Dragon Rally 2019

As a veteran of the event, Tom Davidson heads into deepest Snowdonia for the Conway Motorcycle Club’s annual shindig.

On the second weekend of February every year, for the past fifteen years, my brother and I have finished work on the Friday, then had a mad dash through the cold, dark night to cover the 160 miles to Betws-y-coed and (hopefully) arrive in time for last orders at the Swallow Falls Hotel.

This year we didn’t break down and arrived victorious at the bar at 22:45pm, so plenty of time for four pints before closing time. It was a civilised ride this year, with only a few showers to speak of and the temperature well above freezing.


The Dragon Rally works on a pre-bought ticket and muster point arrangement, in which you buy your ticket in advance, ride to the muster point on the Saturday (it’s a two-day/one-night event), where you get told where the rally venue actually is.

Respite from the rain in the marquee, and coffee in abundance. Or beer. Both are an antidote to cold.

This year the muster point was in the car park of the hotel, so after a leisurely full Welsh breakfast, we signed on.

The site was only a few miles up the road – the old ‘flooding’ club site – so we decided to pitch our tents while we had the pick of places before the throngs arrived.

A lot of luggage. And not a lot of bike. Who knew a Fizzie could carry so much?

The site was as wet as an otter’s pocket, but my DR picked its way across the slop and sludge, even with its 17” road hoops.

The only bikes having issues getting on and off site were the heavy outfits and (rather ironically) the fully loaded ‘Adventure’ bikes, which gave us a smile.

After pitching our tents, some of our group went for a ride to Conway, but we’d had a difficult week at work so it was a trip to the off-licence in Betws-y-coed to purchase some beer, before settling down in the bog to talk toot about motorcycles with like-minded fools.


Read more and view more images in the March 2019 issue of OBM – on sale March 2!


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