Monday, 29 September 2014

Presidents Ride 2014

This annual event takes part at the end of the summer, and draws together riders from all the clubs across Chester and North Wales, from Caernarfon through to Two Mills on the Wirral.  Today 46 members congregated at Walk Mill, the start point for this years ride.

All at the start - can you spot fab ladies tops and Chester riders?
Important ride information and stuff from Mike

We set off in quite large groups, which soon settled into smaller sections, and we were encouraged to ride with someone you do not usually see - chance to make friends across our member group (Chester CTC is part of Chester and North Wales,which is in turn of course part of the National CTC - just in case you didn't know or had forgotten!).  

It was lovely to see Doreen from Criccieth, who leads a growing group on Thursdays, Ifor from Menai, I rode a bit with Darryl from Prestatyn who likes long distance audaxes and has many tales to tell.  Roy from Colwyn Bay, right to ride rep often seen on the coastal paths and beyond (I always bump into him on route 5!), Wrexham riders, Two Mills, Wednesdays (day riders) and even a select 6 Chester riders - a really good spread!

Leaving Walk Mill, the sun is out

We were heading for the memorial hall in Tilston, and we had a choice of two routes - to be honest I just followed other people, which makes a nice change from route finding and leading!

Familiar lanes rolled by as the weather improved and became more sunny - and then I had a puncture.  A few friends stopped to help, as groups passed by, all asking if we were OK.  John lent his gas cannister (super quick inflation, no idea what psi!) and we were able to continue on our way.  We passed two riders, but no-one else as we headed past Farndon, to Shocklach and then Malpas before the final downhill all the way to Tilston.  

Ooooh - Pavlova!

We were late (only 15 mins!) but the feeding could then begin.  A fabulous cold buffet included in the £10 ticket price - cold meats, salads and then pavlova and black forest gateau followed by tea and coffee.

this year Ifor from Menai
won the presidents trophy

Presidents brief speech, presenting the presidents trophy (no category, just who is felt to meet some sort of achievement for the club this year or over the years), Raffle prizes, and time to head off again.  

Round Carden Park, Tattenhall, Beeston, Huxley - and too close to the 50p shop not to stop at Christines cafe - so sunny so lovely to sit outside on the last Sunday in September!

Beeston - in case you don't recognise it!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Tan-y-Pistyll Café at Pistyll Rhaeadr

Six of us met at Chirk, and after a wee dram of whiskey was enjoyed, we set off for the falls.  It was pretty nippy as we headed past the chocolate factory with its amazing aroma, then ten minutes into the ride the sun shone - for what would be the entire day.

Turning right at Chirk aqueduct we followed the river Ceiriog along the B4500 to the West Arms at Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, here we were treated to some tasty Bara brith with our coffee, just the ticket for the forthcoming hills.

Climbing through beautiful countryside along narrow country lanes with stunning scenery all around we achieved a total ascent of 1,366 ft from sea level.  Only a few cars competed with us for space until reaching the centre of Llanrhaeadr yn Mochnant, here we turned right at the village store for the final few miles to the waterfall.

The falls are worth seeing, and had I not been sporting plastic cleats, I would certainly have been tempted to get much closer.
During our decent lunch at the on site cafe, we were surprised by the landing of a small shiny purple helicopter just behind us, its owner seemingly popping in to admire the falls too. [that does it - I want a small shiny purple helicopter now! -Sue]

We retraced our route for a few short miles before taking the B4396 through Pentrefelin to Porth Y Waen where we turned left to climb Blodwell Bank to Treflach, but not before making a slight detour to view a section of the Cambrian Heritage railway at Porth Y Waen. Here we were fortunate enough to chat to one of the volunteers about their future plans and aspirations.

Descending into Oswestry we picked up the B4579 then Station Road into Weston Rhyn before crossing the river Ceiriog and filling our lungs once again with the smell of chocolate as we arrived back into Chirk, celebrating in the car park with a final dram of whiskey before journeying home.

Total climbing for the day was 3,200 ft with 48 miles of stunning scenery, wall to wall sunshine, good food and great company, thanks everyone, most especially Bob for another very enjoyable day out.

[And thanks to Kath for the write up and photos - not sure which order they should be in!]