It was a raw and a very grey day but dry: a rare event, being dry that is, this January. I’d been looking for ride inspiration and found the May 2011 ride to Little Warford. That day, I recall, had been very wet indeed. I looked at the route and modified it to go to Chelford, and added in a few twists and turns to skirt the edges of Northwich, Middlewich and Winsford. So eight of us set off (Paul R, Ray, Paul W, Roy, Stephen, Dave H, Ivan and myself) for the 26m outward leg via Little Budworth village. The road bridge at Whitegate Way was closed off, but we squeezed through to take the right at Marton into Salterswall. Here we skirted the town through drab suburbia to exit at Clive Green bound for more suburbia at Middlewich. Paul R peels off, needing to get back in the early afternoon. Finally, we are back into countryside along the Dane Valley Way towards Goostrey. Here, Dave decides we are not going to get back before sunset, so peels off. He needn’t have worried since we get back to Rose Farm by 15:30. More fresh lanes find us arriving at the Egerton Arms on the main road East of Knutsford. What a find! They allocate us a table, by a radiator, take our food and beer order at the table, and bring it all in double quick time; and it was very good and it was a busy pub to boot. Worth a re-visit in the summer, methinks.
Photograph by Clive Albany
It hasn’t warmed up (about 3˚C) as we travel towards Knutsford, and at Ollerton, turn SW on the run to Lower Peover and Lach Dennis. It’s a fast run to Davenham, and then a ride along the side of the busy dual carriageway towards Sandiway. Here the only excitement of the day occurs as Stephen repairs a broken chain link. Along Cuddington Lane, Roy points out Gary Barlow’s former stately pile - is this the second piece of excitement I ask myself? No reply comes back. At the Vale Royal Abbey Arms, Roy peels off bound for Runcorn, and Ivan heads directly home for an early shower. Soon Stephen heads up Heaths Lane hill bound for home, and we remaining three get back to Rose Farm at 15:30 after 50 very cold, but dry miles. Ray and I motor for Chester, and arriving back home an hour later, I find I’ve clocked up a satisfying 77 miles.