Eight of us today including Ivan Davenport joining us for the first time after seeing our blog on the web earlier this morning! I suggest a ride to Northop for lunch returning through the lanes above Mold, Pontybodkin and the Kinnertons. That should allow us an early lunch and plenty of time in the afternoon. With full agreement we set off a little behind schedule, due to the change of venue, and are soon heading along the River Dee Cycle Path towards Hawarden Bridge deep in conversation. Graham T leaves us in Shotton to visit Deeside Cycles while the rest of us continue on the coast road. Ray and Ivan are out in front as we head up the steep lane from the power station to the B5126 and we don’t see them again until we reach the Boot in Northop for lunch. A wedding party are being served when we arrive but the Directors bitter makes up for the longer than normal wait for food. Wheels, rims and wheel building are the main topic today along with Mike’s exploits checking out venues for our Christmas lunch ride. (If you intend to come for the Christmas lunch let Bryan know ASAP)
With the delayed lunch it’s almost 14.00 by the time we leave Northop for Soughton by the back lanes before skirting Mold to head uphill to Gwernaffield-y-Waun. From here the plan is to contour round above Mold to Nercwys and on to Treuddyn but fate intervenes and Dave makes contact with an immoveable object in the shape of a parked car while the rest of us continue to the next turning unaware of his prang. There’s only six of us I note turning into the lane by the Swan “who’s missing?” Retracing our steps we soon discover Dave at the side of the road with a badly gashed finger, grazed knees and hurt pride. Once first aid has been applied an inspection of the bike reveals that both wheels are buckled: the rear rather badly. Mission Control is called to facilitate evacuation and leaving Dave and Jim at the Swan, five of us continue to Treuddyn and a fast descent down to Pontybodkin. A right and sharp left then has us struggling up the sharp initial part of the climb over the shoulder of Hope Mountain before a shout from the back indicates that Mike has a puncture. While Mike and Ray work on the puncture Brian Mac decides to press on to Hope to get his hourly train back home. Once the puncture is mended it’s downhill all the way past Hope and the Kinnertons down Sandy Lane, before making for Ferry Lane and the Dee Cycle Path home.
What a ride! We had our fair share of incidents today but it all ended well. The lanes above Mold were a real delight along with a fair sprinkling of hills to keep us on our toes.
Distance from Chester and back 40 miles. For route map and/or gpx file download.