As there were a surprising dozen or so of us at Hawarden, the Brisk Group (Ray, Ivan, Tom and myself) decided to be lazy and follow the Moderates out from Hawarden as far as the edge of Gwernaffield. It was clear that any pub would struggle with a dozen orders, so the Brisk Group coalesced and shot off towards Cadole. The idea was simple i.e. just to follow the main roads in a big anticlockwise circle arriving at the Moors Inn at Four Crosses.
So it was past Loggerheads, Llanferres and onto Rhydtalod; then up over the moors to the Moors Inn. Well the wind was only worrying us a bit as we started the circular route but over the exposed moorland it was full storm force coming across the road as we literally battled to get to the pub. The lights were on and the door was open but the pub was shut for the day. So onwards up the hill to one of the highest points around (1026ft) we turn left down to Bwlchgwyn to another closed-up pub. The Hollybush says Tom, so down the Minera Steps we hurtle to the warmth of the Hollybush at Cefn-y-bedd. The 2 for £12 menu satisfies us all, as does the range of ales.
Just as we are leaving the rain starts and the wind gets up even more as we head down to Llay and onto the ominous Dark Lane thence Sandy Lane near Kinnerton. Tom turns left and up along Lower Mountain Road back to Bilberry Wood and then Hawarden to complete a measly 35 miles. The remaining trio heads NW to Kinnerton and Bretton. The wind seems to be in all directions as we are blown all over the place. The Dee footbridge is especially dangerous as we cycle hunched over and at quite an angle to stay on the bike. Cycling down the river is not on with such a gusting gale-force wind, so it’s up Ferry Lane and back to our homes with about 50 miles for the day’s ride. As ever the CER rides are not just about distance, but also about banter, a decent lunch stop and good company.