West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 66 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2019

A day out at Tomís Farm

Words and Photos By Jack Pegler

In between Xmas and New Year, five bikes and a quad started on the journey to Tomís Farm. The temperature in Ross-on-Wye that morning was Ė2C. The trip was halted at Cross Gates cafť where all had a hearty breakfast. It was obvious at the cafť that we werenít the only ones going to Tomís Farm, as there were at least ten vans with trailers.

We carried on to Tomís Farm, which is approximately ten miles north of Rhyader. Not only were we leaving Rhyader, but we were also climbing in altitude. We arrived at Tomís Farm to find the temperature at least Ė6C. Tomís Farm, for those of you who have never been, is 600 acres of hills, brooks, bogs, mud, motorbikes, 4 x 4s and sheep (ďnothing like as attractive as the Forest sheepĒ said Glen). In the middle of Tomís Farm is a house with relatively no roof, where Tom and his wife live. I believe they rent the farm and charge £7.50 for motorcycles, £10 for quads and £15 for 4 x 4s. There is accommodation there, if you appreciate a caravan with no roof, but I do believe that people camp there during the Summer months.

Our day started at 10 oíclock, where all ditches and ruts were frozen solid. Jimmy Marshall was the first to fall off and although using hand grips, he had very little protection, as they were so brittle that they shattered on impact, along with both break and clutch levers. Jimmy cursed under his frozen breath that it was a very expensive mistake (see photograph right).

We visited one of the highest points of Tomís Farm, remembering that all banks were frozen and heavy with frost. On the descent, Jack made the mistake of going down over one of the steepest parts, followed by the group. It was great entertainment for Jack, who arrived safely and turned and watched the carnage. As Simon arrived, he also enjoyed the entertainment, with Jimmy, Richard and Dave close behind. It was only left for Glen to descend, encouraged by a rowdy group at the bottom. This was a descent where gearing, brakes, heels and swearing made very little difference. After a good 5 minutes everyoneís ribs ached not from coming off, but from laughter.

As the temperature rose slightly, the terrain became slightly easier, so we headed towards the far end of Tomís Farm, where Dave coached and encouraged by Jack and the rest of the group, attempted to jump a ditch. (We may have a video clip in future. ed.)

I was very impressed with the freedom and the power of Richardís quad. In fact, if it hadnít been for the quad towing Jimmy out, his bike would still be there now (see photograph above).

We finished off the day by looking up at the hill climb, where three people have been air-lifted to hospital. This hill climb is not for the faint-hearted and with the conditions as they were none of the group attempted this.

We came back to the vans at 3.30pm, having had a thoroughly enjoyable day.

The good thing about Tomís Farm is that you pay £7.50 to ramp around all day and bother no-one, however, you do need to be aware that it is 10 miles from civilisation and there is no first aid or health and safety of any description. The coverage for mobile phones is Orange only. You need to take these points into consideration when visiting Tomís Farm.