Taffy Dakar 2018

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Dom1
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Taffy Dakar 2018

Post by Dom1 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:08 am

Will be riding to the Taffy Dakar from Salisbury area using as much of the TET as we can.

Have driven the bikes there in the van for the last 3 years but because the TET route passes so close to our start point and the Taffy Dakar pub we are manning up and riding in.

Hopefully this will lead to longer TET explorations later.

Just wondered if anyone else on here is doing the event.
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Dom1
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Re: Taffy Dakar 2018

Post by Dom1 » Tue May 08, 2018 11:00 pm

I have been riding my old DR350 in the Taffy Dakar since 2015 usually taking bikes up in the van then riding the event.

This year the Trans Euro Trail was published online and I noticed that it went past Chojin's house and close to the pub where the Taffy Dakar is held and it occurred to me that with an extra days leave we could ride up.

So I convinced Chojin of the wisdom of my plan and duly turned up at his house loaded up and ready to ride and only about an hour late.

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We fueled up and rode up through the Savernake Forest to Marlborough then over Barbury Hill.

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From there it was a back road link via Royal Wootton Bassett to some lovely gentle trails over to Malmesbury. Out past the Dyson factory and on up to Cotswold Airport all on fast flowing trails until Rodmarten where things started getting a bit more tight and technical with plenty of mud and puddles well over half a wheel.

Time for a spot of lunch at the Daneway to get our breath back and enjoy the entertaining spectacle of some old bluffer on his old Brit machine getting his starter motor stuck on and attempting to plough through the fence to the pub.

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We were starting to feel the pace with a long way still to go so decided to skip the very muddy Daneway itself and took the road route up to the gliding club then down the hill towards Stroud before turning up to Bussage Hill and found that the lanes were getting much more rocky and challenging with a particularly interesting metal clad pipe halfway up to spin a rear wheel and throw a bike sideways.

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But it was worth it...

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Then it was on through Bisley, Edgeworth & Duntisbourne Abbots and on up towards Gloucester using trails that were also streams and a lovely rocky climb and green meadows.

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After a bit of A40/48 we cut across to Cinderford and Coleford before a gnarly rocky descent and some muddy forestry over to Newland.

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Then a final bit of trial over Mork Hill to our accommodation for the night in St Briavels Castle...

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We missed a couple of trails that I will definitely be back for next year and also quite an impressive list of birds and fauna including the usual pigeons, grouse, pheasants, pheasants, more pheasants, rabbits, a chopsy buzzard and a deer that just missed my front wheel to join his mate in the field on the other side of the road.

So far so much fun.
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Dom1
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Re: Taffy Dakar 2018

Post by Dom1 » Wed May 09, 2018 7:04 am

Once we had checked in and had a shower it was off to the pub for a well earned feed. Trying to ignore the fact that Dan was wearing flip flops.

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I didn't sleep too well but have to declare Dan the winner of the snoring competition. So it was soon time to pack up and hit the road again down to Chepstow.

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Then we headed over to Shirenewton to pick up the first of the day's trails and meet some new friends. Dan does not like cows.

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From Shirenewton we headed west down the lanes between Llangwym and Llantrisant which were very rocky and wet which made for an interesting descent. The tunring onto the second lane was also a bit iffy due to an impatient driver and my crap mirror.

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From there we rode down trhough the Celtic Manor golf resort to Carleon and around Cwmbran and up a very steep road onto the hills which gave spectacular views over Newport and where we found Uncle Bryn's Citroen Picasso sadly burnt out.

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Coming down to Twbarlwm was very sketchy indeed with loose rocks on a steep descent before meetings Dan's nemesis the cow again, as you can see he kept his distance while I did some map reading.

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From there we dropped down into Risca to grab some lunch before making the decision to push on to the Taffy campsite due to time and energy levels. I was disappointed not to ride the trails at Risca, Caerphilly and Porth and will be back to ride them again. So we cut over the hills from Caerphilly to Pontypridd the back onto the main road up to Treorchy before taking the Rhigos road over to Glynneath and on to the Taffy campsite.

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arturmfalves
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Re: Taffy Dakar 2018

Post by arturmfalves » Wed May 09, 2018 5:44 pm

That’s a great report Don. Great reading and pictures from your trip. Congrats


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Dom1
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Re: Taffy Dakar 2018

Post by Dom1 » Wed May 09, 2018 11:03 pm

Last few photos, didn't really take many on the Taffy Dakar itself.

Very uncomfortable nights sleep due to my £10 Halfords special tent and severe leg cramps from lose of salts from sweating my cobs off all day on the bike and it raining in my tent.

So I was up early, showered and well breakfasted on the massive breakfast baguette included in the entry.

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We weren't rushing around like most of the teams to get out of the gate and I left it to Travis and Tim to carry the tools whilst I packed a few minimal bits just in case as it was nice to travel light after the last couple of days. We meandered off in gentle pursuit to the Moto Gymkhana and trials section and I am pleased to say I cleared the trials bit at least then we headed over to Sennybridge picking up a few trails on the way.

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We headed over to the Special section at Halfway where Tim set about fixing a puncture in his front tyre whilst we headed up into the woods with the marshalls words about maintaining our momentum ringing in our ears. Maintaining momentum was made more tricky by a stranded GS, KLX and KTM on the steepest part of the climb but we got to the top and had a breather whilst I psyched myself up for the ride down which had proved difficult last year.

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I needn't have worried, the couple of days riding on the way up had helped my confidence no end and we got down with no issues and we rode on towards Llandovery picking up some more lanes then stopped for lunch at the West End Cafe where we decided to let the Yamaha division of Daffy Dragons headed off on their own whilst our team of DR's, XLR and CRFL stuck together.

Just after lunch Tim found a second puncture and Travis's rack collapsed so Tim took all the tools. We carried on up to the lanes north of Llandovery then got split up due to some questionable navigation to be reunited in Brechfa where Tim found he also had a rear wheel puncture and decided to take a gentle amble back to Pen y Cae whilst we pressed on into Brechfa Forest.

I enjoyed a quick run up the hill only pausing for Travis to rescue a bloke on a Ducati Scrambler who had thought better of it.

The puddles got progressively deeper and the ground more rocky then muddy. That's when the problem started, in what can only be described as karma working very quickly Travis got far enough ahead that he could ride around a deep puddle and pretend he had ridden through so that I ploughed straight into it and got a good soaking. At the next set of large puddles Travis went ahead and it got deeper and deeper eventually topping his hand guards and drowning the bike.

Unfortunately Tim had taken all the tools with him and we could not get the plug out to try and restart the bike. So I called back to the marshalls who told us we were too late for the recovery van and it was up to us to get back somehow. So using gravity alone we got the bike down from Brechfa Forest to the road then proceeded to start towing it using part of a ratchet strap that I had dropped into my backpack last thing that morning.

Long story short we got bak over 2 hours overdue having broken the strap three times and got it wrapped around the back wheel once.

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Grabbed a shower and tucked into the hog roast for dinner before adjourning to the pub.

Had a better nights sleep, probably due to the drink then packed up for the ride home which consisted of a fair bit of M4 and A4 before hitting some final lanes from Avebury back over to Burbage.

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Then on the final lane I caught up with the last bit of poultry for the weekend before heading home.

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Not being Bear Grylls and only having a tent peg to peel it with I decided to let it go, not that it went far, think it was poorly.

Anyway, great weekend and I can't wait for next year. In terms of fun for your money this sort of riding is hard to beat.
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