The weather was foul, with very high winds and threatening rain. Anyway we are CER riders, so I met up with Ivan at the Old Dee Bridge for the 12 mile ride out to the Expresso Café via Marford and Llay. Battered by the wind and the rain, we arrive an hour later like drowned rats. Tony H (a potential new rider) was waiting for us as we ordered at the Expresso Café. Martin turned up a few minutes later and we discussed a route I had planned. We agreed to curtail the 42 miler due to the adverse conditions, so a 35 mile loop to Overton for lunch was settled on. Leaving under rain threatening skies, we were soon battered by cold rain as we took the back lanes down to the Sainsbury roundabout. Turning right, the wind suddenly became very severe and I decided to get shelter in the nearby shed city. Correct decision as we allowed the squall to pass by. Martin had had enough so decided to call it a day. We three ploughed on via the hospital and towards Bersham. The idea was to zigzag the A483 down to Ruabon then Newbridge and onto Chirk. Taking Colliery Lane in Chirk gave us access to the lower Ceiriog Valley as here the river joins the Dee. The rain had gone but the wind was as strong as ever. We climbed out of the valley via the double chevroned lane to emerge on the B5069 a few miles south of Overton.
The White Horse Inn turned out to be a Joule’s Brewery pub (ex Market Drayton) and was nicely appointed with good food and a warm welcome. Suitably warmed, we set off in sunshine to Bangor and the Wrexham Industrial Estate ring road. Taking the golf course lane, we ran parallel to the main road joining it at the five way roundabout. Right down through Borras, we end up walking over the A483 pedestrian bridge to emerge a half a mile from the start point with 35 miles under our tyres. Tony is in car assist mode, so Ivan and I return to Chester via the Gresford lanes and Eccleston. We now had completed 65 exhausting miles at 13.2mph – not bad for the windiest ride I have ever been on. Crazy to go out- maybe a bit- but it was all worth it!