Brian (back from his travels), Clive, Ivan, Ray, Tom and the Tandem Duo met on a perfect summer’s cycling day at The Gallery. The Duo decided not to join us on a hilly ride over Halkyn Mountain to Rhuddlan with Clive leading, as he said he wanted to be home smartish. After passing Lixwm and Caerwys, Ivan suffered a broken spoke from a hilly newly tarred and stoned road; this required much pushing & pulling of bits from his hub, but soon we were on our slightly slower way. Down the steep Rhuallt hill on the old A-road and onto the coastal flood-plain, we stopped at the first pub in Rhuddlan, but were denied entry as there was a funeral taking place. Whether the coffin was still there, I know not. We soon found another hostelry, The New Inn Hotel, High Street, LL18 2TY, tel: 01745 592027. The two meals for £8 were good, the lack of real ale, not so.
Photographs by Clive Albany
After lunch, we had the obligatory photo stop at Rhuddlan Castle, one of 14 giant fortifications that Edward I had constructed after he overran N Wales in 1282. From the castle ramparts, we headed north along the tidal River Clwyd estuary that was full of wading birds seemingly unperturbed by the megopolis of the surrounding caravan parks. We then headed east along the coast past the hordes of sun-worshippers on the golden sands of Rhyl, Prestatyn and Talacre. Heading back on the coastal A548, the pace hotted up as Ivan had been watching too much time-trialling at the recent Commonwealth Games. A steady 23mph cruise took us quickly down to Flint for afternoon tea. Replenished, but slightly weary from the pace, miles and sun, we bimbled back through Connah’s Quay, crossing the Dee at Hawarden rail bridge. Here Brian swung off while the other four carried on to complete 71 miles back to Chester. Round trip from Hawarden 55 miles.