Is it that I’m getting lazy as I get older, or, is it that I am applying the wisdom of advancing years? It was obviously the latter as I selected on the fly, a May 2010 Bryan route to Ellesmere. It was Bryan who introduced me to this myriad of Shropshire lanes and every time I ride them I am content: whatever the weather. The "Three Cycleteers”, a.k.a. Paul R, Ivan and myself, set off via the dirty lanes to Bangor on Dee. Up and out we head for Cloy and Sandy Lane. We then cycle through the quaintly named Cricketts (new and old) via Dudleston Heath, then onto the Franktons via Perthy, and finally into the Red Lion in Ellesmere.
As ever the Red Lion does not disappoint. I decide to amend the route back so we set off bound for Welshampton and veer off left proceeding NE to the Hanmer Arms. It’s just past 14:00 and we espy an unruly crowd of cyclists discharging from the pub. Oh no, it’s the Moderate Group! After exchanging pleasantries like “ How was the food” we decide not to hang around and head off north, bound via Little Arowy for the outskirts of Threapwood. A right down Back Lane then finds us at Cuddington Green. If we had taken the route back to Holt via Shocklach we would have ridden 45 miles, but we decide to head for Chorlton and Edge Green ready for the slow climb up to Brown Knowle. At Bolesworth, the rain and hail arrives with a vengeance, and we hammer away with it stinging our faces on our way to the Ice Cream Farm for a cuppa at 15:30. It tries to rain a little more as we exit Christleton bound for our homes.
The Three Cycleteers managed 70-75 miles each at 15mph, and the rain held off for most of the day, and the Shropshire lanes remain attractive whatever the weather.