Author Topic: North Wales zip slide  (Read 962 times)

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Offline Kenbo

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North Wales zip slide
« on: April 16, 2014, 18:20:07 PM »
Posted here becouse a lot of this about my journey there and back
On April 12/4/14 I rode from Alloa to Bethesda to take part in the first ever "Biketours for the wounded Zip slide Challange" The longest fastest Zip slide in Europe. I did the challange on Sunday 13/4/14 then rode home a journey of aprox 700 miles

This is what happend that weekend

I left home about 10am stopping at the wife’s workplace to say cheerio. Weather was wet and windy as I set off. My route was to join the motorway at Falkirk cross to the M74-M6 turn onto M56 where I was to meet up with my mate Russell at the Chester services.
I battled the wind and showers until Lockerbie but when I got the Lake District I realised why they call that area “Little bit of Scotland” the wind and rain returned not letting up until I crossed the border of Lancashire. Whilst riding south on the M6 I noticed from the corner of my eye on the opposite carriageway a white transit type van sliding sideward onto the grass verge kicking up plumes of dirt and grit quickly followed by the distinct smell of burnt rubber. I made a mental note of the area, so on the return journey I saw one set of skid marks leading from the central lane across the outside lane onto the grass but no debris from any vehicle’s and the van was gone, so I assume no one else was involved in the accident.
At 3pm I fuelled up at Chester services and met up and had a coffee with Russell. He asked if I wanted to continue the most direct route to the quarry or take the scenic road. I would be daft to turn down a guided tour of the Welsh biking roads. So I found myself leaving the M56 heading for Denbigh.

 Riding through some twisters I was suddenly reminded how rural the roads are. When taking a left hander I found a tractor with farm equipment driving towards me encroaching on my side of the road. We crossed the Denbigh Moors road with it long clear stretches and long sweeping bends. I could defiantly see the attraction of this as a biking road if it had not been so misty at the time. Finally we turned onto the A5 heading for Bethesda. The road ran alongside the most amazing lake by the name of “Llyn Ogwen” where the hillside dropped straight into the water remanisant of a small lake “Como” However round the next bend we found ourselves on the road high above a valley which was just astounding to see. A few miles on at 5:30pm we reached our destination the slate quarry at Bethesda.
From here we were guided down to the campsite ………….. It was a good clean well run campsite in the grounds of a working farm. Toilets, showers and washing facilities were good. The organisers had arraigned a hog roast, band and refreshments which all went down really well.

The next day I was due to Zip Slide at 10am so we broke camp and made our way back up to the slate quarry. I got kitted up, briefed then set off for the small zipper which is the practice slide.

 After zipping across the tree tops at a rapid rate to the bottom of the big hill we then had a truck ride to the top of the “Big Zipper”

 The driver kept us entertained telling us stories and history about the quarry and of course the inevitable “and that is how I met the wife 47 years ago” So finally it was my turn to slide down. All that can be said is you have to try it to believe it. It was awesome.
 Now down back on the ground it was noon so after a coffee and a burger from the van on the site it was time to return home.
Taking the coast road along the top of Wales was no less impressive as our journey across the moors. Riding in the sunshine through cut out on the rock face it was easy to imagine I was riding on the continent. The wide open golden sandy beaches and rows of static caravans I could see why Rhyl is such a popular holiday location but all too soon I was back at Chester services say my good byes to Russell
The journey home was no less eventful as the journey down. On the M6 I noticed a car in front of me wander from the middle lane towards the outside lane just as another vehicle was overtaking us both, couple of minuets’ later it did it again so I decided it best to get past this potential danger. As I over took the car I noticed the driver screwing the top onto a drinks bottle!
Once I got to the Lake District I again found myself in “Little Scotland” as the wind here became horrendous, to such an extent that I had to plan overtaking Lorries in the sheltered parts of the road. When I got to Lanark and crossed the Clyde torrential rain added to the wind caused me to slow right down, the weather only receding as I got to Hamilton. Now 30 miles from home I pulled into Hamilton services for a break and some refreshment. Finally I got home about 7:30pm exhausted but enthralled by the whole experience.

Some stats from my sat nav....

Distance traveled 676.1miles
Total moving time 11:31hrs
Moving avarage speed 59mph
Max Speed  TBC

« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 19:26:48 PM by Kenbo »

Offline Steve T

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Re: North Wales zip slide
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2014, 18:55:05 PM »

Thanks for sharing  ;D

Steve T

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Offline LargeWayRound

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Re: North Wales zip slide
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2014, 19:06:03 PM »
Great ...

Thanks for posting your trip ..

So have you lost your fear of heights now ?

“Rule #1 of life. Do what makes YOU happy.”

Offline outrunner

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Re: North Wales zip slide
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2014, 19:26:10 PM »
Nice words and pictures mate, looks like a good time was had. :D

Every day above ground is a good day.

Offline Mozza

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Re: North Wales zip slide
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2014, 20:48:16 PM »
Sounds fantastic, glad you enjoyed it  :)

Offline milemuncher

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Re: North Wales zip slide
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2014, 14:20:26 PM »
Wow!  Some trip and quite an adventure!
Norman - an Elgin Loon