It’s been wet and miserable every day this week but the forecast for today is that it should clear up and stay dry from mid morning onwards. It was probably this forecast that encouraged eight of us to turn out for a hilly ride from Alyn Waters Country Park where we met for tea and toast. By 10:30 the numbers were complete: Steve, Brian Mac, the two Pauls, Ray, Clive, Andy and myself. Being the only one with the outline of a route, albeit short and hilly, it was agreed that I would lead although mainly from the back on the hilly parts! At this point Clive and Paul R announced that they wouldn’t be joining us, as they needed to get back early and would do a short ride back to Chester.
It was still overcast when we left the Country Park to cross the main road and start the climb up Windy Hill. By the top of the climb a layer of clothes had been shed and we joined the long drag up “the steps” to Minera under a brightening sky. After a short rest to allow me to recover from the exertions of the climb we continued on to New Brighton to start the lovely downhill run along the winding lane with wonderful views across the Cheshire Plain to the Peckforton/Bickerton hills. A sharp right just before Talwrn puts us on the road to Penycae with the sun shining and practically no traffic. In Penycae we take the Ruabon road and before long find ourselves navigating a sea of thorns strewn across the road from recent hedge trimming. Then just past the Wynstanley Arms in Ruabon Andy punctures. While Andy works to change his front wheel inner tube the rest of us stand around discussing the pros and cons of different tyres.
Photograph by Brian MacDonald
At this point we decide to shorten the ride by heading directly for our planned lunch stop at the Cross Foxes pub at Overton Bridge arriving at about 12:45. There’s a good choice of ales, although not all are “on”, necessitating a visit to the cellar before we are all served with our respective choices. The pub is popular and it takes a while for the food to appear but whether it was a sandwich, wrap or “main” all were well received.
By 14:00 we were ready to leave, taking the main road towards Overton before turning off to Bangor on Dee and then Cross Lanes. Here Ray leaves us to head back to Chester via Farndon and Holt. The remaining members of the group continue on towards Wrexham skirting the town before crossing the A483 on the footbridge and thence back to Alyn Waters for coffee and cake.
A short but hilly ride with friends clocking up just over 30 odd miles but with 800 m of ascent.