Another good turn out today and a choice of Audlem for the shorter ride or Bangor on Dee for the longer. I (Jed) took sixteen riders on the longer run following a route I’d ‘muddled out’ using Google maps and the little orange man who can actually help you view the roads (as they were last summer probably!)
A lively pace was established by Dylan and Graham as we made our way through Whitegate, Utkinton, Waverton and into Chester. That’s when the fun started as we fought our way along the banks of the Dee out towards the foot bridge near Saltney. The wind was immensely strong and coming from our left which resulted in some rather crazy angles of lean and some very dicey moments. I was riding with Dylan near the back of the group, one moment he was on my right, the next, gone! I was convinced he’d been blown away across the fields. In fact he’d stopped to wait for Connor. Dave, Connor’s dad (on his exceedingly pretty and fully restored Mercian fixed) had already decided that he and Connor would make their way to Eureka and expressed his surprise when I outlined my planned route to Bangor. I found this a little worrying.
One thing I’d failed to do whilst planning this route was to estimate the distance and this would prove to be a stumbling block later.
As we reached the footbridge across the Dee, Dylan and Graham joined up with the Fearons as the rest of us clawed our way across the bridge and headed towards Saltney, Lache and Pulford.
I think Craig left us around Saltney and he was replaced by a stranger we picked up a little further on.
As we neared Pulford, mutterings were heard amongst the group as a few were wondering how much further was it to Bangor on Dee. I had no idea but 14 miles sounded like a good number so on we went until the signs for Holt were seen. That did it and that’s where we ended up, at Holt Garden Centre. 36 miles from Hartford.
The trip home didn’t turn into the usual frantic dash. It was quick but civilized and helped by a welcomed tail wind. We went via Saighton, Waverton, Oscroft and Kelsall. I bid my farewells at Kelsall whilst the group set off towards Delamere and home.
An excellent effort by all riders today including Eleanor who’d been out on her mountain bike yesterday and Kevan who was suffering some serious back pain following a recent prang. I was particularly impressed by the teenagers who are really coming on great guns and the relative ‘new boy’ Jules who is also riding very well.
It was nice to have Andy Howard and John Keen back with us again after a fairly long break.
Today’s riders:Dylan, Graham, Connor, Dave F, Craig L, John Keen, Eleanor, Kevan,
Kevin, James, Matt and dad Chris, Ewart, Andy H, Jules and me (Jed).
Report submitted by Jed – thanks to him for an excellent – but arduous! ride