Alpe D'Huez (Steve,s ride)

Now this is what I want to ride some day.

This is one of Paul,s workmates ride up and down that he has posted on MotionBased.

http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/2806958

http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/user/kinesin

A busy chap by the look of things.
The profile is awsome.
Great ride Steve.

What gearing were you using by the way?

Regards,

Frank.

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Audax A Tour of the Berwyns

This promises to be another epic ride, 206 Km and 1750m of climbing. Ray has emailed me the route to load into the Garmin which has saved me a lot of time. It looks like the wind is going to be a problem on this ride and it is already picking up 12 hours before the start.

Now the start was something else, Willington Hall. I’m definately going back there.
http://www.willingtonhall.co.uk/Hotel/default.htm
I bumped into a few people from previous rides including the chap I took a picture of on Janet’s 50 Mile Tourist Trial. He asked about the Garmin Edge 305 and I gave him the link to the site. The team today was Ray, Craig, Tom and Moi.

Moi at the start.JPGRar and Craig.JPG

 

Seamons CC were having a picture taken as we left the Hotel and headed out to the first turn at Willington Corner. It was agreed that we would be doing a steady pace in view of what was to come. It was a bit too steady for some of the other groups and they past us by Oscroft. There are a few themes that typified this ride apart from hills in all shapes and forms one of the early ones was punctures. Within a couple of miles we had seen a couple including a chap with a trike. He was to end up with three.

So we are chugging along and the Tom calls a halt, he’d picked up a puncture. As it turned out it took a bit longer than it normally would but we were offered a cup of tea in the process. Ray went off for a call of nature and ended up having an amusing conversation with a woman walking a dog.  Anyway no decent ride write up is complete without a puncture picture  so here it is.

Toms Puncture.JPG 
We’d turned down a cup of tea from the house owner, if scones were on offer it may have been a different matter.(there’s a in joke in there somewhere)

Before all this was a checkpoint at Waverton, this was taking the service number of the only bus that served the village. This was where a few groups decided they wern’t hanging around and left us. Nothing much to report until after Farndon and Hope  which is where Tom probably picked up his puncture. More likely the crossing of the  A534 which was an overgrown cyclepath.

We are going around the outside of Wreham, past Farm World and then into new territory for me. Our first stop is the Prospect Tea Rooms but there is a particulary steep hill or two to climb before we get there. Now I was planning on lowering the gearing even further before this ride to 30×27 but it didn’t happen. It was still hard going in 30×25. 30×25 means I’m on a triple with 30 teeth on the front chainring 25 on the back, I’m under no illusions about having a twin because it looks nice, parts of the climbs today were over 20% or 1in5.(steep IMHO)I did see blips up to 25%.

Ray.JPG

Craig.JPG
Now I’d made it top the top of this climb first, hence the pictures of the group. At the foot of the hill there was a smell of garlic that was growing in the fields. The pictures are taken on the flat bit so it’s steeper than it looks.

PICT0082.JPG

The woman above was riding with her grandfather who is 72 so there is no age limit on on these ride, at 47 I feel like a young’un on these rides.
There is a drop into Penycae and then a 5 kilometre stretch up to the Prospect Tea Rooms. Tom warned us about the climb up the tea room drive being steep and indeed it was. The last place you want to be seen in too high a gear and dismounting is here, you’ve an audience of your peers watching from the cafe conservatory.

After we had entered the cafe to sign in the heavens opened. Rooms a bit restricted inside but our arrival was the signal for others to leave so there was plenty of room. There was a chap (not with us) sitting outside under an umbrella with it pouring down, “There’s nowt so queer as folk” as they say up north.

I mentioned earlier about the themes on the,well the second one was scones. I’d ordered one with a cup of tea, these were in the words of Michael Winner (Sunday Times restaurant critic) “Historic”. Now I haven’t had butter on anything for over a year but I made an exception today. It was what what you’d call 1/2 a fat portion on my eating plan. They were that good I had a second one and it was just as good as the first. Later on Ray was calling me “Two Scone Frank” and they were to feature again later in the ride. You could get used to spending time in the controls when you should be out riding. We left in light rain and it was time for me to don the windshell jacket that was in the back pocket. It’s not waterproof but light rain beads and rolls off it.

Prospect Cafe.JPGView from Prospect Cafe.JPG

The next section to Corwen was a great section of the ride, after the Prospect Tea Rooms we head up to The Panorama with spectacular views over Llangollen, the ruined castle, the River Dee and much more. This is a narrow single track road that is still climbing, there is a rockface on one side with a danger of falling rocks everywhere. A few of them have made it onto the road, maybe nothing to a 4×4 but lethal to a 23c bicycle tyre. 

Next thing you know we are heading downhill to Llangollen and end up at a road junction by the motor museum. You need a good set of  brakes on descents like this as you don’t know what is going to be thrown at you. Dura-Ace  shoes works well and I’m glad I’ve replaced them, the shoes work well and don’t seem to pick up as much aluminium as the harder compounds and subsequently destroy the rim. But before the descent we had a local sheep farmer stuck behind us on the climb, we get an acknowledgement as we pull in to a passing point to let him through.

The next section takes us past the Chain Bridge Hotel where I spent my honeymoon and the Horseshoe Falls which you can’t see from the road. This is also where Harrison Ford went for his canal holiday that was widely reported after the event. He needn’t have bothered with a canal boat, the right roads in this neck of the woods are as equally as quiet.

As you pass the Horseshoe Falls the climbs steepen, the views across the Dee are unique. This is a steep climb and you can do without a car driver tooting his horn at you to let him through. It’s not even a proper 4×4 at the end of the day, he must have been lost!!!!!!. We are following the course of the River Dee untill the next stop at Corwen.  Craig was setting the pace on the front at this stage and in view of what was to come I made a comment to Ray that he was going to blow up at some stage.
Corwen Control.JPG

The next control was the Central Hotel in Corwen and it’s beans on toast here as there are no scones. It has to be some thing quick to prepare as anything more adds to delays and your finishing time. The area above was littered with bikes so we were towards the back of the field by the time we left. We head down the road towards Betws-y-Coed but turn off towards Bala and pass through Llandrillo. This bring back memories of The Tour of Wales from the late seventies.(maybe an article for another post). Further down the road I was heading for Bala when Ray shouts me back, I wasn’t on compass mode on the Garmin just the general display waiting for a bleep to signal a turn. The B5402 is a short stretch of road that climbs to a Tee junction where you hit the main climb of the day. I ask Tom if this was it and he says yes.

The bottom part of the climb is steep with nearly 15% coming up around the two bottom hairpin bends. It has started to rain just to add to the enjoyment, nothing too hard but coupled with the wind you see sheets of it blowing across the mountainside. Character building stuff as they say, the good thing is that it soon blows over and then becomes clear again.I’ve now become quite good at climbing and soon put some distance into our group. I think it’s a gradient thing, I’m OK up to about 20% providing I can see the top of the climb. Thanks to the spinning classes I known I’m good for a good 30 minutes plus of intense effort, my pulse maxed out at 175 BPM  on this climb, which is good for the open road.

Anyway back to the climb, the treeline starts to dissapear and I’ve another rider in my sights now. The gradient is not as steep now but if your stuck in that one gear you climb hills in you end up slow. I change up a couple of gears as I try to keep up my perceived  effort. I ended up passing another three  or four riders on this one climb.This is where the gradient function of the Garmin Edge 305 comes into it’s own, as soon as you see the gradient start to drop off and your feeling OK with your effort you should be changing up a gear.

I’m an inexperienced newcomer to these events but was surprised how I reeled in riders on this mountain. I was lying on the carpet trying to recover my breath after a mile and a half when I started a few years back and my colour matched the red carpet.
The climb of the B4391 was something else, I haven’t tackled anything as long as this before and had a false dawn where I stopped to take some photos and regroup.  There was time for a bite to eat a bit of a chat and a photo. Then it was around a sweeping bend and over a slight rise to the final part of the climb. Nothing too steep just a steady climb, seeing as this is it I have one last go and stop at the top. The summit peaked at 1602ft and here we entered the county of Powys, I’d class this as mid Wales and it seems a long long way from the Cheshire plain.

Craig2.JPGPICT0086.JPG

Ray2.JPGPICT0091.JPG

Now the descent to Llangynog was something else too. I see the road stretch out before me and decide to have a go here too. There is no way on gods earth I’m going to waste a descent like this. With a sweep of the left hand and a couple of clicks with the right I’m in the big ring and going for it. Things start to happen really quickly as the speed builds up. It peaked at 43 mph but slowed when I saw a cattle grid ahead, I think the sign said sheep grid as you don’t tend to get cattle up this high.

Ray had warned me about Guy getting a snakebite on a descent of the Horseshoe Pass and I don’t want to suffer the same. The bend shortly after gives me the opportunity to wave on two cars that had shadowed me like team cars on a tour. They wave back, probably thinking look at this nut doing 40 odd mph down hill. I was on the drops and was taken aback at how comfortable the anatomical shape was and how much better leverage you get on the brakes. The road surface is a bit coarser down it to the village and the next control but it’s still 30 mph stuff. A great climb and a great descent.

PICT0094.JPG

Llangynog control.

The guy on the trike is back with us on and off for the next section which ends up in Chirk. This section has it’s its own set of challenges. The weather has turned out really nice and rather than stick to a river valley route we ride over some small hills. This is untill we get to Llanraeahdr-ym-Mochnant (which I can’t pronounce) and while following a valley route you know there is a climb at the end of it.

 Mobile Free Zone.JPG

This was at the end of the climb, my phone has been going off but the thing is there are no signals for mobile phones in this neck of the woods. You are above the mobile phone masts and the thing is useless. Not too good a position to be in if you have an emergency in this neck of the woods. It’s steep in this neck of the woods and before the summit there is a motocross track that takes me back many years. If I was as fit as I am now this would have been a walk in the park.  The guy on the trike is caught and passed but he is past us again as we regroup. The downhill section is great 30mph stuff and the Dura-Ace blocks are are quite progressive and I’m really pleased with them and due to their soft compound you don’t hear your rims being cut to ribbons.
Once on the flat it is an 8 mile slog to Chirk and I seem to remember being on the front for most of it. It’s not a problem, each one of us has a weakspot mines probably after 100 miles when I want to slow up.

Chirk Control.JPG

Ray and Moi.JPG

It’s good to arrive at the control point in Chirk it means we are 3/4 of the way there. This is where the guy on the trike gets the last scone amd I have to settle for Barra Brith. The weather has bucked up  but the final section is not a stroll in the park.

The route out of Chirk is the same as we took on the Poynton to Chirk return so we know what is involved. I’d recharged the Garmin in the Cafe but it wasn’t going to be enough and it was going to cause a problem on the next stretch of the ride. Once at Overton the route to Bangor on Dee followed Janets 50 mile Tourist Trial route. Now the races are on and by the look of things the last race has just finished and they are leaving in droves.

We are held up by steward letting out half the carpark, he’s talking into his mobile which inflames things a bit. Anyway at Bangor on Dee we pass a lot of them as they are stuck at a Tee junction. There is one final control at Brunty Bank road and Ray has been churning that big ring again. We get our picture taken at the control. Here the Edge dies, shuts itself down and I am in danger of not getting the ride logged.

Ray offers to swap Garmins as his is being recharged by his charger. Now I’ve built a homebrew charger but it hasn’t seen action on the bike. It works  in the cafes but proves lacking on the bike. The others have left and I am desparately trying to get a charge into the 305 for the thing to power up. Further down the road they are waiting for me. I’m riding one handed, the other holding the battery pack in the one position that has the Edge charging. It goes pear shaped again as the Edge 305 nearly goes bouncing down the road and I have to stop to recover a AAA cell that jumped out the holder. I’m regulating my speed by changing from the big ring to the middle ring with my left hand. Eventually there is enough power in the thing to disconnect the charger. Its a work in progress.

Anyway as we are heading for the finish I notice we have lost Craig off the back. I shout up for Ray to slow down and we regroup. There is a section through Tarporley which is a blast from the past, no supermarkets and lots of traditional shops.  Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick makers. 

The final section to Summertrees is steep after 120 odd miles. The ride up Tirley Lane is tough after all this way. Once at Summertrees it is time to sign in and have what’s on offer. Guess what it was a scone, some sandwiches  and a cup of tea.  It’s been a great day, if you read these write ups for their entertainment value this could be you.

Stats

Total Time (h:m:s) 11:53:05 5:40 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 9:33:06 4:33 pace
Distance (mi ) 125.56
Moving Speed (mph) 13.1 avg. 43.3 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +10,759 / -10,511
Avg. Heart Rate 122 bpm Zone 2.6
Temperature (°F) 57.4°F avg. 60.8°F high
Wind Speed ( mph) WSW   17.3 avg. WSW   20.7 max.

It’s now a week after the event and the statistics are truly mindblowing there are a couple of personal bests in there. The Training Centre says I burnt 8500 calories on this ride which even if it overreads is still one hell of a lot of calories. Would I tackle it again, sure, every one of these rides has been unique, the routes show Britain at its best. The whole day was largely traffic free, the hills were something else and to think I used to avoid these like the plague. Thanks to Ray, Craig and Tom for making it another grand day out. Fin.

Link to Google Map of ride.

CTC Ride to Loggerheads.

This ride started out as a near disaster with a chance of me not making the start. “The Toy” broke as soon as it hit the tarmac and a pedal was pressed. The problem I had with shifting on the Steve Cummins ride finally manifested it’self in the cable pulling out of the nipple and me being left with a bike with no gears. The ride up the close had me listening to strange noises on a Sunday morning but I was more concerned why the rear mech wouldn’t shift.

The Iceni backup bike is pressed into service after about 10 minutes of frantic effort to set it up and pump the tyres up. This means I’m running late and set out to the Eureka at a fast pace. Fast forward to Hadlow Road and I pass John who is stopped but on enquiring is OK. Next stop Eureka  and breakfast.

There were plenty of people enjoying the sun outside the Eureka  and it turned out there were two groups going to Loggerheads Janets group doing a more challenging route and Bobs group taking a different route. After nearly getting left with Bob,s group it was off to Woodbank with six others.

The route took us to the rail/cycle crossing across the Dee and down to the Garden Centre behind the College. Here we had a bit of a setback, the Cafe was closed. I ended up buying a can of Organic Cola for it’s novelty value. Tasted much the same as a normal Coke. Now leaving the garden centre there is a running event that is just about to finnish. The chap coming home first having a good 75 to 100 yards on the guy in second place. Marshalls let us through and further up the road our turning has us like salmon swimming up rapids.

There is a constant stream of runners coming down the hill. I’m behind old George as we go up the steepest part of the hill with a 14% gradient trying to take a picture on the move but it just isn’t happening. I can’t overtake as runners are streaming down the hill, pity it would have made a great photo. A lot of the runners looked very stressed but a couple of the women had it in them to smile at us. You have to wonder which was the madder group.

Sorry to hear about the Accident Ray, I haven’t had time to mail you, trust you are OK.

Someones happy.JPG

Traffic was heavy on this hill.JPG

The above pictures were taken as our group was still climbing the hill with the field of runners still coming through. It was a unique experience, I’m glad I got a picture of it.

The tail end.JPG

Clearly a hilly ride.JPG

I really like this picture as it captures what a CTC ride is all about, quiet roads and a challenge. Taken on the move it it came off, a lot of the pictures haven’t due to the limitations of digital cameras. I compress the pictures on the site so dialup viewers don’t have to wait an age for a page to load and get bored. This was near the top of the run out to Loggerheads after this it was all downhill so to speak.

Now the Iceni was trying to shake it’self to bits, somewhere I lost a mudguard mounting bolt and the clip on the chainstay bracing was loose and rattling away much to my annoyance and I suspect everyone else,s, these are not silky smooth roads. A stop gave me the opportunity to fix it.  You need decent brakes on this ride, the winter bikes are half worn and hard compound, I’ve got used to “The Toy” so these feel wooden. They are going to get replaced by a set of Ultegra blocks.

Link to Google Map of Ride

Mini NorthWest Passage Audax

Friday had me preping the bike for todays ride. What I thought was a faulty wheel bearing wasn’t which is just as well as I would have had trouble sorting it. energy drink was prepared too as I didn’t want a last minute rush.

I’d set off in good time for the start and made the home of the co-op, Rochdale in good time. Finding the start proved to be a bit more problamaticle. I’d stopped at a garage for directions and the chap I showed the map to said it looked nothing like the route to the start. Another two people were stopped and I made the signing on with less than ten minutes to spare. Ray and Craig were there and Ray had found me a spot to park, thanks Ray.

Mini Northwest passage start .jpg

With the Edge set to Navigate route it was right at the mini roundabout just down the hill from the pub. After a while we took the Todmorden Road and passed through Calderbrook and summit. Todmorden had barely woken up when we went through. The route was mainly A roads but traffic was reasonable and before you know it we are in Burnley. Around here we have our first stop for food and water.

Our next stop after this is Gisburn where we have to note what is behind the toilets. There has been a fair bit of climbing and a fast descent to get to Gisburn.

The first control point.jpg

Once on Mill lane we are on a different ride, off A roads it’s a lot quieter, It’s a sunny day and the views are great. Further on it’s Bolton by Bowland heading towards the next stop at Waddington.

The original cafe checkpoint has closed so it is a couple of K’s further on we stop at at Bashall Town shop/ cafe/brewery. Here Ray and I decide to have an ice cream. It is the middle of Febuary after all. Ray asks for the one with two scoops, so I’ve got to have the same. Now I wasn’t expecting what came , Ray certainly wasn’t these things were monsters. We were laughing like kids trying to eat them.

Febuary and were eating Icecream!.jpg

In the village before this picture the signs were telling us to go in one direction and the Edges in another. We followed the Edge which is always proving to be the right thing to do these days. Late in the ride when we are hooked up with some local riders we come to a roundabout with multiple exits . The locals take the second exit and stop as we go past the first exit the Edge is saying we should have took the first. Two of the group later pass us on a climb and say we are on the right route.

Rays been on fine form today there were a few times when I was in danger of getting dropped. On one of the climbs back to Rochdale Ray was leading out Rochdale Triathlon Club members. Craig and I were down the road wondering if they where going to give him an honary membership. Lots of the climbs were at a 5% gradient the steepest gradient on the day comes out at nearly 15%. If you look at the route profile in Motionbased it has us climbing 5,454 ft, the Edge had it coming out at 4754. Either way it’s a fair bit of climbing when you’re used to a flat Wirral and the Cheshire plains.

On the descent int Rochdale we pick up a local rider while waiting at a set of roadwork traffic lights. The descents have proved to be good as the Edge has me clocking 39 mph on one of them.  The cycle lanes have curb stone lane separators every couple of hundred  yards to force the cars out of the gutter. Cycles pass straight through, they seem to work. Anyway as I’ve got through a set of light near Rochdale Town hall I have to wait for the others, the Edge is saying left at the next set of lights. Our newly aquired riding buddy tells Ray he knows a short cut back to the start.

So right at the lights it was, now I’d been this way in the morning when I got lost. It was up the hill to the set of lights at Drake Street, along Drake Street right at MFI and a couple more turns and we end up in Mattalan car park dodging Saturday afternoon shoppers. It gets better, as we go down Oldham road under the rail bridge the traffic becomes gridlocked  by roadworks further on. Now some of us are filtering down the outside of the traffic, our new guide is doing 20 mph down the pavement past rows of shops.

This stops at the next set of lights when we are in the same boat as the traffic. A bus picking up at every stop is our next hold up but it’s soon past and we veer of down a one way street marked on the route and back to the start. The pub is busy with customers and wedding parties but we find the control point in one of the rooms at the front.  Once signed in it was a well deserved pie and peas to finnish what had been another great day.
It had been sunny throughout the day, blue skies and very little wind. The scenery has been good with rolling hills dotted with sheep. I’d say Cheshire is more cows  as there is a lot more slurry on the roads, Yorkshire seemed free of it.

Link to Google Map of route

Stats: 75 miles, averageing 13.6 mph, max 39mph, 4726 calories burnt, Gaining 5454 ft and losing 5448 ft. Average heartrate 128/9 bpm for 5 hours 28 minutes. Max 167 bpm.

CTC Ride Eureka Cafe to Halkyn

What a day this turned out to be. A tale of bad weather, the steepest climbing I’ve done and sheep. I wasn’t going to bother with a ride today but I’m glad I did.
I needed a lift down the Eureka as I was running late and needed my breakfast before the ride. Chester and North Wales CTC were off to Eastham and the Ferry Hotel for lunch, this was a bit too close to home for me. Plus I am trying to avoid places that pile the plate high. Some years ago I had the 32 ounce steaks they served here. Is it any wonder I went up to 21 stone. So I gave it a miss.

Merseyside CTC were going to Flint led by Alan. So Flint it was along with 8 others. I’ve ridden with most of the others at one stage or the other. Emerging from the Cafe it starts to rain, the forecast was good but that would be later on. It was a stop for rainwear down Woodbank and past RAF Sealand it was particularly bleak with a strong headwind to boot. If anyone had had any sense we’d have turned back. We cross on the Dee on the rail bridge and as we thread through Shotton a chap stops us all and asks if we are interested in some tandems he is selling.

Bob leaves us at the college and we head towards Flint, we pass Paper Mill Lane which I had down as the route up the hill. No such luck Alan had a much tougher route in his devious mind. We take a parallel road further on but end up at a set of traffic lights in Flint that have a cycle lane turning right across the traffic, cars excluded. We take the fork in the road to the hospital. Around here we take a left up Cornist lane. (You can see it on the Google map if you zoom in far enough)

This was the start of the fun, I turned on the gradient function on the Garmin boy did that come in useful. Bear in mind the steepest thing I’ve seen is 17% up till now. The first section is steep enough and I arrive at the crossroads first stopping for more directions from Alan. The others come through and I set off near the back, the instructions are to keep going straight on. I pass some of the others on here I think Ron dismounted and I was in the granny ring. It’s steep about 20% (1in5)  Alpe D’Huez is 10/11% but long. One chap made it to the mid section of this part but stopped (I don’t know his name).

Now it starts to get interesting, REALLY interesting, I’m out front again the road dips and then starts to climb again, I’m at about 9 out of 10 on the perceived effort scale and the climb is just getting steeper.  I’m riding up a river literally, the road (track) is awash with all the recent rainfall. The Garmin is locked at 20% and it looks steeper. I’m looking for a reason to dismount and walk. My wish is granted when a sheep leaps over a hedge and runs down the bank in front of me.

Respite was shortlived 50 yards up the hill I try to get back on the bike. It’s just that the sheep that I used as an excuse to walk has joined up with the rest of the flock. There are about 20 of them at least.  Every move I make pushes them further up the road. The A55 is at the top of the road and you can hear the traffic speeding by. Next thing a chap in a red BMW pulls up. They’re not his and obviously not mine and seem to keep a 50 yard distance between us.

The rest of the group are nowhere to be seen which is probably just as well at this time. The chap with the BM phones the Police to alert them about the hazard. As we move up the lane I end up taking my HiViz jacket off as it is spooking the sheep. The BM guy scales the bank goes up the field to get in front of the sheep. Then the rest of the group arrive. All but one stop. One  doesn’t seem to grasp the situation and keeps on going, potentially driving the sheep onto the road.
Shepherds.jpgThe quality is poor as the light is poor. Ray reckons I should have taken pictures of the whole event. the sheep have just run up the bank out of sight. Try to picture it with 20 to 30 sheep in the road.

The BM chap manages to send the sheep back down the lane, the others manage to send the sheep up the bank and further back down the lane.Another two cars have joined the queue. The drama is over and we cycle to the top of the lane and the Transport Cafe.

Cornist Lane  

This is the shallow bit at the top. I burnt 500 calories before I took this picture.

The Transport Cafe (I’ve forgotten the name) was just that. Basic food, a lot that I no longer eat but a fast service and cheap. Probably not too many of these places left these days.

Transport Cafe.jpg

After we had finished there was more to come, with another two climbs that registered 20% on the Garmin. Ray had a Puncture to repair so thats one for the stats. Turning right from the cafe we then turn left and go under the A55. There is another climb that also touched 20% up to Pentre Halkyn. Chris is starting to struggle a bit on his fixie. Its hard going even on 30/28. Once round the bend it flattens off and I though that was it for the day. No such luck, Alan leads the group up Halkyn and yet another climb where the gradient is 20% in places. Once through Halkyn we take the lane that runs along the top of the hill. Then it is a fast ride down through the lanes eventually ending up in Northop.

Here the battery on the Garmin finally gave up. I should have left it at that but started it up at RestHill again so the route got corrupted on the upload to Motionbased.
The ride back was a lot better than the ride out as the sun was out.

Woodbank.jpg
It was another sprint up Woodbank to get this picture  and then another tea and flapjack at the Eureka Cafe. Rode back with Roy and Joan to Willaston continued on Route 56 and finally up RestHill as the light was going.
Had a great day, got beaten by a hill, played at being a shepherd, looked down from the top of Halkyn and wondered ” Have I just ridden up that !”. Great scenery, good people and this is Wednesday in the first week  of January. 

 Link to Google map CTC Ride Eureka Cafe to Halkyn 

Stats:
Height Ascended 1254 ft
Max Height 844 ft Halkyn
Min Height 21 ft
Calories Burnt 2023

CTC Ride to Dragons Rest Cafe

It promises to be a lengthy post this one as there are a few pictures to post another point on the map to add and tales to tell.
Rode down to the Eureka Cafe for Frank,s Breakfast (Franks Breakfast is a menu item at the Eureka Cafe) after avoiding the Missing Link as I didn’t want crap all over the bike.

10 o’clock had Graham(leader) Margret, Andy, Janet, Bob, Jill, John, and Moi heading off to Woodbank and onwards towards the River Dee. John in the blue top below is not wearing his fluorescent yellow Lusso jacket as it is still in the wash following an incident on the return from the Wednesday section AGM. (one of the funniest things things I’ve seen for a long time)

 dragons rest ride 002.jpgdragons rest ride 005.jpgThe first climb of the day

Here I saw the Dee bore for the first time as we cycled along the path, it was about 2ft high and most impressive . Then it was over the Rail bridge at Shotton. We came out near Deeside Cycles which I had been in the previous day looking at Colnago,s , crossed the road and nearly ended up in a church service as a white van blocked the path.
We were soon climbing up towards Ewloe Green and then it was on towards Mold Tesco,s for ellevens, tea and a muffin in my case.
On the descent into Mold it was a swift blast down the dual carriage way only to be baulked by a red light at the college. Graham said he would have given me a race if the light was going to be green. Graham, if I’d known you wanted to give me a bit of a race I’d have zipped my jacket up!

Mold Tesco,s stood out on the ride as one of those places that has Farmers Weekly in a prominent position on the magazine shelves as opposed to the celebrity drivel we seem to get in my neck of the woods.

Out of Mold it was down the A541 towards Denbigh.Things rolled along untill we reached Afon Wen when it was turn right engage a low gear and climb up to Caerwys. The bike got parked up on the bench at the top of the climb as I thought it was an ideal spot for a photograph. I’m normally sprinting off the front of the climbs as the gearing is higher on the toy and I only have one speed in my legs, all or nothing. Mind you Janet always gives me a good run for my money and she is handicapped by a bike that weighs a ton compared to The Toy.

 dragons rest ride 009.jpgBob and Jill make it to Caerwys

 A couple of miles down the B5122 we had the Lunch stop at the Dragons Rest Cafe.Copy of Dragons Rest.jpgdragons rest ride 021.jpg

It was a chicken dinner for me washed down with a diet coke. Lunch over it was back on the bikes (which hadn’t been sold in the car boot sale around the back) and back down the road to Pant, Babell and onto Halkyn Mountain. It was hilly but the views are superb.We had another stop for afternoon tea at the Garden Centre next to the Horticulteral College.

It was all down hill from there and we ended up in Golftyn and it was back down the cycle routes to the railbridge at Hawarden through the Deeside Industrial Estate and down a muddy track to Shotwick Village. Once we got across the road it was up the lane to bring us out next to the Yact pub. Back to the Eureka for another cup of tea and a piece of flapjack.
Keith was putting a new  Jersey signed by the British Olympic cycling team up on the wall so its something to look out for if you ever visit. Then it was back home at a brisk pace, up Rest Hill again.

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65 enjoyable hilly miles. Thanks everyone.