At last! A beautiful day’s weather was forecast. Five moderate riders gathered at Cleo's in Holt: myself, George, Jim, Dave H and John B taking his annual ride with CER (good to see you back John). I proposed a ride to Ye Olde Boote Inn at Whittington, largely because I’d passed it several times but never visited.
We struck out aiming to follow the lanes to the west of the Dee, but having seen the floodplain higher in water than I can remember, some of these were likely to be heavily flooded. Instead we took the B-road and then the quick dash down the A525 into Bangor-on-Dee. From there it was lanes to Cloy Hall and then into Overton, where unfortunately Jim succumbed to cramp in his legs and decided to make his own way back.
We headed southwards through Rhewl, taking small lanes I’d never travelled over, some of which I wouldn’t want to take again: a very steep downhill on a surface that had almost broken up with mud and water a-plenty to cross Shell Brook and enter Wales. The skies may have been clear blue, the sun shining and the breeze moderate, but under our wheels we often met deep mud and fully flooded carriageways. We passed through a ford that was less wet than some of the lanes. Dave and George were regretting not fitting mudguards, so was anyone caught behind them.
We cycled past Dudleston Hall, through Hindford and into Whittington to arrive at Ye Olde Boote Inn just after 1230. We placed our orders and they were speedily delivered before the crowds arrived. Conversation flowed, though what topics we covered I cannot remember, and soon it was time to go. The consensus was positive about the pub, and I think we would each be happy to visit again.
We completed a loop back to Hindford and headed towards Dudleston Heath. Close to Welsh Frankton I got a puncture. It was just as well it was warm and dry, because the first replacement tube failed to inflate due to a dodgy valve, and we had to repeat the procedure, aided by John being able to fit a Gatorskin with ease using only his hands.
With the odd exception, the lanes back were in better condition and we enjoyed riding though the excellent spring weather. We crossed the A525 at Holly Bush and made for Worthenbury. Here we diverted into the village and into the churchyard for some photos to capture the beautiful conditions. The parish church of Worthenbury is St Deiniols. It is said to be the best example of a Georgian Church in Wales and has a complete set of boxed pews.
|Photos by John B|
From Worthenbury, we took the usual fast return to Farndon. As were approached the old Dee Bridge we passed the brisk group heading home from Cleos. We also paused there for a drink and some calories. An excellent day’s cycling which covered 44 miles.