What a perfect day…..
Dawn ’til Dusk 2017 was ridden as a sponsored event – all proceeds going to the Frodsham Stroke Club and for the first time in 3 years the elements were kind and we were treated to ‘wall to wall sunshine’ from start to finish (not strictly true as the Frodsham early starters began in the dead of night 3.30am). This year we were joined by late recruit Jonny Okell from the RCC and Paul Walker and ‘Old Jack’ from the ‘Phoenix’.
Just 1 puncture ‘pre tunnel’ and we headed off into Wales on surreally quiet roads. En route we were delighted to meet Nathan Woods who had decided to join us at short notice but was slightly groggy after an office do.
Breakfast at La Barrica, Llanrwst
Having learned from the 3 previous years café timings were greatly improved and we rolled into Llanrwst ( approx. 80 miles ) slightly early at La Barrica where we were served a hearty breakfast from Lyndsey and the team who opened early especially for the Wheelers.
Danny Emmett’s charity wallet was bulging by the end of the day!
Lyndsey very kindly would not accept my breakfast money and we finally agreed to add to the sponsorship fund. All riders gave Ciaran Pickering petrol money for the great motor support but he very kindly offered to add it to the charity collection. Danny Emmett’s charity wallet was bulging by the end of the day!
We left on schedule and rolled on to Betwys y Coed and up the draggy climb to Capel Curig. It was here that we learned ‘Old Jack‘ was not on a going day and the steep headwind meant progress was slow. At the foot of Snowdon we bid our friends from Phoenix farewell and headed down through beautiful Beddgelert to the coast.
…our private balcony with a view to die for and jugs of iced water at the ready.
Cloud had been forecast but there was none to be seen! At Porthmadog James Male punctured after Gaz Minnis pretended to have a puncture but it was seen to be a hoax.
Lunch at Cemlyn Tea Shop, Harlech
I opted for the ‘beach road‘ to Harlech ( no disaster at the train tracks this year ) and up the winding 25% ‘bonus climb‘ to the Castle and the Cemlyn Tea Shop were Geoff and the team nervously ( we were 30 mins late by now ) greeted us to our private balcony with a view to die for, jugs of iced water at the ready.
A great lunch was had, Dianne Turner had a wonderful family reunion and we drank the caff out of coke. We could have stayed longer, it was glorious.
In the car park, some opted for kit changes (some opted for the privacy of the smelly toilets, some did not …Lady Di… ) ).
The group rode incredibly strongly and the average speed rose to 17mph…
Then followed the wonderful scenic leg down the coast to Barmouth and inland to Dolgellau and up towards Bala. The group rode incredibly strongly and the average speed rose to 17mph as a very welcome tailwind too effect.
Just before Bala Lake we had our final water stop with Ciaran ( so, so welcome ) and Brigid Wilde plied the group with boozy energy bars. We wobbled our way to Lake Bala and by this time we were bang on schedule again. The plan had been to ride the scenic River Dee road from Corwen to Llangollen but we opted for an impromptu ice cream stop in Llandrillo for Ryan Jackson who has an aversion to heat!
Dinner at Cottage Tea Rooms, Llangollen
We rolled into a rammed Llangollen in time and to the Cottage Tea Rooms where Mehmet and the team served a hearty dinner but most were too tired to eat (180 miles at this point ) and most opted for either a cooling beer or a G&T ( Lady Di, you’re a bad influence ).
…greeted by representatives from the Frodsham Stroke Club … a jubilant atmosphere
I attempted to scoop the entire contents of a tub of chamois cream into my shorts and buoyed by the liquid refreshment we began the final assault up the Horseshoe Pass. Well in true lunatic style I attacked and arrived in time for a photo shoot before the group arrived. The ride back to Chester was the bumpy Llandegla route, tougher than the tradition flat Wrexham route but it gave so much more.
We arrived together at Twelve50 Bikes ahead of schedule to be greeted by representatives from the Frodsham Stroke Club and there was a jubilant atmosphere.
EPIC motor support from Ciaran … great camaraderie
What a terrific day, I don’t think that ride could be improved, perfect weather, awesome scenery, a strong bunch, EPIC motor support from Ciaran, great camaraderie, all riding well, all communicating well, all with a great sense of humour.
This is why we ride – 220 miles and over 11,000ft of ascent!
The roll call of honour – Nathan Morgan-Astle ( I’m not mentioning your age any more – you are a D2D Veteran ), Danny Emmett, James Male, Stephen Wright ( demolished it Stephen ), Stuart Lloyd, Ryan Jackson ( should go to Iceland on holiday! 🙂 ), Gaz Minnis ( so impressive in 2017 ), Dianne Turner ( you’re nuts! ), Brigid Wilde ( always smiling and positive! ), Dev Devaney ( mega kudos ), Kevin Sales, Nathan Woods ( alternative route ), Jonny Okell RCC and Mark Stevens. Also it was great to be joined by Warren O’Donoghue and Peter Astle for part of leg #1, your support is appreciated.
Finally, what a fantastic week for the Wheelers:
After last weeks wonderful Garden Party, we had D2D, Martin Sam Geer rides Vatternrunden in Sweden in 10:55:55 ( smashing his previous best by an hour and a half ), Alan Orme rides a 2:05:29 50 mile TT at Goostrey in sweltering conditions ( half of field dropped out, but not our Al! ) and finally a big shout for John McKenna who has been developing a group of riders and yesterday conquered The Cat and Fiddle with Safia Sulani, Kieran Reilly and Jan Gray ( The Shoe already ticked off ).
Great week, great club – Forza Frodsham
Some more photos from the day