With a glorious sunny day in prospect a good turnout at Hildegard’s was to be expected. Brian Mac just returned from his work at the Olympics was engrossed in a newspaper while demolishing his breakfast when I arrived. He had apparently been up since five and had already done his ride! Martin & Liz D, Jim, David M, Dave H, Andy, Trevor, Ray and I made up the remaining nine plus Mike Roberts from the Wrexham Reivers/Café Hoppers joining us for the day on his trike.
Jim had a route in mind to the Shroppie Fly in Audlem via Tilston and Wrenbury that sounded just right. It was soon apparent that out of the 11 present only eight of us were riding, leaving Brian Mac, David M and Trevor to indulge further. After a little cajoling we set off with Jim in the lead clutching a scrap of paper that doubled up as his GPS and satnav. We made good progress through Tilston, then bypassing Malpas to No Mans Heath where we crossed the A41. Mike Roberts decided to turn off just after Bickley Town as we reached the A49. From here it was a lovely relaxing ride across to Wrenbury where we arrived with perfect timing just as the canal bridge was being lowered: no waiting today then. Conversation continued as we made our way on the final stretch through Aston and Brown’s Bank to Audlem.
The Shroppie Fly was already busy when we arrived but we got two outside tables to soak up the sun while our orders were prepared. The selection of ales was good ranging from Timothy Taylor Landlord to Bays Winning Gold (brewed for the 2012 Olympics) but the lime and soda drinkers found the price excessive. That aside, it’s a lovely quiet spot here on the bank of the canal: a perfect place to relax and forget about the troubles of the world.
The route back saw us retracing our steps to Wrenbury but then heading north to Cholmondeley before turning off to Hampton Post and Hampton Heath for the return leg back through Tilston. Arriving back in Holt by 15:30 we had plenty of time for tea/coffee and a choice of Hildegard’s cakes before it was time to split up and make for home.
A lovely relaxing 43 miles with friends: a perfect day.