Sunday, 17 January 2016

The Buck at Bangor-On-Dee

A snowy and ice forecast, expected to be worse than Saturday, which was mighty cold.  I woke to a light dusting of snow, quite unusual for Chester, but closer inspection showed puddles that were not frozen, and no sign of ice.

With half a mind to cancel on arrival, but 'lets-see-who-turns-up' attitude, the main road into town was fine, and by 10am 5 of us had gathered under the Town Hall clock.  Same number as last ride (consistent if nothing else!).  Quick selfie, then away.

The plan was originally to head to Erbistock, all carefully planned, pre-ridden and pubs checked out by John, leading his first Chester ride.  It should not be too far, but we agreed to head out, and see what the lanes were like.

Handbridge, just off the main route through, was a little slushy underwheel; but as we headed to Eccleston the road was much clearer.  We were soon able to see the extent of the seasonal flooding of the Dee, and agreed to head to Holt and Cleopatra's, and make further decisions there (with a hot drink in hand!)



At the junction off main road to back lanes
Welsh side of the Dee.  This is the Dee.
We agreed to head instead to Bangor, after our refreshments, and set off to cross the Wrexham road.  We were faced with extensive wateryness, the river was very nearly to the road.  We guided John through the small lanes to Bowling bank, every corner an excitement of will it be flood water and imapssable?  One road was noted to be closed; we continued and could see where the water had been, but apart from a few long puddles, totally passable through to Sutton Green, and on to Pickhill.  From here it is a downhill swoop and main road dash to Bangor.


The 'Buck at Bangor' is a longstanding favourite of cycling clubs I have been a part of; there used to be 1,000 teapots of all shapes and sizes hanging from the rafters.  It has had a total refurbishment now, is very smart, staff were very friendly and food was very nice.  Toilets were freezing!





We headed back up the hills out of Bangor, a good way to warm up, and after Worthenbury decided against calling back to Cleopatra's, but Stu had the idea of afternoon coffee at The White Horse at Churton.  Kate left us at this point - we were nearly home, but four of us settled on the sofa's, with coffee, crumble and custard (or a pint), and trying to solve the riddle on the wall.




The nice thing about a small group is it is much cosier, easy to sit together and have one conversation.  Ideal in some ways for this gloomy time of year.

Home the usual route via Bruera and Saighton.






30 miles, many thanks to John for leading so comprehensively!

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