Today's ride is meeting at The Tea Rooms Café in Chirk so for me it was train assist. Setting off from home it was heavy snow, although too wet to stick but the forecast was to be a fine dry day after rush hour traffic!! Nonetheless I had donned additional clothing!! Mistake.
Gathering at the café were an equal number of riders for the Mods and Brisk groups. I had circulated a route to Tilley and visit to The Raven Inn. Four brisk riders, John, Nick, Steve and myself set of down Chirk Bank taking the right turn over the canal and to Western Ryn. The road side along this stretch was covered in snow, so it is lucky we are here this week. Up and onwards towards Hengoed and then the top of the hill, before the downhill stretch into Oswestry.
We skirt the town via numerous streets to join B5069 passing through Morda and crossing the A483 and continuing along the B4396. The route along this narrow lane suffered heavy snow recently (see photo). Passing through Ruyton X1 Towns then towards Baschurch, we pass through the small but pretty village of Burlton where Nick has a click from the wheel and stops to inspect it; meanwhile we continue UP hill before realising we had a tailer! Back down the hill then to find Nick getting ready to call home. Up again and onwards to Loppington taking the route towards Tilley and Wem.
Arriving in Tilly and the Raven Inn, we are met with a closed pub!! Oh well, we continue to Wem where we are advised to try the Castle Inn, a Joules house. Seating in the best and softest pews in the house, we are soon served with drink and lunch. The Yorkshire pud and sausage was very tasty and reasonably priced at £7.00.
We leave Wem via the usual route the B5063 towards Northwood and Welshampton and Dudleston Heath. While approaching a right-hand fork, we have a peloton cock-up culminating with Steve hitting a pot hole, curb and finally landing on the deck. This results in a front wheel flat. All the tools are out, and we are soon performing a precision pit stop repair stripping the wheel and inner tube out only to find Steve’s replacement as holey as the original.
A new replacement was donated and tyre refitted. Due to John's meticulous fitting of the tyre to the wheel, the fit was exactly as it came off. Once the inner tube inflated, we noticed the tube popping out of the side wall!! Off again, and emergency boot patch fitted. Thank heavens for these easy fit solutions.
Ready to roll onwards again through St Martins, we then negotiate the very busy Lord Morton roundabout to head towards Chirk. Passing the Poacher inn, we take the canal route passing over the viaduct into Chirk. We are beaten back to the café as the Mods are all sitting in the window seat awaiting our return.
A distance of 49 miles round trip with a 2087 ft of ascent at an average of 15.2 mph. A very enjoyable route covering some new lanes and revisit of old territory with good companions to ride with; plus a new lunch stop at Wem.
Photographs by John M