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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