Grim Rider's Websites
A site dedicated to long distance motorcycling &
home of the Grim Riders MCC; the British Long Distance Riders;
and the Moped Challenge
This was the fifth time in successive years I had gone round the Welsh rally. In previous years I had ridden with a good friend, Trevor Fairbanks, whom I first met at the overnight stop at Aberystwyth in 2004, finding by chance that he knew my father and step-mother through his work. Each time we had completed the Platinum and Dragon courses. This year I failed to meet up with anyone and rode the rally by myself. I had also planned in seven Round Britain Rally landmarks on the route, giving me 28 locations to visit in total. Most of the day went well, with good weather, and generally according to plan although I had to make a diversion in West Wales to reach the last manned control at Cenarth before it closed at 6pm, before heading back to the south west corner of Wales. The previous year I had finished by 6pm but the extra time was mainly because of adding the RBR landmarks, especially 99 which remained the only one I could not find at all this year ( I got half marks for a photograph in the right area!).
The Welsh rally is by far my favourite of the national rallies - both for the organisational format, the navigational demands and the stunning scenery and great roads you are riding through and on. Each year there is basically a choice - North or South form the start at Welshpool and I try to vary it from year to year, so I guess I shall be going North in 2009! Points are gained by visiting the required number of controls, your answers to ten multiple choice general knowledge questions at each of the manned controls, and finally your score in the special test at the end. In previous years this has been your score throwing three darts at a dartboard; time for taking a remote control car around a course; time for removing and replacing a spark plug in a cylinder head; and score for knocking skittles down. In 2008 the test was again to knock skittles down and I was lucky enough to knock them all down first time and score enough points to end up as the overall winner!