So it was that six CER riders reduced to two – just me and Bob, heading south to Llanymynech. I had plotted a relatively short route to take account of a strong westerly and a forecast of heavy showers interrupted by heavier rain. We crossed the A5 and headed out through Hindford, Welsh Frankton and West Felton, appreciating some great views of the Welsh hills. At first the lanes were muddy, full of debris and several times totally flooded, the longest stretch being about 20m of water. Gradually things improved as we headed south, though as we neared our destination an ominous black cloud appeared and the first drops of heavy rain began to fall. Our speed increased with our determination to avoid a soaking before lunch. We were lucky and just made it to the pub.
As usual The Bradford Arms provided a friendly welcome, a warm bar and plentiful good value food and drink – we should visit more often. While we had sheltered, there had been a real cloudburst. It was dry again as we left, but as we initially rode back over the same route, the roads had become awash with large areas of surface water. We then passed through Maesbury and Oswestry feeling grateful and lucky to have so far stayed dry. Then only three miles from journey’s end, Bob uttered the ominous word “puncture”. Fate was conspiring to give us a drenching, because as soon as the puncture was fixed, it started to rain: heavily and with some hail. We dropped down through Western Rhyn steadily feeling the dampness spreading through us.
We were thankful to get back to the Tea Rooms and have warm drinks and some food. We were also grateful for what we both felt had been a really good ride: fine lanes once we were clear of the initial mud, some excellent views, good luck with the weather in spite of the last few miles and Bob’s new jacket had proved to be properly waterproof! About 35 miles in total.
See route map and/or gpx file download