Sunday, 16 March 2014

The White Horse at Cilcain

Second ride in March, Tim's ride to Cilcain.  Same as he planned last year, but was unable to lead.  Nearly a dozen of us met at the Town Hall - I had a text from Jo 'where are you' - she had inadvertently gone to Christleton Pond; and no sign of Tim our leader - Bob phoned - he was waiting at the Little Roodee (despite changing planned location a few days earlier).  Anyway, Dave and I waited for Jo, and the rest set off to find Tim.  Jo was soon with us and we actually caught them at the Roodee, setting off around the racecourse on the great cyclepath.

An opportunity to try the newly refurbished railway bridge crossing, with a runner for the bike - a bit awkward as quite close to the rails.  But we all managed it (John carrying two bikes - his husbandley duty!) emerging at Curzon Park gold club.  

Following the river, Tim had to stop as he had a puncture.  By now the sun is coming out and quite a pleasant morning it was turning out to be.  Out past Aerospace, and two March Hares were chasing each other around the field - very hard to photo as brown hares against a brown field - maybe I should have tried to film - they were there for ages!

We followed a lesser known route up through Mancot - quite a nice route as it is not so steep as most approaches to the village (town?) - bringing us to the Gladstone Library.  It was nice enough to sit outside in the garden, and Kath was sat waiting for us when we got there.

Out to Ewloe and then Northop before climbing up to Nosheen and John's - John changed his steed from his bike to a stepper-on-wheels - not sure what it is actually called.  Interesting steed!

More climbs to bring us to the top of the Halkyns, in glorious sunshine, fab views across to the Clwyds.  Just as we were about to descend I noted a flat front tyre - so my turn to fix a puncture.  Very peaceful as the whole group had already gone down the hill.  Then I had the 2 mile descent also and short climb to Cilcain and lunch (just in time) at The White Horse.  Again we sat outside.

The afternoon saw more down than up, with some spectacular descents.  As we came into Buckley, Kath pointed out the Elvis House.  After crossing the common we were talking about the old railway line - and came across an information board.  More info and pictures can be found here.

After Buckley we had a super drop to the roundabout, then a wonderful cruise to Hawarden (apart from last climb up) and then speedy drop to Hawarden Farm Shop just in time for coffee and cake - again sitting in the sun!

A final drop to the Sandycroft road and along to Saltney Ferry Bridge, with a marvellous tailwind brought a great end to a very enjoyable day.

Many Thanks to Tim, for a 40 mile ride.

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