Winter Warmer 5 – Moel Arthur, the Sausage Fingers Ride!

Yo Wheelers, Winter … ahem ‘Warmer’ #5 – Moel Arthur AKA ‘The Sausage Fingers Ride’

So nature gave the Wheelers a big slap in the face today but strangely some pleasure was derived! (read on….)

So 5 Wheelers rode out from Twelve50 bikes on a miserable Sunday morning: Myself, ‘WW stalwart Stuart Lloyd’, Dave Wetherall, Nathan Morgan-Astle (Back on the A ride and going strong) and Ciaran Pickering, together with 3 members of ‘The Northern Chapter’ who were on a Chester/Birkenhead loop back to the Pool.

‘Plan A’ of riding up Moel Arthur had been jibbed following a forecast of a snow risk at high ground so a ‘Plan B’ was adopted (basically shorter and to a lower elevation), however, after feeling that squelching sensation in my shoes by Dunham on The Hill (when the ‘Northern Chapter’ bailed via the gift of the U-turn due to frozen fingers) Plan B was jibbed in favour of ‘Plan C‘ which was to convert the ‘Winter Warmer 5′ into the ‘Winter Sprinter #2′ and to ride last week’s 60 mile sprinter in reverse ‘non stop’. The forecasted temps of 5°C proved to be complete quaff and we rolled West via Guilden Sutton, Chester (Handbridge), Dodleston and Kinnerton in 1 – 2°C of squelch. All reported warm cores but cold fingers. Strangely lady joggerists were out in force today, getting drowned with us… KUDOS!!

welcome and tolerance upon receiving 5 drowned rats

As we crossed the border and approached Higher Kinnerton we were met with the foreboding sight of cars descending from Hope with 2-3 Inches of snow and the rain began to turn sleety as we made the ascent. At Hope the scene was a Winter one but this was the summit of our shortened ride and we started the loop back to England via Llay and Holt. At this point all were suffering with very cold hands, Nathan needed a comfort break and Ciaran fancied a cuppa so we stopped at Cleopatras. Once again we cannot compliment this establishment enough for their friendly welcome and tolerance upon receiving 5 drowned rats.

However, the expected joy at the arrival at the caff was met in equal measure with frustration as we struggled to removed bits of kit (Thanks Ciaran Pickering for removing my lid) and Ciaran was a bit disgruntled to say the least! 🙂 We settled down to hot drinks and marvelled at our swollen hands …isn’t science fascinating!

but Hold On!!! It had stopped raining!!!

After a lovely drink 15 minutes later hands had returned to normal and we were all feeling happier and I was finally able to wring out my gloves. Ciaran had a game of ‘Angel/Devil’ and was riding, then staying, then riding, then staying… finally succumbing to ‘That phone call to the spouse‘ as the remaining 4 rolled down to the bridge across the Dee. ‘Plan C’ had turned into ‘Plan D’ as the route was adjusted to return to Frodsham via the path of least resistance…. but Hold On!!! It had stopped raining!!! We left the caff and I immediately got the shakes and my bars jinked left and right for a few minutes ‘A la Jensie’ so the best solution was to smash it.

After 10 mins and approaching Saighton the grimaces had turned to smiles and all were enjoying the ride again so we opted for Tarvin, Oscroft and Kelsall. It was going swimmingly (see what I did there??) so I suggested ‘Chucking in the Yeld’ and was greeted with approval… ye of little faith. (….erm… Plan E) 4 rolled back home in dry conditions, a very lucky experience I think based on the reports from B and C rides.

Epilogue – Road works and rain from Widnes meant I finished a bit bedraggled but clearly not in such a bad state as others today. Aah the A ride is truly blessed. Amen!

So today quite a few suffered, almost all with cold hands. There appears to be no solution other than:

  • A – Marigolds / Medical latex gloves or
  • B – Stay at home and turbo it.

I heartily approve of both – each to their own. #wealllovethebike

Overall an enjoyable ride which is a bit of a stunner but hey ho. No photos I’m afraid as I was not in the mood at the time! 🙂

The first rule of ride leading – ‘Be Nimble’ – well we were certainly that today, hence it being a mystery tour!
Absolute 100% kudos to all who parked their carcass on a bike today, especially Jan Gray and our 2 new ladies who joined the C. I sincerely hope they don’t think this is the norm!!! Crazily good numbers out considering the very poor weather…. think it was 18 or 19.


frodsham wheelers sunday ride route march 2017
Winter Warmer 5 – 2,100ft ascending, average speed 16mph over 57 miles.

Just one final comment – ‘SPRING IS ON THE WAY…HONEST!!!’

Cheers Marco

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