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Five have a wet TET adventure!
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I was invited to join 2 of my friends from my Algeria trip, and 2 of their friends, to do a stretch of the Trans European Trail over 5 or so days at the start of October.

Be rude not to!

We met up in Buxton (Morrisons fuel station, which incidentally was not suffering from the fuel "shortage" that a large portion of more southern England was prey to)

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Georgina, Colin, Ian, Andy and me. 2 Yamaha Serow 225s, 2 Honda CRF300Rallys (rare birds in these isles!) and my 325 Open Enduro (disguised as a Raid!)

Weather was gorgeous and we headed south and west. Some rocky trails and with the odd quite testing stretch.

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Would have been fun to ride back up this, but there were lots of hikers around, being a Sunday, so we kept it steady, unlike a group on Huskys with more ambition than talent who came buzzing past us. The trails in this area are quite vulnerable to closure and revvy hard enduro behaviour does us no favours.

Anyway, we continued into Wales (enduring a long road section across the M6 corridor), ending the day in Bangor.

From Bangor the next stage took us across to Porthmadog in North west Wales. A town in dire need of jobseekers - many of the hotels and restaurants in the area are closed or struggling thanks to "the covid" - the eastern Europeans who normally keep Wales running, were all at home, and the furlough scheme has made many locals, erm, workshy, for want of a better term. There's a lot of bitterness in the hotel trade about staff being kept on the scheme 'till it ended then they've signed on the dole rather than come back to work.

Sorry. Enough politics. More pictures.

There's no particular order to the next ones - just pretty views of Walessmile

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Good one, my wife had a XT225 for a while, good bike but not a lot of power. The Honda CRF300 seems to be selling well here in Australia & is the perfect replacement for the WR250R that many have here. Sharing the trail with walkers is hard when you had idiots with no respect for others like the enduro riders you had come past.

Where we ride we don't have a lot of walkers but do have the odd horse, we always slow down or stop & in turn get a thank you.

The Yamaha 325 should have held it's own against the CRF's as even in standard trim is a good bike & was way ahead when it came out.
Anyhow looked like a good ride apart from the M6 part, pity you didn't have some video of the ride.

Cheers from Australia

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From Porthmadog we moved south, in the rain, over some really testing rocky climbs, which we mostly didn't have time to photograph, but here's a couple:

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The little Serows were in their element here. More trials bike than trail bike, with trials tyres on and torquey but low powered engines they just stuck to the rocks. The CRFs were I think a bit more of a handfull, tall and powerful. The tables would turn later... My 325 with tubliss equipped tyres at 10-15psi held it's own, and there was a lot of gentle competition as all my companions are long distance trials competitors.

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The last lane of the day was "Ba*tard Lane" near Machynlleth. It's all over Youtube if you look. It's not that bad for small bikes, except for some deep mud churned up by logging machinery, and an unnerving descent which is steeper than it looks in the pictures...

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We split into 2 groups and 2 went straight to the George Borrow Hotel (an "institution" in the green laning world, also struggling for staff) while the other 3 followed more of the TET route round the scenic Nant y Moch reservoir. Another hours riding, but not strenuous.

Multiple rain showers meant that the next stage was going to be problematic.

 

 



-- Edited by mossproof on Thursday 14th of October 2021 11:09:54 PM

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Thanks Terry. There is some phone video footage. Not sure if I can get it...

As you can tell from the pictures so far, water was a big feature of this trip. Now it was time for the big one. Possibly the most famous lane in the UK, Strata Florida. Always wet, it's just the depth that varies. From the George Borrow the TET virtually goes straight to the ruins of medaeval Strata Florida Abbey and within minutes our feet are wet!

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This last pic shows the crossing I was most worried about. That spot where Georgina is standing is the outflow of a side stream, and gets quite deep.

We all rode through without issue (other than the onset of trenchfoot!)

The final ford is really nasty in high water, being very fast flowing through a narrow gully, but as we'd managed so far, I relaxed.

Turns out there's another deep one that has developed since I was last here 2 years agocry

 

 



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Loving the ride report and photos Simon - thanks for posting biggrin

I love riding in Wales and have some great memories of riding some of their big enduros such as the Cwm Owen Enduro and trail riding some of their infamous lanes wink

If you are a Welsh trail rider "of a certain age" you will probably know most of these although I doubt many are still legally rideable:

 

1.   The Devil’s Staircase – only attempt downhill! (GR SO 52690 06832) Drops down the hillside in a series of near vertical switchbacks in a gully strewn with rocks and logs. Used in past years on the Wyegate Trial. See https://www.facebook.com/motoward/videos/732445333472258/

2.   Llywel Hill – the Old Motel Road (GR SN 87020 29500)

3.   Brown Trousers or Grwyne Fawr (GR SO 19874 33135 is the challenging corner)

4.   Gap Road – seasonal access - the summit is at GR SO 03168 20526

5.   Water Breaks Its Neck – byway near the famous waterfall (GR SO 17429 60896) is still Legal and parts of it have recently been improved apparently.

6.   Monks Trod – west of Rhayader - (GR SN 86377 70295) is closed to all traffic, at least from the North East end.

7.   Moelfre Hill – (GR SO 12161 76031) is legal  but is blocked for a short length at the southern end where it passes through a farmyard, the farmer thinks it is private.

8.   Pant Glas – (GR SO 47415 04165) – section on the Wyegate Trial

9.   Limekiln – (GR ST 52875 00302) – nasty slate section

10.        The Old Cemmaes Road, Powys – possibly SH 83350 02891

11.        Horseshoe Lane aka Bastard Lane nr Machynlleth (GR SH 72790 03762). Much loved by 4x4 brigade – some very tricky sections!

12.        The Motorway - north of Dolgellau, Wales (GR SH 67975 23210) Incredibly difficult boggy sections. NOT for the inexperienced. A good test of man and machine but it isn’t really trail riding.



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Andy rode through first on his CRF. Oblivious to the danger, he had no problem at all!

I came next. Slightly off Andy's line the bike died with water up over my knees. Colin rode past me on his CRF, just showing the benefits of a tall bike, and soaking me further with bow wave. I pushed my bike out and Ian attacked with Serow number 1.

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Glug glug.

Soaked to the 'nads, he then had to go back and ride George's bike though with, predictably, the same result!

There is fortunately no picture of my disaster, and I was lucky - I drained the carb and she fired right up. Those pesky 1-way breathers must be 2-way! The Serows both filled the airboxes, carbs and sumps.cry Rocky climbs they can do, submarines they aint!

3-2 to the TET.

This necessitated a rescue ride to get oil and draining facilities, but eventually all 5 bikes rode out.

Unfortunately, this was the end of my trip - my rear shock blew on the ride out, dumping all it's oil on my back tyre, the undamped bounce throwing me off twice more before it was all over.

Abrecrave was the destination that night. Great food, and hot radiators to dry us out. The next day I had a slow and bouncy 3 hour ride home while the rest of the gang rode south on more good testing trails to Newport and the planned end of the trip.

Bloodied but unbowed, it was a great trip with great friends. Within 24 hours my bike was in stripped down form - blown shock was the catalyst for a frame-up rebuild, but that's for another thread!

 

My grateful thanks to Georgina, Ian, Colin and Andy for allowing me to use some of their photos here.

 

 



-- Edited by mossproof on Thursday 14th of October 2021 11:12:36 PM

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That is pretty deep, problem once the fire goes out the water can enter the exhaust & fill the cylinder.  Can be a real problem getting the water out, standing the bike on the real wheel to drain etc.  XT250 are much lower

Cheers good photos



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On the Serow the crank breather runs straight from the bottom of the airbox into the cases, so if water gets in the airbox it runs straight into the engine! We had to take the header off one bike to get it drained - stock exhaust baffle seems to hold water even when the bike is on end!
At least it was nice clean water, but my boots really stink now!

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Good report, I enjoyed reading that



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Super good photos and good read .Water is seriously deep .Lucky you made it .

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Interesting and difficult trip.

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The Devil’s Staircase – only attempt downhill! 

Up hill is more fun smile



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