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Survival Skills in Wales, May 2010

Amazingly it’s three weeks since Survival Skills was training out in Wales.

We were lucky with the weather fairy again, and whilst Saturday wasn’t the warmest of days, the rain mostly held off. Even so, I cut the session a little short because we were both pretty well chilled by 5pm, and we headed for the hotel in Montgomery.

I took a slightly different route into Wales from Tewkesbury and it was actually rather a good modification, with a good mix of slow technical stuff and faster, more open and sweeping corners on the B roads between Ledbury and Tenbury Wells. We finished up on the excellent B road from Knighton to Dolfor, which then runs into Newtown.

I joined Dave down in the bar around about 7:30 for a couple of pints and something to eat, and we sat and chatted about bikes and riding for a couple of hours, before heading off for a well-earned rest.

On Sunday, the sun was shining and the temperatures were up, so we headed off into the heart of the Cambrian Mountains and stopped for a cuppa at Devil’s Bridge before taking the road along the Elan Valley along the reservoirs.

Photo 050910 001 no plate

After stopping to admire the view over the higher reservoirs and watching a couple of lazily spiralling red kites, we descended into Elan Village, and then back into England via Presteigne and Leominster.

I did manage a wrong turn soon after that and the alternative route the GPS plotted took us along a selection of rather narrow single track lanes which wasn’t the ideal end to a fairly long day, but eventually we climbed up into Great Malvern and then down again to finish off back at Tewkesbury.

A great couple of days training, and over some excellent roads that pose a real challenge even to the most competent riders. It was good to see that Dave, who did a course with me several years ago, had retained the majority of what we covered and the two days gave him a chance to enjoy a thorough refresher to the original material, as well as add the extra techniques my “Double Bends” day offers.

If the weather holds out, I’m hoping I can run another of these courses in September or perhaps early October. Book one! You won’t regret it – the roads really are excellent!

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