The early risers were met with a fairly heavy frost, which soon melted away as the group assembled at Hildegard’s. Both new members returned for another ride, not having been put off by last week’s headwind. Petar and Dave R, were joined by Dave H, Clive, Martin, Liz, Andy, Ray, George (recently back from the fleshpots of Thailand), Dave Hill (on his way to work), Dave M, and Jim. After a brief discussion the choice was either a trip round the Wrexham industrial estate, or a visit to the Red Lion in Ellesmere for a two course pensioner's special £5.50.
We set off for Ellesmere only to find that Dave M had a puncture right outside the Cafe. A little later than normal we set off again, making for Farndon and Tilston. The plod up the hill into Malpas wasn't too bad without the usual southerly wind and we were soon racing through Lower Wych onto the A525 crossing at Eglwys Cross. The back lanes west took us to Hanmer village where we picked up cycle route 45 down into Ellesmere.
The Red lion service was as speedy as usual with Ray at last being able to claim his pensioners’ rights.
The sun shone benignly as we retraced our steps briefly as far as the Penley turning, crossing the A525 again this time at Holly Bush, heading for Worthenbury. This being the end of February we have been beset with hedge cutting this last few weeks, and this week was no different. Fortunately a short diversion allowed us to by-pass the obstacle, and we reached the village without incident.
The usual route from there north to Shocklach and Farndon had us all commenting on the pleasure of being able to ride on quiet lanes in pleasant countryside. Back at Hildegard’s the afternoon coffee and cakes set us up nicely for the short drive home, or ride in some cases. 40 miles in all or about 64 from Chester. But what a difference in the weather - dare I say it - has spring finally sprung?
Incidentally, talking of thorns, it is the responsibility of the local Highways Dept to ensure that any hazardous material deposited on the highway -thorns or mud - is cleared up by the perpetrators: just give the council a ring with exact location and dates.