Nick joined me on ride from home for today's ride with both of us hoping to burn off a few calories in advance of the CER Christmas lunch at the Pant yr Ochain. A good dozen CERS turned out for the pre-lunch ride meeting at the Gallery coffee shop where we were given the sad news by the owner that from March next year he would be selling the business due to ill health. He will be sadly missed as he has been an excellent host over the years.
Today's ride suggestion was via Buckley, Summerhill, and Wrexham to the Pant Yr Ochain ; a route of 40km. Three brisk riders took up the offer i.e. Clive, Ray and Nick but then we pressed-ganged Steve T taking our group total to five including myself. Departing promptly, we headed off towards Buckley on wet roads but at least it wasn’t raining. A good start, although one malcontent was heard to comment that if you concentrated really hard you could just about see your front wheel disappearing into the mist.
Navigating our way through Buckley, we were caught up in slow moving traffic caused by people queueing for the polling station, eventually we exited onto Padeswood Road passing the deserted golf courses on our way to Hope and Caergwrle. As we left Caergwrle, on Ffrwd Road towards the only hill of the day, the rain arrived along with the only mechanical of the day. Steve dislodged his chain at the start of Bellan Road hill and, in the true spirit of Christmas, the rest of the group rode off to wait for him at the top.
With Steve’s chain problem solved, the going was all downhill along with the weather. The heavy rain spurred us on down the aptly named Top Road and with a quick zigzag to cross the A483 we entered Wrexham. Here the time and weather forced us to shorten the ride, and take a more direct route through town which brought us out onto Borras Road and into Gresford arriving at the Pant just after 12:00. The moderate riders had already arrived along with another dozen CERS who had opted for a warmer and drier form of transport.
|A fuzzy photo - just like today's view through cycling specs!|
Thanks to Dave H, who was in full headmaster mode, for producing a wonderfully organised event, everyone was issued with pieces of paper listing their meal choice and, of course, to The Pant who performed to their usual high standard. A perfect end to the day and after a pint or two of Penny Porter the wet weather of the morning faded away quickly.
Today"s route was cut short from the original 40km to 33 km with 320 mtrs of ascent and was ridden on very waterlogged and muddy roads in heavy rain, hopefully it was enjoyed as much as it was endured.