AKA: The Pork Tour #
AKA: Ring of Fire #
We'd been planning another bike tour of some kind since Scandinavia, and after 3 years of telling all our friends about how much fun it was we had a few more people interested. A few ideas were kicked around, and the issue of limited holiday availability cropped up a few times which set us on trying to organise a trip that would be fit nicely into only one week.
Of course, a short tour isn't much fun if you spend a quarter or more of it on motorways just getting to and from the fun stuff. For us lot based around the middle of the UK, getting somewhere worthwhile in mainland Europe might require 1000+km of boring roads each way, which either uses up many days or forces you to spend so many hours in the saddle in one day that you don't want to ride when you get there.
Handily, the British Isles do have their fair share of great riding roads, and there's plenty that we can get to with a day on the motorway at each end. But what if we could start on the nice roads almost on our doorsteps? We're not far from Wales which is certainly a popular biking destination, and once you're in Wales there's handy access to another overseas destination: Eire!
Now, for various reasons we like doing laps of things, or at least doing somewhat circular trips where we don't retrace any of our steps. As luck would have it there are two Wales-Ireland ferry crossings: Fishguard to Rosslare, and Dublin to Holyhead. So, by riding most days we figured we could cover enough distance to make a C-shaped loop between the two Irish ports and hit some nice coastal roads around the south west, forming a loop that didn't repeat any roads at all:
So, we have a plan - now we need some people! After much consulation over dates and the like, we ended up with this intrepid bunch...
Meet the team #
Left to right: Anneley & Megane Sport; Diarmuid & Triumph Street Triple; Me & Honda Dominator; David & Suzuki V-Strom; Chris & Yamaha FZ6.
Just one person riding cage this time, and since we weren't carrying any camping gear on this trip we decided to avoid the temptation of treating the car as a support vehicle and each carry our own luggage. Just as well really, as support vehicles go it seems to be missing the heavy-duty roof rack and Camel Trophy paint job. 18" wheels are such an obvious choice when travelling to a country famed for its pot holes, don't you think?
When we all met up for a quick planning session, we realised that between the four bikes we had all the possible cylinder-count options available. This gave us an obvious set of radio callsigns for the trip!
Now, I know what you're thinking: the car is another four-pot, doesn't that mess this system up? Handily, this one is turbocharged so it naturally becomes: Tea-pot!
Armed with a Plan, we booked some ferries and B&Bs, packed our top boxes full of socks, and went riding!
Let's get rolling: Next!