Saundersfoot weekend - 21st to 23rd September 2012
(Click any photo to see a larger picture - then just follow the slide show.)

Terry Hopes, Rob Jones, plus Jean and I had all entered this event. The weekend had been extended to include a social run on the Friday, which I thought a good Idea. Rob and Terry were on a campsite above the town whilst Jeannie and I were booked into the Malin house hotel. There can't be many hotels/guest houses that I haven't stayed in over the past 50 years and without a doubt the Malin House turned out to be the nicest. The evening saw us collect Terry and Rob and head for Pentlepoir and the Dragon Palace Chinese restaurant which proved to be well worth it's number one status of places to eat in the Saundersfoot area. The food was first class and we certainly had a good evening.

Friday 21st
Meet outside the Merlewood hotel at 10.30am and sign on and receive a route card. The weather was cloudy but dry and it stayed that way all day.

We set off into the lanes of central Pembrokeshire with my Indian leading the way - slowest bike, of course. Many of the back roads were filthy and there seemed to be more mud and slurry around than we'd have liked and twice I lost control of the bike but managed to regain it before we came off.

On the approach to one hill just outside Llawhaden, I opened the throttle and the engine died. Everything was checked, spark, fuel etc and all seemed ok. The bike started first kick so we set off again heading northwards with me thinking that I must have fixed the problem - somehow. However, the same thing happened several times that morning before we all arrived at the Oriel gallery in St Davids for a buffet lunch. There was a group of ex-Wrens at the gallery and they were quite taken with all the bikes and asked if they could have their photo taken with Vic Blake, the club President.

Anyway, I wasn't comfortable with the way the bike was playing up and as we set off  towards Solva and the south decided that it would be best to head straight back to Saundersfoot on the main road. Sometimes the bike would get along fine then other times it would just stop - usually in the most difficult place. Sods law was certainly working well this day. Terry and Rob left the Oriel Gallery after us and followed the coastal route back to Saundersfoot.

Jeannie cleaned the bike up a bit whilst I spent and hour stripping and cleaning the carb, as by the time we'd got back I was convinced that it was muck in the jets due to the engine spitting back through the carb. A sure sign of a weak mixture. It turned out to be the reason for all of our problems that day as several small pieces, and you only need one, of the float chamber gasket were floating around in the chamber. Problem solved.

After a meal in one of the town restaurants we met Rob in the bar of the Merlewood and had an enjoyable evening chatting.

Saturday 22nd
 The trial day dawned nice and bright, wall to wall sunshine as we assembled on the harbour for the start at 10am.

Out of interest, I caught a picture of a dragon boat out at sea with the crew rowing well just before we were flagged away. Obviously training for some event or other. Anyway, we started on time and the bike was now running fine - then - about ten miles out there was a bang as one of the pillion seat springs broke. Whilst looking at it and wondering what to do, Graham Beasley rode up on his pretty little 1984 100cc Yamaha  YB100. Jean transferred to Graham's pillion in exchange for Graham's large backpack and we set off once again. I followed Graham for the rest of the day. The lunch stop was at the Llwyngwair Manor Holiday park on the north coast of Pembrokeshire.

Lunch stop photos from Terry:

We all made it back to Saundersfoot ok and Jean transferred back to the broken pillion for the short ride back up the hill to the hotel. I must say that I did not enjoy the afternoon run much, as there were far to many steep ups and downs and hairpin bends, all on narrow roads that seemed occupied by more than a fair share of giant tractors. One competitor managed to collide with one of the hay trailers as he tried to pass it and at one point I was taking the Indian down a 1 in 5 hill only to be met by a tractor coming up and pulling a hay trailer. I only have one brake on the back and it just locked the back wheel and put the bike into a skid, straight towards the tractor. Not a pleasant experience, I can tell you.

The evening meal was in the Merlewood Hotel and Rob and Terry arrived just as we were walking over. The food was fine, although none of us could remember what we had ordered. Anyway, we managed to blag our way through all the courses ok. Speeches over and everyone retired to the bar to listen to a group playing 50's and 60's music.

Sunday 23rd
Gosh, what a change in the weather from the glorious sunshine of the previous day, but it was expected.  Everyone assembled on the harbour just as it started to rain, so we quickly retired to the local cafe. This year there was an excellent tannoy system in operation so we returned to the front of the harbour for the trophy presentation as soon as we heard the announcement. This was the presentation of the Concours trophies and Terry received the 'Most interesting motorcycle' trophy. By this time it was raining and blowing quite hard so as soon as possible it was a case of - collect the bikes and head for home - forget the 35 mile social run that usually follows the trophy presentation.

All in all a good event, as usual, but becoming unsuitable for Vintage machines. My thoughts were that the ideal bike was a trials tiger cub. Anyone got one for sale?