A wet and windy day saw us gather at the house of the organiser John for this audax. With brilliant hospitality his family had been drafted in to serve hot drinks and breakfast to 30-odd audaxers!
The route took us through many familiar lanes and roads directly into a headwind blowing from West to East. There was the odd section of road new to me – for example a canal path into Chester – before we stopped at our first cafe, the Blue Moon in Chester for scrambled eggs or beans on toast.
There were 5 North Cheshire Clarion riders on this audax and at this point we split up, with Anthony and I riding a faster pace into the wind. A longish but enjoyable climb took us up towards World’s End and the bleakest and windiest moor I’ve seen for a long time.
Waiting for us on the descent in a car park was organiser John in his camper van, serving tea, coffee, sandwiches and cake. Suitably refreshed we pushed on (it was cold) crossing a very slippery ford at the bottom of the descent, before climbing back to Llangollen Panorama and some beautiful views.
The wind was behind us now and we made good time but were tiring. Mentally anything over 100 miles is difficult and this one had a longish 20+ mile uphill drag at the end.
As we finished it turned out that me and Anthony were 2nd and 3rd finishers. The first guy had finished 2 hours before us – unbelievable! We were met with the same fantastic hospitality as at the start, with soup, chilli, apple pie, cake and rice pudding available for hungry riders.
All in all a tough but enjoyable day and yet another example of how audaxes beat sportives hands down.
Ride stats : 132 miles in 9hrs @ 14.7mph. 5459ft climbing, average HR 125bpm 5820kcals energy.