Most of us love a bit of Facebook scrolling and Brian is no exception so, when he said he’d found an ex-copper on there who was offering advanced riding courses in Wales, we both thought we’d investigate further. Advanced riding in Wales – a no-brainer really.
Wynne is an experienced Police Advanced Motorcyclist and Car instructor and also a RoSPA Advanced Driving and Riding Examiner. He answered all our questions promptly and we were soon booked for a three-day course, which I hoped might be of use to us in between the Observers’ Aardvarks. Wynne kept in contact with us on the lead up to our course to make sure everything was going according to plan and it soon became apparent that we were dealing with a very jolly guy.
Naturally, as we were due to set off, the weather changed so we started our journey in the rain – something that we hadn’t ridden in for two months. We took a short route on motorways until we reached the Severn Bridge then set the satnav on twisties for the rest of the ride and towards some nicer weather.
Our accommodation at Caerdelyn B&B, Llandysul was perfect apart from a very stony driveway (which they have promised to sort out for our return). The owners, who are bikers themselves, only started their business a couple of weeks before our arrival so everything was brand new and nothing was too much trouble, including digging me a trench through the 3 inches of gravel so I could park my bike on hardstanding. Brian’s GSA just rolled easily over the top. The accommodation is exceptionally comfy and we would highly recommend it and will be returning.
Breakfast is continental-style – a selection of cereals, fruit, milk and some pastries on a tray, which is restocked daily and is handy if you want to go out early. They also have a microwave and fridge in the apartment, so it’s easy to heat or cook stuff of an evening if you don’t fancy going out.
Day 1. After speaking to Wynne to discuss the plan for Friday we had a good night’s sleep in preparation for the fun to commence. Friday morning arrived and, whilst the paperwork was being done and Wynne asked our bike history, the rain came down heavily. By the time we were on our bikes though the sun was on its way out. I was first to lead, then we would swap after our first briefing in a lovely little café. We arrived there to the words of, “Are you taking the mickey out of me?” Wynne thought we had been sent as stoodges to check him out as whatever he threw at us in the wet wasn’t having any effect on our riding standard.
Day two. After little sleep due to the deluge of rain that hit the area, we had to put our day’s riding back an hour to allow the weather to change and for Brian to empty his topbox of 6 inches of water that had driven into it during the night. Then we were back on the open road again, this time heading for Snowdon. Brian, being the sponge that he is, absorbed the hints and tips quickly. It was fantastic to watch him progress. I struggled but we all had another fantastic day’s riding and our observation skills had hit another level.
Day three. I was exhausted beyond belief but again off we headed, this time with good weather onto even more roads that we had never before ridden, heading towards the Brecons.
Over the entire weekend we rode a couple of roads that I knew but the rest we would love to do over and over again. The levels of observation, forward-planning and skill was well above what we’ve ever experienced. Wynne’s expertise was second to none – as was his cheek and each day flowed with loads of stories and laughter.
Would we do it again? Hell yes! If you like the sound of it get in contact with him, he will tailor the trip to your needs and level of riding but, be warned, if you say you can ride all day long then that really does mean ALL DAY. We certainly knew that we had done 3 days of high intensity riding. It took me a week to get over the exhaustion, but we still have the enormous adrenalin-junky grins on our faces.
Coral Lambert and Bryan Hare
First published in Slipstream September 2018
A Thrills & Skills Experience