It was real struggle to ride the 14 miles out to Rose Farm; it was cold, foggy and my legs were already gone after two weeks decorating leave! There were eight of us in all (Ray, Mike M, Mike G, Dave H, Dave M, George, Paul and myself) although a phone call from Dave P advising a delayed departure, meant there would be 10 of us at the chosen lunch venue, the Crown at Swan Green. Dave M had suggested this as a good lunch venue earlier in the week, so I came prepared with a shortish 41 miler.
The route out to Winsford was via Whitegate Way, which was bestrewn with Mother and Baby Club walkers and the usual dogs and their unaware owners. Minimising the architectural delights of Winsford, we exit via the eponymously name Clive Green Lane on our way to the further architectural delights of Middlewich. Over the M6, we have no real alternative but to take the quiet A50 north out of Holmes Chapel towards Cranage. Thence over the M6 twice more as the sun shines and the Crown comes into view. A decent pub this; George recalls we have visited it before but it's a first time for me. The lunch discussion is varied, but the straw poll on those who intend to vote for the local Police Commissioner is only one in eight of us; this turns out to be about the national average as well! As we finish our main course, Liz and Dave arrive and order an uncharacteristically small repast.
As we set off to return with the winter sun in our eyes, half the group shoot off in the opposite direction to the leading group. Not sure why, but the planned route home is only 17 miles! We five (Ray, Paul, Mike G and Dave M) cross the M6 for the last time bound for Lach Dennis and Davenham. Here we utilise the "Dave M Golf Course" manoeuvre to access Foxtwist Green via Vale Royal golf course from Davenham. As we approach Little Budworth I decided not to go the same way back as out, since I can't remember ever riding through this pretty village. Dave M decides he wants to go another way here, not sure why really since our route is back via Eaton and the bifurcated Heath Green Lane. The circular route is 41 miles although the remaining four riders returning to Chester will have clocked 65+ on the day.