The ride from Alyn Waters was planned with the slower riders in mind with the intention of enjoying the views over the Dee Valley from the Panorama Walk with the minimum effort possible. Not an easy task as the gain in height to Panorama Walk is 700 feet. However selecting the steadiest gradients, avoiding any unnecessary descents, and limiting the mileage to a sensible 16 miles to lunch plus a flat return via the Llangollen canal path seemed a practical solution.
Eight of us met at the Alyn Waters café. Not enough to practically split into two groups so the slow ride was accepted by all. Bryan W had ridden out from home just for the chat leaving Clive, Brian Mac, Steve, David H, Jim and Dave & Liz on the tandem to set out for the hills.
We headed through the western suburbs of Wrexham and Rhostyllen to cross the bridge over the A483 and emerge into countryside and start the climbing. By Penycae Clive was starting to feel the cold and decided to continue on a longer ride at a brisker pace, and shortly afterwards Brian Mac decided his slipping gears were too annoying and warranted a return visit to his cycle mechanic.
The weather forecast was for a sunny morning and showers in the afternoon. As we approached Panorama Walk sure enough the sun broke out of the black clouds that had threatened all morning and left us with splendid views over the Dee Valley and Castell Dinas. A good excuse for a stop to admire the views and a quick photograph.
Photograph by Dave Pipe
The sharp descent down the 1 in 5 past Castell Dinas was covered safely and after 2 hours of hard but enjoyable riding we arrived at the Corn Mill in Llangollen. The table for five in the conservatory with splendid views of the Dee in full spate and good food and beer compensated for the above average pricing of this establishment.
The afternoon rain had started during our lunch stop but had cleared as we prepared to leave. Dave H spotted a shortcut to the canal that looked promising until we arrived at 20 or so steep steps to the canal path. Not daunted the bikes were shouldered and the tandem manhandled up the steps and the gentle ride commenced along the canal path and across the Pont Cysyllt Aquaduct to pick up the canal path again for the last mile to Pentre for the run back via the B5605 and the lanes by Erdigg to retrace the outward route around Wrexham for the last few miles.
A total of 32 miles with a 700 foot climb and splendid views.