The long delayed write up, life took over but now it’s here. Llandovery Bike Show commands almost the centre of the map in Wales and is the main hub for bikers from almost every direction with a long history of being very accomodating it’s a perfect spot for a show.
There is always a great selection and this year was no different, supported by a number of Safety Inititives and local support from Charities and Clubs alike. It’s also growing year on year and one not to be missed with great entertainment on for those there for the full weekend.
A number of us rode up first thing to help setup and enjoy the day. After a great local cafe discovery and a splendid feed we settled in to chat to people on our favorite subjects it’s strangle being penned in but there are worse places for the show and it allows for clubs and entrants to the show to spread out. It’s always good to be showing beside the Pembrokeshire Classic Club too they always have a great selection of bikes and chat about up coming events like the Piston Rally.
There is a great timeline of events throught the whole day and a number of stalls to visit. And a gymkana style time trial in the main arena. With the car park being as good as the show for the entire weekend. If you missed out this year make sure it’s on the schedule for next year and maybe make a full weekend of it. Martyn’s Bonnie picked runner up for Best in Show in the British Bikes Catagory on the Saturday too.
So it finally happened, the rain stopped and that big burning ball in the sky finally came out to bless us and a Thursday night was actually looking like great weather. Weston is always a great night but logistics always make it a bit tricky especially if you have to work until late so we had 2 groups heading down and earlier group for those lucky enough to not be working and those heading down after work, thanks to the whats app group these last minute plans can be sorted. I managed to leave work a little bit earlier and managed to get there for 6 the event is 6-9 so being there at the start meant time for fish and chips.
By 7 it was all in full swing and the event never fails to provide huge variety in whats there and time to have a good natter about bikes. If a sunny night blesses a Thursday it really is a must do event in the summer calendar. Anyway enough chat here’s my pics:
So where to start, we had the idea to create this event actually before we decided to create the club. The Club has now turned a year old and this type of event was exactly what we wanted at our core. Malcolm Uphill was a local legend to those bikers in the know and any fan of the Isle of Man TT, he was one of very few successful Welsh Motorcycle Racers. The Anniversary of his win, Now 50 years ago and breaking the 100mph average speed on the circuit meant this was worth the effort to make an event happen. Being a local Caerphilly man and our club being based in Caerphilly many of our members have a connection or a Malcolm story from the years gone by. His achievements in recent years are really becoming more recognised with the Weatherspoon’s in Caerphilly being named after him.
As regulars of the “Malcolm Uphill” pub we discussed a potential event with the Managers almost right after we had the idea and they were thrilled with the potential. So when we went back to them to say we were pushing forward with it we knew this is where the ride should start. A huge thanks goes to the team over at Weatherspoons for allowing us to host the start of the event and for throwing in some bacon rolls for our participants. A huge thank you also to the Caerphilly Town Mayor Councilor Mike Prew who came to meet us all and give us a send off. He was not the only Councillor in Support however, Councillor Chris Morgan from Bedwas, Trethomas and Machan Council took up position in a side car outfit for the whole event.
We were aware the weather was not going to be perfect for the run so we had our fingers crossed for a good showing, this was important because we did not want to let the Charity down. It was always our intention this be a Charity ride and we will be the first to suggest immediately Motorbikes and Wildlife are not normally associated however this is where it comes back to the main man himself. During his lifetime Malcolm was a quiet and humble man but was well known for his love of wildlife and nature. We knew he would have wanted us to support a charity that will make a difference in our local and wider area. The Wildlife Trust for South & West Wales was an obvious choice and were thrilled to be involved.
Thankfully on the day we were not disappointed and we had 68 participants leaving Caerphilly in various forms, riders, pillions and side car passengers. With a huge variety of bikes of all manufacturers and ages of bike. The ride was great with only one breakdown but thankfully he rejoined us at Brecon on another bike. The main downpour happend while we were stopped at Abergavenny. Apart from a few showers the weather turned out ok for the rest of the ride. The road to Llandovery is always a lot of fun and we were pleased to stop in the West End Cafe a favorite of Malcolm’s for more refreshments before heading back Brecon for a mandatory stop at Terry’s Van before heading back to our local Club Pub The Station Inn, this is where we meet every two weeks on a Tuesday Night and we were more than happy to fill their carpark with bikes and have a final chin wag.
The Event went very well and we plan to do it all again next year, fingers crossed for sun next time. We felt the event was a great way to remember Malcolm’s life and achievements. We are even more pleased to be able to annouce we raised £419.67 for the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales who were incredibly greatful and happy to recieve the funds. All the money will go towards covering the cost of their vital conservation work, protecting our beautiful Welsh wildlife.
The Seaside run always has a good showing and seems as it’s on our door step it would be rude not to. As usual we left from The Station Inn and was soon greeted by a heavy rain shower enroute to Penarth. The carpark is normally a show in itself but we had to hide from the rain until the off. On this run you have to play by the VMCC rules so bikes older than 25 years however every year some of the VMCC members normally bring a few modern bikes due to breakdowns and such but we always abide by the spirit of the ride.
This year due to an event in Barry we knew we were skipping that this year but it lead to a number of people going the wrong way. Thankfully once we got out of Penarth the rain ended for the majority of the day. There is definately something fun about riding the country lanes in covoy on the old bikes. Nash Point is always a cracking place to be but once again we were blessed with the sun being out.
The best bit of the run tho is the sunday lunch but after a quick look at the weather we knew we were chancing our luck and a dark cloud looming above we made a break for the motorway home and not go back to Penarth like normal. We didnt get wet again and still had a cracking morning. If you missed it this year line it up in your plans next year it never dissapoints and always a good run to shakedown recent projects.
This event was a tad unexpected up until two weeks before although being on the waiting list I don’t think I would be wrong in saying we thought we were sitting this one out. But alas the email came with little over a week to go and when the mothership calls, we must answer. And answer we did….Hot on the heals of our award winning perfomance at Cardiff the frantic feelers were put out to club members and a hasty plan was formed. Once again a big thank you to the last minute efforts of members who went above and beyond and the kind chaps who let us take their bikes for the weekend.
Once again, the core convoy travelled up on the Friday to setup, It really does take a lot of effort to get it all in place so a big thanks to Martyn and John for their work. We were very surprised to have the blessing of such a wide-open space to work with which really allowed the bikes to breathe and shine. I rode up to join the chaps on the Friday evening, a few shandies shared as always.
If you haven’t ever been to the Stafford show it really is a monster in size and variety, if you’re looking for bits, parts or bikes this really is the one stop shop. From rare to sublime it really has it all, so we always enjoy the show and we are very proud to be part of it. Our stand was in a prime position in our hall and received a lot of interest and foot traffic especially due to the weather. So, to explain outside was a MET office amber alert for high winds and stormy weather much to the annoyance of the outside traders and stall holders. This played nicely into our hands though and was nice to have lots of chats and see a few members up for the day.
The Sunday however the weather was better behaved so it was a little bit more spread out. A lot of very nice machines on show as always and lots selling in the auction always to the dismay of sanity on some prices. Once again, we were joined by members up for the day normally with bags of parts in tow. It really was a cracking weekend and we are extremely lucky that in our first year we have managed to get to all the major Morton shows. Hopefully we get the invite in October too, but if this is a show you haven’t managed yet you really are missing out.