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Chester Easy Riders is an independent cycling club affiliated to Cycling UK. We cycle every Thursday throughout the year with moderate and brisk day rides of 40 to 80 miles.

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Friday, 4 September 2020

3rd September 2020: Llandegla (mod)

 The Grand old Duke of York Ride!

 As this was my local ride, somehow Steve Tan had suggested I put together a route. In my defence I have only lived in the area and I knew if you don’t go down the coast or onto the Cheshire plain rides are either “Ard” or “Dead Ard”. So selecting an Ard ride I set off.

 This would be a good day as I was introducing a new member Alan Oates to the group. On arriving at the Gallery I was disappointed to see only two bikes outside and thought it’s only going to be a select few today. On walking through the door a wealth of CER folk were enjoying coffees and tea. Little did I know we park at the rear!

 Dave Heath completed the Elf and Safety information for Alan and we were split into a number of groups, Dave was off to Babell and he asked if I could lead a group. Initially we were Andy Barber, Steve Tan Alan and myself. Then Erik and Ray Stigter joined; Ray was on a time cut off so could only do part of the route. Just as we were leaving Clive arrived and now we were seven.

 The route out of Hawarden over the A55 was steady with Steve Tan showing why he wears the Ineos colours as our lead out man. A bimble through Sychdyn and through Mold had us on our first ascent of the day.

 I guess the clue is in the word Upper Bryn Coch road, which just seems to climb forever. Shortly we were in Maeshafn seven miles out and already tucking a thousand feet of climb in. We joined the Moel Famau road also known as Bwlch Penbarras, this was hard! At the top whilst the group waited for me I explained the next part of the ride was to drop into LLanbedr then climb to the Clwyd Gate. This resulted in a mutiny and the naming of the ride ‘Duke of York’ , as when we were up we were up and when we went down , we went straight back up.

 Local knowledge from Andy suggested a good route to maintain height and make a bee line for the lunch stop. The newly surfaced road around Llanarmon yn lal meant we descended like wraiths and Clive asked the question “why can’t all roads be like this”. At this point Ray broke off and headed back for Chester.

 As we were going to the mountain bike centre at Llandegla for lunch Clive suggested a bomb cratered small road as a route, which turned out to be a cracking route into the centre for lunch. Whilst only having covered 27 miles we had ascended nearly 3000 feet.

 Replete with cheese on toast, minted lamb wraps, Welsh burgers or super salad boxes we set off back. Clive took the lead and showed everyone a new route through Bwlchgwyn and back down into Caergwrle. The descents were sublime after all the climbing we had done.

 Andy left us to head for Mold and the remaining crew wound our way back to Hawarden.

 So a tough challenging ride completed with aplomb by everyone, thanks to Andy for the common sense and local knowledge and Clive for the route back. I recorded 40 miles and 3700 feet of climbing all done at a CER mod pace of 12mph.

 Steve Hughes

See route map and/or gpx download

1 comment:

  1. Great ride Steve on a route I haven't done before. I'm looking forward to the next one hoping it won't be quite as 'ard.