The six of us, George, Dave H, Keith, Tom, Petar, and Jim were joined by Trevor for morning coffee to the hits of Cyprus, courtesy of Spiros and internet radio. All very Mediterranean, except for the weather, which actually wasn’t too bad while we planned the day’s ride. I had an idea for a change to the usual thrash up towards Prestatyn by swinging west towards Cilcain and Llandegla. A bit hilly, but should give us good views of the Dee valley and surrounding hills. Everyone seemed to like the idea, so, with the exception of Trevor, who had just joined us for refreshments, we set off into the light patter of occasional raindrops. Not too bad, I thought, if it stays like this we’ll be ok. Unfortunately, the forecasters were right and I was wrong, for as soon as we reached Northop the intensity of the rain increased, necessitating a stop for waterproofs before joining the A55 briefly at Halkyn.
We steadily climbed up to Halkyn Mountain to views, not of the Dee Valley, but of misty hilltops and glowering cloud. Once on the top, we went southwards through Rhes-y-Cae and Moel-y-crio to cross the Mold-Denbigh road and head steadily upward to Cilcain. 12:15 was too early to stop for lunch, though by now we were pretty wet through, as the rain hadn’t stopped once, so we pressed on towards Loggerheads. The road, which skirted the east flanks of Moel Fammau, was by now streaming with brown water, grit and sand, though the local drivers didn’t seem to think it much of a problem as they sped past throwing huge waves of water skywards.
The original plan of going to Llanferres was abandoned in favour of Café Florence and it was with some relief that we entered the Country Park some time later, only to see the café in darkness. Our hearts sank as we began to prepare to mount up and ride up to Maeshafn. However, one of the staff came out to tell us that they had had a power cut, but could offer hot drinks, soup and toasties.
Saved again! We wrung the water out of our gloves and joined the only other customers near the window, as it was too dark further inside.
Carefully unpeeling our sodden maps, we plotted the return journey, and decided to cut out any thoughts of visiting Llandegla in favour of a short, speedy return to the car park. Accordingly we set off uphill through Cadole and Gwernaffield, skirting round the west of Mold to Soughton. We then picked up our outward route at Northop where George left us for an early bath.
The rain had eased a little by the time we had loaded the cars but we were too wet to care at that stage. Only about 30 miles but far enough for the conditions.