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Chester Easy Riders is an independent cycling club affiliated to Cycling UK. We cycle every Thursday throughout the year with moderate and brisk day rides of 40 to 80 miles.

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Friday, 12 July 2013

11th July 2013: Horseshoe Pass

For Hawarden there were a lot of riders today viz; Brian Mac, Ivan, Ray, Steve, Roy, Paul, Dave P and his son, Dominic, and myself. Dave M was there in civvies nursing "you know what". It was going to be a hot one - weather-wise, hill-wise and rider-wise. "Where are we going then Clive? Up and over the Horseshoe Pass with lunch at the Abbey Grange Hotel complete with its "Llangollen" brewery attachment". No dissenting voices as we head out and over Buckley bound for Nercwys and Eryrys hills. After Llong, Roy breaks a link and quickly repairs it. Off again, we meet the local sheep farmer and his flock.  

Photographs by Brian MacDonald

The slog up to Eryrys is rewarded with a long swoop down to Llanarmon-yn-Lal. Here we briefly view the remains of a Welsh motte and bailey castle as we head out bound for the top of the Nant-y-Garth Pass. The slog up to the Ponderosa is rewarded by panoramic views of the hinterland. A text from Brian Mac confirms that he is not feeling too good, so he takes the Llandegla road back presumably to the Penyffordd railway station. We all enjoy the 3 mile helter-skelter ride down the new Horseshoe Pass, and passing the Britannia Inn, we stop at
Abbey Grange Hotel. The in-house brewed ale is judged to be good and the meals appear one at a time as we sit in the sun outside. I cannot elicit a serious discussion about blog writers (ref Brian Mac's email), so I settle for a generously provided second pint, and hence know I shall be writing the blog tonight!

Photographs by Dave Pipe

At 14:00, we set off for what turns out to a 29 mile return against the 22 mile outward journey. We take Old Coach road for a while, then up onto the A5 for a 100yds, then back down on a parallel lane with a very steep turn back to the A5. The original idea was to go back via the Llantysilio mountain road, but I judge the ascent to be too steep and terrain too exposed in the hot afternoon sun. So we motor along to

Carrog where some of us top up on fluids. We then take a long climb out and back up to the A5140 at Bryneglwys. Nipping off to the left we run parallel to the main road with fine views over the Vale of Clwyd. The route back was straightforward from here on the A5104 via Penyffordd to take on more fluids. We have ridden 51 glorious miles and "bikeroutetoaster" calculates 3560ft (1085m) of ascents. Not quite up to the Alpine lads sojourn, but exceptional on a very hot summer's day (at last!). With five of us returning to Chester, we will have cycled 70 hot miles, with Roy probably notching over a 100!

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