Touring in Wales April 2017

We are well into our touring season now having completed the first two tours of 2017 and for both we had terrific weather to show off the stunning scenery and roads of Mid and North Wales.

Our first tour was in early April when we once again combined On and Off-Road riding in conjunction with Mick Extance and his team.  We rode through Mid Wales on day 1 stopping at the Elan Valley Visitor Centre for lunch and the waters of Caban Coch reservoir were flowing over the dam giving a great backdrop for lunch outside (who’d have thought we’d be eating al fresco this early in Spring!).  The route continued over the Dylife Gorge and into the borderlands of Mid and North Wales for two nights at The Lake Vyrnwy Hotel where we had a terrific sunset as we dined overlooking the lake.

Next day it was off-roading in the Tanat Valley.  This was our 7th tour working with Mick, both of us had seen the benefit riding off-road can have on your on-road skills, gravel on tarmac pales into insignificance after having a day on the forest roads 🙂

Snowdonia was our region to enjoy on the last day of this tour and once again the weather played its part with clear views of the mountains and very little traffic on the roads for the majority of the day.

We didn’t think the weather would hold for our second tour of Mid Wales which started a week later, but how wrong were we!!!  The ride over Dylife (in the opposite direction to that undertaken a few days earlier) was nothing less than sublime – the views back towards the mountains of Snowdon were stunning.

And it continued throughout the 4 days of the tour, when we rode through the Brecon Beacons National Park, stopped with Penderyn Whisky for an extremely interesting tour of the distillery – no sampling though!!!! we were all given minatures to sample at a later date 🙂

We rode through the Elan Valley from the direction of Aberystwyth, the 5 reservoirs were all glistening in the sunlight and the open moorlands gave for a great ride – check out our latest YouTube video and enjoy some of the road with us.

These tours were a fantastic way to not only start our season off but to showcase Wales.  We next head across the Irish Sea to the counties of Mayo and Donegal taking in some of the Wild Atlantic Way – lets hope the skies are as blue as they were in Wales!!!

Luxembourg Roads are made for motorcycling!

This is not the first time we have toured in Luxembourg and most certainly will not be the last with a tour already planned for June 2016!  The country is within easy reach of Calais and offers some of the best road surfaces for riding together with picturesque towns, villages and stunning scenery.  For this trip we stayed in one location for four nights in the town of Vianden which is looked down on by a Vianden at nightbeautiful chateau which is stunning when lit up at night as can be seen from this photo.  The town itself offers plenty for people to do if they feel like having some time off their bikes with the only chair lift in the Duchy of Luxembourg taking you up to a cafe with stunning views of the Our Valley, which is also home to a wonderful motorcycling road which meanders for nearly 8 miles alongside the river Our.  It was along this stretch of road that we met two very nice Luxembourg police officers who stopped us all for a routine document check – it is worth remembering that you need to carry these documents with you at all times whilst riding in Europe and they were happy that everything was in order and wished us well on our way.

On a tour in September 2014 we visited the National Motor Museum at Diekirch and called in there again this time as we had new clients with us and they enjoyed taking a look at the cars and motorbikes which were on display.  It is well worth a visit and if there are more than 10 in your group the entrance cost is only €3 per person.low Scooter in Diekirch museum  The museum offered up a suggested answer for why there are no potholes in Luxembourg – imagine trying to ride this scooter on UK roads 🙂

We had not only fantastically smooth tarmac to enjoy but also some stunning scenery, in particular riding through the Mullerthal region is spectacular, albeit not a long stretch of road and whilst it is known as Luxembourg’s “Little Switzerland”, you are not going to find high mountains, but you do have the opportunity to ride through the rocky outcrops which overhang the road so close you can almost touch them.

We crossed the border into the Eifel region of Germany for one of our ride-outs and visited the old town of Monschau complete with its 300 year old half-timbered buildings and as luck would have it as we arrived they were getting ready to start off over 140 classic cars who were driving from Monschau over to the Nurburgring some 30 miles away. Classic Mini in Monschau It was quite a spectacle to see all the old cars driving through the town’s streets, there was even an old Mini looking in very good condition, although the occupants may have felt the bumps from the cobbles…..!

We discovered on the Saturday that it was a public holiday over that weekend and in particular whilst riding some of the roads near Spa Francorchamps in Belgium we encountered several cycle races which at times brought the roads to a standstill.  We were able to filter passed the queues and make our way to the front of one race only to divert off our route and encounter a second race in progress!!!  Fortunately there were no cycle races going on in either Luxembourg or the Eifel region so we were only held up for a very short time, it gave us a good excuse to include an extra “pit stop” that afternoon at a lovely ice cream cafe in Vielsalm – if you pass that way try the double strawberry flavour!!!

The ride-out on the Sunday stayed solely within the borders of Luxembourg which is home to many flowing roads and pretty towns and villages to pass through.  We had morning coffee in a small town on the banks of the Moselle River, set within the vineyards of this wine growing region and close to the German border before stopping in Esch-sur-Sure on route back to our hotel.

Our five day tour was blessed with excellent weather, the clients on tour were fantastic fun and the roads were sublime, we are riding through Luxembourg and staying overnight on the first day of our Bavaria tour in July and we are already looking forward to it 🙂