I was already warm after cycling up to the Gallery Coffee Shop and the expectations for the day were high with no rain, plenty of sun and a little breeze. This had encouraged a good turnout of 13 moderate riders: myself, Bryan, Keith, Dave & Liz, Charlie & Jane, John Mills, Dave H, Kate, Steve T, George and Trevor. But where were the brisk riders? Rumours that they had worn themselves out with their trip over the Lakeland passes last week were probably untrue. Despite the turnout no-one had a route. Reluctantly I found one to Caerwys on my satnav, and as this was to the Piccadilly Inn our enthusiasm grew. Twelve of us set off, with Trevor deciding to make his own way back.
The route out skirted the north of Bwcle and through Sychdyn, and then came the grinding climb up steep hills to Rhosemor. With the hardest work done, we crossed Halkyn Mountain and passed
|Photo by Steve T|
On our return the group started to fragment. John wanted to try out his new satnav and would make his own way back – we assume he made it. The rest of us headed back up the B-road before turning left to cross the A55 at the daffodil fields, now looking bare and ragged. We then looped round for a couple of miles on the main road to Lloc, before taking to the lanes again through Pantasalph, and up towards Halkyn Mountain. On the way we met a bemused motorist as we took a short cut, the wrong way up a one way street. On the mountain Dave H realised that he was a risk of missing his appointment in Warrington and left us speeding ahead. When Keith noticed Dave had gone, he realised that his lift had gone with him, and pelted off to catch him up!
Three riders down, we continued to Rhosemor and retraced our outward route down the steep hills, meeting oncoming vehicles at just the wrong moment. Then on to Northrop where we said goodbye to George. The eight remaining riders crossed the A55 and said farewell to Kate, Jane and Charlie as we headed back into Harwarden. Here Steve T and the tandem dropped off, leaving Bryan and myself to ride back into Chester, but not without first re-fuelling at the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop – well worth stopping at.
Overall, a total of about 42 miles with quite a few hills, a fine day, a good pub and excellent company.