Earlier in the year I had downloaded all 180 CER routes (to end November 2013). Via the magic of 3G, Dropbox and Apple, and whilst drinking my coffee, it was easy to scan through any route starting from Manley Mere. It was obvious that two groups were needed so Brian, Ivan, Ray, Stephen, Dave R and myself set off bound roughly for the other side of Nantwich - details to be finalised as we approached the town. I was using, as a guide, the October 2009 route to Barthomley (all 83 m!). Out towards Mouldsworth, Brian realised he was minus a water bottle, so the route was adjusted to go to the shops in Kelsall via Ashton. We then take the Old Coach Road up Kelsall Hill and turn right by the Farmers Arms bound for Summertrees. Brian is struggling a bit, and it transpires that his gears aren’t working properly despite C.O.C. “servicing" them after last week's similar issues. So he heads for home as we continue along the top to Tirley Hill and then down through the lanes to Cotebrook. The way is then straight to Wettenhall via Rushton. To break the lane familiarity, at Cholmondeston we turn left, and then head south on the main drag towards Nantwich but hang a right through Aston-juxta-Mondrum to arrive eventually at Welshmen’s Lane a.k.a. the back lane into Nantwich town. A quick pow-wow here establishes that lunch is needed sooner rather than later. So over the water meadows it is, then an easy run to Wybunbury.
After 28m, we arrive at “the other pub”, the Red Lion - this is the pub Ivan intended us to go to when we came this way back in September 2013 but we went to the Swan instead! The food was plentiful with good ale, and, fortified with two courses, we head back onto the dry, cool but dry lanes bound for Hough. We turn west to run parallel back into Nantwich exiting over the water meadows to take the lane to Ravensmoor. Half way along we turn right up Dig Lane and onwards to Swanley. A left towards Larden Green finds us peeling off right and up Whitehaven Lane. A left and a right along the A534 takes us towards Bunbury. We decide to head for the Ice Cream Farm café and taking the first left we arrive on the A49 just south of Spurstow. Here it is a familiar ride back to the ICF arriving around 15:30. As no one needs to get back to Manley, we head back the usual way home. If we had gone back to Manley, it would have been a 63 miler with no rain and dry roads but little sun. Chester riders would have had 75 mile on the clock today.