It was a surprise in a spell of good weather that only 4 turned up at the Chirk Tea Rooms: Dave & Liz P on the tandem, Paul R who had cycled out from Chester, and Steve. After a discussion, the tandem decided to head off to the Queens Arms on a relatively level route, while Paul & Steve headed for the hills. Each had brought a route, but decided to follow Steve’s out to Llanrhaeadr, over the tops and back through the Ceiriog Valley.
The start foretold the hills to come as we climbed steeply up Chirk Bank, and then headed SW through Selattyn and Rhydycroesau, where we left the B road and headed along the lanes via Llangadwaladr with superb views southwards and towards the hills ahead. After some hard work we dropped down into Llanrhaeadr, which seemed very sleepy with both pubs closed on Thursday lunchtimes. It was still relatively early and we pressed on, leaving the town up the lane heading to Pistyll Rhaeadr, before turning right and starting the ascent over the southern flank of the Berwyns.
After a long steep climb we reached 439m, and then enjoyed the long descent to the Hand Hotel in Llanarmon. We both tucked into gammon and eggs, and chatted to a fellow customer who told us about his cycling days long ago with the Wrexham Wheelers. From Llanarmon it’s a relatively fast and straightforward ride down the valley back to Chirk, although we chose to meander pleasantly along several side roads for variety, except for the lane from Graig to Bronygarth which was long steep, very rough and should have been avoided.
Photograph by Steve Haywood
We arrived back in Chirk for a couple of coffees and a quick photo for the blog, before Paul cycled back to Chester, and Steve to home the easy way by car. A relatively short 36 miles but over 1400m of ascent had made for a good day out.