This was my first ride out with the North End, it started off with me following Dave at 25 mph to catchup with the others heading out to Woodbank. It was down to the Dee cyclepath and along that to Saltney Ferry footbridge. Just past Bretton one of the group picks up a puncture which slows things down a bit.
Now this is my first time out with the North end so I don’t know what the pace is going to be. The first test is when we turn off the Mold Road for a 5% climb up to the A55 footbridge. Climbs like this blow groups apart and I move off the front on this one. There is a comment about a drug test at the end of it as I am in my Discovery Channel kit.
For me this is my natural pace for a hill like this. At the gate it’s a wait for the group to reform. Another climb and then we cross the A55 and head for Pennyfford. The group reforms again but splits as most of it is going to the cafe at Ceffyn y Bedd. Dave, Mark, AN other and moi split off on a more direct route as the cafe closes at midday.
Once there Dave, Mark and I turn off up the Ffrwd Road. I’ve been down this road and it’s a blast, climbing it is a different matter. Dave gives me some instructions about waiting at the cross roads which I thought was a bit premature but proved to be the case. It’s not called the steps or staircase for nothing. Parts of this climb are steep, around 15%, it’s do-able in the middle ring. This had me maxxed out at 177 BPM on the Garmin HRM. Mark had dropped me on this climb as he is a natural climber. I’d clawed some of it back but the gap went out again. Contador I am not, YET.
We turned off for the Mountain Bike Centre even tho it is not signed. When we got there it was packed. You only have to look at the bike racks to see that there is some serious money here. By the looks of it we are the only ones that have arrived by our own power. It’s a pity that this stretch of road needs resurfacing otherwise it’s more suited to a 4X4 on the route we took.
I ended up having a piece of cake and a cup of tea, Dave and Mark ordered toast. What arrived was a two doorsteps per plate, then another two plates arrived. Once this was over it was time to head back to the Eureka. It’s a fast descent from the centre. There is one short climb that registers 16% on the Garmin Edge 305 but other than that it’s all downhill. The whole ride is at a quicker pace than what I’ve been doing for the last year. This is just what I need at the moment. The routes maybe not as scenic as some but it’s early days yet.
Had a few look at the new bars on The Toy , once I have sorted the lever height they will be perfect. There is even a moulding to rest your thumbs on when on the top. Superb.