Friday, March 30 – Bala

As pre-arranged, two of us started at 8am this morning on a short tour in Wales. Via Leigh to Warrington we sped, and joining the Chester road we stopped for a snack. Three Boltoners passed us here on their way to Bettws-y-Coed where a large party of CTC and Anfield cyclists are to meet. After a while we reached Chester and passing through the City we took the Wrexham road to Pulford and then Rossett for lunch. An hour here, and we were off again along a byway to Cefn-y-Bedd. Now we were in the mountains, negotiating sharp rises and descents. Just here we came across two Liverpool lads and we accompanied them for some way.

They showed us a short cut from Ffrith along the pretty Nant-y-Ffrith pass to Bwlchgwyn, where they left us. Over the moors we climbed, rising over 1000ft until we came to Llandegla. Another moorland ten miles brought us in the vicinity of Corwen. Here we saw Mr Grey, a well known Bolton rider, and two others, who, although they recognised our badge did not recognise us. A hearty tea at the Crown Hotel fixed us up, and we afterwards had a walk around the village. It was now raining hard and we had to don capes for the thirteen miles to Bala.

Llandegla Moor

At Llangar darkness overtook us and splashing along we sang a few ditties. The scenery was fine but we missed most of it in the rainy blackness of the night. This is the Vale of Edeyrnion, and described as one of the finest in this district. Cynwyd was left behind, then Llandrillo to Llanderfel, across the River Dee to Blodwen, then by the river for four miles to Bala, arriving at 8.30pm. Arrangements had been made beforehand to push on to Machylleth, but we did not feel up to it so we got digs at Bala.

Imagine our surprise when we discovered Mr Grey and the others in the sitting room. We had an interesting chat over supper, Mr Grey giving us a few reminiscences of past camping and pass storming tours in Wales. Then a motorist trooped in and soon a fiery argument was in progress against rear lights. After this came an exchange of opinion on the drawn-out struggle, fixed gear v freewheel. Afterwards we retired for the night, the rain outside trying to wash the house down, and everything pointing to a ‘rummy’ day tomorrow. I don’t know where we shall get to tomorrow, neither do I care, we will surely get somewhere.

80 miles, 12.5 hours