Two Boyos on Bikes. Today saw two of the club's resident Welshmen sitting in splendid isolation in the Little Roodee café as the rain came gently down. Jim joined them very smartly attired, obviously not cycling today, as he doggedly pursues those club members who have still to pay their subs for this year. No names, no pack drill but you know who you are and Jim is talking about sending round the heavies. As 10:30 approaches options are discussed. As the two don't have a GPS gismo or even an OS map between them these options of necessity are going to be somewhat limited. They wouldn't know how to use them anyway, I hear you cry. A little harsh but probably true. George tentatively suggests he might remember the way to Malpas. So after checking with Jim how to actually get home from Malpas our two intrepid Welshmen set off, a little apprehensively for the wilds of rural south Cheshire. Young Tom fresh from his triumph of last week when keeping pace with the "brisk" group and old George for whom getting out of bed is something of a triumph these days.
Through Handbridge, Eccleston and Pulford. Turning left we head towards Holt. We pass Hildegard’s, no cyclists sitting outside in the warm sunshine today, although it has stopped raining. Over the Dee at Farndon and then across the A534 heading south towards Shocklach. Bowling along on traffic free drying roads, it is great to be out on the bike. Turning left at Threapwood, through Oldcastle Heath and up Malpas main street to what used to be the Fire Station café. 25 miles done reports Tom as we enter this re-branded and refurbished establishment. George orders a baguette from the welcoming member of staff. Said member returns a few minutes later to report, rather sheepishly that they are out of baguettes and so is the supermarket across the street. Not a baguette to had in Malpas that day. A Panini it is then. Tom had gone for a more exotic option with a side order of chips. Good chips he announces.
By this stage our two Welshmen are starting to miss the hills of their homeland so the return leg will take in what passes for hills in this part of Cheshire. Out of Malpas towards Hampton Heath, crossing the A41 headed towards Bickerton. Around Larkton Hill and Bickerton Hill and back over the A534. Up Harthill and then right at the bottom. Up the short climb, always steeper than you think, to pass the Teddy Bears café at Burwardsley. A long straight run into Tattenhall before turning north over the canal. We decide to take the scenic route to Waverton as the weather is still holding. So Huxley, Hoofield and Burton are left behind as the rain finally makes another appearance. This helps us keep the cadence up as we roll into Waverton and turn north once again for Guilden Sutton and the afternoon tea stop. Suitably refreshed we join the Greenway. The rain has now ceased and the Greenway is surprisingly free of dogs and their owners. George drops down onto the canal to go back into the centre of Chester while Tom carries on for home. Just over 60 miles for George and approaching 70 for Tom. A very enjoyable days cycling and, as is often the case, the weather much better than forecast.