This was a cold day with a frosty start and an easterly wind (‘blowing in from Siberia’ in the favourite phrase of the forecasters). Six moderates turned up at Hawarden: Dave H out only to collect Xmas lunch monies; Trevor who had ridden out to test his new rear mech and was then riding back; and the day’s riders: Bob, Andy, George and myself. There were no brisk riders – maybe they were put off by the cold weather, but more likely they were either recovering from an epic ride earlier in the week, or had separately planned a longer even hillier route from another start point.
I’d suggested a ride out to the Piccadilly Inn at Caerwys, though someone mentioned a café in the same town so we chose to head there instead. Starting by climbing up to Buckley to warm everyone up, we then headed to Sychdyn and the steepest climb of the day to Rhosesmor. It had turned into a fine day, cold by bright with good views and some sun. The east wind was slight which would be good news for our return. We travelled on over Halkyn Mountain and through Babell to approach Caerwys from the north. The café in on the corner of the main road as you travel south through the town, and it’s called “On the corner”! It is a small busy place with a typical menu of good value food and large mugs of tea: two of us chose from the ‘all day breakfast’ options.
Returning we said goodbye to Bob at the café as he was heading directly home. The rest of us made for the A55, with a small detour to avoid fresh hedge clippings. We wheeled our bikes across the busy road and headed to Chwitffordd and then back south to Pantasaph and Windmill. Here the weather took a change for the worse with murky cloud descending and the temperature dropping. Andy left us to head home before we dropped down towards Northop, which left George and I to make our way back to Harwarden at the height of the school traffic rush hour. It had been a good day’s ride in reasonable conditions which covered 40 miles.