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Ride Clwyd 2022 - second 25mile exploration

For the 2022 edition of Ride Clwyd I want to go North to explore routes all the way to the coast and then West into the remote parts of North-Central Wales. Very different from 2021.

First 25miles took me out over the high Halkyn mining and quarry area last week - great scenery relatively near Chester and Broughton - see previous post.  

The second 25mile was going to be completely unfamiliar:

Looking West
 

South out of Dyserth there are good roads rising up to give great views to the West.  There's a flat ride across the top part of the Vale of Clwyd and then it gets back to climbing after Henllan.  A long ascent with chunks of 10%+ got me over to Plasisaf - Strava link (2.7miles long, 1,000ft gained).

The roads were in excellent condition, many sections of new, super-smooth tarmac well up to Formula 1 standards.

10% climbs out of Henllan

It was after Llansanan that things got properly serious - the climbing went up to 18% very quickly and stayed that way for a good while - Strava link (2.3miles, 700ft gained).

18% out of Llansanan

More lumps and bumps after that before eventually emerging onto the remote, windswept moors. Here you really are alone in a massive landscape.

This could be a challenging area in poor weather conditions... Easy riding and very little traffic took me over the Aled Isaf reservoir and then onto the bigger Lyn Aled.

Approaching the reservoirs

 For the event we are likely to have a food stop somewhere on the moors so at least there'll be a friendly spot for participants to call in on.


Previous post - the first 25miles

Next post - more remote riding before a return to civilization...


Ride Clwyd 2022 - first recce ride

 Here at Rideventures Towers it never stops - already planning next year's Ride Clwyd sportive.  

We go North in 2022.

New route already sketched out, but every mile needs to be ridden to make sure it works.  Yesterday (Thurs 21st Oct 2021) I went out riding the first 25miles.

Middle Mill Rd

First 7 miles are the same as the 2018 and 19 editions of Ride Clwyd.  Then things change - going straight on at Northop and after a mile taking a left into Middle Mill Rd and starting a long but fairly gentle climb - this is Middle climb on Strava and popular with local riders - nearly 3miles long and 500ft gained by the top.

This climb starts out on beautiful, wide tarmac and never really deteriorates all the way up.  It's also very quiet - I didn't see a car throughout the whole climb.

Super quiet 3 mile climb

It brings you out on top - the Halkyn area of high moors, quarries and ex-mines.  Great views over towards Liverpool, very exposed but on more wide/clean roads with the occasional smooth cattle grid (plus a few massive quarry lorries but they won't be running on the Sunday of the event).  

 All of this bit of the route has been suggested by Ride Clwyd regular Tim Wilkes - he's the one who rides the event with a fire fighters breathing apparatus on his back - raising money for charity.

Halkyn and The Catch
 

After sliding right past Babel the route drops on a clear, long descent, passes over the A55 and on to Whitford.  There a left turn went into the first dirty lane of the route - probably seasonal and leading up to a farm.  More good lanes around to picturesque/well-heeled Llanasa with views of the sea ahead and rolling countryside to the left.  

Pretty soon getting views of Pestatyn whilst descending towards Dyserth.  

Then disaster - the little lane (Pandy Lane) I'd picked for entering Dyserth was a muddy, leaf/twig strewn downhill slalom not helped by being popular with local dog walkers.  Very quiet (no motorist would want to drive it) and leading to a short, stiff climb into the village that finishes ejecting you onto the main road.  Sometimes what looks good on Ride with GPS just isn't so...

So now I was into re-planning the route.  Exploring another option which turned out to be impossible (a narrow, steep un-sighted descent on gravel) and then finding a much better option - wide, smooth, though 16% downwards and with a mild hairpin that will need judgement.  It leads to an unfortunate short busy main road ride and another stiff climb into the village.

16% descent to Dyserth
 

 Dyserth is at the 25mile mark so is the ideal point for the first food stop.  Unfortunately none of the potential venues in the village are available, and combined with the route difficulties may well lead to a complete re-think of the this bit of the ride - anyone fancy going all the way to the seaside at Prestatyn?

I'll hit Ride with GPS soon to see what can be done - on the plus side would mean we could include the notorious "The Wall" climb after Prestatyn - 16% - suggested by Simon Pike via Facebook.

Anyone know any suitable venues in Prestatyn?

Next 25mile - click here

New AE 100mile route preview

Preview to the new route - food stops and all 6 big climbs (including Strava links).

Flattish roads to Bucknell then quiet lanes through Chapel Lawn bring you to the first climb just outside Clun (mile 12) - 300ft gained at 7% ave. grade - Strava link 

(You don't need to log into Strava to view the climb details)

Big, fast descent into Clun and then left to follow the valley all the way up to the Anchor.

First food stop is at Kerry (mile 28) then over to Newtown and out. 


Kerry Food Stop

 Look out for an abrupt right turn in Trefeglwys and then the 2nd significant climb of the day - 500ft gained, 10% ave. grade - Strava link - gets you to the 2nd food stop at Staylittle.

 

Easily missed right turn - mile 43

 

2nd big climb - mile 46

Staylittle food stop

 

Big loop of the reservoir including 2 more big climbs - climb 3 is 300ft gained at 13% ave. grade (Strava Link) and climb 4 is 200ft at 6% (Strava Link)

 

1st serious lakeside climb - mile 54.5

Then take a fast drop to Llanidloes for a tricky right turn, behind the market hall.

 

Llanidloes turn - go around the market house and then right at the white building

 Further prolonged climbing outside Llanidloes brings you around via a steep descent to Llangurig.  Quiet lanes follow the river then cross it for a short piece of downhill main road and a left turn into a nature reserve for climb 5 - 200ft gained at 1.5% (but steeper bits) - Strava link

 

Nature reserve climb - mile 73

 
3rd food stop - mile 76

This brings you out at the 3rd food stop at ---- and then its the return via the Llanbister climb - 6th and final climb - 330ft gained at 9% ave.grade - Strava link - and moorland roads back to Knighton.

 

Llanbister climb - mile 85.5