Chirk was the start point for today’s meet. In the rear courtyard of the Castle Bistro gathered several CER members. There was a brisk group, and two moderate groups to be led by Steve T and myself, plus David M who had arrived by train and was planning to ride back home. I had prepared a route to the Burlton Arms at Burlton (coincidentally Dave had planned for the same destination), and my group comprised Dave H, Steve Hu, Alan and Peter. The forecast was cool, cloudy with sunny spells and northerly wind and some chance of showers.
We set off following the main road to the A5 roundabout, and then on into St Martins, where seeking respite from a pot-holed and busy main road, we broke away onto the lanes. At Perthy we crossed the main Oswestry-Ellesmere road and continued past White Mere and Colemere to Northwood. Here we headed south past Horton and Loppington to Burlton on generally good surfaces where we made good progress.
With 24 miles covered, we were the first customers to arrive at the Burlton Arms, and only customers until a couple turned up later. We settled in the garden and ordered our food. The landlady said they’d been fairly busy since reopening with the good weather. However, there was no real ale because Robinson’s had underestimated demand after the lockdown! Conversation was rambling as usual, including a long discussion between Dave H and Steve Hu about places in Lancashire, which meant little to me, though my ears perked up when Steve said he’d been “served with an afternoon tea on a garden bench made out of lollipop sticks” – it appeared that it was the afternoon tea on the bench, not Steve.
We hadn’t been too cold sitting down, though it was good to start moving again and warm up. Our return took us through Marton and north through Lower Hordley. We took a minor lane to Lower Frankton and crossed possibly the steepest hump-backed bridge in the country, made more challenging by some hidden potholes. After Welsh Frankton we took the lane to Hindford. Always a rough lane, this had got worse with potholes, gravel and mudbanks – definitely ‘Clive-esque’, and it would be much worse in the wet. Saying which, we were then hit by a rain and sleet shower as we took the lanes to the NW of Gobowen. Arriving back at the A5 roundabout, I decided to diverge from the planned climb back into Chirk on the B5070, and instead make for Western Rhyn and then drop into the Ceriog Valley for the much more pleasant entry into Chirk.
|Photo by Alan|
Forty-four miles completed, Dave H and I stopped for a drink back at the Bistro where we met Steve T, Andy and Mike back from their ride. A good day for all.