Talking Motorbikes at our 2016 Winter Social

This is the third year that we have had a Winter Social event in the month of February and we held it this time in the Caernarfon CastleRoyal Welsh town of Caernarfon.  The idea behind the event is to bring people together who have a love of motorcycling and touring during the middle of the winter when, let’s face it, the majority of riders have parked up their bikes!

Leading up to the event on the 6th February, the weather forecast had been “holding fair” and some were intending on riding to North Wales taking advantage of the glorious roads through Snowdonia, but we were sandwiched between the named storms “Gertrude” and “Imogen” and so all two wheels were sensibly left at home…….

We had 70 sitting down for dinner that evening and during the course of the day it was great to catch up with everyone as they arrived at the hotel.  The level of chatter gradually escalated as more arrived and they spotted either friends they’ve ridden with previously or met new people and in the case of one of our new clients, Mike, he spotted someone in the bar who he had not seen for 10 years!!  They do say its a small world 🙂  As people greeted each other, it was hilarious to hear comments such as “I didn’t recognise you with normal clothes on” or “which bike do you ride?”, funny how motorcyclists recognise each other either by their riding gear or what type of motorbike they have!

Leading up to the event we had several fun filled hours putting together a dvd presentation from the tours we have done in the past.  For this particular evening we did a “down memory lane” one and looked back at some of the classic photos we have taken since our first tour in April 2012……. boy, did we look young then!!!!! 🙂

The hotel had laid the room out for us with a welsh colour scheme and daffodils and provided excellent service throughout the weekend, so a big thanks goes to everyone at The Celtic Royal, we are looking forward to staying with them again on our tour of North Wales in the autumn.

Power Ranger singingWe had music provided by our very own “Green Power Ranger”, Chris who played a set on his acoustic guitar and then had people joining him to sing along. Beckie, aka “The Red Power Ranger” did a good set despite not being able to read the words due to the special glasses Chris made her wear 🙂

We’d like to thank everyone for joining us at the weekend and it certainly kickstarted the touring season for us – what with the lighter nights coming and longer days, it was a great way for everyone to start thinking again about touring and enjoying the spectacular scenery and riding roads we have planned for the year ahead.


What would be your best motorcycle “Groundhog Day”?

It’s the 2nd February which is celebrated as “Groundhog Day” in some parts of the world, you may also be aware of the film made in 1993 starring Bill Murray who played a character who got caught in a timeloop and ended up reliving the same “groundhog” day over and over.  This was not a particularly good day for the character in the film but just imagine you could relive some of your best motorcycling days – what would they be and why? 🙂

We’re going into our fifth year of DragonMotoTours and as you can imagine have covered many thousands of miles in that time and enjoyed some of the best days of being on two wheels so it’s pretty difficult trying to say what our best “groundhog” day would be.  We’ve come up with a few below and it would be good if you could let us know what yours would be and why:-

  • In July 2012 we took a 17 day break to Colorado and Utah and would relive each day of that tour. Riding to Monument ValleyRiding to Monument Valley was something particularly special as you can see from the photo here.  We’d hired a couple of GS’ from Denver and covered over 4,000 miles each.  This was the first time for Jan riding in America and with the roads being open, flowing and traffic free it made for perfect  motorcycling with stunning views at practically every turn.  A day we would not mind being “time looped” back to……
  • Our first European tour as DragonMotoTours was through France and Italy and on the 6th September 2012 the weather conditions were perfect for riding, good temperatures even in the highest points of the Alps, blue skies and clear air.  Top of Col D'IseranWe set off from the Aosta Valley in Italy to ride over the Petit St Bernard pass, a technical climb to the cafes at the top was followed by a stunning ride down into the valley towards Val D’Isere, through the town famous as a ski resort but thankfully clear of snow!!  We then ascended the Col D’Iseran which is 2,770 metres at it’s peak and is one of the highest paved roads in the Western Alps.  We took this photo of our Versys from the top looking towards Lanslevillard where we had a lovely lunch by the river side before running a return route back to Aosta.  Riding the roads both ways was brilliant as we were able to appreciate the stunning views from all angles whilst riding two of the best passes in that part of the world……. certainly up there in our “best groundhog” days 🙂  We have been lucky enough to relive this route on other tours and would certainly recommend it.
  • In August 2013 we toured closer to home in South Wales and on Sunday 11th we visited the Rhossili BayGower Peninsula and the stunning beach at Rhossili Bay.  Again a picture perfect day for being on two wheels, not a cloud in the sky all day, flowing roads through South Wales and onto the Gower.  The pace of life on the Peninsula is such that a “saunter” through the back lanes down to the Bay was all that you wanted.  Certainly a day we wouldn’t mind reliving…..
  • In August 2015 we were in the French Alps again for another day which we hope will become a brilliant “groundhog day” as we return to the Col de la MadeleineCol de la Madeleine in August this coming year.  It started off with the sun rising over the Bauges mountains, white wispy clouds soon disappeared and this azure blue sky stayed with us all day as we rode not only over Madeleine but also over the Cormet de Roselend.  On the descent from the top of the Col de la Madeleine we had stunning views of Mont Chamonix which was about the only alpine peak with snow on 🙂  We had lunch that day in a pretty little auberge who could not do enough for you and served all 20 of us in no time (and we hadn’t booked!).

We’ve picked just 4 rides out of hundreds that we could have wirtten about and it has been hard to pick these.  We can’t wait to find out what your best “groundhogs” have been……