Doorstep adventures-Buzzards, lattes and a castle

Plans change, they always do.  Especially last minute.

It went from a bikepacking trip in mid-Wales to a bikepacking trip to the Peak District and then we finally settled on a ride to the shop-owned cottage in North Wales (cheers Ellis for the keys!).  Two days before it changed again, drive over to the cottage with a van full of food and do two day rides instead.  Super, all sorted.  Except it wasn’t.  Jacks van had has a service the day before (coincidently, Friday the 13th!)  and no wouldn’t start.  Never mind, it was just a battery, nice easy swap and we’ll be off on our way, except, the van was nowhere somewhere that sold car batteries.  Never mind, we’ll just do a day ride instead on the Sunday (I did feel sorry for Jack, spending a fortune on his van and it didn’t work).

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I salvaged the day and jumped on the Salsa with no real plan.  I rode through the small villages to a hamlet and took an old road behind the medieval church down into Wales.  I traversed alongside the marsh, eventually dropping onto it and picking my way carefully through the debris that the high tides had brought in.  I carried on further than I thought I was going to go and bonked on the way home.  After a can of coke and a man-sized Yorkie chocolate bar, I ventured down some recently found bridleways back to my doorstep. In all, 55km achieved on a rigid singlespeed fuelled by a 300ml of energy drink and a chocolate bar.

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Sunday came and another call from Jack, his engine was smoking and he had to abandon it on the way to mine.  The only silver lining for the poor lad was his bike.  His bike was in his van and he could ride home.  Knowing nothing about engines, the least I could do was t meet him and show him the way home (the cool way home!).  15 minutes later and we were both riding along, taking in some more local bridleways and farmers tracks, watching Buzzards on their dawn hunt, then crossing the River Dee on a rickety railway bride and heading up a few steep hills to the Castle at Ewloe (not forgetting, the latte and shortbread stop).  After a quick look at the remains of the castle, I waved  my arms in the air, told Jack its that way home and we departed on our solo quests to our warm homes.

All in all, it turned out quite a good weekend for me, but an expensive one for Jack.  I just hope he gets his van fixed before his holiday to the French Alps at the end of the month!

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