The Folding Society

Issue 11 - 1 December 1998

This issue is devoted to events - a report on the Portmeirion weekend which has just finished, and important news concerning the 'regular' monthly rides.

Portmeirion 1998

Here are a few brief notes - a more complete report, with photos, will appear within the next few days on the web pages.

Once again we were very lucky with the weather - a grey, murky, misty Friday journey down there, heavy, continuous rain on Friday night, and then largely fine and dry conditions for the rest of the weekend.

People arrived in dribs and drabs throughout Friday, depending on when they were able or willing to depart from home. The first arrivals got in at about 2.00pm, and the last nearer to 11.00pm.

During Friday evening it was agreed that the general plan for Saturday should be to meet for lunch at Beddgelert, with people making their own choice of how to get there. Some people opted for a simple main road route (almost no traffic), while others followed a more adventurous off road route based on the old Welsh Highland Railway. A few people opted to stay around Portmeirion and Porthmadog, and one anti-social individual went straight to Caernarfon, where the new version of the Welsh Highland is re-starting. The return routes chosen were just as diverse, but a good time was had by all, and there was no sign of rain, even if the ground was a bit damp under wheel.

Sunday was designated a mass trip on the Ffestiniog Railway to Blaenau Ffestiniog, the majority opting to make the full journey from Porthmadog, while a few joined the train at Minffordd, which is a little nearer to Portmeirion. The train journey is a delight, even for those who are not railway enthusiasts, with fantastic views all the way. On arrival at Blaenau, there is the prospect of an exhilarating descent to Maentrog. As was the case the previous day, people split up after this, and followed their own routes - I went on to Harlech to see the castle, which I can't remember having visited before.

The range of bikes at the event was more varied than in previous years - for the 25 or so people who were there, I counted 3 Birdys, at least 4 Moultons, several Bickertons, a Fold-It and even a number of cumbersomes, apart from the inevitable Bromptons.

All too soon the visit was over, and it was time to return to work on Monday - straight there in my case, dressed in my weekend cycling gear, which caused some disapproving looks in an area designated as strictly jacket, collar and tie (and 'proper' trousers, not the bottom half of a track suit!).

Plans are already being made for next year, with options of a four day mid-week visit (cheaper and four nights instead of 3) and/or weekend stay. I can't wait - put me down for a place immediately! Like this year, the event is likely to be over subscribed.

Many thanks to those who organised things this year, and speaking for myself and the occupants of Chantry, particular thanks to the Edges for the superb meals we had in that house - it just seems a pity that they spend so much time slaving in the kitchen while others, like myself, are enjoying themselves cycling and talking.

Mud Dock, 5th December

I understand that the December ride will be based at the new Mud Dock in EXETER, and NOT the usual Bristol venue. The new Mud Dock in Exeter is opposite the Maritime Museum (I am told), and the meeting time is 11.00am. It's a bit far for me to travel, and after the expense of Portmeirion I can't afford it, but I hope that those who can go will have a good time.

Origami Ride, 12th December - Mince Pie Ride

This is the same date as Mr Portly's Christmas Pudding Ride, but there must be many living north of Watford Gap for whom the journey to London and out again is too much, and the Mince Pie Ride (we can't afford such exotic fare as the southerners) will appeal more. The route hasn't been definitely decided yet - it could depend on the weather. Bring a mince pie with you, and we'll have a mince pie swapping session at lunch time!

Due to lack of interest (only one form returned), the suggested visit to the NEC mid week has been postponed. However, the January I Mech E ride in Bromsgrove is definitely on.

Ownership Survey

Many thanks to all of you for letting me know what folding and separable cycles you own. I'm now wishing I'd added another couple of questions though, namely:

  1. Do you own a 'conventional' (non-folding, large wheels) cycle?
  2. Any comments regarding when you use it/them, and when you use the folders/separables?

The reason for asking these additional questions is that in certain quarters there is a very disparaging attitude to what are referred to as 'cumbersomes', but I know for certain that a number of folder enthusiasts apart from myself use these machines sometimes, and don't necessarily see the folders as replacing them in all situations. I'd be very grateful if you could send me an email answering these two questions. For the survey to be valid, I need as many replies as possible, whether you own a 'cumbersome' or not.

Fly - all is discovered!

Mole - be careful. The Ferret reports that he is not going to expose your activities at Portmeirion unless you start making scurrilous remarks about his friends in future issues of A to B.

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Last updated: 31 January 1999