Would it be a dry ride - well almost! I fancied a Moderate ride today so, as we saddled up outside Cleopatra’s, there were the Three Graces (aka Liz P, Kate and Jane) and the Dis-Gracefuls (aka Steve H, Keith B, Charlie, Petar, Dave H, Dave P, and myself). The route I’d pre-planned was to take a circuit around to Gobowen. Jane had asked if we could go to Whittington since she was leading a ride out that way soon and wanted to recce the area. So this was factored in and a few steep hills removed.
Off and out around the Industrial Estate bypass. We end up all together in Bangor on Dee taking the Overton Road out and up. At the top of the first “hill” just past the racecourse, I’m told the tandem is “going to Malpas”. We wander through lovely Overton and out on the Oswestry Road. Here we take the eponymously named Pant Lane as we climb up the valley. A right down and left up, finds us wandering past the lone Dudleston church and the awaiting mourners of today’s funeral. We entered Gaia Lane. Apparently Gaia was one of the four primeval Greek Deities. It surely would have been happy down this mud-strewn lane — thankfully all dry today. One to miss after a period of rain! We take Church Lane around the back of St Martins and on down across the A483 and into Weston Rhyn. Taking one of my favourite lanes south, we trundle down parallel to the A483 and into Gobowen.
It starts to rain, so we opt for Derwen College for lunch. It’s busy as per usual, but they find room to accommodate us. My phone rings - it’s Tandem Dave who is now at the Olde Boot in Whittington - so much for Malpas then! We ride the back way to the pub, where the group promptly disintegrates into Dave H (who is going to stay with the tandem) and Jane and Charlie who will make their own way back.
We Happy Five now take the well-loved cycleway 455 for a while and then split off bound for Elson. On the way to Penley, I remember Sandy Lane, so we dive off down here bound for Worthenbury, thence to Shocklach and the cafe. Just as we get to Farndon it rains just hard enough to decide to don wet weather gear. All safely back after 50 miles, we find two-thirds of the Brisk Group (Steve T and Ken) inside. After cake and coffee it is back to Chester hoping it won’t rain for a third time, and it doesn’t!