Saturday 28 May 2011

Xtra bank holiday ride to Llangollen

Just sometimes I plan an extra ride, if the weather looks particularly good, or if there is an appropriate cycling event happening, or if I just feel the need for some hills.  The latter caused me in May to call upon the ladies to see if anyone wanted to join me on a tootle into Wales, and specifically to Llangollen.

A few people politely declined (I am keeping a note of all these excuses!), but Sue and Lisa agreed to join in.

Jenny & Sue climb lower mountain
I met Sue at the Roodee, at 9:30.  Not a bad starting location.  We set off out along Lache Lane to Kinnerton, where we met Jenny - taking her new bike out for spin but with no particular plans.  Imagine her joy when I suggested she join us (at least to the cafe in Caergwrle) which meant she had to climb back up all the hills she had just sailed down (well, she did want to get used to her new gears!).

Therefore three of us met Lisa at the cafe (a new one for the ladies and not as far out as I thought, so it will be on the list for a 'normal' Saturday ride!). 

Tudor House Cafe, Caergwrle
Twas a damp and breezy day, Jenny and Sue could not stay out, so Lisa and I pedalled off towards Cefn (Y Bedd) and turned right up the road past Ffrith (known to cyclists as 'the steps').  Coats on and off intermittently, rain had actually ceased by the time we were near Bwlchgwyn, and across to Minera.

One more hill (!!) brought us on to the top of Worlds End, where hills gave way to a brutal headwind!  Bleak is another description!!!

Sue riding into the wind on Worlds End

We dropped through the Ford and took the panorama road to pass Castell Dinas Bran, before dropping to the Wharf Cafe on the canal.  At this point the sun came out!!  We were able to sit outside and enjoy the warmth with a spot of lunch.

Rocky cliffs of Worlds End

Lisa heading to Dinas Bran (centre pic)

at the Wharf Cafe above Llangollen

The canal leading out of Llangollen
We followed the canal (saved dropping to the main road, which can also be quite busy) and rejoined just as the canal goes under the road.  We headed up past Vale Crucis Abbey and the Britannia pub, and steadily climbed the Horseshoe Pass, stopping once for a photo (and enjoying being pushed up the second half by the same roaring wind which was now on our backs!).

Lisa on the last bit of the Horseshoe Pass

Another short break at The Ponderosa, before dropping spectacularly down the other side.  I remembered a small gated road that cuts out the main road, roundabout and a particularly nasty junction; so we followed that, comparing sheep and enjoying the extremely quiet lane!  As we rejoined the main road (and Lisa realised where we were!), we were able to be blown over the Llandegla Moors and then drop over the other side past Treuddyn and home.

I did 57 miles from home - but, believe me, they were QUALITY miles!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. It's always a treat to read your blogs! Whatever the weather you're out there. It's inspiring and a pleasure to see new and experienced cyclists enjoying the outdoors together. Many thanks.