Assembled at the Castle Bistro in the middle of Chirk were six Easy Riders: Dave H, Keith, Steve T, Clive, Dave M and myself. Then for the first time in many meets, Dave P made a welcome return to our number. Dave M was going to cycle back home, whilst the rest of us looked at something more challenging than our recent Chirk rides. During the winter months, the mods had avoided the hills west of Chirk because of the weather. Today, after a few warm sunny days, we were forecast a continuation, before the weather broke for the Friday. The plan was to head to a familiar destination, the Bradford Arms at Llanymynech, but to approach it by a circuit through the hills and return over more level ground.
We set off up the Ceiriog valley, admiring the sunny green countryside and newly born lambs. At Llanarmon DC, we paused to re-group before hitting the hills properly. We climbed steeply, before a cautious descent on narrow pot-holed lanes scattered with plenty of gravel. Bypassing Llanrhaeadr, we followed the Tanat valley for several miles, before heading upwards again and then dropping to the Cain/Vyrnwy valley.
We entered Llanymynech and settled into the Bradford Arms. The walls are decorated with some RAF memorabilia, and the landlord retired from the service, I think he told us, thirteen years ago to buy this residential pub. After posing for a photo we took again to the lanes.
|Photo by Steve T|
We headed east towards Ruyton XI Towns, avoiding the main road by meandering through several quiet lanes and villages to its south. We then cycled north towards Hordley on more peaceful decently surfaced lanes. Next it was up through the Franktons and Hindford to meet the St Martin’s road. Descending the short hill, we crossed the major A5/A483 roundabout and headed up to Weston Rhyn. This was followed by a short descent into the Ceiriog valley, before a final climb back to Chirk and our starting point.
Dave H, Steve T, Dave P and myself chose to refresh with drinks and food in the café, reflecting on the ride and enjoying being outside in the patio area. We had completed 58 miles on an interesting and varied circuit through Wales and Shropshire. We had climbed over 1,000m and Steve T tells me our average speed was 12.8mph.