A good turn out today at Meadow Lea (I saw at least 15 riders), and very nice to see Dave P there, well on the way to full recovery it seems (love the bike Dave). Fiona and Elwyn couldn’t make it, due to a mini cycling break between Ludlow & Hay on Wye (tough life). The main moderate group, approximately 10, set off left, out of Meadow Lea, whereas, yours truly, along with DM, set off right.
I was carrying an iffy hamstring, so Dave’s suggestion of heading west, along the Greenway, directly into the stiff wind, sounded perfect as the Greenway provides complete protection from the wind and he had also planned a virtually flat route. We therefore cruised along the Greenway, unaware of the wind, until Shotton, which took us far enough west that we virtually had a cross tailwind, at worse, for the majority of the ride (ideal). So, after turning left off the Greenway, over the River Dee, Dave led me on a couple of small lanes that I had not ridden before. This included the only real uppy bit, a fairly lengthy drag up toward Hawarden, avoiding the main road.
After taking the little foot bridge over the A55, at the top of the ‘Old Warren’, we proceed through Hawarden and head south, past the site of my infamous; ‘let’s rip the bike of the car roof, by hitting the overhead, max height beam, moment’ (what a plonker- anyway, in the past, if not forgotten). It was at this point that I asked Dave where we were heading for. His response was “Cleopatra’s” which, I was fine with, but saw a chance of gaining some smartie points, by suggesting a different café that Dave had never been to or even heard off (shock horror). Dave was game to try somewhere new, especially as it was so close to Cleopatra’s and therefore only needed a tiny deviation from our route.
Once we got to Rossett we turn right to head up Marford hill and swing around the back, half way up, heading to Borras, so as to be able to drop down into the Acorn café at Commonwood Fishery (they do a wicked vegie haloumi burger -massive! On homemade baps). I think Dave was pleasantly surprised at the scenic and amazingly quiet café location, where upon we ordered fish & chips for Dave and a sweat chilly haloumi wrap for me. I think Dave had watched too much of the Olympic swimming, as mid fish & chips, he proceeded to try and teach a wasp how to do the breast stroke in his cup of tea. Unfortunately for the wasp, Dave’s coaching talents were lacking and the wasp was done for.
So, wasp now dead and great food devoured, we set off again, into Holt and on up toward Saighton. We take the little side lanes of Churton and Aldford, of course, thus avoiding much of the main road. Before we knew it we were in Waverton, where upon Dave showed me another little bit of lane I’ve not ridden, that took us up the side of the ‘Black Dog’ pub (which by the way, has improved no end with it’s intriguing outdoor pods and much improved food). In Dave’s opinion this way of crossing the A41 is safer & I sort of get his point, as you don’t have to sit in the middle of the road, waiting for traffic to pass, as you do when crossing opposite the antique shop. A41 behind us and my cue to say “thanks and cheerio” to Dave, as I head south to Tattenhall & home. Dave was heading home to Oscroft.
I got home after 57 pleasant miles on the clock at a sedate 14 mph average & only 1400’ of assent, which must have been perfect for me, as there was no sign of any hamstring issues (12 of those miles were getting to Meadow Lea in the first place). Great day out as usual & nice to see everybody. Finally, and somewhat spookily, both Dave & I bumped into old friends at different points on our route (small world again).