Spring has sprung! – sunshine, shorts and bare arms – the first opportunity of the year. There was a cyclist’s dozen soaking up the sunshine at Manley mere as we set off for Lymm – exact pub to be defined when we arrived there. The original plan was to access the Trans Pennine way from Runcorn all the way to Lymm. However serious stroking of beards effected a reversal of the planned route – i.e. we would go out the way I had planned to return and find another way back from Lymm.
Trevor was sporting his new Scott Speedster and the rest of us (Mike G, Mike M, George, Liz and Martin, Dave H, Andy, Ray, Dave M and myself) all set off to access route 70 via Delamere, Pickering’s and Dutton’s Locks and Acton Bridge along the Weaver canal. Heeding Trevor’s plea not to get his new bike too dirty, we sped down quiet lanes to Little Leigh with Dave M having now peeled off to get back to fitting his kitchen. On through Antrobus and ignoring Arley, we accessed Swineyard Lane via the edge of the old airfield to Sworton Heath. Over the M56 we joined the A56 top road through Lymm. The Crown was offering “2 for £10” so that would do nicely and nicely it was – even better since it was a certain doctor’s very big birthday – cheers Martin!
After lunch the warm sunshine enabled us to motor back quickly via cobbled Grappenhall, and on through Appleton and Stretton. It was all going too well but Andy helped us out with an unexplained puncture. The wheel was changed in lightning speed, and we were soon through Hatton and across the A49 and in the outskirts of Moore. The Bridgewater canal provided a very pleasant route passing the Daresbury Laboratories and also a way under the M56 at Preston Brook. There is no pretty way back to Frodsham and the Cottage Tea Shop, but the warm sunshine even made the Frodsham bike by-pass aka cycleway 5, pleasant. Mike M eschewed tea and cakes and made off home to Delamere. Out of the town towards Helsby, there was a request for the novelty route through the geological park off the Old Chester Road. Last time it was unrideable, but this time Martin and Ray made a brave attempt to cycle to the top. A final push up the hill past Alvanley and a fast run down back to Manley mere was in prospect. A round trip of 47 miles in sunny and warm conditions – the first of many hopefully.