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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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Sunday, 12 February 2017

9th February 2017: Ruyton XI Towns (mod)

Having watched the Countryfile forecast promising freezing temperatures and strong easterly winds, I was not too enthusiastic about our chances of a ride on Thursday. Nevertheless I planned two routes in case they had miscalculated and sure enough, Thursday morning began a bit chilly but almost windless. Over our tea and crumpets at the café in Chirk we discussed the preferred direction and chose Ruyton XI Towns - down to the south east - and should the wind pick up after lunch we would have a tailwind for the return leg. The brisk group did not appear, so the group of myself, Dave H, Keith B, Steve H and Andy who had already ridden from Mold set off down the hill to cross the Dee on the old A5. Following the B road toward St Martins we turned east onto the lanes for Hindford and Welsh Frankton.  It had obviously been peak ploughing time in Shropshire and almost every gate we passed produced a layer of sticky mud along the lanes. Clive would have been proud of us!  It wasn’t long before those with low mudguard clearance needed to stop and have a clearout, despite speeding through the occasional puddle in an attempt to dilute the red post glacial Gorilla glue.  Things improved when we turned south towards Hordley, Lower Hordley and Stanwardine in the Fields, where PGL have a large outdoor pursuits facility. We were pleased to reach the Talbot Arms and the warmth of the open fire about 19 miles and two hours after setting out from Chirk.

As is often the case, hardly had we warmed up than it was time to set off again. Still no sign of the threatened ‘Beast from the East’ though the temperature hadn’t increased much - it didn’t rise above 2⁰ all day. The route back took us through Wykey, and Haughton, round the old airfield and back to Welsh Frankton. The lads commented on how much they had enjoyed the crap encrusted countryside on the way out so we followed the same route back, only to get as far as Mad Jacks at Hindford when Andy got a puncture. Despite dunking his tube into the canal we could find no fault with his tyre - whatever had caused the flat had obviously remained on the lane waiting for another victim. Pedalling again, we were soon dicing with death round the A5 traffic island and the last bit of downhill before the climb up to Chirk and afternoon tea.

Andy left us here for a short sprint (about 20 miles) back to Mold while Dave manfully resisted the urge to tackle the cake counter.

A total distance for us of about 36 miles - quite far enough on a cold winter’s day.

See route map and/or gpx file download

1 comment:

  1. Not sure where the other Briskers were, but I was braving the arctic-like North Sea coast near Lindisfarne - a lot of mud on lanes here as well. Looks like a good route Jim.