few members who will in future avoid following yours truly!!

Vince Chivers