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Chester Easy Riders is an independent cycling club affiliated to Cycling UK. We cycle every Thursday throughout the year with moderate and brisk day rides of 40 to 80 miles.

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

4th June 2015: Colwyn Bay to Betws-y-Coed Special Ride (brisk)

Snowdonia Range
Arriving at Colwyn Bay station on time, I decided that we i.e. Tom, Ivan, Ray and myself needed to warm up our legs before climbing out of Colwyn onto the ridge above. Brian Mac was also with us, so we motored along the prom to Nino’s Cafe where the Moderates were getting ready for the off. Setting off promptly, we retraced our route right along the prom before turning up through Old Colwyn to access Nant y Glyn lane. This is a delightful ever-rising lane up a valley to enable us to get onto the Llanrwst road aka B5113, on which we would rise and fall for the next 18 miles. The Nant y Glyn has a vicious sting its tail and, with my heart monitor showing an alarming 173bpm, I decided a short rest was needed! Once on the top, we rise to 1250ft over the next 18 miles with magnificent panoramas of Snowdonia and especially Tryfan. The weather is perfect, there is little traffic, the road surface is good - what more do we need! 

Photographs by Ivan Davenport and Clive Albany

Waiting for lunch
Dutch Pancake House
Out through Nebo, we rush down to Pentrefoelas. Turning right we have a 3 mile motor along the near-deserted A5 northwards. It would be easy to stay on the A5 since Betws-y-Coed is only 4 miles further on, but a quick left up over the River Conwy takes us up tiny lanes running parallel to the A5. We descend to cross the B road to Ffestiniog then take an unclassified metalled lane passing the Conwy river falls. Crossing the A road to Ffestiniog, we then take the back way into Betws-y-Coed to the railway carriage cafe lunch stop. It is a pleasant location, if you are into trains, but in reality, the food was mediocre - so next time, it is somewhere else for lunch. 
Most of the 5500ft of climbing is over and we wend our way along the B road back to Conwy town. I fancied a short diversion to Canovium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canovium), a Roman fort that controlled the Conwy river crossing around 1600-1800 years ago. Not much to see today, but the “modern 14C ” church built within the fort is delightful. Bryan had mentioned that at Rowen is the Dutch Pancake House, so a pleasant diversion to cycle by it is arranged. It turned out to be very “convenient” for me. As Tom and Ray waited for me, Ivan motored on oblivious to our calls. I wasn’t concerned because I knew where he was going to stop, the Liverpool Arms at Conwy quayside. So a little later we all arrive and enjoy a pint with him in the sunshine. Ivan was keen to get home for his grandson’s birthday party, so we leave him to catch the train, and we then motor on to the Great Orme. The cliff road is surprisingly high at 420ft but worth the fast run back into Llandudno promenade. Out via the Little Orme, I realise we are just a few minutes too late for the train, so reluctantly we stop at Nino’s Cafe for a drink and a cake.
Llandudno pier and bay
Very soon the Moderate group arrive in dribs and drabs having had an equally rewarding and enjoyable day. The only spoiler for the day was the guard of the 17:21 who wouldn’t allow three bikes on his train. We had to wait for the 17:43, which meant that Tom had to ride from Flint rather than from Shotton, but as he needs the practice for the E2E, it worked out well. The route round was 62 miles and 5500ft of climb. Perfect weather, countryside, vistas, and company - a grand day out!

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