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The Second Cambrian Challenge

by Jon Chesworth

This was a two day event starting from the Llangollen Motor Museum (well worth a visit and allows overnight parking) and stopping for the night at Barmouth.  As the weekend approached, various folk sent their apologies; a lack of roadworthy machines and a dismal weather forecast took their toll.  In the end there was only me left and as I was doing it as a sponsored event to raise money for a Church building fund, I had to have a go!

Armed with warm clothing, many waterproofs, a recently rebuilt Norman Nippy moped, and with my wife and two boys as back up off we went.  The Shropshire sunshine duly gave way to Welsh rain as we crossed the border.  The route followed the A5 to Corwen and cut across country to Bala, journeying to the coast via Dolgellau.  Leaving Barmouth the next day we went up the coast to Harlech and then via Trawsfynydd and Llyn Celyn to Bala and back to Llangollen.  Needless to say, it only stopped raining when we got back!

The Nippy performed brilliantly, despite having only just been run in the Villiers 3k did all that it was asked.  In fact the bike is not that much slower than my 150cc D3 Bantam.  Crossing the mountains was no problem, LPA was never needed and most of the gradients were climbed in top gear.  With such a willing engine, two gears, a Denfeld rubber saddle, leading link forks and plunger rear suspension the whole thing was too easy (but don't tell the parishioners who coughed up over £350 in sponsorship!)

Perhaps next year with some sunshine and a few friends, the Cyclemaster even, hmmm

First published - August 2000

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