Four riders were already at the Café when I arrived with Jim and Dave Heath, but no sign of Ivan. “What do think of the proposed Shrewsbury route?” I ask, having put a link to it on the blog at the weekend. “Has anyone had problems displaying it?” “Yes, it’s very slow to display” is the almost universal answer from those who have tried. Graham P suggests it works OK if you display it in a new tab but not if you just click on the link. Further discussion establishes that all are using Microsoft Internet Explorer as their browser! So if you are using Internet Explorer and have problems try Graham’s trick or switch to Firefox, Chrome or Safari (all available as free downloads). Computing problems aside Dave Hill, Dave Heath and Graham & Vicky Payne all promptly sign up for the ride. I can see that this is going to be oversubscribed if I’m not careful!
Still no sign of Ivan but I broach the subject of today’s route and admit that I had promised Ivan we would do Worlds End if the weather was good. Dave Hill thought this an excellent idea before admitting that he wouldn’t be joining us today! The others were more cautious but on the promise that we would miss out the Sun Inn at Trevor and instead take lunch at Prospect Garden Tea Room we agreed on the Panorama Route and Worlds End.
Bryan leads off up “the steps” to Minera and across to Penycae with Dave H complaining that we should be contouring around not going up and down: if only, I think. From Penycae we are on lanes we haven’t done for a while until Prospect Place comes into view and we turn off the lane and climb to the tearoom. The good weather has clearly brought out the crowds, and the conservatory and many of the outside tables are already taken when we arrive. We take a relaxing lunch in the garden while enjoying the view before leaving to ride the Panorama Walk. The views today are the best I have experienced up here. Beeston Castle and the Peckforton/Bickerton Hills with the Pennines behind are clearly visible. Then we continue further along and the views across the Vale of Llangollen open up. This is absolutely superb and well worth the effort to get here. All that remains is the climb up to Worlds End! Brian Mac leads us up to the ford and wisely walks across the stepping-stones. I choose a line to avoid the algae but the rear wheel feels extremely skittish as I cross and Dave has a similar problem. We stay upright and then struggle with the final two climbs up to the cattle grid but it’s not to be and we all end up walking the last stretch. All that is, except for Graham and Vicky on their tandem. Dave puts it down to their gears but Lance’s book title “It’s not about the bike” springs to mind and I make a mental note that I need more hill work.
After a brief rest to recover we enjoy the open moorland terrain before starting the exhilarating descent down to Minera. From here it is down “the steps” to Cefn-y-bedd with Graham and Vicky way out in front.
By the time I arrive back in Chester the SatMap is showing just over 50 miles, a maximum speed of 40 mph and a total ascent of 1,493 metres.
See route map and/or gpx file download.