Saturday, 2 May 2015

Only for the Very Hardy...

...or "How to make a seventeen mile ride last three hours"!

Yes, the annual Treasure Hunt (and map reading) competitions, first Saturday of May.  Bank holiday or no bank holiday!  

Crossroads cafe at Trefnant
Despite emails, blogs, tweets, and facebook, only me from Chester turned up....the weather might have had something to do with it!  

Very few riders came, actually (eleven).  This year it was based in Trefnant, between St Asaph and Denbigh, only 40 mins from Chester by car.  It is a shame as Lowri puts a lot of work into it - the treasure hunt takes some time; but finding items for the map reading (in the case this year, water hydrants) takes a lot of riding, planning, and hunting!

We were all given two sheets for the treasure hunt - one to use and a spare in case the first got wet.  To be fair, mine looked more like a doiley at the end and I had to re-write the answers.

The key to good treasure hunting strategy is not to be caught at the clue writing the answer down.  I was last to leave, but soon caught up with a few (despite my snail's pace).  There was certainly a gathering at the post box in Tremeirchion, looking for the last weekday collection time.  I decided that stopping, gloves off, fishing for pencil, writing, putting pencil away, putting gloves back on was going to take me forever, and being slow anyway decided to use technology (my camera) instead - photograph the clue and write it up at the end. 
Rack and Pinion gearing;
St Asaph Corn Mill

Worked a treat!  It is a good job I invested in a waterproof camera (works up to 15m underwater - ideal for treasure hunting in Wales on a bank holiday!).

I caught up with most riders by clue number 15, a mileage question between Holywell and St Asaph.  It was actually an old milestone at the back of an old garage forecourt (I will find it next time).  Some were behind me, some came back.  I just cut my losses and carried on - and did not see anyone again until the end! 

The funny thing about treasure hunting is riding along reciting the clue to yourself, while trying to read every bit of writing you pass, including looking behind you.  You cannot just freewheel down the hills, and you may need to stop going up as well.  I find myself making up other clues as I go, for other answers.

The carving has wooden coloured trousers
 - not just pants as Glennys thought!

It was a lovely route, and quite a bit off the road too.  Some interesting sculptures and info boards - which you have to speed read, skimming for the name or date you are looking for (only to find the answer around the corner!)

 I met up with Lowri half way round - or rather she caught me up (and gave a couple of small hints of direction!).  Not content with organising and riding before and checking people in, she then rides the whole route, getting back before us.  Me, I would stay in the warm dry cafe!


Knights at the bridge into Rhuddlan

As I add these pictures, it surprises me how colourful they look,despite the continuous
 dampness and greyness of the morning!

At Rhuddlan the clue was to find evidence of [our] clubs history - I found one winged wheel
(which cheered me up) but missed the second.  

I think The New Inn  needs to re-paint the wheel with colour to help it stand out.

I completely missed the other one!

Criccin Farm, with Suffolk sheep
 - showing Suffolk sheep too!

The last bit was into a headwind, and I had to put my gloves back on (having warmed up earlier I had been able to manage without them.)  

I was wishing I had a large woolly sheep to shelter behind, too!
Too cold, wet and tired to do the map reading this time.  Went home to have a hot bath and then blog!

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