August 2002


Weak apologies to all for having such a big gap between newsletters. Our going to Corsica precluded all other activity and itís taken us, well all right me, a while to get back into stuff. We arenít the only ones to have been away. A contingent went to the international rally in Holland and another intrepid duo braved the snows of the Pyrenees en route to a Trike rally in France.

A load of e-mails were waiting on our return one of which was asking if I would like to be an ordinary member on the TC committee. I think my bluff was being called. Iím getting rid of my shop commitment, more of which later, so feel that I can now spare the time for more involvement in the club. My first committee meeting was on 20th July and went surprisingly well, I thought.

Yes, after giving it my best for the past six plus years Iím getting out of Beics Castell. Essentially Iím handing over my share to my business partner and taking out only the capital I put in.

The shop has always struggled to make a profit and Iíve got better things to do with my time than work for nothing. Iíll take this opportunity to thank all of you who have supported us over the years.

Iím going to carry on trading from home concentrating on tandems, trailers, and wheel-building.


Gerald and Sue are off to the good olí USofA in September so will be unable to lead their annual ice cream run. Fortunately, Clare and Mark have leapt to the cause. I wonít do another Newsletter before then so phone them closer to the date for details, contact number through Luke and Becky if required (01286 870653).

I contacted the Rent-A-Hostel people recently with a view to booking a hostel for my 40th birthday celebrations next March. Believe it or not, even this early, all are fully booked and the only vacancy I could get is the one Iíve booked and paid a deposit for. So we are going to Slaidburn in the Trough of Bowland for two nights on the weekend of 31st of January to 2nd February.

There are 32 beds at £11 per head for the weekend. As Iíve paid the deposit I would be pleased if those wishing to go forwarded say £5 per head as their deposit.

It appears that there are slightly more of us around this August than in previous years, Mark has mooted that we organise a run or something. The problem is that there has been no time to reccíe routes so the easiest thing to do is repeat Les and Hazelís 50 km route, with their permission of course, as not many of us have done it and Pentrefoelas is fairly central to all. If you have already done it we could perhaps reverse it!! Start at 9am so weíve plenty of time to dawdle. Give me a ring , 01286 870653, for more (un)details.Perhaps weíll finally get to visit the CHOCOLATE HOUSE!!

The Easy Option, or should I say "The Shorter One!"

by Pat Brown

We reached Pentrefoelas in time to see the doughty thirteen 100k riders set off. Not knowing whether any one else would turn up for the easier ride, and finding it a bit chilly hanging around, we left at 9.30, feeling that with the strong south-westerly wind and distinct possibility of rain, we needed to have time in hand.

We managed the long climb to Pont yr Afon Gam and arrived at the recently reopened cafe by 11.00. We found the advance party comfortably ensconced, some still awaiting refreshment.

Not long after, reinforcements arrived in the shape of Ann and Hugh, recently returned from his successful triathlon debut. With their company, the next stretch via the B4391 to, and across, the main road to follow the lane route south of Llyn Celyn passed pleasantly enough. We emerged onto the main road just north of Bala to arrive at the Sospan Fach cafe at 1 oíclock with the prospect of a leisurely lunch before the main party arrived for theirs. In fact, the first arrivals were Geof and Helen, who had followed in our wake.

We six set off after lunch in the knowledge that our (most direct) route back to Pentrefoelas was by no means flat!! But at least we would have a following wind. The lane north past Rhiwlas was delightful, the air scented by masses of bluebells. A short stretch of main road then left for Cwmpenanner over the shoulder of Cadair Benllyn, down, then up Bwlch-y-maen-melyn before the final descent to Rhydlydan and Pentrefoelas, arriving spot on 5pm, just too late for tea at the Chocolate House!

This was a challenging ride for all concerned: the weather was chill and grey for May, but at least the rain held off, for which we were thankful.

Thank you, Les and Hazel for all your efforts in prospecting the route(s) and producing such a clear route sheet.

What the "Doughty" Did

As previously mentioned we were quite comfortably settled at the Pont yr Afon Gam cafe until Les reminded us that we were supposed to be doing 100km. The next bit was easy, a rapid downhill to Trawsfynydd but, of course, this incurred a debt.

We turned into the wind along the A470 and bashed our way to the junction where we could exchange the traffic for the wilderness of the mountain road over to Llanwchllyn. This proved particularly testing with some rather steep bits just to keep us warm.

The descent to Llanwchllyn was gratefully received and the temptation to turn left directly to Bala was great.

But pride got in the way and we gave one last effort round the lake before lunch.

The Ď50ísí were already in residence and enjoying their puds.

Once refuelled we reluctantly remounted and followed the Ď50ísí as far as the B4501. Cerrigydrudion came and went followed by a stiff pull, and every man for himself, up to Llyn Brenig where we hoped it would be all over bar an easy downhill to Pentrefoelas.

Sadly, it was not to be, the wind was once again our foe and there was no relent in the grunt factor required to finish.

We were all glad to finish and, once again, thanks to Les for producing such a good route. It was tough but well worthwhile.

Carry On Camping

Someone amongst us must have a direct line with a greater power. I had taken every precaution I could think of to ensure a successful camping weekend but itís always a nail biter as far as the weatherís intentions go.

We were blessed with one of the best weekends of the year and I allowed myself a deep sigh of relief.

Geof once more entertained us with his tent erecting with Gareth following a close second. Yours truly acted as a mere observer whilst waiting for the Taylorís mobile bar to open.

The Saturday dawned sunny and warm, heralding the arrival of Pat and Ken and, once weíd coaxed everyone onto their bikes and Meg into her trailer, we set off .

A gentle pace traced the coastline west of Cemaes toward Llanfairynghornwy, and Church Bay where the brave and Meg took to the water.

Next stop Llwynon Mill for lunch and a rendezvous with La Famille Lewis.

Onward to Hermon water mill, for Lukeís educational tour. I make no apologies for being enthusiastic about this place where you are left to look around on your own and to decide for yourself how much to pay into the honesty box.

We wended our way back to Cemaes via lovely lanes pausing for a moments contemplation by the memorial in Llanfechell.

We had some new neighbours back at the campsite. Les and Hazel had ridden over from Corwen and the Coleman family were in residence.

There now followed a flurry of BBQ lighting and, as usual, a fine spread of eats. We always seem to do this well!

Of course the evening would not be complete without games. These were played with the usual sporting spirit, i.e. everybody thought they won and the refí was wrong. I think we should make the folding bike race a permanent fixture, the whole campsite seemed to enjoy this.

The next morning did not have the promise of the previous and this may have influenced the late start, Les and Hazel having set off for home before some were out of bed.

A circumnavigation of Llyn Alaw was planned though by Llanerchymedd some were already missing!! Unfortunately we discovered a nice garden with a pub attached en route and this delayed us further, especially as the sun had decided to reappear.

Once back at the camp site we attempted to dispose of the previous nights leftovers by eating them! This leisurely lunch was followed by final farewells and thanksgivings for ideal conditions. Thanks to all for making it the success it undoubtedly was.

An Appeal !

Whilst at York rally we noticed that the Tandem Club stand was looking distinctly jaded. The photos on the display boards are far from contemporary.

We discussed this on the way home and decided that we would volunteer to revamp the boards over the winter and man the stand at next years rally.

What we need from you are good recent photos, hopefully some action ones, of tandem club members having a good time. They will be enlarged so the definition needs to be fairly good. Please supply infoí about who, when, and who took the picture. Also, if you are planning to go to next years rally and feel able to give an hour or two manning the stand then please let us know. THANKS.

DONíT FORGET- Iím always on the lookout for extra articles, run reports, etc . See your name in print!

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