West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 71 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2024

Trail Ride with Oxfordshire TRF - Wye Valley Dec 2005

Words By Rod Jones

Pete Neale and Rod Jones took a group of five TRF members from Oxfordshire on a guided day's ride around some of the lanes familiar to most of us from the Wyegate. Anyone who went on the 2004 Christmas ride to Wiltshire and Berkshire Downs may remember we had the benefit of maps marked up by these guys so it was nice to be able to return a favour.

A crisp clear morning and after fuel at Q8 it was straight into Bream Lane, not at it's really gluey worst but plenty of mud. We started at Bream Cross and went left at Roads House then on to St Briavels. Still all familiar stuff we continued via Sandy Lane, Hillcrest and Mill Hill to cross the river at Brockweir. On to Tintern and the first bit of concentration was required for Lime Kiln, Pete making relatively easy work of it and then getting really warmed up pushing and pulling everybody else who had various degrees of stopping or lying down! Next up was Buckle Wood and Rod thought the Oxfordshire guys should be warned about the muddy puddle just before the forestry road.

They all cleared it OK, Rod didn't, getting a good dunk (No, not you Dave. Ed.) in the mud. Still it was a soft landing! On to Devauden Lane up and the short soft earth bits after turning hairpin right at the top appear to have had some repair done. The little used lane near Kilgwrrwg and a bit of tarmac took us to Blackbird Lane which was soft but fairly easily passable. Not so easy at the climb up to Golden Hill where a combination of wet stones and roots caused a few dismounts! Just Nant y Banw and Ysguborwen both OK and then fuel at the garage in Llantrisant. Whilst there, a quick phone call to a farmer friend gained us permission to pass through the Hygga (it's private) later in our ride. Then Allt y Bela, without the Wyegate hillclimb, but still tricky and Star Pitch on to Llanishen and Parkhouse where we encountered a renewed barrier from the farmyard into the lane, lucky for us it was open ready.

We got a bit of a wash off in the Hygga ford and then did Pant Glas down, it's got a lot tougher with some of the steps over 18 inches which would have definitely stopped most of us had we been coming up. We left Pant Glas via the steep loose one up to Llwyna and went via the B road and Trellech to The Craig. The couple of short lanes around Penallt and we were on to Washings Lane and New Barn Lane. As we passed our friend's house at the top of Bigsnap a shout of 'Bonjour' got no response so on down Bigsnap joining the Wye Valley road and Bigsweir Bridge.

After descending Mork Hill we encountered the cavalry on a Sidecar Gate recee. A splendid bunch they looked too, with Sir Stanley leading the charge on his outfit and outriders in his wake!

Our trip up to Stowe Green was quite eventful with one of our TRF friends trying to climb a tree on his XR250 and being rescued by Pete and another being 'brambled' on the nose by an errant blackberry bush and looking a bit the worse for wear. We stopped at our friend Eric the pilot's house where Eric's wife administered an Elastoplast, and conk cured, we reluctantly refused her offer of tea for us all because of our need to get back to Coleford for 3:30pm and pressed on.

About halfway along Coxbury Lane we were stopped by a fallen tree and in spite of our combined efforts we couldn't move it up down or sideways. A strange form of motorcycle limbo followed and we all got going again. Just French Lane and the Burial Path took us to the final lane of the day, Rock Lane, up to Coleford and the end of a successful day.

If our sport is to continue to come under the present pressure and scrutiny we are going to need to maintain links with those in other areas to maximise our opportunities for new legal lanes for us to ride so lets have more 'exchange visits'.