The outside temperature was around -4C, and the 1982 “The Clash” Classic came to mind "Should I stay or should I go now". I decided to go, and the roads were largely dry up to Hawarden. Another lyric came to mind as I cycled "In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone". I was the first to arrive at The Gallery and I was glad of the warmth therein and the hot coffee.
Soon Tom turned up in builder's mate mode, followed by Andy B from Mold. Dave H then arrived, initially just checking if he was the only one out today, before parking his car and rejoining us. Andy suggested a ride near the coast where the Gulf Stream would have warmed the roads up sufficiently to be ice-free. So we decided to head Dyserth way.
Just as we were to depart, Dave P turns up in solo mode today. So with Dave P leading, we’re off via Ewloe and Northop bound for Holywell. The sun is shining, the air is clear, and the views over the estuary are worth braving the cold. As ever, the short stretch of the A55 is the only way to access Halkyn and the Windmill. At Pentre Halkyn, we dive down to Holywell then taking the old A55 out to Lloc, then turn right to Dyserth. The A5151 is quiet as we bowl along towards Dyserth. I suggested we go on to Rhuddlan and thus make for the “Morfa Table" pub by the River Clwyd.
Arriving after 23 miles, we are quickly served with the Lunch Club specials, which were much needed to top up fuel reserves for our internal combustion engines. Conversation was as varied as ever. I suggested we take the river path to Rhyl and then the esplanade all the way to Talacre.
As soon as we are on the beachfront at Rhyl, Dave P reluctantly concludes that he has left his Garmin back in the pub. Note to Dave P: New Year's Resolution #21: Produce a saddling up checklist! He’s happy to retrace the route back home. So we three trundle down the prom and through a very busy golf course and an almost deserted mobile home holiday camp, before arriving at the Point of Ayr at Talacre. We now take the cycle path around the remains of the coal mines to access the coast road.
Now it’s the usual boring route back to Flint, but I did see a lone fox suspiciouly wandering through Bagillt village. At Oakenholt, Andy and Dave take Papermill Lane towards Northop Hall to get back, after 31 miles, to Hawarden. By now the sun has dropped away and the lights go on. So 54 miles in all, during 4 hours of cycling in -4 to +1C temperatures with largely dry roads and not once experiencing that back-wheel sliding feeling. You should have been out and have come with us!
See route map and/or gpx filedownload.
PS: Dave retrieved his Garmin successfully: it had fallen out of his helmet as he left the table in the pub.
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Chester Easy Riders is an independent cycling club affiliated to Cycling UK. We cycle every Thursday throughout the year with moderate and brisk day rides of 40 to 80 miles.
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