The weather was forecasted to be very windy and I had a little niggle that the day may turn out not as expected. I met Ray at the Old Dee Bridge at 09:15 and Ivan arrived shortly afterwards. As they were slightly unsure of the route to Alyn Waters I led them out via Lache Lane to Dodleston and Pulford. We turn towards Marford and take Springfield Lane running parallel to the bypass. Here Ray is leading and knows that it is a right turn over the bypass then slightly downhill then a left turn at Pentre Lane ready for a sharp single chevroned grind up to Llay. At the Pentre turn, Ivan comes off his bike as Ray starts up the lane. I'm at the rear and manage to miss Ivan who is on the road and the bike is elsewhere. It is immediately obvious that his injuries are more than road graze. A call is put out to 999 for an ambulance. Several cars stop and soon there is a queue of young ladies proffering blankets and a cushion for his head. Ivan clearly is in great pain but wants to know if his bike is alright. After what seems hours, a paramedic arrives and quickly decides not to move him and get some morphine into his bloodstream. Another car stops; it is a local doctor, but he agrees there is nothing more to be done right now. After what seems another long time, the ambulance finally arrives. They get him into the ambulance and start to make him comfortable. Meanwhile I phone Marilyn to tell her the bad news and suggest she goes to Wrexham Maelor A&E. By this time Dave and Liz arrive in their car and collect his bike. Martin and Roy also arrive from the Alyn café. There is nothing to do but to ride to the Maelor A&E where we find Marilyn and her daughter. Once we know Ivan is in A&E we decide to make a short ride out to the Buck at Bangor on Dee. We decide to return to Holt via the back lanes and I notice that the fields near the Dee are well flooded. There is a short section of flooded road soon followed by a long section that Roy bravely offers to check it out. We three see that as he fades from view, the water is over his boots. We turn back to ride the B road and meet up with him at the Holt bypass. The water was only half way up his calves apparently! We decide to stop at Hildegard's and take a hot drink - and wholly underserved, two of our number take cake as well. Roy and Martin head for Pulford and Ray and I head for Chester. Only 45 miles but what drama - a day we shall not forget easily. "There before the grace of God go I" comes to mind.
PS: It’s 16:23 and I'm at home and a text comes in from Ivan! Have fractured my hip, shoulder and hand - being operated on soon and home next week sometime; will be out of action for 4-6 months. If you have his mobile number, I'm sure he will appreciate a text from you to wish him well.