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Previous SaPAR Rideouts

March – Devils Bridge
This second attempt at the first rideout of the month thankfully saw a big improvement in the weather. A decent number of riders turned up for the ride which took us through some interesting roads via Knighton and Clun, stopping at the Elan Valley visitors centre for lunch. The afternoon stop was at Devils Bridge café with a further brief stop at McDonalds in Newtown where the official ride ended. Typically there was a small amount of rain but not enough to dampen the spirits of our hardy riders.
Ride Leader – Bob Hayes
Tail End Charlie – Ken Swinton
May
This months well attended rideout was led by Mark and Tina Kelly and explored some new roads in Mid-Wales. The route took us via Clun, on to Builth Wells and to Machynlleth for lunch. After lunch we meandered through more interesting roads around Newtown, Welshpool and back to Dinkies for coffee. No riders were lost during the ride although in fairness a few were misplaced for a while.
Ride Leaders – Mark and Tina Kelly
Tail End Charlie – Ken Swinton
Photos courtesy of Tina Kelly
October
11 bikes and 12 members attended this months ride which was a fairly short one due to the afternoon AGM. The route went East for a change to avoid the threatened wet front moving in from the West. The group traveled via Newport, Stafford, Uttoxeter, Ashbourne and on to Carsington Water for lunch. Although the skies were very cloudy for most of the day the roads dried and an enjoyable ride was had by all. A small shower as we arrived back to Shrewsbury for the AGM did not seem to dampen spirits. The guess the mileage competition was won by Mark Kelly who was closest to the original planned mileage of 136 miles.
Ride Leader – Kevin Fletcher
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Photos courtesy of Kevin Fletcher and Ken Swinton
November
This months ride was led by Phil Noble who chose the scenic route to Newton for a comfort break then on to Crossgates for lunch. The original plan was a trip over the mountains but in view of the weather and potential road conditions it was decided to change the route for more suitable roads. After lunch Phil led the group via Clun and back to Montford Bridge.
The guess the mileage competition was won by Bryan Murphy who was closest to the route mileage of 107 miles.
Ride Leader – Phil Noble
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Photos courtesy of Bill Croxon, Robin Padgett and Ken Swinton
8th April – Aberystwyth
The first rideout of 2018 (March was abandoned due to appalling weather) was thankfully in warmer and drier conditions. The group of 24 riders left Montford Bridge picnic area and headed via a variety of twisties to Crossgates cafe for morning coffee. We proceeded past Rhayader, over the Cambrian Mountains and headed to Aberystwyth for lunch. The return trip to Shrewsbury was a more direct route Via Newtown for yet more coffee.
Ride Leader – Ken Swinton
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Photos courtesy of Sally McMillan and Bill Croxon
Video Clip courtesy of David Rogers
3rd June
This months ride began at Montford Bridge Picnic Area then taking the scenic route, stopped at Newtown for a quick break. We then took the main route towards Aberystwyth diverting via some minor roads and stopping for coffee at the Woodlands Café at Devils Bridge. After refreshments the group headed via the Elan Valley with splendid views across the lakes. After lunch onwards via Newtown and back to Dinkies Dinah for final coffee. 22 riders began the ride with some leaving at various points along the route.
Ride Leader – Phil Noble
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Photos courtesy of Ken Swinton and Marion Versluijs
1st July
Our chairman Bill Croxon organised and led this months ride which took us along scenic roads to Llandudno and the Great Orme via Bala for a comfort stop and Betws y Coed for morning coffee. 14 riders started the venture, a smaller number than usual due to it being holiday season with many of the regulars away in other picturesque locations. Nevertheless, a good turnout in what could only be described as Scorchio conditions. Temperatures rose steadily throughout the day from a mild 16 degrees to a mind altering 31 degrees. Thankfully most riders heeded the warnings to bring fluids. We did have an incident in which an anti-English Welsh pheasant attacked a rider who had to retire with a possible broken digit. Not sure how the pheasant got on although I did see one laying by the roadside. The ride ended at Oswestry services and before the proposed finish point to allow riders to travel home and refresh. Guess the mileage was won by Tim Moore who shared the takings with Bill, only £6.50 each, Tims share has been kindly donated to Air Ambulance on his behalf.
Ride Leader – Bill Croxon
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Photos courtesy of Ken Swinton and Bill Croxon
A video of our antics can be found here
5th August
Kevin Fletcher organised and led this months ride to sunny Barmouth. The roads were excellent as was the weather with only minor hold ups on the last approach to Barmouth. The total mileage for the trip as recorded by Kevin’s trusty milometer was 158 miles. The winner of the Guess The Mileage competition after a recount was Roger Tame who was the closest with a guess of 161 miles. Roger and Kevin shared the spoils of £18.00 and both have asked that it be donated to the Air Ambulance. Many thanks for that chaps, A convenient sum of £20.00 has been added to my local Air Ambulance collecting box.
Ride Leader – Kevin Fletcher
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Photos courtesy of Kevin Fletcher and Ken Swinton
2nd September
Bob Hayes led this months ride through deepest Shropshire with a brief comfort stop at Clun then on to the Elan Valley visitor centre for morning coffee. Suitably refreshed we ventured over the mountain roads towards Devils Bridge for lunch. The return journey was dampened slightly as we rode towards Newtown where the official ride ended. The guess the mileage competition was won by Stuart Wall with a guess of 134 miles which was closest to the actual mileage of 121.
Ride Leader – Bob Hayes
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Photos courtesy of Ken Swinton
7th October
Marion Versluijs led this months shortened ride which coincided with this years AGM. The route took in some fabulous views of the Shropshire Hills visiting Clun, Ludlow and Jackfield. Unusually we started with 12 riders and finished with 14, not bad when temperatures were only 3 degrees at the start. Guess the mileage competition was won by Kevin Fletcher who was spot on with 107 miles. Kevin also has promised to donate his share to the Air Ambulance.
Ride Leader – Marion Versluijs
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Pictures courtesy of Marion Versluijs and Ken Swinton
4th November
Jon Tatton led this months ride through the Shropshire countryside towards Crossgates cafe for lunch. A varied assortment of roads and conditions kept our members on their toes but all arrived safely. More of the same in the afternoon led to the old station at Welshpool where the official ride ended. Guess the mileage competition was won by John Roe who was only 0.2 miles off the correct mileage of 118.8.
Ride Leader – Jon Tatton
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Pictures courtesy of Ken Swinton
2nd December
The final rideout of the year was led by John and Annie Roe who headed a group of 11 bikes from Montford Bridge to Bala then on to the Ponderosa for lunch. Although the weather was fine and sunny as we left it deteriorated as we ventured over the hills towards our mid morning comfort break. The ponderosa was typically windy and wet but as we made our way back down from Horseshoe Pass it began to clear , only to become much worse as we headed back towards Telford. The guess the mileage competition was won by Robin Padgett who was only 1 mile out of the planned distance of 114 miles. Both Joh Roe and Robin have kindly donated their winnings to the Air Ambulance and the cash has been popped into my local collection box.

Ride Leader – John and Annie Roe
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Pictures courtesy of Robin Padgett, Tony Richardson and Ken Swinton
A video of the ride courtesy of Andrew Harrison can be viewed by clicking this link

7th April – Tanygrisiau
Having decided that March is not a good month for the initial riding season to start, and having had the previous two March rideouts cancelled due to inclement weather, I was very pleased to see a dry forecast for this months event. Seventeen riders turned out at Montford Bridge and after the obligatory coffee and bacon bap headed off over the hills to Bala for a leisurely morning coffee break. Lunch was at Tanygrisiau café which was bathed in glorious sunshine, the likes of which have not been seen on my rideouts for some years. I think the nickname of ‘Rain Bringer’ is grossly unfair. After lunch the group travelled onwards across some very scenic hilltops to Rhug for afternoon tea. The guess the mileage competition was won, due to an almost tied guess by Alex Collier and Simon Plevin who both guessed within 0.5 of a mile (133.5miles)
Ride Leader – Ken Swinton
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Photos courtesy of Ken Swinton & Bill Croxon
12th May – Weston Park
The May rideout was created, organised and led by Charles Bridgeman who took a small group of members on a scenic route to his ancestral home at Weston Park located at Weston Under Lizard, Shropshire. Mercifully the weather was excellent albeit a tad chilly first thing but soon warmed up under the bright blue skies and brilliant sunshine. On arrival at Weston Park Charles gave us a potted history of his early days in the big house before finding a secluded stretch of road, private of course, where for a short period of time we allowed ourselves to behave like hooligans without the worry of many, many points being added to our licence. Frivolities over we ventured to the Granary Deli for lunch before strolling through the grounds which were originally designed by Capability Brown and have been preserved in a sympathetic way that maintains a mix of many different species of trees and other plants. Having topped up our wildlife and nature skills it was time for some culture. A tour of the house was led by the curator Gareth Williams assisted by Charles who between them provided a lengthy commentary and descriptions of the many interesting artefacts scattered around the house. The house tour ended with a look into Charles bedroom from when he was much younger, This is now a very expensive guest room and thankfully all remnants of Pink Floyd and Suzi Quattro posters have been removed.
Ride Leader – Charles Bridgeman
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Photos courtesy of Ken Swinton & Bill Croxon
2nd June – Aberystwyth
Sadly the weather forecast for this ride was spot on. OK in the early morning, raining in Bala and raining even heavier in Aberystwyth. That said, we all need some practice in the wet just to prove how good modern tyres are and to keep the confidence levels up. Some members took the instruction for the early stage of the ride to ‘follow the signs for Lake Vyrnwy’ too seriously and took the scenic route, happily they were not lost permanently and all gathered on the shores of Lake Bala for a coffee/comfort break. Onwards to Aber to find that an unfortunate sole had driven his vehicle into a ditch on the mountain road leaving only enough space for motorcycles and city cars. Those with motorhomes, of which there were many faced a test of their reversing skills. No turning points on these roads! Ride leader Alex Hutchinson-Collier did his daily good deed and warned approaching drivers of the obstacle ahead. As our group of around 15 bikes approached Aber the skies began to clear with even a hint of sunshine breaking through. The ride back via Newtown and Welshpool was in almost glorious sunshine providing a chance to dry our kit. The guess the mileage competition was won by Glyn Jones our Tail End Charlie who was only 2 miles short of the actual mileage of 187.
Ride Leader – Alex Hutchinson-Collier
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Photos courtesy of Ken Swinton
7th July – Tremadog
Stuart and Sally McMillan and the weather gods had conspired to make it a perfect day for riding. Cool at first rising steadily to a not too scorchio temperature in the afternoon. The ride took us on a scenic route over the mountains to the quaint railway station at Bala. After a break we ventured onwards towards Porthmadog where we stopped at Eric Jones Café for lunch. If anyone thinks that motorcycling is dangerous then see the photos for real danger on the rockface opposite the café. Mad fools. After lunch we made our way back towards Shropshire and Rhug for afternoon coffee from where the group dispersed in many directions. There were 13 bikes and 15 riders and passengers at the start of the ride gradually diminishing during the course of the day. The mileage calculated from Montford Bridge back to Dinkies Diner was 181.8 miles and the Guess the Mileage competition was won by Jon Hepburn who was closest with a guess of 182 miles.
Ride Leader – Stuart and Sally McMillan
Tail End Charlie – Glyn Jones
Photos courtesy of Robin Padgett & Ken Swinton
4th August – Broseley Festival
This months rideout coincided with the Broseley Motorcycle Festival, strangely held in Broseley, Shropshire. The weather forecast was also promising rain for the afternoon so the actual ride was shortened a bit to avoid the tempest that was expected. The ride started as usual from Montford Bridge picnic area in Shrewsbury following a scenic route via Montgomery and Abermule along the Newtown By-Pass then the A483 to Crossgates for refreshments. After our break we headed through Craven Arms, Much Wenlock and into Broseley only to find that the festival was coming to an end. Never mind we enjoyed the ride and escaped dismantling the stand.
Ride Leader – Ken Swinton
Tail End Charlie – Tim Moore
Photos courtesy of Michelle Jennings & Ken Swinton
1st September – Dilwyn
Our rideout this month was led by Charles Bridgeman. As usual we gathered at the Montford Bridge picnic area and after coffee and the ride brief we ventured off towards Church Stoke and a comfort break at Clun. Suitable refreshed we then headed to Crossgates for a leisurely coffee break. Lunch was at The Crown Inn in the heart of the picturesque village of Dilwyn. Our afternoon break was at the Secret Hills Discovery Centre at Craven Arms after which members dispersed in the general direction of home. The guess the mileage competition was won by a new member Hugh Trevor-Jones who was closest to the planned mileage of 144.7 miles with a guess of 142. The kitty was shared between Charles and Hugh.
Ride Leader – Charles Bridgeman
Tail End Charlie – Tim Moore
No photos this time.
6th October – Ponderosa – AGM
Todays ride led  by Alex Hutchinson-Collier was a shorter than usual event due to the AGM to be held at 15:00 at Snailbeach Village Hall. The route took us through some interesting lanes in the morning stopping at Bala for morning coffee and an opportunity to catch up with other members. From here we ventured on a scenic route to the Ponderosa on Horseshoe Pass for lunch after which we made our way to the AGM. No photos this time, there are many, many photos of Bala in these posts and far to wet and windy to be snapping at Ponderosa.
Ride Leader – Alex Hutchinson-Collier
Tail End Charlie – Tim Moore
3rd November – Ponderosa
Todays ride was led  by Alex Hutchinson-Collier and in view of the expected weather conditions and the condition of some roads was shortened and confined to mostly larger and straightforward roads. An unexpected but very pleasing number of members arrived at Montford Bridge for the start of the ride and included new members and a guest bringing the number of bikes to 17. After coffee and the ride brief we ventured off taking the scenic route to the Ponderosa Cafe via Ellesmere and Wrexham. After lunch we meandered back again taking a scenic route to Montford Bridge for coffee before heading home. The guess the mileage competition was won by Gary Santry who was closest to the actual mileage of 76.5 miles with a guess of 82 miles.
Ride Leader – Alex Hutchinson-Collier
Tail End Charlie – Ken Swinton
Photographs courtesy of Simon Plevin

No rideouts this year due to the COVID epidemic!!!

June  – Crossgates roundtrip
Finally after many months of restrictions due to Covid-19 we are able to run our monthly rideouts again, at least for the time being.  Ride Coordinator Charles Bridgeman arranged for a trip through Much Wenlock via Buildwas then to Craven Arms Discovery Centre for coffee and leg stretch then on to Crossgates for lunch. After lunch we followed some caravans back to Newtown for a brief leg stretch then back to Shrewsbury. The weather was a bit grim in the morning with heavy rain in the Telford area but warmed up nicely for lunch and bright sunshine in the afternoon. It was good to see familiar faces and also some non members who wished to join us on the run to see how things worked. We hope they had a good day and look forward to seeing them again in the future.
Ride Leader – Charles Bridgeman
Tail End Charlie – Tim Moore
Photos courtesy of Ken Swinton & Bill Croxon
July – Stone, Peaks and Nantwich
Todays ride was led by Dave Johnson who led a band of 6 intrepid riders through what can only be described as a soggy day. I believe there were some dry and sunny spells which hopefully allowed the riders good views of the surrounding areas. The route taken from Shrewsbury through to Newport then Stone and a brief stop at McDonalds in Meir for a coffee and comfort break. Onwards into the peaks stopping at Flash Bar Cafe for lunch. After lunch heading west past the Cat and Fiddle, through Holmes Chapel, then to Ma Bakers at Prees Heath where the ride ended. Thanks to Alan Fowles for stepping is as Tail End Charlie at very short notice.
Ride leader – Dave Johnson
Tail End Charlie – Alan Fowles
Photos courtesy of Alan Fowles
August – Newtown, Crossgates, Craven Arms
This months ride was created and led by Hugh Trevor-Jones, possibly due to the improved weather conditions and the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions there was an increased number of riders (16) taking part this month. After a cloudy start at Montford Bridge the ride ventured to Newtown for a comfort break before heading along the excellent A483 to Crossgates.  After lunch the group took the very scenic route through Knighton and Clun to the Discovery Centre at Craven Arms, where by chance a classic car rally added interest to the day. The final leg of the ride was via Much Wenlock to Dinkys Dinahs.
Ride leader – Hugh Trevor-Jones
Tail End Charlie – Tim Moore
Photos courtesy of Bill Croxon & Ken Swinton
September – Broseley, Ludlow, Elan Valley, Dinky’s Diner
Todays ride was planned and led by Kevin Fletcher and attracted around 17 riders including a couple of guests who came along to see how we function, we hope to see them again. Happily and despite a chilly start to the day it warmed nicely to a staggering 25 degrees. All roads were good with few caravans or tractors with the group heading towards Ludlow food hall for a morning cuppa and a leg stretch. Onwards with a brief stop at Crossgates for fuel to the Elan Valley Visitor Centre for lunch. After lunch  heading back through Rhayader circumnavigating Newtown and ending at Dinky’s.
No photos this time as we were all far too busy enjoying the ride and catching up with members and guests.
Ride Leader – Kevin Fletcher
Tail End Charlie – Tim Moore
October – Montgomery, Abermule, Rhayader, Pen-Y-Bont, Craven Arms
Martin Powell was our ride leader this month after stepping at short notice. A group of 8 experienced riders met at Montford Bridge and ventured out on one of Martins more challenging routes through Mid Wales.
Ride Leader – Martin Powell
Tail End Charlie – Bryan Murphy
Video courtesy of Bill Croxon Photos courtesy of Bryan Murphy
November – Newtown, Knighton, Bishops Castle
This ride was led by Phil Noble, leaving Montford Bridge Cafe on a day much improved from the previous day. We took a scenic route via Chirbury, Montgomery and Abermule to Newtown for a comfort stop. Then, onwards avoiding the main route and heading over the hills towards Beguildy then on to Knighton for lunch. Due to a blockage of the proposed route the return trip to Shrewsbury was via Clun and Pontesbury. Turnout was good for the time of year with 12 bikes at peak time.
Ride Leader – Phil Noble
Tail End Charlie – Dave Johnson
March  – Crossgates roundtrip
Ride Coordinator Charles Bridgeman arranged for a trip through Much Wenlock via Buildwas then to Craven Arms Discovery Centre for coffee and leg stretch then on to Crossgates for lunch. After lunch a scenic and windy route back to Newtown for a brief leg stretch then back to Shrewsbury. The weather was fair with bright sunshine in places . It was good to see familiar faces and also some non members who wished to join us on the run to see how things worked. We hope they had a good day and look forward to seeing them again in the future.
Ride Leader – Charles Bridgeman
Tail End Charlie – Bryan Murphy
Photos courtesy of Bryan Murphy & Ken Swinton
April – Martins Mystery Trip
This was a largely unplanned event thanks to Martin stepping up at short notice to lead the ride. Seven riders joined Martin on a route towards Newtown, viewed from a spectacular vantage point way above the town.
Ride leader – Martin Powell
Tail End Charlie – Alan Fowles
Photos courtesy of Alan Fowles, Bill Croxon & Rob Hall
May – Dave Johnson Tour
Forecast was for a wet day with the cloud base likely to affect views from some of the higher points of the route.  Starting point was the usual Montford Bridge Cafe with seven riders of varying experience; indeed, ‘high five’ for Sean Pyne on his first ride with the group and being ‘Tail End Charlie’.
The route took us to Lake Vyrnwy, via Llanfyllin and the B4393, for our first break before then following the NW route along Eunant Fawr.  Unfortunately, we entered the cloud base for a short period below Foel Y Groes before breaking cover with the rapid descent into the valley to Dinas Mawddwy.  After a quick run on the A470, we headed West from Aberangell to Aberllefenni through a picturesque, wooded valley area and on some very good tarmac!  Intersecting the A487 then took us to our lunch break at the Centre for Alternative Technology.
Back on the A487 after lunch, it was a quick hop down to Machynlleth before we then head SE on the Forge Road – an excellent, flowing, twisty road passing the stunning Ceunant Dylife valley. Turning right onto the B4518 for a short time, we turn off this road to head South in order take scenic route to the West of Llyn Clywedog Reservoir before arriving at Clywedog Dam viewing point for a break and refreshment. For the final leg to Welshpool, we pick up the B4569 out of Llanidloes through Trefeglwys to Caersws.  Then onto the A470 to Carno before heading NE towards Cefn Coch.  We should have taken the B3485 from Llanfair Caereinion but instead, I decided to pick up the A458 to Welshpool to make some time up to arrive at Tuffins/McDonalds.   Honest, I did not miss the turn onto the B3485! Trust me – ahem .
Although the pictures show a damp day, little rain actually fell with generally good road conditions and the cloud base lifting after Midday to allow the group to experience the views from the high points on the route.  We were able to set a good pace and I managed to find some roads that many of the riders had not ridden before and, in places, provide them with some challenging riding in places. Having departed Montford Bridge Cafe at 10:00, we arrived at Welshpool for 16:00 with a lot of smiles all round.  A good days riding through some glorious scenery.  Bring on the June ride.
Ride Leader – Dave Johnson
Tail End Charlie – Sean Pyne
Photos courtesy of: Alan Fowles, Dave Johnson, Sean Pyne, Hugh Trevor-Jones, Kathryn Wilding and Ken Swinton
July – Borth
The July ride very nearly did not happen as the ride leader contracted Covid just days before the event. Fear not, the day was saved by Nigel Bright who stepped up and offered to lead the ride with Bryan and Elsie Murphy picking up the tail enders. Hopeful of a dry day the group of  11 bikes and 12 riders/pillions ventured through the very bowels of Wales heading for Borth. Some of the roads were best described as tracks but took us into the more interesting areas with few cars, some cyclists and many sheep and cows wandering about the roads. The return journey explored more of the above and ended back in civilization at McDonalds in Newtown. A very good day.
Ride Leader – Nigel Bright
Tail End Charlie – Bryan & Elsie Murphy
Photos courtesy of Bryan Murphy & Ken Swinton
August – Two Lakes and a Station
This months ride attracted 17 members and 16 riders. Hugh led us to Bala and the quaint railway station of Llanuwchllyn at the far end of the Lake. After waving the train packed with trippers off we regrouped and continued via Llanrwst, then on to Llansannan for a brief comfort break then to Lake Brenig for lunch. After lunch  back mainly using the A5 finishing at Dinky’s Dinah. The weather was excellent with oddly, no rain.
Ride Leader – Hugh-Trevor Jones
Tail End Charlie – Phil Noble
Photos courtesy of Bill Croxon and Ken Swinton
September – Llangorse Reservoir
This ride was led by Phil Noble with Hugh Trevor-Jones as TEC. The original weather forecast was dire, so attendance was poor. I have added Phils notes below since I could do no better.
At approximately 0955hrs SaPAR’s ‘Fantastic 5’ (Phil – Ride Leader, Hugh – TEC, Rob, Tony and Martin) departed Dinky’s Dinah with a wave and wish of good luck from Ken Swinton.
Phase 1 of the ride out saw the ‘Fantastic 5’ head for Builth Wells via: Worthen, Chirbury, Churchstoke, Pentre, Bishop’s Castle, Clun, Knighton, Whitton, New Radnor, and Hundred House.  Adhering to the principle ‘prevention is better than cure’ thankfully the group were fully waterproofed up on departure as, in accordance with the weather report, the skies unloaded the wet stuff upon us within the first 5 minutes of the ride.  Fortuitously, after a brief dousing, the rain abated for the remainder of the day.
Following a 30 minute ‘brew stop’ in Builth, Phase 2 saw the ‘Fantastic 5’ head for Llangorse Lake (Llyn Langors) via:  Llanddewir, Cwm, Cwm Owen, Upper Chapel, Brecon, Llanfrynach, Talybont-on-Usk, Bwlch and Cathedine.  As we travelled the B4520 paralleling the eastern boundary of Sennybridge (military) Training Area (SENTA), the fluffy, woolly roadside inhabitants kept to their side of the bargain and off the tarmac.
A 60 minute lunch stop was taken at Llangorse Lake which offers good facilities including a cafe, shop and pub.  Be advised these facilities will likely operate to seasonal variation timings.
Phase 3, the route ‘home’, saw the ‘Fantastic 5’ travel through: Talgarth, Bronllys, Hay-on-Wye, Bredwardine, Letton, Kinnersley, Kingsland, Mortimer’s Cross, Lucton, Orleton and Woofferton.  Following a brew at the facilities on offer at Woofferton, the decision was taken to end the ride out at this point, with the ‘Fantastic 5’ making their individual way home.
(You can tell that Phil is from a military background.)
Ride Leader – Phil Noble
Tail End Charlie – Hugh Trevor Jones
Photos courtesy of Phil Noble and Ken Swinton
November – Lake Vyrnwy
The November ride was led by Hugh Trevor-Jones ably assisted by Kathryn Wilding as Tail End Charlie, or for today Tail End Kathryn. The original route was from Montford Bridge picnic area to Lake Vyrnwy with the intention of circling the lake before lunching at the Artisans Cafe. Due to reports that the circular route was very messy an executive decision was made to aim directly for the cafe. From there the group travelled via Oswestry then Ellesmere concluding the ride at Dobbies Services on the A5. Riders report that all arrived safely albeit with very dirty machines.  It was good to see a couple of non members, Martin and Dave who braved to weather to join the group and get a taste of what we do, hopefully they enjoyed the day.

Ride Leader – Hugh Trevor-Jones
Tail End Charlie – Kathryn Wilding
Photos courtesy of Hugh and Kathryn

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April – Starter Ride
The first ride of the year was designed and led by Bill Croxon, Hugh Trevor-Jones was our tail end charlie who mostly kept us all together although was seen riding in the opposite direction at one point. The route was from our usual starting point of Montford Bridge Picnic Area, to Rhug Estate Farm Shop for coffee and comfort break. We then proceeded to Betws-y-coed for lunch then on to Bala for more coffee, comfort break and a leg stretch. The ride ended at Dinkeys Dinahs in Shrewsbury. Roads were good with a technical section in the afternoon over the mountains from Bala. Weather was acceptable given the time of year, with some even turning the heated grips off or down in the afternoon. Sixteen bikes started the ride with several new members and visitors joining the group, hopefully all riders enjoyed our first outing of 2023.
Ride Leader – Bill Croxon
Tail End Charlie – Hugh Trevor-Jones
Photos courtesy of Ken Swinton (apologies for the smudges) & Steve Clarke
May
The following text was submitted by Steve Clarke – Ride Leader:
Eight SaPAR riders enjoyed a day of superb twisty roads, lovely views of mountains, rivers and sea with great riding and first class company on our May social ride. We rode out through Knockin, and over the picturesque Berwyn mountain range through Bala to our first coffee/comfort stop at the white water centre. Fully refreshed, we continued on along some of the best roads, and mountain views Wales has to offer to Trawsfynydd, where we turned left onto the A470 for Dolgellau, then onto the beautiful scenic coast road to Tywyn, and our lunch stop at the welcoming Pebbles tearooms on Tywyn seafront promenade. Well stuffed and relaxed after our lunch, some riders enjoyed a moment or two beach gazing, before we mounted up for our homeward journey with beautiful sea and estuary views through Aberdovey, on to Machynlleth, and Corris. Approaching the Tal y Llyn pass we had a lovely clear view of Cader Idris in all its splendour in full sunshine, “a rare treat in Wales”. Heading on up the pass to the cross foxes, and over the Dynas Mawddwy mountain road to Mallwyd, and the final stretch homeward through Meifod and Llansantffraid to our ride end at dinky’s diner at Ford. It was a pleasure to lead my first SaPAR social ride, “it won’t be my last” thanks all for a very enjoyable day.
Ride Leader – Steve Clarke
Tail End Charlie – Matt
Photos courtesy of Steve and Matt
June
Write up courtesy of Barry Kimble – Ride Leader:
Our first SaPAR ride where Anne and I were leading and TEC. A glorious day with spectacular scenery and good company saw 15 bikes which included 4 lady riders leave Montford Bridge Picnic area for a long interesting ride to Llanberis and return to Oswestry. Our first (convenient) stop at Bala where four riders, who could not commit for the full day said their farewells. We made good time, using a couple of minor roads that some had not ridden before, to the Coffee Pot Cafe at Llanberis. After a relaxing lunch and time for a chat we continued our journey winding our way to the Oakleigh Arms Hotel for tea and cakes in the garden. Traffic was light on the return journey with the leader having the advantage of riding from the cafe all the way to Beddgelert and to the hotel with no vehicles ahead, perfect for the bike cam. Finishing our ride at Mile End services at Oswestry where we said our farewells. All in all a long day, 172miles, with long stops for leg stretching and refreshments. We hope that all enjoyed the day and that the guests will continue with SaPAR. Thanks to you all for joining us as it makes the preparation worthwhile. We had the benefit of radio contact between the leader and TEC which meant that we only had to “mark” 4 junctions, 2 of which were in Llanberis itself.
Ride Leader – Barry Kimble
Tail End Charlie – Anne Kimble
Photos courtesy of Bryan Murphy and his friends Naomi and Simon
July
This report is from ride leader Steve Clarke:
Our SAPAR July social ride took us down the A49 to Leominster continuing to Dinham and the Queenswood country park and arboretum café for a comfort/coffee stop. We then continued along the A49 through Hereford, to the A4137 heading to old forge and the B4234 to Symonds Yat Rocks parking area and a quant log cabin café which has viewpoints overlooking Symonds Yat and the river Wye. This seems rather a short way from our last comfort stop but after riding through busy Hereford  we needed another break, and the beauty of this forest stop was too good to miss. We treated ourselves to a well earned lunch sat on picnic benches surrounded by trees and far reaching views. Our route then continued to our fuel stop and on towards Parkend past the lovely Cannop ponds, through forests towards Lydney where we then rode up the A48 along the beautiful Severn estuary and on to the B4215 towards Newent and Ledbury where we took the B4214 to Bromyard and our final comfort/coffee stop at Doms bike stop fully refreshed we continued back up the A49 to Shrewsbury, Ride end, then home. Although we started the ride under dark ominous skies we enjoyed sunshine, good company and with great roads and scenery.
Many thanks to Barry for stepping in as TEC.

Ride Leader – Steve Clarke
Tail End Charlie – Barry Kimble
Photos courtesy of – Barry Kimble (apologies there were not more but he had a camera malfunction.)

August

The ride leader was Hugh Trevor-Jones and the TEC was Steve Clarke, although the orange bib was worn by Mandy Clarke who was travelling as pillion. After gathering at Montford Bridge Café for a team briefing, nine machines headed off on the first leg of 60 miles for an early lunch at Llyn Brenig visitor centre. This is a very picturesque upland attraction, with boat hire and fishing on the reservoir and many cycling and walking trails. This leg included the one and only U-turn added by the ride leader to check everyone was paying attention, which thankfully they were, and along the way there was also a welcome break for a leg stretch at Bala.
Retracing its route back to the A5 the ride continued to Pentrefoelas and from there took the twisty A543 to Denbigh, then on through Ruthin and up to the Ponderosa Café at the summit of the Horseshoe Pass, where tea and ice creams were much enjoyed. Here the sun was shining and the views were spectacular, and of course there was a great gathering of bikes to admire.
By common consent it was agreed to end the ride at the Ponderosa and head independently for home, rather than continue back to Dinkys as originally planned. It had been a most enjoyable day, with good weather, and skills had been honed and friendships reinforced. It would be good to see more riders along for future rides, so come on all!

Ride Leader – Hugh Trevor Jones
Tail End Charlie – Steve and Mandy Clarke
Photos courtesy of Hugh, Trevor and Ken

September
The September ride was held in glorious weather and with a welcome mix of members, previous members and riders from another advanced riding group in the area.
The group headed south via Bishops Castle and Knighton to Crossgates Cafe for a leg stretch and coffee. Heading off to Rhayader then over the mountain road for a brief stop at Devils Bridge the to Aberystwyth for lunch.
The afternoon ride took us North past Borth to Machynlleth, Caersyws then to McDonalds for afternoon tea and a leg stretch. From there a steady ride with most ending the ride at Dinky’s Dinah.
Thanks to our ride leader Steve Clarke who jumped in at short notice also Rob Prince who stood in as Tail End Charlie. This was a brilliant ride, great weather, good roads and time to meet and chat to other likeminded bikers.

Ride Leader – Steve Clarke
Tail End Charlie – Rob Prince
Photos courtesy of Rob Prince & Ken Swinton

November
Novembers ride was led by Martin Powell with Gordon Evans acting as tail end charlie. Information about the ride is very sketchy other than many bikes needed a thorough clean afterwards.