West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 71 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2024

Radnor Rally 2009 - CWAC

Report by: Ian Vessey

Vess Report

Update: Our Vess came 2nd in class and Guy 25th

This was a new Rally date on the calendar, so myself and Guy decided to check it out. We were both looking for an enjoyable day's riding without the pressures and intensity of a normal enduro.

The last time either of us had been into the Radnor Forest was during the Welsh 2 day a few years ago, and we both remember how much hard work that check had been, so there was just a little bit of apprehension about going into it again (makes it sound like a bit like Fangorn?)

The start was a few miles west of Knighton at Stud farm on the northern edge of the forest. There were only a few vans there when we arrived. We got Guy's bike out, then as I was untying mine, the scrutineer, who had already checked the Sherco said 'Well, are you getting that bike out or not?". I swear he was checking it as I rolled it down the ramp!

We had plenty of time, so signed on, chatted, got a bacon butty, and watched the rest of the 50 or so riders arrive. From the start, the route went up a fairly dusty track through the farm and on into Fangorn, sorry, Radnor Forest, a few miles up to the start of the first test. Nothing technical in this bit, which set us thinking that we may be looking at 100 miles of dust!. However, soon after the test start (untimed first lap) the going changed with a mix of climbs, tracks, and even some muddy bits.This pattern continued from the end of the test to the second test. The second test started with a short climb up to a forest track which then went straightish for a mile or so - looking for another gear on a 525 when there's already 80mph on the speedo is a little scary! This was followed by quite a long steep drop, onto another bendy track, back up another stoney climb and so on for a couple more miles of varied terrain to a lovely loose stoney climb to the test end. Excellent! A few more miles then took us back to the end of the 27mile lap back to the vans.

There followed another 3 laps of the same, each with both tests being timed.We had about 10-15mins at each of the checks, so the whole day was very relaxed. The going was a bit dusty in places, but that's the nature of rallies, and given the dry weather we've had recently, was certainly nothing like as bad as we feared it might be. Riders were well spaced, and given the relaxed nature of the event, dust wasn't a problem.

Overall, the event provided a nice balance or forestry tracks, grassy tracks and paths, and a bit of enduro-style going in the trees.

There were even some good views over the surrounding countryside from the higher tracks. The weather on the day was perfect, but the course would have been just as rideable in the wet.

Overall, an excellent event, just what we were looking for. A shame for the club that there were only 55 entries, the event deserved a lot more, so I hope it doesn't put them off and it's run again next year. Many thanks to Central Wales Auto Club for a great day's riding.

(Vess has refocussed the camera, so these vids are back to normal quality.)