By 10:15 our numbers had swelled to seven. No one had a route so I offered to lead a ride, which passed my home and headed to The Old Fire Station at Malpas, which was our chosen destination for lunch.
The group consisted of Jane, Liz D, Brian Macca, Mike McC, John, Ray and myself. We headed off through the Country Park over the River Alyn, towards LLay, and up a couple of short sharp hills that warmed us up. At the main road past the Miners Institute we turned down Chapel Lane onto Dark Lane and then into Cobblers Lane where Mike picked up a puncture.
Soon repaired we now made our way to my house where Mike fully pumped up his bike tyre and I picked up some money while Brian borrowed a spare water bottle off me as his had been left behind.
Off once again, we left on Rosemary Lane to rejoin our route. A few minutes later Jane picked up a front wheel puncture. This was soon fixed by Mike and Brian only for another short stop a few yards later to adjust a rubbing mudguard. We now realised that we would not be able to reach Malpas for lunch so The Bull, at Shocklach, was chosen as the new venue. By this time the weather was starting to improve with drying roads and the odd glimpse of sunshine to lift our spirits.
Crossing over the main road in Rossett we made our way down Darland Lane, to join the B5102, and after passing the Griffin pub we turned right, crossing over the River Alyn, and carried on up the lanes to Borras before sweeping downhill into Holt and crossing over the river into Farndon. From Farndon we followed the B5069 for 4 miles to our lunch destination, The Bull.
Photograph by Brian MacDonald
As we were the only customers in the pub the drinks were served quickly and the food came in good time. This pub has been recently renovated, lovely and warm, and had a choice of four real ales and offered a reasonable choice of food.
Leaving Shocklach, we cycled back via Horton to Tilston where we turned left arriving at The Cock of Barton. Here we continued straight across the junction down Beaching Hall Lane to finally arrive at the White Horse in Churton. (This now sounds like a pub-crawl but we didn't stop!) At this juncture the group split with Ray and Mike heading back to Chester and the remainder carrying on down Sibbersfield Lane back into Farndon.
We took the direct route back from Holt through Rossett before climbing up to LLay and back through the Country Park to the cafe.
Although the morning was quite eventful, the weather picked up and good ride of 43 miles (495m of ascent) was enjoyed on quite country roads.