Our 3rd Annual D2D, 21 Riders & 220 miles in 1 Day

charity bike ride liverpool group photo
All 19 riders at the Birkenhead Tunnel entrance, next stop Wales.

Saturday 25th June 2016 saw the 3rd renewal of the annual Dawn ’til Dusk Epic Ride, What an Amazing Day!

frodsham rainbow club logoThis year’s ride was ridden in support of local charity The Frodsham Rainbow Club and is dedicated to our friend Matthew Kimpton Smith who is recovering after a serious accident.

Frodsham to Liverpool

before dawn frodsham wheelers twelve50 bikes
The start before dawn, Twelve50 Bikes, Main Street, Frodsham.

Dawn ‘til Dusk was not quite accurate as the Frodsham contingent met ‘pre-dawn‘ (3.30am). The plan being to meet members from north of the River Mersey and our friends from The Liverpool Century at the Tunnel entrance in Liverpool at 5am, however, after 3 early punctures we already found ourselves racing against the clock to follow our itinerary in order to avoid ‘Night ’til Night’ status.

The Mersey Tunnel and beyond…

19 rolled through the Mersey Tunnel to be greeted by black skies and flooded roads! Immediately we rode through a deluge and by the time we arrived at the Welsh border to present our visas we were all wet through although the skies promised better weather to come and by Fflint the sun was shining.

st georges hall liverpool dawn
St Georges Hall in Liverpool at dawn.

All was going to plan, but as we were behind schedule we decided to split into 2 groups for the convenience of Café Stop #1 in Llanwrst. As always Lyndsey and the team at La Barrica offered a great breakfast and service with a smile as well as uplifting music.

We were joined temporarily by clubmates Alan Orme, Peter Prince, Dean Smith and Nathan Woods who were on a ‘short140 miler! Thanks for the support lads. We were also joined by our support car team, Ciaran Pickering, Catriona Hewiston and Wendy Stevens ( …Thelma and Louise!! 🙂 )

Across the border into Wales

We departed Llanwrst behind schedule but well fed and in high spirits, however, disaster was soon to strike just after Betws-Y-Coed for Ian Craig who suffered a serious mechanical. Thanks to our fantastic support vehicle driver, Ciaran Pickering Ian was taken to a local bike shop but alas the problem could not be solved and Ian found himself an unexpected passenger in the support vehicle for the next 11 hours!

frodsham wheelers north wales roads summer 2016

The remaining 18 riders climbed to Capel Curig and turned left towards the coast after a stunning descent through the Snowdonia National Park and Bedgellert towards Porthmadog.

frodsham wheelers north wales d2d 2016

For the first D2D ride in 3 years we found the new road bridge over the Dwyryd open and continued to Harlech to Café Stop #2 at the Cemlyn Tea Shop.

Lunch at Harlech

harlech castle road bike
Harlech Castle, North Wales.

What a find for a cycling café, sitting directly above the castle and with lovely food and great service from the ladies. We made some new friends and picked up some very generous donations for our good cause.

I must say the goodwill and generosity shown to us all day was amazing.

north wales mountains

After café 2 followed the very long and tough section down to Barmouth and then inland and up the A494 to Bala where we hit the quiet country lanes and the sun finally shone, through spits and spots of rain.

bikes parked near bala lake

Just after Bala is where the ‘Legend of Old Jack‘ was born in 2015 when Jack took a wrong turn and ended up in a pub in Oswestry ?!? Fortunately Jack got it right in 2016 and all 19 headed towards Café Stop #3 (dinner) at Llangollen.

bala lake north wales cycling
Bala Lake, North Wales.

Victory Celebrations in Llangollen

2 or 3 of the lads were running on empty as we rolled into town. We arrived to yet another very warm welcome indeed by lovely people at The Cottage Tea Rooms (we’ll be back!). A few of the group opted for carbs via the medium of beer and one of the support drivers (my beloved Mrs S) hit the Merlot.

north wales village clock

Llangollen was in high spirits following Wales’ victory in the Euro Championships and we rode out to a barrage of erm…. banter towards England.

Welcome back to Frodsham

The pace in the final run towards Frodsham was high and we arrived back at Twelve50 Bikes just before darkness fell. We were greeted at the shop by Chris Fowler and Rob Cowell which was a really nice surprise. More support! Handshakes, hugs and a group photo followed, we had made it – 220 miles, over 10,000 feet of climbing and an average speed of 17mph through some very inclement weather.

strava map charity bike ride north wales
Strava route recorded on this years D2D over 220 miles.

What an uplifting day!

Rides like this bring club mates together, friendships are forged and we meet great people. All 3 of our nominated café stops were outstanding today, what a pleasure.

A special mention must go to our support crew, particularly Ciaran Pickering (we must not underestimate the role you played). Thank you. £5 petrol money paid by all riders to the support crew were very kindly donated to our charity. Let’s remember, this ride was for a charity. It was never meant to be easy….it wasn’t easy…..every penny was earned. We hope the total can reach £2000.

frodsham-wheelers twelve50 bikes group photo d2d complete
Arrival back in Frodsham at Twelve50 Bikes (our sponsors) all smiles after another ‘Epic Ride’, see you next year!

The riders who made the day so special – Thanks to all – Danny Emmett, Chris Hanson-Jones, James Male, Robert Macleod, Ryan Jackson (a big shout for Ryan who suffered with illness for the last 150 but continued – Iron Ryan), Roy Forster, Jim Truscott, Matthew Burke, Dianne Turner, Nathan Morgan-Astle (Amazing effort for a junior and his positive attitude all day was inspiring!), Andy Gee (I had my doubts Andy but you are a double centurian and some…total Kudos), Dan Walker (a great way to get to know your club mates!) and Mark Hewitson. And from Liverpool Century our friends Joe Earley and Martin Earley, Ian Craig, Mick Loughran and of course, Old Jack!

Hope to see you next year folks.
Cheers, Mark

Photos by Matthew Burke, Dianne Turner, Nathan Morgan-Astle and Ciaran Pickering.

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