The staff were friendly, and it was warm and comfortable at the Windsurfing Centre. Those favouring a less demanding ride were Jim, Petar, Keith, Liz & Dave P and myself. We decided that it would be easier not to ride in the direction of the Weaver for once, but to ensure a returning tailwind and fewer hills by cycling south. The provisional route was Jim's. Dave Matthews wasn't planning a full ride today, as he was breaking-in his summer shoes for Morocco. Evidently these shoes are made to order by Jimmy Choo using the specially selected scrotum skins of forty-four meerkats. They are then perforated by hand 1,500 times by Jimmy's Auntie Lill with a darning needle over a period of eleven weeks, and, finally, cured in conker vinegar. Nevertheless, Dave kindly offered to lead us until close to Tattenhall.
We used the A56 to Mickle Trafford to avoid possible roadworks on the lanes. Dave left us at Waverton for Tilly's, and we were soon meandering around Greenlooms heading for Tattenhall via Hargrave. Liz pointed out a lovely, large circle of crocuses planted around a tree in a Tattenhall garden. We crossed the A41 turning right at Chowley and cruised through Coddington, reaching Churton in good time.
The food at the White Horse was very nice and the service prompt and friendly. The landlady shone a lamp down a very deep glass covered well for us. It was actually in the rear dining room where we were sitting. However when we came to pay some of us finished up paying more than we had thought. Perhaps VAT had not been added to the menu or the lager was really liquid gold!
We returned by the back Aldford route past the lovely estate cottages with their tall and handsome chimney stacks. One was a work of art with its red bricks spiralling into the sky like sticks of high-class barley sugar. We turned right at Bruera and cruised back through Gatesheath, Huxley and Hoofield, then past the café at The Fifty Pence shop and the small nursery. I can recommend the café, I had a mountain of beans on toast and a pot of tea there earlier in the week for less than half a crown. From Old Moss Farm we circumnavigated Tarvin via Oscroft, and were soon humming along the excellent road surface to Hollowmoor Heath, Little Barrow, Long Green and Dunham Heath. Dave Pipe seemed happy that I had persuaded him that we didn't have to grind around Kelsall's lumpy terrain to reach Manley Mere.
The lanes had been quiet, our pace had been pretty good, and we had been able to relax and smell the flowers. We had time to put the world to rights over cake and coffee, and then went on our separate ways. Just over 40 easy riding miles.