After a wonderful few days of sunshine, the weather had broken on Wednesday and travelling to the Chirk Tea Rooms was wet and miserable. The forecast suggested little better for the rest of the day. The usual brisk riders were looking for something easier, so all eight of us set off together: Clive, Paul, Andy B, Steve T, Keith, George, Dave H and myself. I’d picked a destination and route off our blog which had been visited in 2015 to good reviews: the Burlton Arms in Burlton.
We initially headed up the Ceiriog valley and, just after the fish hatchery, turned left over the river and up a short but very steep hill. Here disaster struck for Keith: the hanger for his rear mech snapped off. The damage could not easily be fixed, so sadly Keith decided to walk the couple of miles back to the café. The rest of us continued southwards on pleasant lanes, and then headed east between Gobowen and Oswestry before entering Whittington. Next we followed the long straight down to the Queen’s Head and into the southerly wind, though this didn’t seem to be a hindrance to the tandem that wizzed past at over twice our speed - obviously serious racers.
We passed through West Felton before heading eastwards again, through Wykey and Stanwardine, and then picking up the B-road to enter Burlton just before the rain started. The pub was empty but welcoming. We enjoyed reasonable priced good food from their snack lunch menu and some excellent Robinson’s beer for a couple of us. A pub worth visiting again.
|Photo by Steve T|
The afternoon ride took us through Loppington, English Frankton and Colemere, and then I had gear problems with a jammed chain. A mix of brute force and cunning shifted it. After Welsh Frankton we met a flock of sheep, a tractor and a wagon blocking a narrow lane. A couple of sheep dogs were rounding up strays – they came up to look us over, but decided we weren’t worth bothering with. With the sheep safely in the field, we were forced to carry our bikes along a grassy bank to pass the vehicles. From then the journey was uneventful through Hindhead and Gobowen to re-enter Chirk from the south, and back to the café for most of us.
Overall about 42 miles, though considerably further for Clive, Andy and Paul who had all ridden out to Chirk. The day was good: some fine lanes, a pub to return to, generally dry and mild and good company.