A fast ride to Ruthin and back
Anyway the cafe was lovely and very Cath Kidstone, they did beans for us, which I’m not sure fitted in with their “sweet and pretty” brand values but hey ho!
And so onwards. Iain had the bright idea we could return via the “old Bwylch”. I was keen on this in principle as I thought it would be quieter and prettier than the normal hill by the motel. It was indeed quieter and prettier… but it was also lethally steep, and many of our party were reduced to walking. (I have 30 x 27 gears so I didn’t really have an excuse, but still walked the bit up to the first switchback). Iain was first up, making the whole thing look ridiculously easy, Kev (having been released temporarily from domestique duties) was second, and I gather Stuart (who’s looking increasingly strong) came third. I did fine but was last, with my non-ally John taking up his by now traditional position 100 metres ahead of me. At the top I needed a “put my head down on my handlebars and try not to throw up” moment as I was completely b*******d.
We enjoyed the descent, but by the climb out of Loggerheads I was so tired that I allowed myself a “hand of God” assist from my super domestique – John, new boy Colin and Tony looked a tad surprised to see me sailing past them at speed, until they realised that I was getting illegal and entirely unethical assitance. Kev always does this for me on the way back from Llanberis and I feel guilty that I have the QOM up this stretch, considering it involved overt cheating!
We raced down the descent from the Rainbow and I just about kept up with the bunch into Chester, and so home. By the time I’d got to Delamere Forest my tank was empty and at this point John Keen took pity on me and kept me company through the bumps, redeeming himself at the final hour.
This was a memorable day out, with beautiful weather and scenery, great company, serious challenges and fabulous support from a very fit but generous-hearted bunch of people, namely navigator Jim, he-who-should-be-a-pro Iain, Kev my domestique, two Colins (one very new), Stuart, Jeff, a very strong new rider Mark, Peter (also quite new), Tony and my so-called-ally, John Keen. We picked up Alan Kemp in the last few miles, it was nice to see him but I’m not sure he appreciated my sense of irony when I told him the ride might have been too tough for him!!
Thanks everyone. My clock said 98 miles, average 17 mph and 1500 metres of climbing. And not one puncture or mechanical. Phew.