Trevor intended to ride directly back home, which left the rest of us. I’d planned a ride based on Clive’s brisk group outing to Shrewsbury last month because it sounded an interesting route. However, instead of the full distance I intended to avoid the town itself by lunching at Montford Bridge. Reversing the route and making some other minor changes completed the plan.
Having promised a flattish ride, I felt a little guilty as we struggled up a single chevron gradient climbing from the River Ceiriog to reach Rhyn, although this was the exception. From then it was through Gobowen and Whittington, crossing the A5 to Maesbury, past the radio telescope at Knockin. The route was showing the effects of heavy rain in the week with some large patches of gravel and mud. So we initially missed Clive’s track leading down towards the River Severn because it just looked a muddy mess. On closer inspection, it was a muddy mess, one that even he might have avoided. So we continued by a more sensible road to the riverside, where we logged an appealing looking pub for future use, the Royal Hill near Pentre.
Continuing through Shrawardine to Montford Bridge where we stopped at the Wingfield Arms. A friendly welcome led to a very long wait for food, though when it came it was substantial, well received by many but not by all.
Refreshed, we headed back through Little Ness, Ruyton XI Towns and on to Queens Head. From here we chose to avoid the A5 making for Oswestry along minor roads. We soon heard the wail of emergency sirens, and a little later began to meet many vehicles and heavy lorries on our route – Oswestry itself was clogged with traffic – the A5 had been closed. We eventually broke away from the congestion, headed north past Old Oswestry Fort, into Western Rhyn and finally over the canal viaduct into Chirk in time for tea and cakes in the café.
In all about 48 miles in generally fine sunny weather, though somewhat longer for John, Paul and myself who had cycled from our homes
See route map and/or gpx file download.