Leaving home with the temperature gauge on -6˚ C I was feeling decidedly un-enthusiastic about a ride round the Welsh mountains. I needn't have worried: most of the Easy Riders had clearly opted for a lie in as the only ones at the cafe at Alyn Waters were myself, Dave H, and Dave & Liz P on the tandem. I proposed a short ride down to the aqueduct at Pontcysyllite: only about 13 miles but with the option to extend down to Chirk if the weather improved. As it happened it didn't and we set off uphill through Windy Hill and onto the Steps' passing gingerly through several sections of ice before reaching Minera. From here on we followed the B5426 southwards towards Rhosllanerchrugog and Acrefair. A little confusion within half a mile of the aqueduct caused by the water board parking a van on the pavement blocking the sign was soon sorted and we gladly reached the pub, at this point all agreeing that 13 miles was quite far enough, as we were all chilled to the bone and the temperature had not yet gone above freezing.
Some hearty liver and onions, and famous home made steak pie went down really well and we set off at 2 o'clock for the return. Round the back streets of Ruabon, we picked up the old main road and headed north to the outskirts of Wrexham. Here things got a little confused, despite having the use of the GPS, but we managed to keep mainly off the main roads and threaded our way round the back of the council offices and the hospital. Crossing the A483 we took the lane up to Summerhill and finally back to Alyn Waters. The temp by now had leaped up to -1˚ C: positively toasty!! An interesting ride for all concerned followed by a well-earned coffee at the centre.
Total distance a very chilly 26 miles - but at least we were out there!