For a murky mid-December day there were a surprising number of riders at Rose Farm. I had prepared a ride to the "Coach and Horses" at Bradfield Green, but a call the evening before found that the pub was closed for refurbishment. So a hastily re-hashed route was loaded up on my iPhone. The tandem two are just arriving as we are leaving but nevertheless plan to meet us in Winsford for lunch. We i.e. Ray, Petar, Stephen, Paul W, Brian, Dave H and Bryan set out on a northerly sweep to Delamere via the top lane at 500+ft past Summertrees. Then swooping down past the Yeld, we end up racing through Delamere to Hatchmere crossroads. Here Dave H and Bryan cut the corner to access the start of the Whitegates Way down at Waste Lane at Cuddington. We however turn left and right up Forest Lane for the downhill run to Crowton. Turning back towards Norley Bank, we take the tiny Sandhole lane to skirt around the steep climb up Norley Bank. The road surface deteriorates until we can ride no more due to a fallen tree preventing any circumnavigation.
So back we go, and steadily grind up Norley Bank. Here it is just a matter of turning left and right around the diving lanes to access Waste Lane and the long flat run to the exit into Grange Lane and onwards to Wetherspoons. We have 21 of the 41 miles now completed. The Tandem Two arrive just after we have eaten and are making their own way back to Rose Farm. So after a very rapid repast, we all set off for Darnhall, but confusion soon sets in when a schools-worth of juniors are crossing the road with a police escort. Ray, Stephen and Petar having been caught up in it, don’t realise that all of us have turned right. A phone call later sets them on the correct course. Meanwhile Bryan and Dave H are making their way back to Rose Farm by the obvious direct route. At the Church Minshull turn just off the Winsford to Nantwich road, Ray, who is now by the "Boot and Slipper", calls to see where We Three are. After a long phone discussion, Petar and Stephen decide to call it a day and go the direct route back, whilst Ray continues on left to meet We Three. So We Four now take the B5074 south for lanes anew. Turning right into Aston-juxta-Mondrum, we head for Barbridge along nice straight and dry new lanes. Here we motor north up the A51 turning off on the back lanes of Calveley bound for Eaton. We grind up the last hill to walk across the A49 and back to Rose Farm. We arrive back at 15:20 with 42 miles ridden, despite several delays due to phone calls and two re-inflations of Brian’s rear tyre! Paul heads for his car, as We Three ride back towards Chester. Brian peels off towards Duddon, and Ray and I head for home. It’s just 16:15 as I get home with 70 miles to bank, and surprisingly no rain in evidence.