“Would you believe that the Welsh 2 Day Enduro attracts 500 motorcycles to a small Mid Wales town each June? Well that’s exactly what’s about to happen on 23rd + 24th June in Llandrindod Wells. This rural town welcomes our bikers with open arms and has done so for many year too.
What would the average person think of something that has 500 motorcycles running through a small town in Mid Wales twice a day for two days? If we think of stereotypes, it is unlikely that this would be a welcome sight. We don’t need to worry about such stereotyping, because the small town welcomes the bikers every year with open arms, when the Welsh 2 Day Enduro comes to Llandrindod Wells in June each year.
As well as riders and helpers from all over the UK, competitors and supporters travel from all over the world for the challenge of riding a single 140 mile lap each day in the UK’s largest event of its type. This year, the regulars from Ireland, France and Netherlands are joined by visitors from Australia in their annual pilgrimage.
The event, based at the lakeside and common each June, has an online entry system which was full in a record 16 minutes this year, such is the enthusiasm for the ‘Welsh’. The organising committee made up of local volunteers work all year to ensure that all the planning and preparation is sorted to enable the event to go ahead.
This year, we’ve been working with the Llandrindod Wells Town Champion to ensure that the town’s businesses benefit even more from the hundreds of people who will visit Llandrindod Wells for the event.
The organisers invite the town Mayor to flag off the first competitors each year, assisted by local schoolchildren who have won the honour by taking part in a poster competition organised with the town schools. Local charities and good causes benefit every year to the tune of thousands, as surplus cash is donated into the local economy. Chairman of the event committee, Mike Davies said “We spend all year working to give the event the best chance for success. We support local businesses when we need things like clothing, amenities and the like. We couldn’t do any of this if we didn’t have the backing of the town.”
The competition between the riders may be friendly, but it is still one of the most highly desired prizes in the UK for a rider to claim a class or overall win at the event. Many previous winners who have hung up their riding boots are still involved in the organisation, putting back many years of experience into the event.
The route starts and finishes at the lake, and in between, can venture out around the region, taking in parts of Wales which riders can only access in this event once a year. The support from farmers and land owners enables the riders to see some beautiful scenery (and hopefully not falling off!) as they complete the route. Riders must maintain the bikes themselves, but can have help with service at several points around the route.
The time allowed ensures that riders take their time on the roads, though spectators at the three special tests are treated to some excitement as riders show their skills in bike control against the clock in specially prepared routes which are timed to 100th of a second. These tests this year are at Crossgates, Bwlch y Sarnau and Cwmythig Hill, Rhayader. More details of times will be released closer to the event.
Last year’s winner, Steve Holcombe is currently leading his class in the World Championship, and he will be hoping to secure his second win this year.