The weather was supposed to improve but that was just Scotch Mist as it rained on and off all the day: not heavy, but enough to be annoying and guaranteeing that you would need to wash the bike when you got home. There were twelve apostles this week at Hildegard’s café i.e. Brian, Paul, Janet, George, Ray, Alan, Dave M, Dave P, Martin, Mike G, Ivan and myself. Jim was out just to collect £5 Christmas lunch deposit and Liz was acting as a one-way chauffeuse for Martin. The route was sausage-shaped heading for the eponymously named pub at Queens Head: a near flat 50 miler.
The route out was via Worthenbury, then to Holly Bank to cross the A525 bound for Dudleston Heath. There then comes a list of odd named hamlets such as Perthy, Crickett, The Ridge and Welsh Frankton. A short section of the A595 got us over the canal bound for Babbinswood and the Queens Head pub. A fast 23 miles in about 90 minutes. The fare at the Queens Head was judged to be very good and excellent value for money.
Photograph by Alan Jeffs
Off we set from the car park when Ivan realises he has a potential puncture. A re-inflation sorts the problem out and we set off again. Just up the road with Ivan and Dave P racing up the lane to Rednal, I hear a ping sound and thinking it is a stone in the mudguards, carry on only to stop a little further up the road to find a spoke has gone in the rear wheel. Luckily only a minor wobble in the rim, so I vow to use low gears to get home rather than standing on the pedals in high gears. Up the road we find Ivan changing the recently re-inflated rear wheel. In no time we head for Ellesmere and then into the bandit country on the English Welsh border around Penley. Rather than head straight back via the Shocklach road, I plan a deviation via Threapwood, Chorlton and Tilston before taking Wetreins Lane back to Holt. Here quite a few head off for home leaving Brian, Janet, Martin, Dave P and myself tucking into cake at Hildegard’s again. Not quite a three puncture ride like the last two weeks, but with Paul having a rear wheel puncture on his second outing with us (just like his first time), it was nevertheless a classic CER ride. Returning into Chester with Dave P on his fixie, I managed 75 miles overall and am glad that the rear wheel held for the 40 miles home from Queens Head.
A relatively incident free ride this week. The most noticeable thing was that we all kept together and it was overall a fast ride. A lot of riders commented on this.