Northend ride to Worlds End.

Double click on pictures at least twice to see the full screen  version. 

This turned out to be a classic club ride. Arranged the night before after the Time Trial I nearly missed it. I’d sauntered down to the Eureka after going back for  my saddlebag.
Got there early to get Frank’s Breakfast down me and spoke with few about my rides going backwards including Ray and Keith Boardman.

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I’d backed off, not given 100% and was beating myself up over it.

It was short sleeves and bib short weather and I ended up chasing the bunch down to Woodbank. Things were going good we all got down to the lights at the A5117 got across them fine and then got held up by a set of lights at the sliproad. Here we met up with our irate motorist of the day, sounding his horn at us.
Over what I don’t know but considering the number of waves we got for waving cars and vans past when we saw it was clear it was the only incident. We had another around Wrexham when a car came up real close on JJ’s wheel because of oncoming traffic but that was it.

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Didn’t get dropped this week going along the Dee or on the road through Saltney so things are looking up. In fact things are going OK until the back of Kinnerton where I start to fall off the back on some of the climbs. Barry is dishing out the pace but there is always a fresh guy on your wheel when you begin to falter. Paul stops and the group wait for first me to catch up but Paul never shows as we had made two turns out of his sight.

Supposedly we are going out to the Mountain Bike Centre but Northend rides are fluid. We are going up the Steps but before then we have to get back on the group, we get together at a set of traffic lights but  it is clear we have two sets of abilities on the ride and I’m clearly in the second set.

I’m off the back before we reach the Steps. This is granny ring stuff for me or at least the bottom ring on a compact. The granny always wins for me as I catch Dave Newbie on the final step, he’s on 39×25 and I’m on 30×27. 39×25 is still a big ring for this sort of steep climb. A 53/39 chain ring is designed for Racers not mere mortals like me who struggle when I come to something steep.

There are enough Northenders for at least 3 ability rides on a Wednesday may I suggest  Elite, Club and Social. I’d class myself a club/social. Like a Cafe stop but ain’t good enough to do a big loop without a stop. Now for me this is a two bottle ride, from experience I know if I don’t have two bottles of water or SIS I am going to be in trouble.

Going up the Steps sweat is pouring out of me, I ‘ve got my Discovery cap on and it is dripping off the peak. All over my £271 Garmin 705. The sweat evaporates to leave a salt  stain. I’m not King of the Mountains but the Lantern Rouge. Once over the top  Dave regains his pride and I can’t get into the granny ring for the next climb so we are in the same boat. No real time to recover and we are off again.

The next section fills me with doubt , Andy Walsh (club champion) says “See the house up there, that’s where we are going” and sure enough we do. The real test is the climb up from Minera. There are three of us at the back, Moi, Dave Newbie and Barry. The rest have flown. Andy goes around and I have to stop to put the chain on the granny ring. Dave said I need to get in my lowest gear as it just gets steeper later on around the first bend. don’t know why it wouldn’t go in to the granny ring now as it was alright going up the steps.
I catch up we Dave and basically we discuss the meaning of life and how we’ve got it back.

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It is agreed we stop at the Prospect Cafe come what may. Now last year the Northend got knocked back at the Prospect but no problems this year (It is involved but the service is relaxed).
Wear a set of brake blocks out on the descent to Worlds End Ford, walkers on the wrong line but it is steep. Opt to take the steps across the ford as I nearly came off riding it last year. Barry has some great pictures.

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Club photo opportunity at the ford and then we head off down hill towards Panorama.

Along the lane two escaped sheep are trying to outrun the group. Just when you thought it was going to the side it would dart back across your wheel. It gets sorted but they are a fair way from where they started.
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I’ve been shelled of the back on this section as I can’t get into the granny ring on the climb near the abbey and saw the group climbing this section and from where I was it looked steep, when I actually came to it it wasn’t that bad. Found that magic gear and caught Dave Newbie up. Dave had managed to get another concussion puncture and we had agreed to stop at the Cafe whatever the others were doing.

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Five of us opt to take the  cake stop at the “Prospect Cafe ” as Dave has two punctures. The rest  ride on. There is a bit of history with this place , last year the club got knocked back, a week later the Seamons  Audax was here in force including me having 3 scones.

We spend a good hour at the cafe before we refill with water and head back to the Eureka. Dave had his two punctures sorted by the time the tea and scones came.
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The ride back to the Eureka is big ring stuff with only a stop for Dave to put more air in his tyre as it was rolling off the rim on the bends. There is no picture of Barry on the Dee cycleway as he zoomed off at 34 mph with the wind behind him, were we had an easy 20mph. Barry makes a few breaks during the ride my effort on the Saltney rail bridge is thwarted by a red traffic light.
Barry has another go up Woodbank with Andy Walsh taking off after him, don’t know who made it to the junction first but we were well down.

Soup at the Eureka looked good. I’d had the usual oat bar and Lucozade Sport. Rode back via the Missing link with Barry and Andy.
77 miles and a great day.
Link to GarminConnect Map to follow.
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/73434

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14 thoughts on “Northend ride to Worlds End.”

  1. Fantastic day Frank really enjoyed getting the miles under my belt. Cycling is about enjoyment aswell as getting fit. A big part of that is the social side. If I want to do a training loop then I ride on my own and do a fast 60. The cafe stops are a big part of the day out for me. In twenty months I will be able to do this everyday………Stroll on retirement……..

  2. Dave it’s past Panorama and overlooks the Llangollen Valley. I’ll sort out a grid reference for you after I’ve uploaded the route MotionBased. I’m off out for a short ride in the sun. Lots more to put in this post but it can wait.
    Frank.

  3. Great account for a fantastic day Frank! you couldn’t have guessed who had raced the night before, apart from the fact I chickened out Worlds End…….. the cafe stop is always on my agenda too! when ive got some endurance maybe i can challenge Baz in a few cafe sprints!

    I lost about 1kg, got sunburn, sore legs, raced tonight on Saigton and did a 22.23 so it must be doing some good 🙂

    Andy.

  4. Garmin Connect is a bit crap isn’t it Frank? I’m still using Motionbased for sharing rides. There doesn’t seem any way to download your route, though I guess I could easily use Mapsource to re-design it.

    Is this the prospect cafe here – http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=11560386459522712389,52.982646,-3.121949&q=prospect+cafe&sll=52.981381,-3.140297&sspn=0.035192,0.114326&ie=UTF8&ll=52.983377,-3.121684&spn=0.008798,0.028582&z=16

    There seems to be a diversion in your route around that part.

    Cheers.
    Dave.

  5. Dave, Thats it at the end of Panarama Walk up a steep twisty road.
    Further on the 705 locked up and I had to give it the Vulcan nerve pinch, hence the straight line to Ruabon.

    Regards,
    Frank.

  6. Thanks for the link Dave it looks good, I’ll stick a link on the Maps page as I haven’t updated that for years. Mind you it was very basic stuff then. Probably need to update other bits too but just when you think there is no interest another comment pops up.

    Frank.

  7. I went across that ford in the pictures for this post today. I decided to ride across and went down like a bag of spanners LOL! It’s very slippy beneath the water, lots of moss – take care! Didn’t take me long to dry out in today’s heat, though 🙂

    Dave.

  8. Dave I know it’s slippy from last year when I nearly went down. Took no chances this time, not with an audience.
    Stuck in work all day, took the 705 in and had a look at the map I uploaded to it. Not as much detail as the UK but I should be OK.

    Find the cafe OK?

    Frank.

  9. Hi Frank,

    I went up to the Ponderosa (see my site for ride overview) and didn’t manage to get to the Prospect. Worlds End is quite a climb from the bottom of the ‘old’ Horseshoe Pass!

    Dave.

  10. Jeez Frank – Looking at the photo of you on this ride, looks like you’ve lost more weight. What weight are you now?

  11. Eddie, I’ve actually put a bit on since last year. 85 kg this morning. If I get back down to those levels I’ll be in good form.
    Too many carbs in liquid form.

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