We departed via the usual route, along Wood Lane, which led us out of Ewloe to zigzag through Buckley before dropping down into Llong. Once across the A541, we climbed uphill past the newly refurbished Recycling Depot and into Eryrys. It was during this ascent that Tom started to fall behind but once in Llanarmon we regrouped and had an enforced rest because two lorries struggled to negotiate the narrow roads and tight bend. Finally, free of the traffic,we quickly sped on to the main road passing the Gliding Club before tackling the steep climb up to the the Ponderosa cafe where we stopped to catch our breath. The cafe appeared very quiet with only a few cars in the car park and two ambulances whose signage indicated ‘driver training’.
We decided that the Micro Brewery, on the outskirts of Llangollen, would be a good lunch stop so Paul and Nick led the charge with a fast descent, myself and John in close pursuit, and Tom playing rearguard. Convening in the Micro-Brewery car park, we were disappointed to find it locked and in darkness- rather odd given its the Easter holidays. So we deferred to Plan B - continue on to The Corn Mill in Llangollen. Due to the restricted car park at The Corn Mill, there was little space to secure our bikes but after a quick chat with the landlord we wheeled our bikes through the bar to the safety of the outside rear veranda. Lunch arrived promptly and was quickly consumed so at no time at all we were back on the bikes but this time we exited the pub via the veranda and a side gate.
Our return route followed a fairly busy A5 through Glyndyfrwdy to Llidiart y Parc where we turned right and stopped for a photoshoot at Carrog Station. After this the route was all uphill, steep and unrelenting, until we met the main road where we turned right, through Bryneglwys, and then left to once again pass the Gliding School and rejoin the main road towards Chester.
|Photo by KP|
On reaching the traffic light, by the remains of the old Liver Inn, we were sufficiently weary of ‘A’ roads so we turned right then left onto the quieter roads that lead us through Llanfynydd , Ffrith and Cefn-y-bedd. From here we followed the road through to Hope and turn off right towards Kinnerton, with the exception of Tom who continued on the main road to Hawarden.
Once on the road to Kinnerton John and Paul carried on towards Chester while Nick and I took Lower Mountain road to the footbridge over the A55. Here Nick made a telephone call to ‘Mrs Nick’ and to our surprise Tom arrived- they headed off to Harwarden and I back to Burton. We had completed 58 miles including a serious amount of ascent . For me, the ride was probably the hardest ride of the year thus far albeit enjoyable.