Aberystwyth Valley motorcycle roads

Ice Cold in Aberystwyth

The weather forecast stated 25ºC and warming sunshine all day. This isn’t bad for early October in England. The last few days had all been in a similar vein. Just about perfect conditions to enjoy riding motorcycles!

It’s Such a Perfect Day

You can’t beat an English summer’s day: Temperate. Sunny and lush green countryside as a backdrop. Odd that we’re now deep into Autumn however: That’s climate change for you, some might say.

Trying to put all images of a burning ecosystem to the back of my mind I fired up the BMW R1200RS and headed for the coast. Time for an ice-cream! Sorry Greta…

Joining me for the fun today were two old riding buddies. One riding another BMW, but a R1200GS. The other chap was on a rather lovely Honda CB1100. Looked great in jet black I have to say.

Rich and his cool in black Honda CB1100

Kidnapped by an Old Boy!

Meeting point for the day was the Herefordshire town of Leominster. As soon as I got off my bike and started to make my way over to the others an elderly gentleman spotted my BMW RS T shirt and piped up:

‘I have a BMW R100RS, do you want to see it? It’s for sale!’

Before we knew it, he had rounded up all three of us and led us to the local Ford dealership. It also sells bikes from one corner of the showroom. In there proudly on display was his totally original R100RS. A bike he used to take all over Europe apparently.

BMW R100RS…the Grandfather of my 1200RS

Great to hear this chap’s stories

He also had a very clean Bultaco trials bike on display for sale. At the grand old age of 80 he was winding down his biking career. He was a charming and friendly chap. It was great to listen to his tales telling of his trips on his RS. Biking is a wonderful community at its best. He rounded off a great encounter by leading us to the local Wetherspoons pub where he bade us farewell and a good day’s riding. A big part of me wished he could fire up his RS and join us for one last outing.

The Bultaco. I think the centre stand needs work…

After my friends had gorged themselves and I had nibbled at the edges of a light salad, we got back on the bikes and headed for the coast.

It’s the law…

Glorious Diversion

What a glorious ride and in perfect weather. We sliced across Herefordshire along the sinuous A44. The ride flowed smoothly as we made brisk progress. Our lead rider on the GS took us off the beaten track and we picked away a single-track lane through the most idyllic steep-sided valley. The Beulah to Tregaron road mostly tracks the course of the River Cnyffiiad and is well worth seeking out.  At one point we pulled into to just get off the bikes and absorb the beauty of our surroundings. A lush valley with the river wending its way gently through the valley-floor as tributaries cascaded down the hillsides to feed it. Some even forming small waterfalls. You could hear a pin drop in this dreamscape. It reminded me of the ‘Gap of Dunloe’ I traversed earlier this year when I toured Ireland.

I think the pictures tell the story here…

Back in the Real World

Once back on the main roads the pace picked back up again as we made for Aberystwyth. It was an unseasonably warm day and we rolled up into the sea-front bike park there was only one thing on our mind. Ice-cream! Straight over to the Prom Diner. I can recommend the waffle cone with two-scoops. The sea was a deep blue and the sky a light blue. Wispy white clouds streaked across to the horizon. What a fabulous day. It was great to have travelled here in good company and I even bumped into a couple of old riding buddies for a natter too. Happy days!

Could be mistaken for thinking this was June or July rather than October

The all important Ice-Cream

Aberystwyth is very popular with bikers. You see some lovely machines parked up. The Guzzi was the pick for me on the day

Good to meet up with an old mate

Classic Action

All too soon I had to turn for home. This time on my own as my buddies headed off further north. However, as is so often the case, I was not on my own for long. Initially I was kept company with a fellow biker as we tracked along the A44 and A470.  Before long he peeled off to replace by a trio of snappily driven classic Porsche 911 cars. We had fun picking off any traffic we came across as we swept along these cracking roads.  They left me at Crossgates as I pulled in for fuel. Good fun. From there it was back into Worcestershire via Knighton and Bewdley.

Back home with a highly enjoyable 215 miles added to the odometer. This might be my last big outing of 2023. I was happy to round off a super year of biking on a high.

Words and Pictures: Tony Donnelly

PS: In case you were wondering what the title of the blog references….Ice Cold in Alex