We commenced on the standard route up into Buckley, along Wood Lane, with the sun warming our backs we soon settled into a steady pace.The steep descent down Padeswood Road meant we quickly left Buckley behind and entered the quieter lanes leading up to Eryrys. At this point Andy had to stop to free off his seized front mechanism - a combination of dirt and a lack of TLC meant that front gear changes could only be achieved by a sharp tap with his foot.
After the long climb up to Eryrys, we turned right onto School Lane whose gradient allowed us to get our breath back before joining the A494. Heading towards Ruthin, we enjoyed the long fast descent before regrouping at the turn for Graig-Fechan. A short stop here allowed Andy to delve into his pack and try free off and lubricate his front gear mechanism once again. This pit stop also provided time for me to make use of his maps to check we were still on course. On the road to Graig-Fechan, we met a hedge cutter which gave us a few anxious moments, but luckily, we emerged puncture-free and then continued by following a “white road” before picking up the B road leading up into Llanarmon.
|PHOTO TAKEN WITH STYLE (STILE) by Steve T|
During our lunch, we learnt that the pub and village shop are now both run by the local community and, judging by the steady stream of customers, it appears well supported. There was also work being undertaken on St Gamon's church which dates back to the 13th century, presumably by the community group. Whilst munching the snacks, our lunchtime chat covered calories, BMI and the age of Andy’s maps- one of them is so old it doesn't even show Llyn Brenig!
Back on the bikes, our route now took us up past Graig Quarry towards the main A5104. At this juncture Steve experienced severe leg cramp so we stopped to rest for a few minutes before continuing at an easier pace. On reaching the main road, we carried straight on and enjoyed the the long descent past the stone zoo through to Llanfynydd. This lovely quiet road is probably one of my favourites, with lovely views which were enhanced by with the beautiful weather. We then took the quieter road/lanes route to Dodleston where Steve’s cramp returned. As Andy delved into his pack again to reveal an assortment of energy bars for Steve, Mrs ‘Ken’ passed us on her bike but only stopped after being shouted at! (How she did not recognise me after living with me for 35 years is a mystery!!)
After introductions were made, she advised that tonic water (without the Gin : -boring) was good for cramp as it contains quinine and then quickly departed to continue her ride. Back on the bikes, we quickly passed through Bretton and Broughton before having a coffee stop at Hawarden Farm Shop.
Plenty of good weather, quiet lanes and an unusual but pleasant lunch stop, made for an enjoyable and entertaining day out. Steve’s gizmo recorded 3,550 ft of ascent over 53 miles.
Thanks Steve, Andy, and Tom for a great day.
See route map and/or gpx file download