OAPs daily release (or 3)

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middleagedmadness
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OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by middleagedmadness » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:55 pm

Wednesday afternoon set off from home and met reg on the train to Caersws,bit of a chat and a brew and we were there ,stepped off the train to be greeted by one of ref's mates asking if we were going to join him for a pint ,after much deliberation we decided against it and headed on our way ,a bit overcast but nice enough ,down ncn 81 and up onto a bridleway just past the hot tub lodges ,now on the map the bridleway was a dead end but with a forest track a few hundred yards after it had finished,climbed up through the grassy hills only to find there's not only sheep sh1te in Wales but also a massive amount of cow pat's needless to say I was caked along with the bike within a hour of starting our trip ,we gets to the end of the track and sure enough the forest track is right there in front of us no drama involved ,started off ok and then just as it's drops down to llyn Ebyr it's the most rutted track I've been on in ages ,like at track machine has been through it and then the grass Has grown over the ruts ,we drop out onto the road and into llandidoes ,fish and chips in the market Square and then into the crown and anchor for a couple of pints and more drivel spoken ,we drag ourselves out of the pub and upto hafren where we spot a toilet block with a canopy ,just as the rain is starting so there you go a perfect shelter for the night ( this was the start of the theme for the next few days mistakes made but turning out for the best ) will do a separate write up for the next few days ,but let's just say they included horrendous weather lots of food and beer)
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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by TheBrownDog » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:09 pm

Crikey Stu. Looks like a murder scene. Proper tramps night out then.
I'm just stepping outside ...

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by RIP » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:24 pm

I'd say it gave us a very good approximation of how last year's BB200 sufferers/enjoyers felt. Except we had it for three days :smile: . Floods, power cuts, soaked to the skin, bridge closures, trains cancelled - and they were the good bits! Pics and crime scene report soon.
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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:03 pm

Good work fellas. I don't think it's actually stopped raining since Wednesday morning ..... obviously, I'm still gutted that I was unable to join you :wink:
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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by RIP » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:47 pm

Thanks Stu, we certainly missed your presence, although at one of the spots there was just room for four. If you'd been there, there would have been some playful spot-realestate-subdivision discussions given the circumstances :wink: .
Last edited by RIP on Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
"My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by middleagedmadness » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:53 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:03 pm
Good work fellas. I don't think it's actually stopped raining since Wednesday morning ..... obviously, I'm still gutted that I was unable to join you :wink:
On the plus side stu I know my gatewood is fully waterproof after last night :-bd

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by middleagedmadness » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:58 pm

TheBrownDog wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:09 pm
Crikey Stu. Looks like a murder scene. Proper tramps night out then.
What made it worse Tim ,it was ,A, in the woods &B reg was in close proximity ,I'll write up day 2 tomorrow and you'll see my sleeping situation was actually worse on the Thursday night :wink:

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by RIP » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:05 pm

Well that was quite a surreal few days. Leave home in bright sunshine, return home in bright sunshine. Sandwiched between was a roll call of the best of British weather. I wouldn’t have changed a second of it, although some of the actual hours I could easily have swapped for something more pleasurable like being subjected to a complete washing machine cycle wearing full clothing.

After pointlessly checking the “heavy rain and high winds, some thunderstorms” forecast (we were going whatever was thrown at us), the only kit modification I courageously/foolhardily made was to chuck a Stu cuben shower-curtain into my sleeping kit drybag and two extra pegs. The rest of it included 9’x7’ 194g flat cuben tarp, one Stu 48g pole, 10 x 9g Ti V-pegs, Exped Winterlite mat, Exped pillowpump, Montane down hat, pair of clean sleeping knickers (you know, those nice frilly ones) and 390g PHD Minim Ultra bag, all on the bars. Also up front: gaffer-tape stemcell with 500ml water; Alpkit UL7 stemcell with tiny lock, Steripen, one ground-testing tent peg / poo “trowel”, Mini-morph pump; & door key. A/kit UL7 fuel tank on top-tube with phone, tickets & money, in plastic bags. Seat pack: tool kit, tube, 1st aid and bathroom, Lumicycle light battery, maps, a few snacks (nuts, choc, flapjack), spare socks (unused), breakfast kitchen (3 lots of porage & ovaltine, 400ml Ti mug, Ti windshield, plastic pot, Ti spork, Stu 18g stove, cardboard/foil stove pad, 100ml of bio-ethanol, & waterproof matches). Wore all my clothes and took no spares except socks: helmet + Lumicycle light, bamboo base top, one 320g fleece, Rab Demand eVent smock, padded undershorts, Madison Tempest shorts, Berghaus Paclite trousers, bamboo socks, Salomon lightweight walking boots. The only thing I wished I’d done was wrap the battery in a plastic bag, sigh.

At Caersws station we bumped into my mate “Uncle Tony” who lives nearby and who was interested to know why MaM had enterprisingly installed a fire-extinguisher on his bike. Presumably Mike has recommended this so as to be prepared for any dangerous bike overheating situations.

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It was already drizzling nicely as we made up a route to Llandildos (a stimulating church), basically a straight line of bridleways via Llyn Ebyr. As MaM says, there were some “gaps”, although curiously some bridleways on the map were non-existent, and some non-existent gaps were actually bridleways/tracks, which was rather confusing. MaM already smelled like a cowshed which is presumably why he just ploughed straight through this slough-of-despond rather than taking the high-level route along the grassy field!

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After a rather moist night in Hafren – although less moist than our initial open-air option would have been during the downpours and thunderstorm – we rolled into Staylittle to meet Peter (psling) who had passed an awful night in the Star swathed in downy duvet and pillows after a sumptuous meal. Somebody had to do it. We stocked up on snacks from Nick Humphreys in the post office (do please try and support him if you pass during a BB event, it’s the only shop for miles around) and continued through a variety of showers and more downpours to the well-known bridge at Cyfartha mine with the streams looking somewhat more dangerous than usual.

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By the time we passed Bugeilyn our boots were full of water and stayed that way for three days. One particularly massive rainstorm saw Peter and myself dodge into Bugeilyn barn but MaM carried on for some curious reason and disappeared over the hill. Ten minutes later we found him having a bit of a “Hamlet Moment” with a bedraggled fag.

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We hadn’t planned a route over to Borth but didn’t really want to go south to Hyddgen, then again we weren’t sure about the route through Mynydd Bychan forest to Foel Fras which seemed to include another bridleway “gap”. Only one-way to find out, go and have a look! Luckily this did indeed join up, and took us round to New Pool and Anglers Rest, at which point again the heavens opened. This is quite a seriously remote location to get caught out but my faithful Rab smock prevented damp/warm turning into soaking/freezing – I really do love that jacket. We did our good deed for the day rescuing a sheep that had got tangled with a wire fence, MaM cutting a wire with his pliers. Sadly it seemed unlikely to survive as it limped away.

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Down towards Borth we popped in at Y LLew Coch in Talybont to, er, check where Pickers was. He was just getting the train to Borth so after a quick half we paddled onwards aqueously to the coast. The Victoria Inn seemed a good bet for food/beers but it seemed sensible (relatively!) to try and find a vaguely sheltered spot so we carried on riding – the football club terraces looked alright but security-camera’d, a bus shelter was somewhat spartan, but MaM found a good place in the dunes. So, back to the pub head-on into a horrendous gale. My meal looked a bit like a mad knifeman had attacked it.

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Two hours later during a rare dry spell we re-traced to the dunes, but I spotted a lady walking a dog and suggested we moved on for a while. This little happenstance resulted in us finding an altogether better covered area at a building closed for the winter, with concrete floors and even a defibrillator which might be handy for us pensioners! The dunes would have been amusing because the night turned out to be very wet indeed.

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Come morning, we ploughed back to the village struggling to stay upright in what the forecast claimed were 40mph winds and heavy rain. It felt like someone was drumming on your head. While we waited for the café to open, we stood dejectedly in the railway station wondering what to do that day. The original plan of Machynlleth via Nantyrarian was abandoned and replaced by a shorter trip to Nant Syddion, then that was replaced by a shorter return back to Anglers Rest due to another massive rain storm, and that was soon also rejected in favour of a low-level route to Mach. We also considered taking the train to Aber for no apparent reason, or even one back to Mach. An old chap appeared and asked to look after a couple of cases while he retrieved his two grannies and wife from the car. The grannies proceeded to board the train, which then departed, and passengers slowly filtered away into the village. Bloke suddenly notices: “er, where’s my wife?”, at which point he realises she’s got stuck in the train and leaps into his car and gives chase! He’s probably still halfway to Euston as we speak.

After a Reg-inspired wrong turn near Talybont we took a superb track towards Artists Valley and headed up that. MaM had showed us an almost immediate turn towards Mach but we were having so much fun mucking about in the floods, that we ended up at the top of the valley and almost at Anglers Rest after all!! Peter was feeling a bit “bonky” so opted to drop back down to the main road to Mach, but the rest of us headed up through tussock hell into the forest looking for a claimed BOAT, although goodness knows what sort of “T” would have made it through the tussocks to reach it. As it happened this slight cockup led our "plan" to change yet again and turned out to be one of the best bits of the day, and even included some momentary sunshine.

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More downpours took us past Llyn Conach, and over to The Chute which was basically a suicidal river-rapids in this weather, although surprisingly none of us was seriously damaged on the way down. Several lanes were under a foot of water but we were past caring and plunged on towards Mach.

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Arriving in Mach we were really looking forward to a quick ride to one of my fave pubs near Corris when we discovered that the flooding was so bad that the Dyfi bridge was closed and the whole of the valley was a sheet of water! Various cars were aimlessly waiting at the barriers but a local chap suggested we crossed anyway – “don’t worry you can see the white line marking if you look carefully”. Shame it was under a foot of water which was flowing quite swiftly across the whole road. Ah well, I need a new bottom bracket anyway so what the hell. It was quite entertaining riding 400 yards with each foot dipping into the water with every revolution but we made it somehow, and reached the pub to find that Peter had just missed this closure. Equally lucky was electric power had been restored to the valley after a 3-hour power cut while we’d been in the hills.

A very soggy night indeed under our tarps etc ensued, and I awoke to see my bike had a flat tyre. Sigh. We assumed we’d have to ride to Mach the long way via Cemmaes so this was not welcome. Opted to just pump it and see how things went. A last-minute check of the Dyfi bridge showed it was now open again, so victory was snatched from the jaws of the long way round. By this time we’d decided to call it a day, and MaM and myself aimed for the midday train after a nice breakfast at Maengwyn Café. As we passed the station I made a sudden decision to reserve bike spaces. Yet again, a chance decision changed the whole plan. We went in and asked for the reservations, to be told that we’d be lucky to even have a train! The line was shut due to the floods. Two buses sat outside, and after buttering up a driver we managed to get our bikes on, and along with a few other passengers headed to Shrewsbury for breakfast there instead. As it happened we returned to a train at Newtown, but it was so crowded by Shrewsbury due to other closures we just gave up and carried on home starving without stopping. Pickers meanwhile apparently enjoyed a very pleasant breakfast in Mach, and Peter picked up his car at the Star. As always, the escapade was “one of the best few days of my life, with some absolutely brilliant BBB companions”, well at least since the previous “best few days of my life, with some absolutely brilliant BBB companions”. Despite (half of us) being a bunch of old pensioners, I can honestly say I felt little different than I did in my teens or 20’s, and that’s the power of bikepacking.

I know the other guys took some cracking photos, so hopefully they'll be along soon to explain what really happened, rather than my hazy recollections and ravings!

'Reg'
Last edited by RIP on Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Dave Barter
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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by Dave Barter » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:18 pm

Great write up and great to see some real weather
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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by RIP » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:20 pm

Thanks Dave. "real weather" - yes, I was beginning to think we'd all gone soft on here recently :smile: . Glad to have redressed the balance :-bd .
"My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by redefined_cycles » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:21 pm

Just sifted through the write up Reg. Gonna read it properly later with a cuppa freshly ground coffee...

2 things I did note... Firstly MaM (in blue right) looks amazingly like BwarboneNorm... are they brothers. Secondly, wow, you guys are proper hard as crap and was that true regarding the fella who lost his wife :lol: ... Once I went to drop my sister off at York or Leeds. Got on the train to help put here suitcase up and the train departed for Scotland :smile: ...

Anyway, thanks for the detailed writeup and looking forward to it. Hopefully the grou d will get soggier for the bb ride next month. Means Stu won't won't perplex in finding soggy ground to walk throuvh and his route building might be easier :smile:

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by middleagedmadness » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:31 am

Cheers for the writing reg ,saves me drivelling on ,will post up some photos later,the reason it was a bad sleeping situation on Thursday was down to having regs feet to me head on the left side and peters and pickers feet to my head on the right side,plus there was a hell of a lot of old man's flatulance going on that night
Shaf I think stu may be offended by that comment ,width wise he's about half my size :lol: ,and definitely has more hair than me :-bd

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by Pickers » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:22 am

I reckon that's a pretty fair account Reg, the Saga Seaside Excursion fully living up to expectations. You were even pretty excited about the coach trip at the end. A properly excellent couple of days though, with a wide range of weather presented for our delectation.
ImageBaM - Machynlleth 27/9/19 by Richard Picton, on Flickr
Reg, in the rain

ImageBaM - Machynlleth 27/9/19 by Richard Picton, on Flickr
But when the clouds did part....

ImageBaM - Machynlleth 27/9/19 by Richard Picton, on Flickr
The barriers were set up at Dyfi bridge...

ImageBaM - Machynlleth 27/9/19 by Richard Picton, on Flickr
But we've got a pub to reach

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:23 am

Lovely work - you'll be glad to know that it still hasn't stopped raining and the forecast would suggest that it never will.

Greying beard and rugged facia - we all look the same Stu, although the ears should be a giveaway :wink:

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by benp1 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:03 am

Top work chaps, enjoyed the write up

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by composite » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:55 am

The Mrs and I stayed in a B&B near Pennal earlier in the year and got stitched up by that bridge being closed. De-tour wasn't so bad in the car though. Next morning we realised the road to Dol was also closed because of a land slip. It had been a bit wet that weekend as well.

Enjoyed the write up guys. I lived for those moments when it was cold and wet and you found a surprise place to sleep in that brought you that little bit more comfort than you were expecting from your bag and tarp. :smile:

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by ChrisF » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:25 am

Great write up chaps, some proper Welsh weather! I wouldn’t have lasted past the first night.

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by Borderer » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:43 am

Pickers wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:22 am
I reckon that's a pretty fair account Reg, the Saga Seaside Excursion fully living up to expectations. You were even pretty excited about the coach trip at the end.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by RIP » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:52 am

Pickers is definitely right about the Reg Weather Jinx - this, July's Fens rainfest, last year's Salop winter bivvy nightmare, last Sept's Sellafield henhouse-monsoon, etc etc. Worryingly I think I might actually prefer it to so-called 'better' weather. This week just reinforced Stu's view that any 'waterproof' clothing below the thighs is a waste of time/money. In fact I'm seriously thinking of just riding in tough sandals ('hippy!!!!') from now on. And remember boots are one of the heaviest things you 'carry' - even my 'lightweight' ones weigh more than any of my shelter, mat, sleeping bag, tools, er.. well it seems they are THE heaviest item! To what end? My lack of any change of clothes made no difference to anything either - ok, I put new socks on and they're as wet as the previous ones within 5 mins. So long as they're warm I don't care. If you speak to my co-passengers on the train home they may entertain you with marginally different views I guess.
Last edited by RIP on Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by RIP » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:55 am

Borderer wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:43 am
Pickers wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:22 am
I reckon that's a pretty fair account Reg, the Saga Seaside Excursion fully living up to expectations. You were even pretty excited about the coach trip at the end.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Yes that cracked me up too Bridg :smile: . Lovely bit of whimsy there Rich :smile: .
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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by Borderer » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:03 pm

Crocs and waterproof socks are the way to go I reckon.

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by RIP » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:28 pm

I concur B. Tried that combo yet then?
"My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by RIP » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:55 pm

In fact, I considered these 5-Fingers jobbies a while ago for river crossings. It occurs to me that the last three days were basically one giant river crossing :wink: . I think it needs to be something lace-up, to prevent an extremely painful pedal/rear-of-ankle contact situation after a sandal/croc slips off.

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by htrider » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:24 pm

:-bd

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/wds-1-fishi ... gIxr_D_BwE
These are maybe the solution for those conditions?

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Re: OAPs daily release (or 3)

Post by RIP » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:31 pm

:grin:
"My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster

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