After yesterday’s snow and rain the weather today was greatly improved with a forecast for a sunny day. Ray, Roy, Paul, Dave P, Martin, Bryan and a new rider, Petar, turned up at the Gallery Cafe, Hawarden. Bryan had a sick note and was planning to do only a short ride and when Petar heard of the proposal for a hilly, 40-50 mile ride he decided to join Bryan.
The remaining five chose to follow a route that had been led by Bryan Wade a year or two ago. We headed off to Northop and up onto the Halkyns, passing through Whitford, Llanasa and eventually Gwaenysgor. There was a headwind the entire way make the going quite hard but this was tempered by the usual fine views across the Dee Estuary. As we were slightly early for lunch we visited the viewpoint above Prestatyn at the top of the 33% hill from the coastal plain. Lunch was taken in the Eagle and Child and was perfectly satisfactory.
After lunch we descended the rough, steep, narrow lane to Dyserth and then along the splendid road through Cwm to Rhuallt with views across to Snowdonia. After the hard climb up Rhuallt hill we rolled along the tops with the wind at our backs through Babel, down into Rhys y Cae and then up the hill to Moel y Crio, Rhosemor, Alltami, Buckley and eventually Hawarden. We were hoping to grab a cup of tea at the Gallery Cafe but he was in the process of closing. Ray and Paul continued on to Chester and Roy to Runcorn (!).
It had been an enjoyable hilly ride at a faster than normal pace on a sunny winter day with great scenery throughout. One of my favourite routes. Total mileage from the cafe was 49 miles with 1210 metres of ascent. Probably 65 from Chester and 90 from Runcorn.