Saturday 15 April 2023

A Spring in our Wheels

I could not resist a 'handlebar in the daffodils' shot,
and then pick out the daffs and blue skies in colour!

 There is nothing more joyous that a mid spring ride, amidst increasing blossoms and under blue skies with fluffy clouds, expect when it follows several days of cold and wet weather.

So 14 of us mustered at Kingsway cafe, with the plan to return to Old Hall Cafe at Wepre Park which we last visited in April 2017.  That day saw 27 of us under perfect blue skies, also in April.

my photo from January, of Jiya running
around in the mud (with her mum!)
I shared some news updates before the photo, and we split into two perfectly formed groups.  Linda and I set off through the Zoo, which those who knew where Wepre Park is were wondering how that direction was right (including myself!); but it was a splendid route.  We saw the baby Rhino Jiya, as she is often not 'on
display' in the mornings but in a back paddock, which happily backs on to the Zoo path.  After a few Onagers and Camels, we dropped down the hill to cross the canal.

From here we climbed towards Backford, crossed the A41, and skirted Mollington.  The blossom in the hedgerows and trees was wonderful against the blue skies; at this time of year as the hedges are just sprouting they seem to be such a bright green.  The colours are so vivid.


As we neared the A540 to cross to Saughall there was one of the first Rape fields I have seen.  

We turned right to go down Lodge Lane (I always think of the time when foot and mouth closed small lanes like this, as it goes alongside a farm; and I recall dodging traffic to cross the A494 before the bridge was built).  This 'new' bridge does give a lovely view to the Flintshire bridge (opened in 1998, it is the largest Asymmetrical cable stayed bridge in the UK)

Skirting the industrial park we wound our way to the Greenway by the Welsh / blue/ dragon bridge, and then along to cross the river on the railway bridge, a chance for some portraits!

...including 'some bloke' who got in between my ladies!

It was then a short navigation to Shotton lane, and down Killin Lane (known as 'wet lane' by my friend and long time cycling buddy Harry Watson as it is always wet), cross a small bridge and up to the Park.

Wepre Park is 160 acres of parkland, including Ewloe Castle, a waterfall, and industrial heritage.  Well worth a re-visit another day (they also have a Parkrun).  This sunny Saturday we managed to commandeer enough chairs and a few tables so when the second group arrived we could all sit in the sun and enjoy our snacks.

Collette's photo captures the woodland
and bike parking perfectly

Whilst Linda snapped us in the cafe

Moving people back to their bikes was a challenge!  They were all so settled enjoying the warmth and chat.  But I tore them away and we set off, back down the hill, following Rowena's nose, and we eventually found the track back to the river and the railway bridge.  Losing people at various stages (as they drop off home on a route to suit) the rest returned up the Greenway and Kingsway cafe.

25 miles