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Old 18-07-2019, 11:43 AM   #1
twowheeler
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Default Slow Road through Wales to the Isle of Man

To graduate from New Marshal status to a plain ordinary Marshal at the IOM TT & ManxGP, besides attending mandatory training courses, you need to earn 10 points on your Marshal Association account (IOMTTMA - google it, anyone can be a marshal). 1 point is allocated for every practice session attended, and 2 points for a race. I’d only accrued 3 points in 2017 due to a short stay and a couple of bad-weather cancellations, so this year I booked 10 days on the island which would be more than enough to be able to swap my L-plate yellow ID card for a white one. Or so I thought .....




With only a 2 week ride window on this trip I rented a bike instead of buying/selling one like in 2017 – http://www.austouring.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6285.
In the questionable spirit of going the whole hog and getting a fully-dipped immersion, I booked a Ducati Multistrada 1260S from a rental firm in Woking, London.

A summary of my renting experience is on page 6 & 7 in this thread – http://www.austouring.com/forum/show...?t=6391&page=6 .


First though, a short family holiday, starting in Polruan, Cornwall –




where we breathed-in along the main road into town -




and did some beautiful walks -




before choofing off to Portsmouth to catch an overnight ferry –




to Brittany, staying in Rennes. -




Ned Flanders' ancestors clearly come from around here -




After a few days, champing at the bit , I left the family to it at 5am one Friday morning, caught a train, walked across Paris –




then caught more trains and did more walking to get to Woking. My planning for connections didn’t anticipate UK holiday-weekend crowds, which rippled back to Paris, so the magnificent plan on paper soon fell apart . By the time the rental paperwork and bike familiarisation was done, it was 4:30pm before I set off for Wales into full-blown Friday arvo London traffic on a new-to-me, fire-breathing-until-warm, almost-zero-rear-brake (they’re all like that sir), vlarge-insurance-excess 1260cc Ducati.

Melbourne peakhour has nothing on London, but not in the way I was expecting. Melbourne is all aggro with stressed drivers owning their piece of road while staring at their phone or checking they’re not doing 1kph over the speed limit lest they die or get fined a squillion $. London (& the UK in general) was all courtesy. WAY more cars and trucks jammed onto their roads, but most actually moved over to let me split or overtake, some gave little waves or head nods, it was really quite enjoyable .

5 hours of heavy holiday traffic later, I arrived in Dolgellau ("dol-geth-loo") in deepest darkest Wales -






More to come ...
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Last edited by twowheeler; 19-07-2019 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 18-07-2019, 12:06 PM   #2
Crustyvarmint
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Default Re: Slow Road through Wales to the Isle of Man

I feel another fantastic story coming.
Looking forward to this. Thanks Peter.
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Old 18-07-2019, 05:58 PM   #3
twowheeler
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Default Re: Slow Road through Wales to the Isle of Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crustyvarmint View Post
I feel another fantastic story coming.
Looking forward to this. Thanks Peter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch View Post
Sooo looking forward to this and a shame to just skim over the top.
Back later tonight with a glass of red and maps open for a real gawk and slobber.
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodie View Post
Please take us along for the rest of your ride, Peter
Thanks. The photos won't be as good as the last trip unfortunately as I left the Olympus at home. I soon regretted doing that - the Galaxy 9 is pretty good but it can't match a DSLR. It would have been worth the extra bulk.
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Old 19-07-2019, 11:17 AM   #4
twowheeler
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Default Re: Slow Road through Wales to the Isle of Man

The weather went south from here so the next 3 days were repeats of arvo standby and evening scheduled practices cancelled at the last minute due to low cloud.

Irish sidecar at our B&B. It refused to start all week . No idea how they got it home -




So plenty of touring was done around this beautiful island.

Maughold Head; the easternmost point -








Maughold's churchyard has a cross-house full of medieval stones. This one dates to the 7th century, written in Saxon about an early Manx bishop. There's lots of Celtic and Viking history on the island, uninterrupted by the Romans who never made it here -




The road leading into Bride -




The foghorn at the Point of Ayre; the northernmost point -




Ginger Hall, with some of the thousands of despondent riders moping about, all willing the weather to lift -




The seafront at Castletown -




Up on the mountain with this beautiful, exciting bike -




Riding by braille along the B10, just before it joins the TT mountain course. 158bhp utterly pointless; 25mph was too fast ! -




Tricky little B22. Gets a tad windy here I reckon -




Wandering around Peel. The island had lots of moneybox charity-wallabies all over. It's themed on the IOM's wild population of around 150 wallabies, descendants of a handful which escaped from a local wildlife park in the '70s. Largest wild population outside Australia - there's a trivia-night fact for you -




Peel's main street. It's just ticked over into summer; note plentiful jackets and hoodies -




Only the IOM would have a Fireblade for sale in a local charity shop -




... hhmmm ... -




Peel had a Sunday Fair on. Chatted with the copper who was with this bike, on loan from Ducati. The copper is with the Lancashire Police, who have the contract to supply 4 motorcycle police during the TT to supplement the resident police force. It's a merit-based scheme to get chosen; this guy was clearly chuffed to be here -




The Mini in the background of the previous pic. It sounded magnificent -




The weather started to co-operate just in time for the end of the practice schedule and the start of the racing. Given the lack of practice, the Chief Marshal juggled things a bit and we wound up with some extra practice and shortened racing over the next couple of days. The marshal points were juggled too and I wound up with 6 points for this visit, so I'm still 1 point short of the magic 10 .
When I work out how to upload videos to Flickr, I'll post a couple of short vids of last practice & first race .


All things come to an end though, so on Tuesday I joined many others to catch the arvo ferry back to Liverpool. Fittingly, racing was cancelled that day -




Once off the ferry, it was a couple of hours or so through the wet gloom down the M6 to overnight at Hagley, then on the next day straight down the M40 to London to drop off the bike. No photos from this stretch, however riding the UK motorways when they're not jammed, bombing along at 90mph-ish with the other fast traffic, all lane discipline and awareness, while not actually legal was very pleasurable .

More to come ....
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Last edited by twowheeler; 20-07-2019 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 21-07-2019, 07:40 PM   #5
glitch
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Default Re: Slow Road through Wales to the Isle of Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crustyvarmint View Post
I feel another fantastic story coming.
Looking forward to this. Thanks Peter.

Right on!
Trying to catch up here, but that's EXACTLY what it looks like!
Another treat by a master-storyteller
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